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I have some e-tech snipers with great damage, great stats all around...but they just don't seem up to par to my regular sniper rifles. The maximum damage is just significantly lower. What's going on here? Are e-tech snipers crap or what?

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don't forget to accept his answer if it works for you! – waifu Feb 24 '13 at 16:26
up vote 9 down vote accepted

It turns out e-tech snipers deal reduced critical hit damage (possibly all e-tech?)

I tested this theory on poor Target Practice. I removed allegiance/plus bullet damage/etc gear to get "raw" data. I confirmed that badass ranks boost both e-tech and normal guns, so it's not an issue of badass rank not applying either. Tests were completed with the same character with no kill skill buffs/etc. I used the same elements to eliminate the damage multipliers from mattering.

Here is a corrosive Vladof non-e-tech sniper rifle. Base Damage: 15,596 Headshot damage: 118K enter image description here

Here is a corrosive Dahl e-tech sniper rifle with nearly 2x the amount of base damage damage. Base Damage: 27,117. Headshot damage: 95,293

enter image description here

Note the slightly lower headshot damage despite extremely higher base damage. Sniper rifles have a built-in,unlisted bonus to critical damage, it appears that at the least, e-tech doesn't get that boost. It's a pretty huge factor, since it seems to be cutting the damage roughly in half.

I did some extra testing and it turned out the body shots from e-tech snipers actually do as much extra damage as they should:

enter image description here

enter image description here

As if you needed another reminder that DPS numbers are meaningless in BL2, my initial testing was complicated because I was comparing my fire e-tech to the Volcano. Turns out the Volcano does significantly more damage than listed on headshots AND bodyshots, probably due to the splash damage it's shots have, unlike other snipers. The fire e-tech was inferior to bodyshots from the volcano too (by a large margin) but that was due to the Volcano being awesome, not e-tech sucking.

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There are two multiplicative bonuses to critical hits in BL2: Dmg = BaseDmg * CritMultiplier * (1 + CritBonus). CritMultiplier is 2 for snipers. CritBonus is where badass ranks and other bonuses go, and sniper rifles have +100% base (Jakobs SRs have +160%). It seems E-tech do not have this +100% base. It is possible to verify this if one can add a critical damage bonus and check its effect on resulting damage. – Orc JMR Jan 7 '13 at 14:23
@OrcJMR would the Baddass rank bonus to crits be enough? Because the results were consistent with that on/off. I guess I do have the bonus to crits skill as a Siren, but I'm not sure what exactly I should be checking for? – Ben Brocka Jan 7 '13 at 14:33
If your calculations match the experiments, it is perfectly fine. I just didn't suggest badass bonuses as they are toggled all at once and may complicate stuff. – Orc JMR Jan 7 '13 at 18:16

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