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In doing some weapon research, I've read that others prefer the "Explosive" legendary effect on shotguns and laser weapons with the beam-splitter, since they've reported (such as here) that each separate pellet/beam of the shot will gain that effect. There are a few other weapon effects that seem to affect on a "per shot" basis which leads to a few questions. Namely:

  1. Freezing/Incendiary/Irradiated/Plasma-infused/Poisoner's/Two-shot/Wounding: Are all of these effects also on a per-pellet basis?
  2. Staggering: Does each pellet have a chance to stagger?
  3. Instigating: If an enemy with full health is hit with, say, 4 pellets, will all 4 of them get the 2x damage bonus for Instigating? I suppose the answer to this could be dependent on whether or not all pellets of a shot "hit" at the same time.
  • Actually, Wounding would be you best bet IF each pellet wounds separately. – aslum Dec 7 '15 at 22:22
  • @aslum I think people like explosive because demolition expert supposedly bumps up the dmg to 30 per shot (or pellet, if it truly is calculated that way). That coupled with the instant damage and slight aoe from explosive makes it pretty desirable. – king14nyr Dec 7 '15 at 23:27
  • This combo was what made The Terrible Shotgun in FO3 insanely powerful... this was removed in FO:NV but it looks like may have made a comeback... I really hope this stays :D – Nelson Dec 8 '15 at 0:12
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1)Freezing/Incendiary/Irradiated/Plasma-infused/Poisoner's/Wounding: I know for sure all these get the effect for every pellet. All you have to do is look at the damage they do when all the pellets hit a single enemy or the fact you can deliver the effect on 2 enemies close together with a single shot if the pellets hit both. I'm not sure about the two-shot effect though don't see a reason why it wouldn't but haven't seen a shotgun with that effect yet.

2)Staggering: I'm not 100% sure about the staggering effect but I would say yes just based on the fact you can perm stagger enemies with a combat shotgun with this effect even legendary enemies.

3)Bloodied/Instigating: Bloodied is based on the players health the bonus is better the lower your health is and each pellet gets the bonus fine. I haven't seen an Instigating shotgun yet so I can't comment on how the effect would act it would be 100% speculation.

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  • For 1), you're saying that freezing will give an additional 10 damage to each pellet, so that a shotgun that shoots 8 pellets (how many pellets do they shoot?) would get an extra 80 damage? That's pretty crazy. – DCShannon Dec 8 '15 at 1:19
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    @DCShannon Yea several of the damage increasing traits such as explosive are pretty absurd even in survival mode you can 1 or 2 most enemies. Even enemies like Deathclaws become easy they will be down before they even get an attack off. – Nightmare Dec 8 '15 at 2:12
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    Keep in mind burning, poison, and bleeding are dot effects and only bleeding stacks. So burning and poison on a shotgun is nearly useless while bleeding is overpowered. Crippling is also very good on a shotgun almost guaranteed to destroy legs due to the pellet count. – l I Dec 8 '15 at 5:04
  • Ah, I must've misinterpreted bloodied. On the Fallout Wikia, it describes it as Does more damage the lower the health is. It doesn't explicitly say player or target health, so I guess I incorrectly assumed target. I'm going to edit my question to have #3 be about Instigating only, then. Thanks. – king14nyr Dec 8 '15 at 16:08
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Per Shot: Irradiated, Freezing, Plasma Infused, Incendiary, Poisoner's, Furious.
Per Projectile: Wounding, Explosive.
Untested: Status effect only legendaries (Kneecapper, Stagger, etc.) and damage multipliers (Powerful, Exterminator, Two Shot, etc.)

Damage-Over-Time doesn't stack. (Except for Wounding.) So even if they are per projectile, they are effectively per shot.

I just tested this myself with a couple sets of console duplicated semi-automatic laser rifles (maxed Rifleman perk, game version 1.7). Focused vs Splitter for each legendary tested. Used a brahmin as target practice (no VATS), and measured damage. There was no difference in damage with the per-shot legendary effects. By comparison, the split per-projectile legendary effects did vastly more damage than their focused counterparts.

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