Elemental ammo can "Proc", meaning they have a random chance of causing major effects like freezing/burning an enemy, in addition to the different damage they deal.

What determines the frequency at which these effects happen? Is it a random chance per bullet (meaning higher rate of fire = more elemental effects) or is it more complex than that?

Borderlands had a very complex Elemental Proc chance system so I'm wondering if ME does as well or if proc chance is different for each type of gun?

I'm interested as this is important for the effectiveness of sniper rifles (and shotguns) because a % per bullet chance means they're going to Freeze/Burn an enemy way less often, making some ammo less helpful in those guns.

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    Qu'est-ce que ce "proc"? – au revoir Mar 7 '12 at 18:06
  • To clarify: You're talking about the sort of effects like with incendiary ammo when they specifically run around in a panic because they're on fire, right? – Sterno Mar 7 '12 at 18:07
  • @JasonBerkan: Proc is short for "special_procedure". When an attack has a chance to hit, there is a chance the special procedure will happen and your "crit" or "elemental" effect will go off. – aslum Mar 7 '12 at 18:21
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    @JasonBerkan Proc is a slang term that originated from the acronym, "Programed Random OCurrence". It can be used to refer to everything which has a random chance to activate. – Raven Dreamer Mar 7 '12 at 18:31
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    And I have now officially learned something new today. If it is common slang, the original title is fine, though the new one is good too. – au revoir Mar 7 '12 at 19:27

I've noticed in multi-player that weapons with high ROF cause special ammo's affect to occur more frequently. In fact, I basically never equip Incidiary, Warp (or whatever) ammo on a sniper rifle anymore due to the lack of utility. This leads me to believe that each shot has a chance to proc. However since the descriptions of the ammo doesn't (to my knowledge) list the exact chance, snooping the game code would be required to figure out the exact chance.

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It was my understanding that slow rof weapons have a higher chance to proc than rapid rof weapons. Or at least, that is how it worked in ME2.

For example, a pistol like the carnifex or shotgun like the claymore would proc nearly every shot (I enjoyed setting grunt up with his claymore, and his own inferno rounds - enemies panicking galore!), whereas a proc would be every once in a while with a rapid weapon.

Note: This does not immediately mean that slower is better. It would depend on the situation. For example, a rapid rof weapon with disruptor rounds would likely still do more damage to a banshee's barrier than a slow rof with disruptor rounds. Same goes for slow firing weapon's benefit against armour.

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This seems to be a function of the gun's Rate of Fire; extremely high RoF guns like the Geth Pulse Rifle take a LOT of shots to so much as Chill a target. However, low RoF guns like Heavy Pistols and Sniper Rifles Freeze targets straight-out in a single shot in most cases. Note that's freeze, not chill; the effect seems flat out stronger with lower RoF guns.

This is pretty easy to test with Cryo Ammo and your default guns. Cryo ammo is a good example because with high RoF you can see enemies are barely chilled, but slow guns freeze most targets dead in their tracks.

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