Plasma Gun For Everyone. Totally Not Orkz.
Plasma gun gets hated on, and for good reason in that it is very unwieldy in the wrong hands and playstyle. There is definitely a learn to play element and people can very often easily get it wrong.
However, having played it on a veteran for the past few days, I can comment how to actually make it work. First off, players need to learn there's actually four ways to vent the heat. Let's start with the slowest and work our way up.
Suppose the player shoots the plasma gun, and switches weapons after it overheats. Ok, you've one shot clusters of enemies half a dozen times over and now there's this long cooldown isn't there? Just switch weapons to melee and go to town. Meanwhile the weapon cools very slowly. This is fine if you have a great weapon and are confident in melee while having multiple +sprint/stamina items. Just whip it out for burst damage as needed and swap back. unlike the bolter, there is no cocking and the Plasma gun is ready to go as soon as has cooled down.
Next is actually leaving the weapon out. It will naturally cool down slowly, but this will take a very long time. I do not recommend this method.
Next two are situational, which is faster depends on how much heat is left. If there's say, less than half, then you'll want to use the special attack key, and it will vent the heat very quickly in a seperate animation. Note, this will cause health damage.
However, if you're at say, 80-100% heat, you'll want to reload instead. Reloading is a long animation, but faster than manually venting, and completely discharges the heat.
When to reload and when to switch to a melee weapon or grenades will depend on the situation you're in. Obviously if you're in the middle of a swarm, it is time to grenade and melee. If you have time, and hear big threats incoming like mutants or ogryn elites, reload and prepare to do the secondary attack, charging up your weapon, then hit F, and delete enemies.
As a veteran you'll want the early two reload perks, reloading faster while ammo is in reserve, and reloading after killing elites. It is very easy to 1-2 shot elites, often multiple in a row, with the plasma gun, even with primary attack left click. Very few enemies do not die to the plasma gun immediately. Even big elites stagger hard to the plasma gun, opening them up to follow up damage from yourself and your team.
Charged shots, and volley fire outright deletes big elites.
So yes, Plasma gun does have issues, but when specced right, can be amazing. I would not say its underrated, as its clearly not for everyone. However, in the right hands? It is absolutely deadly.
Finally one last word: You want max thermal resistence on this weapon. It has surprisingly high base ammo, but overheats. With additional thermal resistence, you will have more overall shots available to you.
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