I like Weapons. As in, GGG's Weapons.
I like that there's just enough variety in their typing to add depth without getting too specific over sword alloys or firearm calibers. I like that you can have enough of them with you at all times to avoid repeating the same trick over and over. I like that specializing in a specific type or mixing and maxing types are both viable strategies. I overall like where they stand right now.
Sometimes I focus a lot on things that could stand to be better, but every once in a while it is a good idea to look back at the bigger picture and realize just how neat some things really are. Mostly so I don't wreck them apart when I'm doing major changes.
What kind of changes? Well, for starters I don't like that Bullets and Missiles have been difficult to distinguish mechanically from day one. I don't like that when it comes down to it Weapon types are "Beam" on one side and "Everything Else" on the other. I also don't like the half-rollover mechanic in general, but that's more of a general rules issue.
All three of those things could stand to be streamlined further. But doing so would take away a lot of the depth inherent to combat, and the less options you've got out there to choose from, the more likely that a single PC can take all of them. Kind of ruins the point to be able to actually choose anything.
I would like to experiment a little on that end, but that's a topic for when I have a better idea of how to do it, and just what to sacrifice. Now let's go over the current Weapons a bit, see if they can be improved, and if they're doing their job properly.
The premade Melee Weapons tend to be big finishers or desperation attacks in some way, though they all have very distinct functions. Gallant Kick and Radiant Fist were both made to counter Evasion and Armor tanks respectively, while All-Out Attack is a more general finisher and has the most abusiveness potential of the bunch. It makes for a very nasty combination with tricks like Limiter Release or Righteous Fury.
Divine Wind is similarly brutal, though a lot less abusable for obvious reasons. It could stand to be improved, thinking about it, because man, you're taking a lot of damage for what is one big hit that can still be weakened through barriers or nullified with evasive systems.
The really interesting guy here is Finger Net, which is an extremely effective tool to harass groups of enemies with in a teamwork scenario, or put pressure on a single ultradodgy enemy. Yes, it is repeatable to the point of annoyance, but each turn you're doing this is a turn you're not likely doing anything else of value. And ultimately, the choice of whether the effect sticks or not is not yours, but of the guy on the other side, not to mention they can engage you or an ally in a duel to make launching it at them a very bad idea.
Much like with Melee, a number of the Weapons here are made to counter specific types of tanks. Armor Breaker and the Long Rifle are the most obvious, but the Sentry Turret and Resonance Cannon are also quite effective counters too. The Long Rifle and Sentry Turret can also do other things, though, not being quite 'hard' counters in that regard.
We can extend that to the Superheavy Machinegun and the Riot Weapon too though, while they're both good at handling groups of enemies, the former fares much better with dodgy types and the latter with armored ones.
Special Ballistic Weapons end up being, in general, really good against single targets, specially those with a focus on Evasion. They tend to have more trouble with armored targets, and swarms of grunts are hell. Custom Weapons can mitigate this, and so can Use More Gun, but you might as well branch off into other types. Overall, fairly solid.
Beams are almost universally good, but their usual low stats make them kind of really bad against evasive enemies. There's not much left to punch through Armor after a high Evasion has soaked most of your Accuracy, after all. This is easily solved by simply having high Accuracy and Penetration Attributes as a base, and since their other weakness is that they need to consume energy, their faults are the easiest to mitigate.
Kind of an issue, but it doesn't ruin the game or anything. So how do the premade beams fare? Well, the ones that aren't superweapons of pure, unmitigated destruction are fairly useful, so I would say they're all pretty good which is a success in my book. Most of them need a bit of setup, because they sweep huge areas and are likely to hurt your friend in the process, or at least annoy them.
Missiles have come a long way since they were 'like Ballistics, but worse', and while the similarities still bug me - as pointed out a few paragraphs ago- they're much more distinct and useful now. For one, they're the only Weapon type you can potentially 'kite' with through hit and run tactics, and they're the best at charging into the fray with a moderate mix of Accuracy and Penetration. Plus, they get cheap Blasts.
Like with nearly every other Weapon type, some of them are clearly engineered to be able to counter tanks. Bombardment, in particular, is good enough that if you can manage to constantly keep it reloaded it might earn you a victory on its own. Micromissiles are a neat primary weapon if you're the type that hates relying on luck, you'd just need something to use in the off-turns... Like say, a Genius Missile.
Nega-G Rounds are utilitarian, but their one problem is that their utility is trumped by Exhaustion, which is a much more reliable Power. Of course, taking Exhaustion means you're locked into the Controller Package of Powers, but once you have a team member with it... Well, Nega-G Rounds are more of an afterthought. I would like to make it more useful, perhaps by giving it another, different function too. But I'm not quite sure how, and the effect is fairly powerful by itself, so maybe it is fine.
The anime-themed pacing of the rules letting you grab Upgrades and Weapons after Arcs or during a Mid-Scene Upgrade keeps your mid-Season UP spending strictly on Enhancements, which right now, are flat statistical boosts. That's okay, but we can improve on that a little.
A thing I want to add to the next version is a small improvement to the Custom Weapon rules, expanding the Enhancement rules while at it. Currently Weapons with a cost lower than 5 UP are good filler and nothing else, most of their utility comes at character creation when you just have 2-3 points to spare and coooould use another Weapon rather than an Enhancement.
Enter the Enhancing of Custom Weapons, now you can bump up your lowly 1 UP starting dinky pistol to a much more satisfying 5 UP hand cannon of death. Or buy-off drawbacks such as Overheating with UP, increasing the Cost of the Weapon to 5. The UP Cost can never go over 5, so if you want to buy a 3 UP Beam's Overheating ability off, you're going to have to give it three more UP in drawbacks to keep it from exceeding 5.
It is not a particularly big change or anything, but it does improve what you can do in between arcs a little, and because it is just a nice little patch it can be incorporated more or less seamlessly into the rules.