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There have been a lot of threads complaining about underpowered weapons. With the exception of the first link, I just dug those up with about five minutes of random searching. Hell, I didn't even bother wading through the many firearm threads.
Why? Why does it bother people that a sling isn't as effective as a longbow? Isn't that kind of realistic? A sling could be useful, yeah, but there's a reason the longbow was a more popular weapon for elite troops.
Why are people annoyed that a crossbow is a less heroic weapon than a composite bow, for that matter? Of course crossbows take too long to load to be a valid "hero's" weapon.
Well, the thing is, Pathfinder has a bit of a contradiction. It's not a big thing—it's not something that ruins the game by any means—but I think it's the reason these arguments keep sprouting up.
Pathfinder, much more than any D&D edition prior to it, makes the characters feel like big, damn heroes. Like many games and stories, it tells us that the important thing is that the players feel badass—and it's not exactly all wrong there. And if there's anything anime has taught us, it's that the more impractical a weapon is, the more badass it is to use. Who needs guns?! I got swordchucks!
Pathfinder starts us down this path, giving us extra feats, extra abilities, and ensuring we always have options. But it doesn't go all the way. It keeps crossbows pretty much nerfed unless you're willing to spend a bunch of feats. Nobody in their right mind uses shuriken when they can just take levels in Zen Archer and get a much better result. And don't get me started on sling staves.
My two cents is; if other weapon options had different flavors of support (as in tactics, maneuvers, and special ammo)they would get seen in a better light.
Whats the difference between a Bow and a Crossbow; range, damage, and feat support. Whats the difference between armed melee and unarmed melee? Damage and attack options. Sword and Board/other Sword you got attack, disarm, sunder, ect. Unarmed you can do all that, and grab the guys face and shove it into your knee whilst screaming LUCHA at the top of your lungs.
Lets look at slings, sure they're not the greatest damage wise, but say there was the option of delivering sunder and disarm attempts with it. And/or being able to deliver thrown splash weapons (50ft range tangle-foot bag anyone?
If everything was equal, that would defeat the purpose of options. What the other options need is a different kind of support that lets them be competitive but in a different light