So spending some time in this forum lately a trend is obvious.
Mystics and Technomancers have a lot to gain from Sniper Rifles and Long Arms.
This makes me wonder why not take it to the next level and use Heavy Weapons.
I understand that Longarms or Sniper rifles are just a feat away from them but in the long run [Say level 5] the average character has gained 3 or 4 if human feats.
So why should I or should not invest in heavy weapons as a mystic or a technomancer?
|Jimbles the Mediocre|
If you're planning to pick up heavy weapons as a mystic or a technomancer, you absolutely need heavy weapon specialization, as it's a big chunk of your damage output. That's three feats, which is level 5 for most characters. If you wanna go down that path, you need to play a human (or a ryphorian) to get that racial bonus feat, which allows you to pick up heavy weapon specialization at 3rd level when it comes online for soldiers. Otherwise, you're just burning all your feats to be behind everyone else in damage output for four levels.
Pro: It is a viable build, though, at least in my opinion. Since your BAB is behind the soldier's, you're better placed to take advantage of unwieldy weapons, as you're unlikely to be making full attacks.
Con: You need to invest in strength just to use heavy weapons, both to meet the prerequisites and to lug the suckers around (2-3 bulk is a lot). This takes away from Dex or your casting stat, and you need Dex for your AC (you are too feat-starved for heavy armor, don't even think about it).
If you are going to go with heavy weapons I'd suggest dipping soldier. This would save a mystic or technomancer two feats to get the heavy weapon proficiency, plus give the benefit of heavy armor proficiency plus advanced melee weapon proficiency and a nice 1st level fighting style bonus, of which there are several very good ones.
|Jimbles the Mediocre|
It really is more about if people advise for Mystics and Technomancers to get Longarms, why not to go all the way down this path.
Heavy weapons are not better than longarms as much as they are more specialized. Longarms are about doing consistent damage, while heavy weapons are either about area damage, object damage, or something else. Additionally, it takes a larger commitment which will probably impact your spellcasting at least a bit.
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Heavy weapons will do more damage in the long run, it's true, but it comes with caveats.
To get heavy weapons over just longarms you have to spend an extra feat, and you also need to have strength 12/14 (the strength requirement increases as weapon level increases). Personally I feel that's too much investment for what is my secondary action in combat, generally speaking my technomancer's roll is to cast spells & use skills as needed. Longarms already requires two feats (proficiency & versatile specialiation). The extra investment of a 3rd feat and ability points for my secondary combat action just doesn't seem worth it IMO.
Also, based on the highest DPR longarm gun vs the highest DPR heavy weapon (based on this wonderful thread/spreadsheet):
Seeker Rifle, Paragon 54 average damage
Reaction Cannon, Paragon 66 average damage
A difference of 12 points of damage per shot. It makes less of a difference than weapon specialization. To me, it's just not worth the extra feat and strength investment for that little of a difference.
Especially when you consider that percentage of damage that difference represents.
54 + 20 (weapon spec) vs 66 + 20 is 74 vs 86. It's only 16% more damage, and that's assuming you don't have anything else adding any bonus damage.