I asked the guys on the PC board what the exact specs on it were, and they seem pretty good.

20% more damage, but 60% less critical damage. Not too bad.

Wall of text here breaking down the trait, for those interested.

The crit penalty sucks of course, but since you usually do far more regular hits than you do crits anyway, it shouldn't matter. Especially when the 60% isn't quite as high as it seems. Since you're also getting the bonus 20% damage from regular hit, and just the extra bonus for the crit is 60% less, not the total attack itself.

As a reference point, if you used the Fisto in Fallout 3 (40 damage with iron fist perks), that would be 48 damage per hit with Heavy Handed.

Now, a critical hit with Fisto did 65 damage. -60% crit would reduce that to 58 with Heavy Handed. If that sounds like bad math, this is how it works.

base damage (40) + crit damage (25, x 0.4 = 10) = 50 + (8 for Heavy Handed) = 58

So while your crit isn't as deadly, every single hit basically adds the damage you would lose for a single crit, unless the hit was a crit.

Making Heavy Handed an excellent trait with a very small drawback which is heavily outweighed by the trait itself.

Now, usually most weapons that have a crit, have a crit that does double the damage of a regular hit. Magnified more by the better criticals perk (which I assume is applied in contrast to the penalty, for a net total of -10% critical damage, if you grab that perk.)

So a weapon with 40 damage, usually has 40 crit for damage (sometimes it's 50% more, sometimes it's 100% more, sometimes it's 50% less).

so a 40 damage weapon with 40 crit does 80 with crit, 40 with normal, crit rate of say, 6-8% on your character for most builds + Finese = 11-13%, so we'll go with 12% for the math. That's one crit every 8.3 attacks. Of course, VATS adds 15% too, so that's 27%, about one in every 4 in VATS.

Okay, so, a weapon with 40/40, does 80 with crit.

In about 8 attacks outside of VATS, the total damage is 45.

With Heavy Handed, every hit does 48, which also doesn't account for the one crit, which ends up making it 50 for average damage.

Now, if you do all your hits in VATS, it's a different story, since one in every 4 crits.

When using all VATS attacks, you'd average 50 damage.

With Heavy Handed, it's 52 average damage. Still ahead.

With weapons that have less bonus crit damage than normal damage (blunt weapons like sledgehammers), Heavy handed completely destroys the average damage compared to non heavy handed.

Weapons with very large crit bonus% bonuses; however, have a larger DPS, as the above tables assume normal crit %. Any weapon above 2x normal crit rate, or 2x crit rate using attacks only in VATS, will out DPS a Heavy Handed trait user.

That said, the only weapon (with good damage) with greater than 2x crit multiplier for melee/unarmed last game was the Deathclaw Gauntlet. I don't know what the multiplier is this time. . .but that would probably be the only close range weapon that would be better without Heavy Handed than with.

Also, anyone who wondered if the Better Criticals perk has influence over the math, it doesn't. It adds bonus to the base value, not set value after Heavy Handed is applied, which means the additional damage is equal for players who did and didn't select the perk.

Long read, but perhaps this changed some people's minds on selecting the perk.