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Explosive Focus Stabilizer/metal legs Quickness/supercharger light armor
these combos laughs at SMAW....it always has. Especially against new or not all that skilled players. The only question is if you want to get in their face or plink them to death.
Let's talk what's widely considered the SMAWs best, most effective mid range.
You rush them and get in tight with the supercharger metal legs combo, you'll survive a direct blast and they will die from their own splash damage (patched explosive focus will only protect target) at the very least if you aren't trying to snipe but rather hip fire, you'll out run the rocket and splash damage long as you don't get cute.
if you aren't a rusher...use stability and quickness and bother to dodge while trading heat with them...well, the best shot will win, not the most powerful weapon. The trick is knowing your environment, how much splash you have to outrun, and either having the timing/skill to land head shots or the smarts to toss some type of grenade while you exchange fire.
It's really that cut and dry and that simple. High splash damage is no worse than an auto turret, or a secondary fire proxy mine, or sustained aim of a Carby, or wall penetrating anywhere to the body one shot kills, or a charged shot meltdown....
See where I'm going with this? Things do have counters but you seem to always assume the worse case scene rio to validate your point. Sometimes you will have both light armor and explosive focus. Sometimes you'll have the damage control point, so they don't; or at the very least you'll have a health control point to absorb it (that is why the maps are laid out as they are, with speed CP in the middle) It's quite simply not a one shot kill weapon unless you give them that ability by armor power choice on your end.
The SMAW is aweful at long range due to its ballistic muzzle to target speed. It's also a pointless exercise for close range warfare due to the patch and how perks cause the user to suicide while giving a way out to the target; assuming they have powers set up correctly.
As far as middle range it's also not a guarantee for the reasons I've suggested above.
For those having trouble with SMAW...incorporate those perks listed above into your powers set....it will make all the difference.
And use an aegis while your at it. Against one shot kill weapons it's not half the toothless tiger some think it is. The problem with it lies with rapid fire weapons and flanking....or it's total Achilles heal...the Reverse Damage grenade.
Still, maybe someone has found a good fix for that. I'm eager to hear it, if so.
A big part of me tries very hard to behave. A small part of me laughs at the effort and behaves like an ass, anyway.