It has been a while since I've written one of these, but with all of the buzz regarding the upcoming Multishot Nerf, I thought I'd take a few moments and try to provide some insight as to why this shouldn't initially be regarded as a bad decision. This isn't just about the Multishot Nerf, but any Nerf which addresses the root problem of False Choices.
What is a False Choice, and what does Multishot have to do with it?
A False Choice is an apparent choice between two or more options, but only one of which is the "correct" one. Picking the "False" choice means putting yourself at a disadvantage in some way.
When given the choice between "Multishot" and "Not Multishot", the false choice is clear. "Not Multishot" is the false choice. Every weapon benefits from Multishot, and there will never be a scenario when Multishot becomes a disadvantage. Thus, picking Multishot is the correct choice, and not having multishot is the false choice.
False Choices are a result of many things. Poor game design. Shortsightedness. Power creep. Bugs. Or even something as benign as simple popularity or "the meta". When it comes to Multishot, DE has taken the stance that Multishot was not initially designed to not consume additional ammo, but due to its popularity, it was a glitch that they had simply ignored for the last two years.
I am not defending DE's decision to ignore a glitch for two years. Particularly when it has become the "new" normal. A bug like Multishot not consuming additional ammo should have been a top priority a long time ago, because then players will inevitably become accustomed to the inherent awesomeness of the game mechanic and any "late" fixes to that bug will understandably worry and infuriate players who have been using it for a long time, who see it as a nerf instead of a bug fix.
Whether bug fix or nerf, the reality is that Multishot is a crutch. Multishot is the result of what happens when you provide false choices in the game. Having a crutch is not always a bad thing, but it causes the stagnation of choice-making and game theory. To many tenno, this is not something they particularly care about. They just see the concept of nerfing multishot as a bad thing because it has become the status quo for weapon modification, and a change to the status quo is not without criticism.
But what is the stagnation of choice-making and game theory, and what does that have to do with Warframe?
Many of us enjoy exploring options on how to create weapons. It has become a past-time of casuals, hardcore players, and number enthusiasts. We have a weapon with 8 mod slots. We have the option for Orokin Catalysts/Reactors to boost our 30 mod points to 60. We have a number of choices to make for those 8 mod slots.
But the illusion is that we don't really have all 8 mod slots to choose from. We never really did. We might have 6 effective mod slots to choose from. Not 8. Because 2 of those mod slots will always consist of a raw damage mod (like Serration) and a multishot mod (like Split Chamber).
If the game has 8 mod slots for each weapon, then the game should actually reflect we have 8 weapon modifications to choose from. Serration and Split Chamber are not choices. They are requirements for optimal weapon performance. Anything else other than Serration and Split Chamber is a false choice.
So, what should DE do about the illusion of false choice? The obvious solution is to nerf it. Open up weapon modification to use all 8 mod slots, and provide Multishot as one such option, with the drawback of it consuming more ammunition. You are given the choice of whether to have Multishot at the expense of consuming more ammunition (and possibly requiring another mod like Ammo Mutation). This is no longer a false choice, because some weapons will perform better without multishot, while some weapons will truly shine with multishot -- but only if the player is able to maintain ammo economy.
Just like any other weapon in the game that has advantageous or disadvantageous ammo economies!
You are essentially modifying your weapon to have a slightly worse ammo economy.
A weapon like the Tigris has a very respectable ammo efficiency, a multishot nerf may not have a pronounced effect.
A weapon regarded as a "bullet hose" like the Gorgon family, however, would actually worsen its ammo economy.
The choice is ultimately your own, and clearly DE will need to rebalance all of the weapons with poor ammo economies in the game to compensate for the removal of the Multishot crutch, along with things like crit damage/chance and status chance. If they were to be fair, all such weapons in the game would need to be buffed as if they already had max multishot mods installed. This may not be ideal for some people, but it would effectively give everybody the current multishot advantage (in pure damage/crit/status effect output) without needing to use one or more mod slots -- effectively freeing us up to use additional mod options. It would also allow our weapons to become much more powerful "out of the box", increasing their base performance
What we will actually get is currently unknown, but try not to worry. DE has usually compensated us in some way in the past.
Keep an open mind, and continue to voice your concerns over multishot because this truly is a mechanic that affects every player in the game and if it's going to happen -- it needs to be done in such a way that isn't punishing and does not drastically alter the gameplay.
But the removal of crutches like raw damage and multishot mods is a needed change for a healthier choice of options to make.
Thanks for reading!