Alright, props for at least being somewhat specific and not just saying "gun balance is broken." I am going to reply to each of these with my thoughts/opinion, I am not trying to argue but I think people want this back and forth right? Let's address your points one at a time:
Having put a number of hours into this game file me under someone who doesn't understand the balance at all in this.
-I don't get the SMG damage model having weapons that have a high damage model and a high ROF but drop off to nothing within 20 feet, making them impossible to use. Outside of touching distance. The high damage and the high ROF are redundant, to me. Trying to compensate with lag, armored insert, and random bullet spread, asking for a 10 hit kill at 30 feet is just ridiculous.
SMGs use a pistol caliber bullet so it's not going to carry as much damage as a rifle bullet. The role of the SMG is close range, it is not a long range gun. SMGs have less recoil and are easier to control because of this. The numbers you are using (20 feet, 30 feet) are exaggerated.
-I still don't understand the use for the carbines, as their damage, damage drop off, and ROF is inferior across the board to the assault rifles.
The Carbines are easier to control and have less recoil than Assault rifles. Yes, they do slightly less damage but that’s the trade-off for the controllability. I know, you’re going to mention the M16 and M416 now. The M16 and M416 have more recoil and are harder to control than Carbines.
-None of the side arm balance makes sense, unless the Syndicate weapons are intentionally supposed to be superior to the regular sidearms in every possible way.
This is too general, I don’t want to list every sidearm here. I will talk about the Syndicate Sidearm thinking.
Mechanic: 410 Jury is a short range pistol that shoots a 410 shell. This makes it drastically different from the revolvers the Mechanic has but not better, it has an advantage in short range situations but the revolvers are better for long distances.
Operator: G17 has lower damage than most of the other Operator sidearms, the tradeoff is less recoil.
Enforcer: Bald Eagle does tons of damage but it’s got tons of recoil, a low rate of fire and a small magazine.
Professional: Mac10. Tons of recoil and spread compared to the other Professional sidearms. Balancing it out is its High rate of fire… We are also nerfing it a bit in XP2.
-The shotguns are useless besides spitting distance, out side of the double barrel, because if you don't get a one shot kill you're dead and they're too inconsistent to rely on that. The TTK in this is so low that there is no time to get off a second shot since they're all pump actions.
Shotgun is the best close range weapon, that’s its role. It’s not supposed to be good at range. Also, I disagree that you can’t get a second shot off. Try the KSG12 or the SPAS and you’ll have no trouble getting multiple shots off.
-I don't understand the battle rifle balance, or why one faction gets easily the two best battle rifles (the FAL and the SA-58). When every gun has the exact same damage model, the only thing after that is RPM.
Those two rifles have the most recoil of all Battle Rifles. That, combined with the higher rate of fire, makes them the two most difficult to control Battle Rifles.
-The sniper balance still does make sense, unless you think that the 308 magnum rounds for the two "heavy" bolt actions make up for a slower RPM, slower bullet speed, and lower mag size.
You’re saying the Sniper Rifles are good or am I not understanding the statement? Yes, the slower bolt actions are able to one hit kill in a shorter range and carry damage over distance better.
True balance, to me, would be looking at any gun and finding a use for it. And there are so many guns in this that I would never, ever pick up again because they have no niche, there is a gun that does something better in every possible way.
I think this point is less about just gun balance and more about how each gun relates to your personal preference and playstyle. One man’s trash is another man’s treasure.
*quick edit* The low TTK in this entire game is, to me, just incredibly poorly thought out and I doubt you'll ever be able to justify that to my liking. Some of the weapons are so low as to be impossible for client and the server being able to communicate what is going on, leading to tons of one frame, instant (seeming) kills. Google tells me it takes 300-400ms to blink an eye, which is about double what it takes the majority of the weapons to kill you In this game up until 30-40m. I wonder if you play your own game sometimes.
Our game is not intended to have the same longer TTK that BF4 had. No one is getting killed in 150ms though, that's an exaggerated number for sure :)
I have played this game in development for countless hours. I have played over 110 hours of the retail game at home on my own time, about to hit Level 113 tonight. I really like the game and I play every night.
I do appreciate the feedback and passion for the game. Thanks for playing and actually using the guns rather than basing your feedback on a website with incomplete data or someone else's opinion on a YouTube video.