Thanks for the info on the bug, I thought HM seemed oddly weak now.
I hadn't thought about the pre-27.2 damage system for a long time before this post.
I don't play multi-hour missions normally, but I found the old damage system more fun to mod for generally. With the current system most of my builds end up very similar in terms of damage distribution (viral, with maybe HM or heat) regardless of faction, and even in cases where something else is slightly better there is very little difference in feel, with e.g. magnetic being just viral for shields.
In the old system there was a lot more variety in what procs did and how they were best used. Of the ones I remember using:
- Viral would halve health, only allowed a single instance, and had no scaling with damage, so was an interesting element for high fire rate weapons with low status chance. Useful, but not nearly as prevalent as now.
- Corrosive did less initial armor strip, but kept scaling. Good for weapons that could do a lot of procs, nearly essential vs high-level grineer hence overused. I don't think the problem was really with corrosive, but rather how strongly Grineer EHP scaled in a way only corrosive (and slash) could mitigate.
- Blast was excellent CC, knocking down nearby enemies.
- Gas was stronger, and triple-dipped on faction mods, so not really good for general builds but fun and different.
- Electric, Slash, and Heat were fairly similar to now.
These were all very unique effects. Lots of things had a niche in which they were usable, and a different style of building. It felt like a proper choice of what a build should do rather than just numbers on a spreadsheet for what does the most damage.
Because so many things were good in their niche, any of them could be considered unbalanced if compared to other things that don't do that. Blast for instance had its radial knockdown which gave excellent CC and in a time when AOE was rare it was very useful if CC was wanted. But to get that you had to give up a different damage type that could have done something else.
I didn't really notice at the time, but looking back it feels like it was a mistake to replace the weirdness of the old system with the fairly homogenous new system. With the old system, setting up a weapon for e.g. a gas build was different from building for a slash / viral build, which was different from building for a corrosive build. Nowadays if I want to switch to say magnetic, all I do is swap the toxin mod for the electric one, build done.
TLDR: The "lack of balance" in the pre-27.2 damage system was fun to mod for, with greater build variety and ironically a less strict meta.