Very late to the party, and maybe i should leave it alone… But still…
Regarding the current system:
[ul][li]To my understanding, the markmanship is the generic ranged skill, while the others are weapontype-specific. Gun use is affected by both the generic and the specific skill. This sounds sensible, as markmanship represents the general ranged weapon affinity and firerarm skill spillover to other type of ranged arms, while the other skills represent familiarity & skill with a specific weapontype.[/li]
[li]Also, the current system implicitly assumes that the guns sharing a specific weapontype skill are sufficiently similar to use (but not to maintain - mechanics take care of maintenance). This is already arbitrary, in the sense that there are edge cases and outliers (eg. minigun, crossbow, modded weapons stock and barrel retaining their parent firearm category) not handled correctly, but the detail level is arbitrary, not the categorization itself.[/li][/ul]
The question should be: how can the ranged skill system be improved, so that the edge cases diminish, while other cases stay well represented?
I’d argue that to do so the best way would be to specifically model gun handling based on gun shape, length, weight and special ergonomics. This still does not mean that skills need to change as it does not taking into account weapon skill. Adding a skill bonus for specific gun configurations and shapes would work, but when clustering those we would end up with typical weaponskill categories such as (‘rifles’,‘smgs’, etc). Well, this ‘gun handling’ idea would need its own thread and debate.
Beyond this, i’ve expended a bit of time into trying to devise a better system based on the current idea. My conclusion is that this way of doing things is already good enough. Those are the only comments i do have, which could be seen as small improvements on top of the current system:
[ul][li]Energy weapons could use an ‘energy weapon’ skill, which would work like markmanship, on top of the specific weaponskill used for the specific energy weapon (so eg. for a laser pistol, each shot would be affected by markmanship, pistol and ‘energy weapons’ skills at the same time). This is because presumably all energy weapons would share some common attributes - eg. no recoil, similar charge and fire mechanics), that would be very different from all conventional firearms.[/li]
[li]I would merge shotgun and rifle skills. They do differ, but the difference can be represented via gun and ammo stat differences i think. Are they that different in their handling? Don’t think so. (though the way they would get used differs due to the ammo difference)[/li]
[li]Modding a weapon should possibly change its type. Specifically fiddling with stocks and barrels of pistols, smgs and low caliber rifles could make one handle like the other, thus change type. Could this be made into a simple tracking system that changes the weapontype if applicable after modding a gun?[/li]
[li]Changing the ‘launchers’ skill into ‘heavy weapons’ might be useful. One use i can think is moving the minigun to that skill (not certain this is a good idea WRT to realism and other side-effects though)[/li][/ul]