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  • Clive Barker's Undying: The Phoenix near the end: you can control the shot and use it to explore the level around, but it's too fast and difficult to send against a foe and it deals mediocre damage to the enemies. The Spear Gun you find before is much more practical to use by comparison.
  • From the Call of Duty series:
    • Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare lets you unlock two additional optics for most guns, the red dot sight and the ACOG scope. However, the ACOG, which provides 4x zoom, is unlockable even for weapons on which it does more bad than good; putting an ACOG on the sniper rifles not only reduces their accuracy (the default scope is easier to aim with), but it also makes aiming at nearby targets harder, and you can't hold your breath when using it, so there is always breathing sway; about all it's good for is turning those sniper rifles into ersatz semi-auto assault rifles with smaller magazines, much more idle sway, and less overall versatility. It's even more useless when placed on an SMG (with the possible exception of the Skorpion), which have enough recoil problems looking down the sights already, they lose their ability to quickly look down the sights, and SMGs deal low damage at long range anyway.
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    • The ACOG is noticeably more useful on the fully-automatic weapons like the M4 Carbine, though, because the additional breathing sway is negated by the zoom helping you put more of the target in the center of your screen, which is all you need when you let the automatic fire rip. The light machine guns are also strangely unaffected by the additional recoil of the scope, and in fact aim faster with the ACOG attached, thus sacrificing some close-range utility in exchange for turning them into mid- and long-range terrors.
      • The Black Ops games make the ACOG more viable for different reasons - in the former, they have no additional idle sway, while in the latter they actually decrease recoil in the same manner as the Foregrip, meaning the ACOG goes well as either a compliment or a replacement for that attachment.
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    • The Desert Eagle does the most damage of any sidearm in the game, killing enemies at a short range in just two hits without stopping power. However, every other pistol in the game will also kill in just two hits at short range with Stopping Power, meaning the Desert Eagle is only useful for builds without stopping power. Most such non-stopping power builds are stealth builds, and the Desert Eagle can't be silenced. Additionally, the Desert Eagle has the lowest magazine size of any pistol, recoil that will completely block your vision, and it is exceptionally loud.
    • The golden gun camouflages are very much Awesome, But Impractical in most of the criteria for the trope - most of them require you to unlock every attachment and camo pattern for every weapon in the golden weapon's class. This is easiest with shotguns, which have only two guns, two attachments for each, and slightly lower requirements for camo (the only easier one is the golden Desert Eagle, which is your reward for just reaching the highest level); for everything else, this is out of the reach of console players who wish to use Prestige mode, which causes you to wipe your levels and challenges (which also means progress towards the golden camouflages is wiped) to get a new icon, and this can be done ten times. As you might have guessed, the gold camouflages also make it easier to see you, being gold and all.
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    • Double Tap is a perk that increased the fire rate of the guns in the game. This decreases the time to kill if the shot connect. Problem is, it increases the gun's consumption of ammo, meaning more frequent reloads, increases recoil, which makes it harder to land all your shots, and finally in the vast majority of cases it doesn't increase the time to kill as much as stopping power, which is a straight up damage increase.
    • In Modern Warfare 2, you can get a tactical nuke, which is a "Game Over, I Win" button. The Impractical Part? It requires a 25-kill streak. This is easier said than done, and if you do kill 25 people in a row without dying, you're probably going to win anyway unless it's a long game or you're in an obscure corner of the map killing a cooperating member of the enemy team over and over again. Getting to see a legitimate Tactical Nuke that isn't in a lopsided fight is almost impossibly rare.
      • Modern Warfare 2 introduce the shotgun attachment, a small under barrel pump action shotgun for assault rifles. While is technically capable of one-shot kill, it usually requires at least two, which is a problem as again it is a pump action weapon. Modern Warfare 2 allowed players to pack a shotgun as a secondary weapon anyway, so players could pack a much better shotgun and have an altogether more useful attachment for their primary.
    • Call of Duty: Black Ops introduced a dive-to-prone mechanic (dubbed by fans the "Dolphin Dive"). If you switch to prone while sprinting, your character dives forward, landing in a prone position. The disadvantages? First off, you cannot shoot while airborne, rendering it useless for any action movie-type shootouts. Second off, you still take normal fall damage, meaning that if you dive off a second story you'll most likely be killed from the falling damage (if you don't have Lightweight Pro). Thirdly, there's very rarely any reason you'd need to dive to prone. For the most part, it's just for showing off.
      • For the most part, this technique was implemented with impracticality being its entire purpose. In the previous title, Modern Warfare 2, players going prone once they started being fired on became infamous, nicknamed "dropshotting." The dive-to-prone mechanic was intended to nerf dropshotting more than serve any practical purpose.
      • This technique could be useful in CTF games, where it would be the quickest way to close the final gap between the player and the base. Zombies mode also makes it useful if you get the Perk-a-Cola PhD Flopper: any dive which would normally damage you instead causes an explosion around you that inflicts major damage on any zombies around you.
    • Call of Duty: Black Ops II gives us the pocket shotgun, the Executioner. In theory, this is a one-shot-capable handgun. However, it only holds five rounds, each round has to be reloaded individually until you manage to grind out the speed reloader attachment, and the range where it reliably kills in just one shot is about knife range - two or more shots are usually needed. The other secondary weapons have much longer range, better reloads, and the vast majority of them kill enemies in one shot far more reliably than the Executioner can.
    • In World at War: The portable mounted machine guns. They slow down your running speed considerably, have heavy recoil, and eat ammo very quickly with either pathetically-tiny magazines that require replacement in less than two full seconds or long belts that require upwards of ten seconds to replace. On top of this, even the lighter SMGs can kill a person in 1-3 body shots anyway, making such a fast firing weapon even more useless.
    • In later games in the series, any combination that isn't 'metagame' class. E.g. using slug rounds in Ghosts is effective, but is more a niche attachment as there is very little range increase, and you would be better off using a weapon with further reach anyway. The metagame itself forces certain classes to become Awesome, but Impractical for this very reason; while the class you are using might be good, you would be better off with <insert OP class everyone else is using here>.
  • In Dino D-Day, The T-Rex is often this. Although fun to play once you get a turn, it's not as powerful as you might expect. It has a large health pool, high damage machine guns mounted on the sides of the head, and can eat enemies to regain some health, but a competent allies team can still take you out quite quickly, and players will tend to focus you as a big and important target. And if a Hardgrave player has scored three kills to earn his bonus ability, he can take you out in just a few punches. The Rex will respawn after a while, but it may not be your turn again... But even if it is, you might decide you prefer not to be the biggest target on the server.
  • In Turok: Dinosaur Hunter, the two final weapons are perhaps the most useless. The Fusion Cannon and Chronosceptor (the latter of which whose pieces the game revolves around finding) are extremely powerful, but also slow to fire. You're a sitting duck taking damage as the guns charge up, and if the enemy isn't stationary, it'll probably get out of the weapon's blast radius. Furthermore, the Cannon only holds two Fusion Charges without a Backpack, and they're extremely hard to find. The Chronosceptor holds three shots and can't be reloaded at all.
    • The Fusion Cannon shoots a small slow-moving red flare that explodes after two seconds or so, filling the screen with orange smoke, and several shockwaves afterward. The Chronosceptor shoots a semi-homing laser that explodes not once but twice on contact, but its useful against the final boss, as it will reduce him to about a third of his health (which takes a lot of time to wear down using normal weapons) if you manage to connect with all the shots. Likewise, the Fusion Cannon is a good thing to have against the penultimate boss, though it's a lot clumsier to use than the Chronoscepter.
    • Additionally, there's also the Nuke in Turok 2, which takes a moment to charge, then shoots a laser, gathering energy at the target, finally exploding after 4 seconds, turning enemies into charcoal. 10 seconds later, any enemy affected by the initial blast suddenly explodes. Except for the penultimate and final bosses. Despite the fact that you can only obtain the last Nuke piece just before fighting the former, the weapon does absolutely nothing to either of them. However, said final boss will sometimes call on a swarm of nasty, fast-moving, hard to hit enemies to attack you during the battle. While the Nuke doesn't affect the boss himself, it really comes in handy dealing with these, as it will take out all of them at once with a single shot, and hey, it's not like it can be used for anything else.
    • Turok 2 also has the infamous Cerebral Bore. It's a very original weapon and fantastic for the Videogame Cruelty Potential it allows, but it's not really that useful for serious fighting. By the time it has locked to an enemy, tracked it, and blown its brains off, you could have killed it four times using traditional firepower.
  • Any beam-missile combo except the Super Missile in the Metroid Prime Trilogy games. They tend to cost far too much ammo to use in order to be effective. Although, each combination comes with its own pretty effects.
    • The Wavebuster in Metroid Prime can be used to make Meta Ridley absurdly easy (only in the original version, though. The bug was fixed in the PAL release and the Player's Choice version) as well as the cloaked drone in the Phazon Mines.
    • The Ice Spreader burns up ten missiles per shot, takes several seconds to be ready to fire, and shoots a sluggish missile that doesn't home. In a game where your average enemy is mobile enough to mandate a lock on feature, this is a problem. It earns its keep against Metroid Prime, however. If you can hit it with an Ice Spreader, it freezes Prime solid and takes off a huge chunk of HP.
    • The Annihilator Beam combo, the Sonic Boom, from Metroid Prime 2: Echoes can do an ungodly amount of damage to the Emperor Ing's eye-form (up to a third of his energy bar per hit, depending on difficulty). However, it costs 30 rounds of each ammo to fire, and you're trying to hit an extremely narrow moving target while dodging all the boss's regular attacks. It does have some use against large mobs, since enemies taken out by it can drop both Light and Dark ammo.
    • The Darkburst (the Dark Beam charge combo) is also massively impractical; it fires a miniature black hole, but the projectile travels extremely slowly, and there really aren't enemies tough enough to justify using it on, with the exception of a couple of bosses. Its Light counterpart, the Sunburst, is just useless.
    • The Flamethrower in Prime shows off how bad a flamethrower can be if it were only on your arm. It has poor range, literally burns through ammo, and the Plasma beam does the same job quicker, cheaper, and with more range completely removing any need to use it.
  • Halo:
    • The Gravity Hammer and Energy Sword in Halo 3's campaign. The Energy Sword is only good for killing one specific species of Flood, and the Gravity Hammer is fairly useless. They look pretty cool, but most other weapon combos are more efficient and safer to use. They tend to be a lot more useful in both the multiplayer and the other games' campaigns, thoughnote .
    • The Gravity Hammer gets a bit more love in Halo 3: ODST, where it has a bigger impact area, allowing you to maul multiple grunts and jackals with one swing. However, it has less love as well, because it's much harder to use (you're not the superstrong Master Chief, after all), and it's strangely not as good against shields as it used to be.
    • The turrets also tend to fall to this. Using them makes you a sitting duck to snipers, breaking them off their tripods only averts this a little, as you're slowed to a snail's pace and incredibly easy to outflank. The missile pod in 3 can make scrap of vehicles easily, but anything less then a direct shot on infantry bounces off their shields.
    • In-universe, the SPARTAN-II program could be seen as this. It produced some of the best and most well-equipped super-soldiers the UNSC had ever seen (Master Chief among them), but the genetic requirements needed for children to be selected are very strict (to the point where the training had to be postponed for years due to there being too few people to recruit), the process of augmentation lead to high mortality rates among the child recruits, training and equipping them was expensive (an admiral once commented that a single SPARTAN costs nearly as much as a small fleet of ships), and there were simply too few of them to make any large differences in the Human-Covenant war (barring Master Chief's later involvement). The UNSC shelved the program in favor of the SPARTAN-III program, which was designed to field cheaper, better trained, and more expendable troops. The SPARTAN-III program itself was eventually shelved in favor of the more cost-effective (and less morally questionable) SPARTAN-IV program, basically a re-tool of the original Project ORION (AKA SPARTAN-I) involving upgrading volunteer veteran soldiers to the same Super Soldier status as Master Chief without spending over a decade training themnote .
    • Despite the games' claims that "tank beats everything", the Scorpion is actually a terrible tank, worse than most modern main battle tanks in many ways:
      • For starters, it's larger than the Maus superheavy tank, and far larger than an Abrams - an M1 Abrams is 8ft tall, the Maus is 11ft tall, and the Scorpion is 14ft tall. The M1 Abrams and Maus are both 12ft wide, and the Scorpion is 26ft wide.
      • Despite its ridiculous size, the original version seen in all games before Halo 5: Guardians carries a 90mm main gun. The Maus, from WWII, carried a 128mm main gun, and the M1 Abrams carries a 105mm main gun, which was upgraded to a 120mm one on the M1A1 and M1A2. Even more egregious since Real Life tanks with 90mm guns, like the similarly-named Scorpion 90, are light tanks.
      • Instead of having the crew being entirely enclosed in the tank's armour, the driver just gets a poorly-armoured canopy to protect them, and it's covered in shot traps, including one right above the canopy, meaning that, in reality, if someone hit the front of the turret below the cannon, but the shot didn't penetrate and cause a ton of damage to the firing mechanism, it would most likely deflect downwards and kill the driver.
      • Its max speed is 54km/h. For comparison, the original M1 Abrams isn't particularly fast for a main battle tank and it can still reach 60km/h if the engine governor is removed.
      • So to sum up, the Scorpion is larger, less powerful, and slower than a modern tank, and its only crewmember is extremely vulnerable even to small-arms fire.
  • The Grenade Launcher in Max Payne 3 will One-Hit Kill any mook. Multiple, in fact, with its blast radius. But that also makes it suck in close quarters. You can't carry much ammo for it. Furthermore, the slow projectile speed means you are almost always screwed if you get Last Man Standing'd while using it.
  • The Javelin missile launcher of Battlefield 3 is a tremendously powerful top-attack anti-vehicle weapon that also deals heavy splash damage. In addition to being directly fired at targets, it can also lock onto laser-designated enemies from extremely long distances, even without line of sight. However... it acquires lock extremely slowly, cannot be fired without a lock, is easily defeated by thermal camouflage or smoke canisters, has sharply limited ammo reserves, and provides targeted enemies with an audible warning - hence giving them plenty of time to break line of sight or deploy smoke, then kill you. It's still an extremely effective weapon when used in conjunction with laser designators... but since such items prohibit the player from using other, more immediately useful devices, they are rarely deployed. Generally speaking, the simple dumb-fire rockets that Engineer players get by default are much, much more useful.
  • In Team Fortress 2, all classes have a taunt that can one-shot an opponent within melee range. All of them are impractically slow, and quite awesome to get a kill with during a match. Notable contenders include the Pyro, who was the first to be able to kill with his Hadouken taunt, the Scouts' enemy-launching baseball bat taunt, the Soldier's suicide-grenade taunt, and the Spy's knife-fencing which alerts otherwise oblivious opponents to their presence before the fatal blow.
    • "Demoknighting" is the Fan Nickname for wielding a sword and shield as a Demoman. While decently effective in the hands of somebody who knows what they're doing, you need to remove the Sticky Launcher from your inventory. Being one of the deadliest and most versatile weapons in the game, it's a very foolish thing to leave behind for the sake of a sword and the ability to charge enemies, especially since sword and board is easily locked out by a Sentry Gun, which a Demoman using the Sticky Launcher would be able to easily dispatch.
      • Another Demoman set is with a shield and an Ullapool Caber. The caber causes high destructive power that can instantly kill your enemies... and yourself. Said set is extremely useful in defending the last point in Medieval mode, however, since there'll be a lot of enemies congregating in a very small area and the rules of Medieval mode meaning most of them necessarily won't have guns to just shoot you.
    • The Mantreads and Market Gardener for the Soldier also fall into this category, though it is possible to master efficient use of either weapon.
      • The Market Gardener lets you land a guaranteed Critical Hit on opponents if you hit them while performing a Rocket Jump (which will one-hit kill 7 out of 9 classes in the game from full health, and put one more at near death), but when you're flying in a ballistic arc towards your target, you'll be spending roughly 99% of your focus on actually getting close enough to land the hit in the first place, and then you still have to worry about the guy's teammates who will instantly hose you the second you land.
      • The Mantreads are similar to this, converting any fall damage you take into triple its amount of damage against any enemy you land on (making it capable of one-shot killing possibly any class in the game if you fall from a great enough height), but it has an even smaller window of opportunity than the Market Gardener since you have to land directly on your opponent in order to inflict damage. Most players are always constantly moving, with the exception of camping Snipers, and Engineers who are guarded by their Sentry Guns, so successfully landing on someone requires predicting where they're going to be at the end of your jump.
    • The Sniper's "Razorback" shield, which protects against being backstabbed. Sadly, it is extremely visible, meaning that a Spy with any kind of experience will just switch to the revolver, which the Razorback does not offer any protection against at all; this forces the Spy to break his disguise and gives you a moment to try and retaliate, but unless there's a competent teammate nearby and/or you can headshot or melee the Spy, you're as good as dead. Additionally, it takes up the same equipment slot as the Jarate, takes 30 seconds to regenerate when broken, and blocks overheal from Medics, making you more vulnerable to being quickscoped by the enemy Sniper - which matters in high-level play.
    • Lampshaded with an eye towards inversion in the promotional video "Meet the Heavy Weapons Guy" in which he boasts that firing his mini-gun for twelve seconds burns through $400,000 worth of the custom ammunition it takes. The joke, of course, is that in the game he spews the stuff around like a fountain. Two of the Scout's domination lines mock this trope.
    "$400,000 to fire that gun, huh? Yeah, money well spent."
    "Them $200 bullets ain't so hot if they don't hit nuthin', are they?"
  • Urban Terror introduces quite possibly the most Awesome But Impractical method of killing in a First-Person Shooter - the Goomba Stomp. Yeah. It's even called the Goomba Stomp. And it's a One-Hit Kill. Thing is, you can't just jump on someone, you have to have some... distance.
    • The Team Fortress 2 server 2Fort2Furious has this as a unique server mod, though alternate versions throughout the net are available to any server mod who wants to download them. Amusingly enough, many of them have a message that pops up on everyone's screen telling who killed whom with the technique. It can even kill Ubercharged (otherwise invincible) opponents. Otherwise, it sounds as if it is nearly identical to the Urban Terror version.
  • In Left 4 Dead, at certain points players will come across a mounted minigun that can, predictably, wipe out hordes of zombies in seconds. The trouble is, the weapon is almost never mounted in such a position as to effectively cover more than a few of the many directions attacks can come from. Using it effectively requires the 3 Player Characters who aren't using the minigun to watch the gunner's back, and on higher difficulties where the risk of friendly fire damage becomes a very real threat, most players find it far more prudent to simply ignore the minigun, put their backs to a wall, and fight off the incoming zombies with small arms fire.
    • The sequel brings some usefulness back to the mounted gun if you have boomer bile; toss it in front of the gun, wait for the zombies to gather around, and then mop them up. The developers must have seen how most people ignored the mounted minigun in the first game despite how often it popped up (often two or three per campaign), so the sequel has only two, not including maps from any DLC. The gun in Swamp Fever's finale is on a balcony, but most zombies will spawn in the house behind you instead of near the hedges or beyond the fence below, and the gun in The Parish's finale is pretty much useless because the entire finale is a non stop running event to the helicopter and most people are on the move, so stopping to shoot zombies on the mounted gun is asking for trouble, especially seeing just how close it is to the helicopter - it's only really useful if your teammates are far enough behind that they'd need some support, but not so far behind that you can't actually hit the zombies or simply have more of them spawn on you instead.
    • Fire bullets in the sequel are very useful against tanks and special infected. Fire ammo can kill common infected in one shot, but killing a cluster of them with the fire rounds will create a cluster of burning zombies that can blind from the flames as they blindly run towards you, making you unaware of any potential dangers that could be coming behind the burning horde. It is far more useful to use explosive ammo on a horde since the ammo gives your bullets big splash damage.
  • Snarks in Half-Life. They're little bugs that will chew up anything to shreds before exploding (in all their giblet glory) after about 10 seconds. Which would be cool and all if they weren't absolutely useless in singleplayer (enemies can easily take care of them) and if you're not careful, they'll go after you. They have some value in multiplayer if players aren't expecting it; some speedruns also use them to climb up walls.
    • Probably a case of Too Awesome to Use, but the Tau Cannon and Gluon Gun are this, mostly because ammo is a bitch to find.
  • The bugbait in Half-Life 2. The best thing about having the bugbait is simply having it; it's a Taste of Power and prevents regular antlions from messing with you, and will even have them follow your commands (boss antlions aren't fooled). The bugbait's active abilities, however, don't really do much except make you fumble about with your weapon functions. The biggest problem is how the bugs only appear for a few levels, making this item completely useless for the rest of the game. Not to mention the antlions are far more prevalent in those levels from before you get the bugbait.
    • To add more insult to injury, Antlions will go after nearby Combine and sentry guns unprovoked, leaving you with few opportunities to actually use the bugbait, except to make them run out as a distraction or into a tripmine. The alternate fire, which draws them to you, is completely useless, because any nearby Antlions will come to you automatically unless there are enemies around to fight, and if there are, that's probably what you want them doing anyway.
    • It does one thing once you no longer get antlions. If thrown on a Combine soldier (any Combine soldier), it briefly stuns them. If you keep hitting one with it, he'll just stand there waving his arms around his head.
    • Also, the Revolver packs the 2nd biggest punch in the entire game, but it carries so little ammo (and it's so rare to find) that you end up using your scoped crossbow more often. Although the Revolver is one of the best weapons in Half-Life 2: Deathmatch, due to its ability to do massive damage with headshots with a faster firing rate, higher capacity, and lacking the painfully slow projectiles of the Crossbow.
    • While the AR2 isn't this trope at all, its secondary fire is. It fires a concentrated ball of energy that bounces around the room, disintegrating any enemies that might be unfortunate enough to get hit by it. However, as can be imagined, firing it off in an enclosed or narrow space will send it bouncing around so randomly that it becomes impossible to track. It does not instantly kill you, but it does take off a chunk of your health and it can kill allies in later stages. Firing outdoors will likely result in the ball bouncing off a few objects and maybe killing an enemy or two before flying off harmlessly into the sky. It is more efficient to just shoot the enemies at this point, unless you need to clear a room rapidly and don't care what (including yourself) gets in the way in the process.
      • A good demonstration of how impractical the secondary fire in a crowded space comes from clearing the Overwatch Nexus late in the game. The Combine use those same little balls of energy to power various defensive devices in areas they've dug in at, and to get past those devices you have to knock the ball away with the gravity gun. Once you do so, you are guaranteed to injure yourself and kill every rebel currently with you - good luck not getting Barney killed if you're running through the maps in Garry's Mod. And, no, you don't have the option to just pull the ball out and hold it in place until it disappears.
  • Half the weapons in Duke Nukem 3D fall in this trope, by either eating ammo (Devastator), only being useful at close range (Shrink Ray), or only being useful in specific situations (Laser Trip Bomb).
  • A rare in-universe example, BioShock's Big Daddy Prototype was able to dual-wield the power drill and rivet gun, as well as use plasmids. This was too expensive a build to mass-produce (and too difficult to pacify if they should hulk out), so they decided to divide the weapon types into Rosie (gun) and Bouncer (drill) types, neither of which could use plasmids. The pair-bond for the original also worked too well; those who didn't go into a coma went insane when their Little Sister got harvested/rescued.
  • Counter-Strike has a wide variety of weapons to choose from, some of these include the dual Elites, the famed Kevlar-piercing Five-seveN, the scoped Steyr AUG and SIG SG 552, and a machine gun with a 100-round belt. All of them suck. "Duelies" are unreliable, take a long time to reload, and cost more than a simple SMG; Five-Seven has been nerfed for balance (the only respectable damage you can get out of one is a headshot, and even then only in Global Offensive); the AUG and SG 552 are overpriced for their rather minor increase in effective range; and the machine gun is heavy, also takes a long time to reload, and highly inaccurate. Few players really venture outside the tested and approved M4/AK line, and when they do it's usually just for the AWP.
    • The prize for the most impractical weapon in counterstrike however goes to the Zeus x27, although it can deliver a one hit kill, you have to be incredibly close to your target and you only have one shot, and to avoid them simply stepping out of the way or out of range you would usually have to sneak up behind them, which makes the Zeus x27 entirely redundant as the knife can also deliver a one hit kill from behind with the added bonus of being silent, completely free and reusable if you miss.
  • Soldier of Fortune II has the OICW; a scoped assault rifle with a 20 mm grenade launcher. The main problem is that you have to use the laser system to check the range before firing a grenade, which simply takes far too long in a firefight. If you have time to sit and muck about with the scope, it's easier to just use the rifle component to snipe them in the head. The huge size (it takes up a ridiculous amount of screen real estate when equipped) and lack of ammo (being an experimental weapon, your enemies don't carry it, so you can't scavenge ammo from corpses) don't help either. The one place where the OICW does come in handy is the Final Boss, a helicopter that can tear you to shreds in seconds and takes a truly ridiculous amount of ammo to destroy. If you can get the range adjusted right, you can safely lob grenades at the helicopter from a distance and damage it quite a bit, which makes it much easier than trying to defeat it normally.
    • Hilariously, the OICW in Real Life was an experimental weapon which was discontinued for being... fidgety, bulky, and impractical. The OICW's rangefinding smart grenade launcher without the rifle component — also known as the XM25 — remained in development, has been deployed in Afghanistan, and though it has been extremely popular among the soldiers who have had the chance to use it, its prohibitive weight and a misfire that injured a user during training saw the project eventually stall out and crash. Notably, 98% of other games to feature the OICW or the XM25 have it as a more standard point-and-click deal, automatically detonating when near an enemy or requiring nothing more than a single button press to mark a range for detonation if its airbursting ability is even acknowledged.
    • The Rocket Launcher, Flamethrower, and Microwave Pulse Gun in the original. All take up three spaces in your inventory, eat up hard-to-find ammo quickly, and are rather unwieldy in firefights.
  • From Perfect Dark: try tossing a Grenade on Proximity Pinball in any place that's not a straight narrow hallway, especially in the campaign. Chances are it'll end up bouncing straight back into you (killing you instantly) or into an important mission objective (failing the mission).
    • Even in a narrow hallway you could get screwed. Throw it straight down and if you don't get out in time, it's back. Even throwing it at an angle from outside can possibly bounce back to you several seconds later if you're still nearby.
  • Daikatana's eponymous Daikatana. The sword always leaves your opponent on 1 HP. In theory, this would allow you to deliver the finishing blow; in practice, the opponent would often slice you to pieces before you could deliver a second strike. It also blocks a third of the screen, minimum; when fully leveled up, it starts sparkling, which blocks the screen more.
    • Most of the other weapons qualify as well. They're usually fancy looking and acting, but they are hard to use to deal actual damage. The first episode/time period is the true epitome of this within the game: the initial blaster, which is your general fallback weapon, fires cool green beams - but they sparkle like crazy, will cloud your vision, and generally bounce back to hit you. The shotgun deals crazy damage, but fires six shells sequentially - every time, even if the first has already killed your enemynote . The C4 launcher does huge damage, but it has a range barely higher than the blasts it produces and, like the rocket launcher which fires two rockets at once, will hit a wall if you are anywhere close to it and looking in its general direction. And so on. Special mention for the BFG end-game guns, whose high potential for destruction but similarly high likelihood of backfiring make them far more dangerous to the player than to the targets.
  • Doom
    • A meta version of this trope was why the version of BFG 9000 in first Doom's press release beta, which rapidly launched a lot of fireballs, was cut in favor of the version in the final game which simply launches a single powerful plasma ball; not only it "looked like Christmas", but it slowed the computer down to a crawl.
    • On the topic of the final product, the BFG 9000 still matches this trope due to its status as a desperation weapon. It consumes 40 energy cells and inflicts 100-800 damage on a direct hit, plus up to another 3,480 damage from the unintuitive ray-trace shots. However, these ray-traces fire from the player's position when the projectile hits a target, not when it's fired. This means that if the player steps behind a wall after firing, the "area effect" of the shot can be completely wasted. This also means that using the BFG 9000 on any enemy or group of enemies with less than around 1,600 cumulative hit points makes the weapon far less ammo-efficient than the plasma rifle. It is typically relegated to taking down massive enemies like Cyberdemons or Spider Masterminds, or clearing large rooms of multiple enemies due to the relative scarcity of energy cells throughout the game.
    • Doom 3''s version of the BFG was all but useless thanks to both rare ammo and a story-based design flaw which causes it to explode if it's charged for too long, and since there isn't anything resembling a warning of this, it's very easy for the player to accidentally blow themselves up trying to charge it to max. The other weapons in the game don't have these drawbacks.
  • Jet Force Gemini comes with several of these weapons. First of all, you will never, ever use a mine in a game where the only enemy that will ever make even a half-hearted attempt at pursuing you is the most basic mooks, yet they give you a selection of three different mine types (proximity, remote, and timed). They also give you a flamethrower and an electricity gun, both of which have ridiculously short range and will use up their limited ammo in less than 30 secondsnote . Lastly, they give you cluster bombs, which are ridiculously powerful. The only problem is that they give you grenades, a homing missile, and a freaking tri-rocket launcher before they ever give you the cluster bomb, and the cluster bomb is only effective in situations where there's a massive swarm of enemies, the exact situation that you'll use (gasp) the tri-rocket launcher, the homing missile, or the grenades, with less chance of getting caught in the massive blast radius. Not to mention they barely give you any actual ammo for those cluster bombs while, surprise surprise, the tri-rocket launcher, the homing missile, and the grenades get plenty of ammo.
  • PlanetSide has the Scorpion weapon system. The weapon looks like a modern Stinger missile launcher, but functions totally differently. Rather than firing a guided missile, it fires an air-burst rocket that explodes at a distance specified by right-clicking on an object at said distance. The missile, upon reaching the specified distance, will explode and release grenades that detonate provided they are given 25 meters downwards to arm themselves. The weapon can deal enormous damage, but it may be the single hardest weapon to use, ever - because you need to use trigonometry to figure out the proper distance to range-lock the missile to. If you were to range-lock on an enemy sitting 70 meters away from, the missile would explode harmlessly ahead of him, as the hypotenuse of your missile's firing arc needs to be greater than the "X" component of the range triangle, which the weapon does not compensate for. To hit said enemy at 70 meters, you would need to range-lock at an object or terrain 74 meters away, then fire at a 20 degree angle from the horizon to hit him.
  • The Police 911 games give you increasingly impressive bonuses for advancing through the ranks, with the ultimate one, for Commissioner, being 100 lives. Once you get that, you can keep playing until...well, you run out of time. Worse, you don't get any benefits whatsoever once you reach Commissioner, meaning that once the clock runs down, you're sunk. And needless to say, if you continue, your lives get reset to 3. Unless you're a real ace at this game to the point where time isn't an issue, it's much better to pick up the first two bonuses (5 seconds and 10 seconds, respectively) and then die on purpose to reset them, tacking on the third bonus (1 life) only when you're on your last life.
  • The Exotic weapons in System Shock 2, especially on higher difficulties: able to cut through organic enemies like a hot knife through butter but pathetically weak against everything else. You also get them much too late in the game and need a lot of cyber modules to upgrade your stats enough to use them. One of the three is also needlessly complex to use, having an impractical explode-on-trigger-release system. It's far more cost-effective and pragmatic to focus on standard or energy weapons, which are effective against all enemies thanks to the varying types of ammunition for the former and complete independence from consumable supplies for the latter.
    • Heavy weapons aren't very worthwhile to pursue either. The grenade launcher does impressive damage but depends on rare and inventory-cluttering ammunition, the stasis cannon is utterly worthless as it only paralyzes enemies, and the fusion cannon does not do enough damage to justify the complicated usage and module expense.
    • The Laser Rapier, while amazing in the first System Shock, is all but useless in 2. Annelids - the primary enemy for the second half of the game - are extremely resistant to energy damage, ensuring that even the basic wrench is more effective against them. Turrets and robots still take extra damage from it, but using it on them is generally a very bad idea since they can shoot you from long range and explode when killed.
  • Due to Borderlands' weapon generation system, guns like this show up quite often. It's not uncommon to come across a weapon that does an absolutely staggering amount of damage, but has some other factor (horrible accuracy, an abysmally sluggish fire rate, a long reload time and small magazine, implausibly high ammo consumption etc.) that makes it more efficient to use a less powerful weapon without those drawbacks. There are also a few more specific instances:
    • High power sniper rifles, like Jakobs rifles in Borderlands 1. They almost always have extremely slow fire rates and bullet velocity, meaning that if you don't get a one-hit kill, the enemy will close the distance and force you to switch to a shorter range weapon, making it easier to just forgo the sniping and blast the crap out of them with a shotgun. There's also the issue that if you do kill them, other enemies will hear the shot and charge you.
    • Carnage shotguns, which shoot rockets. While it sounds awesome on paper (they typically have higher fire rates than rocket launchers, and use up less ammo), in function they usually aren't worth the trouble because the rockets have much less splash damage, and much worse accuracy than a regular rocket launcher. The most impractical of them all is the Boomstick shotgun, a 6-round burst version with literally no accuracy. It will gib anything within 8 feet (maybe) but beyond that it's worse than useless.
    • Rapid-fire rocket launchers. Shooting off five rockets at once sounds badass, but it eats ammo like no tomorrow and it can be really difficult to aim all the shots.
    • The disputed kings and queens of Awesome, but Impractical in Borderlands, however, are Eridian weapons, one of the most shining examples of Kinetic Weapons Are Just Better in the history of gaming. They shoot energy, which in a lot of other science fiction games would equal awesomeness. But it soon becomes obvious the Eridian weapons are Awesome, but Impractical - and even the "awesome" part is arguable at best. While they do shoot highly damaging bursts of energy, said bursts are Painfully Slow Projectiles, often blind the player, and are taxing on the gun's very slow-recharging ammo pool. On top of that, the only thing they work somewhat well against is the Guardians – and that's when we're talking about the Thunder Storm, the only reasonably useful gun of the pack. Last but not least, by the time you get these alien weapons, you'll have a fair amount of levels in the proficiency of the basic weapons, an advantage you won't get with the Eridian ones unless you're willing to go level grinding.
  • Borderlands 2 suffers from the same "randomly generated weapons" system issues as in the first game. While stats aren't quite as much of a grab bag as the previous game (Unless we're talking about Bandit guns) that doesn't mean you won't find something that qualifies. "Holy crap! This shotgun does four times the damage of my last one!" very often gives way to problems such as "Holy crap, this shotgun uses four ammo per shot and has a four-bullet magazine/a four second reload time/won't hit anything more than four feet away!" or all three at once.
    • Shotguns in Borderlands 2 began this on all variants. In the first game you could find some quality high accuracy shotguns. In Borderlands 2 any single barrel shotgun isnt as accurate and has much higher recoil. Bandit shotguns are automatic scatterguns. Torgue are either slow explosives or outright rockets. Multiple barrel shotguns are powerful , but not as much as just shooting a single barrel multiple times and so are very ammunition inefficient. A Few unique named shotguns have fixed accuracy patterns but have their own handicaps like exploding when reloading.
    • A Number of skills on several vault hunter skill trees suffer from super poor scaling, luck, or just not functioning well to begin with.
      • The most prominent example of this is Krieg's 'Light The Fuse' skill. In simple terms, it changes Krieg's normal FFYL to a version where instead of his gun, Krieg pulls out a bundle of dynamite to lob at enemies. If Krieg successfully kills an enemy in this manner, he revives as normal with an added speed boost proportional to his remaining FFYL meter. The downside is, even though this ability works fine in normal vault hunter mode, it has real trouble killing anything in New Game+. Krieg can hardly even register damage on enemies with Light The Fuse in New Game++, let alone out-damage their health regen.
      • Krieg also gets 'Silence the Voices,' a skill that gives him MASSIVE amounts of bonus melee damage, at the cost of having a 1-in-8 chance to whack yourself in the face whenever you use a melee attack. Due to Kriegs amazing health and healing, this is hardly a downside. Once you activate overpower levels however, this changes. When you have OP levels active, you gain bonus melee damage to compensate for the stronger enemies, this is mostly so Zero and Krieg could still get more powerful with melee builds in order to keep up with their friends gun-toting builds. This hurts Krieg since he gains bonus damage, but no extra health. At around OP4 (There are 8 OP levels in total by the way,) Krieg will ONE-SHOT HIMSELF whenever Silence The Voices activates.
      • Gaige can get the skill 'Buck-Up,' which causes her robot Deathtrap to occasionally restore the shield of an ally. Cool! The skill functions correctly and CAN save your life, but suffers too much from Deathtrap's god awful A.I to be of any use late-game. For it's first problem, Deathtrap will occasionally try to restore the shields of players in FFYL, which does nothing for them, and ENEMIES. Up until a certain patch this would actually fully restore their shields. I mean, he still does it, but at least it doesn't help them? It's second big problem is Deathtrap not discriminating between whose shield he does restore. If you take a mechromancer with Buck-up into an online game, expect to be bombarded with angry messages from Zeros and Kriegs who couldn't do anything because Deathtrap kept restoring their Roid shields.
      • Salvador's 'Fistful of Hurt' skill gives him bonus melee damage and a knock-back hit on a cooldown. In New Game+ and onward this is worthless, save maybe for the knock back, but given how fast Salvador can kill enemies, he does not need it in the least bit.
      • Maya's 'Cloudkill' skill spawns an immobile, lingering corrosive cloud when you hit an enemy. Works fine and dandy up until New Game++, wherein it barely even registers damage on enemies.
      • The damage scaling on Axton's turrets make him an incredibly unpopular character choice in New Game++, with their only real use being to slag enemies and provide cover.
    • Certain legendary weapons, such as the Nukem (a rocket launcher that fires a mini-nuke,) the Bonus Package (a MIRV grenade that splits into other MIRV grenades,) and the Whiskey Tango Foxtrot (a booster shield that launches boosters that launch electric mines) are good for clearing a room but their use makes it extremely likely that the player will kill themselves in the process.
  • Crysis
    • The first Crysis features the option to outfit a shotgun with a telescope designed for a sniper rifle. However, since the shotgun is only effective at short or medium range at best, doing so is obviously impractical, albeit hilarious.
    • Crysis 2 limits you to two weapons, and you have to fight a lot of enemies between ammo pickups, so it makes sense to keep in both slots weapons that take lots of ammo. Then you find the experimental guns, which are enormously powerful, will one-shot normal enemies and drop even heavies in a few shots, but have tiny ammo capacity and can't be recharged by the pickups. Which will you take: an assault rifle and a gauss weapon that you can fire a grand total of eight times before it becomes useless, or an assault rifle and a machine gun, both of which you can keep reloading throughout the level? Hmm, tough choice.
    • Crysis 3 limits you to three weapons, one being the Predator bow, the other two being regular ballistic weapons. You'll probably never use the ballistic weapons with as much of a Game-Breaker the bow is (and you get it immediately after starting the game) but if you so desire, the Typhoon practically defines this. It has a 720-round magazine. That it expends in a matter of two or three seconds. Modeled after the real-life MetalStorm LTD's line of superposed ammo gunsirony , it's supposedly made to "hit the Ceph and hit them hard" but considering you can only carry one spare magazine for it, it's just not efficient enough at what it does on full-auto. Toggling it to shotgun mode mitigates the sheer speed of its ammo expenditure a bit, but sacrifices its one appealing factor - the absurd rate of fire.
  • It got toned down in later games of the series, but the first Unreal and its multiplayer-only counterpart Unreal Tournament have six-barreled rocket launchers. While this is arguably the definition of awesome, and fully capable of instagibbing almost everything, firing all six shots is challenging because the launcher automatically fires when it's full, making full-power hits all but impossible against anything but extremely slow-moving and unaware targets. While still somewhat useful in the single-player game, there are no slow-moving targets in Tournament; unsurprisingly, an official mutator that made all rocket launchers single-shot soon came out. As mentioned, later games toned it down to three rockets maximum.
    • Another staple of the series is the Bio-rifle. It can be used to lay dangerous traps by sprinkling noxious balls of gel around, and on the rare occasion this is done it's a very effective tactic that can thoroughly wreck a following enemy - but UT fights tend to be offensive, and few players waste time with defensive weapons that require elaborate setups when one can just wait for the enemy to appear and lob a dozen rockets their way. The bio-rifle's alt-fire makes it much more powerful, as it loads up a massive blob of sludge that will instagib everything up to and including fully-armored players... but it's large and slow and thus very difficult to aim beyond point-blank range. And nobody uses it at point-blank range, because the explosion of the blob deals a significant amount of splash damage, often causing hopeful users to be blown up along with their target.
  • TRON 2.0 had the Prankster Bit. A very impressive BFG that fires implosion vortices and can pretty much clear a small room with one shot. Unfortunately, you get it too late in the game to fully upgrade it, the energy cost is massive, and in close quarters (read: most of that final stage), it stands as much of a chance of killing Jet as it does the thing he's shooting.
  • Starship Troopers: The railgun, the missile launcher, and the nuke launcher can kill most Arachnids in one shot, but their rate of fire is slow, and ammo for them is quiet rare. Also, the Morita carbine's secondary fire mode is useful at wiping out groups of Arachnids, and can even bring down a Royal with several shots, but eat up lots and lots of ammo, which is shared with other Morita variants.
  • Jedi Knight II: Jedi Outcast. The Strong style's forward-jumping slash plows through any defense and deals enough damage that it is generally an instant kill on anyone that gets hit with it, but it's also slow as molasses, can be seen coming from a mile away, and immobilizes the user as it's winding down. Nevertheless, all lightsaber combat in multiplayer consists solely of everyone spamming it. Most one-on-one duels in multiplayer consist entirely of both players alternating whether they're doing the jumping slash or rolling out of the way of the jumping slash, only ending once someone either gets the timing right and hits the other guy while they're immobilized, or gets lucky enough that their opponent jumps into their jumping slash while trying to perform one of their own.
  • S.T.A.L.K.E.R.:
    • The RG-6 is a six-shot grenade launcher, which is awesome. It also takes seven years to reload, the splash damage and blast radius are very likely to accidentally kill NPCs (in a game where Anyone Can Die, this is bad), it's heavy as hell, the ammunition is expensive and rare unless you play nice with Duty, and the weapon itself is expensive to maintain and cannot be upgraded. If you must use grenades, really, just use the underslung launcher on your assault rifle. See also the RPG - it will kill just about anything it hits, but it's inaccurate, prohibitively heavy, and you'll be lucky to find more than one round in the entire first game.
    • The PKM weighs as much as the RPG (which is prohibitively heavy) and you can't run with it, it needs to be hip-fired and is highly inaccurate besides, and upgrading it up one tier will set you back 20,000 Rubles. It also uses the rare 7.62mm PP round, and it uses a lot of them. To its credit, it really lays down the hurt.
    • NATO weapons in general. They're sleek, they're shiny, and they have great stats. They're also heavier, less reliable and more expensive than their Warsaw Pact counterparts, so until you get to the endgame, it's Warsaw Pact for you.
      • The G36 stands out in particular. It's surprisingly reliable for a NATO weapon - on par with the basic AK-74 - with a fast fire rate, easily-controllable recoil and a decent scope. It's also hideously expensive at the point it's first available from shops, and getting one for free before the endgame requires completely alienating yourself from one of the two major factions. By the time they're easy to come by for free, you're fighting Monolith troops - who also drop the F2000, which is just as good with the addition of an integrated Grenade Launcher.
    • In the first two games, the Exoskeleton, for most of the game. It's just about the best protection you'll get from bullets and grenades, which will make up most of the significant threats you'll come across in the latter half of the game. It also expands your carrying capacity - vital in a game like this. But you can't run while wearing it, it's obscenely expensive, it provides next to no protection from anomalies, and you can't run while wearing it. In the third game it can be upgraded to mitigate this issue, but you won't have access to that upgrade for long unless you put off most of the side content until progressing most of the way through the story. In the previous games it's only useful in the endgame, which typically is a linear slog through dozens of human enemies.
  • In Quake, this is more often than not the case with the Rocket Launcher. Sure, it looks great, and it fires fast rockets that give off big explosions, without the extra skill needed to lob a grenade properly... but quite a lot of the time, the player is in a dungeon with small corridors, and a rocket going off anywhere near you is likely to wipe out a large chunk of your armour (or your life). Sure, you aren't always running around in narrow corridors, but there are relatively few levels with lots of really big open outdoor areas - and wherever large and/or outdoor areas do occur, the enemies will typically be able to close distance on you so fast that you'll be lucky if you can get a single rocket off before your next one goes off 2 inches in front of your face, taking a huge chunk of either your armour, or your health.
  • Among the skills available in Far Cry 3 and Far Cry 4, one that stands out the most is "Death from Above". Exactly as its name suggests, it allows you to instantly kill someone by jumping on top of them, resulting in one broken fall and one dead mook. The problems arise from multiple facts. One, there's both a lower limit on the height you need on an enemy to actually trigger it, and an upper limit on how far you can drop onto a guy and get a Death From Above kill rather than just a death by falling. Two, it's incredibly slow, moreso than any other variant on the takedown bar the Heavy Beatdown (which manages to remain practical simply for the fact that it lets you One-Hit Kill an enemy that's otherwise nearly impossible to kill in one hit, especially in the second half of the game where they upgrade away from helmets that are open at the back). Three, it can't be chained into any other takedowns barring its own upgraded Dual version, leaving it simply as a method for Dynamic Entry on a single enemy or a particularly stylish manner in finishing off a stealthy outpost takeover (after fighting the target to get him into position so you actually can use it on him). That said, the Dual Death From Above does make it mildly more practical by allowing you to kill two people at once, rather than killing one while inviting his buddy to light you up. Far Cry 3: Blood Dragon makes it even better by removing the height limitations - since you're playing as an 80s action movie-style cyborg, there's no falling damage and your regular jump goes just high enough to trigger Death From Above, even on people starting at the same height as you.
    • The grenade takedown involves stabbing your enemy, pulling the pin on one of his grenades and kicking him into a group of his buddies. It's much more practical to either use the throwing knife or chain takedowns, especially if you're trying to play it stealthy. Even if you don't care about stealth, the Gunslinger Takedown is more viable for being faster (simply pulling the victim's gun and going from there), with a wider reach (you can shoot anyone in your field of view instead of hoping they react slowly enough to get caught in the blast radius), and is a guaranteed instant kill rather than a semi-probable delayed one - even against Heavies.
    • "Zoology 101" allows you to harvest two skins from dead animals rather than just one. This would be useful for acquiring skins more quickly so you can craft more upgrades, except the skill isn't available until just before you reach the second island - by that point, unless you've been deliberately gimping yourself by zooming through the story missions and ignoring side content, you already have all the upgrades except the ones that require rare animal pelts, which themselves are not affected by the skill. It can help a bit for making a little extra money by selling skins you don't need, but that's annoying too since skins, being required for said upgrades, have to be manually and individually both selected for sale (even if you already have every upgrade that requires that type of skin), then confirmed that you actually want to sell them, and none of them sell for all that much either. Far Cry 4 removes the skill and makes its ability an innate part of the revamped hunting mechanics, allowing you to get twice as many skins per animal from the very start so long as you avoid damaging the pelt by only using the kukri or a bow.
  • The gas artillery in Verdun can come off as this. Sure, it chokes and kills anyone imbecilic enough to not put their gas mask on in time, but it forces your own troops to do the same. The limited field of vision from the gas mask can complicate matters in the hellish chaos of a trench fight.
  • A good half of the weapons in Destiny multiplayer fall victim to this trope, depending on who you ask and how you use them. A few specifically:
    • Sleeper Simulant: A heavy fusion rifle that usually kills in one shot and ricochets its beam off walls to kill again? Awesome. But it has a fairly slow charge time for its shot (meaning your target may very well move by the time the thing actually fires), you get limited ammo in PvP, and the fact that it's a heavy weapon means you won't get to use it at all unless you get to the one heavy ammo drop per match.
    • No Land Beyond: A sniper rifle that's a primary weapon? Well, it is kind of awesome since it delivers one-shot headshot kills even against an enemy in mid-Super use and there is absolutely zero scope sway in Destiny; however the optics are crap, it reloads very slowly between shots unless you know how to glitch the process, and even though it's depicted as an old Soviet-style rifle with iron sights, it still has scope glare for some reason so your targets will see you aiming at them.
    • Universal Remote: A primary-weapon shotgun, in a game where shotguns are otherwise restricted to secondary weapons and thus have a very limited ammo supply; allowing you to run around the map scooping up ammo from dead opponents, camping corners, sliding, jumping, and using all the other reputedly "cheap" shotgun tactics with effectively unlimited ammo. Plus bonus precision damage and range when aiming. AWESOME! However, the range is half that of the worst primary weapons and less even than some regular shotguns depending on the perk setup, meaning if you use bad tactics or are on a map with too little cover, you will get chewed up without ever getting close enough for a kill.
    • Hard Light: The only auto rifle with no damage falloff for range, whose projectiles overpenetrate targets and ricochet to kill targets at unexpected angles; but range is poor, the impact is second lowest in class and it can be well-nigh uncontrollable. Also, some players complain that the combination of the sights and the blue glowing tracer bullets freak their eyes out.
  • Blood has lots of fun and creative weapons like a spray can/lighter combo, the voodoo doll and the Life Leech staff, which looks awesome to boot. However, more often than not, the good old shotgun, tommy gun and bundles of dynamite are much more plentiful in supply and deal far more consistent damage.
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