I was concerned about the shotguns, but they still seem to work, at least for me. All in all, not a bad deal.
Penta feels a little more evened out but M500SV is nearing level 1 junk. PM5 is still viable, somewhat fast enough, but it may be my crit rate talking, NS2000 is where M500 was at the start of beta, so while not nerfed to oblivion, its still a tad disappointing and has the inconsistency issues M500 had.
That said, I still protest the damage reductions on the pump-actions. Seeing how the shotguns past level 30 are Semi/Full auto which compensates for damage via ROF, you're really screwing over the lower-level shotguns and the pump-actions by taking out their main advantage. That said, if you don't want any higher damage then the accuracy difference between pumps and semi/full auto should be significantly higher than what it is now, so that if I align my sights or center my crosshair on someone's head, it is reasonably expectable to be able to blow it clean off.
To clarify the SR nerf and the SMG "accuracy increase",
The SRs have had this problem where a player spraying and praying while behind cover reliably scored headshots without aiming down sights. This problem was especially bad with the semiauto sniper rifles. In the interests of preserving sniper style gameplay where you actually need to scope in on your targets, this tweak was deemed necessary.
As for the SMGs, the specific changes were to tighten up the differences between the short, med and long barrels of the SMG. Previously, the short/med/long discrepancy adversely affected the balance of higher tier SMGs, where the longer barrels were too strong but the short barrels were too weak. In the interests of future rebalancing of the weapons, tightening the differences will prevent a balance fix from causing weird edge case imbalances. Sometime early in the betas, some players may recall the MP5 with long barrel winding up having obscenely high damage. That was in part due to the discrepancy between the barrels, resulting in a fairly balanced short barrel but imbalanced long one.
These changes are not made lightly, and we have been looking at the stats from the matches. From looking at the game stats so far, there's been no excessive lethality for the SMGs, as in the SMG players are not getting an unfair kills per minute as opposed to the other weapon classes. However, due to the large number of players who opted to play Recon, there are invariably exceptional players who get outstanding K/Ds and skew player perceptions of the class. We're also working the early game experience so that the other classes are more palatable. Interesting nugget so far: The Recon's average K/D is actually below 1. =p
Just what exactly was the reasoning behind this change? Conquest is my favourite game type, but with the duration being cut in half you're halving my already strained sense of fun.
I see two possible reasons for this, both of which boil down to people leaving between rounds rather than staying to fight Round 2:
1) Rage-Quits: At the end of the first round, the losing team inevitably has 2-4 players drop out because some people can't handle losing.
2) Time Constraints: Each round can last quite a while if the defending team isn't getting totally curb-stomped. That causes some people to bail between rounds because they've got other things to do.
Either way, you end up with Round 2 starting off imbalanced and having people get sucked into back-fill situations where they're not having as much fun because by the time they get oriented, the match is over.
The sweet part about the maps, though, RyanB2112, are that they're pretty much entirely new maps in the other direction. Markov Station starts as a subway station. As you head to E, it becomes an operations office, with computers and servers and whatnot. As you head to A, it becomes a shopping mall. Chertanovo LZ is similar. That's the beauty of these maps!
As for the rage quitting, that happens any time during the match, and it's not restricted to Conquest. I think it has more to do with time constraints. People usually expect to devote only a certain amount of time to a shooter, and, admittedly, two-round Conquest maps can take quite a while, even when one team is clearly better.