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  • Weapon loadouts that don't require much ammunition or allow you put a ton of ammunition on your vehicle in things like Humongous Mecha combat sims. The bigger guns tend to be unable to stock much ammo and take up more space, besides.
  • In Zone of the Enders you get all sorts of subweapons for Jehuty, such as the paralyzing Geyser, the Halberd large laser and the Vector Cannon, Awesome but Impractical royalty. The majority of the damage you deal will be with your trusty Homing Lasers and sword.
  • Mechwarrior, every and any game of it: PPCs, a cheap, relatively fast and powerful energy weapon. It's pretty much the best general weapon in the game, to the point where 90% of mechwarrior players just load their mech of choice with as many PPCs as it can hold.
    • Perhaps the Large Laser would be a better example. The PPC needs more skill to use because of its lower accuracy (due to projectile travel time) and the insane amount of heat it generates, and the long recycle time encourages making every shot count. Meanwhile, the Large Laser recycles faster, its heat production is more manageable, it's a hitscan weapon, and it's smaller as well (though it also does less damage, but quid pro quo).
      • In at least Mechwarrior 3, a large quantity of bog-standard machine-guns on your mech could wipe out most enemies in a few seconds of sustained fire, while generating virtually no heat. Why? Because in the grand scheme of things, machine-guns have the best damage-per-round ratio, best rate of fire and lowest heat-per-round numbers in the game. It's just that they do so little damage individually that you either equip a whole bunch of them for the death of a thousand cuts, or just one for cleaning up stray infantry. Not nearly as cool as a dozen pulse lasers or LRMs going off at once, but worth it for sheer reliability.
    • In Mechwarrior 3 and 4, the weapons are actually pretty well balanced. The sniper weapons are great for sniping, the close quarters LBX-20s are devastating at close, missiles have lock-on capabilities... overall all balanced nicely, IMHO. What is not balanced are TACTICS. In 3, "legging" a Mech was practically compulsory, being a large easy target that was easy to distinguish from the rest (unlike Center vs side torso, or worse, head). In PVP, jumpjet and shoot is the only tactic worth using on stages with any cover at all.
    • In the source material tabletop game BattleTech, the crown goes to the humble Medium Laser. It occupies a sweet spot in the various attribute balances of all the weapons; It weighs only one ton, occupies only one critical slot, uses no ammo, has a tolerable heat output, has a passable range ("Short range" compared to some, but still a useful range), does a respectable amount of damage. Some mechs' loadouts consist almost entirely of an arsenal of medium lasers, and they can be devastating in a "bleed to death from a thousand cuts" way. When in doubt when designing a mech loadout... cram in some medium lasers. You can't go wrong with more medium lasers.
  • Machine guns in the Armored Core series can be relied on by any player to do whatever gruntwork they need. Not as flashy as the laser rifles, not as powerful as the bazookas, the machine guns nonetheless has copius amounts of ammo, can track even the fastest of enemies and can provide a steady stream of damage that, under certain conditions, can eat away at even the hardiest of tank AC/NEXTs.
  • In the two video games based on the Heavy Gear franchise, there are a number of unusual and powerful weapons available. However, as impressive as rail guns, particle accelerators, and heavy rocket packs might be, the sheer utility of autocannons (and their More Dakka Gatling Good counterparts the anti-air cannons), medium missile packs, and light lasers meant it was just easier and sensible to keep a general-purpose ballistic weapon on hand. It didn't hurt that in both games, the heavy autocannon was a Jack of All Stats that did respectable damage to almost everything a player might encounter.