SA58 Para Guide
This mod guide is only meant to relay what little I know about the gloriously overrated gun called the Para. I will show how each mod affects core aspects of the gun, such as bloom, recoil, accuracy, and damage. I, like many others, like to think of the barrels as the base modification that will transform the para into a completely new gun, and the trigger/grip/stocks as small modifiers.
I know that sometimes I slander this gun and say that it's absurdly easy to make kills with it (it really is!), and people rightfully wonder if I've ever used it before. Just for info, I used to use this gun a lot between SFC (when I first gcoin'd the para) and 2nd Lt. I wasn't bad with it and I think I got the hang of it after a while. During my peak skill level with para I used to get a lot of those one-bullet headshots and I sometimes got double and triple headshot feeds with it. I could tap an entire magazine rapidly without a single 2-shot burst despite the generic $10 logitech mouse I was using at that time. I think my record was 11 top frags in a row using Para (RB-Ergo-RCS at that time) and 09 gloves.
I quit the Para halfway through 2nd Lt and started using anti-para guns like the Famas MK3 and the Galil Mar to counter the mad DPS. A big reason was that my laptop was too weak and the frame rate would drop frequently, leading to 2-shot bursts. Another reason was that I realized how overpowered the para was. It was so powerful and so easy to make quick kills with. It also murdered the pointman class with its insane DPS (which is my favorite class). I'd like to see the ROF of this gun nerfed down to Sako's ROF or less to give other rifles a chance.
Credits to WhataCreatur, iDeadlySushi, Fierce, eTx, and Daisy for helping me with their Paras. I ended up farming my SD down .007 to get a ton of trials.
Disclaimer: Do not take anything I say here as a fact. I'm trying to make a model that fits the data I'm getting.
All para barrels had slightly random amounts of armor penetration. However, most barrels showed clear correlation with the amount of damage dealt, and all barrels had roughly the same proportion of armor penetration. It is impossible to claim that one barrel has less penetration than another. To test penetration, I used Large Caliber Armor, which has far better absorption than SA09 and would more clearly show a difference in penetration, if any existed.
No barrel: 30m
Spetsnaz barrel: 31m
Heavy barrel: 32m
Reinforced barrel: 32m
Long range barrel: 36m
Only LRB has significantly increased damage over range.
Damage retention is a project I'm working on in an attempt to clock a weapon's damage loss over range, otherwise known as the "range" stat. A higher retention value indicates lesser degree of damage loss over range. I will list a few calculated retention values to put Para's retention into perspective.
M14 with LRB: 22.9 (highest retention of all rifles except for possibly FG42.)
SG556 with LRBII: 20.7
SG556 with AT: 15.0
Walther: 2.7 (Lowest retention value of all guns in AVA)
Now I'll try to show the more obvious effects of each barrel concerning the gun's DPS, ROF, retention, and damage. Stability and Accuracy are not examined in here; everyone knows that LRB has slightly more bloom, Heavy has more recoil, RB has much more bloom, and Spets has low recoil/bloom but horizontal recoil.
The Spetsnaz and Reinforced barrels both seem to have underwent significant range nerfs in the latest para nerf.
Notes: Everyone should know how no barrel feels. It's relatively simple and has no catch to it.
Long Range Barrel
Notes: The LRB is identical to having no barrel at 0 meters in all aspects (except stability), including damage and penetration. However, it has decent damage retention and tends to retain 1-2 more damage for every 10 meters. This damage difference is not significant until +20 meters, where most people can't tap the para anyways. It is not enough to significantly change number of shots required to kill within ranges suitable for para combat, though the difference in stability is significant enough to alter one's hit rate. The stability is similar to no barrel's stability.
Notes: Heavy Barrel has a slight range boost, which is negligible compared to para's current range. At best, it will retain an extra point of damage for every 10-15 meters. However, it comes with a 7.3% ROF penalty that cuts its DPS and makes it easier to tap. It has noticeably increased vertical recoil and low strafeshot bloom. Also comes with slightly increased moveshot accuracy, although it doesn't matter.
Notes: I was surprised to see that the RB deals approximately 10% more damage rather than the supposed 6% more damage. This huge damage bonus will make it the best barrel to use against stronger helmets within 20 meters, inflicting significantly more damage on a headshot than any other barrel. However, it comes with a huge range penalty that ranks its damage retention barely above a carbine's level. Nevertheless, it will deal significantly more damage than any other barrel up to ~20 meters. Although it comes with the highest DPS, it has less ROF-based DPS and often deals unnecessary overkill damage, making its damage output relatively impractical. Its 7.3% ROF penalty makes it slightly easier to tap. Although it has increased moveshot bloom, the strafeshot is relatively stable and the barrel can often fire a stable 2-shot burst due to its slower ROF.
Notes: I found that on average, Spetsnaz Barrel was approximately 2-3% weaker than no barrel at point blank regardless of armor. There was no difference in armor penetration. However, it seems to comes with a strange range bonus greater than the Heavy barrel's range bonus. The hidden range bonus makes the Heavy, None, and Spets all have damages within 1 damage point of each other up to 30 meters. The Spets barrel has the best moveshot, strafeshot, and burstability with relatively low bloom and moderate recoil. Also comes with slightly increased moveshot accuracy, although it doesn't matter.
LRB: +6 range, +bloom
HB: +2 range, -4 ROF, +accuracy, +recoil
RB: +6 damage, -4 ROF, +bloom
Spets: -1 damage, +2 range, +stability, +accuracy, -mobility
RB deals enough damage to occasionally alter the number of hits required to kill up to 20ish meters. RB will significantly alter the amount of damage inflicted on a headshot. LRB sometimes needs one fewer hit to kill than no barrel does at +20 meters. Spets and Heavy are both similar in damage to no barrel and will require the same number of hits to kill as no barrel 99% of the time.
Penetration is the same across all barrels and is least effective against LargecalA, EA08, LargecalH, EH08, and SH09 and most effective against Anticharge, AA07, SA09, AntichargeH, and AH07.
Basically, only RB will rarely make a difference in number of hits to kill in CQC, but it will have lower ROF. Everything else is down to stability, accuracy, and ROF preferences to maximize the user's hit rate as opposed to hits to kill.
Completely personal preference. My recommendation is to avoid this mod since the para's first-shot accuracy is so high.
Increases overall accuracy
Decreases crouchshot bloom
Increases crouchshot bloom recovery
Increases moveshot bloom
Increases 2nd-shot bloom and recoil
Increases stand/crouch accuracy
Decreases moveshot accuracy
Recoil Control Stock
Decreases recoil, especially when moving
Increases side-to-side recoil
(Yes, I consider gloves to be mods.)
Increases moveshot accuracy
Increases moveshot accuracy by a lot
Increases bloom recovery
Decreases bloom per shot
Several Setup Options
Ergonomic Grip must be included in all setups due to its lack of negative effects.
No barrel/trig/stock = moderate recoil and bloom, relatively stable.
Spets-RCS = Lowest recoil and bloom, extremely easy
Spets = Low recoil and bloom, extremely easy, with less side-to-side recoil
LRB-RCS = Moderate recoil, moderate bloom, can be bursted in CQC
LRB-Trigger = Moderate recoil, more bloom, can be tapped for long ranges
Rein-Trigger = Moderate recoil, extreme bloom, must be crouched/tapped
Rein = Moderate recoil, high bloom, must be crouched/tapped
Do not do the following:
Burst with Para past 20 meters
Jump and fire in mid-air unless you have to
Run and gun continuously (Instead, strafe or crouch from side to side.)
Moveshot with Reinforced barrel or Shock Absorber past 15 meters
My current setup
This setup is completely optional. You don't have to use them if they don't suit your playstyle. I am currently using:
Spets - Ergo - RCS
Reasoning: Great DPS, great stability. People claim Spets is weak but this is false.
The Pro's "secret" to using the SA58 Para
Ever wondered why pros make the gun look like it has no recoil? Ever wondered why it has massive recoil and bloom in your hands?
I guess I'll give the secret to mastering the para... for free. Well, here it is:
Firstly, tapping speed should be high. I recommend at least 7 clicks per second to use it adequately. However, a person who can only click 5 clicks per second still has potential to make it look pro (and also has an advantage in long range warfare).
Now, here is the secret: What matters more than tapping speed... is the speed at which you RELEASE the mouse. In other words, you must minimize the amount of time the mouse button is pressed. Instead of spamming the mouse button, you have to press and release as fast as you can. You can even just slap your mouse button with your finger, making sure to have your finger spring up faster than it hit the mouse button. Don't spam the mouse button if you don't release it fast every time.
Now, how does this help, one may ask? Firstly, it drastically decreases the chances of an accidental 2-shot burst which 99% of para novices are prone to. It also grants a greater length of time for the bloom and recoil to settle. An important concept to realize is that every milisecond you have the button pressed, bloom and recoil does not settle. Every milisecond you have it released, bloom and recoil will settle. Therefore, rather than holding for 50 miliseconds and releasing for 50 ms, holding for 20 and releasing for 80 will allow more bloom recovery time. There is also a certain jump in crosshair size that occurs every time you release the mouse; therefore you want to maximize the time between releasing and pressing without sacrificing a great deal of DPS. And if you slap and release the mouse button quickly enough, some of the recoil may not even register.