So, I had a thought that I wanted to dismiss out of hand, but then I realised it might not even be such a bad idea. So whether you take it or leave it, here it is:
There's a lot of discussion on the subject of SMGs. Most people think they are still the most powerful weapon-types in game, while others think the introduction of weapons like the F2020 and the change in headshot multipliers ruined them for ever. Fundamentally though, they seem to agree on what the SMG's role should be right now, but isn't: a deadly short-range weapon with high rate of fire that can mow enemies down as long as they are close enough. The people who think the weapon class is underpowered say it doesn't stack up to rapid-fire ARs in terms of DPS, and those who think it is overpowered say they are far too deadly in longer ranges. I don't know how to fix the first problem, but I think a hard fix for the second problem might come a long way to finding a way to buff their short-range damage potential without pissing more people off. So here goes:
Put a hard range limit on SMGs like there is on Shotguns and Pistols. With Shotguns it's 25M, which I think is a little short for SMGs, but put it on 30-35M and it might really not be such a bad idea. They'll be deadly at short ranges (or at least that should be the case), still very decent at mid range, but useless in long ranges. You won't be able to out-snipe a sniper any more, which seems to be what most of the frustration is coming from.
I know that this is a risky proposition that could have a lot of unwanted complications and balance issues, but I think it would help to put the SMGs as a class back into the spot where they should be and help differentiate them from the other weapon-classes. It also gives more options for variation, because you could change this ultimate range depending on the SMG, making the individual weapons more varied amongst themselves as well.
So what do you think? Worst idea I've ever had? Best idea ever? Needs a lot of work, but might not even be such a bad idea? Let me know.