My first experience with First Assault was during the closed Beta, when it was first released into Steam as Early Access. I enjoyed the game back then and now thinking of the good games I have had before, I installed the game again. While there aren't very heavy changes since I stopped past 9 months or so... it was good to see that the game has an active community and quick match feature finds game very quickly!
I have played quite a lot of online fps games for pc and many times, I find myself sticking with the default weapon for most length of my play time. The reason for this is because I just dislike grinding for new weapons and the default weapons usually has it's own strength that allows it to be quite effective enough against newly designed guns. Most of the games, M4 is known as a head-shooter. It's accuracy is usually one it's strong trait. Unfortunately, the M4a1 in this game lacks a clear 'direction'.
True, M4 is a default gun but right now, there is just no reason for someone to be using this gun because the default smg does a much better job. This default gun is what most new players will be starting with. I believe that the players should be given the opportunity to choose to continue using the default gun or buy something else. I have chosen to stick with the default gun and made a lot of modifications to it before the major gun recoil/bloom patch. That was because the performance of this gun was quite good with 1 tap- burst fire allowing accurate head shots. The current state of M4a1 has nothing advantageous. The gun is still weak in terms of it's damage/rate of fire, the range of effectiveness lags behind other guns, it's recoil kicks in quite early compared to the other guns. Hell, AK's recoil is better than this gun and that gun is more powerful and accurate! And some new guns like Seburo, or HKX (AR version) has almost no recoil for the first 3-4 shots. This can be further strengthened increasing its' damage, accuracy and stability. All of these guns are also quite accurate for the first two shots in sprint and zoomed in. M4 is abysmal and all the bullets will bounce off in all directions with such huge bloom.
For the new players who cannot buy new guns very quickly, I can imagine this game being very frustrating and probably boring after first couple hours. Much of the negative feedback on Steam for this game is largely due to new players needing to grind for better guns and that default weapon just cannot keep up with the game overall. Unforunately, new players realize they are quickly at a disadvantage against people using guns with less bloom/recoil but higher damage/rof and leave with bad initial impression of the game. As such, they are under the impression that this game is another "pay to win" which it certainly isn't! The game still has gun balance issues to work on but it certainly is not a P2W.
Some suggestions that I could make for the default gun is to make it more accurate and increase range of effectiveness. I think it's damage is fine as M4 is not only a default gun but also known for accuracy instead of a hard hitter. Or, make it a little bit more stable. I believe that M4's current damage (35) is in good place ( while it is sometimes frustrating to see players survive with 3 hits into the chest. This is with 3 dmg+ mod).
Anyways, I am just an average player but I am making this post because I was disappointed to see very little changes to the AR guns for the upcoming major gun balance patch and very few community posts regarding the state of the default weapon. I will be honest that I am also writing this post after having some bad games just now but I still like this game and I like where the game is going. With KD of above 1.5 and being above top 1% players with 1.2 KD using M4. I hope my post carry some weight....
P.S. I don't post on forums often, leading to the Wall of texts. I hope the art of forum posting will come in time!