Reddit user patrickhulce is one of the first to collect a ton of useful data on Legendary/Exotic primary weapons.
Damage & You
So far he’s found out the following:
- You do ~33% less damage to enemies 1 level higher than you, ~45% less to enemies 2 levels higher than you, and ~53% less to enemies 3 levels higher than you.
- Scout rifles and hand cannons do less damage to Majors, yet auto rifles do not have such a penalty.
- Damage for a given gun is a linear function of the attack stat (Impact seems to affect both the coefficient and the intercept).
- The attack stat is a raw damage multiplier for a given weapon and has nothing to do with being more effective against higher level enemies than lower level enemies.
- Damage against enemies less than level 20 seems to be scaled down to match the % of damage done to a level 20 enemy. Example: A headshot takes 50% of a level 20 vandal’s 600 hitpoints doing 300 damage. A headshot will take ~50% of a level 10 vandal’s 400 hitpoints doing 200 damage.
He warns that his testing is probably not 100% accurate.
Because I started out testing for my own curiosity and not for public consumption, these numbers might be slightly skewed based on my armor, so your mileage might vary (i.e. your weapon’s abilities might change your results, and I equipped the armor I had that benefitted the class of primary I was using).
You can find a more in-depth overview about the weapons he’s tested in this document.