As a Gunblader...

I performed lots of testing against the rockbear for this, but consistently the ranged damage is outdone by melee. An example of this is that gun pp Regen is 70% ranged attack while melee is 200% melee attack.

I'm sure most people who run gunblade aren't making a gun build, but if you recall the gunblade class in JP was advertised. And the presenter stated we should be building ranged attack(along with the character being shown is using ranged attack at 5k while melee is 3.5k)

I'm waiting on the actual tree to show up before fully converting, but it somewhat makes me sad that I went through all the numbers, scaling, and found that the base gunblade is so borked to one side.

Luster

New Class "coming soon" Main focus is Gunblade

From the random videos, out there, looks pretty solid in DPS/APM and high mobility and decent plausible suitability

Yep. That's what I'm happy about. Just the current dmg with how they announced it in the JP stream makes me do 3/4 possible dmg atm before fighter/hunter bonus potency before Luster comes out if I want to prepare for it with austere units

Funny you mention this OP because I have a character that I only use gunblades with that I focused primarily on ranged damage with, and I definitely do good damage with it. I actually see myself doing more damage than most people in UQs even though I use mostly ranged photon arts. It's all in the way you build everything, and which photon arts you use.

I believe the point of gunblades has always been to use both ranged and melee attacks, which is why they make melee normal attacks recover more PP. They probably figured less people would use the melee normal attack if both recovered the same amount of PP, since its much more risky to do so.

Because the weapons favor melee however if you focus on ranged attack your melee will also get to a similar number. (For people who don't know, the first page of gunblades will only mention the melee damage stat boost, but you can see if you look on the second page it does actually boost ranged damage too, which does also go up when enhancing the weapon, but by a not so much smaller amount).

This is perfect for many photon arts for gunblades as most of the photon arts for gunblades deal either both melee and ranged damage, or only ranged damage. Can you guess which photon art seems to deal the most damage with this character? Blitzfire Barrage it's description reads "Attack by utilizing the unique construction of the gunblade to unleash a simultaneous assault of slashes and gunshots", so this photon art was made to basically be one that captures the essence of what gunblades are, and makes sense a character with close stats in both would do the most damage with this photon art.

The photon art with the second most damage is Aimed Fire an entirely range damage based photon art, because the first hit of Blitzfire Barrage does an amount of damage that is close to that of Aimed fire. But as the description says Blitzfire Barrage follows up with more attacks, that deal both melee and ranged damage. If my melee damage wasn't so close in number to my ranged damage this attack would definitely deal much less damage, and probably not be my number one damaging photon art.

So to me it seems like the reason gunblades favor melee more is because of these photon arts that use both ranged and melee, so that way if you try to balance the two stats you will end up doing a lot of damage with certain photon arts since they use both damage types.

(On another funny note though, even Risa, the ranged trainer herself says the gun part of gunblades suck in her dialogue for the first gunblade client order you can do for her).

@Riesz that's interesting. I did a dps based on the frames until the ja interval. Focusing purely on one side shows the dmg of moves like thrillsplosion being the highest, aimed fire is definitely up there too. I didn't do combined dmg calcs due to if you focus on scaling one way the other side might be found minuscule.

Also I do great dmg still don't get me wrong. I'm just saying mathematically the ranged attack is overall less even counting the dmg being headshot dmg at all times.

The reason I'm focusing on one side is purely because Luster, at least said by the presenter, says at like the 8 minute mark that everyone should focus on ranged. So if you go one sided, it's much more optimal to stay melee until then. I don't recall etolie, but I'm not necessarily 100% thinking they would do a summoner strike summoner ranged with gunblade...but who knows

Oh. Also forgot to say that my testing was done at even stats. I used armor with +stats to find scaling and found it similar, albeit still in melee favor by around 1% more or so. No skills on the classes I used due to reset pass.