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So, I've thought about this a fair bit. What do the weapons, either in your mind or from what's been described in the fluff, look like to you? As in, how would you imagine the plasma of a plasma cannon looking. Or an eradication beamer?

Just sort of a general discussion, throw out some weapons, and you can include either what you imagine them looking like when fired, or what's actually been put down as 40k fact from a novel or codex entry here or there.

For starters, Plasma, I've wondered about, and since seeing it in action in the Space Marine game, I'm pretty happy with their iteration. The plasma cannon fires a large, lobbed ball of swirly blue energy, pretty much what I imagined. And when it overheats, it vents bright blue steam, and hisses violently.

Eradication beamers, I imagine almost as bright white flashlights, opening up a big white blinding cone.
 

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I see plasma weapons shooting something so bright it would be a bit like looking at the sun. A ball of pure white light that illuminates everything around it and could easily light up an entire stadium if it were shot in the dark

When I picture a melta weapon I imagine that part of Star Wars episode 1 were Liam Neeson plunges his lightsaber into a thick metal door and it glows white hot in the centre and blobs of molten metal fall away. That, as well as a lot of heat haze above and around where the (invisible) melta 'beam' passes.

Bolter weapons: Like the magnum in early Resident Evil games. Hit flesh with it and heads/limbs are going to explode, but unlike the magnum a boltgun can rapid fire and absolutely pulverise its target

Power weapons: Not as bright a glow effect as a lightsaber and without the effortless cutting power. Obviously not, since there's plenty of fluff where power swords are blocked by chainswords which couldn't happen in SW

Power fist: A little bit harder to picture, but I don't imagine them hitting as hard as krak missiles, lascannons and demolisher cannons. I think of the whole crackling arcs of electricity thing as described in the fluff and then try to visualise things flying off a power fist impact as if powerfully repelled. Maybe somewhat like the gravity hammer in Halo games. For cinematic purposes I see a power fist being an effective shield in a duel, deflecting blades while waiting for the right chance to swing itself (but at which point the user's defenses are compromised).
 

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I always imagine any of the beam weapons not being visible at all, unless firing through smoke or some such. Meltas would just form a massive heat haze rather than any kind of visible beam. I think the Cain books describe them best, sounding like miniature jet engines. Plasma would be like a miniature sun. I always picture the actinic blue for it.
 

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When it comes to plasma weapons, the DOOM series of FPSs have set the mind for me. Rifles with higher rate of fire and cannons/BFGs larger plasma bolts at lower rates.

Meltas I Think of like small jetengines when they heat up but that the actual beam makes a high sound like thunder when the air expands in its way. But as with lasers I don't see a recoil.

Shurikens I Think has a small recoil but nowhere near bolters or even stubguns. A high pitched sound like singing steel or something. Maybe even that high pitched that ordinary humans would have difficulty hearing it.
 
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