One of the issues I see in game and on the forums is the lack of diversity in weapon choice, you essentially get a choice between one rifle, one shotgun, one smg and two pistols. While we have a very large array of weapons on offer, but the majority of those are locked off to most players on a large scale, maybe one Marine out of thirty or forty plus might get a M41AE2 or something similar mid way through a round.
One concept I was thinking about is the idea of offering Marine standards the choice of selecting from one of several variants of M41A Mk2s. The idea being that the difference between the weapons would be less like the M41A versus the M41AE2 or the Battle Rifle, but more how you compare weapons akin to Team Fortress 2, such as having the default Rocket Launcher against the Direct Hit, neither is better than the other, and in fact the original Stock weapon is usually slightly better, but it introduces variety
To give a example I'll put down two ideas for variations of the M41A, while trying to stick to lore friendly material.
- M41 Pulse Rifle - Older generation Pulse Rifle (Several AvP Games feature it). Holds 99 rounds per magazine, however suffers from several major drawbacks. The magazines are larger than usual, thus they can only fit in a backpack (and the magazines take up more backpack space than normal). The weapon cannot accept any attachments except for the Underbarrel Grenade Launcher. The weapon frequently jams, forcing the user to eject the current magazine in order to fix the jam. In addition the weapon deals slightly less damage per round. With this weapon, your getting a gun with a lot of ammo, but you accept that the weapon suffers from being very unreliable and prone to jamming, is not versatile and you need to free a lot of backpack space to carry spare magazines.
- NSG 23 Assault Rifle - Mid range assault rifle. Comes pre-equipped with a Underbarrel Flamethrower and deals slightly more damage per bullet, and has better armour penetration. However, the weapon is locked onto burst fire permanently. It suffers from lower than average accuracy. Furthermore it is limited to a 30 round magazine, and cannot accept M41A magazines. Also the underbarrel Flamethrower cannot be removed, only replaced. This weapon is more dedicated as a closer range rifle, you deal more damage and hit harder, but you cannot effectively engage enemies at range, and your ammo supply is very limited, considering you have less ammo per magazine, and you use different magazines to the standard M41A line.