On one hand, the added difficulty to use auto-fire (+1 [P]), which, beyond the first hit, only lets the active player spend an [adv] to shoot again vs. the first target or another target (but only 1 more) "engaged with the first target", as many shots as spent [adv] but only to a maximum of 2 targets. And only then when they are engaged with each other (which is a condition that rarely applies). If there is no target engaged with the first, auto-fire only applies to the first target.
and then there are the walking fire rules by which you must add two difficulty (+2 [PP]) to the targeted enemy which is in the first place the most difficulty to hit amongst all the selected targets, in case you want to hit anybody else beyond the original target and the one (just one) target that is (eventually) engaged with him.
So, first, I think you and I have had different experiences in the game. Which is fine, it just shows were stress testing in in a different way. I am a big proponent of keeping the combat lethal, but I feel the current state of autofire is just too much.
A portion of the autofire quality reads:
"Each time it [activates], the weapon deals an additional hit to the target or another target engaged with the first target."
I don't see how this is only limited to two targets. If multiple targets are engaged with the original, each additional hit could be assigned to an additional target engaged with the original target. But the above passage also refers to walking fire, pg 137, so I am very unclear if multiple targets that are engaged are even legal we didn't declare walking fire in advance. Its a point that needs clarification.
My much larger concern does not deal with characters mowing down minions, or even henchmen, too quickly, but the opposite: I found it was too easy for NPCs with autofire weapons to mow down PCs with a single roll. And not even a particularly "lucky" roll at that, since advantages are plentiful to say the least.
The moment I would provide the following example: fighting Cordol at the end of the published adventure "Crates of Krayts". The toughest, and well armored, player character had suffered a small number of wounds (three or so) earlier in the adventure. When Cordol hit him 3 times (only requiring 2 Adv, granted to him by a pair of boost dice his cronies provided on their checks). This floored him and crit him twice (also at +20 on the crit roll, and pierce 1). Again, for effect:
Two advantages can be spent to triple the damage output of one attack on one target.
Maybe my players and I "Aren't doin' it right", but the amount of damage just those two adv caused seems very very concerning. The source of my concern is not one adv is simply too cheap, its one (or more) advantages are simply too frequent and cause sitiuations like the one I described above. This has concern about large numbers of advantages has been voiced on several other threads. However, since I doubt we can reduce the rate with which adv are produced because dice are probably at the printers for the beginner set, cost and mechanism modfication are the only tools we have to balance these abilities. As a GM, I would really prefer that I be able to play my villians to the hilt the same way that the PCs can, without concern that I have to pull punches too frequently (e.g. not use rolled results as effectively as possible).
That last line may be viewed as self-contradictory, but I have no problem "fudging" a roll on occassion. I just I prefer to keep it to a minimum, and hopefully with the narrative system, I'll be forced to do it less.
I think compared to other ways of spending individual advantages, this ability is just screamingly too effective, even given that its harder to activate. At medium range, the difficulty make an attack with autoshot is "hard", three purples. Not that bad, and even easier if other minions set up shots.
@ DM: I fail to see how limiting the number of hits is better than increasing the price. A hit limit just doesn't fit with the autofire flavor, and seems very artificial. Increasing the price simply moves the cost of activating the weapon quality to the 'default' level of other qualities (as described in on page 105).
TL; DR version: I want to be able to hurt my players and use autofire appropriately, without worrying I can drop one in a single common roll. This is not currently the state of game.