Rifles need a stat boost or something to get them back to being competitive weapons. Almost all high level characters use either class weapons (rarely) or pistol+shield. Rifles are rarely used, because they can't compete with pistols for DPS and shield use. In my opinion, boosting rifle power would be good thing, bringing some much need diversity to SL. For example, in PL, you have a choice between a number possible weapons in each class. Players can and do use a range of two handed and one handed weapons (I myself tend to use shield + wand or hand-and-a-half swords). DL has weapons with one or two stat versions, but multiple skins, giving each player there own look. SL has pistols and shields being the only weapons used. Rifles need either a boost of some kind to bring them back into use. I'd recommend a boost to damage and hit chance (in the real world, that's why rifles are used) coupled with a moderate armor bonus (say, 25% of a decent shield), while pistols give better boosts (maybe crit and dodge). That way, weapon choice would be a little more tactical and open, and you could tweak weapons to suit your playstyle better.