What exactly does rapid shot do? From searching / reading posts in these forums, I've seen people say that it increases ranged damage by speeding up your shots.
However, there are two main ways to use a repeater:
i. keep your finger pressed down on the left mouse button (equivalent to autoattack). doing this, I get 108 shots per minute on my L16 arti, who has rapid reload but not rapid shot
ii. time your clicks - a long click/hold whilst you're firing, take your finger off the button as the reload animation happens, and then press down again to fire once the animation is back in the ready to fire position. Using this method, I get 120 shots per minute. Worth noting that timing is key however, as if you click to fire too soon, you get hit with a pause before firing, and do this more than a couple of times and your fire rate may even go below the 108 per minute from autoattack.
*tests done by using a buff timer as the 'clock', starting with 1000 bolts in inventory, and firing for a minute and then checking how many of the 1000 bolts were used.
Method ii. is harder to use in combat (particularly when things get frantic), but the difference in fire rate is basically because under method i. there is a pause in the animation when the xbow is ready to fire - rather than firing immediately, theres a gap of maybe 0.2 seconds (difficult to say exactly how long this is, but its noticeable)
Now, my question is: using rapid shot, does the pause in the animation merely become shorter? Or does the entire animation speed up, but the pause stay in place?
I'm going to test this when I hit level 18 (which is when I'd planned to take rapid shot) but it would be good to know if anyone has done this testing already as it saves me a feat reslot and a flawless shard. If the only change is that the pause gets shorter under autoattack / holding down the button, then rapid shot is not so much an essential feat as one that reduces the reliance on player skill to achieve maximum damage output.