Hi Miss Elderbridge! How are you enjoying the Aetherlight so far?
There are certain perks to each piece. The Rumpled Vicar gives 30 to 50 normal damage, and the Water Rifle gives 30 to 40 water damage. Because the Water Rifle gives less damage, its only perk is the fact that the damage it gives is WATER damage. If you are playing with someone who has a weapon that gives ELECTRIC damage, or if you have an electric weapon yourself, you can use the two weapons together for bonus damage. Example: Turn 1: You use the Water Rifle. Turn 2: They (your fighting partner) use the Tesla Hammer. When they use the Tesla Hammer on one of the Wet automatons (You can left click on an automaton to see its health, effects like wetness, and certain attacks that it dodges) you will get a %100 percent damage bonus! That's 80 - 85 damage! Another thing about the Water Rifle: when you hit a special, it gives 40 wet damage to the automaton you selected, and 10 wet damage to ALL OTHER AUTOMATONS you are fighting with!
If you don't usually fight with people, I'd recommend sticking with the Rumpled Vicar until you can upgrade to an electric weapon, just because it gives more damage.
Also, if you upgrade to the Water Rifle and don't like it, all you have to do is craft your Rumpled Vicar again for only your current rifle and 10 cogs. That makes it a little less tough to decide, because cogs are easy to come by
I hope this helps!
Your friend :D
Hanna Brassheart a.k.a Miss B.