is exactly what the most recent Fallen Earth developer diary discusses. It appears to have been a long road for the developers, but after much play testing and some clever re-categorizing they seem to have come upon a good method.
Smart choices like allowing everyone to use grenades (thus giving melee-focused characters a little range) mark a very well thought-out system. Insuring that an sandbox style MMO still have a good sense of structure and meaning is imporatant, because without it everyone simply opts for the winning weapon. It's developer diaries like this that make us excited for upcoming games, which wasn't really necessary for Fallen Earth but helps nonetheless.
Further weapon balance blogging for Fallen Earth
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