Ridgeway's Pride is undoubtedly the most underwhelming and least anticipated in the players' mind coming into TU11. We're all looking forward to Memento and many are at least intrigued by the Backfire. But most people seem to agree that the RP is just straightup garbage, only there as a bleed crutch for Sadist procs.
I disagree… to an extent. It's not bad; it's situational. Most people will take the word "situational" to mean "bad in every aspect except in one specific scenario", and I guess you're right.
It's a CQC Exotic (duh)
This exotic is meant for CQC and that alone comes with a heap of restrictions. CQC, by nature, is more difficult to pull off in groups than solo. It relies on both high damage output to dispose of enemies as well as your survivability to close the gap (you don't walk up face-to-face w/ an enemy to start shooting for the next 20 sec). The CQC playstyle also limits your weapon choice and which skills to use.
But I think in niche scenarios where it's good, it's really good.
In my mind, there are two types of CQC: 1) Relying on cover-to-cover and peeking out to kill enemies and 2) relying on full sprints, shields, and stagger to approach and kill enemies. The former is used to isolate as many one-on-one situations with the enemy, while the second is often used to rush down a choke or spawn point. I believe the RP is for the former.
There are more 1v3~1v5 situations than you might think
If you've played any amount of CQC, you know that you often don't engage one enemy at a time. Rather, it's really a 1v3, 1v4, or 1v5, depending on how many of them have spawned. Think of your typical enemy patrol for instance.
The goal of CQC then is to dismantle the group, execute one enemy at a time in such a speed that you go through the enemies without having to face all of them at once. The best offense is the best defense: stagger the enemies one at a time and chew through the group. This is why high-burst, high-upfront damage weapons like shotguns and SMG are particularly suited for CQC, among other reasons (accuracy, dmg falloff). We never truly engage a group of enemies in a 1 vs many fashion, because we almost always die before killing anyone. But if we're using a cover-based CQC (as opposed to shield-based), then the mixing of RP into a build suddenly makes a lot of sense.
As the devs emphasized many times over, exotics are not meant to be BIS, but rather to evoke a unique playstyle or build. RP allows players to engage more enemies at a time in the above CQC environment than otherwise possible. It allows players to be far more reckless while maintaining dps output (thanks to Sadist) and provides the sustain that CQC players often need.
4% armor regen is insanely good sustain
People's biggest complaint about RP is the "pathetic" armor regen it provides. "ONLY 4%???" they shout. Sure, on full tank builds where the total armor is in several millions, the 4% actually give big raw regen numbers. But it can't be anything noteworthy in full red builds can it?
Well, 4% per second is still 4% of your max armor. To put this in perspective, 10 sec to regen half of your armor is better than tier 1 chem launcher heal.
I'm not saying that RP will be good. I'm just saying it's not as bad as ppl seem to think. The biggest argument against RP, which I'll concede, is asking the question "why would I make concerted efforts to keep enemies alive whose bullets can blow my tiny regen'd armor by just grazing it anyway?" Basically, dead enemies >>> bleeding enemies is the argument. I agree.
But you're only required to "damage" enemies, not shoot them. Sticky bomb or Stinger hive could literally save you in a clutch w/ 25% regen if you're surrounded. I think there are many creative ways yet to make this exotic a powerful niche pick (esp with Hunter's Fury) and that people shouldn't write it off just yet.