If the musket is used incorrectly in New World you feel like the weapon is better off being used as a stick, but the correct use makes your enemies hate your existence on the battlefield.
For all of those that are thinking of taking up the musket as their primary weapon, and are wondering how and where to begin in using and mastering it, all we have to say is, headshots are your bread and butter. These are quite hard to achieve in PvP scenarios, sure, but in PvE, with large bosses and their enormous heads, the musket definitely shines. With the right build, sufficient proficiency and level, your headshots will deal up to 3200 damage to enemies.
However, PvE is not the draw of New World. That honor goes to the PvP side of things, and to use the musket there it takes mastering some tricks.
The first of those is managing your stamina consumption. Reload times on musket take ages to do manually, but switching between your main and off-hand weapon automatically reloads your musket, making it ready to fire. However, to do so, your stamina cannot be depleted, as you can't make the switch quick enough to achieve the desired effect.
Where the musket really shines, though, is in 20vs20 and 50vs50 PvP encounters. The main mistake players make in these, however, is misjudging their role. Musket users are not supposed to position themselves to bring down the enemy frontline, as it will inevitably lead to them coming to close quarters, and being killed. Your role is to snipe enemy healers, and even if you are not capable of killing them, as long as they are focused on healing themselves as to not die, your job is done.
The musket is in no way, shape, or form a modern firearm. It belongs to an era of weapons that need time to master their use, and New World reflects this. So, recognize your role in the game, don't make yourself an obvious target, and make your enemies hate your guts, even without ever seeing you.