In free roam and in DZ I actually don’t shoot first. In DZ because I play as ninja loot bunny (avoid pvp, just going for loot and div tech), I tend to stay under the radar. Gunfire draws attention so I do sneak around. I can defend myself (got a 6 piece classified nomad and the House), that doesn’t mean I need to go all aggro on everything.
Especially elite LMB and Rikers you want them alive so when you run into a rogue, you can run towards them and let them melt the rogue, or force the rogue to back off. Three LMB or Rikers focus fire can melt anything in 5-6 seconds.
And @divedivedive my Sam Fisher is basically a ghost, or at least always non lethal. Until Conviction and Blacklist where he is railroaded to be a mass murderer. Although for Blacklist I’ve see total ghost playthrough on YouTube with zero kills. It is tough but possible.