1) OTW is the testing world used to demo balance changes and so far one new type of weapon. They're currently using it to gather data to refine the weapon balance along with tweaks to modification behaviours.
2) Shotguns are ridiculous now, yes. Shotguns were changed regarding their pellet damage to improve 2 or 3 shot kill capability (depends on the weapon). Right now per pellet damage for shotguns follow a curve that makes the first pellet deal the most damage and each subsequent pellet hit will register less damage. If I recall correctly, some shotguns can land as little as 6 pellets per shot and snag a two shot kill.
As for the N-HVR 762 / PSR, they were changed to have the damage they inflict be tied to their accuracy. This was to combat heavy snipers being used in ways that they were not designed such as tapping someone with an FBW and just stuffing the muzzle of the HVR into their opp's face before shooting to net an easy kill. The HVR will only deal its maximum damage of 850 if it is fired when in marksmanship mode with perfect accuracy. I may be wrong, but I believe the HVR if fired with low accuracy (for example, standing and hip fired or moving) will do just 40% of its base 850 damage, putting it at a pitiful 340 damage. This definitely helps reduce the HVR's effectiveness as a shotgun in close quarters combat. However if you are using the HVR the way it is intended to be used... You'll see almost no difference if any at all. The HVR is still capable of incredible area denial, still puts people an inch from death in the blink of an eye, and is still a pain in the rear to play against.
And the N-TEC... Nothing massive has happened to it. Improved rifling is being tweaked so it has had some impact to the way the N-TEC is used, nothing huge in my opinion. It's still a powerhouse like it has been for years. At the same time though they are testing some changes to the N-TEC on the OTW servers which you can read about here:
3) Yep. Not going to comment much on that since politics give me a migraine.
Hope some of this helps! I'd recommend reading through the last APB blog post to get a little more info if you so desire: https://apbreloaded.gamersfirst.com/2018/07/end-of-july-update.html