Bardin's 2h weapons vs their 1h/dual counterparts - problems and solutions

Hello there,
I’m a strong fan of Bardin’s careers and really enjoy Slayer and Ironbreaker (while I find Ranger simply bland and extremely uninteresting).
I have noticed, that while almost all weapons have their strengths and weaknesses, some are simply not really that great when it comes to overal performance on legend - Great Axe and 2h hammer, I’m talking about you.

While offensively they have their strengths (though 2h axe has some real problems with IBs HP generation - 2h hammer has more cleave and more stagger, so it generates THP like crazy, axe is… mediocre at best, even when it comes to THP on kill, which for IB is just not really optimal choice anyway - and 1h axe kills after), they are bad defensively. 2h hammer has laughably short dodge range (0,85 modifier), axe is slightly better (0,95 modifier), Hammer has a bit more stamina, axe has less, so it kind of balances out.
Anyway, neither weapon really allows you to dodge around the horde and neither is that great at “defense by offense”. In both cases you can do the job just as fast if not faster with 1h weapons.
So, 1h axe and 1h hammer (and maybe even dual hammers) are simply safer choices both for IB and ranger, granting them more survivability - you get waaaay more dodge range, a lot better dodge count, instant block (extremely important), more stamina, while having similiar if not better ofensive output (say hello to 10% crit chance on 1h axe - so it v. reliably enables SS without +5% crit chance on trinket - I can use that for f.e. stamina regen) and THP generating ability.
Back before balance patch, dodging wasn’t really that great and I was having tons of fun with 2h axe with parry. Yes, it was clumsy (because you can’t block mid-swing, you have to wait all the way), hard to time, but since dodging wasn’t that good vs SV or CW or Mauler’s overhead strike, it was still a reasonable alternative.
Nowadays dodging is way more important than ever, vastly outperforming blocking for all.
So, 2h weapons are seriously lacking in defense, while not shining in offense either. As Slayer I can safely use warpick due to having dual axes as highly mobile alternative. As IB - I’m just running around with 1h axe - my survivability is extreme, so I need the ability to survive solo. It is possible with 2h weapon, been there, done that, but with 1h weapon you have it so much easier. Oh, and fighting Chaos Spawn is also easy when you can just dodge and dodge and dodge all day long.

My ideas - since 1h weapons apparently are all about speed and mobility with good offensive output, 2h weapons either need serious offensive buff (IMO not a good idea), or a defensive ability, that really makes up for lack of dodge count or dodge range.
I see it this way: while 2h weapons stay at relatively low stamina (maybe a slight stamina buff for some, like 2h axe, would be nice), one can block while striking - it should still take more time than with 1h weapons, but not by much - 2h weapons are heavier, but you are having way more leverage using both hands) - and the block cost is universally lowered by 30% and 50% if timed right (if you hit the “parry” block window") (and HP loss even from boss overhead shouldn’t be as big as when blocking with 1h weapon if you hit the “parry” window). And it shouldn’t be additive, but multiplicatory, so no “100% block cost reduction” possible - if you take 60% block cost reduction on items, then final block cost will be: 0,4*0,6=24%, not 0% like in case of additive modifiers. Also movement speed while blocking with 2h weapons should be slightly increased.

So in short:
Now Bardin’s 2h weapons have:

  • low dodge count (1-2)
  • v. low dodge range (0,85-0,95)
  • low stamina
  • extremely slow block due to low attack speed and inability to block mid-swing
  • v. slow movement speed while blocking.
    After changes:
  • still low dodge count
  • slightly better dodge range (not necessarily)
  • still lower stamina, so no push-attack spam
  • reasonably fast block, not as quick as 1h weapons, but still way better
  • more block effectiveness out of that low stamina, thanks to block cost reduction “by design”
  • medium movement speed while blocking (so you can use it more often)
  • more resistance to huge strikes that you couldn’t avoid due to low dodge count and dodge range if you time your block properly.

What are your ideas for better balancing some 2h weapons vs their 1h counterparts? Or do you consider them balanced properly? (haven’t seen great-axe Bardin in quite some time, so there may be an issue here indeed, or maybe it’s just me not paying enough attention)

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I really like your idea of being able to block mid-swing with 2h weapons. However, I consider them to be pretty well-balanced as-is.

As a general rule, I find 2h weapons to be better against Chaos, while 1h weapons are better against Skaven. This goes down to the inherent way these weapons tend to be balanced. Chaos hordes are smaller but tougher, while Skaven hordes are larger but more spread out. The main upside to a 2h weapon is raw power, which helps deal with the higher health pools and stagger resistance of Chaos. It is true they don’t dodge as well, but if you’re aggressive enough with them the dodges should be enough in most cases. 2h weapons are also better at dealing with patrols and chaos warriors imo. 1h/dual weapons are still better for kiting of course, which makes them better against bosses and Skaven.

2h axe is actually my favorite Bardin weapon. It’s my go-to weapon for Slayer, alongside either the dual axes, or the 1h hammer if I’m feeling cheeky. 2h axe has power vs chaos, and dual axes have power vs Skaven. Also, just fyi, the temp. health on cleave works great with the 2h axe, since it damages most, if not all, the targets it hits. Your health bar will fill up in no time using that talent.

2h hammer is kind of the same deal, although I personally don’t like using it on Bardin, when I could just be using the 2h axe instead.

First, Slayer can take +20% dodge range, has faster attack speed (a lot most of the time), has damage buffs (huge) and can switch to other weapon if needed. So he doesn’t care about weaknesses and shortcomings, he just switsches weapons. iB and ranger don’t have the same privilege. Now, 1h axe kills chaos horde just fine, it 1-shots fanatics and stagger everything it hits sans CW. It has great attack speed and mobility. Vs patrol I’ll always take 1h axe over 2h axe, which I have to block-cancel after 2 hits thanks to the glorious 3rd horizontal swing with v. little armor dmg, and if things go south, I may have too little mobility to escape. With axe I can cricle-strafe patrol or horde all day long aithout much effort.
Also dmg output of 1h axe is higher overal thanks to crit chance, attack speed. 2h axe has fun charged attack for 3-4 slaverat removal per swing (very slow, though, and it stops on 1st armored or shielded target), but drakefire pistols are way better at this task anyway.

It is an interesting topic for sure. Dodge is kinda stupidly effective right now - take any high dodge weapon and just spam dodge back and forth or round and round and nothing will ever hit you. IMO that needs to get tuned down.

I’d also like to see a big stamina nerf for the 1h counterparts, with only 2 shields for 1h axe and hammer. If you take the dual daggers or axes, they both have only 2 shields, so you get mobility and single target dps at the expense of being very squishy and basically toast if cornered. But the 1h hammer in particular has so much stamina you can easily survive and push stab out of being cornered, plus you get the mobility and better single target dps. The crowd control isn’t as good as 2h but who cares if you can just mindlessly spam dodge to stay alive?

I prefer the 2h variants, because they’re just so much fun - they feel amazing and big and powerful. The problem is they require a lot more skill and perfect timing to be effective, but I do believe even in the current state they’re every bit as viable as the 1h variants. You just have to be on point and able to very quickly react with the right action without the safety net of being able to effortlessly dodge your way out of anything. But if you know what you’re doing, you can use a 2h weapon to actually stand your ground and hold a defensive point, which can be a run saver if there’s no room to maneuver with a 1h weapon.

I can’t see how 2h axe can do anything better than 1h axe, really. Horde killing speed is pretty much the same, with 1h axe having overal better single-target DPS.
Hammer has some crowd control, but its overshadowed by 1h hammers ability to kill pretty much faster and be more survivable.

And BTW, you’re talking about daggers and dual axes, which both have crazy-high attack speed and enable you to deal damage at tremendous speed. Nerfing 1h axe and 1h hammers stamina is simply making 2 of Bardin’s weapons that don’t have some glaring flaws rather mediocre (and noticeably worse than mentioned daxes and ddaggers). In such case we would have to nerf every Kerilian’s weapon to the ground.

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Odd, I find the 2h axe to be one of Bardin’s better weapons. Though I can’t offer comment on the 2h hammer.

Well, that’s the magic of internet - I never see Bardin with 2h axe, but once you make a topic, you’ll always get the weapon fanclub responses. :slight_smile:
2h axe made sense before 1.3 patch because the dodge wasn’t that important, so it only truely lacked the stamina and block speed. Now it can still be used, and succesfully, but 1h axe does everything better other than staggering single CWs, that die in seconds anyway.
Don’t get me wrong - I love the looks of 2h axe, but I can’t find a single reason to use it other than style. Clutch gameplay? 1h axe. Boss? 1h axe. Patrol removal? 1h axe. Horde clear? 1h axe (attack speeeeed) Stamina? 1h axe. Block speed? 1h axe by a wide margin. Crit chance? 1h axe, so SS is almost always on even without the +5% crit on trinket (so you can use a different build while not losing attack speed from SS). Maybe push strength is higher with 2h axe, but I don’t find the difference substantial enough, really, I mainly use push +pushstab vs shieldvermin and 2h axe can’t really do that either (4,5 armor dmg on push attack :D).

I really like the two handed weapons BECAUSE they are difficult to use. But i really think they need some adjustments. It just happens a lot that i see an incoming attack but i can’t do anything anymore to prevent getting hit. The thing that annoys me the most is how long it takes till i can block again after i did an attack and that i can only cancel attacks right at the start of the attack. You can’t give the same weapon slow attack speed with slow moving attacks, bad dodge count and bad dodge range while it also has difficult blocking mechanics.

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