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.
- 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)