Feedback on problematic melee weapons and suggestions for rebalance

Hi devs and players.
I feel that now i’m competent enough to give feedback and rebalance ideas for Legend difficulty. Tried many builds, weapons and specializations (controller, DPSer, all-purpose), with 470 hours played, have high level of mechanical skill, also watched data-mined weapon stats a lot.

I think i understand your concept of balancing - no weapon should be good at everything. There’s like 4-7 different tasks for a weapon (crowd control, horde clear, anti armor, etc). And in ideal world, the summed abstract effectiveness (from each task) on a weapon - should be same as on all other weapons.

The problem is that evaluating these abstract effectieveness - of each task or total - is actually very subjective, and needs both in-game experience and weapon stat knowledge.

In general, i think you’ve under-estimated how armor or single-target elite DPS is so important in Legend.
And over-estimated the power of crowd control, stagger&stun - by not giving it enough for dedicated control weapons (shields, maybe 2h hammer & flail).

Also, the weapon stat - attack speed, or time before an attack connects to a target - is the core stat that, in this game, makes or breaks a melee weapon (attack). Look at all best melee weapons: halberd, glaive, 1h hammer - all have fast anti-armor attacks, with options for horde control and clear. 1h axe after slight atk speed buffing turned from garbage tier to decent.

So, for Legend, i noticed quite a few things here and there in melee balance, that in my opinion are off - a weapon is too weak/strong relatively speaking, or an attack is sub-optimal relative to other movesets available on the weapon.

Here are my thoughts on each weapon i have experience with, how i’d try to change them and based on why.

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  • 2h Sword (Marcus/Victor):

Reduce wind up times of light and charged attacks moderately (keeping same travel times of the blade during attacks - for better swing extensions). Effective Dodge count from 2 -> 3, dodge distance from 0.95 to 1.05.

All changes make horde-clear (its specialization) not that unreasonably dangerous. And it is dangerous currently w/o huge attack speed investment (swift slaying&crit chance, talents&properties), or having to rely on a teammate to help with crowd control.
I believe experienced 2h swordsman should be able to safely clear hordes by himself, for all drawbacks in armor damage and (a bit) single target DPS. Currently chaos hordes simply wreck you with their fast attacks, skaven hordes pose danger too - they’re numerous and rats have low height, making your angled swings much less effective in controlling them in wide arcs.

  • Executioner Sword:

Decrease charge time of charged attack moderately OR increase it’s base+headshot damage against armoured&infantry significantly.

Pulling off this attack in contact with enemies is risky and not rewarding enough, hard to headshot with that slow charge time. <- and that’s my conclusion after using the charged attack on Knight, with stacked +15% attack speed bonus! I’d prefer 1h mace or even 2h hammer any day to that +15% executioner, and that was pre-nerf to it’s headshot damage.

  • Halberd:

This weapon is too good at everything. And needs complete reworking.
Change idea - to make it more “single-target” oriented, requiring crowd controller teammate for safety.
Overall: less attack speed and slightly longer reach, moderately higher damage.

Remove Light 1 sweep from Light combo. Instead it starts with light overhead (previously Light 3).
Light combo is overhead-stab-overhead. Slightly increased reach, reduced attack speeds. Light overheads used to combat armour.
Push attack is still overhead, but next light attack is stab, not another overhead.
First Charged attack is changed to stab, still low armor damage, but increased infantry&berserker&monster base damage significantly. 2nd charged attack is sweep, with properties reamining same.

How light&charged combo into each other:
-Light 1 (overhead)->charged 2(sweep)
-Light 1 (overhead)->Light 2(stab)->Charged 1(stab)
-Charged 1(stab) -> Light 2(stab).

  • Flail:

Charged attacks feel pointless 90% of the time. If they role is to control multiple stormvermins/maulers, then it needs much less charge time (the damage dealt is so miniscule anyway). Alternatively, make it do moderately more base damage to several infantry + armoured targets.

  • 1h Sword (Marcus&Sienna):

It won’t hurt to add more anti armoured effectiveness, considering its counterpart - 1h mace - deals with armour soo good, have same mobility, and good crowd control - with high stamina, good push attacks. Strong aspect of 1h sword - charged attack with great cleave - have very low damage on 4+ target anyway, so it can be said that horde control is roughly equal to 1h mace.

Push attack replaced - copied from light 3 (overhead), after which you can do light 2 - light 3 (overhead again).

  • Elf 1h Sword:

Increase charge speed of charged attacks slightly. Charged 1/2 have same damage profile as 1h hammer charged, with much-much lower charge speed, which seems unreasonable - its not like light attacks are that great to compensate.

  • Dual Daggers:

After a push-stab, making an input for charged attack results in an immediate light attack instead. Should be fixed imo.

  • Weapon+Shield:

Shield bash attacks - increase stagger to interrupt infinite amount of stormvermin overheads by default (and all mauler attacks too). Currently you cant even interrupt a single SV overhead with shield bash!
Couple of shield pushes drop maulers and savages to the ground by default, monks and stormvermins remain staggered longer.

Shields aren’t in a good place on Legend, its not fun playing them, 90% of the time you dont feel like you’re contributing enough (as you could with other career/weapon). Could use either huge increase in control department(above), or DPS department. You can’t overbuff shields this way, it’s simply not possible, because:
-1) stunning those few enemies in contact with you (instead of DPS-ing them) - is just what it is - delaying the problem (while new enemies keep on arriving), relying on teammates skill&damage.
-2) shielder is meant to be in the thick of the fight, where there’s not many opportunities for attacking, you have to push in-between or else - which means even overbuffed damage - will be fine.

  • Hammer/Mace+shield:

Charged shield bash attack - match the charge speed to sword+shield bash attack (which means the increase of charge speed significantly).
Charged 1 sweep - increase charge speed significantly.
Slightly increase mass limit for stagger on light attacks OR slightly increase light attack speed (or both).

This weapon is strange really, worst flexibility in the game, all attacks seem to do same stuff and bad…
Made a detailed topic already:

  • 2h Axe (Bardin):

Increase charge speed of charged attack (~7%), or increase its cleave slightly (maybe both).
Light 3 feels very bad, as doing it you cant block for a long time afterwards, the combo reset takes very long, so its plainly better to do: light 1 -> light 2 -> block_cancel -> light 1 -> light 2.
The weapon is unwieldy - often can’t block midswing, that’s a huge drawback which needs good compensation, that currently isn’t there.

  • 2h Pick:

Both charged attacks need across the board buffs, in real combat these slow charging strikes arent practical to say the least, and even if you do them thanks to team coverage - they’re not worth it in the end.
So buffs should significantly affect either charge speed, or base/headshot damage. Also movespeed while doing heavy charge. V2 pick is missing the ability to start charging the attack, run up to an enemy and smack him, that was possible in V1.

  • Flaming Sword:

Its like a dedicated horde weapon, armor DPS is low, single-target DPS vs roamers and elites is low…
Moderately increase charge speed of slap attack and charged swing attack, while making swing attack have more travel time, so you can extend it to a wider arc.

6 Likes

Nicely arrayed set of suggestions. I hope you don’t mind if I chip in some thoughts as well? I won’t comment on everything, just a few of my own thoughts after extensive experience.

And just out of curiosity; have you tried the buffs that just came out on some weapons today? Some of the dual weapons and the Great Axe got some buffs.

I think the Executioner Sword’s overhead is at an okay speed. I would give it back its stronger headshot multiplier (the nerf it just got), but the biggest buff it needs (and this is coming from someone who has used the XSword for hundreds of hours across both games), is that it needs to stagger more enemies, even if it doesn’t damage them. In VT1, it staggered every single enemy hit, though it damaged only five. This was key towards letting its relatively slow attack speed control hordes and function. Or instead, an attack speed increase on the lights would be do great to let it control groups better. I know the overhead seems utter garbo - but after using it long enough, you learn the timing for it well. With the original modifier, it was properly risk/reward; massive damage for a long windup.

I think another possible direction to go with the halberd would be to take away the armor piercing on its basic attacks. This would mean that the double overhead wouldn’t instantly eradicate Stormvermin, and you couldn’t just first attack-cancel into hordes with impunity. You’d actually have to use its charged attacks to deal with armor, then. The double-overhead could stay and could still be useful, just not nearly as useful.

Love your idea for the Kruber/Sienna Arming Sword, because frankly that third attack in the chain IS its best anti-armor attack. For Elf 1-handed sword as well - also yes, please. A faster charge on its heavy would do a lot of good.

As for the Glaive . . . I really wouldn’t want to see it nerfed into the ground. I would keep it the same as it was prior to the current patch except to lower its cleave. At least make it work more for its good armor-piercing.

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I think a more fitting buff that helps it against hordes, while still keeping it a somewhat slow heavy hitter is to increase it’s reach. It feels super janky to have the same range as small 1h weapons.

  • Halberd:
    This weapon is too good at everything. And needs complete reworking.
    Change idea - to make it more “single-target” oriented, requiring crowd controller teammate for safety.
    Overall: less attack speed and slightly longer reach, moderately higher damage.
    Remove Light 1 sweep from Light combo. Instead it starts with light overhead (previously Light 3).
    Light combo is overhead-stab-overhead. Slightly increased reach, reduced attack speeds. Light overheads used to combat armour.
    Push attack is still overhead, but next light attack is stab, not another overhead.
    First Charged attack is changed to stab, still low armor damage, but increased infantry&berserker&monster base damage significantly. 2nd charged attack is sweep, with properties reamining same.

While i agree that it should be more single target, i think they need to have it be more about the stabs, have them be armor piercing as they should. Long range, mid-DPS, high Attack speed, AP stabs.

The charged attacks on the halberd are absolute garbage against armor, none of it’s attacks outside of the overhead are really any good with the only one that has somewhat okay AP being the first light, doing 50% AP. The only way for it to do acceptable damage to armor is doing the push-stab spam.

Perhaps the armor-piercing damage of its heavies could use a buff, then, if they removed AP from its lights.

They’d need a massive to be at all viable, atm they do 5.5 and 6 damage to armor respectively. A glaive light does 7.
But i also really don’t think the halberd needs a nerf to it’s armor pen, that’s the whole role of a halberd, if anything i think it should get worse in it’s horde clear, primarily by removing the first light attack from rotation and keeping horde clear exclusive to the heavies.

That’s a good thought, then, and might work better.

Generally when thinking about balancing the weapons, I try to avoid anything other than numbers tweaks or on/off switches (like armor piercing). Just going by VT1 here, but I don’t think they ever re-did a weapon’s animations, only ever tweaked numbers. It doesn’t mean they won’t now, but I think it is less likely than just tweaks to what already exists.

Here’s to hoping, although they don’t really need to remake the animation, could just have it like the double-chop, have it double stab, then regular overhead, just give it armor pen(0.8+), it’s still weaker doing a lot less damage (even at higher pen), but has it’s purpose.

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I agree with alot of what you wrote.

I think I have having a blast with axe and shield though. I can disable chaos warrior and maulers indefinitely with shield push. combine with a AP teammate, those chaos gits are dropped very easily.

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Axe and Shield are quite good! When I said shield + anything else, I meant specifically on Kruber’s options. I wasn’t clear enough about that, tho, my bad.

Mace and shield is hopeless.

In Vt1, they were both vs horde weapons with different speeds and cleave. They were okay because there weren’t as many heavliy armored dudes around. This time they are not doing enough damage and there are just ridiculously armored CW and bosses around, making them super useless.

IDK, FS can do the same thing here. However, both shield + weapon need some AP buffs.

The thing is, for Kruber, halberd is just better than anything else at everything.

I can think about using mace and shield with huntsman since he can have more ammo for shooting down armored guides. But having halberd instead of mace and shield is just a much better idea.

2 Likes

Excellent and informed commentary. I like almost all of your suggestions - you seem to have a solid understanding of how the higher-tiered games function. Please continue to provide feedback.

Dual daggers’ moveset was reworked completely at one point, iirc from pretty stabby (and surprisingly difficult to aim in crowds) to the fast, short sweeps we now know. That made them a lot better. So reworked movesets are not unheard of, but they will probably be considered later down the line, and as a lot more work goes to them, tweaking numbers is likely preferred.

1 Like

Ah, thanks, I didn’t remember that! I am glad to stand corrected on this.

I detailed the Saltzpyre Weapons here… and why the nerfs need to be removed…

This is an ongoing problem. Its so bad I’ve actually left the game at this point…

Once this is fixed I’ll return… if not well I won’t be.

I’ve been coming back to the forums off and on to check… but that is where I stand at this point.

Why would a strong weapon need a complete reworking? Instead give small buffs to the other weapons to put them on par.

Halberd, imo, is one of the best designed weapons in the game as it rewards the player for actually LEARNING how to use it. Used by a novice it is okay, as the lmb light sequence is a seemingly random array of sweep, stab, overhead. However as you use it more and get comfortable with lmb block canceling and the push to stab x 2 the weapon becomes very strong.

It still has its weaknesses, mainly the needed for dodge dancing and maintaining good spacing in order to not trade hits.

A change to this weapon would be a huge negative to the game in my opinion.

3 Likes

Don’t you think that if weapon’s heavy attack is almost never used this weapon’s design is kinda bad?

You need to dodge dance with many other weapons, like DnD, Falcion, 1h Sword (elf), etc. But unlike most of weapons in this game Halberd has decent reach, so you can often outrange your opponents, while lot’s of weapons can’t do it.

Yeah, learning the LMB->Block combo and spamming it for the rest of your life.

Blockquote
Yeah, learning the LMB->Block combo and spamming it for the rest of your life.

Yeah, compare that to some other weapons, such as Sword’n’Dagger where distance, timing the two completely different charge attacks, and deliberately push stab heads are what determines its effectiveness.

The halberd (and the Glaive to some extent) are fun weapons, but ligh-block is not what I would call an interesting skill.

Haven’t played salty for yonks and had a go yesterday. What have they done to that poor fella? Witch hunter captain couldn’t fight his way out of a wet paper bag! He was such an anti armour powerhouse in VT1 with his axe this makes me depressed. Even falcion sucks monkey butt.

Shame, innit. I would say the axe is at best decent, but the sacrifice you make, reducing your cleave for higher damage isn’t worth it. It definitely needs to hit harder, same for Bardins axe.

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