Greatswords need Love!

Speaking specifically about the Greatswords that Saltzpyre and Kruber can use; these weapons are bad. When they got their cleave buff (the ability to cleave through anything) and their new push-attack that finally gave them some anti-armor damage, they went from “boring garbage tier” to “meme tier”.

And on top of that, they’re just boring to use. Both lights and heavies are only wide swings, with only the push-attack giving some variety.

So what can be done?

Frankly, these weapons need a re-think. While greatswords were definitely real weapons, their heyday in actual warfare was relatively brief, and we don’t have a great idea of how they were used on the battlefield. There are some sources that suggest that they were used against pike blocks, but we don’t know how.

Then, we have the fantasy version of Greatswords, which grow to comical proportions and become massive, clunky chunks of steel that can destroy anything but take five minutes to swing.

That’s not really accurate, and Vermintide seems to veer a little more towards realism here; but notably, in historical records, Greatswordsmen were paid double of normal infantry, and these being elite weapons carries into Warhammer. Their elite qualities in Total Warhammer are counted as them being both anti-infantry specialists and having armor-piercing. In real life a big sword is not any better than a regular sword at piercing armor (as in, it does not at all), but we’re following the Fantasy Rule of Cool here, that a bigger sword can cut more.

So here are a number of suggestions;

Give Greatswords light AP on light attacks. We’re talking comparable to the Glaive, perhaps slightly weaker. Glaive lights take dozens of hits to kill a Stormvermin on Cata, but at least you’d be doing something more than staggering as you cleave through a mixed horde. The AP on standard heavies can be upped as well if necessary, but just slightly.

The weapon does need a way to deal with armor seriously, though. So give it a new special attack where you grip the blade (halfswording) and stab with the tip. Not great range, but good AP damage against a single target. There can be a short combo of these stabs to allow some follow-up hits. If aimed well at the head, these attacks should cause serious damage to Stormvermin on higher difficulties. As a neat little bonus, if you block and do a push while halfswording you get a stronger push - having your hand up the blade gives you more leverage (though after the push you revert to normal grip).

Another idea, and I think an enjoyable one, would be to give the weapon a super-heavy charged attack in the same vein as the Pickaxe. This would still be a horizontal swing, but there’s a momentum forward with the attack, and it deals heavy stagger to everything hit, and good AP on the first target hit. This is a full-power, almost out of control swing with a noticeable recovery, but it’d be a good opener against an approaching horde, a solitary Chaos Warrior, or a group of Stormvermin. Even make it open up Shieldvermin on the one hit, giving it some utility for your allies.

Finally, the weapon could easily get some kind of riposte mechanic on its blocks. (@OrsonMaxwell’s suggestion).

Even if all these changes were implemented, I don’t think the weapons would be meta - it would still not be great against armor, it would still be slower than most other weapons - but it would be cool and definitely usable. And isn’t having a giant, awesome greatsword something we all want?

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I disagree. I find greatswords very strong, specifically for their ability to cleave through pretty much anything. Always the weapons of choice if I play Krubs or Salt in twins events. In the normal game you rarely get enough density for that to matter, but you still get value out of it whenever enemies clump up. The push-attack is fine for armor piercing damage, I don’t think they need more. All in all great weapons.

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It takes four push-attack headshots to kill a Stormvermin on Cata. With Smiter and some +Skaven or +Armor you can get it down to three - but that is all your stamina to kill a single Stormvermin. Even if all are crits, you will need three because the crit+headshot multiplier is very low.

With charge attacks, it takes 7 headshots. If all are crits, you still need four.

The weapon is objectively a poor performer, because armored enemies are a significant threat on any difficulty, and only become even more threatening on higher difficulties. It doesn’t do great damage against Berzerkers or Monsters, either, so its only niche is killing hordes. That does have value, obviously, but conditions where you’re facing just a horde are one of the lowest-difficulty scenarios.

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I did the math for Zealot with 6 stacks of Fiery Faith, Unbending Purpose, Smiter, +10% Skaven and +10% Armor, and you can get to 45.25 damage - enough to 2-shot with push-attack headshots. It makes no difference if it is a crit or not, you cannot one-shot under any circumstances outside of WHC passive on crit headshots (which, you can do, but Rapier is entirely superior).

With heavy attacks, you still need 4 headshots without crits.

The weapon needs some buffs. What I’m suggesting would not remove what you enjoy about it, but give some more options to the weapon and make it stronger.

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A cleaving attack that does like 31 dmg to a berserker is actually very good against that enemy type considering most attack deal less damage to berserkers compared to infantry. Not a quality that really makes the weapon viable yet imo but I do think half swording would be something that helps greatsword feel better and more interesting to use.

Kruber’s Greatsword is powerful in Tzeentch mod. Anywhere else, 2H Hammer or Bretonnian Longsword will beat it.

Everyone knows what it’s problem is and it’s armor dmg. In Cata Twitch hardly anyone uses it because no one likes a frontliner who becomes a spectator everytime SVs or CWs vote is picked.

I actually use Greatsword but only on GK because he can bring Exe for multiple armored targets. Even then, if I feel like the team is wonky and I need to give my best, I choose S&M instead. I find it a weapon we use because we can, not because we need it.

I have two ideas to make it a bit better weapon. I believe one of them will do.

  1. +10% attack speed

A rather simple option. It’s to enhance GS’s horde dps, which is already high but not to the point where it can justify it’s armor dmg which is non-exisitent. Have ranged classes deal with armored targets while Krub focuses on hordes. GK will love this change, and I will too, because frankly I find a knight with 5-feet tall sword much fancier than a knight with two sticks.

  1. Anti-armor moveset

A rather complex option. I recommend giving it a thrust with high headshot multiplier exclusively performed after pushattack. I don’t think it will be too remarkable of a change because Greatsword’s push-attack alone is a slow moveset, so utilizing 2nd single target moveset after it would require perfectly timed input. Still, it will give GS some way to deal with armored enemies, and make it’s too simple moveset a bit more interesting.

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I agree … I mean, they deserve some love.

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Getting pretty tired of seeing this exact same thread over and over TBH.

No greatsword is not bad, all of your maths revolves around single target which is a dumb comparison point for a weapon whose main strength is extremely high damage cleave with armour sliding. Compare its damage to other options when hitting cleave limit and you’d get a much better idea of its strength.

Also fun fact, greatsword requires significantly less power investment than 2h Hammer to stagger plague monks with its heavy attacks, which makes it an excellent melee weapon for dealing with them if specced right.

Yes the greatsword is hella boring though. I’d be happy for anything that made it more dynamic. I most like your idea of a super charged heavy attack. That would do a good job mixing up the attack timings and sounds like it would feel very satisfying to use. It would also give you another anti armour option, where you trade the stamina cost of push attack for longer charge up time. Good idea, I would be totally down for that addition. At that point though there’s no question it would be a fine weapon.

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It’s completely valid to acknowledge that the Greatsword’s current niche is not very useful.

Yes, it can cleave a lot. But it doesn’t even do particularly high damage. On armor with a Heavy attack, the second Stormvermin will take five damage. Five. Out of 86.25 health on Cataclysm. Most DoT effects do more on a couple ticks than that.

Once you’ve cleaved down even a mixed horde, you still then have to deal with the armored enemies left behind - and with the Greatsword, it’s like hitting them with a wet noodle.

Don’t you want Greatswords to be great? Not just have a tiny niche that’s not very useful?

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The greatsword was buffed like this some time ago during the last beta. It was too fast, went through whole maps without ever needing to block or dodge when all passives, talents, and weapon stats get involved.

The sword right now is after its speed buffs were scaled back (iirc it’s now 7% faster than the original and the heavy move speed is up from being -60% to -20%).

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I already told you I disagree it’s not useful. I’ve also explained which part of your suggestion I agree with. Dunno what else you want. Greatsword has some weaknesses, and some superb strengths. That makes it a well designed weapon in my book. Super versatile weapons in a coop game are boring.

I also agreed the moveset is boring, which is the number 1 reason I don’t use it more. Your super charged heavy attack idea is nice, about all it needs to be “great” in my book.

I really don’t want to power creep every weapon to be some super versatile solo weapon. Greatsword has things its best at in the entire game. Not everything should be balanced around QP. Things are infinitely more interesting when team comp matters and you intentionally try to play off one another.

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I don’t recall the greatsword being tweaked at all in last year’s BBB. Fatshark just adopted it wholesale from the mod. Which is easy to see just looking at patch notes.

Maybe you’re thinking about the original version of the Full Rebalance mod? I remember greatsword was big dumb in that, but I can’t recall the exact changes.

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Yeah but then you’re comparing to other weapons that excel vs high density, and it just isn’t ever going to measure up to a hagbane or corus user (or several other staffs). It’s a niche that you’re not really likely to ever want to fill with a kruber.

Greatsword isn’t terrible, but it’s at best just kind of okay even when stacking buffs from merc or zealot, in my opinion. Would definitely be interested in a buff to the push attack, considering it’s a resource limited attack anyway.

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That’s a fair point. I was comparing it to other melee weapons TBH.

Also I know there’s been a lot of power creep since then, but there was a magical point in time where we would have all agreed coruscation was a bit much. Heck I still strongly remember when we all agreed hagbane was probably overtuned.

Y’all can ignore me if you like, I’m kind of jaded at the moment by the insane amount of power creep (“creep” isn’t even the word anymore, more like leaps and bounds) we’ve had recently. Kinda feel like a lot of these threads recently about weapons being weak are coloured by some over the top more recent examples.

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I think if greatswords would have slightly higher heavy strike damage, some armor piercing on it (seriously, one handed sword heavy attacks have more damage that greatsword have) and more headshot damage against armor (one handed sword have about 1.35 higher headshot damage against armor on heavy attacks), it will be enought to make it more viable option in comparison to other weapons.
In it’s current state greatsword is more fun weapon than effective tool.

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Correct me if I’m wrong but GS is only useful because at the point of difficulty most players here seem to play, (Cata+) where everything is hard to kill and hordes are densest at least GS can cleave without getting stopped so it’s niche ability to cleave hard comes into play at the highest level where everyone struggles to kill Armor.

Even if I am wrong, the fact that it struggles against a key enemy type in terms of pure numbers means it will never be as good as other weapons in it’s current state. Hordes can be dealt with using the tools you have at your disposal. Using multiple push attacks costing stamina and time to deal with ONE armored threat is an uphill battle.

I agree with buffing it with some of the suggestions already laid out but I’m still on the fence with straight out giving it numbers. Perhaps bloc frames on heavy attack to make for a more aggressive horde killer?

As much has i agree that the GS movesets are very stale i do not think comparing it to the glaive out of all weapons is the right call.

Glaive has fairly low cleave for a 2hander if i am not mistaken and the stagger isnt impressive either plus it doesnt even stagger well if you hit other enemies before the armored one that stops the swing.

It also has the worst mobility out of all elf weapons, and it´s light attack bodyshot damage on a stormvermin should only be like 4-6 something if i dont remember it all too incorrectly. Which i want to recall being less than the greatsword heavy bodyshot that also hits several of them without stopping.

Of course neither of them is actually safe or very good in the face of multiple stormvermin as neither can reliably control them and stop them from charging down on you. Unlike a big hammer, but they have their own virtues.

Greatsword is great for dealing with very large infantry hordes, you wont get those in normal cata unfortunately but they do pop out in the wastes or other special modes. Glaive meanwhile has a two-step heavy attack that kinda goes “screw you” you any single armored target if headshotting while also being among the best stand and fight horde weapons the elf got at all.

Most of them rely on an heretical amount of Brettonian dancing sideways back and forth to not drop dead which the glaive is mercifully spared from.

That said i do think GS could use some new mechanics to make it more fun and i like several of the suggestions presented.

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not gonna get into the whole debate but:

Half-swording would be hella cool and also perhaps a thrusting attack. The human 1h swords could probably use the same treatment.

Just to spice things up a bit for 'em y’know

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Despite half-swording being a real historical technique, it looks stupid from my perspective. That one variant where you hitting with the hilt to be precise.

It would be interesting to see how they fit new moves in; whether they be follow ups, special bounds or replacing old moves.

I do enjoy 1h sword, but I end up neglecting the heavies.
Perhaps there’s too many cleave attacks within both weapons move-set.

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