And this is why citation is needed, because this is 100% untrue. If a developer actually said this, then it does not function the way they said.
It’s a stretch to say people think it’s terrible and suggest the reason is its ‘functionality is largely a mystery’. It’s common knowledge that critical hits ignore armor and Strength potions add armor piercing and damage to the DoT. Though I doubt anyone’s aware DoTs are not affected by the critical hit system.
It’s also common knowledge that the bow’s niche specialization is to kill and weaken clumped hordes, like in Vermintide 1. It’s believed largely terrible because this role is majorly outclassed by the other two bows, especially where ammo is concerned before people have leveled up to at least 15 on the Waystalker, well before they’ll get Oranges with an appropriate trait. The AoE doesn’t help if the team is smart in using chokepoints where the other two shine. In fact, it could be bad for the team’s health. As for Clan Rats and Marauders with Shields they can be shoved and tagged pretty easily but I’ll grant it can be a decent panic button if you have a bunch slide up on you. It can wipe a patrol with strength, but aside from a select few people (me included) who’s engaging them willingly? And that engagement and situation leads to a lot of digression so…
The AoE’s limp range won’t help if the horde spreads out too much. The damage on Legend and maybe Champion against Chaos in particular can be questioned too. Hero power dependent, its ability to stagger can be called into question, but nobody has the full details on that right now so we need to focus on the ubiquitous factors making this a weapon of liability.
At low levels and for a varying medium-long time, making consistent use of the bow next to other things like the Flamestorm Staff, Beam Staff, Drakegun, shotguns, the volley bow, will leave you with little to do when hordes come calling. You can hurt bosses decently enough (HP dependent), but you acknowledged the ammo situation with that as well. Even at maximum hero power, 600, some specials will require multiple arrows from the Hagbane to kill. You can say that’s not what it’s for, that it can just stagger them, but sometimes you’ll be the only one who can react to that situation and let’s be honest if you leave a Globadier unattended on Champion or Legend you’re sealing the team’s fate. The Longbow and Swiftbow comes back in here to sweep the Hagbane under the rug.
These reasons among others are why I say it’s useless until further notice. Rate of fire should be restored for a quicker reaction to being surrounded and saving teammates. AoE could be bigger. The ammo is absolutely a concern, especially on Handmaiden or Shade, and there are plenty of ways to go about handling that. I didn’t specify in my first post about Shields, yes. It can bypass Clan Rat & Marauder shields but not Stormvermin shields without strength. I stand by what I say: the Hagbane’s looking for a job. I loved it in V1, the only bow I’d ever use. I loved it throughout Beta, but when the nerf hammer came down and with the amount of specials that need to be conquered in the higher levels contrasted with my proclivity to play the lion’s share of my games in random pugs and all of the aforementioned discussion on it it’s just not reliable or flexible enough.
Outside of a technical discussion, I sympathize with your favoring this bow though. I’ve taken underpowered things and found a way to make them work because I struggle to make use of the Shade Volleybow in Champion as much as possible. You’ve got to contend that weapon is very much a liability without Ranger Veteran or Scrounger in play. The second you are out of ammo, you are in a precarious position no matter what your skill level.