I like the new halberd, but I think I totally get where OP is coming from. The changes made to halberd were all about making it stronger and better to play with, and introducing new combos to utilize the previously underused attacks. Question is though, is halberd supposed to have those combos available to it? Is halberd meant to have a dedicated anti-horde combo like there is with L1 -> H2? It’s possible that the devs originally wanted you to use the light attack chain to fight hordes, even if it was inefficient with 2 single-target attacks, cause it’s not meant to be great at hordes, therefore not meant to have attack chains made up of high cleave sweeping attacks. Same with the double overhead chop - it was a strong attack chain, but locked behind a stamina cost. Heavy stab locked behind a bit further in the attack chain is also meant to hamper its ability to deal with elites effectively cause it’s meant to be as a jack-of-all-trades weapon, not excelling in either category.
I never used L1 block cancel myself, cause as someone else put it in this thread, it felt like ass and didn’t feel worth the micromanagement. You could just do light attack chain and probably be like 90% as effective. I used the weapon in a similar way to how OP said he used it, and I tried it out in higher tier content as well with FK. I enjoyed using the weapon back then, just using a L1 -> L2 -> L3 -> L1 combo, weaving in double overhead chops together with the light attack chain both before and after it for killing elites and destroying shields, H1 as an entry for hordes and H2 stab as a substitute for the second overhead chop. But being honest, the weapon just wasn’t that great. It wasn’t terrible either, but I was definitely underperforming in the team compared to everyone else, and while I used all the attack chains and attack patterns I could, there never really was a reason for me to do them. Like, why would I really bother with the heavy sweep, or the heavy stab? As a fan of combo weapons like sword & shield, the heavy attack pattern of the halberd wasn’t being utilized because there wasn’t really any point.
Another point is that the previously aforementioned design decision by Fatshark to have intentionally imperfect attack chains hasn’t really been kept up with. A lot of the simpler weapons to use like greatsword or executioner are strong and don’t rely on combos in any way, and don’t have any imperfect attack patterns, meanwhile they outperform Halberd. New weapons like billhook don’t follow this design either, with heavy attacks being for pure single-target, and the push-attack -> L2 combo being sweeps for hordes, with only push-attack -> L2 -> L1 -> L2 being imperfect with one single-target attack, but even then that’s mainly if you’re just saving stamina. They could have made halberd stronger while still keeping it an imperfect weapon with imperfect combos, but I suppose it’d feel out of place being one of the only weapons to follow this type of design, when most other weapons in the game have ‘perfect’ combos to deal with whatever scenario you need to deal with.
Another thing with old halberd that I had a problem with was thematics. It’s a polearm weapon, but hardly used any sort of stabbing attack, when in real life it focused on stabbing and chopping, with stabbing taking the more important role, which is why I love the new attack pattern with the double stab attack followed by an overhead chop.
Speaking of those new combos, while I like them in theory, the execution absolutely feels off to me. The L1 -> H2 sweep combo I’m mildly positive about, and don’t think it’s too off, but while I love the H1 -> L2 combo, it is absolutely wonky. It’s a lot faster than any other combo on the weapon and is clearly lacking in animation delay. Another thing is how weird the second stab looks, it comes out too fast and doesn’t even look like it lines up properly. Looks completely out of place with the first heavy stab. Get that sorted out and I’ll be fully content with the weapon.