Improving a weapon - Elven 2H Sword

Let me start this off by saying that I love the (elf) 2h sword. I find it to be a very fun weapon which compliments my style of play. Its non-intuitive style makes it really satisfying when you pull off plays with it. It comes with a bit of a problem though: The weapon is lackluster against hordes.

I believe the root of the problem to be the weapon’s attack pattern. Light1 & Light2 are both upwards sweeps, it misses out on so much bonus head shot damage that it can feel like an uphill battle against hordes with high HP targets or playing with difficulty modifiers such as Deathwish & onslaught. Hell, even its pushstab is just an upwards swing with a higher crit chance. Without head shots, clear times are significantly slower compared to similar weapons like Kruber / Saltzpyre 2H sword.

So how do I feel the weapon could be improved? Make just one of the light attacks a downwards swing. light2 seems like a good candidate, where it would just follow the same trajectory of light1 but in reverse, maybe reduce the stagger a little bit to compensate.

It’s saddening to see so few people sharing my love for this weapon, and its one of the least used elf weapons. Changes to the weapon are hardly made because of this reason, the only time a change has happened was during the Big Balance Beta where pretty much every weapon had was changed.

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Elven 2h sword is a pretty good weapon, but I agree that the underhand strikes make it alot less preferable due to the fact that hitting heads isn’t as easy on multiple enemies while it still shares the same damage profile as the human 2h swords. The crits from the push attack and the very strong charged attack make up for it, but I agree it is definitely not as good as the other 2h swords - and considering how strong Keri’s melee arsenal is, it is usually hard to justify its use. It is possible to hit the 1 hit bodyshot fanatic breakpoint with HM and Shade easily, and both can then still 1shot SV with headshots. WS cannot hit the fanatic breakpoint, but she hits the breakpoint for 1hit headshots with Arcane Bodkins and can easily hit 2 bodyshot SV with charged attacks break point. Considering mixed hordes are ALOT less managable with elf 2h sword than with human 2h sword (since there are no heavy sweaps) and headhunting is tricky with the underhand strikes (which I wouldn’t necessarily want to change since it makes the weapon distinquishable), I do think there needs to be something to make it more worthwile. My suggestion would be to simply make the light attack chain 4 strikes instead of two and make add two completely horizontal strikes after the 2 underhand strikes.

Not a fan of the upward strikes either, other weapons have them too but in combination with different attacks.

It has a pretty damn decent push-attack and I use it as frequently as possible. Overal it’s an awesome weapon, I never considered it to be in need of a change/buff, I like it as it is to be honest.

I get it that with some mods it doesn’t work really great, but the game is and should be balanced around official difficulties and approved mods, and not around modded realm challenges.

Without head shots, clear times are significantly slower compared to similar weapons like Kruber / Saltzpyre 2H sword.

And rightrfully so, because it has a devastating sniper-like charged attack you can hold as long as you like, so you can just load it up, approach chaos warrior and stab him in the face. Oh and it 1-shots Stormvermin at least in the hands of Waystalker.

The problem with this approach is that, while the charged attack does balance out a weakness of the 2h sword, which is armoured targets, it also heavily weakens its strengths, being crowd control and horde clearing. Human 2h sword doesn’t have the single target attack, which makes it weaker against single armoured targets, but it can fill its role as a CC and clearing weapon very well because it has absolutely no trouble with controlling mixed hordes and it can CC multiple armoured elites with charged sweaps, damaging each of them and making it a very good weapon against groups of SV. Elven 2h sword doesn’t have this, as the sweaps are soleley on the light attacks, which is okay, but this gives the weapon’s usefulness a serious blow since a single armoured elite in a horde ruins its main purpose, and taking out SV during hordes is tricky. Of course, one could argue that this promotes skillful play, to which I agree to a certain extent, but considering how strong Keri’s overall melee arsenal is, it is alot of hassle for a weapon that needs alot of effort to hit certain break points and careful consideration what ranged weapon you bring to balance out this disadvantage. The weapon is just a tad bit too quirky in its attack pattern, charged attack, push attack that has very high crit chance (the rational behind that, I don’t understand, but it is a good opener to get your SS going) and break points you sometimes need to work alot for, odd rhythm and low mobility (for a Keri weapon, that is).
Take a look at, say, dual swords, those don’t have the very precise and high damage charged attack, but you can easily control mixed hordes with charged attacks, push stab only costs half stamina and provides a good tool for head hunting, horde clear is absolutely amazing with the right properties, and it is a solid choice on all of Keri’s three carreers due to very high mobility. Taking 2h sword over this package is a tough choice, especially considering dual swords work alot better with Shade’s ability because they are two weapons.
Similar situation with 1h sword, which has good CC and horde clear, high mobility, good anti-armour capabilities and overall versatility. Another tough competitor 2h sword has to hold itself against.

Ker’s 2h actually works REALLY well with a certain playstyle (disciplined block+dodge defensive style), so I don’t think it needs it’s attack patterns changed. It’s certainly a bit underpowered though, since it requires 2 reds to hit it’s Fanatic breakpoint and it performs pretty badly before that. Once you hit that breakpoint though, it has a smooth Block>Push>Sweep>Block/Dodge cycle that’s really satisfying to play. The constant weaving into blocks make it good for games with bad ping as well.

The problem is you can do almost exactly the same thing with the Glaive and do much, much more damage. The sword has a very small mobility advantage over the Glaive but that’s it.

IMO, it should have another stamina shield to make it more viable on Waystalker or Shade. It should have about 10% more base damage on it’s light attacks to let it hit breakpoints without perfect gear. Giving it another dodge or two would enhance it’s mobility advantage and set it apart from the Glaive.

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My suggestion after dabbling with it more: Make the light attack horizontal sweep that follows after your charged stab into a charged sweep, add one from the other direction and make it sustain the sweeps after the first stab from charged attacks until the rhythm is dropped or cancelled. Kinda like with Sienna’s mace, first heavy is the overhead, second and third are sweeps that continue without going back to the overhead.

the handmaiden can reach the breakpoint to 1 hit headshot storm vermin.

it’s a bit weak vs shielded storm vermin though. aside from that it is a fun and stylish weapon to use.

Push attack, light attack, dodge left (always left), stab in the head. They are vulnerable from the left side after this sequence. A bit awkward compared to other weapons, but reliable.

2h sword is also really good as shade. The wide sweeps make it a lot easier to backstab, which makes up for the difficult headahots vs infantry. The charged attack is good for head-on fights, but doesn’t backstab as easily as the light attacks.

The only thing it lacks in is boss damage, but that’s a non-issue when it excells vs both dense hordes and single targets. There are more ways to play shade than “boss dps”.

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Literally the only thing it doesn’t excel at, and even there it’s as capable as most other 2h weapons.

This doesn’t make any sense. It’s not weak against armour at all. And even if it was, how does the charged stab affect its horde clear ability at all? Light spam absolutely destroys trash packs.

I can go entire runs on waystalker or handmaiden without ever taking out my bow. 2h sword just does it all.

True enough, but so does Glaive, Spear, Sword, and Sword+Dagger. And of those, 2h Sword is the worst performing. It’s certainly effective, and I like it’s style of play a lot. I just wish it was smidge more competitive so I didn’t feel like I’m giving something up by using it. 10% more damage would leave room for Crit or Attack speed in the properties (it needs all 4 charm+weapon properties to hit the Fanatic breakpoint, which is vital to the block/slash dance) and bring it in line with Keri’s other weapons. The extra STA and dodge count I suggested above are mostly just to set it further apart from Glaive which it is otherwise just a lower damage, non armor-piercing version of.

I disagree there. It really doesn’t make a lot of difference to your moment-to-moment gameplay if you’re killing them in one shot or two when you’re spamming the whole pack with wide sweeps that hit lots of things at once until everything’s dead. I know some people love their breakpoints, but sometimes they’re redundant.

Keri’s other weapons are mostly overpowered (though maybe it’s actually just the elf herself), and I know I’m not the only person who thinks that. I agree that it isn’t quite as universally strong as some of the alternatives (no mistake though, it really doesn’t have anything I’d call a significant weakness), but rather than buff this one, I think the others should be nerfed. No weapon in the game should excel at everything and elf already has multiple that fit that description.

That’s the thing, the way I use it doesn’t spam attacks. It slashes once one each side to clear my flanks then it’s back into block for defense or push attacks. It’s a careful, disciplined style I developed specifically for pugging late at night when I have really bad ping. Not being able to make a kill in one swing means the cleave won’t clear my flanks with a single a swing so the pattern doesn’t work at all; it also doesn’t penetrate as many enemies and the cycle becomes fully half as a effective.

I wonder though, if 2h Sword is being used to spam at hordes, why not use Dual Sword or Glaive instead? They are both much better at it; Glaive breaks shield and pierces armor and DS glides over armor and crits like mad. To me the appeal of the 2h is it’s elegant flexibility - because it’s attack patterns are so simple you can go from block to light attacks to charged attacks and back, in any which combination, without any block canceling or counting combo strikes. It flows smoothly between all it’s positions and adapts to any situation instantly. Just spamming attacks wastes this advantage.

That’s true and nerfing all the rest of them to match the relative power of the 2h sword is certainly an option. Fair is fair and I wouldn’t mind that, but it would be very unpopular and FS may not want to go there, so I’m offering the buff suggestion because I thought it’s more likely to go over well.

It is weaker against armour than designated armour-piercing weapons and the charged attack is pretty slow. That’s what I call a weakness, but that is, of course, debatable. How that affects the horde clearing ability, I already stated: Mixed hordes are no problem at all for human 2h sword since charged sweeps deal armour damage and cleave through armour. Elf 2h sword doesn’t cleave through armour since it only has light sweeps, so a single armoured target in a horde can severely hamper your horde clearing since you only have light attack sweeps.

Just to clarify, I am comparing 2h elven sword to human 2h sword in this regard. They are pretty even on when compared with each other, and elven 2h sword is by no means a bad weapon. The situations where mixed hordes become a problem can be aleviated pretty well with all of Keri’s carreers. Handmaiden can reposition and use invisibility to pick armoured out, Shade can do the same even more effectively, WS can use volley to do that or use her ranged weapon more generously. It just feels a little more clunky than human 2h sword at times due to the quirky underhand upwards strikes and that the heavy attack doesn’t really transition into other chains and combos too well. Adding a second light attack horizontal sweap after the charged might also do the trick or an option to combo into the light follow-up sweep that follows the charged, maybe put it after the push attack.

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Fair enough. I’ve gone the other way. I use SS and make use of the extra crit on the pushattack to let me spam trash to death. It also makes the stab charge much faster, which lets me single out and kill individual targets quickly and safely and mitigates the charge time.

Honestly, I stay away from dual swords because there’s not really any variety in them. You’ve got horizonal sweeps and… well, more horizontal sweeps. The glaive just feels off. If I had to put a word to it, it feels sloppy. I think they were going for the feel of a feather-light blade carving through flesh like it was air, but to me it feels more like I’m slapping things with a big, heavy, wet noodle.

Power creep kills games. Sometimes being a little unpopular for a while is better in the long run.

It’s a weakness that in my opinion is entirely covered by the crazy long reach and infinite charge hold. In terms of being able to single out and kill key targets, it’s a better spear than the spear is. As I mentioned above, you can also significantly reduce the charge time with swift slaying, which, if you’re using it, is almost always active during those times where a slower charge speed is an issue.

Fair enough. I’m less about comparing weapons to eachother and more about seeing how well they affect the flow and feel of the game. I’m not suggesting that they should be designed and balanced in a vacuum, just that their relative power levels is a factor that will find it’s own equilibrium without making that the goal. Balance to me isn’t about making everything equal, it’s about making everything feel the way it’s supposed to. This is why my preference would be to tune everything else down. Too many weapons are too good at too many things, and I think it detracts from the way the game was supposed to feel. Of course, it’s entirely likely that my vision for “the way the game was supposed to feel” is very different to what others think.

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My main problem with it is the charged stab hitting underneath the crosshair. The same as Spear charged attacks.

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I suppose the weak boss damage can be mitigated by using a hagbane bow. So boss damage has never historically been an issue. But if you have a line of shielded storm vermin approaching you with halberds behind them, then you’re going to be kinda screwed with a 2h sword (esp if you’re last man standing). I guess each of the careers has a way of dealing with that though (arrows, dash and stalk)

human 2H sword can “juggle” elites with its charged attacks, being unfathomably better at dealing with mixed trash than the elven counterpart.

Really just go play krubers or heck even saltzpyers 2H sword and you start seeing what you are missing.
The swing arc is just awful for what is i presume supposed to be a precision weapon ( at least based on the heavy attack) the attack pattern is really slow even for a 2h or at least feels like it. The cleaving potential is an absolute joke and if you hit even a 1 armored enemy in a horde you just have to start fiddling around instead of just dealing with it.

It might not sound too bad and it most definitely is usable but the fact remains that if you use glaive or literally any other elf weapon you can do pretty much everything the 2H does ok even better.

It really need some love in the swing apartment and maybe allow the light attacks to cleave trough 1 armored enemies so its not totally out of the question to deal with hordes.

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