I’m getting really tired of explaining this cause it seems like very few people have much experience with maceshield, so they pick it up for 5 minutes and think “well slam first is obviously better right? it’s just like sword and shield!”? or “it doesn’t matter than you can’t push attack into slam because you can just slam first right?”.
I’m not saying this to flex or be condescending but I’ve got over 1000 hours in vt2, the vast majority of that on kruber/bardin and I probably have more maceshield hours played than 90% of the playerbase (or more). So just trust me on this one, pushtab into slam is much better. Here’s the longer explanation:
There are two reasons why pushstab into slam is so good:
- The heavy sweep attack sucks.
- It is a very powerful and consistent combo.
So first off, if you had asked my opinion about the weapon prior to the beta I would have said that the weapon is alright, but lacks armour damage and the (old) heavy 1 attack sucks. It doesn’t cleave armour and deals mediocre damage, this forced players to rely exclusively on the pushstab’s anti armour (which they nerfed) that quickly drains stamina if used repeatedly. Now, in this beta they fixed the first problem. Adding armour damage to light 3 and enabling a pushstab to light 3 chain gives us a decent source of armour damage that doesn’t cost stamina, and a combo that lets us chain pushstabs for AP damage, with a light attack in between to halve the stamina consumption. The problem is they didn’t do anything at all to fix the weak heavy attack, just shuffled it to the back of the combo and bringing slam to the front. That change on it’s own wouldn’t be so bad (because it sucks) but then they went and changed the pushstab heavy followup combo to use the crappy heavy attack that no one likes.
Secondly the push-pushstab-slam was very, very good. It’s powerful in that it has extremely high CC potential. You can push enemies back, bash your hammer down onto anything that isn’t stunned and follow up with a wide angle slam attack. Then quickly repeat it again with no delay that could leave you vulnerable to return hits. This lets you crush entire hordes back onto themselves like a bulldozer and the infinite cleave of the slam allows you to deal with even hyperdensity. This combo is also I should point out, unique to the maceshield. Sword and axeshields don’t have much CC and rely heavily on the slam, so it makes sense for slam to be first on those weapons. However this also means you can’t pushstab into a slam with sword or axe, you chain into later heavy attacks which deal horizontal damage but little stagger.
When I say the combo is consistent I’m talking about ease of use and “accuracy”. It’s an easy combo to perform compared to others like halberd that require alternating light/heavy attacks and consistent timing with key presses. You just have to push-pushstab-slam, about the only place you can mess up here is doing a light attack instead of slam, but the window is very forgiving in terms of timing. You can’t replicate the same push-slam combo on sword/axeshield because it’s much harder to time a slam after a push without accidentally doing a pushstab instead, you have to deliberately pause which opens you up to enemy attacks. Maceshield doesn’t have this problem.
So in conclusion, this change to the heavy combo should be reverted because:
- The heavy attack still sucks and they didn’t do anything to buff it in this beta that would justify forcing us to use it more.
- Pushstab into slam is a far superior combo to pushstab into heavy 2, so losing access to it is a severe nerf to maceshield with no apparent justification.
- The loss of pushstab into slam also heavily nerfs the overall CC abilities of the weapon, which is the whole point of maceshield. It sacrifices raw damage potential for superior defences (block angle and stamina) compared to other weapons
- This is probably an unintended change given that it does not appear in any patch notes and was not requested by anyone.