Making the Greatsword Great - Animated Moveset Concept

If you just want to see some animated sword swings, scroll down

While certainly not a universal opinion, I think a fair number of us can agree that Kruber/Saltzpyre’s greatsword is currently pretty underwhelming. It’s a launch weapon from Vermintide 1, and does show it’s age in its very simple playstyle and animations. It looks great, but I virtually never see it being used, especially on Kruber, who has a huge selection of melee weapons, and basically no need to ever pick the greatsword over a number of his other fantastic options.

So largely as a design puzzle for myself, I tried to think of what the greatsword might be like had it be designed for the game in 2022, rather than pre-2015. I did some rough animations below to better communicate my thoughts.

Design Goals

  1. Incorporate aspects of actual greatsword and longsword practices from European history and HEMA
  2. Make the weapon’s moveset more visually interesting to use (no more swinging the thing back and forth like a baseball bat), and allow for some more manipulation of attack patterns to increase the weapon’s skill ceiling.
  3. Keep the weapon in its niche, try not to step on other weapon’s toes. This means the greatsword should still be designed with a strong focus on crowd control that isn’t as affected by armour, and still struggles somewhat to duel with armoured targets.
  4. Keeping in mind the previous point, increase the versatility of the weapon. It’s still focused on crowd clearing and has a hard time managing single targets, but it isn’t exclusively a CC weapon anymore.

With these in mind, I also wanted to animate the sword in such a way that it conveys more of the grace of movement and use of momentum that actual greatsword practitioners use. Instead of fighting the weapon, Kruber / Saltzpyre should now carry the momentum of the swings around their heads and into practical spins to get the sword into place. I also incorporated a few uses of the blade’s false edge (the sharpened side that faces away from the knuckles). These historically are used in double-hitting swings that attempt to bat the opponent’s weapon away with your false edge and then immediately strike with the true edge (the sharpened side that the knuckles face).

LIGHT ATTACK COMBO
Greatgreatswordlightcombo

3 swings from the right carrying the momentum of the sword, followed by a two-hitting attack that swings up with the false edge, and then delivers an overhead with the true edge. This does give the greatsword a non-stamina consuming single-target attack, but as the attack strings will show later, it’s not really available on demand, and is more a matter of using it when the opportunity arises.

Potential traits of the light attacks could be Tank modifier on the first 3 swings, and extra crit chance on the 4th swing. Tank allows the light attacks to easily deal with unarmoured hoardes, but will struggle much more against armour.

PUSH ATTACK
Greatgreatswordpushcombo

The push attack is diagonal swing from the left that can be used to either slice through a crowd or aim for a headshot against a more dangerous target. The push attack is the only attack that strings into Light 4, the overhead. The change from an overhead chop or a diagonal allows the user to use pushes either to set up for single target hits, like the current greatsword, or to use it in a panic situation when surrounded by a hoard. It doesn’t serve either role as well as either a dedicated overhead or a dedicated sideswipe, but in exchange it is (hopefully) a little more versatile

HEAVY ATTACK COMBO
Greatgreatswordlongheavycombo

Greatgreatswordshortheavycombo

Each heavy attack hits twice in quick succession with only one release of the mouse, just like Light 4. The first hit is a quick strike with the false edge that almost immediately spins into a strike with the true edge. The difference in the two gifs is just to show the difference between charging basically the shortest amount of time, and holding the attack in place for a bit before releasing.

The idea here is that the false edge cut doesn’t do very much damage, but does stagger enemies and sets up for the true edge cut to start cutting down rats and norsemen left and right. Despite holding the sword in a similar place to Bretonnian Longsword, the intent here is not for the greatsword to inherit that weapon’s riposte mechanic.

The heavy attacks would continue to have the Heavy Linesman modifier, allowing them to cut through just about anything, including Chaos Warriors

SPECIAL ATTACK
Greatgreatswordspecialattack

Just when you thought I had stopped talking, there’s one more. The special attack is a half-sworded stab downwards, with somewhat shorter range than the rest of the weapon’s attacks, and pinpoint accuracy on the crosshair. Like Spear+Shield’s and Billhook’s special attacks, this one would consume stamina on a successful hit. This allows for still some on-demand single-target, but it still comes at a cost, just like the current greatsword.

The special attack would have great headshot damage, suboptimal bodyshot damage, perhaps even a crit chance bonus if it wasn’t powerful enough. Encourages precise placement of it to finish off foes.

ATTACK PATTERNS

  • Light 1, Light 2, and Light 3 chain into Heavy 2 (strikes from the right into a strike from the left)

  • Light 4 chains into Heavy 1

  • Push Attack chains into Light 4, or Heavy 1

  • Heavy 1 chains into Light 2 (a strike from the right, then the weapon spins over the head for another strike from the right)

  • Heavy 2 chains into Light 1

  • Special Attack resets the pattern back to neutral, just like swapping weapons or blocking.

Intended patterns include

  • Light 1 → Light 2 → Light 3 → Block Cancel → repeat for clearing out unarmoured hoards
  • Heavy 1 → Heavy 2 → repeat for dealing with mixed hoards or small numbers of armoured targets
  • Push Attack → Light 4 → Special Attack for dealing with dangerous single targets like Stormvermin or Chaos Warriors
  • Light 1/2/3 → Heavy 2 → repeat for clearing through any hoard when under the effect of Swift Slaying or another attack speed buff

CONCLUSION

All in all, this was just intended to be a fun design exercise for myself, and in that regard it has succeeded. I don’t expect actual change to come of this, though I would love to see the greatsword in some way, shape, or form be improved.

I also understand that there is a subset of players who actually really enjoy the current greatsword. Perhaps we could have the best of both worlds, and get another huge sword called a Zweihander or Montante or something, and have it use a moveset like this.

Lastly, if you wanted to be real cheeky, you could try to replicate what false edge cuts actually do, which is deflect and parry while setting up for a strike IE literally beating the other sword out of the way so you can cleave the other guy in twain. You could do this by adding block frames to the weapon during the false edge cuts of Light 4 and the Heavy attacks. Seeing as the window would be really short, it’d end up counting as a parry or “timed block”, and allow for some neat little gimmicks. Like Witch Hunter Captain running riposte, and throwing out Heavy attacks to parry a blow and then immediately spend his free crit on a huge swing that cuts through everything.

The weapon could likely reuse or modify a number of already existing animations in the game, like the Bretonnian Longsword push (just place the hands a little further apart), light attacks from the Bretonnian Sword, Greatsword and Executioner Sword, etc.

Thank you for coming to my TED talk

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What an informative and high effort post. Nice :+1:

3 Likes

This is my favourite weapon on Kruber, I like the sound of these changes.

I would say that if a change like this doesn’t happen, I highly recommend FK or GK with this weapon due to the Stamina and Stamina Regen, and GK’s single-target buff. Once you start using the Push-Attack more, it feels much more versatile.

Also, it’s Tzeentch Twins event:

https://www.ranalds.gift/build/ouLRAHJvrP2RF40aEaqk/view

I’m stealing this:’

Someone should put this much love into a Mining Pick rework. :smiling_face_with_tear:

The Lights are incredibly useful for farming safe THP. They have more Stagger, Cleave and Attack Speed than Exe Light Attacks on normal Hordes (obviously not Elite Hordes).

If you hold your crosshair, so that your attacks are headshots, the damage isn’t awful either. Go for bodies for THP though, so you have higher breakpoints.

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By this point they should just make all melee weapons allrounder. The premise of melee weapons focusing on beating only one threat is long gone.

This is an extreme exaggeration. There’s only a handful of enemies greatsword doesn’t deal with very expediently. CWs, Wargors, Monsters. That’s literally it. It’s good to excellent at dealing with everything else.

Having a small number of specific blind spots is fine when a weapon has the strengths of greatsword. Incredibly cleave, surprisingly high stagger, very solid mobility for a 2h weapon. Excels at density in a way no other melee weapon does and generates temp health absurdly well because of it.

No issue with OP’s suggestions particularly but want to be very clear Greatsword IS great currently. It’s an excellent weapon that is only really let down by lack of variety in its moveset. There’s nothing at all wrong with its performance.

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My comment wasnt really specific to Greatsword, because Greatsword was already changed into an allrounder in the past. Remember the time when it didnt have the current push-attack?

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Fair. Though I still wouldn’t quite call greatsword an all rounder. Besides having much better infantry damage than vs armour, its performance scales extremely well with density, so it definitely has a marked weakness in single target. Just personally I think its strengths more than balance its weaknesses, and most of its weaknesses are very manageable even on your own.

To me it’s a pretty perfect example of how you can differentiate a weapon with strengths and weaknesses without making it a master of all trades or laughably niche.

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They could definitely make the lights worth using in some scenario besides a misclick. I like how holy greathammer esque those animations are I really love that heavy heavy too.

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Woah ypu really put a lot of effort in this. This would really make graeatsword an iteresting weapon to play. I feel sorry that fatshark will almost surely not implement those animations.

I think you are overestimating the greatsword as you are a fan of its design. The only thing the weapon really excels at is damage cleave as for evrything else it’s overshadowed by the bretonian longsword for kruber. It is very good in the hands of WHC as his abilities alleviate his weakness.

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I’m not saying it’s objectively a top tier weapon. Just think it’s an excellently designed weapon balance wise and performs well on Cata in my experience, so at very least it isn’t bad by any means. Bret Longsword IMO does a bit too much too well, but that’s an entirely other discussion.

WHC does a good job with it damage wise but lacks the raw attack speed and power to run Opportunist and hit a lot of useful stagger breakpoints. The level of control, and hence safe attack uptime FK/Merc can get running Opportunist on GS honestly transforms the weapon entirely in my experience. It’s my favourite weapon to run on FK and it delivers something I really can’t quite get with almost any other weapon.

Again not arguing it’s top tier. I just sigh a little every time I see a Greatsword complaint thread (though no offence to OP here, this is a very high effort thread and I definitely agree the moveset is dull). It’s really solid and can be built a few different competitive ways so I appreciate the heck out of it.

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I don’t think OP was bringing the balance into question, this is more about the feel of the weapon. I think it’s perfectly viable and good for Cata and Cata+, and can be incredibly fun. I mean Zealot, Merc FK and GK are some of the best melee Careers in the game and it performs really well on them. Especially Zealot.

If you want to play it with WHC, it is viable and can do good damage, you have to spec into CDR and Crit, to ensure Swiftslaying whenever possible. I tend to use the Light Attacks way more on WHC than any of the other Careers, due to it’s safety. Also the Crit Chance while doing Lights at head height is pretty good damage output.

It would be viable on BH if he wasn’t so squishy. The Movement Speed build works, but he doesn’t have the BCR/Stamina/DMGR/AS/melee Crit% to back it up.

Which is why it works on GK. His Movement Speed Passive, and other melee buffs.

It is possible to make it work on Huntsman, but it’s a build eater.

If you play this with a good team on Cata and Cata-, you’ll basically feel usless though, but there’s plenty of other Weapons, builds and even Careers that can feel the same. Shield Weapons, Tanks, Support, all rely on higher density to feel useful, but when they do they’re really good.

As long as the GS maintains it’s Heavy Attack combos and Elite Cleave, then I don’t mind a change to the rest of the move set.

Something I missed out is how unique the huge cleave feels.

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I agree the weapon with opportunist performs well yet you are sacrificing a lot of dps wich kinda wastes that sweet damage cleave the weapon excels at. Not to mention that kruber doesn’t lack options in control weapons. So i find the weapon more useful focusing on his horde dps capabilities.

I don’t find it necessary as heretics sighted grants a constant 10% extra attack speed equivalent to kruber paced strikes in cata hordes.

One thing i must say though: slap swift slaying on the weapon, give it to a foot knight with staggering force EP and comerades in arms ( as it is equivalent to having opportunist ) play with a warrior priest using prayer of might and you have a real beast in horde conrol and horde dps.

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