On Shield Weapons

I’ve spent the majority of the Beta messing around with shields, so I figured I’d post my thoughts and feedback on them. For reference: these experiences are from playing Cata / Legend in about a 60 - 40 split, and mostly on IB & FK.

Imperial Sword & Shield

I’ve always liked this weapon for its versatile moveset, and it wasn’t changed in the Beta. I don’t think it needs a lot of help since it mostly trades killing speed (not nescessarily ability) for safety and control, but one observation I made is that I consistently get more headshots than kills when I play this weapon, even on Legend… I feel that the buff 1H swords got (higher headshot multiplier) would be appropriate for this weapon as well. If only for consistency’s sake, but also to not feel like you’re trying to beat stuff to death with a pool noodle…

Axe & Shield

My favorite weapon in the game because of its deep and versatile moveset, in combination with its style. It was viable before, but not really powerful. The Beta speed buff however, rounds this weapon off just right! I love it! Near perfect as-is. Only thing I think might be changed, is to give the heavy downwards chop the same damage profile as the one on the 1H Axe. Since right now it is barely worth it to use it over the light attacks.

Mace / Hammer & Shield

I’ve played this weapon a lot in the Beta, especially since the last patch that made pushattack chain into light 3 with its buffed damage profile. Summary: I never thought I’d see the day this weapon would be a competitive pick compared to the other shield weapons, but you actually did it! It’s awesome!

The main concern many people (like @KaelusVonSestiaf ) had after these changes is that, especially because the bash was made heavy 1, this weapon lost its own identity and is now too similar to the S&S and A&S. Figuring they might have had a point, last night I played quite a few rounds in which I kept switching between M/H&S and A&S / S&S, just to see how much this was true. And - and I know this is subjective - after that I have to say I don’t share this opinion. It definitely feels different from its alternatives, and the playstyles remain different. It still has different combinations for different situations. Its characteristic heavy bash - sweep combo is still intact, you just start it in a slightly different way. The bash on heavy 1 provides more utility however. It has more focus on pushattacks than even the S&S. It feels a little safer and slightly less kill-y than the other weapons, but that fits it identity. And I love how well it synergizes with FK’s talents.

The main point of improvement I can think of is that everything that isn’t the pushattack and its follow-up light is a little slow, which means the pushattacks become the most efficient option in almost every situation. Rather than nerfing that, since it is what finally made this weapon viable, I’d suggest speeding up its other attacks by just a little. I think it won’t make the weapon more powerful per se, but rather make alternative attacks more viable which increases its versatility. Like I said, I personally feel that moving the bash to heavy 1 doesn’t hurt the weapon’s identity much while it does increase its utility, so I’d not change it back if it was my call. I can only suggest people try it a little more in comparison with the other weapons, and I think most will feel the same after that as well.

Spear & Shield

I must start by admitting I haven’t played this weapon much in the Beta, but from the short time that I did, I think the change to include a sweep in its light chain is a bit… unnecessary. By chaining different combos you already had easy access to sweeping attacks, and this change doesn’t really make sweeps more available, but rather makes single target attacking a bit less convenient. It doesn’t really feel like a step forward to me. But like I said: I must admit I haven’t tried it in depth.

I’ll leave the brettonian S&S out of this, since it is pretty new and I don’t feel it needs any changes in this Beta.

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I just wanna throw some of my thoughts in here on SnS, since it’s by far my most played of the shield weapons. Up front yes, I definitely think it could do with the finesse increase as well.

SnS is a pretty strong weapon no doubt, when looking at its control, as well as its surprisingly decent anti elite/armour damage with the double stab combo. When it comes to hordes though, I find actually using the sword part of the weapon pretty unpleasant. This is just based on my feel of the various light and heavy slashing attacks, but I feel like I’m swinging a weapon with: bad damage, bad cleave, surprisingly bad range, sluggish attacks, and awful movement slowdown. I wanna feel like I’m capitalising on the stagger I’m creating to contribute at least a bit towards damage, but all these factors combined make me feel bad for actually swinging my sword.

I have a slightly odd suggestion that may make the weapon feel a little more satisfying to use, and actually make you wanna swing you sword a bit more. Firstly, make current heavy 3 - the horizontal sword slash - follow the shield bash (heavy 1) instead. Obviously this shouldn’t change any of the other combo chains, but realistically you usually go to heavy stab through push attack, so I don’t think you’d lose anything from this change. Secondly, make the heavy sweep have a brief burst of move speed (a lunge basically, think Exe heavy attack), giving you an aggressive option to chase down a group of enemies you’ve just bashed away. Thirdly, if you wanna be really generous, maybe give some of the sword attacks a touch extra range or cleave.

I’m by no means a veteran of the weapon, so feedback on this idea would be very welcome.

1 Like

+1 for speeding up the hammer/mace and shields other attacks. The pushattack - light attack combo feels SO good now, and is pretty much the best choice for every situation. I Don’t personally find much value in the heavy bash on any of the shields simply because it only feels effective on really high density. The old pushattack - light - light chain used to be much more efficient for dispersed hordes.

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What if Sword and Shield’s light chain has been changed like; 3rd light changed into a single target armour piercing overhead or stab/thrust?

I agree with the Spear & Shield

I could not word it any better.Shield and Spear is my most loved weapon in the whole of Vermintide and i hate the change.It added NOTHING to the weapon at all.

I loved the feel of the weapon and this change just made it feel worse.

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I don’t like this idea, because currently the sweep attack is already very easily accesible by doing light 1 - heavy (repeatable infinitely as well!). Light 1 is very quick, as well as the charge time of the heavy sweep, which means you can easily push or bash and quickly slash - sweep well before the enemies recovered from stagger. Also: the heavy stab following up the bash is quite useful, since you can slam into a mixed horde and then follow up with a stab to the face of the SV hiding between the trash. Thirdly (more minor point): the sweep following up the bash would make the weapon’s moveset virtually identical to that of the A&S.

I honestly feel that the moveset of the imperial S&S is the most well designed moveset in the entire game. It has so many versatile combos that are still readily available, which makes playing with this weapon an absolute joy. On neither this weapon, nor on the A&S, there is any reason to change the moveset in the slightest. Those movesets are the main reason these weapons are good. Stat tweaks: sure. Moveset changes: never.

No, you’re spot on, I’ve been a heavy user of this weapon both pre-beta and during the beta and I totally agree with you. The light sweep barely helps against hordes compared to the old hordeclear combo, yet it does mess with the single target damage and, somehow, removes some player agency from the weapon, makes it a bit less unwieldy.
You had absolute control over the weapon pre-beta, with you deciding exactly what to do and when, no matter what situation or part of the combo you’re in. It’s a small change, but it still removes a bit of player choice in how they wield it, for very little benefit.

However, I heard from someone else that apparently the spear & shield’s heavy sweep (H1) doesn’t have linesman. Which… yeah, that probably could use a fix. That’s the change that can be a step forwards for the shield & spear as far as hordeclear goes.
Another suggestion I’d have is giving the H2 a bit more oomph (more damage/armor damage) and giving H3 a bigger finesse multiplier. However, they should be very small boosts, to give it a little bit of an extra edge there to compensate for the slow speed of the chain.

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My experience with spear and shield is the heavy attacks have better performance for all situations - horde, elites, bosses. So while I don’t feel the change matters one way or the other, what I don’t like about it is spamming light attacks doesn’t make me run as fast as it used to because the sweep seems to have a slowdown :frowning:

That reminds me, before WoM sword and shield’s third light had some armor damage to make up for it not having linesman. I wouldn’t mind seeing that added back in, or giving it linesman to make it even with the rest of the attacks. I wouldn’t want to see it become a single target attack, however. That’s covered by the push stab heavy stab combo, and that change would lower its overall horde clear.

BlockquoteFirstly, make current heavy 3 - the horizontal sword slash - follow the shield bash (heavy 1) instead.

I wouldn’t be a fan of this change either. I very frequently push, slam, stab into a mixed horde and it would be a big blow to lose that combo. Push slam and a few lights already fulfills the role of throwing fools around before dicing them up.

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