So the main problem with the chainaxe is its mass horde clear.
With Tier 4 Headtaker, Tier 3 Slaughterer, +25% to Unarmored, 79% DMG, 80% PEN, and 76% SHRED, I’m still reduced to 2 options: heavy swings w/ a light attack here and there OR shove attacks.
Even then, I occasionally get overwhelmed if the horde is thick enough, which doesn’t happen if I’m using my Antax BM axe (or, more tellingly, my MK II Thunderhammer).
So my suggestion is 2 fold: either do a modest (~10%) increase in the shove attack damage OR do a modest (again ~10%) increase in heavy swing attack speed.
There are variations of what I’m thinking about like shortening the time between shove attacks or increasing the shove attack cleave amount.
Yeah, the chainaxe could be paired with clear-oriented ranged weapons like the Flamer, yet in very high difficulty missions (especially solo queuing into a team with no Veterans - and thus no Veteran ammo regeneration bonus) not bringing a melee weapon that can at least handle a large horde can cost the team a win.
With all that said, I feel that with just one of these tweaks the chainaxe could be as dependable as a BM Antax axe or an Eviscerator and give even more variety to high level Zealot gameplay.
I see your point. The heavy swings are too slow to usually safely chain in a horde so i end up using a combo like:
Heavy, pushattack, heavy
heavy, pushattack, light, light, heavy
or something in that vein. I don’t mind combos but on the rare occasion i get to swing heavies properly it actually does pretty good. I still, i think that’s probably a skill issue in my case of not getting the tempo right. I’ve been running it safely in hi-int damnation and i cleared a hi-int shock troop gauntlet just yesterday, so it is definitely viable. Even great.
I really want different VFX/audio for heavy swings. Its WAY too much like slapping enemies with a paddle. Feels awful compared to how good the lights and special look and feel and sound.
I’m currently running chain axe on vet with braced autogun, and it’s terrible and great at the same time. Mind you in this setup CA is rarely used, all enemies are basically bullet targets (horde included), but it’s pretty nice to kill crushers and mutants with it. It’s also very good against boss shield.
I still keep my final verdict until I get better at it since horde management is pretty complex, but it seems pretty bad overall so far. At least the special kills feel good enough to me to continue testing it.