I think it’s fairly clear now that (on Legend) there are the ‘best’ weapons, and then there’s the rest. Halberd for example, is incontrovertibly the best melee weapon for Kruber. On Legend, Sienna’s mace is her only real option, since she has no other significant AP weapon. That’s what it comes down to; armour-piercing. Without AP, you have no hope of dealing out any meaningful DPS in Legend. My suggestions are simple, and don’t require a complete overhaul of the weapon system/adding new animations to attack sequences.
Increase the headshot damage multiplier for certain weapons that have no AP, against Stormvermin and Chaos Warriors.
I’m going to use the 1h sword as an example (Kruber, Sienna). On Legend, it has no viability, simply because it cannot do substantial damage to armour, which is in abundance on the highest difficulty. If you could kill a SV in 2-4 headshots, the same as bodyshots from a 1h axe, the weapon would now be viable. NOT overpowered, nor dethroning halberd, glaive or mace as their main AP weapons, but it would be viable. It would also require more skill to deal with armour through headshots, and therefore would feel more rewarding to accomplish.
Increase the armour-piercing damage of charged attacks.
Currently, there are not many reasons to use charged attacks on a range of weapons. This time I’m going to use the 2h sword as an example (Victor, Kruber). This weapon is designed to deal with hordes, but not being able to pierce armour effectively makes it useless on Legend, as that is the most important thing to have, and since plenty of AP weapons can already deal with hordes. Again, if this were to be implemented, the damage numbers would have to be less than AP weapons, but high enough for them to deal with SV in less than 5 charged attacks, or risk remaining completely useless.
There are a couple of arguments against these suggestions that I can think of, the first of which is if FS intend the game to be segmented into roles. I generally disagree with this concept, since it means if the AP component of a team is dead, the only remaining play is to run past everything to the next revive spot, and hope for the best. This inevitably leads to people always having to bring their best AP weapons to be as independent as they can, should things go south. Simply, I think armour is too prevalent to confine AP to a role, all heroes should be able to deal with armour since it’s everywhere.
The other argument I can think of is that it makes no sense for a 1h sword slash to damage a Chaos Warrior’s head, when he clearly has a helmet blessed by Nurgle. For this, I have no counter-argument, except that there are many things that aren’t lore-friendly/realistic in Vermintide, and this would be a relatively small concession to balance a variety of non-viable weapons.
Suggestion 1: buff HS multiplier for non-AP weapons like 1h sword.
Suggestion 2: buff charged attack AP damage for non-AP weapons like 1h sword.