I’m by no means an expert S&S (Sword & Shield) user, but after some thought and experience with the weapon, I think I’ve come up with a set of suggestions that would improve it without changing its identity.
The S&S has a few redundancy issues in some of its attacks and some below average characteristics.
— Redundancy —
- Give Light 3 the Linesman mass modifier.
Light 1, 2 and 3 all have the same raw cleave, but only the first two lights have the Linesman mass modifier (Linesman in a nutshell lets an attack cleave more normal infantry enemies such as Clanrats, Fanatics, Marauders, Gors etc.).
Doing Light 1 > Light 2 > Block is higher raw dps (damage per second) vs infantry than utlising the full light chain. Light 3 does have a better attack angle for scoring multiple headshots on hordes, but this is limited by it having less effective cleave than the other light attacks.
With this change, Light 3’s better headshot angle vs hordes would no longer be limited by having less cleave than the other light attacks, and while it would still be less raw dps, it would still serve in the role of an attack used when you need an immediate attack to interrupt an enemy about to hit you.
— Heavy Sweep —
- Give the Heavy Sweep a minor amount of armour damage (about the same as a Falchion light would be appropriate, which would be 3 base armour damage. For reference the S&S’s Push Attack has a base armour damage of 6).
- Increase the cleave of the Heavy Sweep to match the Bretonnian Longsword’s first light attack.
The Heavy Sweep is meant for kiting but does not fully succeed in this role and rarely sees use (I’m using its higher movement speed than the lights as evidence for an intended role of usage during kiting). This is because of its cleave only being slightly higher than the lights, and its complete lack of armour damage (even the Shield Bash does some damage to armour).
Both of the above two changes could allow the Heavy Sweep to be properly useful when fighting mixed hordes, as its cleave would not be as easily stopped by shields and it would do some minor armour damage.
— Mobility —
Decrease the movement slowdown during light attacks by 10%. (Edit: Or whatever value that would make it have just slightly more movement speed during light attacks than Mace & Shield). This is very minor, but currently it’s slower than the Mace and Shield when it should be faster, just like how the 1h Sword has a slightly faster movement speed during attacks than the 1h Mace.
For reference, below are the movement speed values for the full light chains of all of Kruber’s melee weapons, which I recorded roughly using the MovementDebugVT2 mod, presented in ascending order:
- Sword & Shield – 2.60 speed.
- Mace & Shield – 2.78 speed.
- Executioner Sword – 2.81 speed.
- Halberd – 3.00 speed.
- 2h Hammer – 3.08 speed.
- Kruber’s/Saltz’ Greatsword – 3.28 speed
- Bretonnian Longsword – 3.31 speed.
- Tuskgor Spear – 3.47 speed.
- Kruber’s Spear & Shield – 3.52 speed,
- 1h Mace – 3.97 speed.
- Just walking forward – 4.00 speed.
- 1h Sword – 4.01 speed.
- Mace & Sword – 4.17 speed.
I think it’s clear Sword & Shield being so slow move speed wise is odd. It’s the slowest, and not by a small amount. The fantastic mod by Craven that was used to record these values can be found here: Steam Workshop::MovementDebugVT2
— Finesse —
- Give the Sword & Shield’s appropriate attacks the same finesse buffs the 1h Sword received in the BBB.
There’s no reason for the same sword to do different damage, especially when the Sword & Shield’s lights are slower than the 1h Sword’s (at base attack speed for both weapons, S&S’s full light chain takes 1.72 seconds, while the 1h Sword’s full light chain takes 1.52s).
I believe all of the above changes would:
- Make all of the Sword & Shield’s attacks have a role.
- Enhance the Sword & Shield’s unique identity among the shield weapons as a weapon with complex and nuanced attack chains.