Weapon balance feedback – nerfs yay or nay

First off, let me say that getting another BBB is fantastic and that I really appreciate some of the weapon changes.

This post is meant to deal not with the buffs and whether or not they are too weak/good/too strong but with the nerfs some weapons received.

There are some weapon adjustments that I take issue with. These concern the executioner sword, the sword&dagger and, to a lesser degree, the axe&falchion and the dual daggers.

Offical/unmodded cata/cata+ shall serve as the basis for this discussion.

In my opinion, some of these nerfs are misguided and unwarranted. There are 3 main reasons for this:

  1. The reasoning behind these nerfs is flawed.
  2. The weapons did not even need nerfs in the first place.
  3. The nerfs greatly impact builds and classes in a negative way.

Let’s look the arguments in detail:

**1. The reason behind the nerfs is flawed: **
****Exe:
“Designer Comments: Executioner Sword is highest pickrate melee weapon for Kruber together with Tuskgor Spear currently.”
I find this to be an example of how merely looking at statistics – and not the context of those statistics – can lead to misguided conclusions.
Why was exe his most picked weapon? Because apart from exe and spear, all Kruber weapons were mediocre at best and plain bad at worst.
Furthermore, spear is very much not a weapon that will make a player get all circles easily.
Instead, exe is straightforward to use and will present you with immediate results (chop elite=>elite dead), whereas spear will stagger more and be way stronger at def and cc – both of which are not well represented at all on the scoreboard.
My thesis: Therefore, players tended to gravitate to the exe instead. The high pickrate of exe is NOT the result of exe being too good; it is the result of all other weapons being too bad. => The reason given for nerfing it is flawed.

The same applies to S&D:
“Sword & Dagger, similar to Dual Dagger has been one of the most highly used weapons of Kerillian for a long time.”
S&D and DD were the only good choices for Kerillian (yes, the difference between her best options and the rest was not that big but still the rest underperformed – hence the current buffs in both the BBB and the mod).
Her other weapons were simply bad or mediocre, leaving only 2 options for people to pick. DD were harder to play, so people would go for S&D despite them being weaker overall. The pickrate of S&D (and DD to a degree) is NOT the result of them being too good; it is the result of all other weapons being too bad. => The reason given for nerfing them is flawed.

2. The weapons did not even need nerfs in the first place:
Exe:
“Designer Comments: It performs extremely well in almost all situations, whether it’s hordeclear or elite slaying while staying relatively safe. To make the weapon a bit more high risk high reward we’re reducing the animation speed slightly so you have to commit and open up yourself to danger abit more to get the maximum possible output.”
Exe is definitely NOT a safe weapon to use as it only has 2 dodges and a low dodge range. Moreover, it is very slow on all attacks, especially the heavies.
You already have to open yourself up if you want to use the heavies and the lights are slow enough too. It does not overperform in either horde or elite clear, needing both space and well timed attacks.
The mod on which this beta is based also did not nerf exe in any way.

S&D:
“Having both proficient crowdclear, single target damage and mobility”.
The same applies to S&D again.
It was worse than DD to begin with, dealing less dmg to elites AND hordes and only offering a bit more safety.
Additionally, S&D did not possess great horde clear, since it dealt limited dmg, did not have great cleave/cleave dmg and did not have great stagger either.
Its elite dmg was also locked behind combos, meaning they were suboptimal compared to the easy access on DD. Yet DD was not nerfed as much.
(I will address the issues with DD later on in this post.)
Once more I would like to point out that the original mod made no changes to S&D. (Corrected: See Incan’s post: [BIG BALANCE PATCH] Kerillian)

3. The nerfs greatly impact builds and classes in a negative way:
Exe:
Exe was hard to use on both Huntsman and Fk and only works well on Gk because you can bring a 2nd weapon to keep you safe.
Yes, the extra crit on l3 is nice but not worth the overall loss of speed in my opinion.
As it was a slow weapon to begin with you needed some form of attack speed buff like Merc to make it do well.
Furthermore, exe cleave is kinda bad on any class except merc, meaning it is a slow weapon with low cleave. Reducing the attack speed further just makes exe even worse on any class except Merc.
Hell, if you want to you could even keep the extra crit on l3 since that attack was usually block canceled anyway because of its horrible swing angle, it would at least give players a reason to use it on anything other than skaven hordes.

S&D:
S&D being nerfed negatively impacts both WS and Shade.
Both have tmp hp on cirt/HS, thus reducing crit chance means these already subpar tmp hp talents will see even less use.
The same can be said about the stagger talent assassin, which relies on crits/HS as well.
Reducing crit chance leads to an overall big loss of dps for these classes.
Most importantly, however, is that Shade is built around crits.
The aforementioned tmp hp and stagger talents are proof of this but also talents such as +50% crit power talent, +20% movespeed on crit, +20%dr on crit and instakill on backstab crit.
As is evident, a large portion of Shade relies on high crit chance.
Dual Daggers and S&D are used because of A) their synergy with these crit talents and B) because of their synergy with the ult. Removing the crit chance does not only impact the tmp hp and stagger but also a significant part of the class’s identity.

Concluding, I am of the opinion that the nerfs were misguided, unjustified and have a negative impact on build diversity and classes. They are too heavy-handed. Especially so since neither exe nor S&D were the best option for either character – that honor goes to spear and DD – and none of the two saw changes in the original mod on which this BBB is built.

Regarding weapon changes that I am on the fence about:

Dual daggers:
The highest single target dps in the game. Needed a nerf, plain and simple – agreed.
Nevertheless, for the reasons outlined above, I would like to advocate for a different approach to nerfing them.
Remove the bleed effect and reduce their dodge range back to 1.25.
This would keep the synergies mentioned while still reducing their dmg output vs. hordes as well as their defensive qualities.
As this would break the synergy with the Shade “increase dmg if enemy is poisoned/bleeding” talent
I would change that talent to apply to “enemies that are poisoned/got hit by a crit”.

Overall, I am not quite sure if this would be enough, and the current nerf only affects l1&l2 – not that big of a deal all things considered. Again, I am a bit on the fence about this one.

Axe&Falchion:
I am not quite sure what to make of that one. Similar to DD, the same nerfs were part of the mod.
My concern is more about the role this weapon is supposed to fill after its nerf.
For dmg, billhook blows A&F out of the water while offering more range and cc and similar dodge.
For safety and speed, rapier is the superior pick.
All A&F had going for it was the 20% crit chance on push attacks as that made the weapon stand out. Now, I feel it awkwardly sits between rapier and billhook, doing neither dmg nor safety better and being a weaker version of both?
Removing linesman from the push attack was needed. The crit chance I would have liked to stay. Maybe I am not doing A&F enough justice with regards to its overall performance.
As a result, I put it here where I am hesitant to call the nerfs too heavy-handed.

Congrats if you made it through that wall of text.

12 Likes

Saying S&D didn’t need nerf is complete hogwash, it was one of most broken weapon still is one of best options but its not universally amazing

7 Likes

I can definitely see where you’re coming from on all of these

And yeah I would definitely like to clarify: The nerfs to Sword & Dagger and Executioner were not inherited from our mod.

I did outline in another post that I had a concept/code written up for a S&D rebalance but it never made it into the mod (which can again be found here)

The nerf to executioner is certainly something I’m personally on the fence about, it was/is definitely a very strong weapon but to me it never felt overpowered, rather Kruber’s options for a long time have been pretty limited to just Spear and Executioner which is partly why it has had such a high pickrate. I don’t think the nerf ruins executioner, I just don’t personally think it was necessary but perhaps I’m wrong; will have to see what the overall feedback on that ends up being.

Axe & Falchion: it’s competitive dps with billhook on elites, falls behind slightly in hordes but also still does a great job. I can fully understand why people would be on the fence about this one though. I’m interested in seeing how that change is adjusted/refined or even reverted as more feedback is gathered. One thing I will say is having 4 dodges instead of 3 feels much much nicer. To us it didn’t make sense A&F had 310 dodges when the weapons it’s based on have 425 and 6*20 dodge respectively so we adjusted that for consistency’s sake and quality of life. Also removed heavy linesman from the push attack because it didn’t make a whole lot of sense for it to be there.

IF I were to redo the A&F changes I’d do the exact same thing BUT I’d add 10% crit to the axe swings so it’s consistent with 1h axe in that regard. Personally I think that would be more consistent with the weapon’s identity.

6 Likes

This is pretty true in my opinion, people using these “OP” weapons because the other weapons were just not very good. The buffs to the weaker weapons are pretty great. Some of the nerfs to these “High pickrate” weapons don’t seem needed.

Although I don’t mind some of the nerfs. I don’t mind Exe Sword losing some animation speed, since it gained bonus crit chance on light 3 (easier to keep Swift Slaying active), and I think S&D losing crit chance on some of its attacks would be alright, but not all of its attacks.

4 Likes

I actually kind of agree with your Axe/Falch assessment.

I did get an opportunity to use it on WHC… the prior problem with it and why I didn’t use it more often was the dodge count. Its one of those weapons that you need to do a lot of dodge dance with on WHC. Since you don’t have the additional power of the Zealot you don’t have as much stagger with it.

Yeah losing the +20% crit on the push attack did hurt a bit, and probably should have been brought to +10% as a test first… the reality is, on WHC with Deathknell, it doesn’t really affect it as much. The headshots on the normal swings and clearout strikes are still kills on most targets.

Also
The changes to the Falchion really don’t go far enough, I simply do not see any situation where I would use this weapon over either the Axe/Falch nor over the Rapier.

At first I liked it, I really got into the old way of playing this weapon especially the push attacks, and I already had it built with extra stam due to its previous build. Also I was able to just drive Storm Vermin into a wall and wipe them out quick. Unfortunately it does not have the stagger it used to so its not as good against Chaos Shield users the way it used to be and thats really its achillies heel.

BUT… then I took out the rapier and did it on the same map same circumstances and its was just soo much easier to walk through hordes. After the Alt-Fire pistol fixes in the last Beta the Rapier no longer has the shield user disadvantage, and its so easy on Chaos Shields to Push attack + Gunshot and take them out smoothly, or on SV Shields, Shoot the Shield to open them up + Charged attack headshot to kill.

There was just no situation where I would pick the Falchion over Rapier or Axe/Falch even with the new Changes.

The only thing I can think of would be to add back in the AP on light attacks on Super Armor, that’s the only way at this point where I might consider it worthwhile as an “all arounder”.

1 Like

Would you care to elaborate on that?
S&D loses to DD in every way other than stamina and cc, while being a versatile option that required combos to get the most out of it.
Definitely not great horde clear, since it dealt limited dmg, did not have great cleave/cleave dmg and did not have great stagger either.
Its elite dmg was also locked behind combos, meaning they were suboptimal compared to the easy access on DD. Yet DD was not nerfed as much.

1 Like

I agree with the original poster… nerf were not needed.

2 Likes

DD loses to s&d in every other way than mindless l1 click on elites
S&D
Its have amazing safe horde clear no idea how you can say that its have bad horde clear did you even played with that weapon?
One of easiest to score headshots patterns.
Very safe weapon to deal with elites, you can block cancel every attack.
half cost push with good stamina amount.
One of biggest safe burst damages , literally no downsides for that type of weapon. Oh no you need to use l1 h1 combo to delete hordes (even mixed ones) ok one downsides, need to use 2 braincells to use.

DD had downsides lack of cleave low stamina with low block range make it way harder to deal with hordes and ironically it had lower damage burst potential than s&d because s&d had 10 % crit on heavies and second heavy is literally same to dd heavies.

Oh and S&D is even better on shade because you can get easier 2 chaos warrior ability kill than DD

1 Like

I definitely agree with this post.
Especially about crit bonus on A&F push attack.

1 Like

Axe n Falcion should have Linesman on push-stab(like falcion lights) and 5-10% Crit chance on axe lights. This seems painfully obvious.

DDl changes are needed but odd. The removal of crit bonus from DD light 1 and 2(to encourage headshots as per modder comment) is a design/incentive failure.

Crit chance on any first attack is used to Proc SS/talents. 5% Crit Chance on DD lights adds more incentive to headshot(Assassin), allows for accessible but fewer crit procs, and doesn’t disincentive alternate attack chains(light,light, charge,:light, light, push repeat: charge, light)

2 Likes

Totally agree! I hope they remove those nerf.

1 Like

DD has higher dmg versus any kind of enemy. All you need is to be skilled enough to use it versus hordes, hence why I said in my original post that they are harder to use but way stronger.
I’m not sure what you mean by being able to block cancel, every weapon can block cancel apart from some slower weapons.
Every standard weapon has 3 stam, that’s not an inherent advantage of that weapon.
You do not cleave armor, so using h1l1 does not help with mixed hordes and h1 does not deal a significant amound of ap dmg.
DD has higher burst dmg - the highest in the game.

S&D is certainly quite strong but by no means op.

Also, I’d appreciate it if you could keep the discussion civil.

So yeah DD have amazing horde dmg like you said, best dmg burst, still half cost for push. Yeah they needed nerf

Yes, which is what I wrote in my post.
Yet you claimed S&D to be the best weapon, even better than DD. However, now you retract that statement. This argument has nothing to do with my points about S&D.

Sorry i should write [sarcasm] or something, its hard to make that intent clear sometimes.
Those weapons were way (and still are) too good for its own. Did you ever think about using 1hd sword over those 2?

In my opinion most nerfs are minor and hardly noticeable. I would have wished for some more constructive nerfs to keep the overperforming weapons in line.

1 Like

Refer to point 1 of my original post.

Overperforming is not flawed :slight_smile:

All that was needed for the Executioner sword was a 5% reduction to attack speed for light attacks, maybe slightly lower damage on bodyshots as well. Otherwise, it’s only so highly picked because his other weapons just aren’t good enough (pre BBB).

I think everything can be boiled down to this:
I identify 5 lines in which weapons have strengths or weaknesses:
-Horde potential (with elites mixed in with the pinkies)
-DPS
-Moveset “quality”
-Armor piercing capabilities
-Defenses (dodge, stamina, BCR, stagger power)

At a high level, weapons that underperform in 2/3 areas are out.

Regarding the weapons for example:

Exe:
Positive: S tier Ap, moveset, A tier dps & horde
Negative: E tier defense

Elf greatsword (current patch):
Positive: B tier horde, defense
Negative: mediocre DPS, Ap, and moveset

Rince and repeat for every weapon

2 Likes
Why not join the Fatshark Discord https://discord.gg/K6gyMpu