Weapons, Overpowered or Underpowered?

A lot of the new meta has made the original game’s weapons feel obsolete, or severely deprecated. I would argue that many of the new DLC items (with the exception of Javelins, Moonfire, and other one-shot wonders), are actually closer to what I’d want.

I think the cog-hammer is a great example of a weapon that serves two functions well. You can jump into a quick-play game with them, knowing that you can handle crowds and elites efficiently. If I join via quick-play with a regular one-handed hammer, into a group of crowd clearers, it’s not going to be very helpful; likewise, if I take my one-handed axe into a group of elite killers with little crowd control, we will get swarmed. Take the cog-hammer, you’re good to go either way. Cog-hammer was released OP as is usual because it’s harder for something to overcome a reputation as underpowered on release, but it’s great to have something else that performs 2 tasks moderately well.

Each item from the base game has 3 main advantages listed below, but often, it seems they’re usually only really good at one thing. There are some weapons from the base game that actually do serve two functions fairly well. The executioner’s sword is great vs. elites and crowds in much the same way the cog-hammer is, except it kills the crowds and is very slow; a well-rounded weapon.

Some examples of some weapons I think are fairly underpowered, mainly because they’re not good at much besides one thing:

  • For Bardin: One-handed hammer, hammer and shield, two-handed hammer, drake-fire pistols. (maybe throwing axes, or maybe I just don’t know how to use them, I can’t make them work).

  • For Kruber: Sword and Shield, Two-handed hammer, Two-handed sword, Blunderbuss, one-handed mace.

  • For Kerillian: Just wish the volley crossbow was usable by a few other careers. I’m not sure if it’s underpowered, or if it’s just not great with shade. The one-handed axe too, maybe it’s good, but I can’t make it work. Most of Killian’s melee weapons are fairly efficient against hordes and elites. In chaos wastes, she’s one of the few characters I can weapon swap, and not have to worry too much that I’ll get something less effective.

  • For Saltzpyre: One-handed axe, two-handed sword works alright with a zealot, not much else though.

  • Sienna I’m still learning, but so far Pyromancer seems to be the best class in the game. I would say her mace isn’t so great. The beam staff might be good but haven’t figured out what it works well with; besides its alt-fire, the beam itself kills elites and specials very slowly in legend and cataclysm. It’s much more difficult to manage against hordes. Fireball seems like great to spam, but very easy to hit your team. Flamestorm staff I wish could ready itself a bit quicker. Feels about the same as Bardin’s flamethrower.


You need to be bit more elaborate about some of these choices. For example, Krubers/saltz 2h sword @Rebel could probably make an essay on why this weapon is good and extremely underappreciated.

To quickly sum up some of its highpoints. The heavies have some of the best in class cleave/stagger values out of any 2h weapon, heavy linesman to even further buff those values while still doing very reasonable damage. The dps is actually better than what coghammer has in most cases.

So what exactly are you hoping to buff on weapon like this? Or why do you feel like its deserving to be called underpowered?

These are just some leading questions before I tackle this further and some of the stuff just baffles me like:

I hope you are mixing pyro and battlewizard here.


Yeah Kruber’s greatsword is probably one of the very few weapons that utilised Mainstay as FK really well. It’s extremely good vs mixed hordes too. It’s only weakness really is it can be boring just doing H1 H2 into horde with the odd push stab if you get chance.


As for pyromancer, no, I think people sleep on pyromancer. Bolt Staff with a regular sword on Pyromancer is crazy good in melee and has powerful ranged attacks with the bolt staff that are like Javelins. The only difficulty to overcome is avoiding damage since it’s a bit squishy.

I also actually like the two-handed sword, but I’d be willing to sacrifice some of its crowd clearing potential so that it works better against armored elites. I often use it with Grail Knight, because I can have executioner’s sword, bretonian longsword, or mace and sword as elite killer weapons, and just use the two-hander for crowd clearing.

Also, I think one-handed sword is really good for crowd clearing while still being able to handle elites with better stamina. The two-handed one is weak defensively and only really seems to be good at crowds and unarmored. It has not good vertical attack to hit the head, so it seems like execuationer’s sword or one-handed sword is typically a better option.l

Look at the huge disparity on the heavy attacks vs regulars and armored. Heavy weapons like a two-handed hammer at least have decent light attacks against elites.

While I think the build is decent, I would not say its the best sienna build. Battlwizard firesword/coruscation does arguably the highest amount of damage, has the greatest survivability and general kit for most situation’s. Pyro really only has damage from crits and even that is not really something that is amazing unless we are playing chaos wastes. Survivability is really lacking and the ability is arguably one of the worst in the game. (Targeting, damage and impact)

Best build in the game is also really stretching it when SoTT/Shade exist.

There are some odd statements here.

Let’s first off clear this because this might be a confusing concept because it is not really explained anywhere, but 2H sword heavies, and executioner light attacks have something that is called “armor sliding”. This means the attack can pass trough enemies such as stormvermin and hit multiple armored enemies or other enemies. 1H sword does not have this, thus automatically without even taking stats into account it is strictly weaker against multi type enemy hordes because first armored enemy will stop the attack regardless of its stagger/cleave stats. This is not the case for the other 2, using the specified attacks.
This is something you can easily test in the keep with armored dummies.

Secondly both executioner and 1h sword have tank attributes in their attacks. For comparisons sake, executioner cannot stagger enemies such as monks regardless of whatever type of crit/headshot combination happens. Tank also makes it so that executioner cannot cleave trough chaos warriors, something which the 2h sword can do.

So without even delving into the stats that much, we can conclude the weapon(2h sword) is strictly stronger against mixed horde enemies than either of the 2. Stats wise, the weapon has superior cleave, damage and really good stagger thanks to heavy linesman (reduces most enemies mass to 50%-60% of normal) compared to the other 2.

For more information how linesman, heavy linesman and tank work look at the link Here.

Then what about that armor damage, yeah executioner is stronger in this aspect, but only vs 1v1 type of enemies. The moment you get mixed hordes you need to start mixing lights with heavies to give yourself room.
For 1h, I really don’t think you have an argument. The weapon does 1 point of extra damage compared to 2h while being incapable of cleaving massed amounts of armored enemies. Even when hitting head, the breakpoints are extremely similar or worse compared to 2h.

To me what you gain from 1 stam shield and 10% mobility(the only noteworthy benefits), 1h sword is strictly inferior weapon and if anything, the 1h sword could use a tweak.

Funnily enough the damage difference really is not that massive. 2h sword does about 23 damage on headshot with shove attack while 2h hammer light does 29 on 650 hero power.
Breakpoint wise 2h hammer light hits always 2 hit headshot kill potential without any talents added, while 2h sword needs either around 13% power boost or smiter talent. (enemy legend stormvermin)

What you easily can say from 2h sword and what @Argonaut14 mentioned also, that it is really boring to play due to the heavy attack centric playstyle. If anything the weapon would benefit from new light attack moveset but even currently it is no way weak and the weapon just gets better the higher the density/difficulty increases.

Anyways that’s enough of my Ted talk.


Am I the only one who thinks great hammers are er… great? Also mace/hammer is somewhat compenent for elites as well.

If any weapon of Krubers gonna be under the less deserving ones it’s one handed sword, and I still kinda like the weapon.


Victor will soon have his hammer … @Reorx :drooling_face:


Thanks for the link, I’ll take a look at that. The armor sliding thing; it seems like executioners’ swords do well enough with hordes and elites, which makes the two-handed regular sword feel a bit lackluster.

I find the one-handed cleaves, but I’m thinking about a mercenary with the 50% cleave bonus. Perhaps what I’ve been noticing about base game weapons is that they are conditionally good, depending on your build, whereas, the newer weapons like Bretonian longsword are just generally effective.

For example, I can make the Bardin’s two-handed hammer work well with Ironbreaker or Slayer, but on Ranger, I just can’t make it work out. I played with it on Ironbreaker and Ranger on Cataclysm today, and Ranger just couldn’t make it work. Then the cog-hammer essentially phases it out and works better. You just pay some money and get a better weapon. The two handed-hammer does function differently on a fundamental level, but it’s also just not as good. I think it needs a bit more speed.

Oh, I love do love hammers, but the problem is I can’t seem to make it work without using Foot Knight or Ironbreaker. Foot Knight just has the speed bonuses needed on charge and pushing increases attack speed. Ironbreaker has durability and that thing where when gromil armor is removed, he gains attack speed. Slayer can make it work too, but as with all the dwarf options, Cog-Hammer just outperforms the other hammers.

That is my hope. I want a tanky Saltzpyre that handles crowds.

When it comes to debating weapon balance, the first thing I consider is their raw performance at vanilla Cataclysm. Whether or not that’s correct is ripe for debate as the highest non-dlc difficulty is Legend. But I’m there in Cata and that’s where weapon changes affect me the most.

The second consideration is how said weapon interacts with all classes it’s available for.

With those two in mind you see that a whole lot of vanilla weapons are shared between six classes, seven and even eight with DLC classes. Like greathammer; it’s shared across eight classes and all eight use it very differently. If you balanced it around Huntsman or Ranger-Veteran then you might be inclined to ask for its speed or stagger boosted since Huntsman and RV lack that, but now you’ve created a much, much better weapon on classes like Grail Knight and Slayer as they were lacking for neither. That example changed the meta.

An example that actually happened was with the 1h sword. It was really, very so-so for a long time. It received a light buff to its finesse modifier (which is what determines headshot and crit damage) to reward skilled play and became a main weapon for Pyro because she is all crit attacks at all times.

So, if you say vanilla weapons are conditionally good, I agree. I think you have to accept some classes will have to fall by the wayside. Mainly, ranged heavy classes will typically struggle with certain weapons because of melee class’s strength. The inverse happened with shotguns and now they are a very specific horde clear niche with no monster or armor damage, but both have meta builds for Huntsman and RV.

Heck, at one point all ranged weapons had their cleave nerfed to the floor due to a ranged-meta and FS had to rebuff it all because it all just felt bad.

So, in a very general sense, I think most of the vanilla weapons are fine. The harder to use weapons have a learning curve but they have their depth and strategy and unique ways they interact with different classes. The few outliers i can think of that I consider too weak would be throwing axes, elf axe, elf M4 bow, and crowbill (most of those are DLC, actually. Only CoD bow is vanilla)

Ugh, I cant believe i forgot all about repeater pistol before Alsozara mentioned it.


I’m gonna post my own list of underpowered weapons here, rather than argue specifics of your picks (for now at least :stuck_out_tongue:)

This is the group of weapons I would call “Definitely Underpowered”. My main criteria here is that these weapons at best have one or two builds they perform passably on, while generally being left in the dust by other options.

1h Axe - a lot of down side with minimal upside. Zealot and Slayer can make it perform ok even on Cata, but that says more about their melee steroids than the weapon itself. I’ve barely used Elf version but it seems like an even worse iteration with terrible CoP damage as icing on the cake.

Pickaxe - It’s mostly a meme. Slayer can do some borderline cool stuff with it but sacrifices way too much in the process for a goofy and largely unimpactful CW 1 shot.

Crowbill - It’s basically 1h axe Sienna addition.

Repeater Pistol - Has no place at all on Saltz’ melee classes and an incredibly questionable use case for BH. Super ammo hungry for little result. Running Prize Bounty to sustain it is just dumpstering your ranged DPS for the sake of Hunter upkeep on melee. Questionable choice at best I’d say. Running no sustain and using only primary fire for 1-2 shot special kills on Cata just leaves you questioning why you’re not running crossbow or BoP instead.

Throwing Axes - Whether or not you think javelins are overpowered, throwing axes have always been a meme. Trying to run them passably effectively on either class that can use them involves sacrificing most of your kit to the alter of attack speed (and Slayer loses out on two of his best talents to run them :rofl:). Clunky, pointless weapon at the moment.

I was going to do a “borderline underpowered” weapon list as well, but upon trying to compile said list I realised explanations were going to turn into mini essays and this post generally would turn into an incomprehensible novella. Would rather see if any of my picks in this list are contentious for now.


Maybe underpowered might not be the right word. Incredibly niche or build specific might be a better description.

Take crowbill. Putting in it on unchained, having CDR with Fuel to the Fire makes it very good versus patrols and mixed armour hordes when you pop ult, but this is one build on one class that might make use of it.

Same with 1h axe for lil bardin. I regularly play in cata with an RV player who swear by 1h axe built for attack speed. But everything is sunk into attack speed. Single build on a single class.

In opposition, elf weapons are broadly very useful across all classes. Hell, keri could be given the fish from the flaggelants hat as a weapon and somehow it’d get extra cleave and crit chance. I feel for elf the only weapon that is incredibly niche to even make work is 1h axe on handmaiden.

1h axe on elf might be merely ok on elf, but it might be superb on other characters or classes. It’s only weak vs the rest of keris arguably excellent weapons. @Velsix or @Incandescent might know the exact numbers to tell if elf axe vs saltz axe makes elf axe statistically better I cold isolation and just a ‘better weapon’ that might shine in the hands of saltz. I don’t know.

There are some weapons that really never feature though. Halberd used to be the only thing anyone played, pickaxe has always been absent, sienna mace - although I think it’s actually better than crowbill - low pick. Hammer and shield on bardin, longbow(!) Fading into obscurity, elf 1h sword.

It could be argued that these weapons represent the need for greater skill to use and therefore should stay as options for players to test themselves and they offer a broader playing experience.

I kinda just generally agree and have nothing to add to the majority of what you’ve said, so just wanna jump onto this one minute point lol.

Mace/Hammer + Shield is straight good and if it doesn’t get picked much regardless ah well. Incredible levels of control and a surprisingly excellent single target combo that’s extremely safe to use. Super low skill floor to boot.

I’m not 100% on this, but my recollection is that Elf axe gets marginally higher attack speed as a trade for no bonus crit chance. Otherwise, besides minor moveset differences I believe they’re functionally identical. Elf 1h axe also has an extremely low damage modifier for CoP (again if memory serves), so that’s one whole build that is guaranteed to never use it regardless of its other stats for no good reason.

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iirc the damage profiles are the same between elf axe and 1h axe (I’ll check the armory in a bit). However 1h axe gets 10% crit chance on light which elf axe does not. Elf axe also has 99 dodges while 1h axe has 6. I forget if there are attack speed differences

honestly though I don’t think elf axe would perform better on saltz at all, if anything it might perform worse just because of how awkward the light chain is in comparison


I’m parroting Incan here, but yeah Kerillian’s 1h axe gets 100 dodges and is slightly faster but has no crit chance (except its push attack which has 20%) and gets a weird attack pattern. Saltzpyre’s/Bardin’s 1h Axe gets 6 dodges.

I’ve never used Kerillian’s axe as I prefer Dual Daggers, so I lack further insights.


Thank you both.

So elf 1h axe really really does suck then. I still have the odd run in VT1 and the 1h axe on Saltz is so much fun.


honestly I enjoy the 1h axe in both V1 and V2 though the V2 variant could use some polishing here and there and they do actually function pretty well at what they’re intended for, for the most part

Elf axe on the other hand is a weapon where I legitimately don’t understand why it exists beyond memes


So that someone can use it on handmaiden and be like “all weapon are good” of course :sweat_smile:

The whole question of “is a weapon good if it lives on class boosts or not” all over.

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I really cannot make it work even with HM. Like sure I can “use it” but that thing is not fixable by adding some steroids.

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