Swords are making absolutely no sense

6 9

First off, please take in mind I do not follow closely dev commentaries or this community. Even if these reasons have been thoroughly discussed already, I'm still posting my opinion.

This is by no means a complete comparison, but I have brought some numbers for my arguments.

Now, to the point. Swords are making ABSOLUTELY no sense. For two reasons:

1) Massively different swords have similar effectiveness. Let's pick the smallest sword vs the biggest.
To show how they generally compare, I have made an average of damage (taken from damage to all head armors and unarmored, slashes and thrusts) and stamina cost average for both weapons. In addition, an average for how much the damage in both weapon decreases against better head armors and an average for how many hits are necessary to kill enemies wearing level 2 and 3 head and chest armors, as these are most common in battle (strict scenarions, only consider 1 type of hit against 1 body part and armor level).

For instance, 70 + 66 + 50 + 40 + 60 + 49 + 42 + 33 =‬ 410 is the average damage of the Short Sword against the head, slashes and thrusts. Zweihänder takes 2 hits to kill medium-armored foes (head or chest, slash or thrust) and 3 against heavily-armored (head or chest, slash or thrust), what means an average of 2.5 hits. Here are the prons and cons of choosing a Zweihänder over a Short Sword.

  • Zweihänder deals about 52% more general damage;
  • Zweihänder has 2.25 times the reach;
  • Zweihänder can instakill chest and head level 0, head level 1 (slash) and head level 0 (stab);
  • Zweihänder needs 20% less hits to kill armored foes, considering Short Sword's 3.1 average.


  • Zweihänder has 50% more general stamina cost;
  • Zweihänder has 52.6% slower windup;
  • Zweihänder's best to worst damage (considering 100 instead of 115 slash damage to unarmored head, as anything past 100 brings no benefit) decays 21% more than Short Sword's, meaning it is relatively less effective against armored enemies;
  • Zweihänder costs whooping 26 more points, or 2.600% value increase.

Zweihänder needs an average of 2.5 hits to kill armored enemies, while Short Sword needs 3.1 hits. I've listed this as an advantage to the Zweihänder, and it is mathematically, but in reality, both take average 2 and 3 hits for armors lvl 2 and 3, respectively, if you are any good. Therefore, it is actually a con. Therefore, we have 3 pros, 5 cons.

Nope, it's not finished.

2) Big and medium sized swords have less thrust damage than slashing. From longsword onwards (not considering Messer, which rightly has lower thrust damage), thrust damages are decreased in relation to slash, The bigger the sword, the more it decreases. That makes for a 6th con.

Now, you could make the argument that the bigger the sword, the harder it is to aim the point in armor gaps, therefore, dealing less damage makes sense. And that is a fact. However, we are not really considering that scenario to calculate damages, are we? Because if we were, most slash from swords would do virtualy little-to-no damage against armored foes. It's a game, it's not realistic. It's inspired by reality. And that's why the swords are making no sense.

What does this all mean in practice?

It means that big swords, as much of this also applies to Greatsword, are effectively not nearly worth what they cost. You'd be much better off with a Longsword, which can 2-hit anyone by hitting the head, or even a Short Sword. Medium-sized swords seem to be the most cost-effective at the moment. Not to mention how broken the Messer is (was? Idk), that would be a topic for itself. 1 solution is dramatically reducing the Greatsword's and Zweihänder's costs, which in my opinion makes no sense. Another is to actually make them effective.

It seems all these points come only from increased range and a bit of overall damage. However, the vastly increased attack times and stamina costs, decreased effectiveness against armored foes (most common) and huge cost increase, combined with rather marginal gains said above, are quite good at making these weapons suck.

Of course, there are factors that are hard to tract, such as the Zweihänder actualy killing more in certain scenarios due to superior damage, namely, killing injured enemies, or different attack combinations against foes with different armor mixes. This would be very hard to calculate, therefore I have only considered strict scenarios.

Please share your thoughts.

210 348

I think you're slightly over-complicating matters.

Weaponry point cost doesn't directly correlate with their overall usefulness nor their raw damage. The only discernible pattern to be found when looking at the most expensive weapons is that they've got long reach. Longbow and Spear are great support weapons. Halberd and Zwei are arguably the two safest 1vX weapons in the game. You're paying for range, stamina management, safety and a low TTK per enemy.

A Zweihander is expensive, true, but worth its asking price when we're considering a large group engagement scenario. But it's certainly not my weapon of choice for 1v1. Arming Sword, Shortsword, Dagger, Cleaver, Bastard Sword, Longsword... It's not exactly a secret that these weapons are far better in 1v1 than some of the more expensive options.

6 9

Yes, I understand points are rather arbitrary and there are different contexts for weapons.

My point is that it's simply unbalanced.

"Halberd and Zwei are arguably the two safest 1vX weapons in the game." True. Yet, take what I said in this context. You have a slow hitting weapon, that takes 3 hits to kill. Now you are facing multiple opponents, each with a chance to block your attack. It's simply not worth it. A longsword or messer does the same job better. You lose a bit range, yes, but are still in the range most people fight in. You have much better speed, better stamina, same damage effectiveness most cases. All that for a bit of range that your foe most of the time will cut short in order to hit you (considering you have a bigger weapon).

Of course, if you are behind a group of enemies, the Zwei is the best weapon ever. But, that is very specific and advantageous, any weapon would perform well. I'm talking about average situations. Taking 3 hits to kill an average foe with a slow hitting weapon is mediocre.

You can see the amound of cons is quite larger than pros. That makes these weapons wasted opportunities.

2017 2104

Last time I played the zweihander was still very popular. Not sure it needs a buff keeping that in mind.

874 375

When I started the game, I instantly noticed messer's anims weren't really synced with the actual hitbox.
The short sword is just a beast in it's own class, and the zweicopter is probably still one of the best weapons after maul, Battleaxe, Halberd, Heavy Handaxe and cleaver. Those "specific situations" you mention, you can force them. (backstab larger crowds with swings, when they face you, more stabs, overhead or feint)
I'm a bit surprised you didn't mention cleaver here. It's a little problematic weapon that's supposed to defend archers, but is used with Bloodlust instead. Longsword is probably a bit too strong at the moment but if there's a nerf I suggest smaller damage nerf (5?) on only a few of the head or body nodes. (T3?) Another option would be increasing windup 50 ms. I still feel like maul is a way bigger Issue, aswell as battle axe.

The reason I quit twice is Maul and Bloodlust. Swords were never a big Issue, except messer's animations.

8 4
  • 7 Apr

If the larger swords are so bad, why is greatsword considered one of the best dueling weapons?

The larger swords have monster drags that the smaller ones cannot even pretend to match. Being able to adjust the swing so much during release is a huge boon.

You also completely ignored stamina properties, which the lower tier swords are all pretty awful at.

1430 2175

I primarily use swords. Longsword is the weapon I use the most... and I find most swords need a slight nerf... no buffs.

Messer has always been absolutely disgusting where animations are concerened. There IS ABSOLUTELY NO REASON FOR MESSER STAB TO BE SO FAST. A shitty stab should simply be a shitty stab. Why artificially buff it's morphs? I think it might have too much turncap... but why would you ever use messer when longsword is now better at monkey spamming slashes in a horde?

I agree that longsword is now stupid ez to spam slashes with, no need to ever stab. It should do 33 slash damage or something to T3 torso... 3 slashes = 99 damage, and then you finish them rightly with pommel throw... The idea though is that it requires a head shot or stabs for 3htk. Mordhau grip is practically useless when slashing is so good.

Zwei stab is too fast. You see their arm move and you're not yet sure whether it's a stab or slash and... a stab is suddenly teleported into your face. Chambering/parrying a zwei stab feels like a total gamble since it's too fast and it could easily be a feint/morph.

Again, I find most swords need a slight nerf not buffs.

6 9

"why is greatsword considered one of the best dueling weapons?"
The Greatsword has, IMO, too much slash damage (higher than thrust), and it's movements are quite hard to track*. It is a problem seen with other weapons, such as Messer, mentioned above by Lionheart Chevalier. It also has way too much cooldown if you miss, making the alternative mode quite attractive. The main downside is that the animation seems less confusing, making it harder to fool the enemy.

"You also completely ignored stamina properties, which the lower tier swords are all pretty awful at."
As I said this is not a full analysis. And stamina is not completely ignored, if you look at the stats I brought up, you'll see. With smaller weapons you lose more stamina defending, and with bigger you lose more by missing. I believe it's balanced.

I strongly agree with you. What I aim to bring up is that smaller-medium swords are overly effective, while bigger are under-effective. You're essentialy losing in all aspects to get a bit range upgrade. Meanwhile, medium size swords are hacking level 3 armor blindly.

What I believe that would fix all of this is making smaller swords more thrust-oriented, by reducing slash effectiveness, and bigger swords with increased thrust damage, reaching 2 hits-to-kill zone. For example, a Zwei slash to the chest and another to head being enough to kill level 3 armor, or slash to the head + thrust to the chest. Why?

Firstly, you solve the over-efficiency of smaller swords by increasing hit-to-kill number for slashes, therefore rewarding thrusts, which are more difficult to hit (firstly because of the nature of the thrust, secondly because you can't accel / limited drag) and make more sense. For Longsword, it would make Mordhau grip more effective overall, which in it's current state seems pointless. You can almost cut armor like paper. A big irony considering the game is named after it.

Secondly, you reward bigger swords the same way, reducing 3 hits to 2 hits. But again, not by blindly swinging it, but using thrusts and aiming to the head, rewarding skill. In the case of the Zwei, it truly thrusts too fast, while it's swing takes ages. Thrust should be slowed and swing accelerated. It seems to hardly ever hit anyone anymore unless you use the longest drag possible.

  • Edit: wrong word.
874 375

I still think the exec sword and the zweihander are really strong swords. The range advantage crumbles if people just swing towards you, they'll be closer than comfort. You don't see many level 100 zweicopters, either because they are tired of it, or because it's not as effective as using a maul, longsword, HHA or cleaver.

8 4
  • 13 Apr

Missing an attack is not very common at high level play, so miss stamina loss is much less significant than stamina drain and drain negation stats.

You say that bigger weapons are only getting range for their point cost but that's very far off. They get more damage, longer release times, and bigger swing arcs. They are way more draggable than small blades and that's a really big deal.