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Hi all,

 

I was just wondering today how everyone feels two handers stack up against other weapon styles (namely, sword and shield + dual wield).

 

At least in all of my most recent playthroughs, and especially since attack speed got sorted properly in version 2.0 of the game, I've found it harder and harder to justify using two handed weapons vs the additional attack speed that can be gained from dual wielding as well as the extra defence (and also attack speed) that can be gained from using a shield.

 

By using a two hander vs dual wielding you sacrifice at least 70% recovery bonus (+50% DW Base, +20% TWF Talent) – this recovery bonus can be invested in additional damage reduction (approx 1 DR per 5%) or additional damage (attack faster, or take vulnerable attack).

 

By using a two hander vs Weapon and Shield, you sacrifice 15% recovery bonus and all the other defensive benefits a Durgan shield brings (hits to grazes right?) as well as massive defensive benefits on the shield itself e.g. in the case of little saviour with sword and shield style, you'll get +31 Deflection, +25 Reflex, +5 Will, +5 Fort and Preservation with a passive boost to other party members as well.

 

With Two-Handers you obviously get bigger initial damage and the +20% bonus, which is great for piercing through DR, but I wonder on the whole whether this can ever realistically match the benefits of dual wielding or using weapon and shield.

 

A good case for using a two-handed weapon used to be a Barbarian but ever since Heart of Fury became once per encounter I don't really think this can be justified anymore. 

 

I've never really found reach weapons to be that useful at all on POTD where anyone near the front lines is gonna get swamped. 

 

Your thoughts welcome. I suppose the ideal case for a two hander would be when a character can stack their recovery bonus so high that it essentially nullifies the recovery bonus granted through dual wielding but in practical terms such cases seem (to me at least) few and far between. A Wizard with Citzal's spirit lance comes to mind, as would a Barbarian under certain circumstances (e.g. Angio's Gambeson user + some buffs Barbs get from abilities are considered "passive" right and should stack?).

Edited by Livegood118
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I still love for a Barbarian using drakes bell (estoc with 8 DR bypass) and vulnerable attack (5 DR bypass). Carnage Hits everyone with godlike 13 DR bypass... 13 <3

Estocs are in my opinion still very valuable against high DR... Maybe dual stilletos and Vurnable attack are better though when compared to normal estocs (I think they aren't as good as drakes bell though-but not sure.

Don't leave one handed style out of sight though. +12 acc is huge and since a recent patch it now converts 15% of all hits to crits. That's really good... For example a one-handed rouge with upgraded dirty fighting basically only crits with one handed. That's especially nice with weapons that have on-crit effects. A barbarian can also make great use of this... There's a build for that around here somewhere. It's called the trash man I believe

Edited by Ben No.3

Everybody knows the deal is rotten

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Other than style points Two Handed Weapons get the short end of the stick.

 

Sabres doing almost the same damage just makes it worse. Factor in that Sabres have some of the better uniques and are packaged in a great weapon focus group that includes pistols, blunderbuss and stilettos and it is hard from a pure numbers stand point to not go with sabre instead of Two Hander.

 

A Two Handed Weapon also uses twice as much enchanting material and Durgan Steel.

 

Two handers are plenty viable, the game is easy enough on PotD that you'll do just fine but your inner powergamer will be whispering "should have gone with Sabres"

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I think attack speed has been overhyped a bit, actually. Obviously, all else being equal attacking more often is better, but the math of two-handed vs one-handed vs dual-wield in terms of DPS isn't nearly as one-sided as it is sometimes made out to be, and obviously also depends greatly on weapon side effects and enemy DR. Also keep in mind that two-handed weapons in particular don't just get the +15% bonus, they also have the highest base damage to begin with (Sabres are close of course, but then you're stuck with a very specific subset of weapons and only get Slashing damage (or Bittercut)). This means that in absolute terms (which is what matters relative to DR), two-handers get much more benefit from any +X% damage bonus, not just the inherent +15% one.

Edited by Loren Tyr
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I would like it if they did a bit more damage. Maybe Two Handed Style could be buffed a bit to 20% instead of 15% and/or they could add a small hit to crit conversion. I like Great Swords because of the great uniques they have and also because of the two damage types.

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I think attack speed has been overhyped a bit, actually. Obviously, all else being equal attacking more often is better, but the math of two-handed vs one-handed vs dual-wield in terms of DPS isn't nearly as one-sided as it is sometimes made out to be, and obviously also depends greatly on weapon side effects and enemy DR. Also keep in mind that two-handed weapons in particular don't just get the +15% bonus, they also have the highest base damage to begin with (Sabres are close of course, but then you're stuck with a very specific subset of weapons and only get Slashing damage (or Bittercut)). This means that in absolute terms (which is what matters relative to DR), two-handers get much more benefit from any +X% damage bonus, not just the inherent +15% one.

 

I'd always defer to your mathematical judgment on most things but for this it seems hard to me to see how 2H style can ever realistically "make up the gap" so to speak.

 

+70% recovery bonus vs a little bit more base damage + the extra % damage from 2H talent (can't remember if it's 15% or 20% now ...) is a hard sell for me, at least with the 2H weapons that are available in the game.

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I'd always defer to your mathematical judgment on most things but for this it seems hard to me to see how 2H style can ever realistically "make up the gap" so to speak.

 

+70% recovery bonus vs a little bit more base damage + the extra % damage from 2H talent (can't remember if it's 15% or 20% now ...) is a hard sell for me, at least with the 2H weapons that are available in the game.

It depends on class and build, I guess. Barbarians don't really need more attack speed after they start killing, and some Rogue builds may benefit more from higher base damage than speed.

 

Plus, reach weapons are always two-handed, and so are Blade of The Endless Paths and Tidefall, for example.

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I think there's a bit too much focus often on the overall best build in terms of damage, rather than going for an interesting "best" build. For me personally, I tend to focus on a build that is the potentially the best at what I wanted them to do, and is also viable. Best two-hander character definitely falls in that kind of category, lacking a little DPS but having many nice advantages (the high base damage being the chief one, as well as having two damage types in the sword and lots of nice uniques).

 

I'd focus on making a two-hander character and trying to optimise them from there. It comes to a point when you've completed an RPG enough times it's less about making a team as damaging as possible and more about trying to do something interesting and unusual which at the same time works mechanistically too.

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I've got a build here that is similar to Lady of Pain, but is optimised for the latest version of Pillars. She appears to have huge DPS when wielding Blade of the Endless Paths (seemingly the most damaging two-hander when fully enchanted), but is also no slouch in the defense department (probably doesn't work solo though).

 

Semi-Lady-of-Pain, Blade-of-the-Endless-Paths-Wielding Fighter
----------
-------- ----------------------------------- -------

Fighter / Coastal Aumaua / Old Vailia: Colonist.

Might:            20   (18 base, +2 Aumaua)
Constitution:     14   (14 base)
Dexterity:        14   (14 base)
Perception:       9    (9 base)
Intelligence:     15   (14 base, +1 Old Vailia)
Resolve:          6    (6 base)

Skill Point Distribution (Including Skill Points Gained from Items)
----- ----- ------------ ---------- ----- ------ ------ ---- ------

Lore:       10    (9 base, +1 Fighter)
Survival:   13    (8 base, +1 Fighter, +2 Colonist, +2 Sanguine Plate)

Lvl       Talent / Ability
---       ------ - -------
1         Disciplined Barrage
2         Rapid Recovery
3         Confident Aim
4         Weapon Focus: Adventurer
5         Weapon Specialization: Adventurer
6         Two-Handed Style
7         Armored Grace
8         Weapon Mastery: Adventurer
9     
   Critical Defense
10        Apprentice's Sneak Attack
11        Unbroken
12        Savage Attack
13        Charge
14        Bear's Fortitude
15        Triggered Immunity
16        Body Control

Endgame Items
------- -----

Weapon(s):    Blade of the Endless Path (Corrosive Lash, Durgan-Refined)
Head:         Maegfolc Skull
Armor:        Sanguine Plate (Legendary, Shock-Proofed, Durgan Reinforced)
Hands:        Gauntlets of Accuracy
Boots:        Boots of Speed
Neck:         Mantle of the Excavator
Rings:        Ring of Thorns, Ring of Protection
Waist:        Girdle of Eoten Constitution

 

She seems to do better than a dual-wielding Monksterslasher Bittercut Monk when in a party at least, as the monk doesn't gain as many wounds to spam Torments reach when you have fighters absorbing all the damage.

Edited by Undesirable
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I'd always defer to your mathematical judgment on most things but for this it seems hard to me to see how 2H style can ever realistically "make up the gap" so to speak.

 

+70% recovery bonus vs a little bit more base damage + the extra % damage from 2H talent (can't remember if it's 15% or 20% now ...) is a hard sell for me, at least with the 2H weapons that are available in the game.

 

 

It's not such a little bit though. Let's simplify it to a basic comparison Excluding Sabres, base ranges for normal one-handed weapons are 11-16, versus 14-20 for two-handed. Let's assume no other bonuses or effects except those of the DW / 2H talents respectively. Expected value per hit for the 1H weapons is 13.5 and 17 x 1.15 = 19.6 for 2H weapons, about 45% more.

 

In terms of attack speed, the general formula for the duration of an entire weapon attack cycle is T x (1 + C/0.6) + D. T is the attack animation duration (1.5s for normal/'slow' melee weapons), C is the recovery coefficient, D is a small unscaled constant (mostly; this constant is probably some product of idle/processing time, time step delta, etc.). D is in the order of 0.2 seconds, I'll just ignore it here for simplicity. The C is 0.3 when dual-wielding (with talent) and 1 for other weapon attacks, provided there is no armour penalty. As such, when dual-wielding you get about 1.8 attacks for every 2H/1H attack. This is less when you add in armour penalties, down to about 1.5 (ie. C += 0.5) when wearing Plate Armour. 

 

What this means is that the damage output per time unit is proportional to 13.5 x 1.8 = 24.3 (DW) vs 19.6 (2H) when naked, and 13.5 x 1.5 = 20.3 vs 19.6 when in Plate Armour; so a 24% DPS advantage for DW when naked, but only 4% in Plate. However, if we are attacking against 5 DR, this changes to 15.3 vs 14.9 (DW 3% advantage) naked and 12.8 vs 14.9 (2H 16% advantage). Against 10 DR (for simplicity ignoring minimum damage) it becomes 6.3 vs 9.6 (2H 52% advantage) naked and 5.3 vs 9.6 (2H 81% advantage).

 

Now, obviously in practice there will be a whole lot of variables that affect these calculations, some working more in favour of dual-wielding, others more in favour of two-handed fighting. And maybe on average a higher levels with fancy gear this may favour dual-wielding more often than two-handed fighting, it's hard to say. Which is my point: it is not evident, and as the above should show it definitely can go either way. And don't forget one-handed fighting by the way, that's right in the mix as well; in terms of DPS it is a trade-off of more frequent attacks (DW) versus better attacks (2H, 1H). And trading DPS for defense in the case of Sword & Shield, but that is even more difficult to compare meaningfully. 

 

More generally, I'd suggest forgetting about exact mathematical optimization (DPS or otherwise). Different fighting styles are all roughly on par, beyond that I'd just pick whatever appeals to you and fits your character, then make that work for you. 

 

 

On a completely unrelated note by the way, I generally wouldn't bother putting Shock-proofing on Plate Armour; you only get +1.5 DR out of it. Plate will always remain quite vulnerable to Shock damage anyway, you're generally better off getting the full +3 DR against some other type (or +3.75 against Slash/Pierce).

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The comparison between Monksterlasher and the semi Lady of Pain can't be done properly when you don't let the monk gain wounds of course. You would have to get in with the monk first to get fair results in a playthrough - the fighter doesn't need to get hit in order to do damage. Or, even better, do a certain encounter with the fighter and then again with the monk - as I did (also with the LoP). Until today I couldn't build a fighter who can beat the difficult bounties solo without cheesing or kiting and without spamming scrolls. I can do that with several monk builds.

Monksterlasher's dual Bittercuts - although being nice with Spirit of Decay - are a bit special and unrealistic though.

But even with fists every monk who's build with some sense and Torment's Reach should do more DPS than a fighter. AoE damage is key here.

 

I also think (no proof though) that Tidefall does more DPS than The BotEP with the stellar MIG the LoP normally has. Wounding gets calculated with the damage you do before DR gets subtracted and is also influenced by MIG (the MIG bonus applies to the +25% raw damage). So, with high MIG even +5DR bypass and speed of the BotEP might not be enough to outdamage wounding of Tidefall. Plus: every time you meet pierce resistant or even immune enemies the Blade's DPS will go down. But maybe I'm wrong here. Bit since every calc showed that Persistence rules over any other bow when it comes to DPS I guess with Great Swords it's not that different.

 

We should use the same build, optimize it for dual wielding and then again for 2h and then do some ingame tests.

Edited by Boeroer

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Just did a bit of testing with the same equipment on two characters, one equipped with BotEP, the other Tidefall, the rest of the equipment listed in my Semi-Lady-of-Pain build above. It seems that against quick-to-kill trash monsters, the BotEP is better, because of the attack speed increase, but as soon as monsters with higher endurance pools come along (ogres) Tidefall starts to catch up. Against dragons, I have no doubt Tidefall is much superior because you can put Beast Slaying on there in addition to a Lash, and dragons have a huge endurance pool. By the way, I tested these guys in a full party (which I call Uber party) and the 2 test chars had a constant MIG of 24, which increased to 27 with the Caed Nua resting bonus.

Edited by Undesirable
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Thanks a lot for testing.

 

With low(er) MIG it may well be that BotEP is better, too. High MIG is great for wounding, low MIG is bad for it. The BotEP doesn't depend on it so much because of DR bypass and speed. So maybe this rule of thumb can be applied: chars with high MIG should prefer Tidefall, chars with low MIG BotEP. :)

 

And somebody should also test how Firebrand performs compared to those two in terms of DPS. I also find Hours of St. Rumbalt to be a very good DPS/CC weapon. Annihilation plus Overbearing is a great combination. As is Tall Grass's Predatory + Overbearing + reach.

 

Attack speed is not necessarily the most important thing for DPS when you fight high DR foes. But it also helps a lot with CC effects like Force of Anguish: with enough wounds, it's supereasy to punch several foes to the ground in quick secession because of your short recovery. With a 2h this is not possible. The chance that you get interrupted is higher and it's not about damage when you use FoA. You want to disable. That's one reason why I think 2h should deal a bit more damage or do more crits in order to balance out the faster appliance of status effects with dual wielding or even weapon+durg. shield. Or they should have way higher interrupt values than one handed weapons. Something that resembles the impact/force when you get hit by such a big weapon.

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I think that some classes (Rogue, Fighters) have innate bonuses to dmg, so for them 2W are better, max dmg is always on square, if we have dmg next step is speed.
(and then crits)

If we dont have inherit dmg boost, 2h is better to deal with dr.

 

It is less about 2h vs 2w but 2h vs 2xSabers. But PoE is not tham MiniMax oriented to nerf sabers or something.

 

Increasing 2h bonus to 20% is fair.

 

I like the idea of making Overbearing talent (2h only). Stunning shots are fun on Ranger. And it make sense for very big hammer to sometimes prone enemies. It also support accuracy build which makes it different.

 

Note: I found lack of 1h style in this discussion disturbing. Maybe there should be more feats for 1h Silvio Forells. Feats mixing different feauters (Parrying, speed, strenght, precision)

Edited by evilcat
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What I've taken from this thread I think is that relative to all other large 1h weapons, Sabres are probably op. Seems to me like the difference between the weapon styles could be bridged by a nerf.

 

You could of course raise the damage of 2H a bit, but that doesn't really change the fact that Sabres are pretty much always the best 1H choice barring a few notable exceptions.

Edited by Livegood118
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Your thoughts welcome. I suppose the ideal case for a two hander would be when a character can stack their recovery bonus so high that it essentially nullifies the recovery bonus granted through dual wielding but in practical terms such cases seem (to me at least) few and far between. A Wizard with Citzal's spirit lance comes to mind, as would a Barbarian under certain circumstances (e.g. Angio's Gambeson user + some buffs Barbs get from abilities are considered "passive" right and should stack?).

 

I played a solo wizard with several buffs, Citzal's Spirit Lance, DAoM and Citzal's Martial Power and the damage output was quite glorious since he had almost no recovery time. Since he had a blast effect with the Spirit Lance, his damage output beat my solo TCS Rogue by a country mile.

 

With my full party playthrough, a buffed Eder with Abydon's Hammer was an impressive slaughtering machine, but the fact that he had support from the rest of the party made this a lot easier. If I chose not to buff, then the slower attack speed was quite noticeable. However, I never felt the need to let him use any other type of weapons  - two-handed weapons may no be optimal in this case, but they can still get the job done.

 

Going back to the wizard, when he was not buffed, attacking with a two-handed weapon was a bad idea. Without party support he was dead in the water unless he used a weapon and shield. For him to survive, the increased deflection was an absolute necessity.

 

In terms of whether I prefer weapon or shield or two-handed weapons with the wizard, it ultimately depended on the fights. It would not have mattered for 90% of the fights, but for some fights I needed to put down the enemies as quickly as possible (adragans come to mind) since their special attacks had the potential to be devastating and in other fights I needed all the deflection I could get (last two bounties and dragons). There was no perfect weapon set, merely a weapon set that was more (but not perfectly) suited for certain fights.

 

TLDR - Really depends on several variables that can't always be captured by math alone. Party vs solo, buffed vs unbuffed and the types of enemies can all change the optimum weapon sets, and your playstyle can be adapted to compensate for the weaknesses of certain weapon types.

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Maybe that's why they are exactly as fast as the slow one handers like spears, swords and sabres. The descriptions says "slow" when you look at 2handers and "average" when you look at the slower 1handers - but in game they both take the same amount of animation and recovery frames to attack. A bit counterintuitive, but it's like that.

 

So... a great sword has exactly the same speed as a sword in this game. But a 2handed weapon does indeed more damage and can punch through armor more easily than a 1handed. Usually an 2 handed variant is a lot heavier - but there's not  much speed loss (if it's not too front-heavy) because you can swing it with two hands. But it's way easier to fell a tree with a two handed axe instead of a one handed one. You can translate that into the game with more damage or DR bypass. More damage seems to be ok for me. THey already do more damage, just not enough to make up for the high defense and speed bonus of a shield or the huge speed bonus of dual wielding. 

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Right, well that's confusing. I always thought the 'slow' meant they were slower than the 'average' speed weapons. Makes a lot more sense for them to be the same speed and in that case I would agree they need slightly more damage in comparison with the other styles.

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Indeed. In practice there are actually three base weapon speeds:

1) fast melee

2) normal/slow melee, fast ranged

3) normal ranged and beyond

 

Category 2 takes 50% longer than category 1, and category 3 takes 50% longer than category 2 (so 125% longer than category 1). All the ranged weapons other than the 'fast' ones actually have the same attack and recovery duration. The only difference is in the reload time. Though that isn't entirely complete either, since Pistol/Blunderbuss reload slightly faster than Arbalest, even though they are all marked 'Very Slow'.

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Isn't the actual attack animation for a two-hander much longer than for one-handed weapons?

Edited by Ben No.3

Everybody knows the deal is rotten

Old Black Joe's still pickin' cotton

For your ribbons and bows

And everybody knows

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