Reworking Melee Class and Build Viability



  • This is the culmination of several threads. I’m going to be explaining why certain playstyles are unviable with my own personal experience and input.

    Vanguards are the true carrying and stomping class of this game. They’re the most versatile and yet still outdo the other two melee classes.

    Knights are great duelists and team players but simply can’t match the VG’s killing potential. MAA can support their team by constantly interrupting fights and by making themselves into unreachable targets. Vanguards, however, are excellent duelists who use their reach to interrupt fights and their knockback and range to make them unreachable targets in a group. Their high hit/kill ratio coupled with fast weapon speeds gives the vanguard the highest damage output of all the melee classes.

    As a result of the current meta, knights have to use two handed weapons to remain viable and MAA are basically stuck with the broadsword and morningstar. Shield knights aren’t viable due to their low damage output and inability to properly retake initiative after blocking attacks. Men at arms have to use the broadsword and morningstar because their other weapons are too short in group combat, or they just suck like the falchion.

    Some weapons and mechanics must be reworked to achieve relative equality amongst classes and builds.

    Weapon Rebalancing:

    • The Falchion. It’s useless for men at arms and the worst secondary for knights. This weapon was originally nerfed due to complaints of its slash being overpowered. Revert this weapon back to its original state or something close to it. The maa’s increased blunt damage resistance means that knights can no longer reliably two hit maa with the mace. Giving the knight a reliable secondary that can would be a godsend.

    • The Warhammer. Impotent when compared to the damage output of the grand mace and maul. The flanged mace and morningstar are better options and they’re secondaries. There has already been a discussion on how to fix this. Making the warhammer viable again would give shield knights a great primary, which it was in the first year of this game.

    • The Bearded Axe. This weapon was pretty bad even when it had its gimmicky overhead. The real problem wasn’t the speed of the overhead itself but how slow the windup was in comparison to its fast release. Compare this weapon to the broadsword which is also fast. The BS has a short windup and a reasonably fast release, making it less prone to jerky movements while still connecting very quickly. If the BA is to become viable I believe it should act as the knight’s fast dueling axe. It should do low but reliable damage per hit but be able to throw out a constant stream of steady comboes, similar to the vanguard’s billhook.

    • The Dane Axe. Pretty bad weapon right now; was also nerfed a while back. Needs some further looking at.

    Mechanic changes:

    • Remove shield attack drop time (or allow shields to attack without drop time after a successful block.) Shield knights cannot retake the initiative in most fights because they lack the ability to riposte. Even in 1v1 duels it can be difficult. Shield drop time was nerfed because shield knights and men at arms were indeed extremely viable. Some called them OP. If shield users do not have the ability to attack immediately after blocking, they cannot win 1vN fights and they will struggle in duels. The shield knight needs to make a comeback.

    • Change how knockback occurs with vanguard weapons. Anyone who has fought a vanguard will know how annoying knockback is. If you parry a vanguard, you will be knocked back so far that you won’t be able to connect with your riposte a lot of times. Knockback affects shield knights the worst since they’re huge targets and seem to get knocked back further with each hit. I propose that instead of vanguards knocking back enemies after a parry or block, vanguards knock enemies back further only on successful hits. This would help alleviate a multitude of problems. Enemies would be discouraged from hit trading vanguards by fear of being knocked back just enough not to connect. Long weapons like the halberd and brandistock would move enemies far enough back after the first hit to give the person hit a little room to parry the second attack without being facehugged. Best of all, vanguards who have been parried WILL NOT knock enemies back, and will thus be punished for unsuccessful hits. I think this is a nice dynamic. It helps a vanguard’s crowd control ability, but punishes being parried and makes it harder for vgs to wail on single targets.

    • Reduce stamina drain for missing hits. Feints aren’t the ultimate solution to making someone parry late or early like they used to be. It still works on noobs, but it isn’t enough for skilled players. Missed swings, late swings, lookdowns, z-stabs, and reverse overheads are often what it takes to defeat the skilled, and those are all variations of dragging. Missing swings takes a lot of stamina, which limits the amount of times these skilled non-feint maneuvers can be used. The sheer lack of stamina to continue engagements makes team fighting more difficult and 1vNs very short.

    • Remove sprint lockout upon hitting parries, but keep it for flinches. This has been discussed already. It hurts all classes, not just the vanguards.

    TL;DR (and even this is a lot)
    Vanguards can do everything while knights and maa are overall less capable.
    Certain builds aren’t worth using. Shield knights and non-broadsword/morningstar maa are the main ones.
    The falchion, warhammer, bearded axe, and dane axe are poor weapons and need help.
    Shield drop time for attacks should be removed to help shield knights.
    Make vanguards knock enemies back further only on successful hits. Remove knockback on parries.
    Missing swings takes a lot of stamina and should be tweaked to be lower.
    Remove sprint lockout.



  • I pretty much agree with everything except a couple of things.

    The class dynamic you described, “Vanguards can do everything while knights and maa are overall less capable.” is only semi-true. Vanguards are supposed to be the high-damage killing machines. But they can’t do anything at all if they don’t have a knight or MAA backing them up. Whenever Tempest scrims we always make sure to at least roll one knight. Otherwise the vanguards get zoned very easily. Knights can do very well and get plenty of kills and achieve better K/D’s than vanguards too, same with MAA.

    I also disagree with your ideas on the knockback. Knockback is important for vanguards because otherwise they would always just be facehugged. The knockback and stamina drain levels pre-June patch were pretty much perfect, and I think reverting to those would be best. But I do agree that sprint lockout should only happen for flinches and not for parries. I also think that all classes should just get a slightly larger stamina pool, rather than just make missing attacks cost less stamina. There have been plenty of times where I’m 3v1’ing and I’m actually doing very well. But I run out of stamina before I can kill even one of them, even though my skill should’ve been enough.



  • @Flippy:

    I pretty much agree with everything except a couple of things.

    The class dynamic you described, “Vanguards can do everything while knights and maa are overall less capable.” is only semi-true.

    That is fair. Vanguards are exceedingly powerful, but only with a team that allows them.
    @Flippy:

    I also disagree with your ideas on the knockback. Knockback is important for vanguards because otherwise they would always just be facehugged. The knockback and stamina drain levels pre-June patch were pretty much perfect, and I think reverting to those would be best.

    Care to elaborate? I thought that knocking enemies back even more after successful hits would make them more powerful in 1vNs due to the distance created between targets. Are you disagreeing with this idea entirely or do you just disagree with the part where knockback on parries is completely removed?



  • @DerFürst:

    That is fair. Vanguards are exceedingly powerful, but only with a team that allows them.

    Care to elaborate? I thought that knocking enemies back even more after successful hits would make them more powerful in 1vNs due to the distance created between targets. Are you disagreeing with this idea entirely or do you just disagree with the part where knockback on parries is completely removed?

    I disagree with the knockback on successful hits and no knockback on parries. If you were to get moved around the ground while being flinched, that would create some really flukey scenarios. Just imaging getting smacked by 2 vanguards. You would be like a pinball. Plus the flinch.

    I also think that knockback should remain on parries just because that’s how it’s always been. I think the knockback should definitely be reduced, but not removed.



  • @Flippy:

    I pretty much agree with everything except a couple of things.

    The class dynamic you described, “Vanguards can do everything while knights and maa are overall less capable.” is only semi-true. Vanguards are supposed to be the high-damage killing machines. But they can’t do anything at all if they don’t have a knight or MAA backing them up. Whenever Tempest scrims we always make sure to at least roll one knight. Otherwise the vanguards get zoned very easily. Knights can do very well and get plenty of kills and achieve better K/D’s than vanguards too, same with MAA.

    I also disagree with your ideas on the knockback. Knockback is important for vanguards because otherwise they would always just be facehugged. The knockback and stamina drain levels pre-June patch were pretty much perfect, and I think reverting to those would be best. But I do agree that sprint lockout should only happen for flinches and not for parries. I also think that all classes should just get a slightly larger stamina pool, rather than just make missing attacks cost less stamina. There have been plenty of times where I’m 3v1’ing and I’m actually doing very well. But I run out of stamina before I can kill even one of them, even though my skill should’ve been enough.

    +100000000



  • A really well reasoned post, OP - good stuff. Good subsequent posts from the others: im hardly mature hence this analogy but… im basically dripping wet over all the logic, mature debate, and reasoning im seeing thrown around here. PHWOAR.

    Flippy makes a good point with the “pinball” thing.

    However overall, I pretty much agree with everything you say, particularly on shield and weapons. I believe shield to be viable atm but, overall… not as viable as other stuff under a fair few circumstances - and I like your solution.

    I like your ideas on falchion and bearded especially. I personally love the warhammer (my favourite weapon, easily) and it definitely can be made to sing - but equally, i do feel it is outshone by the secondary blunts in most ways and i have yet to see an argument that properly counters this.

    You’d do better to go SoW + Flanged/MS (for good situational anti-class coverage) over going Warhammer + Broad… all day erry day. Someone point out how im wrong on that and ill accept it but til then…



  • I think bearded axe should be the sword of the axes



  • @Triumphant:

    A really well reasoned post, OP - good stuff. Good subsequent posts from the others: im hardly mature hence this analogy but… im basically dripping wet over all the logic, mature debate, and reasoning im seeing thrown around here. PHWOAR.

    Flippy makes a good point with the “pinball” thing.

    However overall, I pretty much agree with everything you say, particularly on shield and weapons. I believe shield to be viable atm but, overall… not as viable as other stuff under a fair few circumstances - and I like your solution.

    I like your ideas on falchion and bearded especially. I personally love the warhammer (my favourite weapon, easily) and it definitely can be made to sing - but equally, i do feel it is outshone by the secondary blunts in most ways and i have yet to see an argument that properly counters this.

    You’d do better to go SoW + Flanged/MS (for good situational anti-class coverage) over going Warhammer + Broad… all day erry day. Someone point out how im wrong on that and ill accept it but til then…

    Well to do this I’ll have to compare the SoW vs. Broad and Warhammer vs. Flanged/MS…… so I’ll do it!

    SoW vs. Broadsword
    -SoW has a HTK advantage
    -Broadsword has a large speed advantage
    -SoW has a reach advantage

    Conclusion: Basically the SoW will prove to be better against Vanguards and MaA in teamfights than the Broad but the Broad will prove to be better against Vanguards and MaA in duels. Whichever weapon has a particular overall advantage isn’t really clear, however they both do seem to have situational advantages over each other.

    Warhammer vs. Flanged Mace
    -Warhammer has superior damage with a better HTK against all 3 melee classes
    -Flanged Mace has superior speed
    -They have nearly equal reach

    Conclusion: Overall quite even and the same can be said about these two as I said about the other two weapons I compared; they both only have situational advantages over each other. The Warhammer proves to be a superior team support weapon with its all most entirely superior damage and the Flange Mace is a better weapon for duels because of its speed.

    Warhammer vs. Morning Star
    -The Warhammer has slight damage advantage with a better HTK against Knights, but the same against all other classes
    -The Warhammer has a slight speed advantage
    -The Morning star has a reach advantage

    Conclusion: These two weapons seem pretty perfectly balanced. The Warhammer is slightly better in duels with a better HTK and superior speed, however the Morning Star is slightly better in team fights because it only looses a bit of HTK for a reliable reach advantage.

    Overall Conclusion: The setups seem even and it just depends on how you look at it. SoW+MS will be the best setup overall in team fights, SoW+Flanged will be overall the best mixed setup for teams and duels, and the Warhammer+Broad will be the best setup for duels. In the end, people rate the Warhammer far too harshly because they only look at its downsides, but that is not the recipe for true objectivity.



  • alright ill be the odd man out I like the falchion as is trade some reach for the ability to kill maa and archers in 2 hits no other sword can do that its like the war axe in sword form use a tower shield with it and uve got a pretty good setup



  • @Tombstone:

    alright ill be the odd man out I like the falchion as is trade some reach for the ability to kill maa and archers in 2 hits no other sword can do that its like the war axe in sword form use a tower shield with it and uve got a pretty good setup

    All of the one-handed swords can two shot archers and MaAs.



  • @Chimpanzer:

    All of the one-handed swords can two shot archers and MaAs.

    never seems to be the case when I use them…. then agien I mostly go for slashs n stabs when fighting lighter classes



  • @Tombstone:

    never seems to be the case when I use them…. then agien I mostly go for slashs n stabs when fighting lighter classes

    Yeah overhead and stab is generally the combo I use. Trying to do it with stabs only is a bad idea in my experience because it becomes 3htk vs 4 while they also get the benefits of being maa.



  • @Nohbdy111:

    Well to do this I’ll have to compare the SoW vs. Broad and Warhammer vs. Flanged/MS…… so I’ll do it!

    SoW vs. Broadsword
    -SoW has a HTK advantage
    -Broadsword has a large speed advantage
    -SoW has a reach advantage

    Conclusion: Basically the SoW will prove to be better against Vanguards and MaA in teamfights than the Broad but the Broad will prove to be better against Vanguards and MaA in duels. Whichever weapon has a particular overall advantage isn’t really clear, however they both do seem to have situational advantages over each other.

    Warhammer vs. Flanged Mace
    -Warhammer has superior damage with a better HTK against all 3 melee classes
    -Flanged Mace has superior speed
    -They have nearly equal reach

    Conclusion: Overall quite even and the same can be said about these two as I said about the other two weapons I compared; they both only have situational advantages over each other. The Warhammer proves to be a superior team support weapon with its all most entirely superior damage and the Flange Mace is a better weapon for duels because of its speed.

    Warhammer vs. Morning Star
    -The Warhammer has slight damage advantage with a better HTK against Knights, but the same against all other classes
    -The Warhammer has a slight speed advantage
    -The Morning star has a reach advantage

    Conclusion: These two weapons seem pretty perfectly balanced. The Warhammer is slightly better in duels with a better HTK and superior speed, however the Morning Star is slightly better in team fights because it only looses a bit of HTK for a reliable reach advantage.

    Overall Conclusion: The setups seem even and it just depends on how you look at it. SoW+MS will be the best setup overall in team fights, SoW+Flanged will be overall the best mixed setup for teams and duels, and the Warhammer+Broad will be the best setup for duels. In the end, people rate the Warhammer far too harshly because they only look at its downsides, but that is not the recipe for true objectivity.

    OK, I’ll bite.

    In general I agree with the basic premises but disagree in some ways with your conclusions. When looking at weapons you need to take into account whether they are primaries or secondaries so you can weigh up which combinations of weapons you are taking into the field. Also some weapons play differently than the numbers dictate due to their animations, how familiar people are with the timings etc.

    For example: SoW has better range than the Broadsword but not by very much, in fact people seem to be caught off guard by the BS’s range far more than the SoW. However the SoW can be used as either one hand or two so in a shield setup this might be important (or not considering the BS is consistantly better in every regard except range compared to the SoW), the point being that any of the bastard swords have the flexibility to be used one or two handed as is appropriate.

    When choosing warhammer as a primary you give up the ability to switch to a 2 handed weapon and the flexibility of using a bastard 1H with a shield. If on the other hand you choose mace or MS as a secondary you can still choose any 2H primary whilst retaining a powerful one handed blunt damage dealer (that’s also far superior in regard to it’s very fast stab in the case of the mace or more powerful pierce/blunt damage of the MS stab which is still faster than the warhammer). Giving up the option of switching to a 2hander is a massive negative for the warhammer in any situation; duels, scrims or pubs.

    The only thing oddly balanced about Knight weapons right now is that the bastard swords are underpowered in both 1H and 2H as is the warhammer and shields in general, so you’re not that much better off choosing between them all.



  • Given that the knight’s class speed is slow and that generally the windup and release of 1h knight weapons (except for the broadswrd) are slow other classes can out pace the knight too easily.

    The knights class movement speed is meant to be his downside due to his increased armour and ability to use heavy shields and thats fine. The issue is that the knight can not operate well with all is equipment under these conditions. This is why people look to shield buffs, to have weapons of the knight improved, or for the knight to have a new/additional class ability. etc etc.

    Given that the knight’s class movement speed is ‘as intended’ you really have to look at what is the most appropriate way of fixing the knight and his kit/weapons/shields.

    Many classes and loadouts can be made effective by those who spend time on perfecting a particular loadout. All options considered i think it’d be fair to say that the knight has the largest area of concern for all of his kit or various loadouts, i think it is fair to say that the knight has the largest gap in his arsenal of all the class kits.

    It always comes back to the knight. I don’t think its suitable to relegate the knight to the back bench position on the grounds that ‘he’s a tank’ because this is C:MW not world of warcraft.


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