I made a similar post earlier. I will post what we came up with: Note the halberdist is more or less extinct.
Stereotypes in the eyes of a vanguard
After spending (too) many hours as a sword Vanguard in this game, I would try to give a summary of the most frequently encountered types of players on public servers in CMW. Of course there are some very skilled players around with unique playing styles, but I think the majority will fit into one of the following categories. This is based on subjective experience, and may differ in the eyes of other classes.
The new player
For the convenience of not being stuck in chaotic melee, many very fresh players tend to be archers. Will die a lot. 80% of arrows miss. 10% hit enemies, 10% hit friends. Not a very great asset to the team. When they miss their last arrow before death, they don’t pull up sidearm but just stare at the attacker with those empty eyes.
Often fairly new players, but with some experience with projectile behavior and an inherent aim probably acquired in traditional FPS gaming, they can actually hit targets. Not comfortable in melee and a little short on situational awareness, but can help the team if defended \ supported. Reluctant to pull out sidearm.
The melee archer
Competent melee players decided to test out archer. Not very accurate at range. Will often try one arrow, miss, and go “what the hell…” and pull out their sidearm. Better situational awareness and an eagerness for close combat, these guys are not free kills. However, they would probably have done more for the team as another class.
The good archer
As a vanguard i would say I’m glad its far between these. Deadly at range, deadly in melee, Works as an integral part of the team, and not as some third party support service. Excellent awareness, and will most of the time land an arrow in the attacker before killing him with sidearm. Can sometimes be defeated with a faint-overhead as an one-shot opener. If this fails, death for the attacker usually follows.
As with other archers, these spear throwers are often motivated by being able to deal damage while being out of harms way, and is often controlled by fairly new players. The typical javeliner is usually fairly easy to kill due to his lack of melee skills and awareness. As with “the good archer” the players that have went through the steep learning curve of this class will be a real asset to the team, or a dangerous foe. Often positioned in the second rank of the main battle line, they pop out to land backstabs or finish targets of opportunity from range.
Have not grasped the basic techniques of melee, but understand that movement is key to survival. May dodge randomly, often into swings. Also some apply a movement pattern resembling and 8-number while wildly swinging. Can be an annoyance, but not very dangerous.
The artful dodger
I suspect duel experience. These shieldless MAA will usually punish missed swings hard, and wait for that opportunity. Excel in 1v1 situations, but sometimes falls to his own tunnel vision. At the lower skill levels you will observe a regular pattern of forward dodging, attempting to land combos. After perfecting these skills the artful dodger will become perhaps the most dangerous foe in 1v1 situations. He will rely on destroying you fast enough to not find himself surrounded.
Trolling with firepots \ thowing knives and a reluctance to commit to close combat. Will try to single out hurt enemies and destroy them, preferably from the back, and then pull back. Not afraid to use the “laugh” and “taunt” voices.
The skilled shieldman
Good weapon knowledge, good awareness. These fair fighters are hard to take down. Will usually not swing out of range, giving the enemy no free hits. Usually excellent battlefield positioning that binds up the attention of several enemies. If they ignore him, they find themselves under committed attack, and die.
The LMB spammer
Zweihander and bardice are common. Identifies target, spirit attack, horizontal swings to death. Prone to teamkilling due to low situational awareness and not to much care for friendlies well being. They die a lot, but sometimes manages to pull 2 enemies and one friend with them.
Two categories. The new player, often identified by him using the spear as a swing weapon. The efficient spearman, keeping distance and poking unaware enemies. Often found circling melees. Usually killing more than he dies if he have situational awareness.
Hunting archers and running in the outskirts of melee targeting injuried enemies with stabs and overheads. Will often avoid fighting shielded knights as the risk of being surrounded grows with time committed in 1v1 melee. Decent awareness and will often try to keep the fighting in front of him. Not afraid to let teammates take the heat for him.
As the halberd as a weapon is thoroughly elaborated in other threads, this will not be a balance discussion. The skilled halberdist is not afraid to be in the main battleline. Poking like a spearman, but also dangerous in 1v1 due to the connect speed and animation of his stabs. Often some of the most deadly players on the server.
A strong defensive force. The more inexperienced shield knights can be taken down due to poor shield application and by swinging out of range giving away free hits. This factor diminish with experience of the knight, and he becomes increasingly hard to take down, and times his attacks better. Often a great asset to the team as he may tie down the attention of several enemies, giving the his friends opportunities to land hits, and stand firm on the objective.
Using grand mace, poleaxe, maul or even messer, they try to destroy single targets fast. Sometimes the knight equivalent of LMB-vanguards but becomes increasingly sophisticated with experience. Often willing to trade a hit on himself in exchange for closing range. Being on the receiving end of a equally skilled “brutal” knights attack may often feel like being hit by a rhino. A skilled messer knight is a tremendous force in 1v1 situations.
Basic melee knowledge, often acquired from playing vanguard in the beginning of their MCW career. They adapt the LMB approach to combat from their vanguard days, with new confidence stemming from their now heavier armor. Not very focused on picking their fights, they often act in a fearless fashion, taking on groups of enemies in a fairly unsophisticated manner. Do not feint the first attack against these guys, as they tend to emphasize attacking over blocking. They lead a lone, often fruitless, charge sans ability.
This category involves players that have mastered most aspects of melee combat. Truly elegant players. Wielding their sword of war with deadly timing and precision, they often become the champions of their team. May use shield vs arrows, but prefer to fight with both hands on their weapon, they excel in most combat situations. They often act well behaved on servers.
Thanks to Mindlapse, Nivve and tlbww for your contributions.