Their dagger isn’t weak… lol. Archers can singlehandedly tear knights apart with that quick weapon and unforgiving flinching. Something is wrong with that.
As far as I know, every single competitive player disagrees with you. I’m of the opinion games generally should be balanced around their competitive scene.
This is because unlike public players, competitive players have a unique commitment to winning, and thus are slightly more objective with their assessment of what is powerful and what is not. They generally have more dedication, and thus have a more intimate understanding of balance. Of course, they’re not perfect, and comp players are just as prone to bias as public players. If comp players never use something (and by the same virtue, if they always use something), there’s a problem.
Daggers have ridiculously poor range in addition to poor damage. Due to their shoddy animations, their ranges are even worse than the model would suggest (without a shield, anyway).
A Broad Dagger Swing (or Overhead, they deal identical damage) deals 14 damage to a Knight’s torso. 18 to the head. That’s six hits to kill. Even with backstab bonus (which does not happen in a face-to-face fight) and Headshots, the Broad Dagger’s thrust takes three hits to kill. Meanwhile, many Knight weapons can kill an Archer in two hits, some in one.
Dagger spam can be intimidating to more inexperienced players, yes. But that doesn’t mean they’re overpowered; there needs to be a line designers draw where the “L2play” argument holds water. We can’t balance around people who don’t play the game properly; else balance would be a lost cause.
Daggers fall within that line. Unless there are competitive players around who genuinely (and objectively) think the Dagger is fine, or even overpowered, I’ll never believe it. There’s just no evidence. They’re not unblockable (but the inverse is true, since Daggers can only block heavier weapons three or so times before all stamina is drained) and they don’t do fearsome damage. Their poor animations and range make hitting unreliable, and they take upwards of 4 to 6 hits to kill.
Archers are a RANGED class. As you said, daggers are potent against less skilled players but can’t hold against skilled ones, and that’s perfectly fine. Should a dagger-wielding archer be on par with an equally-skilled knight? No. The dagger obviously has to have a significant disadvantage and only prevail with a very skilled player. So, if a dagger takes 3-6 hits to kill a knight, it’s OK. Skilled players will win some of the time and lose some of the time. They should rely on their ranged weapons instead.
The problem isn’t daggers being weak, it’s daggers being weak compared to the cudgel and shortsword, which, for the same arguments, might need a nerf. None of the archer secondaries should enable them to hold their ground against equally-skilled players who use other classes, unless they’re already wounded or something.