Lately, a lot of players on my server have been having purges like Lemurian Scouts, Razor Gord’s Kitchen Crew, and others where there are a ton of low HP enemies. In such cases, weapons with a huge area of effect are less desirable to use because of the fact that you’re apt to hit thralls you want to keep like T4 crafters.
Thrusting weapons would then seem to be the answer, so I figured I’d try a weapon that was seemingly designed specifically for close-quarters battle (CQB): the shortsword. Unfortunately, even against weak humans NPCs it’s pretty terrible.
Against a Bandit purge I specifically summoned to do a test against weak targets, it proved nigh impossible to get in any hits against a pair of fighters using shields. Instead, it was constant stunlock on my character and I was scarcely able to initiate a roll to escape. Had these been level-appropriate enemies like Cimmerians of Votaries, I’d have been a goner for sure. Even when I later engaged a solo shield user it wasn’t much better.
As it stands then, the shortsword really only feels viable if you are teamed-up with another player. But given that solo and offline play are a thing, I’d say that each weapon in the game should be capable of standing on its own. That’s not to say each weapon should be equally optimal for all situations, but that the shortsword seems particularly ill-suited for the scenarios it was designed to excel at.
What I’d suggest to make the shortsword a more viable weapon for CQB are a combination of changes.
- Kick Override: Just as daggers have a unique kick/block (i.e the backflip), give the shortsword a kick override that executes a quick pivot to the left or right so as to close ground and better flank someone. Think of Sophitia and Cassandra’s closing move fro Soul Calibur (I think it’s called Angel Step).
- Status Effect: Right now, the shortsword is one of the only weapons that has no options to leverage the second strength perk. A Bleed status effect would be consistent with other close-range edged weapons.
- Better combos: While the first attacks in each combo feel pretty good, the fact that there’s only a single follow-up attack makes the shortsword feel really uninspiring and predictable. I’d lengthen the chain to 3 or 4 attacks, remembering that we still want to prioritize a single target.
- Hyper-armor: I can’t recall another weapon in the game making me so vulnerable to attack and counter-attack. Please consider adding some hyper-armor to at least the opening attack so we have some chance of not being instantly stunlocked.
Be grateful to have some feedback from experienced PvP players as well since I can only provide feedback and suggestions based upon PvE gameplay.