The current combat system have its sever flaws for heavy pvp. If played well enough in meta gear, it leaves 1v1 fights in a long and drawn out draw as neither opponents will die.
The current meta is a full heavy armor with the dodge roll perk, regen in vit, and spending some time with the dancer. With these three even with 10 stacks of poison wont kill you (same with 20 bleeds), it will take about 1/6 of your healthy roughly, and the amount of effort needed to apply these aren’t reflective in the damage dealt. I’m unsure if armor is reducing these effects but i strongly urge that this should not be the case as it severely reduces the viability of these effect as better gear is released.
Dodge roll is too effective in this current iteration, it saves you from everything. There are no counters to this if properly managed which is not that hard if the person has ever played a game that had a stamina system as this. One dodge roll shouldn’t not completely remove you from a persons attack range, from short range weapons sure, but attacks like the axe lunge, sword lunge or the spears reach should be able to punish a person dodge rolling if they only dodged once. The distance needs to be reduced and the difference between light armor weight and medium armor should effect the speed of the roll. Otherwise whats the point of having these two classes of armor.
This combat system needs some sort of poise system, no one will ever get hit with a full combo unless they’ve completely ran out of stamina which is rare in a 1v1 fight. If combos are going to be the key way to get effects/damage out then there is a need for the opponent to be staggered, locking them out from doing any sort of action for a brief time. This sorely shows in a 1v1 fight with heavies,as neither opponent will ever drop to low if they play smart. Keeping shield up when enemy gets to close, managing you dodge rolls, continuing your combo if the enemy sits in it or disengaging with a single role, and since bleeds, sunder, cripple doesn’t get applied till the second hit in most cases you’ll never see these effects. Since you cant continue this chain of damage there will always be this brief moment we’re both opponent will heal up passively and neither can do anything about it since they already reduce a lot of damage and have shield to prevent any incoming attacks. Granted some of these effects might get applied due to latency issue, in most cases the damage never carries over.
Shields did not receive a proper nerf, shields are just to strong right now. There is zero penalties for using a shield, and there a no counter to this, the mace and the hammer have horrible windups and don’t properly break shields until the last hit. Both weapons needs the shield break to be on the first hit or the opponent will simply dodge roll out of it due to the issues above. All weapon types should reduce the stamina of the shield wielder just like in dark souls. Where stamina is used upon blocking but not as much as the attacker, and to properly counter shield users maces and hammers should reduce a greater amount of stamina. Also having shields increase armor type of the wielder not only makes sense but also brings in more build diversity. As oppose the heavy using a shield and being able to dodge roll like and medium or light thus giving him the best of everything.
Hopefully the combat system in some shape or form gets improved as its currently state at the end game leaves much to be desired. Granted these are a lot of 1v1 scenarios but a lot of it can be carried into group play. As everyone is in the opinion that archer are not needed ( which is entirely false).
I am truly grateful for the amount of work you guys have put into this game and released free expansions to an already decent game. Hope you guys continue this and i hope the next expansion is something we can pay for as you guys deserve the extra cash. Also the throw weapons needs some love. Running away still remains OP.