Spear review and spear mechanic proposal/suggestion

Do you like the mechanic?


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Mordred-A1

Recruit
My review of spear:
After playing 80 hours of using only spear in Bannerlord, I think I have the right to say that it sucks. You will have a better time using any weapon other than 2 handed spear or a spear and shield. Playing as a spearman requires you to learn mechanics that other weapons doesn't have to learn or doesn't have to utilize as much as you do. For example:
-Being a spearman requires you to learn footwork or else you suffer from swords,axes, or any other weapon that just hugs you. If they do hug you, you have to shove or kick them back. In my experience kicking is not a good strategy because if you miss you get locked in your position and they just slice you down, it's much more easier to block and then shove.
-You have to learn your spear length and how to aim. With swords and axes, you can just go to your enemy's face and hack them away with a swing, which is fun and exciting. Meanwhile with a spear, you have to use your spear length, too far and you'll miss, too short and it'll bounce off and/or deal absolute garbage damage, but when you get that sweet spot, you get to stun and deal good damage to your enemy. Since the spear only has 2 attacks (above and below), your weapon is very easy to read and you have to feint while backing away, while they try to close in on you or else they just block your attack and slice you dead. This is worse if you're 2 handing a spear and go up against a sword and shield enemy, since they can just hold block and hug you (and you can't shove them while they have a shield up), in this case you have 2 choices either kick them or wait for them to open up and then shove them. Aiming is important when using a spear, because you're not slicing with 180 angle, you're attack goes where your reticle is pointed at, this is not a problem most of the time, but it's really a problem when there's a fast naked dude armed with a 2 handed sword/axe that can 1-2 shot you, that sidesteps and circles you which makes you miss your attack/shove/kick. Your enemy (against a 2 handed sword/axe) is allowed to make 3-6 mistakes against you (assuming you have the same skill against your enemy), while you're (1 or 2 handed spear) only allowed to make 1-4 mistakes.

If you do manage to learn and utilize the length of spear, timing, footwork, blocking, shoving and kicking, you will have a great time like I do. But why learn all that, if you could just use any other weapon and learn only some of them? You're just gimping yourself by using a spear on this game, just use a 2 handed axe/sword and learn how to 1 shot people with it. Or maybe I'm wrong? Maybe there's a small quantity of good spearmen on this game, that people don't know how to go up against them? Maybe you did learn everything about how to play a spear perfectly on this game? Nope, you can apply these same skills on a 2 handed axe and have the ability to 1 shot people with it lol. If you do want to main a spear like I do, you have the advantage of "people not knowing how to deal with you, because nobody else uses the spear except you" and be on the top of the leaderboard, that is until you go up against a fast naked man with an axe and just 1 shot you with it. Using the spears and swords on this game is the exact opposite in real life:
Spear vs swords

So TLDR for my review: spear sucks, use other weapons instead.

Now for my spear mechanic proposal:
Spear sucks, I have an idea to make it not suck.
My proposal (can't post image for some reason)
I have thought of a way to balance my proposal and would continue to try balancing it:
On Red zone: Spearman has a very low damage as it should be, since the spear is next to useless once you get too close to the spearman.
On Yellow zone: Spearman has the ability to push the enemy to green zone.
On Green zone: The spearman has the range advantage, but the enemy can block the attack and get to red zone, before the spearman hits him on the yellow zone.

So the gameplay for and against the spearmen would revolve around in a triangle:
Spearman must try to stay on Green zone and harass the enemy.
The enemy must try to get on the Red zone and hack down the spearman. A shield will be a game changer (as is irl) since the spearman must either use 2 hand for the spear to push back a sword/axe and shield user (for gameplay reason) or change to a sword/axe instead. I propose this idea to make the people who like using spears (me), to atleast have a reason to use a spear, instead of having to must use either a sword/axe to not be in a disadvantage. The must should not be a thing.
The Yellow zone is where the spearman can push back the enemy when they succeed on push kicking/shoving the enemy from the red zone.

Sidenote:
-About the Yellow zone, I think it would be better if the abilty to push back enemies (last point on yellow zone) could only be used if the spear is used 2 handed and not like on my proposal.
-I think this mechanic would also work well on SP.

Please discuss and thanks for reading.
 

goohu

Regular
As a fellow spear main I have to say nobody cares about spears. Supposedly they were OP in the beta, but now they're kinda trash. They only really work against newbies.

If the devs would buff the glancing 5 damage no stunning hits into a microstun that gives us enough time to block at least while twohanded that would be a start.
 
Your analysis is good and your suggestion is not bad; You forgot to mention how to implement that in the game and put it in animations, in a way the player has of control it with mouse and keyboard. It has to be simple to match the complexity in the rest of the combat and for devs to have an easy time implementing it.

I think a good way to buff spears would be to make them
  • more difficult to block (requiring more player skill) with weapons and with shields (currently the hitbox is larger than the shield, I'm not sure; having the hitbox match the size of the shield)
  • easier to hit the enemy by improving how good you can control it (being easier to recover from a miss, especially when two handed; stabilizing the camera more and apply some of that mouse movement to the spear)
  • deliver more hits (by faster and quicker thrusts without overextending the thrust)
  • reduce the speed from all side and back walking from infantry and maintain it for spearman (It would reduce the chances of getting hugged by infantry).
 
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svelok

Sergeant
spears don't need new mechanics to feel good, right? just speed and/or damage zone adjustments?
 

Fïshe

Recruit
I just wish spears stunned earlier in the thrust animation. Damage feels okay the way it is, I'd just REALLY like to keep those naked 2 handers at a good range much more reliably.
 

Jess_the_Hobozerk

Grandmaster Knight
M&BWBWF&SNWVC
Can people please stop bringing this video of a bunch of larping dudes caressing each other with plastic phallic objects as a "proof" of anything happening in real life or history?
Yes spears weren't good at all in real life. That's why it was the single most used and mastered weapon throughout the entire history of humanity until we got guns... and even then, spears are so bad it's why we even still teach similar spear techniques to modern soldiers for when with bayonets are attached.

:facepalm:
 

Mushbeast

Knight
I don't know if it's intended design or not, but I feel like starting your spear thrusts off to the side, and then swinging the thrust towards your enemy seems to be a lot more effective. It seems to create a wider arc where your spear can hit, is less readable, and almost seems as if it helps with the glancing issue, almost as if the spear travels further when you create an arc with it.
I don't know if any of that even matters that much, but you really have to go crazy with the spear and cause as much movement and confusion as you can to land any damage with it.

All in all, the spear still needs a buff in almost all cases, but I can't help but feel like a lot of people trying to use the spear are simply 'pointing and clicking'. Using my patented stab and twist technique, I can put down dozens of enemies, included shielded opponents but mostly those juicy 2hander/peasants, but of course when you're up against someone with above average blocking skills your spear becomes worthless.

Wonder if this technique was intended or not, because it feels cool to use and really feels like you're heaving a spear the enemies way. Might make a video of it some time.
 

Fïshe

Recruit
Can people [developers] please stop bringing this video of [hiring] a bunch of larping dudes caressing each other with plastic phallic objects as a "proof" of anything happening in real life or history? [mocap actors for a video game about combat?]
 
Can people [developers] please stop bringing this video of [hiring] a bunch of larping dudes caressing each other with plastic phallic objects as a "proof" of anything happening in real life or history? [mocap actors for a video game about combat?]
Mocap is the best way to do it, afaik. The issue here is that they haven't used to its full potential and messed up in some animations. I don't know if they hired professionals to do the combat animations, it doesn't look like they did. It's supposed to be more fluid, instead the animations are rigid, and I know that it's intentional to have this limited set of animations (or it wouldn't be a mount and blade game). It's not even a matter of money or time imo, you can get one mocap suit starting from 2500$ and hiring some professionals for a day or two is not that much either, then you just have to refine those animations instead of hand drawing them from scratch (like they did for horse animations).
 
I agree.

I don't understand how a horseman can have his damage output increase with speed but him hitting my spear thrust simply halts his horse, just right so he can slap me and go on his way.

Spears should also be great to keep 2handers away but they tickle them at best as they swing their 2 hand axe faster then a dagger while your busy having a stroke on each trust.

I am ready to bet the dev have only been doing balance on weapon based on "competitive" players, just like UBI is doing with siege, and 343 with halo. The vocal few that gather crowds and sponsor money get the win, at the cost of a bad bland game for the rust of us. They will end up like 343, wondering why their games sell so less and their competitive crowd are so small
 

Mushbeast

Knight
I think you might be right King. I have a feeling in my gut that the way they're running these tests is in no way how games actually play out in multiplayer. Some weapons and classes feel like they could be useful if your team had any sort of communication or teamwork, but as it is at the moment there's none of that at all. I'd be surprised if they even have a 'competitive' spear player, as the second you're up against someone half decent at blocking, the spear becomes quite useless.

They really need a damage buff all around, and possibly some sort of bonus against cav riders. The only safe option is to rear the horse, as most of the time a clean stab on the rider won't 1shot them even though it seems to work the other way around. Don't get me started on the ridiculous cavalry shields that seem to block every stab even on the horse.
 
All shields are OP in bannerlord. you could have a targe just covering you face and a archer would not be able to hit you foot with you turned 90 degree away. They removed the back shield probably because of some crying and then made the hit box of the in hand shield huge.

The trick is javelins, in singleplayer or in multiplayer. Javelin AI will beat anythign 1:1. a javelin player will most likely get a few kill before he runs out of javelins and dies. I remember doing that capture point game with just javelins and knocking down the cav and the archers. for some reason, cav do take increase damage on javelin with speed but not on spears
 

Mushbeast

Knight
I personally find shields under powered at least in a PvP situation. Haven't tested much in captain. The small shield on a cav rider suddenly becomes larger than the oathsworns shield though for some reason.

I wouldn't be able to comment on javelins and what-not as I rarely use them, but I have seen the damage they can cause especially on horses. I hope they do something about the spears as once you get good with them, the mechanics can be super fun and it can spice up your fights.
 

EvgenS

Knight at Arms
WBVCM&B
There's no difference between 2H and 1h+shield modes. Weapon stats of these 2 modes is a lie since closed beta

In Warband in 2H mode you get side swing, which can reliably hit or stun in very close distance
 

Chaoslian

Veteran
Me and some other players already created various threads about this, and were completly ignored from TW. (by example https://forums.taleworlds.com/index.php?threads/fix-pikes-lances-spears.425701/)
The main problem seems to be that spears were OP in beta and were downgraded to a horsestopper for "balancing".

The idea that spears have to maintain distance doesnt work (at least not how its currently implemented). The enemy just needs to hold up a shield until they are so close, you can't hit them anymore because of glancing. Even if you manage to kick them, that doesn't really help you, cause all they need to do is blocking and facehugging again.
In my opinion, thats also the reason nobody plays with spears. Nobody wants to be just a horsestopper. Nobody wants a weapon with wich you have to gamble with every 2nd hit.
 
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