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Spears should be viable melee weapons

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Spears are fine if char you have has over 100 athletics. While geting fast horse is easy to have good impact on spear it is obviously problematic to have such speed on foot. But since I tried creating new chars with all 5 athletics and all focuses to polearm I learned that I have never been so flexible. I still have shield (perk to halve their weight form onehanders should be taken I guess) I have still reach when runing to the side being out of reach for melee chasing me while insta killing if I hit the head is so nice - hoplite style - I like very much. Also flexibility against horses unlike other weapons when on foot.
 

Parkerg12

Recruit
I have done a ton of smithing and worked with alot of different weapons now and one of the most effective weapons you can forge is a high tier short spear/ Mendo. I think people under-value the speed and handling stats of shorter spears (around 150 in length). These short spears allow you to slaughter two handed axes/swords as they have more range and are faster. you can then use it as a slashing weapon if you switch to two handed for max damage output. the weapon also is viable on horse back and only runs into trouble if facing spear equipped infantry. you also have a lot of accuracy allowing you to attack the enemy in the line that is not focusing you without getting blocked by the other who is. IMO If spears are buffed more there would be no reason to use any other. I think alot of people are using ****ty tier 1 spears, lances and pikes 'as infantry spears" resulting in the bad rap spears get. Get a good spear designed for killing infantry and you will be shocked how lethal they are.
 

hruza

Knight at Arms
I have done a ton of smithing and worked with alot of different weapons now and one of the most effective weapons you can forge is a high tier short spear/ Mendo. I think people under-value the speed and handling stats of shorter spears (around 150 in length). These short spears allow you to slaughter two handed axes/swords as they have more range and are faster. you can then use it as a slashing weapon if you switch to two handed for max damage output. the weapon also is viable on horse back and only runs into trouble if facing spear equipped infantry. you also have a lot of accuracy allowing you to attack the enemy in the line that is not focusing you without getting blocked by the other who is. IMO If spears are buffed more there would be no reason to use any other. I think alot of people are using ****ty tier 1 spears, lances and pikes 'as infantry spears" resulting in the bad rap spears get. Get a good spear designed for killing infantry and you will be shocked how lethal they are.

The problem is that you can handcraft sword that will be better then your hand crafted spear. When you compare tier for tier, spears do underperform compared to other weapons in the damage department. And if it's reach that you are looking for, then polearms are way better then spears of the same tiers. The only advantage of the spear over pole-arms is that you can use shield with a spear -but that reduces its speed..

35+ damage of the t5 spears is even less then trust of the t5 swords and then you only really get fraction of it due to the "effective" distance mechanics. And while spears deal piercing damage, theoretically making them more effective against armor, slashing damage of 60-70+ of t5 swords, sabers and axes along with better control/optimal damage of swings means that slashing weapons far outperform spears against armor too.
 

Pymous

Veteran
+1
Spears should be the most common and dangerous weapon
Currently it lacks all the main advantage: Speed/Flexibility/Precision.
Even the spears length is not good (too short)

Hopefully they will totaly rework Spears gameplay
 

Maximum997

Squire
I have done a ton of smithing and worked with alot of different weapons now and one of the most effective weapons you can forge is a high tier short spear/ Mendo. I think people under-value the speed and handling stats of shorter spears (around 150 in length). These short spears allow you to slaughter two handed axes/swords as they have more range and are faster. you can then use it as a slashing weapon if you switch to two handed for max damage output. the weapon also is viable on horse back and only runs into trouble if facing spear equipped infantry. you also have a lot of accuracy allowing you to attack the enemy in the line that is not focusing you without getting blocked by the other who is. IMO If spears are buffed more there would be no reason to use any other. I think alot of people are using ****ty tier 1 spears, lances and pikes 'as infantry spears" resulting in the bad rap spears get. Get a good spear designed for killing infantry and you will be shocked how lethal they are.
You can craft a long sword and use thrusts. And it will be better spear then any spear you can craft...

For one handed spear 42 damage is the maximum i guess. So you can oneshot looter with luck. But if the distance is not perfect a little bit - surprise 11 damage.

2 handed spears are kinda joke too. Becouse just craft a oneshot machine with 150+ damage.
 
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Parkerg12

Recruit
The problem is that you can handcraft sword that will be better then your hand crafted spear. When you compare tier for tier, spears do underperform compared to other weapons in the damage department. And if it's reach that you are looking for, then polearms are way better then spears of the same tiers. The only advantage of the spear over pole-arms is that you can use shield with a spear -but that reduces its speed..

35+ damage of the t5 spears is even less then trust of the t5 swords and then you only really get fraction of it due to the "effective" distance mechanics. And while spears deal piercing damage, theoretically making them more effective against armor, slashing damage of 60-70+ of t5 swords, sabers and axes along with better control/optimal damage of swings means that slashing weapons far outperform spears against armor too.


Have you ever tapped W after you thrust? I very often 1 hit enemy's while staying out of range using 160ish length spears. depending on armor type I average 2 hits per kill, however the important part is staying out of range and having enough attack speed to force an enemy back each time they enter the kill zone. If you never need to block your DPS increases dramatically, that is the strength of spears in the game you can constantly attack without ever needing to block. You can craft two handed swords with one-handed grips that kind of do this, but not nearly as good because they don't have quite enough range. If spears are buffed they will become the best weapons in all scenarios.

Again there are very few spears you can buy, that are good - the imperial mendo is really they only "good one". Most spears in the game are designed around cavalry which is require you to have much more length than desired in a dueling situation.
 

Maximum997

Squire
in all scenarios.
You mean:

1) When you have 200+ athletic
+
2) You have 275 onehanded
So you can keep a distance
+
2) You have 250 smith and all needed parts
To craft a good spear
+
4) You are not in the siege

sounds like all scenarios.

And in this case just take a 2hand polearm with 200+ reach and 150+ damage and cut tons of enemies.
 
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hruza

Knight at Arms
Have you ever tapped W after you thrust?

Yes, I do it all the time. Although I have doubts if it hurts or helps. Yes you are adding "speed" on one hand, on the other you may close distance and thus reduce damage much more due to "effective" range mechanics. And it's much more difficult to determine optimal attack distance for trusts then it is with swings because of 2D nature of the computer graphics.

I ques I do it instinctively now after playing with spears in Viking Conquest, which had better spear combat mechanics.

I very often 1 hit enemy's while staying out of range using 160ish length spears.

That might be the case when you attack enemies that does not face you. But you can do the same and better with any other weapon in such a case. Movement adds the same damage bonus to spears as to any other weapon, other weapons however have higher base stats.

depending on armor type I average 2 hits per kill, however the important part is staying out of range and having enough attack speed to force an enemy back each time they enter the kill zone. If you never need to block your DPS increases dramatically, that is the strength of spears in the game you can constantly attack without ever needing to block.

You will stagger enemy only if you hit him. If he has a shield or blocks you with the weapon, he will not get staggered and will close distance. And you are back to the "ineffective range" problem. I was already arguing before that trusts should not have such a penalty for non optimal distance, as trusts does not rely on momentum as much as swings do. That alone would probably improve performance of spears a lot. I also suspect that that was how spears were made effective in Viking Conquest.

Again there are very few spears you can buy, that are good - the imperial mendo is really they only "good one". Most spears in the game are designed around cavalry which is require you to have much more length than desired in a dueling situation.

I am not in to smiting much, I don't like this feature in principle. But from a limited experience plying with it (I do use it to level my companions that have some starting skills in it) it seems that while you can potentially craft some powerful spears, you can craft even more powerful other weapons. So balance wise, spears still loose.

I was fiddling with shorter spears as I really like idea of a spear combat on foot, and while shorter spears are definitely way to go in foot on foot combat, they still under-perform in the damage department. I will check imperial mendo however, because I did not try it so far.

It's not that spears are not viable weapons in the game, there is clear improvement form Warband, it's that you can be more effective with other weapons with less effort. Moreover other weapons are also more forgiving to mistakes. When you make mistake with the spear, it's much more difficult to escape punishment.
 
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Lord Irontoe

Master Knight
Spears are fine if char you have has over 100 athletics. While geting fast horse is easy to have good impact on spear it is obviously problematic to have such speed on foot. But since I tried creating new chars with all 5 athletics and all focuses to polearm I learned that I have never been so flexible. I still have shield (perk to halve their weight form onehanders should be taken I guess) I have still reach when runing to the side being out of reach for melee chasing me while insta killing if I hit the head is so nice - hoplite style - I like very much. Also flexibility against horses unlike other weapons when on foot.
That's true, but then high athletics also helps the other weapon types just as much. A speedy 2H user hardly ever needs to block since he can just zip out of the way. Speedy sword and board players can get right up in a spearman's face where they can't get hit and dance away just as quickly. Speed benefits every weapon. Spears really only have two advantages: 1. Range, but the long length can be as much of a liability as an advantage in many situations, and 2. Horse Stopping, which is a great effect but not enough of a game changer to compensate for the low damage. You still have to kill the rider once you stop his horse and you're almost at a bigger disadvantage if you kill the horse and he comes at you on foot.
 

Maximum997

Squire
Horse Stopping, which is a great effect but not enough of a game changer to compensate for the low damage. You still have to kill the rider once you stop his horse and you're almost at a bigger disadvantage once he's on foot.
In that case swingeble polearms are just far better. You can stop horse with thrust then follow up with overhead or just oneshot rider with swing.
 

Parkerg12

Recruit
Yes, I do it all the time. Although I have doubts if it hurts or helps. Yes you are adding "speed" on one hand, on the other you may close distance and thus reduce damage much more due to "effective" range mechanics. And it's much more difficult to determine optimal attack distance for trusts then it is with swings because of 2D nature of the computer graphics.

I ques I do it instinctively now after playing with spears in Viking Conquest, which had better spear combat mechanics.



That might be the case when you attack enemies that does not face you. But you can do the same and better with any other weapon in such a case. Movement adds the same damage bonus to spears as to any other weapon, other weapons however have higher base stats.



You will stagger enemy only if you hit him. If he has a shield or blocks you with the weapon, he will not get staggered and will close distance. And you are back to the "ineffective range" problem. I was already arguing before that trusts should not have such a penalty for non optimal distance, as trusts does not rely on momentum as much as swings do. That alone would probably improve performance of spears a lot. I also suspect that that was how spears were made effective in Viking Conquest.



I am not in to smiting much, I don't like this feature in principle. But from a limited experience plying with it (I do use it to level my companions that have some starting skills in it) it seems that while you can potentially craft some powerful spears, you can craft even more powerful other weapons. So balance wise, spears still loose.

I was fiddling with shorter spears as I really like idea of a spear combat on foot, and while shorter spears are definitely way to go in foot on foot combat, they still under-perform in the damage department. I will check imperial mendo however, because I did not try it so far.

It's not that spears are not viable weapons in the game, there is clear improvement form Warband, it's that you can be more effective with other weapons with less effort. Moreover other weapons are also more forgiving to mistakes. When you make mistake with the spear, it's much more difficult to escape punishment.

I totally agree with everything you are saying, but try out the mendo it works great with a shield.

From my experiences - I hated using spears until i crafted my own (high tier parts, with Mendo head and short (Max 160 in length). This changed everything as I saw how important thrust speed and handling is. Most Purchasable spears are very low in those categories making them too slow and have too small of a hit box. I don't think they need to buff spears, what they need to do is make short spears with high tier components purchasable.
 

mangalore

Regular
.... Things like "spears are anti cavalry, swords are anti infantry" are nothing but invented nonsense. Specialized anti cavalry weapons were things like 2H axes, billhooks and poleaxes.

While I agree with your sentiments poleaxes were used by knights and men at arms as specialized foot combat weapons against other plate armored opponents, 2 handed axes were used in the early Middle Ages by elite soldiers to break up shield walls and bill hooks like helberds were all purpose polearms. None of them were specialized anti cavalry usages, in two cases the specialization was for something else entirely. The usage of halberds and bills filled a role more complex than anti cavalry, that is the reason they were blades with spikes and points aka three different ways to use them.

But the main issue is that the spear was the ultimate weapon of war because it was not a melee weapon, it was a formation weapon. Warfare is rarely a duel so for most of the soldiers it is better it never comes to actual melee, they like formation weapons, makes them feel safe and allows them to fight cowardly and to run away bravely. Most common soldiers prefered that to all the guts and honor of warrior classes.
 

mr_nifty

Regular
I can only assume the low damage for spears is to have some similarity with multiplayer. Probably not balanced if you would have high damage on spears there.

That being said the damage model is a bit odd currently. Any high-end slashing weapon be it a sword, a axe a two-handed sword can kill many top tier unit types with one hit. Unit types which supposedly wear any kind of mail or lamellar armor.
Thrusts does comparatively little damage even with top tier weapons, thrusts would and should be the most deadly and effective way against mail and lamellar.
There is no good reason why a good thrusting weapon like a spear shouldn`t one-shot enemys wearing mail when slashing weapons which don`t work that great against mail can. oO

+1
 

Maximum997

Squire
But the main issue is that the spear was the ultimate weapon of war because it was not a melee weapon, it was a formation weapon.
I practiced swordfights. And i can swear that guy with a spear in 1 v 1 has a huge advantage. You feel like he is a cheater. And i am 2 meters tall, so i am cheater myself in swordfight.

Main purpose of swords was:
1) carried self defence weapon in towns. (becouse it is hard to carry a spear everywhere)
2) backup weapon in fights
 

mangalore

Regular
I practiced swordfights. And i can swear that guy with a spear in 1 v 1 has a huge advantage. You feel like he is a cheater.

You do not fight duels in war. And I added the caveat of shields for a reason. My point is more that the spear's advantage on the battlefield was far beyond killing power, it was about how you get a bunch of people to fight together, including a good number who really do not want to die.

I mainly feel they should not really make them better melee weapons, but see how to make them proper weapons of war where they excelled at aka fixing their role for formations
 

mr_nifty

Regular
Wasn't readying of spears against charging cavalry a thing? In that case didn't spear infantry formations plant their spears in the ground with the help of their feet, point them towards charging cavalry and just hold firmly, waiting for the enemy to either back up or throw itself against the speartips? As described above I also think there should be a way for spear infantry to stop walking and "X" in order to ready spears forward and hold them firmly against charging enemies. Once "ready" spears could be aimed left or right, but no walking could take place unless spears are unreadied. While ready, spears would damage on enemy contact in the presence of considerable relative speed. That would be a huge change for the better and add so much to the game's tactical complexity.

+1
 

hruza

Knight at Arms
While I agree with your sentiments poleaxes were used by knights and men at arms as specialized foot combat weapons against other plate armored opponents, 2 handed axes were used in the early Middle Ages by elite soldiers to break up shield walls and bill hooks like helberds were all purpose polearms. None of them were specialized anti cavalry usages, in two cases the specialization was for something else entirely. The usage of halberds and bills filled a role more complex than anti cavalry, that is the reason they were blades with spikes and points aka three different ways to use them.

They were not exclusively anti-cavalry weapons, that I would agree, but in my opinion they were developed as a anti-cavalry weapons. 2H axes are not very good against shield walls, because they can't actually break shields. They have very thin blades and are made for chopping flash, not trees. Also when you look at their depictions in battle, they are almost exclusively depicted in combat against cavalry. And it make sense, 2H axes are basically polearms, although relatively short ones.

Here are few photos of a 2H axes from early medieval era, you can see how thin their blades are:

https://combatarchaeology.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/12/DSCF27931.jpg

https://www.khm.uio.no/tema/fagomradene/konservering/langeid/bilder/prosjektet.jpg

As for poleaxes, billhooks and so on, yes they were used by heavy armored footmen against other heavily armored footmen (or dismounted knights), but they all started as a anti-cavalry weapons to give infantry a fighting change against heavy cavalry.

But the main issue is that the spear was the ultimate weapon of war because it was not a melee weapon, it was a formation weapon. Warfare is rarely a duel so for most of the soldiers it is better it never comes to actual melee, they like formation weapons, makes them feel safe and allows them to fight cowardly and to run away bravely. Most common soldiers prefered that to all the guts and honor of warrior classes.

It was battlefield weapon. Spear is actually better weapon in a duel then sword. More explanation with some nuances in these two videos:

Spears: Why they defeat swords, optimum characteristics & perfect length

Spears are better than swords (longer version)

Problem with spears is that they are unwieldy and impractical to carry on general basis, so unless people went in to battle or carried out some type o military service like guard duty or policing, they did not carry spears with them. You can't really do much carrying spear around, because unlike in computer games, you can't carry them on your back or in some invisible pocket.

Swords on the other hand (and long knives like seax) can be carried relatively comfortably around without impairing your day to day activities too much. Therefore spear was weapon of military service and war, while swords were weapons of general security (with some notable exceptions). And battles and military service were always much less common then other activities. Even in war and on campaigns, soldiers spend most of the time marching, camping, sitting in garrisons and combat, especially field battles were rare. Which is why swords were so prevalent even if they are for most part inferior weapon to spear.
 
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