Throwing Axe Design Philosophy [Captain Mode Focused]

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Zarthas

Knight
[Captain Mode Focused]
@NIN3 You mentioned you were looking at different projectile loadouts for skirmishers. I'm not understanding what the MP design philosophy for Throwing Axes is and I'd like to request a nudge in direction.

They have been made a dedicated Skirmisher weapon, and their ammo count was made higher than the Brigand's javelin count.

We have done a complete reversal of the original (and in my mind, correct) design philosophy as a low ammo, short range, high damage cutting throwable with bad accuracy.

Their damage output, even against unarmored enemies, is consistently lower than the light javelin, and is not worth the time it takes to throw it against even medium enemies. (You can do 60 damage even against moderately armored targets moving towards you with a javelin bodyshot, and I have never done that much damage on any enemy with a headshot throwing axe in the current patch even at point-blank ranges.)

Their effective range is much lower than the Brigand javelin options, and their accuracy is lower.

I have lost track of whether or not TW has completely removed "Bonus Damage To Shields" from Captain thowing axes, but the damage output is so negligible when combined with the "Captain Mode Shield Multiplier" that you will never break a shield with throwing axes or even contribute in a meaningful way to it being broken later. I'd love to argue for throwing axes to have a much more significant impact on shields, but given recent design decisions I do not foresee that happening.

I would like us to consider reversing the direction on this. The brigand is all around the worst skirmisher unit (low troop count + recent melee weapon nerf combined with poor ranged damage output), which is already the least effective class overall, making the Brigand probably the least impactful single class in the entire game.

If we change the axe to a quick to throw, low-count, high damage, short range throwable, with poor accuracy, it becomes a unique piece and has an obvious use case. Essentially a medieval combat shotgun, as it was actually used in battle.
Brigands could become anti-shock light infantry, able to cover the Varyags against flanks by Shock infantry if they are not caught flat-footed.
Brigands could be used in more of an "ambush" role, using their superior mobility to get in close range to Archers in bad positions and absolutely rake them with a high-damage cutting volley as they try to flee.

This fits more in line with what I have interpreted the design philosophy of the Brigands to be. A mobile striker who cannot take part in any sustained engagement whatsoever, but can reach out and hit poorly positioned targets that the varyags and warriors cannot.

Any kind of heavy troop automatically counters this new concept of the throwing axe, since the low accuracy and cutting damage mean there is no way they could deal significant damage before melee is joined, or the heavy archers rip them apart. Any kind of shield troop that is paying attention also counters this, or just keeping out of close range until the throwing axes are spent.

Their current loadout has no obvious use case, except maybe peasants or clan warriors that are AFK.

You should be afraid of a bunch of criminal vikings throwing axes at you from 10 meters away, and it is the least frightening thing in the game at the moment.

edit: I understand the "OMG RNG BAD" argument for Skirmish. I think its valid to just not have it as a perk selection option for Skirmish. A throwing axe is a mass combat weapon, not a man-to-man weapon.
 
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Tiedemannj

Regular
WBWF&SVC
I've seen the argument that historically; trowing axes bounced around when they missed and created disruption in enemy lines. Weather this is true or not is up for debate, but a similar bouncing could maybe be implemented for trowing axes ingame either way. Or maybe it's a **** idea, who knows? In any case it is also the case that trowing axes don't really break or even disable shields in real life, which javelins do.
 

Zarthas

Knight
I've seen the argument that historically; trowing axes bounced around when they missed and created disruption in enemy lines. Weather this is true or not is up for debate, but a similar bouncing could maybe be implemented for trowing axes ingame either way. Or maybe it's a **** idea, who knows? In any case it is also the case that trowing axes don't really break or even disable shields in real life, which javelins do.
I've seen that as well, the concept that they'd deflect off of objects if they hit hilt-first and just bounce around behind shields and off the ground. It'd be insane if we could model that, but you could kind of just incorporate that into the damage that they dish out. It would be neat to see.

Absolutely, javelins would logically have more of an impact on shield integrity, but Taleworlds has for some reason been very resistant to upping their shield damage, and we could at least get that on Throwing Axes to keep the game-world logic consistent. I would prefer it to be on Javelins as well, I just don't see it happening.
 

NIN3

Level Design, Combat Design
Developer
NW
Hey thank you for your feedback!

I am going over many perks right now and I think we have a very similar way to think about how axes and javelins should work. They will definitely change in the future for skirmish and captain! Making them more inaccurate isn't actually as easy as just reducing a value on the item, but I am looking into it.
Also actually they already have the “extra damage to shields” flag, like every axe in the game. But probably they don't do enough damage for anyone to recognize that and for it to be useful.
 

Zarthas

Knight
Hey thank you for your feedback!

I am going over many perks right now and I think we have a very similar way to think about how axes and javelins should work. They will definitely change in the future for skirmish and captain! Making them more inaccurate isn't actually as easy as just reducing a value on the item, but I am looking into it.
Also actually they already have the “extra damage to shields” flag, like every axe in the game. But probably they don't do enough damage for anyone to recognize that and for it to be useful.

That's great, I'm glad throwing weapons are getting some attention. I don't dare dream that we'll get back to the savage days of EA-launch, but I'd love to see a world where people actually use Skirmishers in Captain without being vote-kicked. Brigands especially are actually a very cool concept and its a bummer they aren't more usable. Wildlings are considered by many to be the best skirmishers specifically because they're good at being infantry, not for their missile ability.

Nothing will ever be quite as glorious as the captain-mode Ash-Spear Clan Warrior, but here's hoping.


Thanks for the response!
 
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Gibkiy_Rafik

Recruit
I remember the times throwing axes being an insta kill for cav and a source of crippling damage to any footmen class. Actually, it felt like it balanced cav on siege very good. It seemed kind of imbalanced that time, but axes didn't deserve that much of a nerf.
 

MP_Erik

Sergeant
M&BWBWF&SNW
...Making them more inaccurate isn't actually as easy as just reducing a value on the item, but I am looking into it.
On a scale from 1-10: How much have you lost control over your code? I got the feeling that a lot of design decisions and delays are just workarounds to prevent everything from crashing.
 

NIN3

Level Design, Combat Design
Developer
NW
On a scale from 1-10: How much have you lost control over your code? I got the feeling that a lot of design decisions and delays are just workarounds to prevent everything from crashing.
Has nothing to do with it. Inaccuracy of throwing weapons is not set on the items themselves but calculated from their handling and such since they are crafted weapons.

I can adjust the general accuracy of each specific item type in c#, for each mode individually. Just decreasing the accuracy of every throwing axe item for mp would actually be the workaround then, since if the philosophy of how we use an item class changes it should come from the crafting system, not someone adjusting values of each item.
 

MP_Erik

Sergeant
M&BWBWF&SNW
Ok, that's interesting. How fiddely is the calculation and does it mean that you can adapt the accuracy of all the throwing weapons at once?
 
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