Current balance issues in the game, focusing on the great sword and SnS

The great sword feels a bit oppressive to me, but I think the whole issue is centered around two things. First is that its heavy attacks are too strong. In new world you get locked into your attack when you make it, so you need to make choices based around the risk your animations put you in. In this way New World is very similar to many fighter games which focus on the start and recovery frames of all your attacks.

All other charged heavy can be avoided if you enter into a light attack at the same time your enemy enters into a heavy attack. This isn’t the case against the great sword in onslaught stance. Nothing that comes out so fast does near as much damage. It is almost too risky for most weapons (with the rapier having riposte or evade up as the only exception) to try and start a light attack against it with the threat of such a swift and painful heavy attack. In defiance stance as well, the great sword heavy is very powerful, the fact that it blocks attacks makes the great sword too safe. If you start a heavy attack at the same time as a great sword at full stamina in defiance stance heavy attack starts, or with very similar timing, you’re likely going to eat a heavy attack at merely the cost of most of his stamina. He’ll very likely be at a sufficient stamina amount if he just used steadfast strike or calamity counter with the 20 stamina gain perks.

In short, the great sword is too punishing and too hard to punish, in fighting game terms the great sword has a very strong neutral game. I think it has the strongest neutral game in NW.

The second issue that makes the great sword so oppressive is how melee abilities with built in slows work in conjunction with the new mechanic of having a run delay after being hit by a melee attack. With the introduction of the new mechanic, these abilities became insanely powerful when they land, especially against light and medium armor users.

I was fine with these slows pre patch, and I’m fine with the slow I take in my light armor post patch upon taking a melee hit (except for when both slows are in combination), in both cases the need to outplay your opponent to come out of the situation safely is expressed and exciting, but when you combine the two mechanics, you need to play to extreme perfection to survive properly, and if they play to perfection as well you might not be able to do even that.

The main offenders in this category are the great sword and SnS. The spear and hammer might be issues as well, but I haven’t witnessed them being an issue yet. The abilities that both apply slow and count as a melee attack are: relentless rush on great sword; leaping strike, shield rush, and the last attack in the light attack chain on SnS; cyclone and the last attack in the light attack chain on spear; and any cc from the hammer when it has the aftershock skill. There may be other offenders with perks added in that I don’t know about.

The slow on relentless rush in combination with the new mechanic and the previously mentioned other strengths the great sword has makes it really hard to deal with. If you did decide to actually engage with a great sword user in melee combat, getting hit by relentless rush forces you to stay engaged with him for a significant amount of time, if you try to get out, most of the time you find he is too sticky.

When you combine the issues of the great sword slow making him as sticky as he is with the consideration that he may have the strongest neutral game in New World, now you’ve got a real problem. The great sword trades better than any other weapon and the slow forces you to trade with that great sword, this puts you in a very unfavorable position, a position that I find too unfavorable to be considered well balanced; though to be fair, this is just my opinion and humans are fallible and prone to having incorrect opinions.

The final thing that I feel like I need to address here is SnS. As I previously mentioned, abilities that apply a slow and double up as a melee attack are potentially problematic. The sword has a disproportionally large number of options that both slow the opponent and double up as a melee attack, three to be precise; and most SnS users I see use all three of them, and they used all three of them even before the patch hit. It feels almost impossibly difficult to get away from an SnS once one of the slows applies. Moreover there are quite a number of videos online expressing that SnS has the highest dps before the great sword was introduced.

The sword n shield trades fairly well, not as well as the great sword, but it does trade well and as previously mentioned in this post, things that stick to you so well and are great at trading are potentially problematic. In the case of SnS this isn’t as bad though; in my opinion, other weapons are much more likely to trade evenly or even have the better part of the damage trade against SnS than they are against great sword. It is still a problem, however, and it is problematic that the SnS can lock you into a damage trade when it does well defensively if it does end up failing the damage trade. They force you to trade and either win or go on defense, while a lot of other weapons can’t defend very well when they are the ones that lose the trade. And considering one of SnS’s options for a melee attack that doubles up as a slow is every third auto attack; if you are losing the trade you can be locked in combat until you die.

I don’t play SnS but I have a friend who does, according to him, he has been doing really good now when compared to before the patch, and he was always pretty great at SnS gameplay. He felt like suddenly his skills had jumped and not many people could compete with him. When we discussed what I was noticing about the combination of melee slows and the new mechanic, and showed him some of my gameplay, he said he finally understood where the sudden jump in his power level came from.

Anyway, these are balance issues that, from my perspective exist in the game. We’ve had people complaining about the strength of the great sword. In the company I belong to in NW, it is a common topic in our discord server that the great sword feels over powered right now. But most of what I see and hear about it is “the great sword is too strong,” “The great sword does too much damage,” or some such statement without stating any premises to support why they feel that way. I came here wanting to give my subjective opinion on why people may feel that way, and what I feel the heart of the issue is. I think SnS is also subtly in that overpowered position right now, but because the great sword is new and so many people are using it, it is the great sword that has everybody’s attention.

I feel like having peoples actual perspectives on balance after taking a step back and thinking about things rather than surface deep statements of somethings strength is helpful for developers in making balance decisions. Maybe this will help.


I agree with most all you have said but I also think that most of your examples, both SnS and GS examples, can be mitigated if not resolved by implementing stricter stamina management play to these classes. When strategically played against by skilled players, their vital resources should become problematic, offsetting most their “OP” strengths you mentioned above.

I am not sure its fair to compare SnS to GS. GS is much more oppressive than SnS and it’s not really even close. Relentless rush requires chaining two iframes to dodge, the heavy attacks have a 5-6m lunge distance, steadfast strike can hit from off your screen with a long stagger (like old leaping strike) and can be comboed into other greatsword staggers to one shot people.

Staggers and roots are the main things that make these weapons feel oppressive as they are the things that allow the follow-up attacks and make the slows unavoidable.

SNS staggers:
Leaping strike (only one that is really hard to avoid although it doesn’t combo with anything as its a short stagger)
reverse stab (long stagger)
shield rush (long stagger can be initiated from off your screen with a directionally locked long animation)

GS staggers:
steadfast strike (applies a long stagger from off your screen with a short animation)
skyward slash (applies a long stagger that guarantees you will take damage from the overhead)

GS roots:
relentless rush

I wasn’t really trying to compare the great sword to SnS though. Frankly yeah, I agree that rn great sword is significantly more broken than SnS. It’s just that SnS benefits from one of the balance issues I see in this game, that being abilities that both slow and count as a melee attack thereby slowing even further.

In the vacuum that would be created in the game if great swords once again didn’t exist, I believe SnS is a little over tuned due to it having so many melee attacks that specifically slow. That’s why SnS was addressed in my post.

I don’t know how i feel about the greatsword yet.

I’ve played with it on STR, DEX and a mix of both. And i find that while it does hit hard, and can be very sticky, it lacks a lot of tools that the other weapons have. And has a pretty hefty penalty for using onslaught.

I feel like it’s very strong in 1v1 against certain combinations, (especially against squishies) but in group play where it should be balanced it’s hard to say because everyone is using a GS right now. And they tend to be running light glass cannons.

In medium/heavy equip loads with normal stats i feel like it’s in a really good place. But i think that has a lot more to do with the dynamics of min maxing and balance problems/perks. and the rock/paper/scissor effect.

The same thing however applies to SNS, as many of the combinations that have used it solely revolved around using it’s staggers to pin for wombo combos. And were statted like glass cannons.

I feel like again, normally attributed in heavy or medium, sns is great.

Too many weapons suffer heavily in this game from their glass cannon variants causing sweeping changes across the board that make them lackluster in every other loadout. And i really hate to see that.

I’d much rather them adjust diminishing returns, and soft caps on multi stat maxing, and prevent these extreme cases altogether.

yeah I am not sure that is correct though. Before the patch the “slow on hit” still existed and for light armor it was actually longer than it is now, 1.5 vs 1.75 seconds. The dodge distance reduction is big though and probably were most of the issues are coming from. Any melee weapon can spam light attacks right now and stick on people besides the voidblade though. Also almost no one takes the slow on shield rush as it makes the recovery animation of the ability twice as long.

I don’t think killing the dual stat “min/max” assassins/musket builds is a good idea. Although I definitely think if someone is in one shot territory damage output wise they should be 50 con or lower. Which the GS right now is not.

This weapon is the best pair for spear… if you have skill perks, fortify cap, rends from spear, burst on empower, + if u run glass cannon assasin GS/Spear you will oneshot medium bruiser from 13k - 0 HP xd

That is true that the slow existed before. I may be wrong on this point. I was just feeling like power creep was there and people may not realize how strong the SnS is.

I’ve had issues against the SnS specifically with the slow, but I’ve been away from the game for so long I’m super rusty. I still need to die a couple hundred times trying to deal with it before I would be able to conclude I can’t deal with it; at that my point my opinion is bound to be vastly different, and my understanding deeper in some aspects.

My friend has said he’s been doing exceptionally well with SnS since the slow on melee attacks became a thing (though not against greats swords apparently). So I was compiling my experience with the experience of another without having that much experience myself.

Also, I didn’t know the slow made the recovery animation on shield rush twice as long. Nice to know, thanks for that information.

I’m pretty sure, at least for SnS’ issue of the Achilles Heel dilemma, Freedom helps in negating the problem by reducing it down to 1 second (1.7 if they’re in full heavy, has crippling on their ring, and is a tank), though though that is a bit scary, you have a 1-0.3 second window of escaping the slow if you have a full set of freedoms, and if you don’t, you’re potentially in it for the long haul, especially if fighting a tank, but that always did and should come with risks when engaging one.

SnS is honestly a one button class. Leaping strike, if they hit that odds are probably in their favor if they miss that and you have gap they will never be able to close distance as their is no haste built into SnS.

GS on the other hand can miss every ability and then has 20% haste to chase you down and 5m heavy attack lunges.

GS and S&S do absolutely nothing in heavy armor. Add a stamina tax to heavy attacks in light armor loads ez. if you kill GS or S&S u kill tanks more than they already are.

I agree with everything you wrote.

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GS already has a stamina tax on heavy attacks.

There’s a perk that pretty much completely negates that coupled with strength passive.

I think the sword and shield needs an adjustment. The S&S slows in conjunction with the recent dodge roll changes makes it seemingly impossible to escape light attack melee spam without an ability if you get hit once. You can dodge 3 times in a row after being tagged with the S&S and you will still be in tracking range of the S&S.

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