As of writing this post I currently have 660 hours and I have most of the PvP achievements for duels, wars, etc. This does not make me a “good” player or PvP-er but I have relevant exposure to all of the constant meta shifts/playstyles. I’m writing this post to give my general thoughts on the state of PvP for both wars and OPR’s/open world pvp as they are most commonly used.
Sword and Shield: Almost never seen in wars as there are too many counters to it along with a lack of stats when switching to offhand weapon. Lack of general mobility/presence on the battlefield makes it next to useless. For OPR/open world it follows the same suit. Very specialized use cases from the stuns enabling some cheese spear strats for duels.
Rapier: Used by almost every Dex/Healer on our server currently. The mobility from it is just insane allowing the healer to peel themselves and get out of sticky situations on their own multiple times. Deals great damage when spec-ed correctly.
Hatchet: Not used hardly at all in OPR or in War due to the lack of range as well as a useless throwing skill tree. If you can have an opponent in your face 24/7 this weapon is great but if they even step away you will be screwed.
Spear: Overall a very strong weapon. After the buffs the spear became very unfun to play against in a 1v1 due to all of the stun resets and insane damage on heavies. Very impactful in small scale fights but overall not super useful in wars.
Great Axe: The most controversial weapon on this list. Honestly as someone who leveled and always used a great axe the nerfs didn’t hit the weapon too hard. In wars it is a mandatory pick for any squad. Gravity well + maelstrom is an insane enabler for your team and the damage with Greed + Mauler’s Fury is an insane 45% damage spike. It loses a lot of sustain with the loss of reap and the chase is harder with bloodlust nerf + range nerf but overall still an amazing weapon.
War Hammer: My pick for the strongest melee weapon hands down. The fact that the damage didnt get nerfed is insane to me. I’ve been a hammer + great axe user since launch and it still surprises people when you hit them for 4-6k damage in one hammer swing. In wars this is a must have due to the sustain, damage and CC potential of a good hammer player. The overall healing you get from spamming skills and heavy attacks needs to be looked at. Having upwards of an 80% damage spike on an already insane strength scaling weapon is too much. Also heavies have insane lunge.
Bow: The bug fixes and minor buffs have put bow in a good spot for wars and OPR. It has a good mix of high single target damage, good aoe potential and a high skill cap. One of the biggest problems I’ve heard talking to some bow users in our guild is that the aiming for the triple shot is slightly off due to where the arrow comes out of as well as the annoyance of only having 500 arrows per stack. Other than those minor points overall a good weapon.
Musket: Overall this weapon is more of an annoyance to face and use vs if it is a strong or weak weapon. It deals moderate damage and has lack luster skills. A very geared and skilled musket user is great in wars for pressuring healers but unless there is more than one they really cant do much on their own. In OPR’s these things are the definition of annoying as they sit on top of a cliff or rock face just setting up camp and farming damage.
Fire Staff: I’m coming at this from a melee PoV so take this one with a grain of salt. Overall the weapon feels very weak in comparison to other magic weapons. It really feels as if its supposed to be the heavy hitting magic damage option with no CC and limited mobility but it feels like it does little to no damage vs most targets. Hitting a pillar of fire does good damage but its hard to land consistently on single targets and in wars/opr its hard to get good at landing it it seems. Comparing this to the utility and damage of both the Ice Gauntlet and Void Gauntlet it seems like the fire staff falls short.
Life Staff: I’ve had my fair share of thoughts on Life Staff but coming down from the immortal healer meta we used to have, I’d say life staff is in an ok state. Its pretty balanced in war/OPR and doesnt feel too oppressive if you can catch a healer out and burst them down. The incentives to move healers to light armor helped with the issues of the past with heavy armor immortals and overall it still feels fun to use/play against.
Ice Gauntlet: All around this is a strong mage weapon. It counters most melee options and provides heavy AoE damage and CC. In wars, many of our top damage dealers with upwards of 1.5-1.8 million damage use this to pressure points and clumps of people. The overall nerf to ice shower made them more balanced to fight against as a melee but still its a bad matchup. Overall a great weapon to pick up.
Void Gauntlet: This thing needs a nerf ASAP. The blade rend + scream and oblivion provides so much damage you cannot live vs one if they target you even in heavy armor. The ranged tree feels lackluster in comparison and the healing even in full focus does not feel relevant. Also has some of the best movement due to what my guild has started dubbing the “Electric slide” where you can combo the blade heavy attack with oblivion to shoot yourself across the map. Overall needs some adjustment.
Light: Overall extremely strong for the movement alone. Very annoying to fight in a 1v1 due to the abundance of dodges and the distance they can cover with even one movement skill on any weapon. Borderline too strong but the lack of armor makes it balanced if you can catch them.
Medium: Sort of in a weird place where its strong vs melee but falls a little short when fighting ranged targets. The trade off of armor for a better dodge and more of them makes this a great high skill option for melee users. Most great axe mains are switching to this set up on my server and they are finding success in their move.
Heavy: The most common armor set currently on my server. Provides great coverage to all damage types and the dodge isnt horrible. If you get a hearty ring you can have 3 dodges so thats the best option if you run heavy. The bonus CC/Resist is hardly noticeable since any damage will get you out of most stuns which happens often in wars and OPRs.
As an overall meta for wars, we are seeing more diversified metas shifting around. Its not just all mages and melee, we are starting to see more dex builds coming to prominence. I feel like the meta is in a healthy place with some changes it will be great. Most of the people complaining about nerfs haven’t fully adjusted and learned their new playstyles. No weapon feels straight up unusable and most have their uses when paired with another weapon to compliment the strengths and covering for their weaknesses.