Makeshift Glaive OP?

As implied by its name having makeshift, it’s accessible from the start of the game with a craft requirement of Fab 0, requires minimal mats of 1 long stout branch 100 duct tape and a blade, yet has some of the highest output of melee weapons, has reach attacks and the highest output of reach attack weapons.

For having some of the highest output, it:

-Only does 70% damage to adjacent enemies, but has reach attacks and a high output.

-Is “flimsy” but has makeshift levels to craft.

-Has a 140 base attack move cost, but that’s base - being reduced by the appropriate weapon skills.

Interesting weapon for a makeshift.

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A makeshift glaive weighs 1.8 kg, takes up 3L, has +2 to hit, and does 13 bash and 36 cutting.

A real glaive weighs 2.1 kg, takes 3L, has +0 to hit, and does 17 bash and 40 cutting.

Well, that’s not right.

Makeshift glaive should be acc -1, 13 bash, and 31 cutting. That should significantly drop its DPS and make it better balanced.

I’ll submit a PR tomorrow to fix it; thanks for bringing this to my attention.

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Fix submitted in https://github.com/CleverRaven/Cataclysm-DDA/pull/45658

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Cheers and no problem.

I hate to say this as i’ve been having a fun time destroying everything while almost untouchable haha, but i feel like Spears/Reach Attacks in general feel like clearly the best option, at least early so far.

Set a characters skills to all +4 and try to find weapons close to the Knife Spear, Homemade Halfpike or Forked Spear for example. Favorite 10 or so of the strongest looking comparable melee weapons in the big weapon category for comparison.

On the very few you find with similar output, compare the proficiency penalties, skill levels required and/or materials required to craft, then if any at all are still close - remember that the above weapons have Reach Attacks on top.

For example the similar performance of a Barbed Wire Bat requires a Baseball Bat and some Barbed Wire for similar output, while missing Reach Attacks. A Machete has a higher output but heavier proficiency requirements, higher skill requirement, requires a whole host of things from an anvil to chiseling to forges/acetylene torch and though somewhat higher output doesn’t have Reach Attacks. Same for Punch Dagger. Crude Sword comes close in all aspects but straight up missing Reach Attacks. Sharpened Rebar requiring some Rebar and having similar performance while missing Reach Attacks.

And with the few weapons able to come close but just missing Reach Attacks, keep in mind being able to attack one extra space away is huge - even with Circular Distances where Reach Attacks only work half the directions. Being almost untouchable from Zombies to Fat Zombies to SWAT zombies to Military Zombies, so early, with such great output from that reach.

Could just be personal opinion though.

If so i’d say Reach Attack weapons in general need a pass - either the output needs to be globally reduced to less than their face to face counterparts, in compensation for the reach, the damage maybe needs a bigger split between 2 damage types to need to level 2 weapon skills to keep relevant (but would then still be strong early) or the unique benefit of Spears needs to be reworked entirely, as being able to reach an extra space is just too strong to be able to balance other weapons to.

Maybe Spears have a bit of base all-armor piercing, cutting weapons have stronger bleed effects, bashing a small chance on all weapons to stun or something similar. Distance to attack is too strong for a unique trait of a melee weapon line without heavy penalties - imo.

Edit: Also consider the synergies making it even stronger on top, such as the widely used fleet-footed to be able to be even more untouchable, Sojutsu to not even have to kite things half the time, Ninjutsu to hit for +50% damage while keeping distance for 3 turns to refresh the +50% proc, rollerblades and those are just off the top of my head.

Edit 2: Maybe swords have the increased bleeding damage, spears base all armor piercing damage, blunt weapons base chances to stun, staffs sweep/aoe attacks, daggers/fist weapons increased attack speed/reduced move cost, another weapon type for defensive procs, another weapon type for more procs than the others, another weapon type specializing in crits, etc.

The spear type weapon with the highest evaluation value (of 24) is a steel spear, and that value includes a 40% boost for Reach 2, so the raw DPS is closer to 17 or so. A battle axe has an evaluation value of 29 with no boost, so the DPS is already 50% higher. A halberd has POLEARM and REACH and an evaluation value of 35, from a Reach 2 DPS of 29 or so.

So spear weapons already have significantly reduced DPS compared to equivalent size reach 1 weapons, and compared to polearms. So thanks for the suggestions but they’ve already been implemented.

Polearms like the halberd or makeshift glaive are great weapons at reach 2, but they suffer a -30% damage penalty against adjacent targets, dropping them from the highest DPS weapons in the game to roughly equivalent to quarterstaves (and staves are weaker than baseball bats on a pure DPS basis).

You’re looking at this from gameplay balance perspective but last time I geard the game strives to be leaning more to realism side, and from that viewpoint, reach weapons would be THE thing to use in zombocalypse.

Damage wise, spears are inferior both to pole-arms and to most other two-handed weapons. A proper pole-arm like a halberd takes a damage penalty at reach 1, but it has enough raw damage that it still has about the same DPS as a spear. Alternately, a battle axe or a zweihander has 60+% more DPS than a spear at reach 1.

Reach weapons are good, and if a player thinks they’re the best weapons in the game, I’m not going to argue the point. But if a player prefers walking up to zombies and splattering them with a mace or battle axe, those are also very good weapons that are arguably some of the best weapons in the game. I’ve heard plenty of arguments that the low DPS on spears means that a character spends too long killing a monster, and it’s more efficient to use a higher DPS weapon and better positioning.

I think a lot of weapons have good enough damage to be viable, and that’s a good thing. The best weapon depends on your play style. For some people, that’s a spear or polearm. For other people, it’s a mace, axe, or sword. For other people, it’s a bow and all melee weapons are inherently inferior. Nothing that’s been said so far convinces me that polearms or spears are unreasonably good[1].

[1] Makeshift glaives had a crazy high accuracy, but once that’s nerfed, they’re going to be realistically bad weapons that you deploy out of desperation.

I’m not arguing that reach weapons are the best because of dps/accuracy. They are the best because they let you kill at a distance and are effectively silent (compared to firearms, that is).

You can’t craft Halberds and Battleaxes.

I was saying for at least the start of the game, though i didn’t specify this part - i guess i meant from a crafting/easily accessible point of view.

How easy is it to find a Halberd or Battle Axe? It’s good to know that at the very least it’s better balanced later on when taking into account all forms of weapons, that dropped weapons are better than just crafting comparisons.

Early game crafting (due to being mainly the only option and being unable to view dropped weapons ingame) comparison they’re on par for output while having Reach Attacks on top, with a few examples provided above.

I can’t see changing from a Knife Spear anytime soon, especially with the hardest mat to craft it being a blade and needing just Fab 1.

Pretty sure you can craft those. Though honestly who needs a weapon when brawling exists.

The problem with that is: The makeshift glaive requires a blade. Those either have to be forged or found & disassembled, which means they aren’t that easy to come by in the first place and - in case of disassembling - meaning it destroys an already (damage wise) good weapon.

Halberd and Battleaxe are craftable, just checked in 0.E-b11184.

Blades are pretty easy to come by, i found a lawnmower in like 3 houses a couple times now and they reliably disassemble into 2 blades, as well as like 3 or 4 different kitchen knives that disassemble into a blade with being able to find like 2 or 3 of them almost every house. Only takes one too, as the Knife Spear isn’t flimsy.

Ah, i’m playing current experimentals like 11192 and those weapons seem to no longer be a crafting option (or you need higher than the 10 levels in all skills i gave myself when testing.) Unless i’m still mistaken.

Find the closest weapon in the crafting menu with an output 25% or higher (to compensate for Reach Attacks) and compare the skill, proficiency, and material requirements.

I see no recently merged changes to those weapons/recipes, and the links I’ve provided should be up to date.
Remember (as pointed out in the posted link): They need the book The Historic Weaponsmith.
To test this properly you can open the Debug Menu and select [p]layer...->Unlock all [r]ecipes and then check the crafting menu.

Lawnmowers need a bolt turning tool to disassemble, which you may or may not find early in the game, which makes it an unreliable option…
As for kitchen knives: I didn’t know these disassemble into blades nowdays. I’m used to only gettings spikes or chunks of steel out of them. So yes, that makes it much easier to get a blade…

Of course it was recipe books lol.

So it turns out those Polearms also have Reach Attacks, when i first mentioned it i did say:

I should’ve just said Reach Attacks from the start, not Spears specifically.

Your Halberd polearm has Reach Attacks too, as well as multiple others.

So compare the Halberd and Battleaxe again - similar output yet Halberd has Reach Attacks. What i was saying was happening early is happening all over again. Sure there’s a 30% adjacency damage penalty (as mentioned in my original post) but does that really matter?

The Halberd, Ji, Glaive, Naginata - all similar. The Lucrene Hammer being better, but i’m sure there’s a similar non Reach Attack counterpart than just the Battleaxe you mentioned as an example.

Reach Attacks still look to be free apart from adjacency penalty.

Why would you ever go a Battleaxe over Halberd?

Turns out they do have both, unless adjacent.

If you can guarantee that you can kite, a halberd is better than a battle axe.

If you intend to defend a fixed location and know that zombies are going to get adjacent to you, a battle axe is better than a halberd.

For killing zombies at a distance so they can’t injure you, both are inferior to a longbow.

I don’t think reach weapons are currently so good that they need to be nerfed, even compared to other melee weapons. I could be convinced I was wrong, but citing an example that plays to reach weapons’ strengths (1:1 duel with infinite space to kite) isn’t a strong argument.

Fair enough, thanks for the feedback and discussion.

I did mention synergies that make Reach Attacks even stronger, with some not only not having a bonus but having an actual detriment to non Reach Attacks (such as rollerblades) as well as things such as Sojutsu for stand and fight kite, making even better use of Ninjutsu +50% damage proc and 3 turn cd, (probably alot more unique benefits from other martial arts), increased speed kite from Fleet Footed and probably more with a bit more thought.

As well as the early game power being able to fight from Fat Zombie to SWAT Zombie with maybe a scratch or 2 - until you learn proper movement.

I’m also not sure of the ratio of times of stand and fight compared to, anything else especially when considering the awesome new Stamina grittiness and Weariness. You’d also have to stand and fight in a narrow hallway due to zombies being able to push eachother around? And surrounding you, even when fighting into a doorway. Even static defence like base protection you wouldn’t just stand there and fight, but kite and fight around whatever you have available to you around your base etc.

And in those specific situations it’s just a 30% damage penalty at worst, weapon swap at best.

But it’s definitely not such a big deal, not a game changer but was at least worth mentioning and you at least looked into it.

Thanks again.

So something that has happened to me before is while retreating through a building from some zombies (possibly kiting them in the process), I get ambushed by other zombies who heard the fighting and now have cut off my retreat. The sporting goods store, with that long corridor to its back storage room and rear entrance, is a building where that has happened to me more than once. Either retreating from the back room to the storefront only to get ambushed at the storefront, or retreating to the back room only to have zombies bust through the back door.

Even if it’s only 2 zombies in each direction, you can’t kite and you’re going to get surrounded, so having a higher DPS weapon that will kill the zombies quickly is a good idea. Obviously, you don’t intend to fight that kind of fight, but it happens, and some people may prefer to have a weapon for that kind of situation even if it’s suboptimal for fighting a lone zombie in the street (which is a low risk situation anyway).

If spears or reach weapons were clearly superior in both situations, I’d consider rebalancing them, but as far as I know, they’re not.

As well as maybe things like faster Zombie Dog goon squads, much faster enemies like Mi-Go, flying enemies ambushing off a roof, a surprise Hulk, Solid Snake Shady Zombies at night etc.

All good.

Edit: Maybe if i was really worried about those unavoidable situations in times they do happen, i’d then carry 2 diff weapons on straps for quick weapon swapping, but maybe the design of making the choice of sacrificing inventory space for versatility in combat - along with the 30% Reach Attack adjacency penalty completes it.

I agree.

I actually do that: I carry a main melee weapon and a (shot)gun with me.

As for “overpowered”; there are a lot of things that are overpowered, but just in specific situation and playstyles.

  • Using vehicles to crush Zombies to death is very overpowered, but actually reasonable/realistic to do and doesn’t work for clearing out buildings (with exceptions).
  • Building traps (not necessary weapon traps, even just pits) and luring Zombies into them are - contrary what some others say in a different topic - very effective and can be abused all over, but you’re a bit stationary and doesn’t work against anything.
  • Setting everything ablaze works wounderful and kills anything really quick… including “loot”.
  • Or, my favorite strategy, using a strong melee weapon (stick / stout branch, to start with) and a few Zombie Pheromones which can be cut out of Zombies (dissect corpse) really early game is great against groups or otherwise strong Zombies… but not so much against feral humans, robots and nether inhabitants.
  • You could also carry a quick weapon, strike a Zombie and run away before he can get a hit in, wait again until he catches up and hit again.
  • And of course you can go in guns blazing, but you might not come out of it if you don’t have enough ammunition.

All of these are valid strategies, even very early game (with the exception of the last one), all in their own way overpowered in one situation but still with enough drawbacks in others that you usually have to adopt multiple of them over the course of a game or play in a very specific, maybe limited way…

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I meant carry 2 diff melee weps to negate the only downside of Reach Attacks.

Some good points and examples, the only problem is those are edge case scenarios or have multiple, or bigger consequences.

-Vehicles as mentioned can’t be used for buildings, all but the strongest are easily damaged especially now with shock and requiring shock absorbs, costs fuel unless electric, the noise and headlights attracting zambies from longer range, run the risk of breaking down in a horde, takes alot of monster evolving time to properly build a vehicle capable of doing so more than once or twice, with that composite armor, rollers, electric motor and panels, shock absorbs etc.

-Being able to setup traps as a whack-a-mole especially flat digging holes is a luxury for situations that then must be so non threatening enough as to maybe have multiple other options, or being used in edge cases, probably has alot of Weariness penalty, guessing pits can’t be dug on roads or in buildings, can’t dig pits/trap very well during a chase/combat, need to level up traps.

-Fire takes a long time - needing to stay close in the reality bubble, even then has a relatively short range of effectiveness considering, is unreliable and as mentioned destroys loot.

-Not sure about zombie pheromones since never really seen or used, surely can’t just farm them so easily, not lasting long, taking extra weariness to dissect etc.

-Quick weapons usually mean less damage and still run the risk of being hit or worse - grabbed.

-Guns blazing is ranged weaponry, mid/late as mentioned, finite ammo and an outlier as ranged attacking with the amount of ammo around is in itself strong and a whole other debate.

Again most of that is edge case situations, multiple drawbacks or generally not that OP

Even if they are OP, as you said:

Meanwhile Reach Attacks are back to front - It’s OP in the majority of melee combat and only has one drawback.

In the rare times (maybe not at all if you play around it well enough) you’re stuck in close range to be affected by that only drawback, you can entirely negate it - you can melee weapon swap, you can stagger run kite a fast enemy before then, you can clear places like streets and buildings first before going into narrow parts especially with the use of rollerblades and fleet foot, you can consider not even going into narrow parts (without at least scouting what’s nearby first if absolutely necessary) and you’d need strong enough monsters to survive all the kiting and attacking full output of a normal weapon while being backed into a corner. After all that, it’s just a 30% damage penalty when it does manage to kick in.

So Reach Attacks allows you to negate say 70% of danger, from the start of the game, with 15% of situations being too tough for melee either way like deadly ranged or hordes and 15% of the time facing a 30% damage penalty when outplayed and trapped.

I’d still use Reach Attacks if the 30% damage penalty was permanent, personally.

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