Why Use A Rapier?

I'm not sure if this has been broup up before, but I'm probably a bit late to the play test (due to the download link on my email never working *grumblegrumble*).  But perusing the player test packet...  What incentive is there to using a rapier over a shortsword?  They both do the same damage, and the same damage type, but the shortsword is a light weapon.  And, for losing the light weapon quality, it doubles the price over a shortsword and only loses 50% of the weight?

Unless I'm missing something there's practically no reason for using a rapier as it stands, unlike before where it either did more damage or had a higher critical threat range.  Unless the 1lb of weight is going to make or break your character.
The weapon and armor chart are all sorts of messed up.

Nothing about them is balanced.

guides
List of no-action attacks.
Dynamic vs Static Bonuses
Phalanx tactics and builds
Crivens! A Pictsies Guide Good
Power
s to intentionally miss with
Mr. Cellophane: How to be unnoticed
Way's to fire around corners
Crits: what their really worth
Retroactive bonus vs Static bonus.
Runepriest handbook & discussion thread
Holy Symbols to hang around your neck
Ways to Gain or Downgrade Actions
List of bonuses to saving throws
The Ghost with the Most (revenant handbook)
my builds
F-111 Interdictor Long (200+ squares) distance ally teleporter. With some warlord stuff. Broken in a plot way, not a power way.

Thought Switch Higher level build that grants upto 14 attacks on turn 1. If your allies play along, it's broken.

Elven Critters Crit op with crit generation. 5 of these will end anything. Broken.

King Fisher Optimized net user.  Moderate.

Boominator Fun catch-22 booming blade build with either strong or completely broken damage depending on your reading.

Very Distracting Warlock Lot's of dazing and major penalties to hit. Overpowered.

Pocket Protector Pixie Stealth Knight. Maximizing the defender's aura by being in an ally's/enemy's square.

Yakuza NinjIntimiAdin: Perma-stealth Striker that offers a little protection for ally's, and can intimidate bloodied enemies. Very Strong.

Chargeburgler with cheese Ranged attacks at the end of a charge along with perma-stealth. Solid, could be overpowered if tweaked.

Void Defender Defends giving a penalty to hit anyone but him, then removing himself from play. Can get somewhat broken in epic.

Scry and Die Attacking from around corners, while staying hidden. Moderate to broken, depending on the situation.

Skimisher Fly in, attack, and fly away. Also prevents enemies from coming close. Moderate to Broken depending on the enemy, but shouldn't make the game un-fun, as the rest of your team is at risk, and you have enough weaknesses.

Indestructible Simply won't die, even if you sleep though combat.  One of THE most abusive character in 4e.

Sir Robin (Bravely Charge Away) He automatically slows and pushes an enemy (5 squares), while charging away. Hard to rate it's power level, since it's terrain dependent.

Death's Gatekeeper A fun twist on a healic, making your party "unkillable". Overpowered to Broken, but shouldn't actually make the game un-fun, just TPK proof.

Death's Gatekeeper mk2, (Stealth Edition) Make your party "unkillable", and you hidden, while doing solid damage. Stronger then the above, but also easier for a DM to shut down. Broken, until your DM get's enough of it.

Domination and Death Dominate everything then kill them quickly. Only works @ 30, but is broken multiple ways.

Battlemind Mc Prone-Daze Protecting your allies by keeping enemies away. Quite powerful.

The Retaliator Getting hit deals more damage to the enemy then you receive yourself, and you can take plenty of hits. Heavy item dependency, Broken.

Dead Kobold Transit Teleports 98 squares a turn, and can bring someone along for the ride. Not fully built, so i can't judge the power.

Psilent Guardian Protect your allies, while being invisible. Overpowered, possibly broken.

Rune of Vengance Do lot's of damage while boosting your teams. Strong to slightly overpowered.

Charedent BarrageA charging ardent. Fine in a normal team, overpowered if there are 2 together, and easily broken in teams of 5.

Super Knight A tough, sticky, high damage knight. Strong.

Super Duper Knight Basically the same as super knight with items, making it far more broken.

Mora, the unkillable avenger Solid damage, while being neigh indestuctable. Overpowered, but not broken.

Swordburst Maximus At-Will Close Burst 3 that slide and prones. Protects allies with off actions. Strong, possibly over powered with the right party.

Well, hopefully that'll be fixed, then.  Best bet I can make is increasing a rapier's damage to d8 like in Fourth Edition due to the new crit rules.

I'm also hoping daggers will be allowed to do slashing damage as well with the next revisions. /:
Why does there need to be a reason?  Can't both just be roughly equal?

Also note, I find it absolutely absurd that the Rapier would be lighter than a short sword--I have a Rapier, and it's extremely long, making it heavier than you'd think and far more awkward.  But then, D&D weapon weights have always been totally ridiculous and wrong, so whatever.
Well, design wise, at least in my opinion, each weapon (type) should be different in small ways to expand on your options, although having weapons that are identical is an option if you just want the flavor of wielding that weapon type.

If they made rapiers identical to shortswords stat wise (or merely expanded shortswords to include weapons of the rapier design) then I could see it working.  But as it is, you're paying for a weapon that's more expensive than a simple shortsword and less effective; although this might change when the rules expand on what a light weapon does.  Perhaps there's something which will make it worthwhile using a standard weapon over a light weapon in certain situations. *Shrugs*
Well, design wise, at least in my opinion, each weapon (type) should be different in small ways to expand on your options, although having weapons that are identical is an option if you just want the flavor of wielding that weapon type.

If they made rapiers identical to shortswords stat wise (or merely expanded shortswords to include weapons of the rapier design) then I could see it working.  But as it is, you're paying for a weapon that's more expensive than a simple shortsword and less effective; although this might change when the rules expand on what a light weapon does.  Perhaps there's something which will make it worthwhile using a standard weapon over a light weapon in certain situations. *Shrugs*



That's a roleplaying opportunity right there.  Perhaps in your game setting's culture, rapiers are consiered "cool" or prestigious enough that a low-level swordfighter might covet them and be tempted to buy one, but some practical-minded, grizzled war veteran may take them aside and point out that a short sword is both cheaper and more useful.  Whether the young adventurer heeds that advice would depend entirely on personality type.  Maybe carrying a rapier gets you taken more seriously by those looking to hire mercenaries, or makes the kobold bandits assume you must be somebody impressive and/or important.
Howdy folks,

I have moved this thread to the Playtest Packet Discussion forum where it is more on-topic.

Thanks.  

All around helpful simian

Well, design wise, at least in my opinion, each weapon (type) should be different in small ways to expand on your options, although having weapons that are identical is an option if you just want the flavor of wielding that weapon type.

If they made rapiers identical to shortswords stat wise (or merely expanded shortswords to include weapons of the rapier design) then I could see it working.  But as it is, you're paying for a weapon that's more expensive than a simple shortsword and less effective; although this might change when the rules expand on what a light weapon does.  Perhaps there's something which will make it worthwhile using a standard weapon over a light weapon in certain situations. *Shrugs*



Alternately -all weapons should be the same so that players can choose the weapon that fits their character concept rather than the one that best min-maxes the particular approach they wish to take.  (Note: This was actually the case in OD&D).

Or, more likely, neither should be true and in some cases weapons are mechanically distinct because of actual differences in the weapon and not to satisfy some arbitrary need for 'distinctness' and in some cases, the differences between the actual weapons are minor and thus do not carry mechanical weight.

Or would you argue that because Rapiers are mechanically identical to Shortswords, they should just leave them out of the game as an option?

Carl
The baseline may be roughly equal but we know that racial weapon proficiencies increase the damage die of certain weapons.  I'm betting the individual weapons will come with feats to improve the damage dice and obtain special abilities.
That's a roleplaying opportunity right there.  Perhaps in your game setting's culture, rapiers are consiered "cool" or prestigious enough that a low-level swordfighter might covet them and be tempted to buy one, but some practical-minded, grizzled war veteran may take them aside and point out that a short sword is both cheaper and more useful.  Whether the young adventurer heeds that advice would depend entirely on personality type.  Maybe carrying a rapier gets you taken more seriously by those looking to hire mercenaries, or makes the kobold bandits assume you must be somebody impressive and/or important.


I don't want to have to hamfist a "roleplaying opportunity" into my campaigns to balance out every weapon that sucks. Just give them something that makes them different, not necessarily better than other weapons, but worth using to the right character.
Owner and Proprietor of the House of Trolls. God of ownership and possession.
Every weapon is worth using, depending on what the particular player wants for his/her character build. Yes, it's a RP opportunity...but it's not only that. It's also a way for a character to individualize him/herself from the potential clone standing next to them.

So what if there are 5 different weapons that are mechanically the same? They all have their uses. Not everybody is going to carry around a rapier...that tends to be left to the agile fighters of higher standing, and tend to be a status symbol (hence the higher cost, more intricate design). Shortswords are cheap and easy to replace...great for the layman soldier and/or adventurer...buy 5 and don't worry until you're down to 2 remaining, then buy more.
I am guessing there are several rules of combat deliberately left out of the player packet. Remember that the designers said this was packet was to test play styles, not game balance. When the other rules are added, many numbers may start making more sense.
I'd like to see them distinguished by something like maneuvers and stances you can do with one type of weapon, flourishes, lunges and the like.
Also I'd propose that some mechanics are included that give you basically the choice between a two short sword fighting style and a rapier and main gauche style which are balanced to each other (something like one style being more defensive or better for maneuvers)

Alternately -all weapons should be the same so that players can choose the weapon that fits their character concept rather than the one that best min-maxes the particular approach they wish to take.  (Note: This was actually the case in OD&D).

Or giving the players "weapon points" corresponding to price of the weapon, profiency (exotic weapons getting more points, simple ones less) and magic quality which they can use to build customized weapons (assuming the players will do some RP and choose abilities for that weapon that correspond to it)
I wouldn't be surprised if there is a Theme or something further down the line that maybe bumps the Rapier's damage die, or gives it some other benefit that makes it useful to use.

For those confused on how DDN's modular rules might work, this may provide some insight: http://www.tor.com/blogs/2012/11/the-world-of-darkness-shines-when-it-abandons-canon

@mikemearls: Uhhh... do you really not see all the 3e/4e that's basically the entire core system?

 

It is entirely unnecessary to denigrate someone else's approach to gaming in order to validate your own.

The baseline may be roughly equal but we know that racial weapon proficiencies increase the damage die of certain weapons.  I'm betting the individual weapons will come with feats to improve the damage dice and obtain special abilities.




My thinking exactly. I'm sure special abilities and theme/background features will provided bonuses for using certain types of weapons.
D&D Next - Basic and Expert Editions

I firmly believe that there should be two editions of the game; the core rules released as a "Basic" set and a more complicated expanded rules edition released as an "Expert" set. These two editions would provide separate entry points to the game; one for new players or players that want a more classic D&D game and another entry point for experienced gamers that want more options and all the other things they have come to expect from previous editions.

Also, they must release several rules modules covering the main elements of the game (i.e., classes, races, combat, magic, monsters, etc.) upon launch to further expand the game for those that still need more complexity in a particular element of the game.


Here's a mockup of the Basic Set I created.



(CLICK HERE TO VIEW LARGER IMAGE)
  

Basic Set

This boxed set contains a simple, "bare bones" edition of the game; the core rules. It's for those that want a rules-light edition of the game that is extremely modifiable or for new players that get intimidated easily by too many rules and/or options. The Basic Set contains everything needed to play with all the "classic" D&D races (i.e., Human, Dwarf, Elf, and Halfling) and classes (i.e., Cleric, Fighter, Rogue, Wizard) all the way up to maximum level (i.e., 20th Level).

The Basic boxed set contains:

Quick Start Rules
A "choose your own way" adventure intended as an intro to RPGs and basic D&D terms.

Player's Handbook
(Softcover, 125 pages)
Features rules for playing the classic D&D races and classes all the way up to 20th level.

Dungeon Master's Guide

(Softcover, 125 pages)
Includes the basic rules for dungeon masters.

Monster Manual
(Softcover, 100 pages)
Includes all the classic iconic monsters from D&D. 

Introductory Adventure
(Keep on the Borderlands)
An introductory adventure for beginning players and DMs.

Also includes: 

Character Sheets
Reference Sheets
Set of Dice


Expert Set

A set of hardbound rules that contains the core rules plus expanded races and classes, more spells and a large selection of optional rules modules — that is, pretty much everything that experienced players have come to expect. Each expert edition manual may be purchased separately, or in a boxed set. The Expert set includes:

Expert PHB (Hardcover, 225 pages. $35 Includes core rules plus 10 playable races, 10 character classes, expanded selection of spells and rules modules for players.)
Expert DMG (Hardcover, 250 pages. $35 Includes core rules plus expanded rules modules for DMs.)
Expert MM (Hardcover, 225 pages. $35 Includes an expanded list of monsters and creatures to challenge characters)


Expansions

These expansion rules modules can be used with both the Basic and Expert sets. Each expansion covers one specific aspect of the game, such as character creation, combat, spells, monsters, etc.) 

Hall of Heroes (Hardcover, 225 pages. $35 Includes a vast selection of playable character races and classes, new and old all in one book)
Combat and Tactics (Hardcover, 225 pages. $35 Includes dozens of new and old optional rules for combat all in one book)
Creature Compendium (Hardcover, 350 pages.$35 Includes hundreds of monsters, new and old all in one book)
The Grimoire (Hardcover, 225 pages. $35 Includes hundreds of new and old spells all in one book)





A Million Hit Points of Light: Shedding Light on Damage

A Million Hit Points of Light: Shedding Light on Damage and Hit Points

In my personal campaigns, I use the following system for damage and dying. It's a slight modification of the long-standing principles etsablished by the D&D game, only with a new definition of what 0 or less hit points means. I've been using it for years because it works really well. However, I've made some adjustments to take advantage of the D&D Next rules. I've decided to present the first part in a Q&A format for better clarity. So let's begin...

What are hit points?
The premise is very simple, but often misunderstood; hit points are an abstraction that represent the character's ability to avoid serious damage, not necessarily their ability to take serious damage. This is a very important distinction. They represent a combination of skillful maneuvering, toughness, stamina and luck. Some targets have more hit points because they are physically tougher and are harder to injure...others have more because they are experienced combatants and have learned how to turn near fatal blows into mere scratches by skillful maneuvering...and then others are just plain lucky. Once a character runs out of hit points they become vulnerable to serious life-threatening injuries.

So what exactly does it mean to "hit" with a successful attack roll, then?
It means that through your own skill and ability you may have wounded your target if the target lacks the hit points to avoid the full brunt of the attack. That's an important thing to keep in mind; a successful "hit" does not necessarily mean you physically damaged your target. It just means that your attack was well placed and forced the target to exert themselves in such a way as to leave them vulnerable to further attacks. For example, instead of severing the target's arm, the attack merely grazes them leaving a minor cut.

But the attack did 25 points of damage! Why did it only "graze" the target?
Because the target has more than 25 hit points. Your attack forced them to exert a lot of energy to avoid the attack, but because of their combat skill, toughness, stamina and luck, they managed to avoid being seriously injured. However, because of this attack, they may not have the reserves to avoid your next attack. Perhaps you knocked them off balance or the attack left them so fatigued they lack the stamina to evade another attack. It's the DM's call on how they want to narrate the exact reason the blow didn't kill or wound the target.

Yeah, but what about "touch" attacks that rely on physical contact?
Making physical contact with a target is a lot different than striking them, so these types of attacks are the exception. If a touch attack succeeds, the attacker manages to make contact with their target.

If hit points and weapon damage don't always represent actual damage to the target, then what does it represent?
Think of the damage from an attack as more like a "threat level" rather than actual physical damage that transfers directly to the target's body. That is, the more damage an attack does, the harder it is to avoid serious injury. For example, an attack that causes 14 points of damage is more likely to wound the target than 3 points of damage (depending on how many hit points the target has left). The higher the damage, the greater the chance is that the target will become seriously injured. So, an attack that does 34 points of damage could be thought of as a "threat level of 34." If the target doesn't have the hit points to negate that threat, they become seriously injured.

Ok, but shouldn't armor reduce the amount of damage delivered from an attack?
It does reduce damage; by making it harder for an attack to cause serious injury. A successful hit against an armored target suggests that the attack may have circumvented the target's armor by striking in a vulnerable area.

What about poison and other types of non-combat damage?
Hit point loss from non-physical forms of damage represents the character spitting the poison out just in time before it takes full strength or perhaps the poison just wasn't strong enough to affect them drastically, but still weakens them. Again, it's the DMs call on how to narrate the reasons why the character avoids serious harm from the damage.

If hit points don't don't represent actual damage then how does that make sense with spells like Cure Serious Wounds and other forms of healing like healer kits with bandages?
Hit points do represent some physical damage, just not serious physical damage. Healing magic and other forms of healing still affect these minor wounds just as well as more serious wounds. For example, bandaging up minor cuts and abrasions helps the character rejuvenate and relieve the pain and/or fatigue of hit point loss. The key thing to remember is that it's an abstraction that allows the DM freedom to interpret and narrate it as they see fit.

What if my attack reduces the target to 0 or less hit points?
If a player is reduced to 0 or less hit points they are wounded. If a monster or NPC is reduce to 0 or less hit points they are killed.

Why are monsters killed immediately and not players?
Because unless the monsters are crucial to the story, it makes combat resolution much faster. It is assumed that players immediately execute a coup de grace on wounded monsters as a finishing move.

What if a character is wounded by poison or other types of non-physical damage?
If a character becomes wounded from non-combat damage they still receive the effects of being wounded, regardless if they show any physical signs of injury (i.e., internal injuries are still considered injuries).

Ok. I get it...but what happens once a character is wounded?
See below.
 

Damage and Dying

Once a character is reduced to 0 or less hit points, they start taking real damage. In other words, their reserves have run out and they can no longer avoid taking serious damage.

  1. Characters are fully operational as long as they have 1 hit point or more. They may have minor cuts, bruises, and superficial wounds, but they are are not impaired significantly. 
  2. Once they reach 0 or less hit points, they become Wounded (see below).That is, they have sustained a wound that impairs their ability to perform actions.
  3. If they reach a negative amount of hit points equal or greater than their Constitution score, they are Incapacitated. This means they are in critical condition and could possibly die.
  4. Characters will die if their hit points reach a negative amount greater than their Constitution score, plus their current level.

Unharmed: 1 hp or more
Wounded: 0 hp or less
Incapacitated: -(Constitution) to -(Constitution+Level)
Dead: Less than -(Constitution +Level)

Wounded
When the character reaches 0 or less hit points they become wounded. Wounded characters receive disadvantage on all attacks and saving throws until they heal back up to 1 hit point or more. This allows for a transitory stage between healthy and dying, without having to mess around with impairment rules while the character still has hit points left.

Incapacitated
Characters begin dying when they reach a negative amount of hit points equal to their Constitution score. At which point, they must make a DC 10 Constitution saving throw on each of their following turns (the disadvantage from being wounded does not apply for these saving throws).

If successful, the character remains dying, but their condition does not worsen.

If the saving throw fails, another DC 10 Constitution saving throw must be made. If that one fails, the character succumbs to their wounds and dies. If successful, the character stabilizes and is no longer dying.

Finally, if a dying character receives first aid or healing at any point, they immediately stabilize.

Dead
Characters will die if they reach a negative amount of hit points equal to their Constitution, plus their current level. Thus, if an 8th level character with a Constitution score of 12 is down to 4 hit points then takes 24 points of damage (reducing their hit points to -20) the attack kills them outright.

yep, themes, background or feats

so

way to make a shortsword do pierce or slash
make shortsword easy to hide
make a rapier use its precison to crit on a 19
AC raise for the parrying qualities of a rapier

stuff that does stuff to stuff, makes the number static/always on, and ensures attacks are still just d20+stat+prof+ only or two modifiers even at 10th level
Just to name a few things:

Racial 'bonuses' for weapon use makes some of the 'samey' weapons better choices for certain people.

Magic is supposed to be less ala carte. So, a person might use a rapier because they found a magical rapier. While a DM might work with a player to give them the kind of weapon they want to use, they might end up with say ... an armor or weapon that isn't 'as good' as their first choice, but the magic makes it more worthwhile than a non-magical optimal choice.

We haven't seem themes, various vulnerabilities or resistances, etc. And that's all assuming the weapon charts are finalized.

The damage/hp progression is likely supposed to be flatter than in other editions, so not having a wide gap between biggest and smallest die size is probably a factor (especially since for most people the weapon die you see isn't the one you'll actually end up using since you'll normally go for a racially recommended weapon since it will normally be the best option.
In real history, the rapier was invented as a poking weapon that could harm a person through a small hole in his armor. (This was before the birth of Zorro)

 
DISCLAIMER: I never played 4ed, so I may misunderstand some of the rules.
Well, design wise, at least in my opinion, each weapon (type) should be different in small ways to expand on your options, although having weapons that are identical is an option if you just want the flavor of wielding that weapon type.

If they made rapiers identical to shortswords stat wise (or merely expanded shortswords to include weapons of the rapier design) then I could see it working.  But as it is, you're paying for a weapon that's more expensive than a simple shortsword and less effective; although this might change when the rules expand on what a light weapon does.  Perhaps there's something which will make it worthwhile using a standard weapon over a light weapon in certain situations. *Shrugs*



Alternately -all weapons should be the same so that players can choose the weapon that fits their character concept rather than the one that best min-maxes the particular approach they wish to take.  (Note: This was actually the case in OD&D).



this.

In other words, I think rapiers should be a "one handed melee weapon" type, which tells players it deals x damage based on Dexterity, and that it the rest is up to the descriptive flavor to portray that it isn't simply a shortsword.
Related: I am unconvinced about the decision to bring back damage types due to the loss of combat speed with little benefit storywise; so if the damage type decision makes sense to you then we are likely to disagree here as well.

Weapon choice has too long been about min-maxing in previous editions. A shortsword and cutlass aren't so different as to need different mechanics, damage, etc (like in previous editions). The evolution of D&D should be away from needing a lookup to decide which weapon you want. Instead, pick the class of weapon, and select one of the one you see your character using that also fits in that category. Or select a weapon you want, figure out which class it fits into, and build the rest around that (the decision to use a shield or not, use one or both hands on the weapon, etc). I think weapon categories are long overdue. Something like this:

1H light melee
1H melee
2H melee, and
2H heavy melee 

explanation of idea: All weapons, unless marked as light or heavy may be wielded with one or two hands. 2H weapons damage uses half Strength modifier when held in one hand (but makes using a shield possible). 1H weapons damage uses Strength modifier +1 when held in two hands. 1H light weapons must be wielded using Dexterity, and 1H melee weapons can be wielded using Dexterity (maybe requiring a feat ::shrug: but do not have to be.

damage values: 1H light melee deals d4 base damage. 1H melee deals d6 base damage. 2H melee deals d8 base damage. and 2H heavy melee deals 2d6 base damage.
Locke: [after mugging a merchant for his clothes] It's a little tight, but the price was right.
In real history, the rapier was invented as a poking weapon that could harm a person through a small hole in his armor. (This was before the birth of Zorro)

 

I don't think that's true at all.  The Rapier was designed as a dress sword, and was mostly only used in duels, since it's extreme length was awkward for real combat.    

And while I'm not 100% certain, I'm pretty sure Zorro used a Sabre.
In real history, the rapier was invented as a poking weapon that could harm a person through a small hole in his armor. (This was before the birth of Zorro)

 

I don't think that's true at all.  The Rapier was designed as a dress sword, and was mostly only used in duels, since it's extreme length was awkward for real combat.    

And while I'm not 100% certain, I'm pretty sure Zorro used a Sabre.



The rapier was a civilian weapon, not a soldier's weapon. It evolved from the estoc (the English called it a "tuck") - a long, rigid sword only good for piercing attacks. While the rapier is not a cutting implement like, say, a falchion or similar, it is capable of cutting, especially close to the tip (the part of the sword called the "foible"). In addition, in rapier fencing, the neck and face are prime targets; as such, one doesn't need to cut deeply to have an affect on the opponent.

In regards to armor - it is possible I suppose that a rapier might be able to punch through maille, or perhaps slip between individual scales on scale or brigandine. I should think it next to impossible to reliably punch through plate in combat, however. That said, that's extraordinarily difficult to test unless one puts a man in plate, gives him a weapon, gives another man a rapier (and whatever armor; doesn't matter for the purpose of the test) and instructs them to kill one another. Other than that, it's hard to get an accurate test.*

*- Yes, one could set up a breastplate or something and try to punch through it with a rapier. I don't accept the combat validity of that test because the chances of getting the man in plate to stand still long enough to get proper purchase are incredibly slim. And if the armored man is moving, it is far more likely that the rapier's point will skip off the armor as opposed to punch through.

For those confused on how DDN's modular rules might work, this may provide some insight: http://www.tor.com/blogs/2012/11/the-world-of-darkness-shines-when-it-abandons-canon

@mikemearls: Uhhh... do you really not see all the 3e/4e that's basically the entire core system?

 

It is entirely unnecessary to denigrate someone else's approach to gaming in order to validate your own.

The thick tanto-style blades were designed for punching through plate or heavily metalled armors...other blade points, not so much.
Back to the original point:
You use a rapier when the DM gives you a shiny new jeweled rapier +1 and trash your short sword.

the weapons are there to give variety. Naturally when you start a new character you will pick the best suited weapon for your 100G, but when presented with treasure, you will have a choice.
I was just presented with a choice: keep my chain shirt or swap it for a +1 studded leather. Both were statistically the same, but I could sell the magic armor for more... I kept the +1 studded leather though. why? because I am a rogue and leather is quieter in reality, although not in mechanics. Plus, electric attacks wouldn't get advantage...  
The weapons chart in the packet had the feel of "we had to put something in there for the playtesters to use" to me, and hopefully there'll be more meat soon.

If they are truly not going to give different critical behavior for different weapons, then what they will create is a limited selection of "correct" weapon choices.  One handed one should always use a longsword unless it's resistant to slashing weapons, when you bring out the heavy mace.  I doubt that's what they intend - that your optimal character build MUST use certain weapons - and I think we'll likely have to wait to see what comes out in the next packet...

I liked the way weapons were handled in WotC Gamma World (using the 4ED D&D engine) - you had light weapons and heavy weapons and they did "X" or "Y" damage based on whether they were one or two handed, and it didn't matter if it was a stop sign or a tetsubo (big Japanese club), it was a heavy two-handed melee weapon.

An example, oversimplified (light is one-handed, heavy is two-handed):

Light Str Weapon 1d8
Heavy Str Weapon 2d6
Light Dex Weapon 1d6 add +1 to attack rolls because it's quicker and lighter
Heavy Dex Weapon 1d10 add + 1 to attack rolls for the same reason

One could force all weapons to fit into these categories (you'd have to have something for ranged) and you just ignore "real life" differences between them.  (After all, we are already ignoring "real life" armor mechanics.)
Being the primary tool of fighters and their ilk, weapons deserve to be as unique and interesting as spells are to a wizard. Maybe keep simplified weapons for those groups that want them, but weapon types for situations should definitely be a well-defined optional rule. A fighter-type should have a reason to use each and every weapon on their list rather than have one that works in all situations. You can still design balance around these constraints, such as having a pick maybe do less damage but grant a bonus to attacks (either a +X or advantage) against foes in heavy armor.

Flavor like this does nothing to detract from play, as players looking for a simpler game can stick to the basic stuff like longswords, and those looking for more variety have it. 

IMAGE(http://www.nodiatis.com/pub/7.jpg)