Weapon Balance and House Rules regarding it

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Is this thread for you?
This thread is directed toward those who feel that, while WotC did a better job this time around with weapon balance than they had in the past, more can be done to balance the weapons presented in the PHB. Notably, the Greatsword, which is drawing most of the attention, but also the Spiked Chain, Glaive, Bastard Sword (for those who feel it's OVER-powered), and other weapons.

If you do feel that weapon balance is perfect, I'm not saying you shouldn't post in this thread, but do your best to be civil and offer constructive advice and insight, rather than just telling everyone else that "it's balanced, leave it alone." And of course, if you're ambivalent then feel free to shoot your thoughts either way.

Now, here are some questions that need to be answered:

Is the Heavy Blade weapon group inherently "better" than other weapon groups (sans Light Blade)? If so, why are one-handed heavy blades not handicapped the way two-handed heavy blades are? If not, why do the greatsword and glaive fall behind other weapons of their kin?

Assuming there is an imbalance with the greatsword, what should be done to fix it?

Is the problem with the 2d4 "step" for two-handed weapons? If so, should it simply be removed, or should another fix be found?

Exactly what weapons need to be fixed? What weapons should they be balanced against? Why?

Also, how should the Versatile property be treated? When wielding a versatile weapon with both hands, is it considered a one-handed weapon, or a two-handed weapon? What balance issues does this cause?

Here's some links!
A lot of good discussion has been had in this thread, and here are some links that I consider valuable. If anyone wants to introduce more links that should be posted here, let me know.

Also, I'm thinking of arranging them differently. If you have a good idea on how to do this, let me know. (I'm not so good with the bb-code formatting stuff.)

Without further ado:

Ravennus argues for the removal of the 2d4 die step. His initial argument can be found here

If you like this houserule, you can find a summary here, which tells you exactly what the changes are for easy reference.

Guamae provides a useful comparison of RAW weapons here

Ravennus discusses the off-hand property's worth

Here Tejon brings up and displays the results of some suggestions provided.

Tejon also made an excellent post showing the math behind not only the RAW weapons, but also the "No 2d4" suggestion, the "No 2d4 or 1d12 steps" suggestion, and the "Drop one class, double dice" suggestion. The post can be found here

Another post by Tejon which includes house rules and reach weapons.

A summary of Guamae's methodology can be found in this thread.
What are the balance issues if you simply remove the 2d4 step for two-handers? Conversely, what if you add a 2d4 step for one-handers?
Well the heavy blades of 1 handed varierty (Scimatar, and Longsword) do show a damage step down compared to the Battle Ax. That aside, for adding and subtracting 2d4:

2d4 = 6d4 with 3[w] powers.
If you remove it from 2handers:
1d8>1d10>1d12>2d6>2d8>2d10

Falchion and Glave become 1d10 weapons
Great Ax becomes 2d6
Halberd, Greatsword, and Longspear become 1d12
Heavy Flail, Maul become 2d8

Maul in the hands of a bugbear fighter becomes 2d10 (6d10 on dailies, 14d10!! on that 7[w] power)

Though if you add onto Heavy Flail and Maul 'high crit' you move them back to the starting point, or add something called 'blow back' which allows you to add 1 onto any forced movement with the weapon.

Adding it to 1Handers
1d4>1d6>1d8>2d4>1d10>1d12>2d6>2d8>2d10
Battle Ax, Flail, Warhammer become 2d4, and oddly become more reliable in damage dealt then the longsword
(long sword has a 12.5% for each of 1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8. 2d4 has 6.25% of both 2 and 8, 12.5% for both 3 and 7, 18.75% of both 4 and 6, and 25% of 5).

Bastard sword is also more reliable, but not worth a feat anymore.

It would be better to make another superior 2handed martial weapon:
"Full blade +3 1d12 Heavy Blade", that way 2handed fighters have something to utilize, the only issue there is it makes the Greatsword redudant (but that already happens with Bastard sword only it gets both Greatsword and Longsword).
Well the heavy blades of 1 handed varierty (Scimatar, and Longsword) do show a damage step down compared to the Battle Ax.

But the longsword gets an extra +1 proficiency bonus to make up for it, and the scimitar gets High Crit.

That aside, for adding and subtracting 2d4:

2d4 = 6d4 with 3[w] powers.
If you remove it from 2handers:
1d8>1d10>1d12>2d6>2d8>2d10

Falchion and Glave become 1d10 weapons

Okay so far.

Great Ax becomes 2d6

I should note that some of my propositions come from conversations with Ravennus on the other D&D boards, who suggested removing the 2d4 step when "converting" a one-hander to a two-hander, which is generally a "+2 step" increase (+2 damage dice, +1 damage die and high crit, +1 proficiency and +1 damage die step, etc). Really, Ravennus should probably come in here himself and better explain all of this.

Halberd, Greatsword, and Longspear become 1d12

That would be consistent, yeah. Perhaps not with the halberd, it depends what the halberd is being compared to.

EDIT: Actually the longspear also gets reach. So 1d10 damage and reach is comparable to the spear's 1d8, I think. Which is also another thing to consider with the halberd.

Heavy Flail, Maul become 2d8

I see the heavy flail as a two-handed version of the flail. It would stay 2d6 because the flail already starts at 1d10, so the 2d4 step has already been avoided. This is where the greatsword gets handicapped--it doesn't "skip" the 2d4 step the way a lot of other weapons do. This is the same with the maul, which is a 2-hander version of the warhammer, imo.

Maul in the hands of a bugbear fighter becomes 2d10 (6d10 on dailies, 14d10!! on that 7[w] power)

Though if you add onto Heavy Flail and Maul 'high crit' you move them back to the starting point, or add something called 'blow back' which allows you to add 1 onto any forced movement with the weapon.
Hm, interesting idea in any case.

Adding it to 1Handers
1d4>1d6>1d8>2d4>1d10>1d12>2d6>2d8>2d10
Battle Ax, Flail, Warhammer become 2d4, and oddly become more reliable in damage dealt then the longsword
(long sword has a 12.5% for each of 1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8. 2d4 has 6.25% of both 2 and 8, 12.5% for both 3 and 7, 18.75% of both 4 and 6, and 25% of 5).

Bastard sword is also more reliable, but not worth a feat anymore.

Perhaps adding the 2d4 step to one-handers is a bad idea, then.

It would be better to make another superior 2handed martial weapon:
"Full blade +3 1d12 Heavy Blade", that way 2handed fighters have something to utilize, the only issue there is it makes the Greatsword redudant (but that already happens with Bastard sword only it gets both Greatsword and Longsword).

That wouldn't really be any different than just house-ruling that the greatsword does 1d12 damage. WHICH, btw, is possible a good houserule in and of itself. I just don't see the reason to include a new weapon for it.

Fullblade will probably be a superior weapon, I think. Hopefully something like Two-Handed +3 2d6 Heavy Blade.
Explained better below.
But the longsword gets an extra +1 proficiency bonus to make up for it, and the scimitar gets High Crit.

Actually Scimitar gets +1 prof and High crit.

And for that matter the Falchion and Greatsword get a +3 to hit proficency wise as well.
Furthermore:
+1 proficeny doesn't actually improve damage as much as people think it does.

Raw data of a 16 strength level 1 fighter swinging away at an AC 16 object
Longsword total attack bonus: +3(strength)+3(prof)+1(weapon talent) = +7 total

Needs 9+ so that's 12/20 or a 60% hit. For 1d8+3 or 7.5 expected, that means 4.5 damage/round (roughly)

Battle Ax total bonus: +3(strength)+2(prof)+1(weapon talent) = +6 total
Needs 10+ so thats 11/20 or a 55% hit. For 1d10+3 or 8.5 expected that means 4.675 damage/round (roughly).

The one handed fighter with decent strength favors Axes. The Warlord will favor heavy blades simply because all but 1 heavy blade is a +3 weapon. Pure defender fighters will favor heavy blade for blade opportunist.

I should note that some of my propositions come from conversations with Ravennus on the other D&D boards, who suggested removing the 2d4 step when "converting" a one-hander to a two-hander, which is generally a "+2 step" increase (+2 damage dice, +1 damage die and high crit, +1 proficiency and +1 damage die step, etc). Really, Ravennus should probably come in here himself and better explain all of this.

The flaw is that 2H = 1H upgrade.
The reality is, 2H have a diffrent balance spectrum. I'm not sure why, but Verstaility = High Crit in 1H's, in 2H High Crit takes a step of damage away (Great Ax goes from 2d6 to 1d12, Falchion goes from 1d10 to 2d4).

That would be consistent, yeah. Perhaps not with the halberd, it depends what the halberd is being compared to.

EDIT: Actually the longspear also gets reach. So 1d10 damage and reach is comparable to the spear's 1d8, I think. Which is also another thing to consider with the halberd.

I wasn't trying to say that the Halberd wasn't balanced at that, I am just pointing out the impact overall, honestly, I'm leary of having 1d12 reach weapons, simply because of the great benefit a warlord has with Reach as is.
I see the heavy flail as a two-handed version of the flail. It would stay 2d6 because the flail already starts at 1d10, so the 2d4 step has already been avoided. This is where the greatsword gets handicapped--it doesn't "skip" the 2d4 step the way a lot of other weapons do. This is the same with the maul, which is a 2-hander version of the warhammer, imo.

As things stand now,
+2 Prof Axes, Flails, and Hammers
1H 1d10
2H 2d6 or 1d12 + High Crit (I personally have moved Greatax to 2d6 as the impact isn't great, and makes Deadly Ax worthwhile for 2handed fighters, but thats not here or there).

A 'superior' Ax, Flail or Hammer would be (like bringing back the Dwarven War Ax)
+2 Prof
1H 1d12
2H 2d8

Heavy Blade
+3 Prof
1H 1d8
2H 1d10

Superior HB
1H 1d10
2H 1d12

Light blade balances as a Heavy blade, takes a die step damage due to utility.
Hm, interesting idea in any case.

Yeah I might do it anyway.
Perhaps adding the 2d4 step to one-handers is a bad idea, then.

Yeah it makes things wonky.
That wouldn't really be any different than just house-ruling that the greatsword does 1d12 damage. WHICH, btw, is possible a good houserule in and of itself. I just don't see the reason to include a new weapon for it.

Fullblade will probably be a superior weapon, I think. Hopefully something like Two-Handed +3 2d6 Heavy Blade.

I listed it as a Superior weapon, if you include superior weapon for most of the weapon groups (1H and 2H) then suddenly the Greatsword appears no worse off then the other weapons.

I will note of ALL the weapons the one I see with the most current balance issues is the Falchion, simply because it takes a level 30 weapon enhancement to make it worthwhile.
Edit> Most of the explination on increase had more to do with stating openly the changes it wuold bring, not saying it was necessarily unwarranted.

The fullblade would be a Superior Weapon.

As things stand now,
+2 Prof Axes, Flails, and Hammers
1H 1d10
2H 2d6 or 1d12 + High Crit (I personally have moved Greatax to 2d6 as the impact isn't great, and makes Deadly Ax worthwhile for 2handed fighters, but thats not here or there).

Notice this is a 2-step increase for 2-handed weapons for non-heavy blades. I.e. either +2 damage die steps or +1 damage die step and High Crit. Whereas...

Heavy Blade
+3 Prof
1H 1d8
2H 1d10

This is only a 2-step increase because of the 2d4 "step" for 2-handed weapons, which doesn't exist for one-handers. This handicaps the greatsword.

Compare the longsword and the battleaxe, for instance:

Longsword
+3 prof
1H 1d8

Battleaxe
+2 prof
1H 1d10

They're about even. The longsword gets a +5% to hit but the battleaxe gets more damage on a hit. This comes very close when comparing DPR. On the other hand, compare their 2-handed counterparts:

Greatsword
+3 prof
2H 1d10

Greataxe
+2 prof
2H 1d12 High Crit

Now, suddenly, there isn't JUST one die difference, but the greataxe ALSO gets high crit! The +1 to hit for the greatsword is overshadowed by the greataxe's extra damage die AND high crit combination.

If we removed the 2d4 "step" for 2-handers (and use only one die-step table regardless of handedness) then the greatsword and greataxe become more comparable to their one-handed counterparts. As it stands, either the greataxe (and many other 2-handers) is overpowered, or the greatsword (and a select few other 2-handers) is underpowered.

If the Greatsword were +3 1d12, this would balance well with the greataxe being +2 1d12 high crit.

Superior HB
1H 1d10
2H 1d12

What would a superior non-heavy blade look like? Why do Heavy Blades get handicapped? (And then, only with 2-handers, not one-handers.)

Also, why should a 2H HB be +3 1d12? Are you increasing it a step from the Greatsword, the way the bastard sword is increased a step from the longsword?

What if instead we take the bastard sword and 2-hand-ize it? Then we get +3 2d6, which compares better for a superior 2H weapon and with the other 2H weapons available.

An alternative would be to take the maul or greataxe and increase it one "step" to make it superior. For the maul, increase proficiency bonus by one to get +3 2d6. For the greataxe, remove high crit (down one step), increase proficiency bonus to +3 and increase die damage to 2d6 (up two steps, a total of 1 step increase) to get +3 2d6.

A +3 1d12 superior weapon is equal to the greataxe and maul so there's really no reason to spend a feat on it. It'd do better as a martial weapon, and a better superior weapon would do 2d6 damage.

The only thing that makes the Greatsword seem underpowered is lack of Superior 2H martial weapons, and superior 1H for other weapon groups.

I really think it's the 2d4 "step" that messes things up. All weapons should use one die conversion table, to keep things balanced. Then when you take a weapon and increase it "2 steps" to make it two-handed (as seems to be the case with all the 2-handers) everything balances out.

As it is, a superior 2H weapon would look like:

+2 2d6 high crit (increase greataxe one step)
+3 2d6 (increase maul one step)
or....
+3 1d12 (increase greatsword one step... wait wtf? weaker than the other superior weapons!)

A +3 1d12 "superior" 2-hander would be equal to the greataxe and maul, which you DON'T HAVE TO SPEND A FEAT ON. It would STILL make the greatsword look bad.

A fix wouldn't lie in altering the damage dice mechanics, a fix would actually lie in expanding options. The only weapon groups that get any particular superior weaponry is Light Blade and Heavy Blade and 1 Flail/Reach weapon.

I wish that were true but it doesn't seem to me that it is.

That all said, I love 4e, and weapon balance is MUCH better than 3e. Problems are expected, and these are simply kinks. I'm just looking for house-rules to fix the kinks.

I may not implement house rules for this myself, I'm not entirely sure if there's really a problem, but it looks to me that there is. If I do implement a houserule, it will be to remove the 2d4 step for 2-handed weapons when "converting" a 1-hander to a 2-hander.

It would require these changes:

Falchion
+3; 1d10; heavy blade; high crit

Greatsword
+3; 1d12; heavy blade

I'm not sure how to treat reach weapons at the moment. I don't know how many "steps" Reach is worth.

I know it shouldn't be used as a comparison, but note that in 3e the greatsword dealt 2d6 damage compared to the greataxe's 1d12. It also had a higher threat range (19-20) where the greataxe did more damage on a crit (x3 instead of x2). What I'm saying is that it isn't unprecedent for the greatsword to equal the greataxe in base damage die. It certainly shouldn't be BEHIND.

It makes sense to me that the greatsword and greataxe should deal equal base damage (1d12), where the greatsword hits more often (+3 prof) and the greataxe does more damage on a crit (+2 prof, high crit).
Actually Scimitar gets +1 prof and High crit.

Compared to the battleaxe? Is there errata I missed? My PHB Says:

Battleaxe
+2; 1d10; axe; versatile

Scimitar
+2; 1d8; heavy blade; high crit

Seems to me the scimitar loses one damage die step in favor of the High Crit property.

If Versatile = High Crit (as you state below) then the Scimitar falls behind the longsword and the battleaxe! I don't think this is the case. I think Versatile is mostly negligible, but I'm not entirely sure tbh.

And for that matter the Falchion and Greatsword get a +3 to hit proficency wise as well.
Furthermore:
+1 proficeny doesn't actually improve damage as much as people think it does.

It's not all about straight damage. +1 to hit is a better chance those encounters and dailies will hit!

Raw data of a 16 strength level 1 fighter swinging away at an AC 16 object
Longsword total attack bonus: +3(strength)+3(prof)+1(weapon talent) = +7 total

Needs 9+ so that's 12/20 or a 60% hit. For 1d8+3 or 7.5 expected, that means 4.5 damage/round (roughly)

Battle Ax total bonus: +3(strength)+2(prof)+1(weapon talent) = +6 total
Needs 10+ so thats 11/20 or a 55% hit. For 1d10+3 or 8.5 expected that means 4.675 damage/round (roughly).

Why AC 16?

The one handed fighter with decent strength favors Axes. The Warlord will favor heavy blades simply because all but 1 heavy blade is a +3 weapon. Pure defender fighters will favor heavy blade for blade opportunist.

Actually there are two +2 heavy blades: the scimitar and the glaive.


The flaw is that 2H = 1H upgrade.
The reality is, 2H have a diffrent balance spectrum. I'm not sure why, but Verstaility = High Crit in 1H's, in 2H High Crit takes a step of damage away (Great Ax goes from 2d6 to 1d12, Falchion goes from 1d10 to 2d4).

I agree that High Crit takes a damage die away (or something similar, such as +1 prof), but this is true for both 1H and 2H. Versatility doesn't seem to make a difference.


I wasn't trying to say that the Halberd wasn't balanced at that, I am just pointing out the impact overall, honestly, I'm leary of having 1d12 reach weapons, simply because of the great benefit a warlord has with Reach as is.

Okay, I can agree there.

I will note of ALL the weapons the one I see with the most current balance issues is the Falchion, simply because it takes a level 30 weapon enhancement to make it worthwhile.

And if the 2d4 step is removed, the falchion becomes 1d10, which balances it!

I really think this was a rushed product, and some mistakes, such as the 2d4 step for 2H (not to mention skill challenges), made it in the "final" product. That's fine, mistakes happen, especially with a rushed product. I still like 4e, and unlike the naysayers, I recognize that it was rushed and THAT is the source of its problems-- had 3e been as rushed, it would look just as "bad."

I think we'll be seeing some kind of errata to increase the damage die of the greatsword and the falchion in any case.
Notice this is a 2-step increase for 2-handed weapons for non-heavy blades. I.e. either +2 damage die steps or +1 damage die step and High Crit. Whereas...

Actually, 2d6 = 7 1d10 = 5.5 its a 1.5 damage increase, comapred to a 1 damage increase, and that has more to do the vaguries of die probability then any real result
2d6 = 2-12
1d10 = 1-10 +1/+2
1d8 = 1-8
1d10 = 1-10 +0/+2

The high end damage spectrum increases at the same rate, its the low end that gets hurt for LS-GS comparisons.
This is only a 2-step increase because of the 2d4 "step" for 2-handed weapons, which doesn't exist for one-handers. This handicaps the greatsword.

It actually doesn't handicap it, not in the strictest sense.
Compare the longsword and the battleaxe, for instance:

Longsword
+3 prof
1H 1d8

Battleaxe
+2 prof
1H 1d10

They're about even. The longsword gets a +5% to hit but the battleaxe gets more damage on a hit. This comes very close when comparing DPR. On the other hand, compare their 2-handed counterparts:

Greatsword
+3 prof
2H 1d10

Greataxe
+2 prof
2H 1d12 High Crit

Now, suddenly, there isn't JUST one die difference, but the greataxe ALSO gets high crit! The +1 to hit for the greatsword is overshadowed by the greataxe's extra damage die AND high crit combination.

If we removed the 2d4 "step" for 2-handers (and use only one die-step table regardless of handedness) then the greatsword and greataxe become more comparable to their one-handed counterparts. As it stands, either the greataxe (and many other 2-handers) is overpowered, or the greatsword (and a select few other 2-handers) is underpowered.

If the Greatsword were +3 1d12, this would balance well with the greataxe being +2 1d12 high crit.

No actually it wouldn't. suddenly the Greatsword would replace the maul as ideal 2H weapon, right now it appears suboptimal because of the bastard sword's presence.

If I were to make a 'superior' battle ax (call it the Dwarven War Ax) it would be +2 1d12 Verstaile

The only thing the Great Ax has on it is High Crit, and after paragon wouldn't have that.

If I were to make a 'superior' warhammer it would be +2 1d12 verstaile This would still out pace the Maul (7.5 typical outcome compared to 7)

The fact that there exsists a grand total of 3 one handed superior weapons, and all belong to a 'balde' group makes it appear they are weaker.

What would a superior non-heavy blade look like? Why do Heavy Blades get handicapped? (And then, only with 2-handers, not one-handers.)

Also, why should a 2H HB be +3 1d12? Are you increasing it a step from the Greatsword, the way the bastard sword is increased a step from the longsword?

Yes, the 2H 'Superior' weapon would follow the base idea I have for weapons (I will write it out and post it separately in a bit) essentially each weapon group has its own starting damage for 1H and 2H, and it trades it up for extra down for lessening.
What if instead we take the bastard sword and 2-hand-ize it? Then we get +3 2d6, which compares better for a superior 2H weapon and with the other 2H weapons available.

I honestly don't see the huge amount of diffrence from d12 to 2d6. 1d12 allows for a greater chance of a high result with a greater chance of a low result.
An alternative would be to take the maul or greataxe and increase it one "step" to make it superior. For the maul, increase proficiency bonus by one to get +3 2d6. For the greataxe, remove high crit (down one step), increase proficiency bonus to +3 and increase die damage to 2d6 (up two steps, a total of 1 step increase) to get +3 2d6.

Actually +3 is firmly in the purview of Light and Heavy Blade, I would feel that +3 to any other weapon group specifically breaks the balance of the weapons.
A +3 1d12 superior weapon is equal to the greataxe and maul so there's really no reason to spend a feat on it. It'd do better as a martial weapon, and a better superior weapon would do 2d6 damage.

No a +3 weapon is Superior to a Greatax and a Maul (especially when accounting for bastard sword V battle ax (see below)
Using my 16 Strength fighter again
+7v16 1d12+3 = 5.7
+6v16 2d6+3 = 5.5
+6v16 1d12+3+.05*6.5 = 5.55
Bastard Sword 2Handed
+7v16 1d10+4 = 5.7
Meaning that when you wield a Bastard Sword in 2H you get the same benefit as if you had 'fullblade' feat, until encounter/daily powers are accounted for

+7v16 2d12+3 = 9.6
+6v16 4d6+3 = 9.35
+6v16 2d12+3+.05*6.5 = 9.125
+7v16 2d10+4 = 9
Notice how on Encounter powers (2[w]) that double handing the bastard sword creeps downward while the diffrence between the Fullblade Superior and Maul grows?

This for your edification is the +3 1d10 bastard sword numbers
+7v16 1d10+3 = 5.1
+6v16 1d10+3 = 4.675


And Current Longsword versus Battleax (With damage factored in)
+7v16 1d8+3 = 4.5
+6v16 1d10+3 = 4.675

Current Greatsword versus Maul (higher high damage, better representive)
+7v16 1d10+3 = 5.1
+6v16 2d6+3 = 5.5

The loss has a little more than doubled from LS to GS, but a superior based off the GS is still much more useful than the GS.
I really think it's the 2d4 "step" that messes things up. All weapons should use one die conversion table, to keep things balanced. Then when you take a weapon and increase it "2 steps" to make it two-handed (as seems to be the case with all the 2-handers) everything balances out.

Actually No. Even excluding the math above, its quite clear its no longer just +Xdie for 2H weapons, for instance, There are light blade 2H weapons nor are there 1H weapons in the Polearm group.
As it is, a superior 2H weapon would look like:

+2 2d6 high crit (increase greataxe one step)
+3 2d6 (increase maul one step)
or....
+3 1d12 (increase greatsword one step... wait wtf? weaker than the other superior weapons!)

A +3 1d12 "superior" 2-hander would be equal to the greataxe and maul, which you DON'T HAVE TO SPEND A FEAT ON. It would STILL make the greatsword look bad.

It is true +3 2d6 maul would be better by some than +3 1d12 fullblade.

+7 v 16 2d6+3 = 6
+7 v 16 1d12+3 = 5.7

But that's on key with what happens with All heavy bladed weapons, all are inferior damage wise compared to non-heavy blades. The main diffrence is the trap that appears with Battle Ax to Longsword damage before strength
+4 v X 1d8 = .9
+3 v X 1d10 = .825

Now look what happens with 14 str, notice its already falling to just .75 better
+6 v x 1d8+2 = 1.95
+5 v x 1d10+2 = 1.875

With 16str
+7 v x 1d8+3 = 2.625
+6 v x 1d10+3 = 2.55

Now change X to a static AC, we will use the average for 1st level monsters for this comparison: 15.25 (round down to 15 to save my head)
+7 v 15 1d8+3 = 4.875
+6 v 15 1d10+3 = 5.1

I wish that were true but it doesn't seem to me that it is.

That all said, I love 4e, and weapon balance is MUCH better than 3e. Problems are expected, and these are simply kinks. I'm just looking for house-rules to fix the kinks.

I may not implement house rules for this myself, I'm not entirely sure if there's really a problem, but it looks to me that there is. If I do implement a houserule, it will be to remove the 2d4 step for 2-handed weapons when "converting" a 1-hander to a 2-hander.

It would require these changes:

Falchion
+3; 1d10; heavy blade; high crit

Greatsword
+3; 1d12; heavy blade

I'm not sure how to treat reach weapons at the moment. I don't know how many "steps" Reach is worth.

I know it shouldn't be used as a comparison, but note that in 3e the greatsword dealt 2d6 damage compared to the greataxe's 1d12. It also had a higher threat range (19-20) where the greataxe did more damage on a crit (x3 instead of x2). What I'm saying is that it isn't unprecedent for the greatsword to equal the greataxe in base damage die. It certainly shouldn't be BEHIND.

3E balanced weapons as a whole, 4E is balancing on two axi (from what I can tell), 1: weapon group Lightblade>Heavyblade>All Others
2: Number of Handsused:
EX: A halfling cannot use a greatsword, nor do kobolds with sized down longspears exsists.

Removing 2d4 disrupts 2H balances.
It makes sense to me that the greatsword and greataxe should deal equal base damage (1d12), where the greatsword hits more often (+3 prof) and the greataxe does more damage on a crit (+2 prof, high crit).

It doesn't to me, to me the Greatax should deal more damage, while the Greatsword is better at defensive actions. Which is how it is now.

Blade Opportunist and Heavy Blade Opportunity makes the Heavy Blades the weapon group of choice when you are going to go Set defender. They pay a price for this.

Really I would say if anything it would be more appropriate to make hammers pay a similar price for hammer rhythm, knocking the maul from +2 2d6 to +2 1d12 would make the weapons balance better. Make hammers in large size lose a single die of effectiveness.

Compared to the battleaxe? Is there errata I missed? My PHB Says:

Battleaxe
+2; 1d10; axe; versatile

Scimitar
+2; 1d8; heavy blade; high crit

Yeah, once again the Scimitar is behind the power curve. Which is unfortunate, I had thought it was +3, and will be houseruling mine up to +3.
Seems to me the scimitar loses one damage die step in favor of the High Crit property.

If Versatile = High Crit (as you state below) then the Scimitar falls behind the longsword and the battleaxe! I don't think this is the case. I think Versatile is mostly negligible, but I'm not entirely sure tbh.

Versatile is well, versatile. It doesn't benefit fighters as much (as weapon talent is only for one handed or two handed so fighters will ever only use one way), but for the Paladin and Warlord its very useful to be able to drop your shield and go for a bit extra damage, while at the same time having the shield for when you need defense.
It's not all about straight damage. +1 to hit is a better chance those encounters and dailies will hit!

16 str gives a +3 fighter talent +1
+6 compared to +7 is a 5% increase, but already its the diffrence from 30% to 35%. Factor in the average AC for first level (which I had thought was 16, redid my calculation its actually 15.25) And you have a diffrence from 60 to 65% hit, the 5% slowly becomes negilable.
Why AC 16?

Average AC of 1st level monsters, refactoring with lower armor actually hurts the accurate long/short/bastard/great swords.
Actually there are two +2 heavy blades: the scimitar and the glaive.

Yeah scimitar for no reason and the glaive for having reach+polearm. The second I am not sure is worth dropping the +3 to +2, the first arguably is.
I agree that High Crit takes a damage die away (or something similar, such as +1 prof), but this is true for both 1H and 2H. Versatility doesn't seem to make a difference.

Well there is no verstaile high crit weapon beside the War Pick and Pick is quite clearly the 'least' category.

And if the 2d4 step is removed, the falchion becomes 1d10, which balances it!

Yes and reduces the utility of Vorpal, but I think the 2d4 needs to stay in, if simply to prevent oddities with bugbears and minataurs, now maybe we can move the 2H Heavy Blade up a step on its own, but I honestly think that would make Heavy Blades Too good.

I really think this was a rushed product, and some mistakes, such as the 2d4 step for 2H (not to mention skill challenges), made it in the "final" product. That's fine, mistakes happen, especially with a rushed product. I still like 4e, and unlike the naysayers, I recognize that it was rushed and THAT is the source of its problems-- had 3e been as rushed, it would look just as "bad."

I think we'll be seeing some kind of errata to increase the damage die of the greatsword and the falchion in any case.

I don't think so, increasing the damage die to 1d12 for the Greatsword Greatly hurts the balance of 2H weapons, to the point that the greatsword becomes Better than all the others. I think we might see in complete martial a fullblade heavy blade that is superior and +3 1d12.

If anything the maul needs to be pulled back, due to Hammer Rhythm, but then that makes Hammer Rhythm necessary (though one could argue that scimitar dance is mandatory for scimitars).
Okay Aluman, I think the problem is that I was relying on other people's math before.

I got off my lazy butt and did my OWN math, and tell me if my numbers are wrong, but it seems to me that the longsword IS behind the battleaxe, about the same way the greatsword is behind the greataxe. I.e. heavy blade weapons are being punished across the board, not just with two-handers. My problem was that I thought only the two-handed heavy blades were being penalized.

The greataxe actually NEEDS the high crit just to stay an inch ahead in the heroic tier.

So it seems the designers did consider heavy blade to be "better" as a weapon group over most other weapon groups (besides light blade, which is "best").

So, the martial weapons all balance fine. BTW, tell me if I'm right, but the results of my math are:

Level 1 Str 16 character fighting AC 15 monster (standard monster AC at level 1)
1H
Longsword: 4.675 DPR
Battleaxe: 4.9 DPR

2H
Greatsword: 5.325
Greataxe: 5.825

My overpowered Greatsword (+3 1d12): 5.975

Yikes. My suggestion was bad after all. It actually outpaces the greataxe! However, I'm not sure it's good enough for a feat.

Now, I played with a lot of values--AC of the monster, Strength of the character, etc-- and here are some notable DPRs from a Strength 20 character fighting AC 17 monsters (soldier AC for level 1):

STR 20, AC 17

Longsword DPR = 6.35
Battleaxe DPR = 6.525
Greatsword DPR = 7.05
Greataxe DPR = 7.5
OP GS DPR = 7.75

All things seem to point to two things: Light Blade > Heavy Blade > Other groups, and all the martial weapons are balanced. This can mean only one thing, however.


The bastard sword is overpowered.
Your math is right.

Actually bastard sword isn't for the expending of a feat, the only weapons it outpaces dramatically is the Longsword and Greatsword. And once again, if someone was to make a 'dwarven warax' at +2 1d12 verstaile it would outpace the battleax and greatax (though that one is lesser of a deal due to high crit).

I think really the great axe was given the +2 1d12 high crit to make it diffrent from just another +2 2d6 weapon. The sad part is, it made the Deadly Ax a useless feat for 2H fighter with axes.

I really think it would be nice if there was more 'extras' for weapons then just high crit, heavy thrown, off hand, reach.

Like maybe 'resounding' which would allow you to add an extra square of forced movement or 'tenacious' which deals 1 damage when used in the off hand and you get attacked.

That way the Katar can be made into a worthwhile blade, and the Maul can be backed down some in actual damage while remaining on par with others.
Your math is right.

Actually bastard sword isn't for the expending of a feat, the only weapons it outpaces dramatically is the Longsword and Greatsword. And once again, if someone was to make a 'dwarven warax' at +2 1d12 verstaile it would outpace the battleax and greatax (though that one is lesser of a deal due to high crit).

I think really the great axe was given the +2 1d12 high crit to make it diffrent from just another +2 2d6 weapon. The sad part is, it made the Deadly Ax a useless feat for 2H fighter with axes.

I really think it would be nice if there was more 'extras' for weapons then just high crit, heavy thrown, off hand, reach.

Like maybe 'resounding' which would allow you to add an extra square of forced movement or 'tenacious' which deals 1 damage when used in the off hand and you get attacked.

That way the Katar can be made into a worthwhile blade, and the Maul can be backed down some in actual damage while remaining on par with others.

I know it costs a feat but despite that I don't think the bastard sword should be 100% better in every way over the longsword and greatsword. I was thinking of lowering the prof bonus to +2, so the expenditure of a feat gives you something like the battleaxe but in the heavy blade group. Although I think the DPR of a bastard sword held with both hands would still outpace the greatsword-- I'd have to check the math.

Anyhow a +2 1d10 bastard sword would still be the weapon of choice for sword and board fighters who want to utilize OAs. I think at +2 it's worth paying a feat for, for fighters-- just not for anyone else (except perhaps paladins).

Heck it's still a viable option for wizards and the like who don't get martial proficiencies anyway-- even the longsword would cost them a feat. That's if they want a better weapon, of course.
I personally think the scimatars +2 high crit is a misprint, and it should be +3 high crit. That aside, other than the Scimatar (and glaive, but its reach and I think that has its own cieling of +2) all heavy blades have +3 hit.

Once again, if you made a Warax it would be +2 1d12 versatile, which would make the Greatax obsolete (especially as with Deadly Ax you have everything that the Greatax gives you). Superior weapons are suppose to be heads and tails better than the martial counter part:

EX:
+3 1d8 Light blade (rapier)
+3 1d6 Light Blade (short sword)

+3 1d4 Light Blade (dagger)
+3 1d6 light blade (katar) + High Crit

I think ultimately, though, we don't have enough data on Superior weapons as we only get a total of 5 Superior weapons, one of which we can't really use (the shuriken) as there is no comparison and another of which isn't useful as its counter parts lack reach. The others all belong to either Light Blade or heavy Blade groups which carry a specific penalty with them.

Right now: Superior = +1 hit
+1 hit = 1 Die of Damage
+1 Hit = Reach
+1 hit = High Crit.

Daggers get a specific back down in umph due to the rogue weapon talent (I think).
My opinion on weapon damage has always been that 1d8 -> 2d4 and 1d12 -> 2d6 is a lateral instead of direct promotion. Sure, it's better (.5 extra average damage) but nothing near as good as 1d8 -> 1d10 (1 more average, 2 more crit). I think whether it's one or the other should be flavor based, and if you're pumping 1d10 to the next level, 2d6 or 1d12 would both be viable and if 1d12 is going up, 2d8 is the next step.

From just glancing at the 2H Martial weapons, if we took away "superiority" of Heavy Blades (which i don't really understand) they'd be fairly balanced if you took High Crit from Greataxes and gave it to Glaives. [Glaives would do less damage on average, but more on crits, and Greataxes would be in the same ball-park as Mauls and Flails; all of which would be harder-hitting but less accurate than Greatswords].

What i am using for Superior Weapons are as follows:
Zweihander: +3 2d6 Heavy Blade
Dwarven War-Axe: +2 2d8 Axe (High Crit?)
Grand Maul: +2 2d8 Hammer
Dire Flail: +2 2d8 Flail
Guisarme: +2 1d12 Axe, Polearm Reach
Naginata: +3 1d10 Heavy Blade, Polearm Reach (High Crit?)

And so-on and so-forth.

I don't necessarily like how much damage a 2d8 weapon does, (+4 on a crit compared to a 2d6) but without making 1d6+1d8 weapons, i don't see a way around it. Taking High Crit away from Battleaxes (and Dwarven War Axes) would make the Paragon Feat still useful, and i don't see how being able to use an At-Will power instead of a basic attack on OAs is that much better than getting High Crit. How i play the bad-guys, OAs are about as rare as rolling criticals, if not less so.
I know it costs a feat but despite that I don't think the bastard sword should be 100% better in every way over the longsword and greatsword. I was thinking of lowering the prof bonus to +2, so the expenditure of a feat gives you something like the battleaxe but in the heavy blade group. Although I think the DPR of a bastard sword held with both hands would still outpace the greatsword-- I'd have to check the math.

Anyhow a +2 1d10 bastard sword would still be the weapon of choice for sword and board fighters who want to utilize OAs. I think at +2 it's worth paying a feat for, for fighters-- just not for anyone else (except perhaps paladins).

Heck it's still a viable option for wizards and the like who don't get martial proficiencies anyway-- even the longsword would cost them a feat. That's if they want a better weapon, of course.

Absolutely not.

Currently, the bastard sword beats out both the longsword and greatsword by an average of 1 damage per hit. That makes it just about strictly worse than Weapon Focus or Lethal Hunter, since it doesn't scale (the exception to this is dual-wielding rangers, where its more complicated). In other words, if bastard sword proffeciency is overpowered, then so is pretty much any feat that increases dpr by more than one, which is...quite a few.
Absolutely not.

Currently, the bastard sword beats out both the longsword and greatsword by an average of 1 damage per hit. That makes it just about strictly worse than Weapon Focus or Lethal Hunter, since it doesn't scale (the exception to this is dual-wielding rangers, where its more complicated). In other words, if bastard sword proffeciency is overpowered, then so is pretty much any feat that increases dpr by more than one, which is...quite a few.

You realize you can take the Weapon Focus feat for the bastard sword, right?

Except for Weapon Focus (and the bastard sword proficiency), all of the feats are situational in their extra damage. That's why I think the bastard sword is OP. Unless you want to let players take weapon focus multiple times and let it stack on the same weapon?

Taking 2 feats to increase your DPR by 2 FLAT, to me, is overpowered.
You realize you can take the Weapon Focus feat for the bastard sword, right?

So? Weapon Focus is more powerful than bastard sword profficiency. Therefore, if the bastard sword is overpowered, Weapon Focus is completely broken.



Except for Weapon Focus (and the bastard sword proficiency), all of the feats are situational in their extra damage. That's why I think the bastard sword is OP. Unless you want to let players take weapon focus multiple times and let it stack on the same weapon?

Taking 2 feats to increase your DPR by 2 FLAT, to me, is overpowered.

The problem is you're only looking at heroic tier. By Epic, it's +4 damage for two feats vs. +3 for one; that's perfectly fine. In fact, by paragon all of the following are at least as good, if not better than bastard sword prof:

Dwarven Weapon Training (+2 flat with axes and hammers, plus free profs. In heroic tier, its as good as bastard sword and weapon prof combined. ZOMG NERF)
Eladrin Soldier (the same for spears and bows)
Astral Fire (+2 by paragon and +3 at epic). This is basically "Weapon Focus: Radiant and Fire"
Dark Fury: same for necrotic and psychic
Raging Storm: same for lightning and thunder
Lethal Hunter (again equivalent to +3 damage by epic, and it stacks with other feats. The only way this is "situational" is if you don't use one of your best class abilities)
Two Weapon Fighter: exactly equiavlent to bastard sword prof if you're a dual wielder
Rapier Prof (this is exactly as powerful as bastard sword prof for light blade users)
Weapon Focus, as mentioned above.

And that's only counting straight +damage, not talents like Hammer Rythm or Weapon Mastery that add more than +1 dpr on average, not to mention talents that are argueably better but occupy different niches.

If it makes you feel better, think of bastard sword proficiency as "Greatsword Supremacy: You treat Greatswords as Versatile". It's certainly good, but there's plenty of stuff out there that's better.

Finally, if you nerf the prof bonus to a +2 no one will ever use it, because they could instead use a Battleaxe, Flail, or Warhammer that had identical stats but didn't require a feat. That's broken, because it allows players to spend character resources that literally do nothing.
The problem is you're only looking at heroic tier. By Epic, it's +4 damage for two feats vs. +3 for one; that's perfectly fine.

If you're comparing it to Longswords (which it is closer to) then you get +1 damage per [W] which will be +2 for At-Wills to as high as +7 for certain Daily powers.

Really, if you're getting the Bastard Sword to use exclusively as a 2-handed weapon, i think you're wasting a Feat as is.
Taking 2 feats to increase your DPR by 2 FLAT, to me, is overpowered.

What about the fact you can take TWF+WP BS+WF Heavy Blades and gets +3 to it? XD.

Honestly, a feat per point of damage is typical, when the damage applies to a specific situation its +X where X is the amount in the ten's colum of it not coming up. (I think more or less).

Edit> And Dwarves with Axes and Hamemrs (and eladrin with Spears/Longswords) can do +2 damage for a single feat, I don't think its really out of line for +2 damage for 2 feats.
Hey all,

Thanks go to squarecircle for posting this thread!

Sorry it took me so long to join in, but here is something I posted in another thread here.
BTW, that thread was where a lot of this discussion started. If you are more interested in the discussion or want to look at the supporting math, please head on over there.

Anyway, without further ado....


2D4 Begone: The Changes


Theory Summary

The Scythe, Falchion, Glaive, and Greatsword melee weapons are mechanically inferior to the other 2-handed weapons in their respective categories. This disparity only applies to the basic weapon designs as shown on Page 218. The issue also only involves 2-handed weapons, not 1-handed weapons. All 1-handed weapons are assumed to be balanced as written.

On page 220 of the PHB we have the 'Weapons and Size' charts. There currently exists two versions. The first is for 1-handed weapons and goes as follows....
1d4 -> 1d6 -> 1d8 ->1d10 ->1d12 -> 2d6 ->2d8 -> 2d10

The second chart is for 2-handed weapons, and proceeds as follows...
1d8 -> 2d4 -> 1d10 -> 1d12 -> 2d6 -> 2d8 -> 2d10

Notice that the 1handed weapons start at 1d4 in order to simulate the smaller damage weapons, and the 2-handed table starts at 1d8. Also notice that the 2d4 damage die size only exists on the 2-handed chart.

Through the comparison of the current 2-handed weapons to their 1-handed counterparts, we can generally determine the method that they are converted. If they have a Martial 1-handed counterpart, their weapon damage die is converted to the 2-handed damage die size chart, then upgraded two 'steps'.

For example:
+2 1d10 Battlaxe
-Add a damage die size; increasing from 1d10 to 1d12 following the 2-handed chart on Page 220
-Add the High Crit property and you have 2 'steps'.
-Thus the +2 1d12 High Crit Greataxe is born.

For the purposes of our Theory, we are going to assume that a 'step' is more or less equal to:

-A +1 increase to weapon proficiency bonus
-One increase in damage die size following the charts on page 220 of the PHB
-The High Crit property

The Math done previously in this thread seems to indicate that these values are roughly balanced with each other. None are exactly equal, which would be impossible. Thankfully they are very close, and the 'leader' of the bunch tends to change based on many different variables. These include but are not limited to class features, paragon paths, epic destinies, feats, powers, items and creature defence values.
Also notice that each of these values directly affect your average Damage Per Round (henceforth referred to as DPR), and are quantifiable. Other weapon properties such as Versatile and Off-hand do not directly affect your DPR and are either arbitrarily assigned or have certain disadvantages. Therefore they are not considered a 'step' in this theory.

The Reach property, on the other hand, is generally considered to be worth 2 'steps' if we use the current Reach weapons as examples.


Therefore the Scythe, Falchion, Glaive, and Greatsword fall a 'step' behind other 2-handed weapons because they have to consider the 2d4 weapon size that is unique to 2-handed weapons.
Meanwhile, the other two-handed weapons get to 'skip' this added die size because their 1-handed versions typically began at 1D10.

So the proposed fix is very simple. Remove the 2d4 damage die size from the 2-handed chart, then redesign the inferior 2-handed weapons accordingly.


Theory in Practice

When we remove the 2d4 damage die size from the 2-handed chart on Page 220, what happens?

Only 2-handed weapons are affected, which should be obvious, as the 2d4 die size only exists for 2-handed weapons.

Therefore certain Weapons will then change as follows:

(Weapons are listed as they appear on the Melee Weapons chart on Page 218 of the 4th Edition Player's Handbook)


The Greatclub now becomes +2 1d8

The Scythe now becomes +2 1D10

The Falchion now becomes +3 1D10 (High Crit)

The Glaive now becomes +2 1D10

The Greatsword now becomes +3 1D12

The Spiked Chain now becomes +3 1D10


Everything else remains the same as written.
2D4 Begone: The PROS

So what is the upside to getting rid of the 2d4 damage die?


Here are some I can think of. Please add to the list if you can think of more!


1) The Scythe, Falchion, Glaive, Greatsword and Spiked Chain are now all mechanically balanced with the other 2handers. The Spiked Chain, of course, has no comparisons but it now becomes a viable choice.

Please note that I am talking about base weapon design balance.
Once you start adding other variables such as class, feats, powers, etc the weapons all have certain advantages unique to them and different reasons for choosing them.

With the current evidence it is my strong belief that even when considering the 'upgraded' weapons listed above, there are no overwhelming 'must-have' weapons.
The exception may be the Glaive, but I will address that in the CONS section in full.


2) Now that the 2d4 is removed we will have less of a problem with a 'domino' affect where future publications or supplements will continue to introduce an increasing amount of weapons which suffer the same exact disparity as the original weapons above.

3) The 2d4 damage die creates a broken combination when using Gauntlets of Destruction and the Vorpal Weapon property. Removing it solves this problem.

As evidence, the current official 2d4 Falchion goes from being nearly the worst non-Reach 2-hander... to becoming easily the most powerful and potentially unbalanced weapon currently published when you add the aforementioned Gauntlets and Vorpal property.
When the 2d4 damage die is removed, the Falchion becomes +3 1d10 High Crit.
This is actually much more fairly balanced around the other 2-handed weapons, and also doesn't exponentially jump in power when those two items are introduced.

4) Now that the 2d4 weapon die is removed, we can also create decent Superior weapons that are now balanced as Superior weapons, instead of weapons which are roughly mechanically and statistically equal to certain existing Martial Weapons.

For example, a +3 1d12 Fullblade, were it to be introduced would actually be in the same ballpark as a Greataxe or Maul.
It's difference in DPR would actually be the same as the existing official Longsword when compared to the other 1-handed Martial Weapons.

After removing the 2d4 we now have a Martial 2-handed Greatsword that is roughly balanced with the other 2-handed weapons, just as the current Longsword is balanced with the other 1-handed weapons.

Therefore, we can easily suggest a +1 superior version called a Fullblade that does +3 2d6.
This Fullblade would then fit the exact same niche as the current Bastard Sword.
2D4 Begone: The CONS

So what are the downsides to removing the 2d4 damage die size?


Here are a couple potential problems that I can see. Please let me know if you have any I should add!


1) Removing the 2d4 damage die reduces variety.

It should be mentioned that since the 2d4 damage die only exists with 2-handed weapons, it's only the 2-handers that suffer from this.

Still, one example I can think of is the Greatclub.
Currently it is a Mace, and does +2 2d4.
This is actually a decent fit, as it does less damage than the Morningstar and more damage than the Quarterstaff.

When removing the 2d4, we have to make a choice.
Change it to +2 1d8 or +1d10.

Personally, I put it at 1d8.
My reasoning is that the design of the Greatclub seems to suggest it's meant as a measuring post for a 'big old piece o'sumthin' you would smack something with if left with no other choice. It isn't really designed to be the main weapon damage dealer of any character.
Besides, there is the Morningstar already which is also a Mace and seems to fit that role for characters who are only proficient with Simple weapons.

If we were to change it to 1D10, now it would do the same damage as the Morningstar and our new Scythe (thought it did do the same damage as the Scythe before, which was a little wierd...).

That aside, what it really comes down to is....
Would you sacrifice better balanced weapons for a little variety only available to 2-handers?

Personally I wouldn't, as much as I love my variety. But that's just me.


2) Removing the 2d4 now creates a +2 1D10 Glaive. This may potentially be an issue, especially for current Polearm lovers.

Mechanically, it would do the exact same damage as the current Halberd and Longspear.

But when you combine that with the Heavy Blade feats, a few Fighter class features, and Polearm Gamble some people would now consider the new Glaive a 'must-have' weapon that any D&D player would pick over other Polearms.

I don't believe that is true, however. Let me tell you why.

A popular build right now is the Opportunity Attack Optimized Polearm Fighter.
You can read one of the many examples here.
I want to keep this relatively short, so I'll let you read them if you want the exact details.
Basically, the idea is to try and get as many OA's as you can (such as when you have Polearm Gamble and an enemy approaches you) and to keep things away from you (using the Fighter's Combat Superiority).

It should be noted that any Fighter can pull off this trick with any Polearm... it is just more optimized with Blade Opportunity (+2 to hit w/OAs) and Heavy Blade Opportunist (using at-wills w/ OAs).

Therefore, if the Glaive did the same damage as the Halbard and Longspear many people think it would be unbalanced.

But here's the problem, as I see it.

In order to use this build, you need a few things....

-You must have high ratings in Strength, Dexterity, and Wisdom
-You must be a Fighter
-You must spend 2 extra feats
-You must intend to optimize specifically for OAs

These are all variables, and you cannot guarantee every player will make these choices. Therefore, you cannot balance the base weapon design around them.

What if I'm not a Fighter, but want to use a Polearm? Is the new Glaive still an overwhelming choice?
If I want to optimize my situational OAs, sure. And only then if I can afford a higher Dexterity.

But what if I want to optimize for damage? In that case, the Halbard is the obvious choice as Deady Axe adds High Crit.
What if Dexterity and/or Wisdom are one of my dump stats? I won't even qualify.
What if I have a bunch of other feats I'd rather take instead of Blade Opportunist and Heavy Blade Opportunity?
Even if I am a Fighter, what if I prefer the Axe or Spear powers instead?

Heck, what if I just don't like the flavor of the Glaive?
What if my GM always plays tactically and almost never lets me get any Opportunity Attacks?

See what I'm getting at?

Personally I think a +2 1d10 Glaive would not be unbalanced.
It's just very good when optimizing for a very specific trick using a very specific build of a specific class.
Is that a big enough problem to justify "nerfing" the weapon for everyone else who uses it?


3) When removing the 2d4 damage die it could mean we have to change a bunch of creature stats as well, because they do 2d4 damage.

This could be a problem and a hassle... but I actually think the modular design of 4e really works in our favor.

See, in 4e Monsters aren't built like PCs.
They have their own specific rules.

As well, we aren't getting rid of 2d4 damage everywhere, just on the 2-handed damage chart.

There should be no problem whatsoever in leaving the current monster stats as they are.
Even if the PCs should happen to slay a monster and want to steal his gear you could easily convert it to the current equivalent and be done with it.
2D4 Begone: The Conclusion

[RESERVED]
The entire premis is flawed.

Heavy blades Should be mechanically less damaging then their counterparts, yet hit more. The only ones that breaks that rule is the Scimitar and the Glaive. Scimitar I assume because of Scimitar dance (won't promise it though) and the Glaive as it has reach. Reach is Powerful ability.

If you don't account for feats/powers you are not accounting for weapon balance as presented in 4E. The reason is, with as many feats and powers as you get, there is no reason for a Fighter or even a Warlord/Ranger/Rogue to not specalize in a single weapon group.

Secondaly, +3 1d10 Spiked Chain is now the weapon for warlords, as suddenly back up tanking isn't a strong as backup striking, and this allows them to have a figure eight size area around them and a target to trigger their abilities around.

Reach is without a doubt one of the best options as is for a warlord, with the spiked chain their best choice. Making it where its not 'reach or back up tank/strike with Bastard Sword' and where you can backup strike with a reach weapon at +3 accuracy means its the hands down Far and Away the best choice.

Thirdly: PResumption of THW being based of OHW is flawed. The biggest proof is the exact thing you point out the 2d4 damage category for 2Hrs. And once again, specific powers and feats tied into Two Handed weapons.
The entire premis is flawed.

Heavy blades Should be mechanically less damaging then their counterparts, yet hit more. The only ones that breaks that rule is the Scimitar and the Glaive. Scimitar I assume because of Scimitar dance (won't promise it though) and the Glaive as it has reach. Reach is Powerful ability.

If you don't account for feats/powers you are not accounting for weapon balance as presented in 4E. The reason is, with as many feats and powers as you get, there is no reason for a Fighter or even a Warlord/Ranger/Rogue to not specalize in a single weapon group.

Secondaly, +3 1d10 Spiked Chain is now the weapon for warlords, as suddenly back up tanking isn't a strong as backup striking, and this allows them to have a figure eight size area around them and a target to trigger their abilities around.

Reach is without a doubt one of the best options as is for a warlord, with the spiked chain their best choice. Making it where its not 'reach or back up tank/strike with Bastard Sword' and where you can backup strike with a reach weapon at +3 accuracy means its the hands down Far and Away the best choice.

Thirdly: PResumption of THW being based of OHW is flawed. The biggest proof is the exact thing you point out the 2d4 damage category for 2Hrs. And once again, specific powers and feats tied into Two Handed weapons.

Reach is already accounted for in the fact that it costs 2 'steps'.

This is why the existing Halberd does +2 1d10 damage, for example.
It's basically a Greataxe with -1 damage die size and no High Crit.


A +3 1d10 Spike Chain would actually be... guess what?
A Superior weapon. Which you have to spend a feat to invest in.
It is an attractive option, yes, but you pay for that.
Even then many people would STILL take the other Polearms.
Why?
Because you can't use Polearm Gamble with the Spiked Chain.


As far as Heavy Blades being less damaging and hitting more, they already do that.
If you do the math (or look in the linked thread for it), you'll see that +1 to hit roughly equals either +1 damage die size or the High Crit property.

We see this with 1-handed Heavy Blades.

But the problem is that 2-handed Heavy Blades are penalized extra for some reason.
Can you care to point out to me exactly what the 2-handed Heavy Blades have that the 1-Handed Heavy Blades do not?


Also, while it is true we get a large variety of choices when it comes to feats, powers, etc.... the flaw in balancing around all of these is simple.
You cannot guarantee under any circumstances that every player will choose the exact same class, build, stats, feats, powers, and items.

It's important to get the basic weapon design balance done first, then consider the other variables.

As it is, it's my opinion that future publications and supplements will give more attention to other Weapon Groups (like the Pick and Flail) which are very under represented right now.
Here's something else I posted in that other thread.

It should help prevent us going over a lot of the same ground.....

__________________________________________

I think I've finally got a sufficient answer to the whole theory that Heavy Blades are weaker due to having more feats/paths/items to choose from in the Core Books. I don't know why I didn't see this before!

(I'll try to keep this short and sweet. Let me know what you all think! )


So we've all gone back and forth over this topic.
But for now, let's ignore the whole 'direction of design' issue and whether or not WotC will continue to favor Heavy Blades in future products.
Let's also ignore the debate as to whether Blade Opportunist and Heavy Blade Opportunity are better feats than others (such as Hammer Rhythm or Deadly Axe).

Let's look at this in a new way, especially considering the discussion up until this point. In this case, we'll just rely on verifiable facts and numbers.


*ahem*

"If the Greatsword (or any other two-handed Heavy Blade) is balanced against it's kin, then the Longsword (or any other one-handed Heavy Blade) is unbalanced as written."



That, right there, is my case in a nutshell.

Heh, I know. I'm usually a lot more long-winded!
Not to worry... I won't disappoint you. ;)

Let's examine my claim in much more detail...


Let's first examine the one-handed Martial Weapons.
Just as a point of reference, I'd like to specifically use the Longsword as an example.
Using the math we've done already in this thread, we have roughly determined that the current official Longsword is equal to or better than all of the other one-handed Martial weapon options.


Now let's examine the two-handed Martial Weapons.
Likewise, as a point of reference I'd like to specifically use the Greatsword as an example.
Using the math we've already done in this thread, we have roughly determined that the current official Greatsword is worse than all the other two-handed Martial weapon options.


Therefore, we can justifiably conclude that out of the current Heavy Blades it's only the Two-Handed Heavy Blades that fall behind when compared to the other available options in their category.


So that then begs the question, "What do Two-Handed Heavy Blades have that One-Handed Heavy Blades do not, in order to explain this disparity?"

If we look at what's available, the answer is simple. Nothing.

We can't count feats or powers that specifically take advantage of two-handed weapons. Why?
Because all the other two-handed weapon types take advantage of these as well, so they do not specifically aid the case against two-handed Heavy Blades.

Instead, we need to find something unique that only Two-Handed Heavy Blades can use.

But unless I'm missing something, there isn't anything like that in the PHB.


Quite the opposite, in fact!!
One-Handed Heavy Blades get +1 extra Paragon Path and Feat that are specifically only usable with One-Handed Heavy Blades, and not Two-Handed Heavy Blades....

Paragon Path: Wizard of the Spiral Tower, only usable with Longswords.
Feat: Scimitar Dance, only usable with Scimitars.


Therefore, if we are arguing that the Heavy Blades are balanced around their available feats/paths/items... then why do One-Handed Heavy Blades get more of these options, and yet are more powerful in comparison next to their Two-Handed Brethren?


So in conclusion, I believe we can only come to two possible answers...

Either, "If the Greatsword (or any other two-handed Heavy Blade) is balanced against it's kin, then the Longsword (or any other one-handed Heavy Blade) is unbalanced as written."

or

"If the Longsword (or any other one-handed Heavy Blade) is balanced against it's kin, then the Greatsword (or any other two-handed Heavy Blade) is underpowered as written."


Personally, I'm of the opinion that the second answer is correct.
Heavy blades Should be mechanically less damaging then their counterparts, yet hit more. The only ones that breaks that rule is the Scimitar and the Glaive. Scimitar I assume because of Scimitar dance (won't promise it though) and the Glaive as it has reach. Reach is Powerful ability.

By the way the Scimitar doesn't break this rule.

It does +2 1d8 Hight Crit.

Compared to the Longsword it exchanges +1 to hit for the High Crit property.


If you do the DPR calculations over various levels, this actually balances out more or less.
High Crit actually ends up doing more damage in Epic if you get Weapon Mastery (19-20 crits).


Don't think that just because a weapon is more accurate with a smaller damage die, that it does less damage.

Quite the opposite in fact. When you do some basic math, you quickly see that the +1 to hit actually makes the Longsword equal to or better than all it's other one handed options.

The problem, as I've stated, is with two-handed weapons.

The Greatsword gets +1 to hit... while the Greataxe gets a higher damage die (1d12) AND High Crit.
By the way the Scimitar doesn't break this rule.

It does +2 1d8 Hight Crit.

Yes, the Scimitar is again behind the power curve, its damage is less than the Battleax and with a feat (that any single handed ax wielded will pick up) the battleax becomes the same.

To be exact, level 1 average AC is 15.25 Assuming 16str (which will be the minimum a melee user will have save for Rogues and Paladins and they will have Dex/Cha at that level minimum)
+5 v 15 1d8+3+.05*1d8
+6 v 15 1d8+3
.55*7.5+.05*4.5 = 4.35
.6*7.5 = 4.5
Compared to the Longsword it exchanges +1 to hit for the High Crit property.

The longsword is behind the Battleax as well.
If you do the DPR calculations over various levels, this actually balances out more or less.
High Crit actually ends up doing more damage in Epic if you get Weapon Mastery (19-20 crits).

Through heroic tier ALL heavy blades stay behind the others, except for when making OA's, In paragon tier they stay behind, Except for in OA's.
Don't think that just because a weapon is more accurate with a smaller damage die, that it does less damage.

Quite the opposite in fact. When you do some basic math, you quickly see that the +1 to hit actually makes the Longsword equal to or better than all it's other one handed options.

+6 v 15 1d8+3
+5 v 15 1d10+3
.6*7.5 = 4.5
.55*8.5 = 4.675
Nope, it doesn't in fact compare to ANY of the +2 1d10 weapons. In fact, to get the damage to be more for the longsword you need AC of STR+1/2Level+13+1/5 (for weapons) and above, once you factor in a reasonable str/charisma/dex for your attacking character. (Its even worse for fighters who need STR+1/2level+14+1/5 and above)

+6 v 19 1d8+3
+5 v 19 1d10+3
.4*7.5 = 3
.35*8.5 = 2.975

This happens at first level 0/15 times. The Storm Claw scoprion (a solider) has the best AC at 16

The Dragonshield (A 2nd level Kobold) has an AC of 18, which still favors 1st level battle ax wielders (not by much, 3.375 for longsword, 3.4 for battle ax)

Second Level: AC needs to be 20+
Hobogoblin Solider (Level 3 Solider).

Third Level AC needs to be 20+
Fourth 21+
Fifth 22+
Sixth 23+
Seventh 23+
Eighth 25+
Ninth 25+
Tenth 27+
Eleventh 27+
Twelfth 28+
Thirteenth 29+
Fourteenth 31+
Fifteenth 32+
Sixteenth 33+
Seventeenth 33+
Eighteenth 34+
Nineteenth 34+
Twentith 35+
Twenty-first 36+
Twenty-second 37+
Twenty-third 37+
Twenty-four 38+
Twenty-five 38+
Twenty-six 39+
Twenty-seven 39+
Twenty-Eight 41+
Twenty-Nine 41+
Thirtieth 42+

So until Epic Levels, the Battle Ax outdoes the Longsword in all but a handful of Specific monsters. Even then, many monsters favor the battleax over the longsword.
The problem, as I've stated, is with two-handed weapons.

The Greatsword gets +1 to hit... while the Greataxe gets a higher damage die (1d12) AND High Crit.

And the geratsword is Heavy Blade while the Greataxe is an Ax. If you don't like the Greataxe getting both take high crit away, it will only change damage until paragon level (deadly ax gives High crit to ALL axes)

There are two weapons which are uniformly behind the damage curve even for their groups
The Scimitar, the Falchion.
The falchion requires level 30 to be mildly useful, and even then its a trap, in my opinion.

High crit on a 1d8 weapon adds .225 damage a tier, and at epic tier it adds 1.35 damage over all.
High crit on a 2d4 weapon adds .25 damage a tier, and at epic tier it adds 1.5 damage
high crit on a 1d10 weapon adds .275 damage a tier, and at epic tier it adds 1.65 damage
high crit on a 1d12 weapon adds .325 damage a tier, and at epic tier it adds 1.95 damage.
Oh and if AC=Str+1/2level+1/5level+19+ it doesn't add that much, fortunately as long as you fight things around your level it won't happen.


The Scimitar is is behind the longsword. Up until Epic tier, but as we already know that's not quite right as Epic Tier favors +3 over +2.

The Falchion starts behind the greatsword by a lot, and contiually falls further behind until at last the vorpal weapon can be had (level 30).
Greatswords are mechanically identical to Longswords used in two hands. I can't believe I hadn't noticed this before.

Same +hit, same average damage, same weapon group. The only difference is that a Greatsword can't be used one-handed (I'm going to ignore the "do versatile weapons count as two handed for the purpose of power attack" type stuff until it gets a ruling). Incidentally, this is also true of the Mace and Morning Star, but no one cares because melee characters don't use those anyway. There is no advantage to using a Greatsword over a Longsword. None whatsoever. That's...dumb. Really, really, dumb

For comparison, Warhammers and Flails deal slightly less average damage and are less consitent than Mauls and Great Flails, even when used with both hands. A Battleaxe wielded in two hands deals the same average damage as a Greataxe pefore taking properties into account, but lacks high crit.
Battleax's are identical to Greataxs after level 11. If you think .5 damage is significant change, you are deluding yourself.

The +1 from verstaile doesn't count on 2[w] or 3[w] powers, meaning only 1[w] attacks track the same for a Greatsword and Longsword or Battle Ax and Great Ax. this is the main reason why 2H weapons exsist period.

The odd thing is, if scimatars were verristaile they would perform Better than the falchion. As it is their damage is close enough to the same as to be identical.
The Scythe, Falchion, Glaive, and Greatsword melee weapons are mechanically inferior to the other 2-handed weapons in their respective categories. This disparity only applies to the basic weapon designs as shown on Page 218. The issue also only involves 2-handed weapons, not 1-handed weapons. All 1-handed weapons are assumed to be balanced as written.

Falcion, Scythe and Greatsword are all balanced out with the majority of their counter-parts.
2H Simple weapons (except the Morningstar) all have +2 acc and max 8 damage.
Falchion has +3 acc, a keyword and max 8, which approximately balances the Maul with +2 acc, and max 12. Which is also approximately equal to the Greatsword at +3 acc and max 10.

With this way of thinking, all the 2H Martial weapons are balanced except for the Glaive being behind, and the Greataxe being ahead. Moving the High Crit modifier from one to the other would fix that. And requires a lot less re-tooling than removing the 2d4 damage type (which adds some much needed low-impact variety to the weapons imo).

The Spiked Chain would also need a lil sumtin-sumtin, either High Crit or 1d10, which would make it solidly Superior to all the 2H martial weapons.


Plus, if you're nuking 2d4 why not nuke 2d6 and make it all 1d12 also? Sure, there's no simple d14, or d16 to replace 2d8, but how often does that come up?


I again posit that the most "fair" way to look at things is to look at max damage (aka, crit damage) and just think of 2d4 and 2d6 as being flavor differences from 1d8 and 1d12. Sure, they average half a point more damage, but the more significant effect is that they have a bell-curve to their damage output.

Looking at the balances for 1H weapons in this manner basically sees Versatile as a "throw away" power (though this mostly only affects the scimitar).

Greatswords are mechanically identical to Longswords used in two hands. I can't believe I hadn't noticed this before.

Same +hit, same average damage, same weapon group. The only difference is that a Greatsword can't be used one-handed.

An easy way to adjust for this is to give all weapons wielded in 2 hands the +1 damage. Then a Longsword in 2 hands would be 1d8 +1 and a Greatsword [always in 2 hands] would be 1d10 +1. The more complex way of dealing with it (that i use) is as follows:

• Wielding a Weapon in two hands allows you to add 1.5x the related attribute modifier instead of 1x [min modifier +1] to Damage. This replaces the listed benefit for wielding a weapon in 2 hands under the Versatile description.
• A Heavy Shield increases AC and Reflex by 2+(Dex or Int)/2.
• A Light Shield increases AC and Reflex by 1+(Dex or Int)/2.
• Two Weapon Fighting Feat adds 1+[Tier] Damage when wielding an off-hand Weapon.
• Two Weapon Defense adds (Dex or Int)/2 [min 1] to AC and Reflex.
• There is an Implement Focus which adds [Tier] Damage when attacking with said Implement/Holy Symbol.
• Bonuses from Feats and Powers stack within reason.

I "fixed" the "not enough damage" from 2-H weapons, but then i had to "fix" shields so that they could keep up.
Then i had to "fix" 2WF to make it comparable to Sword and Board.
Then i had to "fix" casters since weapon-users were getting all this attention, and they weren't.
To make Implement Focus not over-shadow the variety of "element focus"es listed in the book, i needed to let them stack [though this can be a another slippery slope, so each stacking needs DM approval].
Some notes and some thoughts, here.

2d4 brings an overall significant improvement in DPR (damage per round) than 1d8-- it's not just a flavor difference.

Let's compare the quarterstaff and the scythe, for example. For simplicity's sake let's assume a Strength 16 fighting a monster with AC 16 (level 1).

Both weapons would get 10 hits in over the course of 20 rounds; one of those hits will be a critical.

9 normal hits for the quarterstaff is an average total of 40.5 damage, + the strength modifier of +3 for those 9 hits for a total bonus damage of 27, for a grand total of 67.5. The one crit would be 11 damage, totaling 78.5 over 20 rounds. Divide that by 20 for a DPR (damage per round) of 3.925.

9 normal hits for the scythe is an average total of 45 damage, + the strength modifier of +3 for those 9 hits for a total bonus damage of 27, for a grand total of 72. The one crit would be the same as the quarterstaff, 11 damage, totaling 83 damage over 20 rounds. Divide that by 20 for a DPR of 4.15.

It makes a difference-- it's essentially "half" a die increase in damage.

As far as the DPR of the other weapons being talked about... When you actually do the math (considering the characters the math will actually be important FOR), the longsword DOES fall behind the battleaxe at the heroic tier, by about the same amount the greatsword falls behind the greataxe. Heavy blades suffer across the board, INCLUDING one-handers.

At least at the heroic tier, a +1 prof bonus is NOT equal to a damage die or high crit. Actually, the damage die is the MOST important, followed by the proficiency bonus, and lastly by high crit.

So it's not only 2-handed heavy blades that suffer, it's ALL OF THEM ACROSS THE BOARD. I think it's a mistake to think that WotC considered "high crit" "+1 prof" and a damage die all equally a "step." I think they likely did the math on each weapon individually.

Finally, one thing that nobody has yet considered here, and something that sort of just popped into my heard earlier: MINIONS AND BBEGs. Don't forget the introduction of minions in 4e! It doesn't matter WHAT sort of damage you do against a minion, ANY hit will kill it. When faced with 20 minions, the greatsword wielder will be putting down more enemies than the greataxe wielder thanks to that +3 proficiency bonus. This actually follows with other weaker sorts of enemies, even when they aren't minions. Doing a lot of damage is great; but it's useless when most of that damage is "overkill." Do you think this is a consideration the developers took into account when considering the damage output of the higher proficiency bonus weapons?

Also, BBEGs will generally be higher level and/or be Elite/Solos, with a high AC. This means the melee characters using more accurate weapons will meet or possibly exceed the damage output of those characters wielding less accurate weapons.

Just something to think about.

Finally, about the bastard sword. I think the problem is the old throwback to 3e in thinking that it should require special training-- that would mean Superior weapon, which would mean making it more badass than the current available weapons. I'm sorry, I don't think the bastard sword should be putting out more damage than the greatsword. No, the inclusion of a superior Fullblade will not make the greatsword look any better against the bastard sword. It STILL won't make sense. I personally don't think that nonsensicality in damage output is a valuable tradeoff for making it require training. I may implement a houserule making the bastard more in line with other martial weapons somehow (and likewise making it MARTIAL rather than superior). I was thinking +2 1d8 high crit, but the scimitar already has that covered. If anyone has any other ideas, let me know.
It makes a difference-- it's essentially "half" a die increase in damage.

...

At least at the heroic tier, a +1 prof bonus is NOT equal to a damage die or high crit. Actually, the damage die is the MOST important, followed by the proficiency bonus, and lastly by high crit.

That's basically my point, it's only worth half a die step-up and not an entire one. Slightly less than half because the crit damage doesn't go up. And i'll agree with you that High Crit isn't quite "worth" the other two, but it is more "exciting" to some people so you get roll those extra dice for your rare super-crits. That's why they have different weapons with different options.

Personally i'd rather have the +1 acc than the bigger die because i want to be able to hit more reliably (particularly on my encounter powers for the special effects). If i were to play a Rogue, i'd have a hard time picking the Rapier over the dagger because of that extra +1. (of course the Rogue in our group already never misses ... so maybe i wouldn't have to worry about it[20 dex, and a +2 Short Sword at lvl 4, not to mention all the CA] ).

As far as the Bastard Sword, make it 2d4. That way it'll have that 0.5 step over the longsword and the scimitar.

Edit:
I guess my whole thing with the idea that 2d4<~>1d8 is that i know with my dice, things rarely follow the probability curve. I've had a major battle where my lvl 6 Cave Bear spent the entire 16 round encounter whiffing on the Plate-wearing lvl 3 Fighter. Should have hit him 1/2 of the time, but try as i might, i couldn't roll an 11 when the bear's turn came up[this was before i changed the rules to make shields better for those keeping track].

I had another situation where the Berserker with his d12 was getting put to shame by the Guards with their d10s and the Mage with his 2d4s. I just couldn't roll a 5 or higher on that d12 before they dropped the poor sot.

And every time i put in someone with a bow those d10s let blood flow like a river. I don't know what there is to it.

All that extra 1/2 pt average means is that you'll never roll 1 damage with 2 dice. I think it's far more significant in that you'll hit your average about twice as often.
So it's not only 2-handed heavy blades that suffer, it's ALL OF THEM ACROSS THE BOARD. I think it's a mistake to think that WotC considered "high crit" "+1 prof" and a damage die all equally a "step." I think they likely did the math on each weapon individually.

Actually, for Warlords +1 Prof = about 3 dice of damage, and for defenders specifically building for set defense (meaning they don't move and stop opponents moving) being able to get a +2 to their OA's from an opponent is Worth the loss a die damage. For strikers, the loss isn't worth it, which includes Most two handed builds, so by and large the Two Handed heavy blades suffer more. I am surprised people think Glaive is behind, but then, I think I might be the only one who really enjoys the thirteenth level power Storm of blows, as very little else lets me move right into the heart of the bad guys turf with reach weapon and set defense in mind (Set Defense in the midst of bad guys is horrible for them to deal with).
Finally, one thing that nobody has yet considered here, and something that sort of just popped into my heard earlier: MINIONS AND BBEGs. Don't forget the introduction of minions in 4e! It doesn't matter WHAT sort of damage you do against a minion, ANY hit will kill it. When faced with 20 minions, the greatsword wielder will be putting down more enemies than the greataxe wielder thanks to that +3 proficiency bonus. This actually follows with other weaker sorts of enemies, even when they aren't minions. Doing a lot of damage is great; but it's useless when most of that damage is "overkill." Do you think this is a consideration the developers took into account when considering the damage output of the higher proficiency bonus weapons?

Minion Control should be the secondary consideration on weapons, in all honesty. MC is best handled by controllers and leaders

For BBEG:

Well, Soliders AC exceeds what you need to hit when its level+2ish, at least through Heoric tier, in PAragon it falls Level+1, finally in epic is Level.

Brute, Artillery, Lurker is Level+3ish, with Controllers Level+4 Followed by Level +2 Then Level +1 (for both oddly by my math). this uses the DMG rule, btw, that the Elite is level listed +1 and solo is level listed +2

So even then, through Heoric and Paragon you only occasionally encounter situations where the +3 is advantageous to build around, the reality is, with 16 strength, the +1 incrase from the weapon accounts for about 14% of your total hit modifer at level one.

This drops to 12.5% by level 2, and continues to slide down. The only thing that truly saves it, is that Monsters AC climbs by 1 Each level, so eventually their AC compared to your attack ratio climb, it just does so slowly.
Also, BBEGs will generally be higher level and/or be Elite/Solos, with a high AC. This means the melee characters using more accurate weapons will meet or possibly exceed the damage output of those characters wielding less accurate weapons.

40% (Or 13+ needed to hit) with the long sword compares favorably with the 1d10 weapons at 30%
.4*7.5 = 3
.35*8.5 = 2.975

The real issue is, the degree its favorable below that for the Ax outweighs the best the Longsword gets over the battle ax

.1*7.5 = .75
.05*8.5 = .425

.325 more damage for the longsword

.95*7.5 = 7.125
.95*8.5 = 8.075
.95 damage more for the battle ax and other +2 1d10

The good news is, the more you increase the damage (alone) the more you favor the +3 weapons, with weapon focus, you push the threshold to .45 with TWF to .5.

Greatsword fighters, get a bigger benefit from PAing as well, as PA drops expected hit ratios, while increasing RAW damage, and brings similar result at 40%. With WF: Heavy blade, its at 45% hit (thats AC=AB+12). The only issue still lies, that majority of foes you face have AC = AB+11>, even including the -2 knock for Power Attack.

.4*11.5 = 4.6
.35*13 = 4.55

Just something to think about.

Finally, about the bastard sword. I think the problem is the old throwback to 3e in thinking that it should require special training-- that would mean Superior weapon, which would mean making it more badass than the current available weapons. I'm sorry, I don't think the bastard sword should be putting out more damage than the greatsword. No, the inclusion of a superior Fullblade will not make the greatsword look any better against the bastard sword. It STILL won't make sense. I personally don't think that nonsensicality in damage output is a valuable tradeoff for making it require training. I may implement a houserule making the bastard more in line with other martial weapons somehow (and likewise making it MARTIAL rather than superior). I was thinking +2 1d8 high crit, but the scimitar already has that covered. If anyone has any other ideas, let me know.

+2 1d8 Versatile, High Crit. with current rules.

I think the best fix for a lot of the THF oddities is to drop Versatile (actually make it a die penalizer and remove it from most the weapons), then make the Bastard sword +3 1d8 Versatile and Superior again.

But again I will point out, the bastard sword only performs as well as a Greatsword at 1[w] states.
As far as the DPR of the other weapons being talked about... When you actually do the math (considering the characters the math will actually be important FOR), the longsword DOES fall behind the battleaxe at the heroic tier, by about the same amount the greatsword falls behind the greataxe.

On the other hand, the greataxe will continually improve against the greatsword over time due to the scaling of high crit, and will improve even more relative to the greatsword once Weapon Mastery becomes available; the battleaxe won't do that against the longsword (unless you burn a feat of course, but if you do that then you should also give the longsword HBO/bastard sword prof or you're unfairly favoring the axe user).

So it's not only 2-handed heavy blades that suffer, it's ALL OF THEM ACROSS THE BOARD. I think it's a mistake to think that WotC considered "high crit" "+1 prof" and a damage die all equally a "step." I think they likely did the math on each weapon individually.

I doubt that. I think it's more likely they just went with the smallest level of granularity. Sure, +1 to hit is worth less statistically than 1 step on the damage die, but you can't really give someone +1.5 to hit (and although you could make the damage step go d10>d4+d6, that would just be goofy). So they basically just said "Yeah +1 prof isn't as good as a die increasse, but it's close and there isn't anything we can reasonably do about it so screw it."


Finally, about the bastard sword. I think the problem is the old throwback to 3e in thinking that it should require special training-- that would mean Superior weapon, which would mean making it more badass than the current available weapons. I'm sorry, I don't think the bastard sword should be putting out more damage than the greatsword. No, the inclusion of a superior Fullblade will not make the greatsword look any better against the bastard sword. It STILL won't make sense. I personally don't think that nonsensicality in damage output is a valuable tradeoff for making it require training. I may implement a houserule making the bastard more in line with other martial weapons somehow (and likewise making it MARTIAL rather than superior). I was thinking +2 1d8 high crit, but the scimitar already has that covered. If anyone has any other ideas, let me know.

If you want a martial heavy blade that can wielded one- or two-handed just use the longsword, because that's exactly what it is.
As far as the DPR of the other weapons being talked about... When you actually do the math (considering the characters the math will actually be important FOR), the longsword DOES fall behind the battleaxe at the heroic tier, by about the same amount the greatsword falls behind the greataxe. Heavy blades suffer across the board, INCLUDING one-handers.

At least at the heroic tier, a +1 prof bonus is NOT equal to a damage die or high crit. Actually, the damage die is the MOST important, followed by the proficiency bonus, and lastly by high crit.

So it's not only 2-handed heavy blades that suffer, it's ALL OF THEM ACROSS THE BOARD.

I'm quoting you because you sum up what Aluman and some of the others have said nicely.


Alright, I still fail to see how all of you can consider the 1-handed Longsword as mechanically inferior as the current official Greatsword.
When considering the math, this simply does not hold.


There are some factors that Aluman is failing to take into account which swings things toward that +1 to hit.
Namely the various +damage modifiers.
Right now, you appear to only be including the Strength mod to damage.
Once you start including bonuses to damage from various feats, paragon paths, and magical enhancement that +1 to hit becomes much more worthwhile.

I don't usually like to include feats (like Weapon Focus) and Paragon Path features (like the +4 damage from Kensai) because you cannot guarantee that every player will go with these... hence, it's a horrible way to balance the base weapon design for everyone.

However... all adventurers can be assumed to have at least one main weapon that will be maintained with a decent enhancement bonus.


So let's do some math. I went over a lot of this in the other thread, but since this is a new thread I'll bite the bullet and do it again.


We will be assuming a creature with an AC that gives us a 50% chance to hit with a +2 proficiency weapon. The reason I do this instead of using specific monster ACs is because it's simpler and more to the point.
It should be obvious to anyone that a harder to hit creature will favor the +1 to hit more, and the easier to hit monsters will favor the +1 damage die more. It's that simple.
Looking at the various ACs in the Monster Manual, it's generally considered that in Heroic and Paragon you should have a 50 - 55% chance to hit, so this will work nicely for our purposes.
It should be noted, however, that in Epic tier it's been shown that your average chance to hit a creature drops to around 30%. In that case, the +1 to-hit is greatly favored.

Now let's continue.


Let's look at 1-handed weapons first.

We'll assume level 4, 19 Strength, +2 magic weapon, etc.
We'll then compare the +3 1D8 Longsword, the +2 1D10 Battleaxe, and the +2 1D8 High Crit War Pick.
We'll attack 20 times, and each weapon will average 1 critical hit.
We'll assume a 1[W] + str heroic tier at-will.
The longsword will hit an average of 11 times, and the Battleaxe and War Pick will hit 10 times.
Each weapon will average 1 critical hit per 20 hits which is included in their total hits.


+3 1D8 Longsword Math:

4.5 (average weapon damage per 1D8) + 4 (strength) + 2 (weapon enhancement) = 10.5 average damage per hit
10 normal hits x 10.5 = 105
8 (maxed crit damage) + 4 + 2 = 14 average damage on the 1 critical
Total average damage over 20 attacks = 119
Average DPR=5.95


+2 1D10 Battleaxe Math:

5.5 (average weapon damage per 1D12) + 4 + 2 = 11.5 average damage per hit
9 normal hits x 11.5 = 103.5
10 (maxed crit damage) + 4 + 2 = 16 average damage on the 1 critical
Total average damage over 20 attacks = 119.5
Average DPR=5.975


+2 1D8 High Crit War Pick Math:

4.5 (average weapon damage per 1D8) + 4 + 2 = 10.5 average damage per hit
9 normal hits x 10.5 = 94.5
8 (maxed crit damage) + 4 + 2 + 4.5 (from High Crit) = 18.5 average damage on the 1 critical
Total average damage over 20 attacks = 113
Average DPR=5.65


Observations:
As you can see the Longsword and Battleaxe average almost the exact same damage.
If you were to add a +damage feat like Weapon Focus, the Longsword would actually do better with only even +1 damage per hit.
This is also only considering simple at-will powers. Once you start factoring in those highly important encounter and daily powers the +1 to hit becomes even more important. If you hit with even one encounter power due to the Longsword's +1 to-hit then you actually jump ahead of the Battleaxe in DPR.

It's also clear that the War Pick suffers somewhat. Thankfully the High Crit value has certain factors which help balance the small gap.
Any power, feat or paragon path that increases your critical hit range will greatly improve the DPR of any High Crit weapon.
As well, simple luck might work in your favor.
Remember that these are just average probabilities.
If you were to score even 1 extra critical hit over 20 hits then your DPR would actually be roughly equal to the Longsword and Battleaxe.

I think it's a mistake to think that WotC considered "high crit" "+1 prof" and a damage die all equally a "step." I think they likely did the math on each weapon individually.

I don't think it's a mistake at all.
As you can see from the math above, each 'step' generally balances out with each other.
They each also have certain advantages under different situations and with different feats/powers/paragon paths/etc that will swing the overall DPR balance in their favor.

In the least, we can determine that for 1-handed weapons WotC considers +1 to hit/+1 damage die size/High Crit to be all worth a 'step'.
Simple analysis and math tell us this.


So then, what about 2-handed weapons?
From the examples we currently have, many people consider the +1 to hit to be worth around 2 'steps'.
Why? Because all the 2-handed Heavy Blades we see have +1 to hit over the other weapons and yet are a 'step' behind in comparison. (The Glaive is the exception, but I won't get into that here. I've covered that elsewhere)
The 1-handed Heavy Blades instead are equal in 'steps' compared to the other weapon types.


Let's do the same math with the current 2-handers.
We'll use the same formula I used for 1-handed weapons.

We'll assume level 4, 19 Strength, +2 magic weapon, etc.
We'll then compare the +3 1D10 Greatsword, +3 2d4 High Crit Falchion, +2 1D12 High Crit Greataxe, and +2 2d6 Maul.
We'll be assuming a 50% chance to hit with a +2 proficiency weapon.
We'll attack 20 times, and each weapon will average 1 critical hit.
We'll assume a 1[W] + str heroic tier at-will.
Both the Greatsword and Falchion will hit an average of 11 times, and the Greataxe and Maul will hit 10 times.


+3 1D10 Greatsword Math:


5.5 (average weapon damage per 1D10) + 4 (strength) + 2 (weapon enhancement) = 11.5 average damage per hit
10 normal hits x 11.5 = 115
10 (maxed crit damage) + 4 + 2 = 16 average damage on the 1 critical
Total average damage over 20 attacks = 132
Average DPR=6.6


+3 2d4 Falchion Math:


5 (average weapon damage per 2d4) + 4 (strength) + 2 (weapon enhancement) = 11 average damage per hit
10 normal hits x 11 = 110
8 (maxed crit damage) + 4 + 2 + 5 (from High Crit) = 19 average damage on the 1 critical
Total average damage over 20 attacks = 129
Average DPR=6.45


+2 1D12 High Crit Greataxe Math:

6.5 (average weapon damage per 1D12) + 4 + 2 = 12.5 average damage per hit
9 normal hits x 12.5 = 112.5
12 (maxed crit damage) + 4 + 2 + 6.5 (from High Crit) = 24.5 average damage on the 1 critical
Total average damage over 20 attacks = 137
Average DPR=6.85

+2 2D6 Maul Math:

7 (average weapon damage per 2D6) + 4 + 2 = 13 average damage per hit
9 normal hits x 13 = 117
12 (maxed crit damage) + 4 + 2 = 18 average damage on the 1 critical
Total average damage over 20 attacks = 135
Average DPR=6.75


Observations:
It's quite clear that the Greatsword and Falchion fall behind the Greataxe and Maul.
If that's true, then the Longsword does not equal the Greatsword mechanically. We already saw how the Longsword is almost equal to the highest damaging 1-handers and that certain things (like simply adding Weapon Focus) make it the best.
In comparison the Greatsword and Falchion do easily the worst damage compared to the other non-reach 2-handed weapons.


So the question becomes.... why is +1 to hit worth roughly 1 'step' with 1-handed weapons and 2 'steps' with 2-handed weapons?


It's that exact question which I think is the flawed assumption.

The issue isn't with +1 to hit. The issue is with the 2d4 damage die which ONLY exists on the 2-handed damage die chart.
I won't go into that again, but please read my previous posts for more information.

Instead, I'll present a new direction of debate.

First, it's very easy to see how 2-handed weapons balance out with 1-handed weapons.
In every case the 1-handed version is converted to the 2-handed damage chart on page 220, then improved 2 'steps'.

Now because the Heavy Blades are the only weapons that start with 1d8 and have a 2-handed version, we are only seeing the disparity with those. This is because they have to contend with the unique 2d4 damage die while the others get to skip over that.

But think of this.

What if we were to create a 2-handed Pick following the current rules?
It's plausible that WotC will release one in the future, so let's give it a shot:

The War Pick, which we will use as a template, starts at +2 1d8 High Crit.

Now let's convert that to a 2-handed weapon.
First we convert the 1d8 damage die to the 2-handed damage chart.
Then let's add 2 'steps'.

In this case we'll add 2 increases to the damage dice.

We now have a +2 1d10 High Crit 2-handed Pick.
This compared to the current +2 1d12 High Crit Greataxe.

The disparity is obvious.
So what would the 2-handed Pick have over the Greataxe to warrant it being a 'step' behind?
Nothing.
Far from it.... as we all know the Pick currently has no weapon feats except Pick Weapon Mastery, no specific Paragon Paths, and not as many Fighter powers.


This is the reason I advocate getting rid of the 2d4 damage die.

It's simple, elegant, and effective.
It resolves the current issues we have with weapon balance and also prevents future weapons from suffering the same disparity.

It's my opinion that many people are over-complicating the issue.
This is an excellent case for the K.I.S.S. principle.


I'll post it again...
When we remove the 2d4 weapon die from 2-handers we get:

+2 1D10 Scythe

+3 1D10 High Crit Falchion

+2 1D10 Glaive

+3 1D12 Greatsword

+3 1D10 Spiked Chain


My challenge is this...
Can anyone demonstratively and constructively prove that any of these new weapons are unbalanced or broken?
Flaw 1
20 rolls =/ 1 critical

19^20/20^20 = 35.84% chance of a critical over 20 rolls Here is the explination behind that

Flaw 2
AC Average for level 1 is 15.25, level 2 is 15.67, level 3 is 17 (removing hobogoblin warrior drops this to 16.3)
Average AC increase is ~.5/level not 1.
Level 10 (specifically) Average AC
22.91

Level 10 Expected Hit bonus +2 weapon
+4(str)+2(weapon)+1(weapon talent)+5(level)+2(prof) = +14
Level 10 Expected Hit bouns +3 weapon
+4(str)+2(weapon)+1(weapon talent)+5(level)+3(prof) = +15
+14 v 23 (rounded up from 22.91) = 9+ hit, 60% hit.
+15 v 23 (rounded up from 22.91) = 8+ hit, 65% hit.
w/o WF
5.5+4+2 = 11.5 Crit 10+4+2 = 16+2d6 = 23
4.5+4+2 = 10.5 Crit 8+4+2 = 14+2d6 = 21
.55*11.5+.05*23 = 7.475
.6*10.5+.05*21 = 7.35

W WF
5.5+4+2+1(wf) = 12.5 for 1d10 Crit = 24
4.5+4+2+1(wf) = 11.5 for 1d8 Crit = 22
12.5*.55+.05*24 = 8.075
11.5*.6+.05*22 = 8

Warpick/Scimitar
12.5*.55+.05*28.5 = 8.3

Dwarf
5.5+4+2+2(DWT) = 13.5 for 1d10 Crit 25
4.5+4+2+1(WF) = 11.5 for 1d8 Crit 22
13.5*.55+.05*25 = 8.675
11.5*.6+.05*22= 8

Warpick/scimitar
12.5*.55+.05*28.5 = 8.3

Eladrin
5.5+4+2+1(WF) = 12.5 Crit 24
4.5+4+2+2(EWT) = 12.5 Crit 23
12.5*.55+.05*24 = 8.075
12.5*.6+.05*23 = 8.65 .
Warpick/scimitar
12.5*.55+.05*28.5 = 8.3
The Longsword is Behind for all but Eladrin.

Over the course of 20 blows against average AC
Human Ax Wielder: 8.075*20 = 161.5 damage (presumes wf, which is favorable to longsword)
Human LS wielder: 8*20 = 160 its a difference of 1.5 using your 20 blows theory.

I was wrong about the Scimitar/Warpick (scimitar is a better choice) as I was forgetting that all magical weapons add +3.5 per plus of critcal damage.

So now its Scimitar>Hammers>HighCrit (other, includes all axes)>Heavy blades in term of damage through Paragon path. Hammer and Scimitars slips ahead of the rest do to Hammer Rhythm and Scimitar Dance.

Flaw 3:
THF have no reason not to pick up and utilize Power Attack

Flaw 4:
Fighters - Swing pickers, neither strictly favoring raw damage or raw hitting, will be swayed by long term damage Soemtimes. Sometimes favors raw hitting, usually choses weapons based on groups.

Rangers - Raw Damage. Because so many of rangers powers hit 2/round, trading lower hit probability for Higher damage, makes flat out sense.

Rogues - Raw Damage, But Light blades Above All.

Warlords - Raw Hit - nearly all their abilities need to hit to be effective

Paladins - Raw Hit - buffs and debuffs based on hits

Therfor: Warlords will already favor the Greatsword as will Paladins, and occasionally fighters.

For your weapons
Scythe is now hands down the best simple weapon, probably doesn't matter.


+2 1d10 REACH Heavy blade is horrendously overpowered, It more than doubles the area I can affect with multi hit powers of fighters, and damn near triples what I can affect with hit shift hit powers.

+3 1d10 High Crit Falchion, is probably not horribly bad, until epic level, when all high crits get dangerous.

+3 1d12 Greatsword now outperforms the Greatax in all ways. No Reason to have the Great Ax. None. Infact, +3 1d12 Greatsword once power attack is factored in, makes all 2H behind it.

+3 1d10 REACH has become the warlord weapon of choice.

By level 10 you can have 5 feats.
Spending a feat on Power Attack is nothing
Spending a feat on WP Spiked Chain is nothing.

The Greatsword and the Spiked Chain at the LEAST are horribly broken.
Given that powers are based on weapon groups, may be you are looking at balance the wrong way?

Heavy blades are balanced against axes because you have the option of spending a feat and taking the more flexible bastard sword and the weapons other than the longsword. If longsword = battle axe fairly and two-handed = great axe fairly, someone would say heavy blades were better because you can go bastard sword or other swords.

I suspect the weapon design was to balance axe fighters vs heavy blade fighters not at the individual weapon levels.

How's this - taking the extra feat to learn bastard sword gives you +1 damage with a conventional two-handed sword... this leaves you some incentive to use two-handed swords once you've learnt bastard sword.
But think of this.

What if we were to create a 2-handed Pick following the current rules?
It's plausible that WotC will release one in the future, so let's give it a shot:

The War Pick, which we will use as a template, starts at +2 1d8 High Crit.

Now let's convert that to a 2-handed weapon.
First we convert the 1d8 damage die to the 2-handed damage chart.
Then let's add 2 'steps'.

In this case we'll add 2 increases to the damage dice.

We now have a +2 1d10 High Crit 2-handed Pick.
This compared to the current +2 1d12 High Crit Greataxe.

The disparity is obvious.

The problem here is that you're assuming your conclusion-- that all the two-handed weapons used one-handed weapons as a template and increased them two damage die steps (or the equal thereof). You cannot assume the conclusion in order to prove it.

+2 1d10 REACH Heavy blade is horrendously overpowered, It more than doubles the area I can affect with multi hit powers of fighters, and damn near triples what I can affect with hit shift hit powers.

It does none of those things. Increasing the damage die from 2d4 to 1d10 does one and only one thing: it increases the damage. THAT'S IT. It does not affect the chance to hit, the affects of the weapon, or ANYTHING else. It only affects the damage. Sure, it may be overpowered, but not in the way that you suggest.

Besides, we already have not one, but TWO +2 1d10 reach weapons. The halberd and the longspear. They just aren't heavy blades.
Excellent!

Thank you Aluman. I appreciate getting feedback that isn't questioning my intelligence nor an attempt to e-bully me.

So you make some good points.
Let's go over them...


Flaw 1
20 rolls =/ 1 critical

19^20/20^20 = 35.84% chance of a critical over 20 rolls Here is the explination behind that

Actually... according to the webpage you linked me to I would have a 65.94% chance to roll a 20 at least once over 20 rolls.

19^20=714209495693373205673756419

20^20=2097152000000000000000000000

2097152000000000000000000000-714209495693373205673756419=1382942504306626794326243581

1382942504306626794326243581/2097152000000000000000000000=Aprox. 0.6594

0.6594=65.94%


I see where you went wrong though.
You divided 19^20 by 20^20 to get your probability.
The 35.84% you got (actually it's closer to 34.05%, but who's counting) is only the probability of you not rolling a critical over 20 rolls.

First, the article basically said to calculate the sum of 19^20 and 20^20.
Once you get these two sums, you would subtract the lower sum (your chances of not rolling your desired number) from your higher sum (which are your total chances).
This number would then be your chances of rolling a 20.
Now divide that by your total chances.
This gives you your probability.

Thanks for teaching me basic probability math!
Never bothered to learn it before.


Either way, it's still just probability.

This was why I said that we would average one critical per 20 roles.
I never stated it was guaranteed.
In fact later on, I mentioned how dependent the High Crit property was on probability.
Less crits make it darn near useless, and more crits make it better than either the +1 to hit or +1 damage die size.

Honestly I was trying to keep it simple.
Once you start getting into probability mathematics things tend to get out of control. Due to the nature of probability aren't many of our 'DPR' calculations rather moot anyway?
They are rough guidelines and nothing more.

For example, just now I rolled a 20-sided die 20 times. I then repeated this 2 more times. (I realize you can't verify this, but let's have some fun anyway)

The first set of 20 rolls I rolled 2 natural 20s. Not bad.

The second set I rolled no twenties.

The third set I rolled 1 twenty.

I should also note I kept track of the 1's I rolled as well.
In the first set I rolled 4 ones, then no ones in the second set and another 4 ones in the third set.

What does this tell me?

Lol, I need to get a better 20-sider! :D

But seriously, it tells me that with probability things are often much harder to predict. I definitely beat the odds that time.. both with my 20's and my 1's.
The next 3 sets I roll I might not even roll a single 20.
After all, we've all had those bad nights where we rolled more 1's than we ever thought "probable".
As gamers, we've also witnessed our friends insane luck as they roll 3 or 4 natural twenties in a row (without cheating, lol).

Let's just keep it simple.
If we are going to talk of averages... whether average damage, average to-hit, or average critical chances.... that's all they are... averages.

They are rough guidelines, nothing more. I've never stated otherwise.

Flaw 2
AC Average for level 1 is 15.25, level 2 is 15.67, level 3 is 17 (removing hobogoblin warrior drops this to 16.3)
Average AC increase is ~.5/level not 1.
Level 10 (specifically) Average AC
22.91

Thanks for figuring this out, Aluman!

I should probably go through the MM and take a look myself, but I don't really have the time or motivation (especially after just teaching myself probability, lol).

Level 10 Expected Hit bonus +2 weapon
+4(str)+2(weapon)+1(weapon talent)+5(level)+2(prof) = +14
Level 10 Expected Hit bouns +3 weapon
+4(str)+2(weapon)+1(weapon talent)+5(level)+3(prof) = +15
+14 v 23 (rounded up from 22.91) = 9+ hit, 60% hit.
+15 v 23 (rounded up from 22.91) = 8+ hit, 65% hit.

Can I ask why you are including the +1 to hit from the Fighter's Weapon Talent?
We are talking about base weapon design balance for all characters, not just characters from one specific class.

So assuming your average monster AC's are correct; when we remove the +1 from the Fighter's Weapon Talent we get 55 and 60% chance to hit.

That is pretty close to what I've seen in other threads that went into the subject in more detail.

But it should be noted that you are actually working your argument in favor of my point.
Why? Because higher chance to hit favors the +1 damage die over the +1 to hit.

This works for my theory because it demonstrates that the 2-handed Heavy Blades should not be penalized any extra for that +1 to hit. (which is what some people still argue)

Anyway, there's more to say about that but I'll continue on with your other points because I've had a long day and sleep is beckoning.


Over the course of 20 blows against average AC
Human Ax Wielder: 8.075*20 = 161.5 damage (presumes wf, which is favorable to longsword)
Human LS wielder: 8*20 = 160 its a difference of 1.5 using your 20 blows theory.

Slightly different math, but basically the same conclusion I came to.

The DPR of the Battleaxe and the Longsword are so close as to be almost identical.

I was wrong about the Scimitar/Warpick (scimitar is a better choice) as I was forgetting that all magical weapons add +3.5 per plus of critcal damage.

Ah, good catch! Thanks!

I had also forgot to add the +damage per critical that all magic weapons add.
Of course, this can vary between +1d6 to +1d12 per enhancement bonus for the different magic weapon types.
But I'll agree that the +1d6 per plus is a good starting point.


So now its Scimitar>Hammers>HighCrit (other, includes all axes)>Heavy blades in term of damage through Paragon path. Hammer and Scimitars slips ahead of the rest do to Hammer Rhythm and Scimitar Dance.

Hmmm, I don't know if I agree with this.
Among other things, you are going down the slippery slope of assuming that every character will purchase certain feats.
There is no way you can guarantee this. Not every player wants to optimize DPR or can even qualify for all the feat prerequisites.
This is why I like to leave a lot of these out when comparing the base weapon design balance.

Yes, we get a lot of feats compared to 4e.
However, there are still a number of choices which will only increase dramatically as new material is published. Many of these have nothing to do with DPR or specific weapons.
Hehe, WotC will be having us 'pinching our pennies' soon enough, I'm sure.


Even ignoring that for a second, I'd like to point out that you are again helping my argument rather than hurting it.
You are theorizing that Heavy Blades actually do the worst DPR of all the other weapon types.
Ok, so if that's true, then why?

Please let's not beat that dead horse regarding Blade Opportunist and Heavy Blade Opportunity.
I still don't know why, but some people think that these feats are the second coming of Christ.
As far as DPR is concerned, you've already demonstrated how Hammer Rythym does a much better job. Heck, even Deadly Axe adds High Crit to any Axe except the Greataxe. That definitely ups your DPR.

Either way, it's not the 1-handed Heavy Blades that are hurting.
You already demonstrated with your own math that the Longsword does nearly the same DPR as a Battleaxe.

It's only when you look at 2-handed Heavy Blades that you see an issue.

Flaw 3:
THF have no reason not to pick up and utilize Power Attack

If you are going to make a statement like that, can you at least back it up please?

From the math I've done myself (some of it is in that other thread):

Using Power Attack with every attack using a 2-handed weapon, with an average at-will attack against something you have a 55% chance to hit ...

In Heroic Tier Power Attack actually penalizes your DPR

In Paragon Tier Power Attack gives you a very slight boost to DPR. However, you often have better feat choices that yield more DPR all of the time.

In Epic Tier Power Attack gives you a slightly higher boost to DPR, but it is still minuscule next to the gains you'd get from other feats.


Power Attack is a tricky beast though.
As other people have pointed out, it's very 'swingy'.
Obviously the higher chance you have to hit an opponent the better Power Attack becomes. This is why it was so amazing in 3e... because it was so easy to optimize your to-hit so that you could easily hit almost every single time. But in 4e it's a lot harder to get that level of hit chance solo.
Not to mention that Power Attack actually becomes a detriment once you start falling below 50% chance to hit.

Therefore I can't conceivably think of why a player would want Power Attack on 100% of the time.

Especially if you consider one other thing...

Most of our math is done considering basic at-will attacks.
What about those important Encounter and Daily Powers?

You take a -2 to hit with Power Attack on.
In 4e that is quite harsh.

Do you really want to take the chance when using those vital powers that they would miss?
No, unless it's a Reliable power. Even then, I'd rather it go off ASAP instead of me potentially 'swishing' a few times first.

When you consider the extra damage or superior status affects of many encounter and daily powers the worth of Power Attack drops quite a bit.

Don't get me wrong... in some cases (especially with a Tactical Warlord in your party) Power Attack can be very useful.

However it's not very good for DPR comparisons.

Flaw 4:
Fighters - Swing pickers, neither strictly favoring raw damage or raw hitting, will be swayed by long term damage Soemtimes. Sometimes favors raw hitting, usually choses weapons based on groups.

Rangers - Raw Damage. Because so many of rangers powers hit 2/round, trading lower hit probability for Higher damage, makes flat out sense.

Rogues - Raw Damage, But Light blades Above All.

Warlords - Raw Hit - nearly all their abilities need to hit to be effective

Paladins - Raw Hit - buffs and debuffs based on hits

Therfor: Warlords will already favor the Greatsword as will Paladins, and occasionally fighters.

I generally agree with most of this except for the Ranger.
With the Ranger attacking much more often I would think that +3 proficiency would be preferred over a little extra damage.
Why? Because you want to hit with as much of those attacks as possible, and with the number that Rangers get... that +1 will more than pay for itself in the long run.
It might be worth it to run the numbers on it though. At this point, it's just my perspective.

Either way, I don't quite know what this has to do with the issues I've presented or my theory.

You are saying that some classes prefer higher chances to hit, while others prefer more damage.
First, I think this is mostly relative to the player and the build.
But I agree that some classes (like the Warlord) really need every +1 to hit they can get in order to do their job.
Even so, should 2-handed Heavy Blades suffer because they are more preferred by certain classes over others?


That aside, I am trying to look at weapon balance for all classes.
Not just what we currently have in the PHB, but future publications as well.


Scythe is now hands down the best simple weapon, probably doesn't matter.

A +2 1d10 Scythe is now hands down the best simple weapon?

Really? Compared to the already existing +2 1d10 Morningstar?

They do the same exact damage.

+2 1d10 REACH Heavy blade is horrendously overpowered, It more than doubles the area I can affect with multi hit powers of fighters, and damn near triples what I can affect with hit shift hit powers.

These comments are in regard to my +2 1d10 Glaive, I assume?

First, it does the exact same damage as the current Halberd and Longspear.
So that's not an issue.

Second, you are under the incorrect assumption that the Reach property extends the hittable area of the Burst attacks.
This is not the case.
A Burst 1 attack only hits adjacent enemies.
It doesn't suddenly become Burst 2 if you have a Reach weapon.

As for other multi-attack powers like the shift/hit ones you mentioned... Heavy Blades are not alone in getting these kind of powers.

For example, I could use Giant's Wake with the Halberd (Axe) to take advantage of my reach just as well.

For other reasons why I think the +2 1d10 Glaive is not unbalanced, please read point#2 in my 2D4 Begone CONS post.


+3 1d10 High Crit Falchion, is probably not horribly bad, until epic level, when all high crits get dangerous.

No more dangerous than the current Greataxe.

The only difference between this new Falchion and the Greataxe is +1 to-hit vs. +1 damage die increase.

You were the one advocating that the +1 damage die increase is superior to the +1 to hit, so I don't see how you should have a problem with this.

If you consider the Greataxe balanced, then you should also consider the +3 1d10 High Crit Falchion balanced.


We even have another side-benefit of going from 2d4 to 1d10.
Gauntlets of Destruction and Vorpal now no longer completely breaks the Falchion, just as I've stated before.

+3 1d12 Greatsword now outperforms the Greatax in all ways. No Reason to have the Great Ax. None. Infact, +3 1d12 Greatsword once power attack is factored in, makes all 2H behind it.

In a sense, you are correct. It does slightly better DPR than the current Greataxe.
However I think you are exaggerating when you say "in all ways".

There are many reasons to choose the Greataxe, even with a +3 1d12 Greatsword.
-It could come down to your stat array. If you are using Dexterity as a dump stat (or close to it) then you likely won't go with the Greatsword because you won't be able to afford the higher feat prerequisites (which require Dexterity). But Axes (and by extension Hammers) are a perfect fit if you are investing in a decent Constitution as well as Strength.
-It could come down to Power Selection. Maybe you are a Fighter and just prefer the good mix of Single-Target Damage and Multi-Target powers that the Axe gets. Or maybe you prefer the great single-target damage and status effects that the Hammers offer.
-It could even come down to flavor. Maybe you just hate the way Axes look and it doesn't fit your character concept.

Now if the last one were true, you'd be penalized for choosing concept over the superior 1d12 Greatsword.

But like I've said before, the +3 1d12 Greatsword is not dramatically better than any of the other 2-handed options.

In fact it would be equal in comparison to the Longsword.

The difference in DPR between the current official Longsword and the War Pick would be EXACTLY the same as the difference in DPR between my +3 1d12 Greatsword and the Greataxe.
The 2-handers do a bit more damage considering the fact that they are 2-handers. Otherwise they compare exactly the same.

I use the War Pick instead of the Battleaxe in this example because it has +2 proficiency, the same damage die as the Longsword (1d8) and has High Crit.

That compares exactly the same to the Greataxe which has +2 proficiency, the same damage die as my Greatsword (1d12) and has High Crit.

Considering that the Deadly Axe feat is useless for the Greataxe (as it already has High Crit), they are even in the same boat as far as feat selection. They both have nothing but Weapon Mastery in Epic.

As far as Power Attack goes, yes, the +1 to-hit gives a slight advantage in that regard. The Greatsword is 2-handed, so it gets a better return than the 1-handed Longsword.
Hopefully you already read what I had to say about Power Attack and base weapon design balance. That should cover most of it.

Otherwise I'll just point out again that High Crit (like +1 prof and +1 damage die) has it's own unique advantages.
It generally balances out, in my opinion.

I did the math in that other thread.
A very slight boost to DPR (and it is VERY slight...like around 0.025) when using Power Attack with a +3 proficiency weapon is NOT worth counting it as 2 full steps when balancing 2-handed weapons.


So if you consider the Longsword balanced in comparison to the other 1-handed weapons, you should also consider that a +3 1d12 Greatsword would be balanced as well.


+3 1d10 REACH has become the warlord weapon of choice.

The +3 1d10 Spiked Chain has exactly the same damage die as the Halberd and Longspear.

The main difference is +1 to hit.

This is reasonable considering it's a Superior weapon and costs a feat.

Even still, it's not always the most optimal choice, even for a Warlord.

I should know... I just created a Warlord and originally went with the official +3 2d4 Spiked Chain.

However... experience and the help of some friends taught me that the extra Reach, while useful, is not always equal to the +2 AC/Ref from a shield and the +2 to-hit from Flanking.

Remember that you cannot flank with Reach weapons unless you are adjacent to the enemy.
Flanking is amazing, as it provides +2 to-hit... very important for a Warlord because he doesn't usually benefit from his own buffs.

So if I'm going to be Flanking, I might as well use a non-Reach weapon.
I went with the Longsword instead, which did almost the same damage and allowed me to use a Shield.

As a Leader you'll likely get targeted by enemies, so any boost to Defences is highly useful.


See where I'm going with this?

Things aren't always as cut and dried as they first appear.


Honestly, the current Spiked Chain is a waste of a feat.
You get +1 to hit, but then do less damage.
Not only that, but it is only considered a Flail and not a Polearm.
So you lose out on Polearm Gamble (the premiere Polearm feat) and also Spear Push (if pushing is your thing; yes it's not just for Spears, check it out).

So even at +3 1d10 Reach, the Spiked Chain is not a clear winner.
But I can certainly see how it could be an attractive option for some characters, especially once we get more flail specific stuff.



*phew*

Well that's it for tonight.

Thanks for the comments, Aluman.
I love it when someone gets my brain pumping.

You brought up a couple interesting things, for sure.

Hell, I never thought I'd learn probability math tonight, lol. :D


That said, I feel exhausted.
Partly because I seem to be having to post a lot of the same things over and over again.
Either people aren't reading what I'm writing in previous posts, or they are ignoring it.
I know that I can't assume everyone will read all the stuff we talked about in the other thread on the Defender board (except for squarecircle; you have no excuse man, lol), so it's ok if I have to re-post those things.

It's just the ideas and reasoning I've already posted in this thread.

I'm not picking on you specifically Aluman.
You brought up some interesting points and arguments I hadn't thought of already. I appreciate that.
Even so, a few of them would have been covered if you had read and sussed out what I've already said.


So just to warn everyone.... if you post an argument that's already been covered, I'll either not answer you or simply quote the relevant portions of my previous posts (if I feel it's warranted and have the time).

Does that sound fair?
I'm getting into this discussion late, but I have a suggestion to offer. Earlier there was discussion about the damage die progression, and I think that is part of the fundamental flaw with 4E weapon design. Here is the progression I used in my 3E weapon design:

1d4 > 1d6 > 1d8 > 1d10 > 2d6 > 2d8 > 2d10 > 4d6 > 4d8

This progression scales damage like so:

1d4 > 1d6: +1
1d6 > 1d8: +1
1d8 > 1d10: +1
1d10 > 2d6: +1.5
2d6 > 2d8: +2
2d8 > 2d10: +2
2d10 > 4d6: +3
4d6 > 4d8: +4

Those later numbers are only needed for really big weapons. As you can see with this scaling, the damages continue to go up, and faster as well.

The curent progression (1d8 > 2d4 > 1d10 > 1d12 > 2d6) gets the following damage growth:

1d8 > 2d4: +0.5
2d4 > 1d10: +0.5
1d10 > 1d12: +1
1d12 > 2d6: +0.5

See the problem here? First off, +0.5 damage is not worth a feat, nor is it worth +1 to hit (comparing the Polearms shows this kind of damage differences).

If my scale is used, weapons would end up looking more similar (less scales for dice are used), but I think they'd be more balanced in the end.

Ravennus shows the math, but maybe this simple presentation could make more sense.

Poe's Law is alive and well.

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