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Spears seem like they could use a little boost.


Khyron
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I see a lot of people in-game and on forums disparaging spears because of their power attack being a throw. It's strong and penetrates armor but leaves you wide open when facing multiple zombies at once, or if one hit doesn't immediately kill the zombie. I think the throw is a good idea which gives the weapon variety and makes it stand out from the other weapons out there, but I think it could be improved with one simple weapon mod :

 

Bungee cord mod. Spears only. Effect : Automatically returns spears to the owner's hand after a brief delay (1.5-2s delay).

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6 minutes ago, BFT2020 said:

Amateur spear hunters throw their spear and have nothing to defend themselves.

 

Pro spear hunters always carry a backup spear.

Meanwhile masters of the sea figured out how to tie a rope to a spear (harpoon) and use it not only to kill their prey but also drag it back to them, or to recover the spear if it doesn't get hooked into the beasties. No reason that wouldn't work well on land too!

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13 hours ago, Khyron said:

Meanwhile masters of the sea figured out how to tie a rope to a spear (harpoon) and use it not only to kill their prey but also drag it back to them, or to recover the spear if it doesn't get hooked into the beasties. No reason that wouldn't work well on land too!

Completely different context.

 

If you are in the middle of a fight with a horde of zombies, do you really think you have the time to drag the spear back by a rope?  What you can do on a boat safe from the prey and not under any duress does not equate to being able to do it on land also.

 

Masters of the seas?  More like zombie lunch

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6 hours ago, BFT2020 said:

Completely different context.

 

If you are in the middle of a fight with a horde of zombies, do you really think you have the time to drag the spear back by a rope?  What you can do on a boat safe from the prey and not under any duress does not equate to being able to do it on land also.

 

Masters of the seas?  More like zombie lunch

 

Likewise, if you're facing down a horde of zombies throwing your weapon - even if you have a backup - is a bad idea. What if the backup breaks? What if you can't reach the spot where you threw the first one to recover it until much later? It turns a multi-use thrusting weapon with excellent range into a single-use projectile, which is fine against 1 or 2 zombies but terrible against a horde.

 

Don't get me wrong here - I love the spear. I love the idea of using it against zombies. It's by far my favorite melee weapon, but the throw makes it difficult to use effectively. If I have multiple spears they either take up multiple spots on my already crowded hotbar, or they take up multiple spots within my pack and encumber me much more than other melee weapons - they don't stack, which makes them far more cumbersome than other weapons. Anything that can bring the spear up to par with the other weapons in the game is, in my opinion, wonderful. Hence the idea of using bungee cords to make a DIY-retraction system.

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On 6/11/2022 at 3:30 PM, Khyron said:

Likewise, if you're facing down a horde of zombies throwing your weapon - even if you have a backup - is a bad idea. What if the backup breaks? What if you can't reach the spot where you threw the first one to recover it until much later? It turns a multi-use thrusting weapon with excellent range into a single-use projectile, which is fine against 1 or 2 zombies but terrible against a horde.

 

That's true for all melee weapons should they break.  You learn how to deal with it.  I even modded my game so you can't repair weapons, tools, and armor.  This makes you have to think and plan ahead incase you get in a situation where both your primary melee weapon and backup melee weapon at the early game are broken (which is why I always make sure to carry bones or wood to craft up something quickly in a pinch).

 

Quote

Don't get me wrong here - I love the spear. I love the idea of using it against zombies. It's by far my favorite melee weapon, but the throw makes it difficult to use effectively. If I have multiple spears they either take up multiple spots on my already crowded hotbar, or they take up multiple spots within my pack and encumber me much more than other melee weapons - they don't stack, which makes them far more cumbersome than other weapons. Anything that can bring the spear up to par with the other weapons in the game is, in my opinion, wonderful. Hence the idea of using bungee cords to make a DIY-retraction system.

 

I think making the spear automatically returns to you negates one of its weaknesses just to make it OP.  It's the only melee weapon you can throw, which means you can easily knock down that low HP zombies in the center of the group to reduce the numbers and then resort to your backup until you can grab it again.  Typically when I use the spear as my primary, I keep either the club or knife as a backup melee weapon.

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  • 3 weeks later...

I definitely agree the spears need changes, but the bungee rope is a bit silly. Spears don't really work as a weapon for a lone person.

I would suggest the following.

  • spears can hit though bars
  • Two weapons, spears and javelins.
    • Javelins would have an ammo capacity of say 3
    • (Javelin bag mod increases),
    • reload involves getting more out your bag.
    • Reduce current stamina cost for throwing , but they break easily.

 

Currently a thrown spear has a higher stamina cost, shorter range, and less damage than a primitive stone arrow. That has got to change.

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On 6/13/2022 at 1:05 PM, BFT2020 said:

It's the only melee weapon you can throw, which means you can easily knock down that low HP zombies in the center of the group to reduce the numbers and then resort to your backup until you can grab it again.  Typically when I use the spear as my primary, I keep either the club or knife as a backup melee weapon.

 

Hot take: is it really a melee weapon, though?

 

The melee attack is the regular attack, with regular attack stats. With every other melee weapon I use, it's the power attack stats that really matter, because I'm using the power attack 90% of the time. I can't really do that with the spear, unless I'm 'throwing' it at enemies a foot in front of me (which is just awkward and defeating the purpose). The net result is that while the spear's stats may look competitive on paper, it's underpowered in practice since I'm using the regular attack more.

 

Honestly I don't need a spear I can throw. A spear with a regular melee attack and power melee attack, whose specialty is excellent melee range and the ability to poke through bars, would be perfect! Hitting through iron bars was literally the only feature I wanted when they announced the spear. Or, if they flipped the attacks so that the regular attack was a throw and the power attack was a melee, I'd be happy because I'd just use the power attack 100% of the time.

 

If it's going to be a throwing spear, we need to back up a bit and ruminate on why throwing the spear is so disruptive. It's not just losing the weapon from your inventory. It's the fact that you're literally throwing away the thing you've invested a lot into.  I don't care if I lose a lot of arrows, because I can make more bow ammo cheaply. But the spear is made of rare parts and mods, at least after the early game.

 

A solution to that is to introduce a spear launcher, or atlatl. Then the spears can be a type of ammo, which is cheap to make and stacks, while the expensive spear parts and spear mods go on the launcher.

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On 7/3/2022 at 7:57 AM, Crater Creator said:

 

Hot take: is it really a melee weapon, though?

 

The melee attack is the regular attack, with regular attack stats. With every other melee weapon I use, it's the power attack stats that really matter, because I'm using the power attack 90% of the time. I can't really do that with the spear, unless I'm 'throwing' it at enemies a foot in front of me (which is just awkward and defeating the purpose). The net result is that while the spear's stats may look competitive on paper, it's underpowered in practice since I'm using the regular attack more.

 

Honestly I don't need a spear I can throw. A spear with a regular melee attack and power melee attack, whose specialty is excellent melee range and the ability to poke through bars, would be perfect! Hitting through iron bars was literally the only feature I wanted when they announced the spear. Or, if they flipped the attacks so that the regular attack was a throw and the power attack was a melee, I'd be happy because I'd just use the power attack 100% of the time.

 

If it's going to be a throwing spear, we need to back up a bit and ruminate on why throwing the spear is so disruptive. It's not just losing the weapon from your inventory. It's the fact that you're literally throwing away the thing you've invested a lot into.  I don't care if I lose a lot of arrows, because I can make more bow ammo cheaply. But the spear is made of rare parts and mods, at least after the early game.

 

A solution to that is to introduce a spear launcher, or atlatl. Then the spears can be a type of ammo, which is cheap to make and stacks, while the expensive spear parts and spear mods go on the launcher.

 Yes and no.  It is both a melee weapon and a ranged weapon, it’s a hybrid essentially.  And it suffers from being a hybrid in that it is not really strong in either category (standard for hybrid weapons to offset the flexibility - obviously better than a bow in melee combat, but worse than it in range combat; better than a bat in ranged combat, but worse in melee).

 

Your idea of a power attack for the secondary (say a thrust rather than a jab for the primary attack) would strengthen it for melee which is a fine idea since you lose the ability to throw it now.  But it would be nice to have something unique about it to differentiate it from other melee weapons - knives cause a dot buff, clubs have a higher knockdown/stagger chance, sledgehammers do aoe damage, stun batons lock a zombie in place.  So for it, I would think a longer reach - like a weaker attack but easier to stay outside of the zombie’s attack range.  

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Sure. For a weapon class to be interesting and justified, it should do at least one thing better than weapons of a different class (for the same tier at least, so it's apples to apples). And spears being the superior melee weapon for range - just as the knife is the superior melee weapon for stealth, the club is the superior melee weapon for knockdowns, etc. - definitely makes sense.

 

And poking through bars may not sound like much, but I think it would add a lot to the spear's appeal. It would support a different style of defense: survivors that fight the zombies via melee combat, but rely on their bases to protect themselves from damage rather than heavy armor or nimble movement. It would literally be more in-your-face than shooting through bars, too, which is the option we have now.

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It kills me in this game that you can't melee through bars. I 100% support the idea of giving that ability to the spear. Would definitely give people a little more reason to use it.

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I think if spears are able to melee through bars, wouldn’t knives be also too?  Though I could see why it would be limited to spears only as knives have their own advantages over spears.

 

Though for me, I think if that was possible, it should also be possible for the Z’s to pull the weapon out of your hands if you do that.  But not sure if that game mechanism would be fun (and I think it would feel like it was the same as not having your spear after throwing it.  😄 )

 

I do like the idea of stacking javelins or a different version of the spear that is a throwing one that is similar to arrows.

 

I haven’t mod the melee weapons yet, though after this discussion I think I will in my next iteration.

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I made this suggestion before and I'll do it again!

 

Tapping right click does a power thrust, holding right click charges up a throw. If you throw you lost it, if you tap you do a normal power hit.

Currently tapping drops it at your feet which is largely useless outside of comic relief.

 

Bonus: you can now throw knives with the same controls, holding right-click throws your knife.

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I can get behind tap to power attack and hold to throw. Good idea!

 

I agree with BFT2020 though on the point that knives and spears are separate weapon classes, so giving both the same abilities may break the mold. For example as much as I'd love to get stealth kills at spear range like I can with a knife, I can see how that'd probably be OP. :boink:

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  • 4 weeks later...
On 6/13/2022 at 2:05 PM, BFT2020 said:

 

That's true for all melee weapons should they break.  You learn how to deal with it.  I even modded my game so you can't repair weapons, tools, and armor.  This makes you have to think and plan ahead incase you get in a situation where both your primary melee weapon and backup melee weapon at the early game are broken (which is why I always make sure to carry bones or wood to craft up something quickly in a pinch).

 

I think this showcases that spears are lacking compared to other melee weapons. I was creating an account to offer this feedback among a few other things. Keep in mind this feedback comes from a place where me and 1-2 other friends have consistently played on insane difficulty servers since alpha 13? I am typically the looter role, while my other friend that I consistently play with takes the builder role. Spears are lackluster compared to the other melee weapons.  I mean lackluster in the way that I keep trying to give them a chance because I am a heavy perception build and it makes the most sense to try and make them work, but I always inevitably discard them in favor of knives. This in my opinion has less to do with damage and more to do with two factors... 

 

1: The weakness of throwing that has been mentioned. Throwing a spear 100% is a risk and puts you at a disadvantage especially on insane difficulty where you will not one shot the zombie. Even more so when the movements can be erratic and the hitboxes questionable. You can have perfect aim and will still occasionally miss. Not even considering when there are multiple zombies. I was thinking like the OP a mod that allowed you to return the spear to your inventory would be flavorful and balanced. Again only as a mod not as a base weapon mechanic. Though game mechanics wise. The multiple charges would probably feel the best as the spear is supposed to be a melee weapon with ranged capabilities, and this would make it feel in line with the bow which it has the most similarities with. (Perception and agility already have a strong synergy) In response to the response of just don't throw the spear in those situations.... why give a weapon an ability that generally speaking skilled players won't choose to use? It only serves as a trap for newer players, and those skilled players will probably choose to use a better weapon...

 

2: The second reason the spear is lack luster is showcased in the weapons that I think are generally the best melee weapons.... Sledgehammers, Knives, Clubs, Fists, Batons, and then Spears... in that order. On Insane difficulty where zombies will take multiple hits, the enrage is inevitable. When a zombie enrages the increased range of a spear means nothing unless your using structures to cheese them. Furthermore spears have a higher stamina cost then and least fists and knives. The thing that all of those weapons have that spears do not, the thing that helps against an enraged zombie.... Reliable crowd control. Sledgehammers knock down (if they don't outright kill), knives have a guaranteed stagger on power attacks, a snare, and a damage over time. Clubs and fists have a high chance of stagger, knockdown, and dismemberment with fast attack speeds and manageable stamina. Spear might stagger briefly every few hits. I think the throw needs to have a high chance to knockdown or a 100% snare. Especially since you need to retrieve your spear.

 

3. (Additional thought) My latest attempt to give spears a chance came from the fact that I might be able to use it as an alternative to the bow for sneak attacks and clearing POIs quietly solo.... So maybe buff the sneak damage multiplier on the spear since as previously mentioned there is already a high degree of synergy between perception and agility.

On 7/7/2022 at 12:09 AM, Crater Creator said:

I can get behind tap to power attack and hold to throw. Good idea!

 

I agree with BFT2020 though on the point that knives and spears are separate weapon classes, so giving both the same abilities may break the mold. For example as much as I'd love to get stealth kills at spear range like I can with a knife, I can see how that'd probably be OP. :boink:

I would say the multiplier should not be the same as a knife. Maybe closer to that of a bow. (Might be balanced since bow has higher base damage than a spear? . . . Not sure with power attack)

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6 hours ago, G0dsend said:

...

 

The thing that all of those weapons have that spears do not, the thing that helps against an enraged zombie.... Reliable crowd control. Sledgehammers knock down (if they don't outright kill), knives have a guaranteed stagger on power attacks, a snare, and a damage over time. Clubs and fists have a high chance of stagger, knockdown, and dismemberment with fast attack speeds and manageable stamina.

 

Knives have no stagger at all AFAIK. They slow.

 

The text of Deep Cut Rank1: "You might have a dull blade but you know how to use it. Craft quality 2 poor knives and deal 10% more damage. You can inflict up to 3 Bleeding Wounds on an enemy and a power attack inflicts 2. Every attack refreshes the duration on bleeding. Enemies run 10% slower while bleeding.\nUnlocks hunting knife crafting"

Edited by meganoth (see edit history)
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2 hours ago, meganoth said:

 

Knives have no stagger at all AFAIK. They slow.

 

The text of Deep Cut Rank1: "You might have a dull blade but you know how to use it. Craft quality 2 poor knives and deal 10% more damage. You can inflict up to 3 Bleeding Wounds on an enemy and a power attack inflicts 2. Every attack refreshes the duration on bleeding. Enemies run 10% slower while bleeding.\nUnlocks hunting knife crafting"

Go power attack a zombie in the head with a bone knife. They will stagger.

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29 minutes ago, G0dsend said:

Go power attack a zombie in the head with a bone knife. They will stagger.

That's only half true, we are not looking at everything:

 

  • Spears vs knives
    • Regular attack
      • Both will cause a mini stagger when you hit them in the head
    • Power Attacks
      • Knives
        • Will cause either a mini stagger or large stagger when you hit them in the head
      • Spears
        • Will cause either a mini stagger or large stagger if you throw and hit them in the head
        • Will cause a possible knockdown also

mini stagger - quick flinch back by the zombies, disrupts their attack routine

large stagger - zombie acts like they are drunk, stumbles a bit

 

All of this was just tested now against a feral Arlene.  All power attacks have the chance to cause the zombies to do the large stagger when you hit them in the head with a power attach.  No perks purchased in javelin or knives and no spear hunter books.

 

My next test (if I have the time) will be to make out Perception (with books) vs agility (unfortunately no books for knives)

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22 minutes ago, BFT2020 said:

That's only half true, we are not looking at everything:

 

  • Spears vs knives
    • Regular attack
      • Both will cause a mini stagger when you hit them in the head
    • Power Attacks
      • Knives
        • Will cause either a mini stagger or large stagger when you hit them in the head
      • Spears
        • Will cause either a mini stagger or large stagger if you throw and hit them in the head
        • Will cause a possible knockdown also

mini stagger - quick flinch back by the zombies, disrupts their attack routine

large stagger - zombie acts like they are drunk, stumbles a bit

 

All of this was just tested now against a feral Arlene.  All power attacks have the chance to cause the zombies to do the large stagger when you hit them in the head with a power attach.  No perks purchased in javelin or knives and no spear hunter books.

 

My next test (if I have the time) will be to make out Perception (with books) vs agility (unfortunately no books for knives)

 

I would guess that isn't an ability of the player or a weapon, but all zombies probably have a reaction to getting hit and the more damage they get the higher the chance for them that that reaction is bigger.

 

Notice a zombie that walks into a trap or a cactus will AFAIK make the same stagger and I doubt that the cactus has learned any perks 😉

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So I guess part of the issue here is that other melee weapons can reliably chain these staggers on a zombie until it is dead. Spear cannot because it is unreliable with regular attacks, and power attacks remove the weapon from your inventory. (Not to mention less accurate as a projectile)

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