Swords in destiny 2 are arguably the weakest of the power weapons currently available. I decided to go through the numbers and work out just how weak they are. I'm going to test the raid sword [armory]It Stared Back[/armory] against the raid shotgun [armory]Zenith of Your Kind[/armory], both of these being among the best weapons available for their respective archetypes. There will be numbers, you have been warned.
These tests were all done against basic(red bar) enemies on the 270 nightfall.
Lets start with Zenith. [spoiler]This gun fires 12 pellets that deal 225 damage each for a total of 2,700 damage if all pellets hit. Crits deal 493.25 damage each for a total of 5,919 damage. The range on this shotgun is comparable to that of a sword lunge, however shots beyond this range will still hit for reduced damage. The Zenith takes approximately 2.5 seconds to empty its 7 shot magazine, giving it 7,560 damage per second with no crits, up to 16,573 dps if you're a god and somehow hit all crits. It then of course has to reload, taking 5 seconds but we'll get back to that later. Zeniths maximum ammo is 22 and if all shots hit it deals 59,400 on body shots or 364,606 on all crits.[/spoiler]
Now It Stared Back, which I'll refer to as sword from here on. [spoiler]Sword was using damage at the cost of ammo for maximum damage per hit. Each basic sword hit deals 1,642 damage, an Uppercut costs 3 ammo and deals 1,492 plus 3 lots of 746 for a total of 3,730. Aerial hits are odd, dealing 1,604 on a basic hit and 1,679 on a swing, which costs 2 ammo. When depowered the sword deals 879 damage per hit, less than the basic melee damage of 1,247. It takes approximately 4 seconds to make 7 basic swings, giving it a dps of 2,873.5. The uppercut takes approximately 1 second per swing so it's dps is the same as its damage at 3,730. The swords maximum ammo is 22 and if all strikes hit the total damage is 36,124, or 29,840 if using the uppercut.[/spoiler]
So to sum it up the Zenith can deal a total of 364,606 damage, while a sword can only deal 36,124. So Zenith has the potential to deal 10 times as much damage as a sword! Granted not every shot is a crit but even a critless Zenith out damages a sword with 59,400 damage. The average Zenith shot will also deal more than twice the damage of a basic sword swing as well as having a faster fire rate.
The only benefit the sword has over the Zenith is not needing to reload, however this is countered by the generally squishy nature of guardians and the need to frequently take cover, which gives Zenith time to reload while only reducing the potential dps of swords. Shotguns also have the potential to deal damage outside their minimum range and give you freedom of movement when attacking, while swords lock you into moving towards the enemy.
Bottom line: Shotguns are vastly superior to swords. And since they are moving to the special slot in september while swords are remaining in the heavy slot, the latter is in desperate need of a buff. So I've come up with a few suggestions.
More ammo - Increases total potential damage, spare ammo for basic add control (something swords are good at) and indirectly buffs sword block. Suggest 40-60ish depending on perk selection.
Buff Sword blocking - I'll be honest, I haven't used this since last september when the game came out. The smaller ammo pool doesn't help but compared to Destiny's swords it feels so weak. The damage reduction itself is decent, with attacks dealing 50% damage on a low def sword and 25% damage on a high def sword but it takes so much ammo. A low efficiency sword takes aproximately 2.5 ammo per second, thats less than 10 seconds of block before you're out of ammo. Regardless of anything else I feel this needs a buff just to be usable.
Basic damage buff - While this would certainly be welcome, any buff to sword damage should not put it over the shotgun, which should remain the go to for quick burst damage. Something in the range of 2,500-3,000 per hit, putting it way below shotgun potential but still somewhat competitive.
Selective damage buffs - The uppercut currently deals over 1,000 less damage than 3 basic swings, maybe tone this down a bit? Also aerial attacks dealing the same damage as basic swings would be nice, as would the RT swing that costs 2 ammo dealing a little more than 37 extra damage over a basic swing. Buffing unpowered sword attacks to match basic melee damage would be nice too.
Increased survivability - This ties in a little bit to sword block being very weak but is an alternative to increased damage. Perhaps regaining some health on sword kills (not regeneration) or something similar could work here.[/spoiler]
So yeah, TL;DR swords are weak, will be weaker when Forsaken releases, please buff?
Swords in D2 are a joke and need some serious buffing.. They need to feel like the swords in D1 again.. make them worthy of being a heavy. They need to deal more damage, and have deeper reserves, as well as a stronger lunge.
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