Are axes the best melee weapon?


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Post Sunday, 1st March 2015, 00:38

Are axes the best melee weapon?

'Best' being defined as the fastest monster killer in the most situations.

I played a straight-up melee fighter the other day with axes (I normally play mages or mage-gradually-approaching-actually-hitting-things), and they seemed kind of ridiculous. Whadda y'all think?

(Also, not sure if this is CYC material)
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Post Sunday, 1st March 2015, 00:40

Re: Are axes the best melee weapon?

no­

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Post Sunday, 1st March 2015, 00:52

Re: Are axes the best melee weapon?

yes, depending obviously on your race aptitudes and whether you happen to find a great weapon of a different kind. Also broad axes are pretty rare (compared to battleaxes), making axes hard to use if you also want to use shields.

Reason like this: the times when you might die tend to be the times when you're being hit by more than one enemy. Of course you want to avoid times like that as much as possible and fight things single file. But sometimes events spiral beyond your control and you have to fight multiple enemies anyway. Axes help you the most in these desperate times - when you most need them.
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Post Sunday, 1st March 2015, 01:12

Re: Are axes the best melee weapon?

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Post Sunday, 1st March 2015, 01:14

Re: Are axes the best melee weapon?

A transmuter of Chei can kill just about anything with blade hands much faster than anything else, and you even start with the damn thing.
If you find hydra form then you also get something for swiftly clearing out groups.

So, no - axes aren't all that good at killing things very fast. They're kinda decent, but a long shot from ~the best~.
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!lg * won !DD-- min=turns -log
<Sequell> 20749. Bloax, XL24 VSTm, T:13320: http://crawl.lantea.net/crawl/morgue/Bloax/morgue-Bloax-20140907-000920.txt

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Post Sunday, 1st March 2015, 01:16

Re: Are axes the best melee weapon?

Bloax wrote:A transmuter of Chei can kill just about anything with blade hands much faster than anything else, and you even start with the damn thing.
If you find hydra form then you also get something for swiftly clearing out groups.

firestorm is a better melee weapon than hydra form
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Post Sunday, 1st March 2015, 01:26

Re: Are axes the best melee weapon?

a level 9 dual-school conjuration that is only found in a single rare book is a very solid damage-dealing strategy, yes

it's not that i'm highlighting hydraform as more than a 'i want to press tab less' tool
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  Code:
!lg * won !DD-- min=turns -log
<Sequell> 20749. Bloax, XL24 VSTm, T:13320: http://crawl.lantea.net/crawl/morgue/Bloax/morgue-Bloax-20140907-000920.txt

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Post Sunday, 1st March 2015, 01:35

Re: Are axes the best melee weapon?

What I mean is, firestorm and hydra form are not melee weapons. It isn't fair to compare hydra form to axes when it's a high level spell you might not find.

Blade hands isn't technically a melee weapon either, but at least it's more comparable to axes. How would the damage output compare for a HuFi^chei at xl 20 with a +9 battleaxe of flaming, fighting three deep trolls at once, versus a HuFi^chei with blade hands at xl 20 doing the same? I'd bet the axe has a much higher output.

I'm using blade hands now and it's great. But it still hits only one target.
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Post Sunday, 1st March 2015, 02:28

Re: Are axes the best melee weapon?

Talking about what the weapon does when you're simultaneously low on hp and surrounded by monsters is a terrible way to argue that axes are the "best" weapon class. In those situations you're to be using one of your many, many escape options, preferably well below you're in a "I have one action before I die" scenario. Factors that are actually important include XP investment for mindelay and availability of a very good 1h or 2h subtype, but these tend to be dominated by species aptitudes and what you find in the dungeon.

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Post Sunday, 1st March 2015, 02:48

Re: Are axes the best melee weapon?

gammafunk wrote:Talking about what the weapon does when you're simultaneously low on hp

Nobody said anything about being low on hp. Don't put words in my mouth. If that's how you have to argue, you aren't acting honestly.

If you get (unintentionally) attacked by more than one monster at a time, an axe prevents you from becoming low on hp.


Anyway, yes, other considerations often mean you don't use axes, like I mentioned earlier. That doesn't change the fact that, with equal aptitudes and equivalent weapons, e.g. a battleaxe and a great sword, the axe is going to have a higher damage output in the situations where it counts the most.


There is no real disagreement here about axes. Just a bandwagon effect and a couple of old rivalries.
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Post Sunday, 1st March 2015, 03:10

Re: Are axes the best melee weapon?

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Post Sunday, 1st March 2015, 03:19

Re: Are axes the best melee weapon?

No I would by no means equate "melee situations that count the most" with "unintentionally surrounded by multiple monsters", since my next action is very likely to not be melee in that situation even if I'm not low on HP. The greatsword has higher: accuracy, base damage, and probably speed given it has lower XP costs for mindelay. If you have to say "there's no real disagreement here" when people disagree with you, you aren't acting honestly...

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Post Sunday, 1st March 2015, 03:36

Re: Are axes the best melee weapon?

gammafunk wrote:No I would by no means equate "melee situations that count the most" with "unintentionally surrounded by multiple monsters", since my next action is very likely to not be melee in that situation even if I'm not low on HP. The greatsword has higher: accuracy, base damage, and probably speed given it has lower XP costs for mindelay.

1. packs of harpies
2. packs of slime creatures
3. packs of spiders
4. packs of ugly things (without a perfect chokepoint)
5. packs of deep trolls (without a perfect chokepoint)
6. packs of anything

I find it amazingly implausible that you manage to avoid ever fighting even two monsters at a time and always use an escape option if such a horrible thing seems imminent. In my experience, perfect chokepoints are fairly rare. While being attacked by a pack is undesirable, in many cases it's manageable, moreso with an axe.

If you have to say "there's no real disagreement here" when people disagree with you, you aren't acting honestly...

There's a difference between nitpicking over trivial issues to try to find any point of contention by which you could criticize someone, and actually disagreeing with the main content of what they're saying.
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Post Sunday, 1st March 2015, 03:51

Re: Are axes the best melee weapon?

For my money, maces are probably the best weapon class overall. They seem to get the best odds at getting early upgrades, and even if they fall off on the very top end, it isn't like the top end matters. A great mace that shows up by Temple is going to improve the odds of winning more than absolutely anything that figures into the late game.

Even if we're assuming perfectly spherical orc packs that drop exactly the weapon you want as soon as you want it, the polearm gimmick is better than the axe gimmick. Polearms have a gimmick that applies in the sorts of circumstances you want to set up, while axes have a gimmick that applies in the sorts of circumstances you want to avoid.

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Post Sunday, 1st March 2015, 03:54

Re: Are axes the best melee weapon?

I'm not going to continue a potentially endless argument from a premise like "axes are the best modulo apts because pack enemies exist". I do think it's pretty funny to say something like "Don't put words in my mouth, you aren't being honest" when someone takes something described as being surrounded by monsters and when it matters most to mean low HP, yet when people (that's plural) clearly disagree with you, you say they're bandwagoning, engaging in old rivalries ,and that they actually agree with you. That's taking a wee bit much license in describing what others think.

Anyhow OP, one way where axes can actually be a dominant weapon type is if you find one with vamp, so that being adjacent to several monsters for melee might be more of a good idea.

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Post Sunday, 1st March 2015, 03:56

Re: Are axes the best melee weapon?

From reading posts on this forum, the response would be:

No, axes are not the best melee weapon. Axes are less effective against single enemies than an equivalent non-axe weapon, and getting yourself into a "surrounded" scenario where an axe would be more effective than an alternate weapon is a sub-optimal scenario.
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Post Sunday, 1st March 2015, 04:08

Re: Are axes the best melee weapon?

Let's see what speedrunners use.

<halberd> !lg * won urune=15 turns<50000 / fifteenskills~~axe
<Sequell> 47/152 games for * (won urune=15 turns<50000): N=47/152 (30.92%)
<halberd> !lg * won urune=15 turns<50000 / fifteenskills~~pole
<Sequell> 8/152 games for * (won urune=15 turns<50000): N=8/152 (5.26%)
<halberd> !lg * won urune=15 turns<50000 / fifteenskills~~long_bla
<Sequell> 6/152 games for * (won urune=15 turns<50000): N=6/152 (3.95%)

Yup, overwhelmingly axes. I wonder why? Could it be that axes kill things faster?

(In case that was cryptic: 30% of players who won 15 rune games in under 50k turns trained axes to at least 15. For polearms the number is only 5%, and for long blades it's only 4%.)

P.S. this fact is common knowledge to anybody who has played the game much, such as gammafunk
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Post Sunday, 1st March 2015, 04:15

Re: Are axes the best melee weapon?

could it be that speedrunners sacrifice safety for speed???

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Post Sunday, 1st March 2015, 04:29

Re: Are axes the best melee weapon?

Axes are great for speedrunners, the impatient, and bots.
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Post Sunday, 1st March 2015, 04:33

Re: Are axes the best melee weapon?

Sar wrote:could it be that speedrunners sacrifice safety for speed???

Yeah, but why does sacrificing safety for speed involve using axes? It's because the axe can do more damage.

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Post Sunday, 1st March 2015, 04:37

Re: Are axes the best melee weapon?

Axes kill masses of monsters faster. Nobody argues against that! People just say (rightly so) that doing so involves suboptimal play survivability-wise. Speedrunners do a lot of things like that, like skipping levels and such.

It's a good question though, what is "optimal" - survivability or a chance of getting a higher turncount? I mean, obviously winning is the goal of the game but it also has a score system which encourages players doing dangerous and "bad" things.

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Post Sunday, 1st March 2015, 04:39

Re: Are axes the best melee weapon?

Please bring your attention to the OP's definition of "best":
dolphin wrote:'Best' being defined as the fastest monster killer in the most situations.
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Post Sunday, 1st March 2015, 04:43

Re: Are axes the best melee weapon?

Berder wrote:Please bring your attention to the OP's definition of "best":
dolphin wrote:'Best' being defined as the fastest monster killer in the most situations.


I prefer "most situations" being such that I am not surrounded by a death yak pack. There is no best or worst weapon class in general.

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Post Sunday, 1st March 2015, 04:46

Re: Are axes the best melee weapon?

Axes still suck in 1v1 but if you want to just tab blobs of monsters they're good (except for when they start spamming the event log).

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Post Sunday, 1st March 2015, 04:49

Re: Are axes the best melee weapon?

Yes I don't think we can take what the OP meant to be speedrunning over just winning the game, or at least that's not how I read it. Most situations are 1v1, after all.

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Post Sunday, 1st March 2015, 05:08

Re: Are axes the best melee weapon?

Well, I agree that what the OP defined as "best" is not necessarily what would result in the outcomes that would maximize utility for the OP.

It's difficult to get good winrate stats for axes since they're so often used in speedruns, which brings their winrate down. Also, axe using characters train axes to 15 sooner than long blade using characters do, which further skews the fifteenskills keyword. Correcting for those we can look at milestones with xl=20 with above-median turn count, and see how many of those were won.

<halberd> !lm * fifteenskills~~axe xl=20 x=median(turn)
<Sequell> 26896 milestones for * (fifteenskills~~axe xl=20): median(turn)=49334
<halberd> !lm * fifteenskills~~long_bla xl=20 x=median(turn)
<Sequell> 12340 milestones for * (fifteenskills~~long_bla xl=20): median(turn)=54005
<halberd> !lm * fifteenskills~~axe xl=20 turn>49344 / won
<Sequell> 5380/13437 milestones for * (fifteenskills~~axe xl=20 turn>49344): N=5380/13437 (40.04%)
<halberd> !lm * fifteenskills~~long_bla xl=20 turn>54005 / won
<Sequell> 2647/6169 milestones for * (fifteenskills~~long_bla xl=20 turn>54005): N=2647/6169 (42.91%)


So we see there is a very slight advantage to long blades over axes; other queries I tried tend to confirm this, including when I restrict to greaterplayers. However, I think this may be due to axes simply encouraging lazy play (not using chokepoints as much) rather than any inherent flaw in the axe. If you used an axe as cautiously as you'd use a long blade I think it would be adequate for the 1v1 situations where danger is low, and better for the open-area situations where danger is higher.



Suppose we do the same thing but restrict it to the noble Octopode. Melee octopodes are forced to be careful; rush in and slash everything with an axe is much less of a temptation with no AC. Additionally, octopodes have 0 aptitudes for all weapons. So this may eliminate some of that bias present in the earlier queries.

<halberd> !lm * fifteenskills~~axe op xl=20 x=median(turn)
<Sequell> 99 milestones for * (fifteenskills~~axe op xl=20): median(turn)=54440
<halberd> !lm * fifteenskills~~long_bla op xl=20 x=median(turn)
<Sequell> 167 milestones for * (fifteenskills~~long_bla op xl=20): median(turn)=56386
<halberd> !lm * fifteenskills~~axe op xl=20 turn>54440 / won
<Sequell> 40/49 milestones for * (fifteenskills~~axe op xl=20 turn>54440): N=40/49 (81.63%)
<halberd> !lm * fifteenskills~~long_bla op xl=20 turn>56386 / won
<Sequell> 44/83 milestones for * (fifteenskills~~long_bla op xl=20 turn>56386): N=44/83 (53.01%)

Here we see a difference. The axe appears to have a higher winrate. Small sample size is a problem in this case, however.
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Post Sunday, 1st March 2015, 05:52

Re: Are axes the best melee weapon?

I prefer maces for my 2h characters

they hit hard and don't chop off hydra heads
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Post Sunday, 1st March 2015, 05:56

Re: Are axes the best melee weapon?

It's probably not accurate to use lm to argue about the importance of axe cleaving versus other weapon types but then include games from crawl versions where axes didn't have cleaving. Of course it's already not a very good idea to favor Sequell queries over reasoning about the game for something like this.

Also that Op query was completely wrong because you're trying to count milestones as games, but one game can have arbitrarily more or fewer milestones:

  Code:
<gammafunk> !lm * fifteenskills~~long_bla op xl=20  x=cdist(gid) / won
<Sequell> 88/167 milestones for * (fifteenskills~~long_bla op xl=20): cdist(game_key)=24/46 (52.17%)
<gammafunk> !lm * fifteenskills~~axe op xl=20  x=cdist(gid) / won
<Sequell> 56/99 milestones for * (fifteenskills~~axe op xl=20): cdist(game_key)=13/26 (50.00%)

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Post Sunday, 1st March 2015, 06:08

Re: Are axes the best melee weapon?

gammafunk wrote:It's probably not accurate to use lm to argue about the importance of axe cleaving versus other weapon types but then include games from crawl versions where axes didn't have cleaving. Of course it's already not a very good idea to favor Sequell queries over reasoning about the game for something like this.

Having data and trying to interpret it is better than having no data and making wild speculations based only on opinion and subjective experiences of the game. Experience is useful, but it has a very small sample size and different people have different experiences.


Thanks for mentioning cleaving. Restricting to cv>=0.14 gets similar results.

<halberd> !lm * fifteenskills~~long_bla xl=20 cv>=0.14 turn>50759 / won
<Sequell> 1220/2733 milestones for * (fifteenskills~~long_bla xl=20 cv>=0.14 turn>50759): N=1220/2733 (44.64%)
<halberd> !lm * fifteenskills~~axe xl=20 cv>=0.14 turn>46411 / won
<Sequell> 2331/5845 milestones for * (fifteenskills~~axe xl=20 cv>=0.14 turn>46411): N=2331/5845 (39.88%)
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Post Sunday, 1st March 2015, 06:23

Re: Are axes the best melee weapon?

actually i dont think having useless data and misinterpreting it is better that having no data and making speculations

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Post Sunday, 1st March 2015, 06:27

Re: Are axes the best melee weapon?

Berder wrote:Having data and trying to interpret it is better than having no data and making wild speculations based only on opinion and subjective experiences of the game.

says you after making a wild speculation
Berder wrote:Melee octopodes are forced to be careful; rush in and slash everything with an axe is much less of a temptation with no AC.

based on your subjective experience of playing Op.

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Post Sunday, 1st March 2015, 06:36

Re: Are axes the best melee weapon?

duvessa wrote:actually i dont think having useless data and misinterpreting it is better that having no data and making speculations

I absolutely agree!

Having partially useful data and interpreting it in a reasonable way, however, is better than having no data.

Sar wrote:
Berder wrote:Having data and trying to interpret it is better than having no data and making wild speculations based only on opinion and subjective experiences of the game.

says you after making a wild speculation
Berder wrote:Melee octopodes are forced to be careful; rush in and slash everything with an axe is much less of a temptation with no AC.

based on your subjective experience of playing Op.

So? If you quote the rest of my previous post, I said experience was useful.

My experience of playing Op specifically is more extensive than most's. bmfx is the only other greateroctopode.

But does that mean my word is law? No - it's still speculation. It's not as good as the data, but it can be helpful to find ways to interpret the data better.

In this particular case my speculation that octopodes must be careful is supported by the fact that there's very little difference in the median number of turns taken for axes vs long blades, for octopodes. This is in contrast to the case for all species. That indicates that octopode axe fighters aren't rushing into crowds, but are playing cautiously.

However, as mentioned, sample size is a problem. I would call that data about octopodes and axes suggestive, but uncertain.
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Post Sunday, 1st March 2015, 06:49

Re: Are axes the best melee weapon?

Yes, axes are excellent if you are stuck fightin 2 or more monsters out in the open.

No, you should not make your primary weapon an axe unless there is a highly compelling reason to (executioner's axe of speed). Almost all fights in the game you will be seeking to reduce to a 1v1, where axes don't really shine.
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Post Sunday, 1st March 2015, 06:53

Re: Are axes the best melee weapon?

Even assuming that Op query would support any assertion about the quality of axes versus other weapon types (which it generally doesn't), as I mentioned in my post above the query you did is simply incorrect.

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Post Sunday, 1st March 2015, 07:01

Re: Are axes the best melee weapon?

gammafunk wrote:Even assuming that Op query would support any assertion about the quality of axes versus other weapon types (which it generally doesn't), as I mentioned in my post above the query you did is simply incorrect.

I see mentions of cleaving in the change log going back to 0.11. Do you really think it would make that big a difference?

No, it doesn't make a big difference to restrict since 0.11. The sample size in this case is too small, anyway. There is no purpose in arguing minutiae.
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Post Sunday, 1st March 2015, 07:11

Re: Are axes the best melee weapon?

I'm not talking about the version issue, I'm talking about how you counted milestones instead of counting games with x=cdist(gid), which you can see in the query I did (which gives very different results).

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Post Sunday, 1st March 2015, 07:21

Re: Are axes the best melee weapon?

gammafunk wrote:I'm not talking about the version issue, I'm talking about how you counted milestones instead of counting games with x=cdist(gid), which you can see in the query I did (which gives very different results).

Oh - thanks for showing me how to work around that. Somehow I missed that part of your post.

Let me stress, though: it's only a problem for the octopode query due to the small sample size. It's not a problem for the all races query, because the sample size on that one is large enough that it averages out. (the results using cdist(gid) are within a percent of the results without using it)
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Post Sunday, 1st March 2015, 07:29

Re: Are axes the best melee weapon?

Axes are great, IF you find something like this:

  Code:
f - +13 executioner's axe "Verch" {speed, rF+ Stlth+}


But I would not start the game with axes if I can make a weapon choice (MAYBE when starting Hill Orc but even then it feels inferior). Having slower and less damaging starting weapon type lowers your early-game survival.

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Post Sunday, 1st March 2015, 07:46

Re: Are axes the best melee weapon?

Sphara wrote:Having slower and less damaging starting weapon type lowers your early-game survival.

Prove it.

Alright, it does sound plausible. You get to fight 1v1 almost entirely in the early dungeon. Still, the data would be useful to see how much of a difference that really makes.

There are three problems with getting data for that. First, speedrunners. Hard to eliminate them. Second, lack of early dungeon milestones. Third, since skill levels are below 15 you have to track axe use with sk=axes, which is not necessarily accurate; I often train just fighting in the early dungeon until I find a reasonable weapon, regardless of what I'm using to hit things.
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Sar

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Post Sunday, 1st March 2015, 07:58

Re: Are axes the best melee weapon?

What kind of proof would you possibly want? Bad things are bad.
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Post Sunday, 1st March 2015, 08:06

Re: Are axes the best melee weapon?

Berder wrote:
Sphara wrote:Having slower and less damaging starting weapon type lowers your early-game survival.

Prove it.


Just check the base damage and base delay of every available starting weapon. Personally I don't rely on cleaving during the early game so I cannot get into discussion about it.

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Post Sunday, 1st March 2015, 08:14

Re: Are axes the best melee weapon?

ok I guess since I've got my thankbait out of the way I might as well give a serious response to the question in the OP

there are actually some characters where, with equal aptitudes, axes are actually in general better for winning than polearms - this is mostly things like trog characters, and I agree that across all characters polearms are generally better (overpowered, in fact)
I actually think polearms are probably better on the majority of trog characters as well but I will not argue for this (it's not the strongest position)
long blades/maces/staves are definitely better than axes with equal aptitudes on a lot of characters too IMO, in the cases of long blades and maces I think this is actually true more often than not (staves are a bit complicated)
I find it hard to defend this position against polearms, however (they are overpowered - compared to other melee, that is)
short blades are terrible at doing damage compared to every other weapon class unless it is a stab or you are absurdly lucky, there's not really any point in dancing around this
maces has better 1-handers than long blades now (even though the brands are worse you get 500 maces from orcs and like 2 long blades), dire flail/great sword/great mace are basically the same strength, great sword gets better brands but is less common than dire flail so maces are probably better here as well (but i prefer long blades for fun)

in practice, most species are shoehorned into one weapon class anyway so the small differences in weapon class strength don't matter (unless it's short blades), and also starting weapons are unequal too so if you have neutral apts whoops you still probably don't want to start with a hand axe let alone a short sword/rapier or unarmed and unless youre a gl you cant start with a staff at all lol

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Post Sunday, 1st March 2015, 08:19

Re: Are axes the best melee weapon?

Sar wrote:What kind of proof would you possibly want? Bad things are bad.

Sphara wrote:Just check the base damage and base delay of every available starting weapon. Personally I don't rely on cleaving during the early game so I cannot get into discussion about it.

I already explained that by proof, I mean proof of exactly how much worse axes are in the early game. If it doesn't lead to loss that often in practice, then axes may still be worth it due to their improved damage in times of danger later on in the game.

This is especially true if you're like me and don't feel too bummed about a pre-lair death, but would be really pissed if he made it to vaults and died: later game effectiveness is more important.
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Post Sunday, 1st March 2015, 08:22

Re: Are axes the best melee weapon?

Berder wrote:
Sar wrote:What kind of proof would you possibly want? Bad things are bad.

Sphara wrote:Just check the base damage and base delay of every available starting weapon. Personally I don't rely on cleaving during the early game so I cannot get into discussion about it.

I already explained that by proof, I mean proof of exactly how much worse axes are in the early game. If it doesn't lead to loss that often in practice, then axes may still be worth it due to their improved damage in times of danger later on in the game.


you know there are arguments other than a posteriori arguments, right?
take it easy

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Post Sunday, 1st March 2015, 08:34

Re: Are axes the best melee weapon?

Arrhythmia wrote:you know there are arguments other than a posteriori arguments, right?

You have an a priori argument that can tell me the difference in lair ratio between axe fighters and long blade or polearm fighters who are not speedrunning?
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Post Sunday, 1st March 2015, 10:44

Re: Are axes the best melee weapon?

fyi i was not kidding when i was saying that cheibladehands is still better than all of these things at killing things really fast

and especially so when it comes to speedrunning, since you're doing far more damage than you otherwise would at any time during the game relatively early in the game
take it easy
  Code:
!lg * won !DD-- min=turns -log
<Sequell> 20749. Bloax, XL24 VSTm, T:13320: http://crawl.lantea.net/crawl/morgue/Bloax/morgue-Bloax-20140907-000920.txt

Did you know that I like ruining crawl every now and then? Go check it out.

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Post Sunday, 1st March 2015, 11:38

Re: Are axes the best melee weapon?

Bloax wrote:fyi i was not kidding when i was saying that cheibladehands is still better than all of these things at killing things really fast

and especially so when it comes to speedrunning, since you're doing far more damage than you otherwise would at any time during the game relatively early in the game


Is Chei a good god for speedrunning? Seems very ironic :P
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Post Sunday, 1st March 2015, 11:51

Re: Are axes the best melee weapon?

If you're really good at using him then you can get out of a lot of situations using his abilities, and he also makes you much stronger than you normally would be at your experience level.

So yes, he's one of the best speedrunning gods. Extended is rather brutal, but speedrunning is not known for trying to accumulate a winrate.
  Code:
4. [urune=8] Bloax the Brawler (L24 VSMo of Cheibriados), mangled by Cerebov (the +6 Sword of Cerebov {flame}) in Pandemonium (cerebov_grunt) on 2014-08-14 01:27:29, with 583727 points after 17421 turns and 2:46:25.

(would've been faster if it was a VSTm but i very rarely feel like suffering through the Tm earlygame)
take it easy
  Code:
!lg * won !DD-- min=turns -log
<Sequell> 20749. Bloax, XL24 VSTm, T:13320: http://crawl.lantea.net/crawl/morgue/Bloax/morgue-Bloax-20140907-000920.txt

Did you know that I like ruining crawl every now and then? Go check it out.

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Post Sunday, 1st March 2015, 16:09

Re: Are axes the best melee weapon?

I've played a lot of axe characters. I think what seems obviously true about axes actually is true: They suck in the early game because they miss too much one on one but they get better later on because they have superior dps vs. crowds (and in realistic play, you do melee more than one monster at a time). They're also super skill intensive, which is bad. I don't think it's a good idea to run axes unless your species has a good aptitude for them and it might be worthwhile to do a low skill weapon like short blades for the early game to avoid the worst of axes' survivability downside. They're not a very good choice for a general purpose weapon.

That said, I think they have a lot of synergy with Qazlal and with very tanky characters.
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Post Sunday, 1st March 2015, 22:35

Re: Are axes the best melee weapon?

Berder wrote:I already explained that by proof, I mean proof of exactly how much worse axes are in the early game. If it doesn't lead to loss that often in practice, then axes may still be worth it due to their improved damage in times of danger later on in the game.


I think it is pretty unreasonable to ask for "proof" in a context like this. You would be as hard pressed to "prove" axes are good. We can look at their base stats and properties and all that, but success is always going to be more reliant on player behavior than anything. That is something you can't really get around even if you start running calculations and all that jazz.

Berder wrote:This is especially true if you're like me and don't feel too bummed about a pre-lair death, but would be really pissed if he made it to vaults and died: later game effectiveness is more important.


This is very subjective. You can't say late game is more important than early game in general, maybe it is for you. As a matter of fact, late game is irrelevant for the majority characters in Crawl since they don't get to see it in the first place.

This is also subjective, but I would say that my deaths in the late-game are usually due to some major tactical or strategical screw up rather than weapon choice like Axes vs Long Blades (they are both fairly good options at that point and the differences are not as big as we make them out to be).

On the other hand, in the early game the difference it is more noticeable IMO. Hallways are plentiful in the early dungeon, fighting things 1 on 1 is very easy. The Lair has a more open layout, but other than for packs, enemies are rather spaced and you can often limit how many you fight at any time - and then there is the Hydra problem. I think its normal that people won't prioritize cleaving over investing in cheaper skills at this point, and past it the difference should not be too huge since you are given more tools and room to build and round out your character.

Overall, I don't think axes are bad. If I find something that can carry me through the early and/or mid-game (whether it is an axe, polearm, or anything) I will stick with that weapon category. If my build or race has good synergy with axes I will stick with them too. But yeah, it usually boils down to cleaving vs XP - with the difference in experience from using a triple sword (24) to and executioner's axe (26) you could get another skill at level 0 to level 12-13 and a skill at level 12 to almost level 17. I would usually need a pretty big encouragement to pick cleaving over XP, accuracy and base damage - but for a player that is used to rely on and make effective use of it I could see this not being the case.
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