I've kept moaning about how the game is biased towards 2H weapons. I finally did a study today, and was surprised to find out how ridiculously huge this bias is. So, what I did was take the two starter weapons as a base comparison, seen as they're one of the only sets of weapons unlocked at the same time - therefore assuming they should be balanced. First I studied the time it takes to make a swing at the fastest rate possible. After some near frame-perfect timings, I found the 1H attack to take 20 frames (1/3 second) and the 2H attack to take about 44 frames (11/15 second). If we divide the average damage per swing by the time it takes to swing, we get a rate of damage dealt: Wooden Sword: AVG DMG 22.0 22/0.33 = 66.0 dmg s^-1 (damage seconds to the power -1, or damage per second) Big Branch: AVG DMG 44.5 44.5/0.73 = 60.7 dmg s^-1 Well, nothing too bad yet. It's slightly biased against the Branch, doing about 0.92 of the DPS of the Sword. This is the comparative effectiveness of both weapons on large enemies or bosses - any 1 on 1 situation. However, with loads of enemies around, it's a different story - we have to take into account the area of damage dealt. I've filled in some red dots on the 1H to show the rough semicircular shape of the hit. After a bit of conclusive testing, the area in which damage is dealt seems to be roughly the same as the area inside the blue... swish... thing. After a bunch of pixel calculations of swiping in both directions, I found the radius of the 1H swipe to be 25.5 pixels (px from now on) and the radius of the 2H swipe to be around 40 px. The area of a semicircle is: 0.5 x PI x (r^2) where r is the radius. Plugging these numbers in, we get the area of a 1H swipe to be ~1021 px^2 (pixels squared, a measurement of area) and a 2H swipe to be ~2513 px^2. The greater the area of effect, the more enemies you can hit, therefore the greater the theoretic damage output. This means that DPS is positively correlated to area of effect. This means we can now multiply our DPS by these numbers to get a comparative reading if we're going through a normal grind, say, in your average Arcade room: Wooden Sword: 66.0 x 1021 = 67,400 dmg px^2 s^-1 (3 significant figures) (and just forget the units at this point) Big Branch: 60.7 x 2513 = 153,000 dmg px^2 s^-1 (3 significant figures) This is where our difference lies. 153,000/67,400 is 2.26, showing that, in combat with multiple enemies, the Big Branch is over twice as effective as the Wooden Sword. This makes our Big Branch slightly less effective at bosses, but significantly better at room grinding. Seen as the majority of Arcade mode is tearing your way through standard rooms, this pay off is pretty significant. No wonder 1H players find it difficult getting all S ranks in the Flying Fortress. Now I've shown you the calculations, I can throw a few more numbers at you and you'll have an idea of what I'm talking about. The second set of weapons that get unlocked at the same time are the Squire's Sword and Squire's Claymore. If we assume the area of effect and attack speed are the same as the other two we come out with these numbers: Squire's Sword: 96.0 dmg s^-1 96.0 x 1021 = 98,100 dmg px^2 s^-1 (3 significant figures) Squire's Claymore: 78.4 dmg s^-1 78.4 x 2513 = 197,000 dmg px^2 s^-1 (3 significant figures) Our Claymore is still about twice as effective as the Sword against multiple enemies, and about 0.82 of the DPS as a 1 vs 1. I even decided I'd do a calculation for the green Laser Sword as well: Laser Sword: 207.0 dmg s^-1 207.0 x 1021 = 211,000 dmg px^2 s^-1 (3 significant figures) The green Laser Sword, only craftable after you've beaten the first dungeon in the game, is only slightly better at tearing through enemies than a 2H weapon you pick up for free before your second boss fight. It seems a little out of order. We've got our aim, our method and our results. Now we need a conclusion. However, before we jump straight there, we need to mop up a few questions and oddities that I'm sure people will pick up on, primarily due to playstyles and situations. I've decided to put it in a spoiler for those who want to get straight to the suggestion. It'll give the other side to this research, showing you why this is of a pretty big significance, but not necessarily as much as the number show. Own, Ardeof, Teddy or anyone else this topic is of great concern to, please read this section - it's a lot of extra relevant stuff. If it's not of huge concern, the suggestion is down below. Spoiler: Evaluation Before I start, please bear in mind we're talking about raw damage and not skills. That's a whole other topic altogether Not all non-boss situations involve multiple enemies on you. It might be a Pecko, or you've cleared out all other enemies and a stray Wisp has snuck into a corner. Having said that, with only a 10-20% damage drop off, it's a huge trade off in case you're attacking multiple enemies, which happens moderately frequently, and enough to be of significance. I think the extra range of attack on a 2H weapon is probably more important than I'm making it out to be. Although there's a short delay before the attack kicks in, the range and knockback do an amazing job of keeping enemies off your chest if you time it right. Many enemies attack from just outside a 1H hit range (Brawler Bots, Rabbys) making it all the more infuriating that you have to keep enemies as close to you as possible in a hit stun. With Jumpkins I have to use Blade Flurry just to make sure none of them slip past my hit range. I think there's a couple other points I'm forgetting, but I'll be sure to mention them in a reply if I remember. Anyway, I did a further test, taking the Claymore and Laser Sword into the Gauntlet 1 Arena Challenge, at player level 10, and only using normal hits to kill enemies. I started a timer as soon as the door opened and stopped it once the Gigaslime cutscene started. To compensate for a lack of skill with 2H weapons, I minimised my use of the shield, and I came out with two times - 167 seconds for the Claymore, 128 seconds for the laser sword. While using just the dmg px^2 s^-1 numbers alone, the laser sword should have come out slightly faster, and it did. However, if we look at the dmg s^-1 figures, 78.4/207.0 = 0.38 - so the laser sword should've taken 0.38 of the time of the Claymore. It turns out that 128/167 = 0.77, showing that the claymore is close to being on par with the laser sword, but slightly less than the figures show. Well, what's our conclusion? So far it's that I wasted half a year of my life learning to tank Arcade mode with a 1H build. If we round it off, I'd say that the 2H weaponry has a significant enough advantage over same-level 1H weaponry that a change needs to be introduced. What sort of change, you ask? Well, if 2H weapons tear through normal enemies, but not so well against bosses, then nerfing 2H or buffing 1H only levels out the playing field, making 1H more advantageous due to being equally as effective at both in some regards. If necessary, that could be a quick fix. I've had a couple other ideas, but you know how well those go (badly ): Damage to be dealt by percentage cover of enemies. Essentially, if we assign a damage value to the whole area of the swing, say, for arguments sake, 250 for a Wooden Sword and 200 for a Big Branch, we can assign a percentage value of that to each enemy based on how much of it is inside the hit area. Say we take a semicircle as our attack area. If this is our Big Branch swing, you see we catch the whole of enemy 1 and part of enemy 2. Enemy one takes up about 15% of the attack area, therefore receiving about 30 damage. Enemy 2 also takes up about 15% of the area, so would also receive around 30 damage. Pros: Levels out playing field a bit Doesn't allow people to skim enemies and still do loads of damage Allows bosses to be fit into a whole swing - high % cover and damage Cons: Some bosses have small hitboxes - wouldn't receive an appropriate portion of damage. Could be combated by health reductions An alternative way of doing this could involve a certain amount of damage per pixel, but that might get complicated with some very small numbers. That would be a complicated but potentially necessary overhaul. It took me half a year of trying to beat Arcade with a 1H build. @xEleaa has been playing for 2 weeks, about 80 hours total play time, and has gotten within 20 places of me on the leaderboard with a 2H build. I've seen her play as well - no cheating involved. Hopefull 1H will get some sort of buff so other 1H players don't have to face the struggle @Pharphis and I have Thanks for sticking around this far. ~G <3 [Edit]: Oh, I have the spreadsheet with the calculations. If anyone wants that, just say so.