kerbonklin

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This has been a common debate in pretty much EVERY video game that offers these two choices of weaponry. So let's make a thread about it over here!

Questionnaire time!

What are good ways to balance the act of Dual-Wielding and TwoHand?

What advantages/disadvantages should they have over the other? (Damage, effects, possible skills, etc.)

My answers:

TwoHand weapons should provide double, or slightly more, of the attack value of dual-wield-able 1H weapons.

1H weapons Dual-Wield should allow for making use of more features than a TwoHand weapon, like being able to use one Normal Attack of fire element and another of earth element, whereas TwoHand is just one element Normal Attack only. Maybe give 1H weapons additional AGI letting your actor perform faster.

1H weapons Dual-Wield would be at a disadvantage where it can proc Counter features on enemies more often than TwoHand would. If there is a proc, then depending on how Counters work it would result in less DPS.
 
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Probotector 200X

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By default, dual-wielding is generally better because it's more versatile. Why choose between a poison weapon and a burn weapon when you can equip both? Meanwhile, use two-hands to hold one weapon is less versatile, but you should generally get better damage output this way.

Well, dual-wielding should be slower, now that I think about, as you have two swords, and can only support one with each hand. Like, more versatile, but not as good at specific things.

One idea I think about is having some unique weapons. Say, there's only one Mega-Excalibur in the game, it's one of the best weapons. You CAN, dual-wield it with another different weapon, but you can only use it's full potential by wielding it with both hands!!

Note that my ideas are based on options, like in Final Fantasy 6 or Final Fantasy Tactics, which lets you equip accessories or support abilities to be able to dual-wield or both-hands-wield just about any weapon. I'm trying to think of ways to make the player choose between which style they want.
 

hiromu656

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I haven't been able to pull it off in RPG Maker, but some concepts I notice in other games seem to work great with balancing these things. For Sword+Shield your Shield gets it's own skills, maybe a Shield Bash, a special "Block For Teammates" skill, or anything, that makes Shields effective. Then, 2H weapons do massive damage at the cost of speed or perhaps coordination (hit rating). Then, Dual Wielding is strong, however, your Off-Hand is weaker than your main, so you won't necessarily be doing double the damage.
 

Fafnir

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I'd think you would have better coordination when Two-Handing. Only one weapon to focus on, two hands to use it with for finer control.
 

hiromu656

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Yeah that makes sense, I was trying to think of a good counter balance to the damage, but realistically, that probably wouldn't be the best one.
 
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From a realism standpoint, dual wielding isn't too great of an idea. Swinging with two separate weapons is really awkward, and much harder to put your weight into either swing. Two handing a weapon allows you to put more force into a swing, and with better accuracy. From a game standpoint tho, dual wielding should allow for multiple elements, but lower damage for both weapons. Something like a 30% decrease in damage for each weapon would balance it out nicely. For extreme realism, make the second weapon give defensive bonuses(as how you would actually use an offhand weapon) / special defensive skills, parrying perhaps?
 

DancingDrake

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In my opinion dual wielding should...

  • have less defence than normal sword and shield
  • have higher evasion rates to counter the lower defence and because they should be able to dodge the slower attacks not defend against them
  • be restricted to short swords, daggers and weapons that can be thrown like darts or something (just not two handed weapons or heavy weapons)
  • activate slicing and abilities that cause bleeding and/or poison effects
  • should not be allowed to wear heavy armour as that would restrict movement speed
  • and should be restricted to classes or characters that would have trained in this style of fighting
Whereas two handed weapons should...

  • have slightly less defence than normal sword and shield (shield is always the best defence as you have a larger area covered to defence)
  • have higher damage rates with their swords so that they can kill their enemies before they find a way through their defences
  • be be restricted to heavy weapons like long swords, battle axes, that sort of thing
  • activate cleave and disabling abilities that could lower enemy defence or something like that to simulate breaking bones and stuff.
  • should have practically no chance of dodging but a higher chance of not missing
  • and (same as dual wielding) should be restricted to classes or characters that would have trained in this style of fighting
This is just my opinion but I find it balances the two quite well against each other.
 
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omen613

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Well you could make it based on the target's defense rating. say cloth gives 0 def leather gives 2 def and plate gives 4 def.

Swords do 6 dmg and can be duel wielded and have elemental properties

Great Axes do 10 dmg and give buffs to the user

Daggers do 3 dmg but can poison blind silence etc and can be duel wielded

Duel wielding Swords vs

Cloth does 12 DMG

Leather does 8 DMG

Plate does 4 DMG

Axe vs

Cloth does 10 dmg

Leather does 8 DMG

Plate 6 DMG

Duel wielding Daggers vs

cloth does 6 DMG + 2x staus effects

leather does 2 dmg + 2x status effects

plate does 0 DMG + 2x status effects

Just an idea

Edit: Can also make 2h ignore defense and make 1h weapons swing 2x each to compensate. so if u duel wield you can hit 4x in one turn but have to deal with the target's def per hit...where as a 2h you only get 1 hit in but ignore the def. making lighter geared targets take more damage from duel wield foes and foes with high def take more damage from 2h.
 
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Probotector 200X

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I don't know how relevant this is, but it's something I think about sometimes.

Quad-wielding.

That is, characters with four arms (or creative ways to hold 4 weapons without extra limbs)

Think of the possibilities this creates for 2-handed weapons. A 4-armed character could dual wield 2-handed weapons! They could wield four 1-handed weapons! Maybe make a 4-handed weapon or two...

But, this doesn't help does it? It's kind of like, "Oh, you want ideas how to do this? How about you make it more complex?? lol!" But, it's something to think about.
 

orochii

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A man of a thousand arms would be cool. There, a Yugi-oh reference lol.

===

So I think this is mostly a balancing issue, right? Dual wield VS two-handed. In games where it's a plain restriction for certain weapons, it's not an issue. Example, a Zweihander (as its name implies) is a weapon that you wield with both hands. There could be an upgrade or something that lets you use it with both hands tough (let's talk about DarkSouls, where you can't one-wield any weapon unless you have the necessary strength).

Still, wielding any weapon with both hands, even if you have 5 times the strength needed to one-wield it, makes it hit much harder. And be way more precise. When you start to one-wield is because you're thinking about using that "extra arm" to something, like a shield, or another weapon. A shield gives you protection from hits, an extra weapon gives you either cool factor or, as someone said, an extra effect, like having a fire sword and a poisoned dagger (be careful when against fire snakes though!).

So here is a recap from some nice stuff people have already said...

Dual-wielding makes you have less balance (accuracy, damage, etc), gives you some defense thanks to an offhand weapon which you don't necessarily use for attack but can also be used for parrying. But I think it's real use relies on being an extra slot for weapon effects. OR having more chances to successfully hit a very evasive enemy, even if every hit has a reduced success rate.

So Dual-wielding can give extra defensive opportunities to characters that are unable to use shields, and let them make more use of those extra effects from weapons.

On the other hand, Two handed. You can't parry. But you do a much stronger and much more accurate single hit. Like in omen's example, it can trespass defenses way better than two fragile hits where damage reduction by defense applies twice.

So Two handed gives defensive characters (paladins) a more attack-oriented twist.

I think this works,

Orochii Zouveleki
 

omen613

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I really like that idea Probotector

I wish that in final fantasy tactics advanced they made the Bangaa Race (reptile melee based race) have 4 arms. Imagine what doors that coulda opened to the game.
 
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kerbonklin

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I really like that idea Probotector

I wish that in final fantasy tactics advanced they made the Bangaa Race (reptile melee based race) have 4 arms. Imagine what doors that coulda opened to the game.
The closest thing to this was I believe in FF5, using the Dual Wield + Barrage combo for 8 normal attacks.
 

Probotector 200X

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The closest thing to this was I believe in FF5, using the Dual Wield + Barrage combo for 8 normal attacks.
I'm still waiting for the Final Fantasy where Gilgamesh is playable, and is one of his multi-armed appearances.

jk8d.jpg


8 Arms! But he's not using 8 weapons, no, he's got a 1-handed Mace, a 1-handed Spear, two 2-handed Swords, a 1-handed Axe, and he seems to be ready to draw a 1-handed Katana. Maybe that middle sword is a 1-handed Sword, but he's wielding it with 2-hands? Imagine the possibilities...oooh.

The equip screen would look kinda funny, with 8 weapon slots.

My idea was to use an approach some RPGs, such as Final Fantasy Tactics Advance or Tactics Ogre Knight of Lodis, use. That is, you get 5 equipment slots, and can equip anything you want as long as it doesn't break any rules (you can dual-wield, but that gives you less armor slots, you can have a weapon and 4 accessories...stuff like that) So, imagine a system like this with 8 or so equipment slots. Most characters can dual-wield at best, but still have those other 6 slots for various armor. An eight-armer like Gilgamesh would get equip 8 weapons, yes, but that would leave little room for armor. It doesn't really make any sense, but it makes the equipment screen better aesthetically and fair, for the most part.

It's something I've been wanting for one of my own RPGs for a while now. Just been too lazy to focus on one of many RPG ideas that utilizes characters with 3+ weapon slots.
 

sabao

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The age-old treatment has always been (at least if memory serves me right) 2H weapons deal a slightly larger amount of damage than its 1H counterparts but at the cost of AGI/SPD, and sometimes defense.

Dual wields have always been a little on the overpowered side, which is probably why they're not made available to players right away. Acquiring the ability to dual wield usually means grinding several levels (or in FFT's case, grinding several classes to certain levels) or unlocking a certain point in the story. It's obviously a reward for the time and effort players would have to put into the game that I suppose helps change up play styles  and encourages further exploration in mixing and matching weapons.

I can't remember FFT having penalties for dual wielding, but other games apply SPD/AGI penalties depending on the weight of the weapon, or because you're passing up on wearing a shield, you skip out on any unique benefits a shield may have, DEF bonus aside.

Another possibility is much like what Chinese Electric Batman has suggested, your off-hand may not have as much power as your dominant hand. That said, any bonuses your off-hand weapon might have may be less than what it would give if it were on your dominant one.
 

Daijou

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There's also another point of view that seems to be left out here; how exactly is dual wield being implemented.

I think, currently, the most popular point of view on it is the Elder Scrolls approach, in which you take two one-handed weapons, and wield them at the same time. Going with this approach, the player gains the choice of utilizing different weapon abilities, and sometimes types that effect how the damage is applied, such as slashing, piercing, or crushing. With those, certain enemies may be better fought against with certain weapon types. Granted, the two-handed have the same classes of weapons to choose from as well.

Then there's the other point of view, where the weapons being dual-wield are not separate entities, but rather a paired item. If you've played Tales of Symphonia, Lloyd's weapons would be a great example of this. With this approach, attack speed and mobility/dexterity is usually higher, at the sacrifice of damage per hit, and often access to heavier types of armor that grant higher defense. I prefer this approach myself as it requires far less upkeep from the player's point of view, even if it means less diversity and build options.

As for balancing between DW and 2H, there are several ways I see it:

-Dual-wield gets two hits per attack (one per skill otherwise it'd be way too powerful), so that's two chances to hit or miss. Two-handed only gets one, so if you miss, it's basically a forfeit turn.

-Even if it's not realistic as some have pointed out, dual-wield should generally act and react faster than two-handers. This is typically done by giving either the weapons or the class the stat bonuses tied to pulling that off.

-I've seen critical hit rate run both ways, favoring each side, so this comes down to the developer to decide which type gets that bonus.

-Light vs heavy armor. As others have said, heavy armor restricts mobility, which dual-wield needs to pull off, so they wouldn't have access to the defense gains there.

-Single target vs multiple targets. If you've played online games before, the two-hander usually has some sort of AoE move that goes along with it (usually a spinning type of attack, but a massive ground pound is done a lot as well). While it's also possible to take on multiple foes with dual-wield, it's a lot hard to hit two at the same time, or that's how I would think.

That's really all I've got. Given the option, I tend to lean towards dual-wielding myself as a player. Unless the option of a spear is thrown in, then it doesn't matter what the other choices are.
 

CWells

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When I think of the terms dual wield and two hands I first focus on what they can offer:

Dual hand to me means I can have two possible weapons but little to no defenses. I can be more flexible and may have more skills but will not have a way to defend from incoming hits.

I expect flexibility to come from dual handed combat. I do expect a fair amount of power to come from this as well, depending on how important speed may be in the creators game.

Two-hand weaponry may offer me more defensive/counter opportunities since I'm probably using a weapon with either a long pole or a really wide body, be it a axe or some other kind of weapon of the creators invention. I expect defenses to come from a two handed weapon. I also expect large power to come from such weaponry.
 

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