Sometimes your team is not as effective as you want it to be. There is no way, however, to solo a mission L4-5. One has to compensate the flaws without sacrificing their own combat efficiency.
The guide is prioritizing survivability over damage dealing. The reason is obvious: dead things cannot attack.
There are certain possibilities to win 1vsHorde and save your fallen mates. Using the terrain to mess with the AI is, sometimes, enough on its own, but then there are other circumstances.
To make your character an army of one, the weapons have to be in balance, rather chosen for funzies.*
Make sure, however, that you can revive your teammate safely, trying to "make it in time" or "not to make it look like you don't care" is not going to worth it. As I was levelling VS, around 10-15 missions were lost only because of these noble, but unsuccessful acts. First yourself - then those in need.
*Mission L1-3 are doable with shovels.
It is obvious, that there are two types of weapons for both of the slots - Crow Control (CC) and Single Target Damage (STD)*.
Having one for each case secures an ability for you to fill in any role in the team, if one previously responsible for it is reloading/incapacitated.
The best option for melee STD is, in my opinion, a chainaxe. It does not require to use your Active Ability to one-hit most of the enemies with the heavy special attack at L3-4, unlike the Power Hammer, nor does it depend on criticals. The "bar" stats are enough to make its damage output stupid high*. If you get one with pleasant substats and passives - even crushers will not survive its HSA.
If the stats of Damage and Shredding are high enough, your heavy special attach will deal around 1200-1800DMG. A master-crafted Hammer can deal triple that, if used with your active skill, depending on the substats/passives. However, the tests have been conducted among "blues" and, personally, I would rather pick the axe due to its reliability. It. Just. Works.
For the CC melee I, just as most of the playerbase, strongly suggest Devil's Claw. You regenerate Toughness at ridiculous rate and the special ability allows to deal with any opponent safely. I find Power Hammer’s requirement to perform heavy attacks for cleave unreliable, since some space or the feat is required to begin the chain. The Devil's Claw allows you to spam LMB to fend off crowds indefinitely.
Below are HSA of the Chainaxe and HSA+AA of the Power Hammer with maximum wind up time.
Although Flamers are absolute joy to “apply”, due to high damage and Stagger effect, Bolters grant both CC at close range, and ability to deal with Snipers and Mutants, when it comes to distance or speed. Moreover, Bulwarks ignore flames, but get staggered and drop guard if hit with bolts.
FOCUS ON BAR STATS
Since devs have introduced crafting system you will be able to modify weapon's perks and passives. So you better look for bar stats - they vary significantly.
1st - Choose 1 only if you are going with Hammer and Heavy Attack spam, you will rarely one-hit someone with LMB at L4-5. I suggest 2, but 3 is also an option.
2nd - Become the poxmower.
3rd - What if there are no allies to help?
4th - The guide is about living no matter what. Damage dealing is an option one can afford only while playing with people they know. Random party is rarely as potent as one made by creating a team of people you know.
5th - It depends on what combo you are running. 2nd compensates low damage of the Devil's Claw.
6th - For those who plan to live forever, 3rd is the only possible choice.
Since melee bypasses toughness, old 1% HP lawnmower setup is not reliable anymore. You have to give yourself space for wrong moves that will end up in taking hits.
Wounds are all but useless, in my opinion. One only needs them if you are running with grimoires. Those who fall, shall not pass.
Resistances to gunners are favourable. The snipers let you know when they are shooting, while volleys of gunners will be fired without a warning.
The last is, probably, Revival Speed, Stam Regen and Toughness or whatever else you personally prefer. Do not underestimate the rev. speed stat.
The guide is subjective. Some things will change (there is no way 2h chainsword will stay as useless as it is now*), some nuances, possibly, were not taken in account. Nonetheless, the weapons tested are of "obtainable" rarity and the case does not include a perfect team, that will save you from snipers, will not ever leave you alone and has every tool required. Don't be a t**t and try to help your mates when you see they are going to be hit from behind. While you, being vanguard, and your enemies are within their FOV, you might be the only one who can save their sorry butt. Teamwork does it, even if you are the only one performing at it. Make sure that someone else is covering you while you are reviving, grenades will not stop a mutant. Make space for revival, never risk yourself.
* 2H Chainsword is balanced. Picking it will ruin the idea of a case-specific slots. In other words: If you are running Flamer (100% AoE) and 2H Chaisword (50CC/50STD) your combat balance is 25% Focused damage and 75% Splash/AoE. (Yes, flamer performs well enough against single targets, but you get the idea)
However, I still think it is not as good as it should be. Veteran's power sword, in my opinion, is a much more reliable version of an "all-around" melee. Below is a comparison between specials of each (i hit it twice with the PS, since it takes just as much time). No heavy attacks required to deal with crowds, does not limit your mobility - just better.
1.0.20 - Powerclubs
Does not have the cleave of the Power Hammer, yet shares the slow attack set. The weapon would be somewhat useful if, at the very least, FS made it chain attacks with a cd afterwards, like tactical axes do. Technically, if the blast radius stat is good, it is possible to use it as a tool for infinite stagger, but, again, why that if killing things is easier. The testing was brief, though, might've missed something/everything.
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