Hollywood has much to answer for in casting the longsword as the main weapon of the medieval brawler, when in reality, it was typically employed as a sidearm to grasp for after a spear or polearm was lost or broken. In that context, the Longsword’s obvious pairing with a heater shield and heavy armour should give you a good idea about the strengths and weaknesses of this weapon class: it is a tank, not a destroyer. Not just any tank either, but an effective battlefield support unit thanks to its unrivalled healing abilities
The Longsword and Shield should always be seen as two weapons rather than one, allowing the wielder to deliver significant amounts of Slashing and Blunt damage. In addition, it is a weapon class that can derive huge benefits from increased health and armour, making it sometimes a difficult decision as to where to invest the bulk of your Attribute points.
While some would advocate maximising damage output, the Longsword is not really a weapon to deliver the killing blow. Far better instead to increase your chances of surviving an attack, either by pouring those points into Armour or Toughness, or indeed both. Consider however that the higher your base Health, the more Health you can recover when you use your signature ability.
Versatile skills for a versatile class, but unless you build them around Mercy of Heaven, you perhaps need to question why you’ve chosen to specialise in a Longsword in the first place.
- With Valour: A good all-purpose attack that builds into a flurry of Slashing strikes, topped off with a denigrating kick.
- Paladin: Not the most devastating attack, even for a Longsword, but the six-second movement penalty applied to your target can make all the difference.
- Mercy of Heaven: The Longsword’s most essential and unique ability can restore more than 10% Health and also (at Rank III) return 10% Health to any allies within a certain radius.
- Shield Bash: The Blunt damage is a bonus on what this skill really helps out with, which is removing Daze and potentially stunning enemies.
- Martial Prowess: A seemingly desperate area attack that restores a small portion of Health. Possibly best used to get out of a hopeless situation.
- Knightly Vows: Increases your speed and that of nearby allies, for times when you need to effect a devastating counter-attack before the enemy knows what’s happened.
One skill characterises the Longsword’s shield, the other its versatility. Whether you favour one over the other will depend on whether you see versatility as a boon or a weakness.
- Clash of Shields: The ultimate shield bash, which sees you charging like a steam train and barging anyone in your way with Blunt damage.
- Sally Forth: Has a relatively short cooldown time compared to most Ultimate Abilities and delivers all three damage types in a series of blows - none of which are devastating in themselves, but it’s up there as a skill that fits all.
Created especially to benefit Longsword is the Imperial Knight’s armour set, which with two items equipped reduces Knightly Vows’ cooldown, and with four increases the restorative effects of the Mercy of Heaven ability. Alternatively, the Guardsman’s armour set offers a tempting health boost with two items equipped and gives an all-round defence boost with four items equipped. Some have been known to mix the two sets to get the benefits of both.