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Investigation: Wuuthrad

  • Member
    November 24, 2014

    Who doesn't love Wuuthrad, the axe of Ysgramor?  Lots of people, apparently.  Well, I've been a huge fan ever since the first time Eorlund swaggered into the Underforge with that dark beauty clenched in his fists. 

    I've been working on a Wuuthrad-focused build for a while now and just got around to testing some features of the weapon.  I thought I'd share my findings here, and come back and edit the post as new info becomes available.  So far, some things are expected, some results are a disappointment.  Anyone with any input or questions, please post!

    First, the basics

    Wuuthrad is affected by Elemental Fury.  Its enchantment is similar to that of a silver weapon or the Longhammer: the game doesn’t consider it an actual enchantment, so you can use it with Elemental Fury.

    Wuuthrad can be enchanted, but the enchantment is not displayed; the description "especially deadly to Elves" remains after enchantment.  Nevertheless, you can fiddle with charges and magnitude while in the enchanting menu.  Of course, enchanting Wuuthrad means it cannot be used with Elemental Fury.  

    Wuuthrad cannot be tempered at a grindstone. 

    Wuuthrad deals 1.2x damage against Elves.  In this context, 'Elves' include Altmer, Bosmer, Dunmer, and Falmer.  

    The bonus damage is multiplied against the (for lack of a better term) direct damage dealt by the weapon itself.  Fortifications to Two-Handed skill (by potions or worn enchantments) are taken into account, as are power attacks and perks that affect power attack damage.  With Devastating Blow, a standing power attack from a 72-displayed damage Wuuthrad dealt 215.8 damage to Faendal (72 x 2 (power attack) x 1.25 (Devastating Blow) x 1.2(anti-Elf bonus)), which is very close to the 216 expected.  Thus, an extra ~36 damage is due to Wuuthrad's effect in this case. 

    This bonus damage is mitigated by armor just as expected - in other words, the extra damage does not ignore armor. 

    I have not yet tested Fortify Marksman potions.

    I have not yet tested Marked for Death.

    To test: do offensive enchantments on Wuuthrad get the bonus when Elves are targeted?

    To test: do poisons on Wuuthrad get the bonus when Elves are targeted?  

    Bash Damage

    I'm still trying to figure this one out.  My first goal regarding bash damage was to test whether the anti-Elf bonus applied to bashes.  That seems not to be the case, and in fact Wuuthrad seem to bash for lower damage in general than it should according to the numbers I'm using.

    According to James's article on bash damage (link), weapons bash for 25% of their base damage rating.  For Wuuthrad, the base damage is 25, so with no bash-related perks, it should bash for 6.25 damage.

    Again according to James's article, the Power Bash perk does 3x bash damage, so a power bash from Wuuthrad should deal 18.75 points of damage. 

    The Deadly Bash perk does 5x bash damage – both the regular bash damage, and the power bash damage.  So with both perks, a regular bash from Wuuthrad should deal 31.25, while a power bash should deal an impressive 93.75 damage.

    However, that's not what I'm seeing in-game, so I could use some help here. 

    Against Faendal, with both the Power Bash and Deadly Bash perks, a regular bash with Wuuthrad deals 21 damage and a power bash deals 63 damage.  Against a giant, that same power bash also deals 63 damage.  Note that 21 x 3 = 63, which is what we’d expect given the fact that, according to the numbers above, a power bash should deal 3x the regular bash damage.  However, 21 is too low for a regular bash with the Deadly Bash perk. 

    Whatever is causing this, it seems to be the case that, sadly, Wuuthrad does not confer its anti-Elf damage bonus during bashes.


    Wuuthrad and Limbsplitter

    File this under “unfortunate.”  I wondered if the bleed damage from Limbsplitter would somehow be affected by Wuuthrad’s anti-Elf bonus.  My suspicion was that it wouldn’t, since bleed damage doesn’t seem to be affected by the actual damage of the weapon, just the material type.  But I also wanted to see how much bleed Wuuthrad would cause, since this wasn’t covered anywhere I could find.

    Well, here’s one reason you won’t find that information:  Wuuthrad doesn’t cause bleeding damage.  At all.

    I’ve only tested this so far with 2 and 3 ranks of Limbsplitter, but against bears, giants, Faendal, Whiterun guards it all holds out:  no bleed damage. (I suppose rank 1 of Limbsplitter could work - haven't tested - but if so, the damage would likely be so low as to be inconsequential.)

    I tested bleed damage with another battleaxe just to confirm that it wasn’t some strange player effect; a Skyforge Steel Battleaxe did cause bleed.  So this seems like a Wuuthrad-specific problem.

    It’s somewhat of a disappointment.  Without tempering, I wanted to squeeze every last bit of damage out of the thing. 

    Regardless, the “bright” side of this is that bleed damage tends to be quite low in any case.  My Skyforge Steel Battleaxe caused a grand total of 4 points of bleed after around 3 seconds.  So this seems to just give another reason to spend perk points elsewhere.

  • Member
    November 24, 2014
    I also hate that it can't be tempered along with those silver swords. I'd use em more if they could be improved.
  • Member
    November 24, 2014

    That would be a game-changer!  My suspicion is that offensive enchantments wouldn't get multiplied, but I'll put it up there to test.  For the sake of completeness, I guess I should also check whether poisons get multiplied against Elves (again, I doubt it, but we'll see). 

    Despite some of the unfortunate realizations, Wuuthrad *is* a really solid weapon for a non-Smithing character.  It's just that most characters who get it are likely warrior types who are Smithing, and who will be disappointed by the non-tempering option.  But it's easily better than my other weapons, even without taking the bonus damage into account.

  • November 24, 2014

    Wuuthrad is kinda gross.

  • Member
    November 24, 2014

    Not a fan of the decorative design, either, but I like the weapon design.

  • November 24, 2014

    I love the style Wuuthrad is in. I don't know what it's called, but I love it when faces are incorporated into weapons, armor, and architecture. 

  • Member
    November 24, 2014

    Agreed.  Well, no surprise there I guess. :) 

    It's not even so much the face, but just the idea of the thing that's awesome and badass. 

    For those of you who don't like the face aspect, it looks great when slung over your back along with a quiver of Ancient Nord Arrows.  The quiver nicely fits along the middle of the axe, hiding the screaming Elf.

  • November 24, 2014

    I find the very concept of the weapon gross 

  • Member
    November 24, 2014

    I don't mind the concept of using a face, I just don't like that face. It always seems like the ears become the axe blades (which is ridiculous to me), and the screaming expression looks like something out of a horror movie. I'd use it as a necromancer's weapon before a warrior's, I think.

    The designs you posted a while back were honestly much better, imo, Shor.

  • Member
    November 24, 2014

    Okay, that does sound pretty cool.