I've only been 2H for 2 days, but after doing some theorycrafting, especially after the Lethargy nerf, I'm very worried about the class' ability to maintain / build momentum vs aff/momentum classes who can spam para/clumsi/lethargy on top of dodge, etc. I was already going to make this post about rebounding but the lethargy change gives it extra weight too as that also hugely affects our ability to build momentum.
For reference, when rebounding is up, we lose a ton of momentum. I've found that dealing with Rebounding is a massive problem, because Carve simply loses us a ton of momentum, especially vs opponents who can shrug off the mediocre damage it deals (which doesn't seem to scale very well, by the way).
Against Romaen, here are the facts (tested with 19 str as this is closer to normal):
Carve (L3 Bastard sword) - 15% HP damage, 1 venom, zero limb damage, 1.9 seconds, is punished heavily if rebounding is dropped before it lands
Splinter(L3 Warhammer) - 19% HP damage, zero affs, zero limb damage, also 1.9 seconds, is also punished if it fails
Handaxe(L3 handaxe) - 9.5% HP damage, 1 venom, 20% limb damage, 1.7 seconds, is not punished in any way if rebounding drops (doesn't respect nausea parry bypass)
Alternatively, we can sit and do nothing and wait for them to attack (horrible option really, especially if they realize you're doing it and punish you for it by just not dropping rebounding).
My first thought here is that, Handaxe is far better than Carve, and Carve is far better than Splinter (most of the time). Handaxe really shouldn't be the best option on a Paladin 2H class for multiple reasons. It maintains HP pressure about 75% as well (per time) while also doing massive limb damage, while ignoring rebounding, and giving a venom, in significantly less time than either Carve or Splinter.
In addition to the handaxe point, all three options just really suck. Rebounding feels much more painful to deal with on 2H vs other knight classes because we are a momentum class and don't really have slow-prep to fall back on - and also our attacks are a lot slower in general.
This problem is amplified against classes who have excellent hindrance, as it's already nigh impossible to stack against para/clumsi spam as it is, even without having to deal with rebounding (and that's with both L3 weapons).
Another point is that for most weapon-wielding classes (affected by rebounding) there is a tradeoff by using it in the form of letting us track your asthma affliction, which on 2H is irrelevant. I think classes should have some reason to think twice about using rebounding vs 2H as they do for every other weapon class. Currently there is zero downside to it, and maybe there should be.
My other thought is that Shield should slow us down, but rebounding shouldn't hurt this much.
I propose a few ideas that could help with this:
1) just make Carve and Splinter do more damage, or scale more with character or weapon stats, specifically on rebounding (not shield), to help with high-end artied players vs high-end artied players (a pretty common scenario tbh). More damage would at least maintain health pressure somewhat.
2) Have Carve/Splinter afflict with an extra aff when successful (clumsiness or a random fracture make sense)
3) Simply make Carve and Splinter faster, balance-wise. At least match handaxe at 1.7s (handaxe would still be better though).
4) Add a battlefury stance that lets us Hew (etc) through rebounding, specifically one that still gives a fracture. (Carve is basically hew through rebounding without a fracture, but this just doesn't really work)
Aside from the above suggestions, it also just doesn't make sense to me that Carve and Splinter are punished if rebounding drops in the time between issuing the command and rebounding dropping. This basically just punishes people with high latency for not living close enough to the server to avoid this. No high-end player with 40ms ping is going to face this issue, but with my 250-350ms ping it's a constant problem, and there is really no combat-balance reason for this punishment to exist. Carve should do full damage whether or not you hit rebounding (you're hitting them with a big-ass sword, either way). I could easily argue that it should do more damage to someone without rebounding, not zero (since it gives no fractures or limb damage, and a single venom if using sword).
Huge disclaimer - it's entirely possible I'm overlooking something here. If someone shows up and makes me look dumb, then I'll gladly thank them, and move on - but so far nobody has been able to explain why I shouldn't just be handaxing or pausing for rebounding when it's up, just due to how awful Carve and Splinter are.
As a sidenote, 2H just got massively nerfed by the change to Lethargy, and it was mentioned by @Makarios (just tagging to be polite) that some incremental tweaks may be needed to balance this out. I think this might be a good example of such an incremental tweak, as right now Paladin is already in the dumps and it feels bad getting nerfed on what might be the worst class in the game.
At the end of the day, 2H is a momentum class. Other momentum classes have 11-15s TTK right now, so I don't see why 2H needs to be sitting at 30-40s TTK against easy matchups, and almost no momentum against heavy hindrance classes at all (again, especially after Lethargy nerf), so it's time to give 2H some speed buffs methinks. (serpent affs per second is almost double 2H, despite needing less affs to secure a kill than 2H, and doesn't need HP pressure at all, just as a point of comparison).