Offhand Weapon skill
Offhand Weapon skill represents a characters ability to use a weapon in their offhand (left hand currently). It has been explicitly stated that this skill solely covers non-brawling weaponry, as brawling is considered to be a full body attack, without any sense of on- or offhand.
Offhand is often referred to as 'Dual Wielding' since one is capable of wielding a weapon in both hands and attacking with either one at any point in battle. The weapon wielded as offhand can be anything from a sword to a throwing dagger, including throwing with the off hand.
Spells and abilities that boost Offhand Weapon
Spells and abilities that decrease Offhand Weapon
Offhand attacks are a two skill contest, using 70% of your Offhand skill and 30% of the appropriate weapon skill. Likewise, the experience gained from attacking this way is also distributed 70/30.
However, the hybrid amount of skill used to attack will never exceed the user's normal weapon skill. While skill with the weapon can partially compensate for lack of offhand skill, expertise with offhand does nothing if you lack the skill with the weapon.
- Barbarians, if meeting the restrictions, can use Whirlwind to attack with both their primary and offhand weapons.
- Thieves can Backstab offhand, if holding a suitable weapon in the offhand.
The user's skillset placement determines the heaviest weapon they can use offhand.
- Primary Weapon: Heavy or lighter.
- Secondary Weapons: Medium or lighter.
- Tertiary Weapons: Light only.
Two-handed weapons cannot be used in the offhand.
It is not currently possible to parry with a weapon held in the offhand, although neither holding nor using a weapon in the offhand will prevent arm-worn shield use. Various GMs have indicated plans to allow for "Offhand Parry."
Dual wielding allows a fighter to hold a lower-skilled weapon in their left hand and a higher-skilled weapon in their right, parry is still counted against your right hand weapon so you count no penalty for training the lower-skilled weapon in your left hand.
A good strategy for Dual wielding is to carry a heavier weapon in your right hand and a lighter one in your left. This allows you to change off, if you find your attacks are taking too long to execute, you can use the lighter weapon to attack faster. If you find your attacks arn't hitting hard enough, you can use the heavier weapon to cause more damage.
Another method is to use the offhand for a thrown weapon. The command "throw left" will use the offhand weapon for the ranged attack. This allows parry with the primary weapon, or even shield blocking with a worn shield, at the same time as training the ranged weapon. Leaving off the left from the throw command, however, will toss your main hand weapon at the enemy.
Training at level
For those able to do so, the massive damage caused by offhand Whirlwind will make it an effective means of training, as will BACKSTAB.
The best way to backtrain Offhand Weapon Skill is to use the character's most skilled weapon, guild restrictions allowing, and hunt the most difficult creature that you are able to hit. Though you will learn little to nothing of the weapon skill, the fact you are using 30% of your best weapon will allow you to hunt much higher, and receive more experience, than you would using a lesser weapon.
- Using <Brawl Attack> LEFT will no longer use or teach Offhand Weapon skill.