I've discovered a ton of surprising things that you guys should at least try once:
-Halberds off-hand uses the vertical strike, it's also faster then the normal on-hand strike. This goes for every halberd type weapon, even Halberd and Giant's Halberd. This makes it extremely good as an off-hand choice as its fast speed and long range make it good for finishers.
-Scythes off-hand use the R2 attack when used, its long reach and decent recovery, plus the huge distance it covers per swing makes it a good finisher, especially with Lifehunt as you'll have the chance to max out the bleed bar as well as do huge damage.
-Curved Greatswords off-hand are actually pretty fast, the attack is diagonal and do huge damage as well as have a very quick follow-up. They are a little harder to use, but can be worth it when you get used to it.
-Straight Swords off-hand have the fastest recovery of any weapon, hit or miss. Balder Side Sword off-hand is an amazing way to start a combo as it's fast and has long reach on top of decent damage. I'm not exaggerating when I say that a straight sword off-hand may be the most viable off-hand weapon in this game.
-Hand Axe is fast and can stun through quite a bit of poise, it's good for surprising people.
-Spears off-hand are extremely viable. Being one of the better choices for off-handing, they have fast, long-ranged attacks that do good damage and can surprise people with their range. I'd recommend using the Demon's Spear as it has split damage meaning you can use it on turtles fairly well while still doing decent damage when you do actually get a hit in. It's also tied for being the longest spear in the game, making it very useful for kiting with it then going in and doing high damage with your on-hand weapon.
-Katanas off-hand definitely wouldn't be my first choice. While they have good range and semi-high damage as well as increasing bleed build-up, they're not much better for anything other than looking cool. They have vertical strikes, making them almost useless for stopping a backstab fisher (one of the things that makes duel-wielding so good). They also have a large recovery time, so they are generally useless for damage output. Generally, if you're going to off-hand a Katana, your best bet would be to pair it with another bleed weapon as well as strictly use the Chaos Blade as it has the most bleed build-up of the Katanas. A Curved Sword would be a better choice for general use as it has horizontal strikes with faster recovery and less weight.
-Rapiers off-hand are good for Leo pokes against poiseless people, the parry is also pretty discreet so people will literally be walking right into the parry without even seeing it. You can also use it as a quick "hit and run" weapon to get a quick strike in during your enemy's recovery.
-Daggers off-hand are really only good for the Parrying Dagger, it's too short to actually be viable. However; Priscilla's Dagger can be paired with a bleed weapon for devestating results.
-Curved Swords are one the better off-hand options, fast attacks, fast recoveries, decent damage, and can parry. It's a pretty common duel-wielding weapon, and for a good reason. I'd recommend using these as a starter duel-wielding weapon if you've never tried it before.
-Ultra-Greatswords make amazing off-hand weapons as you can surprise people by randomly pulling it out and hitting a 400 on them, it's also pretty fast and very easy to bait with as there is a small pause before the swing. Don't forget you can also dead-angle with it.
-Great Hammers off-hand have great slam attacks that are good for tight corridors and surprise attacks. It also puts your enemy on the ground so you get a wake-up advantage.
-Whips off-hand have better tracking than their on-hand versions, as well as being able to parry. Even better, they can not be parried like most other off-hand weapons, and have bleed and poison versions for status build-ups. One of the better off-hand weapons, and quite common like the Curved Swords.
-Gauntlets are fast and light, but that's generally all they have going for them. They're outclassed by Daggers, which have faster, horizontal attacks and more variation. Unfortunately, the Claw' off-hand attack is somewhat useless, while the Caestus is weaker than a Dagger for the same weight, and the Dragonbone Fist is too heavy compared to its damage output. Generally not the best choice-- but they can be put to good use in some situations.
-Greatswords have good damage with a pretty decent attack speed, while sacrificing a bit of recovery speed. They can be put to good use due to horizontal swings with high range, making backstab fishers easier to deal with.
-Greataxes are a bit more advanced and harder to use, but it's well worth it to get used to them. They do huge damage as well as having high poise break, good range, and a decently fast attack. They have horizontal attacks, making them good for backstab fishers, and are great for baits. Overall a good weapon, but hard to get used to.
I'm excluding Bows, Crossbows, Greatbows, Catalysts, Talismans, and Shields simply because it's generally assumed that these go well in the off-hand.
This is what I've found from duel-wielding. Just my opinion, but you should at least give it a try.
Last edited by Dibsville on Wed Aug 21, 2013 6:15 pm; edited 1 time in total