The Shortsword is the classic Man-at-Arms' and Archer’s secondary weapon, and even available for the Vanguard, offering good range and reasonable damage. It is a well balanced secondary weapon without many drawbacks.
One of the unique features of the Shortsword is that stabs does slightly higher damage than an overhead swing. Vanguards and Knights have less damage resistance to piercing strikes than slashes, so stabbing is the recommended attack choice for majority of situations. This is complemented by the weapon's fast attack speed, passable range, and the innate accuracy boost of a first person perspective that archers often use. Currently, it is a three-stab-kill independent of class, making it a extremely reliable weapon.
The overhead slash is still good against Archers and Men-at-Arms who are weak against slashing attacks as well as catching an opponent off guard.
In spite of its description, the shortsword is one of the few weapons that is available for every class except knight, and is reliable in almost any situation.