A fix to the moderate usefulness of the shield + weapon combo

I have thought about it for a while, and…
…why don’t we just give the player an option to put the shield on his back on demand f.e. using the special attack key.
This way hammer + shield could turn into 1h hammer with the same attack pattern as 1h weapon and same/similiar damage profile.
Of course to not make the shield combo better than 1h variant without the shield, there would have to be some shortcomings - even with your shield on your back f.e. your dodge count, dodge range, stamina and maybe attack speed/dmg could be slightly lower (I mean, not everything at once has to be worse, just some things) - it’s all logical, because, well, lets face it, shield on your back is a bit clumsy and still weights a bit.

The above change would be rather simple to execute and would fix quite a few problems of shield + weapon combo, f.e. dmg vs boss/armor of shield + mace/hammer (right now it quite frankly is horrible at those tasks, in “shield on the back” mode it would be OK, not high, but OK), v. low mobility making clutch gameplay often impossible, low utility of shield vs chaos spawn - you better dodge cause shield won’t help you, when he grabs you and with dodge count and dodge range of shield, there’s a good chance it’ll happen.
It would give shield builds a lot more utility and versatility, and players would be rewarded by smartly switching between shield and shieldless mode - the more player decisions that matter, the more fun IMO.

2 Likes

I honestly disagree. When I pick a shield combo, I don’t expect it to do the same damage as weapon-only, it’s implied to be a defensive kit. The anti-armour damage really is disappointing a bit, but there’s 3 other people in the team, and it still has damage against armour anyway.

Besides, versatility is exactly what got the Beam staff hit with the nerf hammer. Apparently it’s intended design that you’re supposed to pick a role when picking a weapon.
I’d appreciate a strong all-arounder weapon, but I know damn well that there would be no point in using anything else at that point.

I can do anything a shieldbearer does, only way more effectively with 1h hammer or 2h hammer or axes etc. Generally shield is pretty much useless in its current state, even defensively it’s just bad cause dodge beats block in most situations. Current state of a shield is simply sad and even with added versatility it’ll still be inferior offensively to 1h weapons, it’ll nusthave a defensive versatility edge. Right now it’s just bad.

5 Likes

I’m enjoying the constant mass pushes. It’s fun an useful. I don’t mind not collecting circles at the scoreboard.
I wouldn’t mind a buff to them, since I take shields as often as I can, but even with bots, it’s nice to keep the horde on the ground, and safely sweep them up.
Though in retrospect I have to agree that against bosses it doesn’t protect at all, due to lack of dodge, and them just instantly breaking any number of shields, and that’s plain bad design. Upping the dodge count and distance would solve that, and by allowing the player to take more risks due to having dodge to fall back on, it would also slightly increase the offensive potential.

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I see it this way - 1 guy pushing is 1 less person doing effective killing. For horde clear I’ll take offensive player - WHC not only can plow through horde like John Deere tractor on steroids, but he also has thise nice knockback-teambuff ult that workd even better than IB’s, because WHC can delete a good part of patrol with his 12 pistol shots landing crit after crit. IB with shield may outsurvive whole party and then die due to 0 clutch ability, but he can really only stop the enemy from moving but not really lower the numbers. And he’s horrible vs bosses, here at least we agree.
Dead horde/patrol/monster > horde/patrol getting crowd controlled/boss getting alightly annoyed with horrible offensive output, because the additional time it takes to kill them is time when all kinds of bad things may happen.
Also my solution is very simple and wouldn’t really require a lot of work on FS’s part.
I understand that some people like to play with shield, but on legend I see shields extremely rarely and I have never really seen them as asset to my tea, more like a handicap - because it felt like playing with 1 player dead.

2 Likes

Shield should do what it says on the tin, be outstanding at blocking attacks - including boss attacks.

A block or push or bash with a shield should give the shield-bearer the off-balance trait for free. This would increase the usefulness of the shield-bearer in hordes too.

Also you should be able to block hooks and assassins from the front with a Shield without having to time it. If you’re holding block and an assassin jumps you from the front 90 degree arc, it bounces off the shield. Same with hooks.

7 Likes

That is a pretty common mentality in every game, to just stack dps and more dps, and forgetting all utility. I think it’s a waste of game mechanics, and very single minded. The shield’s pushes are effective enough to reduce risks to the party, since the enemy can’t attack during that time, and everyone can just keep shredding them in the face, instead of having to dance around.
Think of it this way: Instead of everyone being expected to dodge every attack in the best case scenario, you have one player watching your back, reducing the number of attacks incoming at all times. That plus the individual dodging abilities severely reduce the incoming damage to the party through the mission. It also potentially allows for the rest of the party deploying with more offensive weapons, thus making more weapons viable in a team situation.
The fact that not many people use shields is not a shortcoming of the shields, it’s failing to see utility beyond moar deeps.
I suppose buffing them can be one way to make them more popular, but something like a stagger counter at the end of mission statistics could also work.

2 Likes

I don’t agree with shield pushes utility. While shieldguy is busy pushing, he could be busy killing, and Kruber can pack a serious punch, with 2h sword or halber he can just remove the horde. iB Bardin is theoretically worse on offence, but his 1h axe, all 3 hammer options are deadly by themselves. Our little shield-pusher can’t do much on his own, and when team is reduced to 3 or even 2 guys, he just becomes pretty damn useless. He doesn’ reduce the number of enemies, he just delays them, which may acrually turn out catastrophic, cause the “controlled” enemy once out of control can join the horde at the worst moment possible. Dead enemy can’t do anything. With 2h hammer one can be slaying horde and controlling it at the same time, and also be pretty useful against pretty much everything. Only axe - shield combo sounds kind of viable, but I’ll take 1h axe for being vastly better at offence and defence any day. When I’m playing legend, it is painfully obviohs that shield-wielding types pretty much reduce the team to 3,5 men, because their offensive output is low (so I have to kill my enemies and then kill the enemies beating shield-pusher down) and no one needs “control” over horde while dodge dancing around groups of enemies.

Yeah shields definitely need a buff of some sort.

If it was up to me i’d do the following.

  1. Shields would be immune to disablers (hookrats and gutter runners) within their block angle while blocking. Additionally your character will automatically block all disablers within a 90 degree radius in front of you regardless if your blocking or not.

  2. Increase stamina for shields from 5 to 6. This will reinforce their defensive role even further.

  3. Increase shield push strength by 25%. Again increasing their defensive CC abilities.

  4. Monster slam attacks knock you back 50% less when blocking with a shield.

  5. Enemies can only break a maximum of 3 stamina shields with a single attack vs Shield users , so i.e CW, Monsters etc. Can’t annihilate your guard in a single strike anymore.

I think these buffs would make shields useful on the higher difficulties without making them OP.

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Well, even though I don’t like the shield gameplay overal and would like to see more versatility, I have to admit your ideas are pretty good from a perspecitve of a person who actually enjoys using shields. Anyway I’d simply love to see more choice and more interesting game mechanics in the future.

I’ll keep saying, though, the main issue with shields is that generally offence > defence and dodge > block. My idea doesn’t mean we can’t also change a few things to how shield itself works. I’m just giving an idea how to increase versatility/offensive output without completely redesigning the weapons.

Easy solution is to just give them normal dodge range and increase their damage a tiny bit. I agree they should block disablers as well.

2 Likes

Im sorry but im not a fan of OP’s proposal.
I agree that shields should get changed a little bit. Main reason for that is that weapons which are quite different from other weapons should just have some little unique gameplay elements and not only changed stats.
For example shields and fire weapons.
Getting up with some unique mechanics for shields is really not that hard in my opinion.
Of course the implementation is more work than just changing stats but they already did that with other weapons and i really think its worth the effort.
Most important for me is that these new mechanics don’t dump down the gameplay.

@RaNdOmKiLs666 i don’t wanna sound unpolite in any way.
This idear thou

is something i really woulnd’t like to see.
The fun with the specials in this game is that they can be beaten by skillfull actions (For example dodging). The abillity to auto block them sounds like the opposite of fun to me.

If instead you would be able to avoid packmaster by performing a shield push at the right time im totally sold. It’s a new usefull skill demanding, not overpowered mechanic. In situations where there is no room to dodge, shields would even have the upper hand against other weapons. And imagine how cool it would be if you could save allies if you push the packmaster at the right timing. The shield user is supposed to support his team after all isn’t he?

Another proposal. Haw about a charged shield bash could immidiately open a shieldvermins block?
Would allow for good teamplay if you open up the shieldvermins while your teamates can finish them of with bether armor piecing weapons.

I also really like this suggestion:

IF these mechanics end up making shields op i absolutely wouldn’t mind if there stats would just get tweaked a little bit. In the end i always take unique mechanics over stat changes.

Shields use a style of gameplay that other weapons don’t. That’s why I use them.

This mindset of “one person blocking/pushing is one person not killing, therefore shields are bad” is silly. You spend the same amount of time pushing and blocking with a shield as you do with any other weapon. The difference is that you spend a lot of time bashing, which is where a huge amount of the power of the shield comes from.

I think their killing power and utility is mostly in a good spot, though the suggestion about being more useful against disablers is interesting. I think some of the people who want to play the traditional ‘damage-sponge’ tank role would be happier if blocking an attack actually blocked it for other people, not just yourself.

Just because they have less offensive capability than other weapons (which itself is debatable) doesn’t mean they can’t be used offensively. A team with a shield can quickly and safely push into anything short of a boss because the shield user is constantly preventing enemies from even trying to do any damage.
If you spend all of your time blocking, you’re doing it wrong, and with the amount of CC shields are capable of, you never need more than one short dodge. Enemies aren’t swinging at you when you’ve bashed them all in the face.

It’s just a different playstyle. It’s one of the few weapon types in the game that has it’s own distinct personality. Other weapons should be more like shields in this respect, not the other way around.

Of course all of this is ignoring the shield and hammer (+mace?) because its moveset is just a bit too niche in a game where so many of the alternatives can do literally everything (and this is the real problem, in my opinion).

I want to love shields, but the fact that they take up like 90% of your screen and you cant see anything when blocking is a real inhibiting factor for them. Back in the day they were mildly useful for tanking ratling gun shots while someone else snipped it, but it’s honestly easier just to side dodge and counter fire at them

Less offensive power is debatable? Now that’s a good one. Let me explain something to you - I can strike while dodging all day long, I can’t strike while blocking, and bashing is extremely ineffective at dealing damage. Shields can deliver some punishment, but overal they are extremely lacking.

I understand the selfish need to feel all important and powerful behind a shield, but the sad truth is, shield users are usually only helping themselves feel good because a normal, effective player will just kill things way faster than they do, all the while being mobile thus being able to help the teammates in need - BTW with normal teams you are either mobile or being attacked from several direction, because squishy characters will dodge-dance around the groups of enemies, and not stay around you guarding you back. Also shield user staggering a bunch of enemies can’t really stop doing that, cause he’ll just create a floodwave that will add itself on top of already incoming enemies.
I have yet to meet an effective shield player that doesn’t simply lower the team’s overal effectiveness. And this is not a game where “defense” really pays off. This is a game about slaying rats. Current shield isn’t that good at it.

Enemies aren’t swinging at you when you’ve bashed them all in the face.

So one can bash several chaos warriors at the same time coming at you from forward 140 degrees? Maybe you can, don’t know. Haven’t seen that pulled off anyway. It clearly shows how broken shield is, if it has to have absolutely ridiculous amounts of stagger just to be used by 1 in 30-40 Bardin/Kruber players (and effective use is a whole different matter) - it doesn’t surprise me. When you lack offence and defence, and you want to balance weapon via buffing bash attack and push, you’ll eventually get to some crazy levels, because it’s damn hard to outweight all the shortcomings of this weapon set. They can buff it so it staggers everything on the map and it’ll still be a broken weapon because the whole idea behind it is rather bad.

I definitely would love to see an option to dispatch shieldvermin in a more skillfull manner, but limiting it to shield users via giving them even more stagger - I can’t say I love this one :). his IMO needs some kind of fun new gameplay mechanic, that allows player to get through the block via using skillful aiming and good timing. Right now even shooting them in the back with crossbow while invisible doesn’t work and that’s simply broken.

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I totally agree here. I already wrote my opinion about ssv’s in this post:

What i am basically suggesting is to reduce their overall block angle a tiny little bit and to drastically reduce their block angle during their attacks. I demonstrate in a video how that would work.

Now let’s say i am really lucky again and in a future patch ssv’s get actually changed in the way that i am proposing. Shields in that case would have the hardest time to get use out of this change because of their low dodge distance. So i would still suggest to give shields the ability to oben ssv’s quickly.
And if ssv’s stay like they are then having one weapon with a unique mechanic against ssv’s is still bether than having none :smiley:
I have to admit its not a extremly skill requiring mechanic but at least it allows for teamplay…

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In reality, shields area defensive tool first, and an offensive one second. They allow, among other tactics, constant defense, even while attacking. Unfortunately the game shields lack almost all of the defensive advantages their real-life counterparts have, and turn their use upside-down: They bring a bit more offensive options your toolkit, while not really providing anything defensively, and due to the general effectiveness of dodging and that some attacks simply cannot be blocked, actually lose there. Using a shield kit also reduces your effectiveness against many enemies, and particularly your damage output.

So I’d like to see the shields’ defensive options enhanced - a lot. As is, it has three distinct defensive advantages: extra Stamina (in reality, mostly useful for pushing, which you admittedly need to do a lot with a shield), a wide push/block angle (moderately useful, but with a little skill you can control even the lower angles well enough to not be really needed), and the unique property of being able to block Gunner fire (useful if you end up too close to a shooting gunner - always a mistake - and against Deathrattler; the only place where I often prefer having a shield). Minor advantages in exchange for reduction in dodge effectiveness and offensive capability. The first two cannot really be helped unless blocking in general is made more effective (a bad idea, I think, as it would likely promote a more passive playstyle), so the last one is what can be adjusted.

This goes in the right direction, at least with the active part, but would still be too strong (and again, would encourage sitting behind one’s shield passively). Tie this to Parry timing (but not the Trait itself, obviously) and it keeps the skill component and doesn’t let people hide behind a shield. Let shields block the damage from Bosses’ defense-piercing attacks, or at least part of it. Let us protect our face from Troll Bile and prevent blinding. And maybe, as someone else suggested, let us use the the shield to defend while using or charging certain attacks. I think these would give us a few more useful options to make up for what we give up, and actually give some unique stuff for shields to use.

Oh, and btw:

This was mostly already sneaked in: Elites actually do have a limit to their heavy attacks’ Stamina draining component, so at least with BCR and enough Stamina they can be blocked completely, without breaking one’s defense.

2 Likes

Yes, it is debatable. Offense doesn’t begin and end with taking hitpoints.

You seem to have it in your head that shields enforce a defensive playstyle. This couldn’t be further from the truth. They punish you if you try to play too defensively. In all the ways you describe.

Setting up scenarios that you think are going to be impossible to deal with doesn’t help anyone’s cause. It’s not like a bash is the only tool you have to deal with it.

Why the attitude? The truth is that sword/axe variants kill everything just as fast as any of the non-broken weapons and one of the things shields absolutely excel at is helping teammates in need.

Tt is not debatable. 1h weapons do the killing much faster, which is universally confirmed by end results.

kill everything just as fast as any of the non-broken

Nope. All Kruber weapons kill faster - especially vs armor they are superior.
And all Kruber weapons are more mobile. Similiar thing going for Bardin, even if the difference between 1h axe and axe + shield is lower, but Bardin has also 2h Axe, 2h hammer, 1 h hammer and dual hammers. All kill faster than shield combos.

and one of the things shields absolutely excel at is helping teammates in need.

When you have to quickly clear a horde, they don’t. I can move through horde by a combo of dodge dancing, pushing and killing. With shield you can of course push through, and then get surrounded and stabbed to death.
The shield has the advantage once you are actually reviving/protecting your teammate, he’ll be far from you in a matter of seconds if he has any common sense, though (because dodging and positioning is key).

But I won’t push my idea any further. It’s painfully obvious that shield crowd is not interested in actually killing the rats, they want to stand and bash and push the horde, while their team does all the hard and useful work :wink:

To be fair, most IB with shields I’ve seen, they normally just spam the flamethrower all game anyway. It actually does a better job at CC than the shield, even if it is super annoying.

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