Viking Shield in melee

  • Note: This post is not concerned with the shield throw; only its melee usage. I’m not sure what the majority opinion of the Viking shield is, as so far I haven’t seen much talk in-game or on the forums. Personally I think it’s underwhelming so I’d like to see two minor buffs: larger diameter and shorter recovery after bash.

    Historically the Viking shield is quite interesting. One can see that it’s an agile design, and I would love to see that emphasized a bit more in DW. It was also used very differently than the simplified game system (held squarely in front), but then again so were most others. That’s okay with me; I don’t need the system to change.

    As for diameter, I’ve noticed a visual bug. When spawning with a 2-hander, the Viking’s shield rests on his back. And it’s big. But once the player equips their 1-hander, the shield becomes substantially smaller. Doth mine eyes deceive me? If not, sad face. Was it larger before and then miniaturized, perhaps to make the Spartan’s more imposing? I want to use that big one on my back, not its tiny clone.

    What’s the proper size then? In watching videos on the web, I found one in which Roland Warzecha illustrates an important design aspect: when a shield of particular size is pressed into an opponent’s armpit, his sword cannot reach around. Therefore a shield less than 80cm diameter is not ideal for Viking combat style (80-90cm is most common in archaeological finds). It’s hard to judge by game character proportions, but the in-game shield appears to be perhaps 65cm. It spans hip to shoulder. I’d really like it to span at least mid-thigh to shoulder. Right now it feels puny, and simply unfit for the body of our Nordic champion.

    Bash recovery time: I’d just like a few milliseconds shaved off. I like the wind up speed. After bashing it feels a tad too long to start an attack, but certainly don’t reduce it so much as to invite stun abuse. Currently the opponent has plenty of time to block the follow-up even after a strong stun, so a minor tweak would help a shielded Viking maintain the pressure. Maybe it’s just me but it seems like other classes can follow a kick faster than Viking can follow a bash.

    I wonder how many others even put much time into shield fighting… I’ve encountered far more dual wielders and hammer / skeggox (to no surprise). Whaddya think folks?

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