An idea for shield balance

  • Currently as most are aware, high skill duels usually involve outpacing your opponent, tricking them, etc… using footwork and feints. With less emphasis on parry > attack > parry > attack.

    This dynamic, good or bad, is thrown out of balance when shields are brought into play. While I understand how to bypass them, a good player (especially using third person) will essentially be invulnerable to my attacks. Against a player like this my only options are to trade hits, or combo feint (that is to attack and miss purposefully to lure the enemy in close to be hit by your unexpected combo).

    That only works once, maybe twice.

    Coupling this feint immunity with the strength and speed of 1-handers (not to mention some that are harder to parry like the warhammer, Falchion and mace) it makes anyone using a 2 hander at a significant disadvantage.

    How to balance this? Obviously shields need to be in the game.

    What I propose is to allow shields to function without having to be activated. For instance, if an arrow hits a shield on your back, or while drawn to your side but not held up, it is still blocked. Normal attacks would also be blocked like this.

    This is a fairly substantial buff, necessary in order to make the final change fair; that shields eventually break. Weaker, smaller shields would break quicker, of course. If this is accepted, I’m not sure how quickly they should break, although slower, stronger hitting weapons like the heavy axe, maul, etc… would break them quicker.

    Another easier option, although I enjoy the realism of shield breaking more, would be to make a kick disable the shield for a few seconds beyond the small stun. Kick would need to require more stamina, or have a delay between uses. In this state, blocking would turn into parrying, thus allowing them to be feinted against.

    I certainly do not want to make shields underpowered; so let’s hammer this out.

    What do you think?

  • @UnknownXV:

    if an arrow hits a shield on your back, or while drawn to your side but not held up, it is still blocked.

    This is already in the game.

  • I know, I was referring to it as an example to better explain what I meant, hence the “normal attacks would be blocked like this”.


  • I’m not calling you a liar or anything, but I don’t have this problem at all. I don’t think shields need to be changed because they are OP. Shield durability is a cool idea though, and from my experience with War of the Roses there isn’t much more satisfying then breaking the shield of a block spammer. Again, its not something the shield needs, but it is a cool idea. Also, I suggest switching to you secondary weapon if you really have this much of problem dealing with shields. Sometimes big slow weapons just aren’t fit for the situation.

  • To note, I have no issue dealing with most shield users in public matches. Frankly, most are too aggressive and don’t understand they need to aim the shield too.

    Against a skilled opponent though, mechanically speaking I don’t see how I can get a hit in. Certainly I will make more mistakes, since they can feint against me, than they will make first.

    Feint immunity with no genuine downside (as long as you’ve practiced using a 1 handed weapon) isn’t very balanced imo.

    Were you talking about having no issues when facing off against high-level duelers?

    I admit, I am biased towards balancing the game more in a 1v1 sense, but I don’t feel that this would make shields that bad in team fights either.

    And also using a faster 1 hand weapon does help, but it’s still not balanced considering how powerful feinting is. Especially with 1 handed weapons.

  • I couldn’t say for sure that i go up against high level duelers, but i do duel a lot, and on a variety of servers. Also, i play man at arms, and i assume you play knight or vanguard. Its pretty easy for me to get in really close and reach around a shield.

    Like i said earlier, i don’t have a problem with shields, and i don’t feel that they are OP. Durability is still a cool idea though.

  • Yes a MaA is the only class that can deal with shield users due to speed and dodge. Even someone in third person would have trouble dealing with a good MaA.

    But how is it balanced that only one class has a mechanically fair chance against a shield user? Doesn’t seem like it to me.

  • Well I only really play MaA and if MaA is the only class that can deal with shield users effectively then my opinion is invalid. Good luck with your shield problem anyway though.

  • Breakable shields cannot be feasibly balanced. If a shield’s durability is low enough that it can be broken in a duel, shields are worthless in team situations but still give a huge advantage in duels. If a shield’s durability is high enough that you can take on several decent opponents in a row without the shield breaking, shields are still overpowered in general.

    I would prefer shields losing the ability to attack immediately while the shield is held up, so that heavy shields have to actually face the penalty of shield drop time which is currently their only “weakness” over smaller shields. In addition, shields should drain more stamina when held than they do now for heavy shields, since heavy shields drain far less when blocking attacks. Projectiles should also drain stamina when hitting a shield, and either slow your momentum or knock you back; practically no effect from a shortbow arrow to a tower shield, but quite a bit from a heavy crossbow bolt to a buckler.

    And finally, to bring these stamina changes all together in a meaningful way and make you actually feel some pressure when using a shield, shields should lose a chunk of stamina when bringing them up; obviously just a bit for bucklers and more for heavy shields. If you’re low on stamina and bring your shield up and drain your stamina down to 0, you can only hold your block for the duration of a normal parry, and then go into a recovery period where you cannot raise your shield again.

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