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View Full Version : How vastly inferior is Sword and Shield



Boromirs
04-17-2010, 10:58 PM
At second glance it doesnt seem that much inferior, apart from the obvious damage differences. But really it seems like a 20% difference at most, what is your experience on the matter?

Hobgoblin
04-17-2010, 11:00 PM
you lose either a lot of damage compared to thf or you lose a lot of attacks compared to twf. havnt crunched the
numbers, but if you are right on 20% then that is a lot to lose.

hob

Quikster
04-17-2010, 11:08 PM
Its a huge difference. Try it and see.

TWF line gives extra attacks on top of the normal offhand attacks you miss.

THF gets big damage, more attacks and glancing blows.

If you are going to use DA or BS you will get glancing blows s&b with the thf line in the future.

Jasimine
04-17-2010, 11:26 PM
Yes, so long as update 5 goes along as planned with giving dwarven war axes and bastard swords glancing blows based on the THF line sword and board will hopefully be closing the gap a little bit and limit the damage difference to 5 to 10 % difference.

However remember that even with glancing blows sword and board still will not get double damage from power attack or the 1.5xbonus from strength that true two handed fighting gets and will be behind attacks compared to two weapon fighting.

Also the glancing blows from these two weapons will only work with sword and board or just sword and nothing else. You won't beable to do TWF with glancing blows.

BlackSteel
04-18-2010, 12:15 AM
at the early levels its not a huge difference; depends on what weapon you're wielding, as a holy weapon will do nearly as much additional damage as ur base attack. As you progress in level tho, and THF/TWF pick up their feats; and base damage grows, the difference between SnB and the other two styles becomes quite large.

a shield tank would be lucky to do half that of a real DPS character. (60% would be optimistic) Consider a great melee will be doing 500-600 DPS agaisnt crittable opponents.

Gunga
04-18-2010, 12:33 AM
Very vastly.

Missing_Minds
04-18-2010, 01:03 AM
As vast as T's "Vast and Mysterious". yes, that much.

Guildmaster_Kadish
04-18-2010, 01:06 AM
Probably about 40% less DPS than TWF or THF, depending on the class.

Bart_D
04-18-2010, 01:24 AM
Yes, so long as update 5 goes along as planned with giving dwarven war axes and bastard swords glancing blows based on the THF line sword and board will hopefully be closing the gap a little bit and limit the damage difference to 5 to 10 % difference.This sounds pretty good, where would i look for official information on this? I can find information on update 4 but nothing about upcoming update 5...

Squiddy
04-18-2010, 04:05 AM
The thing though is that you are trading damage for AC when using a shield. It will always be less for this reason. you can't effectively tank while dual wielding as your DR will never be the same as a good shield, even with the two weapon defense/blocking feat. It will work, but it won't be as good.

To expect the damage output to be the same, or better is probably not what you should be considering. If you have a sword and board build, AC is your priority over max DPS. you are looking at a tank build rather than a straight out DPS build.

On a side note I am worried that what happens with my two handers will happen now to my dwarverns and bastards. I find that I get splash damage only when facing toe to toe against an opponent. It takes 3-4 swings sometimes for it to realise it should be giving me actual damage rather than splash only.

Noctus
04-18-2010, 04:55 AM
At second glance it doesnt seem that much inferior, apart from the obvious damage differences. But really it seems like a 20% difference at most, what is your experience on the matter?


It starts out not that big, but grows with the levels you take. Once you could have GTWF or GTHF (Level 11-12) the damage difference is roughly 50% between a typical Sword&Board and a typical DPS build.

No, im not kidding or exaggerating.

Jasimine
04-18-2010, 04:57 AM
This sounds pretty good, where would i look for official information on this? I can find information on update 4 but nothing about upcoming update 5...

Just now heading to bed so I'll look up the link for you tomorrow, I found it in the fighters forum in a thread discussing bastard swords. One of the dev's put out a puzzle concerning update five and the solution to the word puzzle was discussing bastard swords and dwarf axes getting the glancing blows.

I'll look for the link tomorrow like I said, I'm off to bed before I face plant on the keyboard.

Daigaioh
04-18-2010, 04:58 AM
up side of having a shield.. you don't get tripped when actively blocking also some other Mob attacks don't work.
Oh over run doesn't happen.
which is about as annoying as it gets.

Garix
04-18-2010, 05:04 AM
I'll save Jasimine the time :)

http://forums.ddo.com/showthread.php?t=241300

Boromirs
04-18-2010, 07:25 AM
It's not balanced though imho. even with a shield all you are getting is some paltry AC, really not a whole lot if you look at it from the standpoint of 80~90AC, which is mandatory for epic levs probably more... further you get the DR only when actively blocking so you're stuck with shield bash which is basically not a skill at the moment.

hmmm.. question. Does trip work while you are actively shield blocking, or for that matter the cleave skill or really any skill work while actively shield blocking or are you doomed to just fan your opponents with your shield? Wooh! thanks for that breeze mate, it was getting hot in this dungeon!

sirgog
04-18-2010, 10:25 AM
For most builds, you are trading about 40% of your damage output in order to gain... nothing at all. (Except the ability to shield block). Clarification - yes you can shield block without a shield, but you mitigate more damage with an actual shield in your hand.

For very, very well equipped Defender builds, you are trading 40% of your damage output to gain a significant amount of damage mitigation - maybe as much as 60-70% less damage taken. Sometimes that's a tradeoff worth making.

krud
04-18-2010, 10:56 AM
For most builds, you are trading about 40% of your damage output in order to gain... nothing at all. (Except the ability to shield block).

For very, very well equipped Defender builds, you are trading 40% of your damage output to gain a significant amount of damage mitigation - maybe as much as 60-70% less damage taken. Sometimes that's a tradeoff worth making.
Pretty much sums it up. Sword and board is pigeonholed into those two PrEs. If you are going sword and board and do not build for that high AC/defender line, then you are losing out on a huge amount of dps for no real gain at the higher levels.

Deathseeker
04-18-2010, 11:09 AM
The devs should pay serious attention to a thread like this. We have a new player asking about a significant playstyle in the game and the overwhelming player perspective is that the playstyle is barely effective (defender PrE's and that's about it).

This should be a very high priority to address to expand the options in the game. It's been an issue for 3 years. DA and BS change is a tiny step in the right direction, but that's really more about fixing those weapons in a way that helps S&B (2 birds with one stone). Not a bad solution, but they need a lot more of them to fix the problem.

Of 4 fighting styles (TWF, THF, Ranged, S&B) two are balanced reasonably well, one is useful on basically 2 builds (AA Rgr 20 and Kensai AA) and the other is tied to 2 defender PrE's.

Seems like fixing the those two so they were applicable to a lot more builds would open up a world of possibilities.

Autolycus
04-18-2010, 11:19 AM
IMHO, there is no balance. With the inflated mobs, they have made obtaining a meaningful AC pretty much impossible (especially for poor newbs like me) unless you have a lot of very high end gear.

What's worse to me, is the current mechanic strongly discourages variety in builds since they are not effective, so you're left with only a very few "desirable" builds.

Lehrman
04-18-2010, 11:25 AM
At second glance it doesnt seem that much inferior, apart from the obvious damage differences. But really it seems like a 20% difference at most, what is your experience on the matter?

The % you lose will be determined by the quality of your build. Compared to a 2hander build a 60 str melee loses at least 30 points per swing (.5* str + extra 5 from 2handed power attack) while a 30 Str melee loses only 10. Generally, I would say you lose about 25-35% off of a well built/geared melee. This is about the same % loss as being a sword and board instead of a 2 weapon build. Neither of these accounts for weapon effects.

Autolycus
04-18-2010, 11:28 AM
The devs should pay serious attention to a thread like this. We have a new player asking about a significant playstyle in the game and the overwhelming player perspective is that the playstyle is barely effective (defender PrE's and that's about it).

This should be a very high priority to address to expand the options in the game. It's been an issue for 3 years. DA and BS change is a tiny step in the right direction, but that's really more about fixing those weapons in a way that helps S&B (2 birds with one stone). Not a bad solution, but they need a lot more of them to fix the problem.

Of 4 fighting styles (TWF, THF, Ranged, S&B) two are balanced reasonably well, one is useful on basically 2 builds (AA Rgr 20 and Kensai AA) and the other is tied to 2 defender PrE's.

Seems like fixing the those two so they were applicable to a lot more builds would open up a world of possibilities.

Well said!
+1 rep

Edit: I must have started posting before you replied.

Boromirs
04-18-2010, 11:39 AM
It's really not the fault of D&D, the problem is in the fact that the devs pick and choose certain aspects of D&D to the game thereby unwittingly destroying the delicate balance D&D mechanics has. For instance, did you know that in D&D with the tower shield you can actually outright not be attacked at all using the shield as total cover, an immense benefit when tanking.

Understandably, this is a MMO computer game and not PnP, but adding bonuses or even the total cover for tower shields is not too difficult to do. I can imagine if a player character activates total cover all further attacks to him sounds in a CLaNk noise and all of the attacks turn up 0 damage. Of course, he couldn't retaliate or even do shield bash and he'll be at walking speed.

Anyhow, sword and shield is a staple in D&D currently toward the upper levels from what Im reading sword and boarders just don't exist. Thats a pity.

Angelus_dead
04-18-2010, 11:45 AM
hmmm.. question. Does trip work while you are actively shield blocking, or for that matter the cleave skill or really any skill work while actively shield blocking or are you doomed to just fan your opponents with your shield?
Cleave does work while you are blocking, and indeed it can be pretty effective for a solo warrior to run through a dungeon gathering up 10+ monsters chasing him, block in a corner, and then slowly cleave them all to death. That is actually nearly the most useful thing you can do with the Cleave ability (which itself is a broken game design, as was recently discussed (http://forums.ddo.com/showthread.php?t=243316))


For most builds, you are trading about 40% of your damage output in order to gain... nothing at all. (Except the ability to shield block).
Everyone already can shield block; the advantage of S&B is you don't need to push your shield icon explicitly when it's time to block.

Contrary to the expectations of many newbies (and the original designer intention), shield blocking in DDO isn't really something you do intermixed with attacking. It is a separate mode you enter when you want to resist enemy attack for a prolonged period.

Angelus_dead
04-18-2010, 11:46 AM
It's really not the fault of D&D, the problem is in the fact that the devs pick and choose certain aspects of D&D to the game thereby unwittingly destroying the delicate balance D&D mechanics has.
That is completely untrue. D&D does not possess a delicate balance of combat features, and for a D&D fighter to hold a shield would be pretty foolish.

Some people assume the D&D rules are balanced, but that has been well documented to be incorrect.

krud
04-18-2010, 11:49 AM
Cleave does work while you are blocking, and indeed it can be pretty effective for a solo warrior to run through a dungeon gathering up 10+ monsters chasing him, block in a corner, and then slowly cleave them all to death. That is actually nearly the most useful thing you can do with the Cleave ability (which itself is a broken game design, as was recently discussed (http://forums.ddo.com/showthread.php?t=243316))
A side note, smite evil/divine sacrifice should also work as cleave does; generating a main hand attack when actively shield blocking, instead of a shield bash.

Boromirs
04-18-2010, 12:19 PM
That is completely untrue. D&D does not possess a delicate balance of combat features, and for a D&D fighter to hold a shield would be pretty foolish.

Some people assume the D&D rules are balanced, but that has been well documented to be incorrect.

Ehhh depends on the type of game you play, as the shield bearer you are probably the most important member of the party in my game sessions as you are essentially a walking wall due to the full cover rules. Further, AC is important in PnP although apparently in DDO it's not. Also, ranged attacks as well as ranged magics gets reduced to a pittance for a shield user. Further on top of all there are optional martial rules that further makes shield usage invaluable. I would actually say it's the exact opposite in PnP, twohanded weapons lag behind the shield user.

Oh BTW, can anyone give a list of stuff that works while shield blocking?

1.) Cleave works. And can you combine cleave with stunning blow?
2.) Smite Evil/Divine sacrifice
3.)???

Angelus_dead
04-18-2010, 05:07 PM
Ehhh depends on the type of game you play, as the shield bearer you are probably the most important member of the party in my game sessions as you are essentially a walking wall due to the full cover rules. Further, AC is important in PnP although apparently in DDO it's not. Also, ranged attacks as well as ranged magics gets reduced to a pittance for a shield user.
As I said, I was talking about the D&D rules, not some other rules made up for your own game sessions.

This is the D&D rule on tower shield cover:
This massive wooden shield is nearly as tall as you are. In most situations, it provides the indicated shield bonus to your AC. However, you can instead use it as total cover, though you must give up your attacks to do so. The shield does not, however, provide cover against targeted spells; a spellcaster can cast a spell on you by targeting the shield you are holding. You cannot bash with a tower shield, nor can you use your shield hand for anything else.


I would actually say it's the exact opposite in PnP, twohanded weapons lag behind the shield user.
In D&D the twohanded weapon user is often also using a shield at the same time.


Oh BTW, can anyone give a list of stuff that works while shield blocking?
1.) Cleave works. And can you combine cleave with stunning blow?
2.) Smite Evil/Divine sacrifice
The things in your list do not really work while shield blocking. Instead you can press the icon while blocking and the special attack will proceed as normal, meaning that you stop blocking for the brief time.

HumanJHawkins
04-18-2010, 05:50 PM
At second glance it doesnt seem that much inferior, apart from the obvious damage differences. But really it seems like a 20% difference at most, what is your experience on the matter?

It's about 50% at end game. Sword and board get 5 attacks per round. TWF gets 10. There may be a few things to mitigate the difference, but it's pretty huge.

On top of that, you have to consider what you are getting in the trade off. In many cases, you are getting absolutely nothing. AC does nothing for many types of magical attacks, Marilith overrun, etc. And even where AC does matter, it still only matters if you have a high enough AC that the monster is missing you once in a while. (Contrary to what some will say, that is often the case, so AC is worth something.)

But a further problam is typical group dynamic. You are usually going to have a healer throwing mass cures and/or heals. Unless you have 1000 HP, the heals are going to fill you up. So, if you are putting out less damage because you hope to take less, this will be wasted effort a lot of the time. It doesn't do anyone any good for you to get a mass cure while you are full of hit points. But the cleric has to throw that mass cure, because the guy next to you is down to 25%. So you might as well take the damage and just do more on offense.

It doesn't always work that way, and a well rounded defensive toon (Evasion, good saves, high HP, and high AC) can be a real asset. But the trouble is, you can have all that while TWF. So Sword and board is almost always a bad idea.

Boromirs
04-18-2010, 09:44 PM
As I said, I was talking about the D&D rules, not some other rules made up for your own game sessions.

This is the D&D rule on tower shield cover:
This massive wooden shield is nearly as tall as you are. In most situations, it provides the indicated shield bonus to your AC. However, you can instead use it as total cover, though you must give up your attacks to do so. The shield does not, however, provide cover against targeted spells; a spellcaster can cast a spell on you by targeting the shield you are holding. You cannot bash with a tower shield, nor can you use your shield hand for anything else.


In D&D the twohanded weapon user is often also using a shield at the same time.


The things in your list do not really work while shield blocking. Instead you can press the icon while blocking and the special attack will proceed as normal, meaning that you stop blocking for the brief time.

Shield cover isn't a rule thats made up by my gaming group. No attacks can't go through it unless you attack from the side or rear or the attack bypasses the shield somehow...read the rule on total cover.

" Total Cover

If you don’t have line of effect to your target he is considered to have total cover from you. You can’t make an attack against a target that has total cover. "

-SRD

In terms of magic, you can target the shield, this is in reference for targeting purposes like setting up the epicenter of a fireball or centering some AoE spell ...it doesn't mean however that fireball will do anything to the person behind the total cover. However, a line of sight spell that doesn't directly damage you but kills you in a non-physical "magical" way will still affect you as per description, like a finger of death or a petrification ray, since you are targetting the shield and any living thing touching it.

Boromirs
04-18-2010, 09:51 PM
It's about 50% at end game. Sword and board get 5 attacks per round. TWF gets 10. There may be a few things to mitigate the difference, but it's pretty huge.

On top of that, you have to consider what you are getting in the trade off. In many cases, you are getting absolutely nothing. AC does nothing for many types of magical attacks, Marilith overrun, etc. And even where AC does matter, it still only matters if you have a high enough AC that the monster is missing you once in a while. (Contrary to what some will say, that is often the case, so AC is worth something.)

But a further problam is typical group dynamic. You are usually going to have a healer throwing mass cures and/or heals. Unless you have 1000 HP, the heals are going to fill you up. So, if you are putting out less damage because you hope to take less, this will be wasted effort a lot of the time. It doesn't do anyone any good for you to get a mass cure while you are full of hit points. But the cleric has to throw that mass cure, because the guy next to you is down to 25%. So you might as well take the damage and just do more on offense.

It doesn't always work that way, and a well rounded defensive toon (Evasion, good saves, high HP, and high AC) can be a real asset. But the trouble is, you can have all that while TWF. So Sword and board is almost always a bad idea.

Seriously needs to be fixed. Historically, throughout all civilization and cultures a shield was synonymous with that of a soldier, many modern badges and military insignias incorporate a shield even to this day. But whatever... I mean technically in the real world those greatswords and greataxes (halberds) were mainly developed to unhorse mounted knights. You would die real fast if on some ancient battlefield you were rushing out with a unwieldly giant two handed sword and the other guy was armed with a body shield and a shortsword.

rezo
04-18-2010, 10:40 PM
Most for the players in the game don't want to use shields after all they cried on the forums and in game about how S&B tanks didn't take that much damage so the dev's bumped up the mobs BaB and hp. THF and TWF is very good but it makes Clr. and FVS heal bots in this mmo. If you look at pnp Clr.s are far more deadly in combat because they can melee and caster spells. In DDO DPS is important but, AC is still good if you are running quest at your lvl ( epic don't count). :cool: :cool:

PS. If don't believe that ac is important play PD then tell me, lol.

Angelus_dead
04-19-2010, 12:13 AM
Shield cover isn't a rule thats made up by my gaming group.
Yes, but if the group is following the D&D rules then to shield block and take no other actions is a real waste of a charater's turn. He instead could be doing something to contribute; imitating an inanimate cube doesn't help much.


Seriously needs to be fixed. Historically, throughout all civilization and cultures a shield was synonymous with that of a soldier
Historical correctness has little importance, but it's true that DDO would be improved if shield usage in combat were more helpful. That has been a well-known design flaw for multiple years.

My own two main suggestions to improve shields are to add bashes to the standard attack sequence with Imp Shield Bash, and to add a Shield Deflection feat for 25% damage on a successful reflex save. But more changes than that would be needed... such as something to help solve the "tank problem" (the fundamental offense-defense inequity in multiparticipant combat)

theb
04-19-2010, 05:21 AM
Rather than change the whole mechanic, individual shields could be given specific abilities to make S&B viable. Abilities such as deflecting a percentage of non-damaging offensive spells back onto their caster, splashing a percentage of heals beyond what was required to heal the carrier onto random party members, giving DR based on AC, and implementing procs like stun for shield bashing would make shields interesting.

Visty
04-19-2010, 05:33 AM
one is useful on basically 2 builds (AA Rgr 20 and Kensai AA)

you forgot the frenzied berserker AA