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Claver
08-04-2010, 11:01 AM
I'd like to invite the community to consider a different approach to making S&B viable. Instead of upgrading the character using S&B, upgrade the monster attacks so that S&B becomes a better option vs. those attacks.

IDEA: Improve/modify monster attacks with S&B designed to counter those attacks

Some possible ideas for this are listed below. This is meant to be a launching point for conversation, not final changes to the game

Make attacks from large monsters such as wing buffets from dragons or club attacks from giants more prone to knock players down and send them flying far from combat. Balance can still partially be used to determine how quickly a player gets up but it won't prevent knock down or being knocked away by big monster attacks. Instead, if you shield block, you won't be knocked to kingdom come. If you have a shield equipped, you will be pushed back but are less likely to fall and won't be pushed back as far.



Significantly increase the effectivenesss of stunning blow attacks from big monsters like Ogres. Characters with shields equiped would have better saves vs. those effects, characters in shield block mode (particularly with tower shields) would have dramatically resistant saves


Modify breath weapons (hell hounds, dragons, etc.) so that they couldn't be dealt with entirely by elemental resistance effects. Make 25% of the breath weapon untyped damage and 75% elemental damage. Passive shield blocks 10% of the untyped damage; active shield blocks all 25% of untyped damage



Give more low level monsters Improved Critical feats then add a stacking fortitude bonus (+5% - +15%) for having a shield equipped depending on the size of the shield


Changes such as these will have the side benefit of promoting ranged combat as well as S&B. Plus, dungeon encounters will feel more varied as the game play versus large monsters will differ more from normal and small sized monsters


...I realize some of these proposals might take a lot of work on Turbines part. Again, I'm not looking for analysis on the specifics of the proposals as much as the larger idea of enhancing monsters to make sword and board better, as well as your suggestions on how attacks (monsters, spells, traps) could be altered such that having a shield is preferable than having 2 weapons in certain situations.


Please Discuss

articwarrior
08-04-2010, 11:15 AM
I'd like to invite the community to consider a different approach to making S&B viable. Instead of upgrading the character using S&B, upgrade the monster attacks so that S&B becomes a better option vs. those attacks.

IDEA: Improve/modify monster attacks with S&B designed to counter those attacks

Some possible ideas for this are listed below. This is meant to be a launching point for conversation, not final changes to the game

Make attacks from large monsters such as wing buffets from dragons or club attacks from giants more prone to knock players down and send them flying far from combat. Balance can still partially be used to determine how quickly a player gets up but it won't prevent knock down or being knocked away by big monster attacks. Instead, if you shield block, you won't be knocked to kingdom come. If you have a shield equipped, you will be pushed back but are less likely to fall and won't be pushed back as far.


Dragon Buffets do knock down players alot in VoN 6, giants already have knock down effects on their stomp attack, I dont believe that their club should knock you down because if this were real life, you would dodge the club by ducking but you get clipped by it, as for shield blocking to stop it, no, because all the shield would do is stop damage and if you're shield blocking the club/wing buffets would knock you over senselessly, dont forget, shields weigh about 30-50lbs and can tip you over with ease


Significantly increase the effectivenesss of stunning blow attacks from big monsters like Ogres. Characters with shields equiped would have better saves vs. those effects, characters in shield block mode (particularly with tower shields) would have dramatically resistant saves


I do believe ogre/creatures with the giant subtype should have more stunning blow attempts because it seems they stun themselves more then they stun the players. As for the shields, shield block already stops trip and stun. As a metter of a fact, all blocking stops trip and stunning blow attempts.

Modify breath weapons (hell hounds, dragons, etc.) so that they couldn't be dealt with entirely by elemental resistance effects. Make 25% of the breath weapon untyped damage and 75% elemental damage. Passive shield blocks 10% of the untyped damage; active shield blocks all 25% of untyped damage


I must admit, this would make a great addition. However it would make increased lag due to extra numbers being displayed on each player using a shield, and would be harder for the dev's to throw into the game.


Give more low level monsters Improved Critical feats then add a stacking fortitude bonus (+5% - +15%) for having a shield equipped depending on the size of the shield


I dont think giving a lvl 4 ogre or even kobold an improved critical feat a good idea, we dont want everyone playing S&B style. But I do think shields should give an additional FORTIFICATION bonus, not fortitude (I think you meant fortification)

Changes such as these will have the side benefit of promoting ranged combat as well as S&B. Plus, dungeon encounters will feel more varied as the game play versus large monsters will differ more from normal and small sized monsters


...I realize some of these proposals might take a lot of work on Turbines part. Again, I'm not looking for analysis on the specifics of the proposals as much as the larger idea of enhancing monsters to make sword and board better, as well as your suggestions on how attacks (monsters, spells, traps) could be altered such that having a shield is preferable than having 2 weapons in certain situations.


Please Discuss

Just my 2 sense, comments in italic and bold

Angelus_dead
08-04-2010, 11:23 AM
Significantly increase the effectivenesss of stunning blow attacks from big monsters like Ogres. Characters with shields equiped would have better saves vs. those effects, characters in shield block mode (particularly with tower shields) would have dramatically resistant saves
An old suggestion I had was for shields to increase saving throws against melee special attacks. Blocking would increase it more, but not provide the 100% immunity it does now.


Modify breath weapons (hell hounds, dragons, etc.) so that they couldn't be dealt with entirely by elemental resistance effects. Make 25% of the breath weapon untyped damage and 75% elemental damage. Passive shield blocks 10% of the untyped damage; active shield blocks all 25% of untyped damage
Well, switching those attacks to include untyped damage would be bad. But here's two related suggestions I had:

1. Shields which include energy resistance have not only the regular 3, 10, 20, or 30 resistance equivalent to the Resist Energy spell, but also an extra 1, 4, 8, or 12 resistance that stacks with it. That extra resistance would double while blocking.

2. A new feat Shield Deflections which requires BAB 12, and which allows you to take 25% damage on successful Reflex saves while holding a shield. (Optionally it could be made a bit more complicated)


Give more low level monsters Improved Critical feats then add a stacking fortitude bonus (+5% - +15%) for having a shield equipped depending on the size of the shield
That would be unfair to other sources of AC bonuses, and have minor effect anyway.


Again, I'm not looking for analysis on the specifics of the proposals as much as the larger idea of enhancing monsters to make sword and board better, as well as your suggestions on how attacks (monsters, spells, traps) could be altered such that having a shield is preferable than having 2 weapons in certain situations.
Instead of trying to buff monsters or their attacks so that shields are more important, just work on making AC more important, and also making shields themselves more helpful (or less detrimental).

My wishlist:
1. Make the spread of meaningful AC wider:
a. Quasi-iterative attack bonus from high-BAB monsters
b. Monsters toggle PA, Precision, and CE during combat.
c. Nerf Fortification into an AC bonus against confirming crits and sneaks.

2. Shield Deflection feat, so that holding a shield can improve AOE survivability.

3. The existing Shield Bash feats gain a toggle option to allow an offhand attack percentage chance as part of your regular S&B animation, reducing the DPS loss for holding a shield.

4. Give one of the shield feats a passive effect that shares some Shield AC bonus with other targets of the enemy you attack.

RobbinB
08-04-2010, 01:24 PM
An old suggestion I had was for shields to increase saving throws against melee special attacks. Blocking would increase it more, but not provide the 100% immunity it does now.


Well, switching those attacks to include untyped damage would be bad. But here's two related suggestions I had:

1. Shields which include energy resistance have not only the regular 3, 10, 20, or 30 resistance equivalent to the Resist Energy spell, but also an extra 1, 4, 8, or 12 resistance that stacks with it. That extra resistance would double while blocking.

2. A new feat Shield Deflections which requires BAB 12, and which allows you to take 25% damage on successful Reflex saves while holding a shield. (Optionally it could be made a bit more complicated)


That would be unfair to other sources of AC bonuses, and have minor effect anyway.


Instead of trying to buff monsters or their attacks so that shields are more important, just work on making AC more important, and also making shields themselves more helpful (or less detrimental).

My wishlist:
1. Make the spread of meaningful AC wider:
a. Quasi-iterative attack bonus from high-BAB monsters
b. Monsters toggle PA, Precision, and CE during combat.
c. Nerf Fortification into an AC bonus against confirming crits and sneaks.
2. Shield Deflection feat, so that holding a shield can improve AOE survivability.

3. The existing Shield Bash feats gain a toggle option to allow an offhand attack percentage chance as part of your regular S&B animation, reducing the DPS loss for holding a shield.

4. Give one of the shield feats a passive effect that shares some Shield AC bonus with other targets of the enemy you attack.

I'm totally for an adjustment to how fort works, but I think barbarians would need some inherent bonuses to counteract their lower AC's, otherwise they would get their asses handed to them by any hard hitting boss. And guard-based melee would become suicide-based melee.

jwdaniels
08-04-2010, 01:26 PM
Change shield bash so it procs like any other offhand weapon, rather than requiring you to swing with your shield instead of your weapon.

Tholar
08-04-2010, 01:36 PM
Completely nerf or remove blocking without a shield.

Gives shields passive DR, and improved DR when blocking.

I like the idea of making shield bash a proc, instead of something you do only when blocking.

Alabore
08-04-2010, 03:34 PM
Make attacks from large monsters such as wing buffets from dragons or club attacks from giants more prone to knock players down and send them flying far from combat.

/partially signed.

Attacks from larger monsters should knock down and *back* more.
I don't know how feasible it would be - hint: Dungeon Master, Amiga, 1987, featured knockback damage - but it would reinforce immersion.

IMHO, being able to block, parry or even deflect a club larger and heavier than your character is, breaks suspension of disbelief a bit.
Just think about the opening scene from LotR, with Sauron carving a path through soldier ranks.

Dodging would work better vs larger than character monsters.
Shield should provide more stacking DR, or at least an opening in attacks.
When you successfully parry a foe's attack, you break its combo and create an opening - maybe negating DEX bonus, for potential sneak attacks, or providing a bonus to crits.

Aesop
08-04-2010, 03:42 PM
Offense
1. Improved Shield Bash should add Shield Bash attack hooks into the normal Attack Sequence. Perhaps only a percent chance like TWF has.

1a. Perhaps have the Shield Proficiency Feat actually grant the base percentage and have Improved Shield Bash add 15-20%. This percentage should obviously not pose a real threat to TWF in terms of overall DPS but should give S&B a firm improvement. Aiming for between 40-60% as the top end of passive Shield Bash possibility.

2. Offensive Shields or a crafting option to improve a shields offensive stats. Personally I'd perfer the crafting method.

2a. Crafted additions to shields in the form of Shield Spikes that can be added to a shield via the Stone of Change. These improvements need not be large benefits, but should add a viable weapon like augmentations to shields.


Defense

1. Passive Shield Blocking. Very Rarely in combat would an opponent stand still with his shield up and just hope the opponent would keep swinging away... Shield cambat is more fluid than that. Since defense is a priority of shield combat and AC is only one part of the defensive option Shield combat should incorporate applying Blocking DR to some of the incoming attacks.

1a. Shield Proficiency could grant a base of 10% chance to "Block" a successful attack applying the Shield Blocking DR (proficient Tower Shield use could provide a 15% chance). The Feats Shield Mastery and Improved Shield Mastery could improve this by an additonal 5-10% each. The Defensive shield based PrEs could even grant additional benefits of 5% per tier.



These suggestions would enhance both Offense and Defense of the S&B style which is sorely lacking in overall effectiveness. It should not be necessary (from a Fantasy game standpoint) for any style focused in to be so significantly less effective in so much of combat than others.

For a game like this the character whatever style they choose to specialize in should be valid in the vast majority of the game. This goes for S&B TWF THF SWF and Ranged Combat of the various forms. All styles need to be equally valid choices to enhance the game as a whole and allow for different styles. (note equally valid does not = same). S&B needs better DPS to be valid in more of the game and its Defensive value is too low even then to balance out with the other styles (except possibly ranged... which needs an overhaul itself)


Aesop