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View Full Version : Shield Tactictians - viable shield users outside raids



FrozenNova
06-14-2011, 01:52 PM
The shield updates some time ago did little to endorse the use of a shield outside tanking raid bosses, although the bonuses were pretty substantial. I think this is something of a shame - shields represent what could potentially be a good route for some added variation within the melee crowd.

Shields are a defensive option, used to mitigate damage. However, the 5-25% physical damage resistance and the only rarely useful bump to AC almost never justifies the subsequent loss of something like half total damage output. Another factor to consider would be the fun to be found in the playstyle. A passive defense boost, if anything, is less interesting than taking damage in the first place.

Make the role of shield users in a group that of the active damage mitigators, that of tacticians.
The people you'd expect to see using shields in this manner would be fighters and paladins, most often those with stalwart or -of siberys defender.

Shield users should have additional tactics options both active and passive, similar to 'stunning' blunts. This is heavily dependant on the shield in use - a well equipped shield tactician should have shields in numbers approaching that of his swords, both being integral to his job.

Shields ought to have a handful of new enhancements, both on named and random shields. These would take effect when shield bashing - including the 20% chance with improved shield bash.
Shield tactics effects with dc's are unaffected by the tactics enhancements that exist at current.
New shield enhancement examples:

Overwhelming shield: This large shield can be used to overwhelm enemies, allowing you to attempt to knock foes down during a shield bash. DC: 12 + shield enhancement bonus + strength mod. Strength save.

Shield of Unbalancing: This specially weighted shield can be used to unbalance an enemy, rendering them less able to handle their weapons. Reduces attack bonus by 5 for a short period of time. DC: 12 + shield enhancement bonus + strength mod. Reflex save. Doesn't stack.

Guardbreaking Shield: This serrated shield can be used to pierce a target's natural defenses, leaving them more vulnerable to attack. 20% additional physical vulnerability for a short time. DC: 12 + shield enhancement bonus + strength mod. Fort save. Doesn't stack.

Shield of Snaring: This shield has been specially formed to snare your opponent's attacks. Decreases attack and movement speed by 50% for a short time. DC: 12 + shield enhancement bonus + strength mod. Reflex save. Doesn't stack.

Feat changes:

Shield Mastery: Also adds two to the DC's of your shield tactics effects.
- Active portion: Dazing bash: Dazes one enemy for five seconds. No save. Attacks do not break daze. 20s Cooldown. Requires shield.


Imp. Shield Mastery: Also adds three to the DC's of your shield tactics effects (total +5).
- Active portion: Breaking bash: Attempts to knock down all enemies in a regular cleave area. DC 15 + shield enhancement bonus + strength mod. Strength save. 20s cooldown. Requires shield.

Enhancement changes:
Both Defender lines add 1 to shield tactics dc's per tier.

Paladin: Righteous Fury: Cowers nearby living enemies. DC: 15 + shield enhancement bonus + charisma mod (boosted by feats and defender enhancements). Will save. 2 AP - requires DoS III, Improved Shield Mastery. 120s Cooldown.

Fighter: Greater Shield Bash: Improves shield bash rate to 30%. Requires: SD III, Improved Shield Mastery, Improved Shield Bash.

What do you think?
These effects will take place every shield bash - and dc's with all boosts are pretty good. The goal would be to make a decent shieldbearing paladin or fighter a worthwhile replacement for their maxdps counterparts, while also being fun to play without trivializing anything.

While I'm here - I would love a shield crafting system. We have greensteel weapons and accessories, dragontouched armor - some form of unique shield crafting (including suitably impressive models) would be a great addition.

elraido
06-14-2011, 01:59 PM
I like the idea. The only concerns I would have would be that of Paladins. They are so feat starved it could be hard for them in implement that into their builds. Also, when people say shield bash, are they talking about blocking and attacking with their shield or are they talking about it procing like a doublestrike but the shield does damage? If it is the first option, then no. If it is the second option it would be nice.

They really do need to make shield crafting though. They wonder why people always want to go TWF or THF? There are almost no options for a shield user out there beyond Leviks, Epic Kundarak, and Epic Swashbuckler.

FrozenNova
06-14-2011, 02:39 PM
I like the idea. The only concerns I would have would be that of Paladins. They are so feat starved it could be hard for them in implement that into their builds. Also, when people say shield bash, are they talking about blocking and attacking with their shield or are they talking about it procing like a doublestrike but the shield does damage? If it is the first option, then no. If it is the second option it would be nice.

They really do need to make shield crafting though. They wonder why people always want to go TWF or THF? There are almost no options for a shield user out there beyond Leviks, Epic Kundarak, and Epic Swashbuckler.

Mhm, the paladin starvation does make it difficult. The shield line is three feats - I attempted to make it decent enough to contend with THF - paladins with lower base damage don't get a huge amount out of THF in any case. They can still easily grab a two hander when damage is needed, so it's certainly workable.

When you take Improved Shield Bash, every melee attack you perform has a 20% chance of also proccing a shield bash. The effects I outlined would take place on both blocking bashes and the 20% bash chance. Shield bashing itself does effectively zero damage, so it's nice to have the option.

All three shield feats would be mostly mandatory to get the most out of this sort of character.

CanuckWisdom
07-27-2011, 11:14 AM
There should be a shield bash stun. Costs a feat, requires active block+bash, allows for +50% dmg during stun.

There should also be fighter/paladin enhancements to enhance shield bashes. Either increase the DC on above ^, or the % chance of passive shield bash (requires imp. shield bash).

I don't understand why, but AC apparently isn't going to be part of this game, so they need to find another way to make defensive fighting more palatable.

I think the changes to the shield mastery feats were a really good step in the right direction. If they could just go a tad further, it would be wonderful.

psteen1
07-27-2011, 11:28 AM
i like a lot of these ideas. Shields certainly need more variety. The 5 second unbreakable un-savable daze seems like too much though.

With cannith crafting you can make shield that you couldn't before- shields can hold any enchantment that a weapon can hold. Stuff like stunning or seeker are pretty nice on a shield.

Corwinsky
07-27-2011, 12:12 PM
All these active effects seem to follow the spirit of the way shield users worked in EQ.
The reason why it was good to have these builds in that game was to interrupt spell casters through an active bashing launched at the right time.
Although the stun didn't even last 1 second it made it very useful as the spell was simply lost.
You actually had to pay attention to the fights as a melee not like here where you mainly just click the auto-attack button and relaunch the active enhancements (hast/dmg boost, whatever) once in a while when their timer is off.

Having something similar here could indeed make S&B users useful (and accepted) in epic quests.

An issue with most of the suggestions above is that it should work for fighters but probably not for paladins that have to cater to many attributes and therefore would probably not have the Str (i.e the DC) for the effects to activate.

Hafeal
07-27-2011, 12:14 PM
I believe shields need the kind of improvements you suggest. I play a 'flavor' build Fighter now - sword and board w/ shield feats. I enjoy it quite a bit, but, I have to say players often look at this character strangely or ask about my build. DDO has left their imagination at the curb when it comes to making shield play more effective.

Part of this is also play style. In slower, tactical play, shields can be seen with great benefit. With the video-game, zerg nature of most groups, however, DPS is king because the efficiency of just wacking something 'til its dead is faster than sitting around watching shield blocking & bashing.

More viability to shields would lower 2HF and 2WF usage - and this would be a good thing, imo. And, in my mind, there was a reason the greatest fighters and knights in history used shields - they worked and worked well. :)

masterzzan
07-28-2011, 04:46 AM
i think of shields as defensive first , so i would add an option to defend some one near you. like target a friend and while you block and close to him you block some of the damage\effects HE take. thous a shield baring fighter would be sought by casters\archers to help them quest with a higher level of safety to them.
team work you know.

Asmodeus451
08-13-2011, 07:20 AM
as it stands right now, shields can be crafted via Cannith Crafting with ANY enhancement applicable to Main Hand or Off-hand weapons.

that includes Bursts, Sneak attack, and any other damage procs.

Mithral also counts as Silver for DR breaking purposes.

my S&B Fighter currently has a Ccrafted +5 Holy Burst Mithral Tower Shield Of Bashing he uses with a Bsword and the Imp Shield Bash feat.

he does great damage, but he'd do even better if the 20% shield bash proc were higher.

so i'm all for some way of increasing the bash proc rate,either through another feat (greater Sheild Bash, Superior Sheild bash), or better yet an enhancement line


that alone would go a long way toward improving the viability of S&B toons IMO

Mister_Peace
08-13-2011, 07:40 AM
i think of shields as defensive first , so i would add an option to defend some one near you. like target a friend and while you block and close to him you block some of the damage\effects HE take. thous a shield baring fighter would be sought by casters\archers to help them quest with a higher level of safety to them.
team work you know.

In PnP there's a spell called Shield Other, which diverts half the damage your target would receive to you. I think the code wouldn't be too difficult, as AoV has a somewhat similar ability.

Ralmeth
08-13-2011, 09:39 AM
Mhm, the paladin starvation does make it difficult. The shield line is three feats - I attempted to make it decent enough to contend with THF - paladins with lower base damage don't get a huge amount out of THF in any case. They can still easily grab a two hander when damage is needed, so it's certainly workable.

When you take Improved Shield Bash, every melee attack you perform has a 20% chance of also proccing a shield bash. The effects I outlined would take place on both blocking bashes and the 20% bash chance. Shield bashing itself does effectively zero damage, so it's nice to have the option.

All three shield feats would be mostly mandatory to get the most out of this sort of character.

I like the idea of making S&B more useful / viable in more situations. However I'll echo the concern that a Paladin DoS does not have 3 feats available to take all of the shield feats. As it is, on my current Pally main I'm currently running with improved shield bash and don't have room for the shield mastery ones.

Asmodeus451
08-13-2011, 10:16 AM
I like the idea of making S&B more useful / viable in more situations. However I'll echo the concern that a Paladin DoS does not have 3 feats available to take all of the shield feats. As it is, on my current Pally main I'm currently running with improved shield bash and don't have room for the shield mastery ones.

honestly if you're tanking Shield Mastery Feats > Improved Shield Bash

the damage mitigation from those feats is passive, so you can still keep swinging away. with Divine Righteousness, Intim, and some decent Threat gear your hate gen should be good enough that you wont miss the 20% SB procs

Alabore
08-13-2011, 10:30 AM
There should be a shield bash stun. Costs a feat, requires active block+bash, allows for +50% dmg during stun.


If memory is serving me well, between U5 and U9, characters used to be able to shield stun/trip/sunder, if they bashed while blocking.

I loved doing that with my dwarven fighter: shield stunning them with my shield, then striking with my dwarven axe for an auto-crit.
Felt so good...

:rolleyes:

FrozenNova
08-13-2011, 10:57 AM
I like the idea of making S&B more useful / viable in more situations. However I'll echo the concern that a Paladin DoS does not have 3 feats available to take all of the shield feats. As it is, on my current Pally main I'm currently running with improved shield bash and don't have room for the shield mastery ones.

There are three THF / TWF feats. There are three shield feats.
Granted - a non-human paladin cannot fit all of
Toughness
Combat expertise
Power Attack
Improved Critical
Tower Shield
3x Combat style.
However, a human one can, as can a splashed one. Paladins have always been low on feats, that's nothing special or new.

It's just a choice between THF, TWF and Shield, which was mostly the purpose of the suggestion.

Kromize
08-13-2011, 03:18 PM
Shield bashing ought' to be mixed in with the attack chain just like a second weapon is for twf. As well as have an inherent chance to stun the enemy.

Shields should be able have a chance to deflect some spells, such as fireball.

There should be an enhancement that gives a 50% chance to reflect away light based spells like nimbus of light.

And other enhancements like that absorb a % of elemental damage.

:)

FrozenNova
08-13-2011, 03:27 PM
Shield bashing ought' to be mixed in with the attack chain just like a second weapon is for twf.


It is.


As well as have an inherent chance to stun the enemy.

See original post. =P...

Kromize
08-13-2011, 04:11 PM
It is.



See original post. =P...

I seem to have missed the update where they added that. :/ It certainly isn't in the visual attack chain tho. Pretty lame.

oberon131313
08-13-2011, 04:27 PM
I seem to have missed the update where they added that. :/ It certainly isn't in the visual attack chain tho. Pretty lame.

Might wanna double check that. When you are attacking you will often see the character flinch and then shield bash. It looks a bit odd depending on which part of the chain, though.

Asmodeus451
08-13-2011, 10:23 PM
I seem to have missed the update where they added that. :/ It certainly isn't in the visual attack chain tho. Pretty lame.

ir requires a Feat: Improved Shield Bash

Corwinsky
08-23-2011, 02:36 PM
There are three THF / TWF feats. There are three shield feats.
Granted - a non-human paladin cannot fit all of
Toughness
Combat expertise
Power Attack
Improved Critical
Tower Shield
3x Combat style.
However, a human one can, as can a splashed one. Paladins have always been low on feats, that's nothing special or new.

It's just a choice between THF, TWF and Shield, which was mostly the purpose of the suggestion.

Even for a human one it's tough. As a 1 handed weapon tank you would want at least to use the best ones available so your incite multiply a somewhat valuable base damage so need to use an extra feat for either khopesh or bastard sword.

Plus if you use a shield and intend to be the tank you're expected to have lot of hp. Tanks at the minimum take toughness twice.

You're also forgetting that paladins, specially S&B that want to tank usually go for high intimi as well and don't have a huge str so they take:
- bull headed
- weapon focus: slashing

So we're talking of 12 feats to have just 1 full line of combat style (not even 1st tier of another one) while paladins have only 7 or 8 feats available to them.
Cutting all of an extra toughness, weapon focus, bull headed and exotic prof in khopesh or BS, no rank in THF/TWF (and needing to be a human) doesn't seem reasonable just to have the 3rd level of shield feat.

Corwinsky
08-23-2011, 04:40 PM
Btw my current paladin feats are:
Toughness x2
Power Attack
Tower Shield
Shield Mastery
Bull headed
Weapon focus: slashing
Bastard sword

so no
- combat expertise: don't have 13 int anyway. paladins are starved in attr points. Of course if I find a +4 int tome I will keep it (will be flamed by wiz but then... I don't cry when they keep a SoS from von6). Would not select combat expertise though until they fix AC for epics.
- impr critical: My 2 main weapons have keen: a min2 GS BS and a eAGA. Will be more a problem if I get an eSOS. Weapon focus: slashing might go then.
- THF: this is valuable only in having a high kill count as it increases damage of glancing blows and therefore more chance of being the one doing the last hit on a group of trash mobs. Has no significance on actual DPS against bosses...

lethargos
11-04-2011, 10:04 PM
Nice ideas but youre dreaming of 4th edition.