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  1. #1

    Default Shield Enhancement Bonus - How Important is it?

    I just hit level 6, and I've been running around with my Battered Marketplace shield for too long, so it's time to craft a replacement or two. I notice I can fit better prefixes and suffixes on a shield if I, for example, craft it as a +1 instead of a +3. But is this a good idea? Is a low level toon giving up something significant by reducing the + enhancement on their shield by 1 or 2? What if I were to craft a shield with no enhancement (so I could fit an even better prefix on there)?
    FYI, when I summon an earth elemental, it's not a "he," it's a "she." And her name is Pebbles.

  2. #2
    Community Member Jingwei's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2011


    Shield based bonus to AC is pretty irrelevant. AC is sorta irrelevant, in that trying too hard to get more of it usually gimps your character.

    If you want to increase you defenses, look for Bracers of the Wind (permanent blur, from cannith challenges) and the cloak of invisibility (10% incorporeal, stacks with blur, from Tempest Spine).

    But things to think about crafting onto your shield:

    Invulnerability (DR 5/ Magic) this is useful until around level 10.
    Melee Alacrity, if you can't craft the flexible version (which is quite high in crafting levels) it'll only go on things you hold in your hands.

    Tactics bonuses (stunning, sundering, etc) if you use any tactical feats.

  3. #3


    I was thinking of putting evoker focus 1 and moderate fort on it, but that would require a +0 shield. (Or would it be better to put the fortification on a ring and go with invulnerability on the shield? hmmm) Does the plus add to prr at all?

    Btw, which article on ddowiki actually explains shield mechanics? The "shield" article doesn't cover this.
    FYI, when I summon an earth elemental, it's not a "he," it's a "she." And her name is Pebbles.

  4. #4
    Community Member Ralmeth's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2006


    Going for a higher enhancement plus is a viable option for a shield, because increasing your AC will reduce the amount of damage you take. AC not being useful is only applicable in epic elite quests...but while leveling up it can be helpful. Having said that, if there's another effect you'd really like on your shield, it's not the end of the world if you take a few less points of AC.
    Aryk Stoutheart, Vanguard Paladin
    Grolyn Stoutheart, Divine Disciple Cleric
    Rindyl Twirliblade, Elven Swashbuckler

  5. #5
    Community Member fmalfeas's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2009


    There is one time when shield + really matters, though probably not that much on EE. If you're an Eldritch Knight, there's an enhancement that gives you temporary HP based upon your shield's +, and refreshes every 3 seconds. Bigger the plus, more temp HP, and you're that much harder to kill without a huge spike of damage, or a massive swarm of enemies.

    When I first looked at that enhancement, I was skeptical, but I tried it out and was rather impressed. But, once again, wasn't on EE, so I wasn't taking 400 damage a hit.

  6. #6
    Community Member Sianys's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Marietta, GA


    There's a lot of factors to take into account, really, regarding your shield. What type of shield it is will affect its base damage, damage reduction, and so forth. Sometimes the material it's made of will tweak those numbers. I'm assuming you're straight-up melee fighting with no arcane spellcasting; if you're not (meaning: I have a fighter 11/wiz 1 character currently, doing kensei/ek enhancements), then you also need to look at its percentage for arcane spell failure, as well.

    What this all means is that, if you take your shield type into account, you'd be 'okay' sacrificing a +2 or +3 in favor of a +1 and prefix/suffix. For example: most shield types that drop at lower levels are wooden or steel (regular 'base' shield), sometimes darkwood, and mostly the light and heavy shields, with the occasional buckler. (Tower shield drops seem uncommon for all my melees, although they do happen.)

    This is your starter shield:

    So if you want to craft something better than this, I would suggest starting with your base heavy shield; your base damage would be the same, but it would improve in shield bonus to AC (your starter is 2, the heavy shield is 3) and added blocking Damage Reduction (your starter is 2, the heavy is 3). If you can get your hands on darkwood or densewood, then all the better.

    This is the table I'm looking at for these numbers, btw:

    Honestly, if you can actually find or buy the kind of shield you want, you might be better off; when you're crafting at low levels, it can be tough to get the prefixes and suffixes that show up in the loot drops for your level. But if you're just looking for a little boost, then craft away. I personally go back and forth between shopping AH & second-hand shops and crafting stuff myself, because sometimes you know exactly what you need and you just can't find it in stores, or vice versa.

    As for where to put moderate fortification: if you can find it on *anything*, go for it. But if you have a choice, I'd actually try to find something with a blue augment slot and put moderate fortification in it. Moderate fort is a minimum level 4 augment, so it'll go on any gear that's ML4+. It would also mean you can throw more "stuff" on your item, getting the most out of it possible.
    Altoholic, barrel-smasher, flower-sniffer, 90% solo-er.
    Khyber: Sianys (28 Tempest), Heldre (20 Warpriest); Argonessen: Thalys (16 Ranger), Alansa (23 Mechanic); Sarlona: Liilana (28 Knight of the Chalice); Thelanis: Berda (18 Kensei/2 Eldritch Knight); Ghallanda: Rahelle (12 Wiz/2 Rogue ); Cannith: Dhia Dhuit (17 Druid)

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