Shield reform proposal discussion


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Slime Squisher

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Post Tuesday, 6th November 2012, 12:38

Shield reform proposal discussion

Shield skill seems to be ok for spellcasters and shooters, and this could be ok because historically tower shields were used by crossbowmen to hide behind while reloading the massive weapon.

But what about melee shield bearers? I'm trying here to make some adjustment without do too many of them.

Main problem: shields become less useful the more hits are targeting the character

Proposed solution: with increasing SH skill, characters become more and more able to judge which blows to block with the shield, letting go glancing blows that are likely to be absorbed by amour. In game terms, SH is not checked against if maximum damage of the hit after AC calculations does not exceed a percentage of max HP (let's say 10%, adjusted for SH skill). Special cases may be adjusted for certain brands (not blocking exploding at all, blocking needles and posion-branded regardless of damage, if the projectile is branded, block it to be on the safe side).

Rationale: if a yaktaur and a kobold are firing respectively bolts and darts at you, you won't trying to block darts at all if you aren't going to be hurt by them, even if the kobold fires first.

The mathematics involved can be adjusted as well if need be, and a percentage progression for SH skill can be written down (at low SH skill you're going to block anything anyway), eg. 0 SH: you try to block 100% of incoming attacks, 1 SH you block anything which is going to hurt you, at skill 27 you block only major threats -say something over 20% HP - unless there's only one opponent).

This change is going to show some synergy between Armour and Shields skills.
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Post Tuesday, 6th November 2012, 13:33

Re: Shield reform proposal discussion

I think this would not even be noticeable. For single monsters the stronger attacks are already the first ones, so in many situations this is already how it works.

Also it would be very difficult to implement. Attacks are handled in sequence, so if the kobold shoots first the game doesn't even know that the yaktaur is also going to shoot. Overall I think this idea is by far not good enough to justify the huge effort that would be involved.

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Post Tuesday, 6th November 2012, 14:13

Re: Shield reform proposal discussion

Galefury wrote:Also it would be very difficult to implement. Attacks are handled in sequence, so if the kobold shoots first the game doesn't even know that the yaktaur is also going to shoot. Overall I think this idea is by far not good enough to justify the huge effort that would be involved.


Who talked about order? I stated that the (automatic) choice would be done based on damage potential, not on order.
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Post Tuesday, 6th November 2012, 14:20

Re: Shield reform proposal discussion

So against a single attack, the more skilled you are, the less likely you are to block it, unless it's high damage. That seems very counter-intuitive.
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Post Tuesday, 6th November 2012, 14:40

Re: Shield reform proposal discussion

galehar wrote:So against a single attack, the more skilled you are, the less likely you are to block it, unless it's high damage. That seems very counter-intuitive.


With this proposal it IS counter intuitive, there can be special cases whe you face a single opponent. A skilled warrior would not block an off-hand punch if it was his only block, it would wait for the axe-swing, even if the block would not occur because it misses.
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Post Tuesday, 6th November 2012, 14:53

Re: Shield reform proposal discussion

The thing I've missed is the thing where shields are broken, honestly. OK, so they're a little underwhelming compared to 2-handers, especially in the post-game. But they're useful to a lot of characters -- physical attacks are always worth thinking about, they can provide useful resistances, and training to remove (or at least reduce) the penalty for a the smallest usable shield is a pretty small cost for most races.

I think that if there was just a reasonable chance of finding a buckler outside of Elf, plenty of people would spend at least part of the game with one. Yeah, you might drop it when you find your Big 2-Hander of Ass-Kicking, but that can happen pretty late in a 3-rune game.
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Post Tuesday, 6th November 2012, 15:31

Re: Shield reform proposal discussion

Alternately, making good-quality 1-handed weapons drop at about the same time as good-quality 2-handers would push things in the "pro-shield" direction somewhat.
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Slime Squisher

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Post Tuesday, 6th November 2012, 15:51

Re: Shield reform proposal discussion

njvack wrote:The thing I've missed is the thing where shields are broken, honestly.


They aren't for most characters. For heavy melee they are much underpowered compared to the xp to invest (exp. for large shields). Who's going in melee with a normal shield? Who does that with a large shield?
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Post Tuesday, 6th November 2012, 16:10

Re: Shield reform proposal discussion

Trolls? Maybe Ogres? (Did Great Maces become hand-and-a-half for large races? Looks like no?) Someone who lucks into an early Demon weapon?
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Post Tuesday, 6th November 2012, 16:18

Re: Shield reform proposal discussion

palin wrote:Who talked about order? I stated that the (automatic) choice would be done based on damage potential, not on order.

Ugh, sorry. Scratch the "difficult to implement" thing then. But I still think it would be hardly noticeable. And might require some extra balancing to not be a nerf.

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Post Tuesday, 6th November 2012, 17:40

Re: Shield reform proposal discussion

Galefury wrote:Ugh, sorry. Scratch the "difficult to implement" thing then. But I still think it would be hardly noticeable. And might require some extra balancing to not be a nerf.


With my proposal, a 0 SH character would try to block the first incoming attack like now. So a 0 skill it would not be a nerf, and I think that at SH5 the behaviour should not change that much, so SH5 buckler-wielding spellcasters should quite not be affected, or at most would not try to block thrown stones (remember that the code should take in account AC and %HP, so spellcasters with few HP in robes should not be affected much per se).

They key here is improving the sh usage for melee characters so opt for two-handers is no more trivial.
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Post Tuesday, 6th November 2012, 20:59

Re: Shield reform proposal discussion

Your ideas are interesting but they dont address the actual issue, and that is the loss of kill power. Shields already do a great job at lowering incoming damage, but the cost as opposed to dodge and armor is loss of kill power, so unless there`s an idea to address that, it won`t change the fact that kill the fiend in 2 turns is better than kill the fiend in 3 turns.

edit: rereading this i guess i should add that my experience is that with shield and without shield is about as effective for the whole game except for monstrosities, orbs of fire, greater mummies, pan/hell fiends/sentinels, pan lords, pan/hell bosses, and hell effects. There`s a couple places where i found shields to be more useful (many uniques and most monsters when drawn in a corridor cant get past the shield in 1v1) but the harder parts of the game are easier with the highest damage weapon than with a shield.

edit2: maybe a direction to take to make shields better would be to give them a proc on blocks, for example increasing the time before next action on the monster getting blocked by 1 time unit for each block, but i don't think that would help vs the monsters i listed above soo.... i dont know! Maybe increase damage by 1 for each block on next hit?

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Post Wednesday, 7th November 2012, 10:19

Re: Shield reform proposal discussion

Baldu wrote:Your ideas are interesting but they dont address the actual issue, and that is the loss of kill power. Shields already do a great job at lowering incoming damage, but the cost as opposed to dodge and armor is loss of kill power, so unless there`s an idea to address that, it won`t change the fact that kill the fiend in 2 turns is better than kill the fiend in 3 turns.


Yes, they currently do a great job unless you're a melee character. If you are, you end up blocking rat attacks instead of the Vampire Knight ones.

Of course being two-handed is better on 1-1 but when summoners are involved or in situations where retreating in a corridor isn't an option, shields become next to useless.

Of course Orbs of Fire, Smiting and Tormenting monsters and enviroment effects would still not be affected. My proposal wasn't about addressing those issues, but keep in mind that if I charge into melee with a 1-tier demon and some 3-tiers to shorten the duration of my stay in hell and I'm able to block one of the tier 1 melee attacks instead of "wasting" the shield block on a 3-tier one, life will be better for sure.
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Post Wednesday, 7th November 2012, 10:26

Re: Shield reform proposal discussion

I know a lot of players here have run the math and the scenarios a million times but I would like to offer my anecdotal experience that I really like shields. The blocking statistic combines very well with high AC and it makes you basically unstoppable in corridors. Being able to block crystal spear and other spells is a huge damage mitigation, and while you won't kill as fast as with a two-hander, you will come out of fights with more HP in general, which helps you to survive subsequent fights. Having another slot for resistance and other attributes is also very nice and means you can free up a ring or armor slot for more slaying. There are also plenty of weapon brands that favor faster one-handed weapons, so I think that there are many situations when shields are the better choice.

Rather than making shield blocking smarter, which would make them equally as good in open spaces as in corridors, there should simply be a higher frequency of branded and/or artifact shields. Maybe even allow shields to have the same brands as weapons, which allow for a half or 1/3 power proc on your attacks. This would require balancing of course.

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Post Wednesday, 7th November 2012, 10:51

Re: Shield reform proposal discussion

Bomanz: how many times you end up in post 3-rune games?
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Post Wednesday, 7th November 2012, 11:25

Re: Shield reform proposal discussion

Just twice so far, so my credentials are not the best but I'm just tossing in my 2 cents.

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Post Wednesday, 7th November 2012, 13:42

Re: Shield reform proposal discussion

Bomanz wrote:Just twice so far, so my credentials are not the best but I'm just tossing in my 2 cents.


I was not trying to remove any value for you point. I asked because it seems you never faced any crystal-spear casting enemy (as per your example) with summons to help him. If you are with Trog/TSO you respond with your own summons, if you are with Oka you're stuck to block the odd orange rat/hair devil and get hit by the spear in the face :)
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Post Wednesday, 7th November 2012, 14:44

Re: Shield reform proposal discussion

Bomanz wrote:I know a lot of players here have run the math and the scenarios a million times but I would like to offer my anecdotal experience that I really like shields.

If you already know you are putting anecdotal evidence up against actual evidence, I don't know what you can possibly hope to achieve.

Bomanz wrote:Being able to block crystal spear and other spells is a huge damage mitigation, and while you won't kill as fast as with a two-hander, you will come out of fights with more HP in general, which helps you to survive subsequent fights.

Being able to kill things before they barely have time to do anything is better damage mitigation and lets you come out of fights with at least as much HP on average, and a lot more in extended. How many times do you see crystal spears in extended? And how many times do you see torment/hellfire? Just kill these fiends faster, ok? The biggest blockable threat in extended is ice fiend melee, but you still want to count on your other defences against it so you can kill it before it has another turn to torment you rather than poke it for three days.

Bomanz wrote:Having another slot for resistance and other attributes is also very nice and means you can free up a ring or armor slot for more slaying.

Because badass shields and rings of massive slaying are so common, right. Hint: shields of reflection are NOT badass. At all. Just leaving this here preemptively.

Bomanz wrote:There are also plenty of weapon brands that favor faster one-handed weapons, so I think that there are many situations when shields are the better choice.

Quickblade of distortion and maybe quickblade of elec aside (not a huge fan of elec brand in late game), the major argument going for the faster one-handed weapons is skill investment cost, not brands. A good big twohander will always have better damage when you reach minimum delay.

By the way, here's some actual anecdotal evidence: once a pan lord fired three crystal spears at me in a single turn, and I only survived because I had a shield. Was one of my first trips to extended, also went on to win the game and all after getting the hell away from that guy. Now, I'm sorry about going FULL ELITIST*, but if I was one of those people who shoved a square peg through a round hole as a kid and got a cookie for it, maybe I'd even have written a guide about how shields are the greatest thing ever and would dismiss everyone who says otherwise as "haters", but here's the thing: some people are smarter than that and are able to identify anecdotal evidence as such, and by consequence, to constantly improve their game instead of hitting a plateau after their first victory because they become intoxicated with power and blinded by "success".

*because trying to play well instead of just doing whatever is "elitism", apparently
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Slime Squisher

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Post Wednesday, 7th November 2012, 17:37

Re: Shield reform proposal discussion

I would rather stick to the point of the proposal and its criticism rather than anything else.

My point is that shields in general and large and medium shields in particular suck especially for melee characters, and my proposal is about letting shields suck less without changing their current behaviour for unskilled characters or spellcasters, in order to make the choice 1-handed+shield vs 2-handed not trivial.
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Post Wednesday, 7th November 2012, 18:15

Re: Shield reform proposal discussion

Shields actually aren't awful for characters who kill everything with melee, they're just not as good as twohanders (and this makes sense ... why would you put in the investment to use a twohander if a one-handed weapon plus minimal shield investment worked just as well?). A lot of my characters use shields. A lot of my characters don't use shields. I think they're fine where they are now mostly, and I definitely think that making them less effective against certain attacks like is proposed here is unintuitive and silly.

One-hander vs two-hander plus shield is not a "trivial" choice for a lot of characters. It is if you are worshipping Trog: you choose a twohander (unless you're a small race ... I have done a dwhip maces CeFi of Trog also, and it's fine, so even here in some cases it's not necessarily that you want a twohander 100% of the time). But similarly I would pretty much always use a onehander + buckler under Sif, so I don't see the problem here. There are a large range of characters who fall in between Trog worshippers and Sif worshippers, and for those it is not obvious on turn 0 whether you will be using a shield.

In fact there are four races in the game who will almost always use shields: Kobolds, halflings, spriggans, and trolls. There is one race where you will almost never use shields: ogres.

If something about shields is a problem then it is the fact that a large majority of shield-using characters want only the smallest shield that that character can wear (so buckler for almost all races).

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Post Wednesday, 7th November 2012, 18:18

Re: Shield reform proposal discussion

crate wrote:If something about shields is a problem then it is the fact that a large majority of shield-using characters want only the smallest shield that that character can wear (so buckler for almost all races).


You finally got my point here, my other point is that the choice is trivial for melee characters. Spellcasters of Sif Muna are ok as they are and if you read my proposal with attention you'll find that almost nothing would change for them.
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Post Wednesday, 7th November 2012, 18:20

Re: Shield reform proposal discussion

But it's not trivial for "melee characters" ... many of my necromancers (these are melee characters) end up with shields. Many of them do not. If you train no spell skills then sure it's an easy choice, but then you're worshipping Trog (or should be) and I see nothing wrong with Trog characters always using twohanders.

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Post Wednesday, 7th November 2012, 18:25

Re: Shield reform proposal discussion

crate wrote:But it's not trivial for "melee characters" ... many of my necromancers (these are melee characters) end up with shields. Many of them do not. If you train no spell skills then sure it's an easy choice, but then you're worshipping Trog (or should be) and I see nothing wrong with Trog characters always using twohanders.


Necromancers are melee characters but also cast spells so they are right in the middle and probably the proposed change would render them a bit more resilient if they would spend some more skills in shields and wearing a medium shield, but then it would not be a trivial choice anyway since training SH to 10 is not the same as training to 5 with a buckler (and you can use a buckler with SH 0 anyway).
But if you start a character with no spellcasting skill and you intend to do melee (eg. worshipping Oka or Chei) except maybe some utility spell (summon butterfly, blink, and so on), now a medium shield is a trivial choice: you don't want to use it.
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Post Wednesday, 7th November 2012, 18:33

Re: Shield reform proposal discussion

Oka characters with shields right now are fine, in fact they're better under Oka than under most other gods since you actually get to benefit from Heroism's +5 shield skill. Oka is the one god where I will actually already wear larger-than-buckler shields just for the extra SH on non-Trolls (well I guess I have done this with Ash too, for the same reason).

I have personally never worshipped chei without knowing any spells and probably never will because he's a spellcasting god, so I can't speak to chei characters. In general I think shields are already better under chei than most gods though (since under chei there are significantly more turns where you are getting hit compared to other gods).

The decision to use a shield at all or to not use a shield is not "trivial" for most characters. If you want to change shields so larger-than-buckler shields are comparatively better that's fine, but that doesn't seem to be what this proposal is trying to do.
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Post Wednesday, 7th November 2012, 19:00

Re: Shield reform proposal discussion

Just make higher shield skill reduce the rate at which effective SH value gets reduced per blocked attack in a turn, and maybe even implement a GDR-like lower cap % based on shield size. THERE I FIXED SHIELDS FOR YOU
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Post Wednesday, 7th November 2012, 19:51

Re: Shield reform proposal discussion

ebarrett wrote:Just make higher shield skill reduce the rate at which effective SH value gets reduced per blocked attack in a turn, and maybe even implement a GDR-like lower cap % based on shield size. THERE I FIXED SHIELDS FOR YOU


I don't agree GDR makes sense on shields.

The reduced SH value increasing with SH skill means a single poing of SH counting twice since your SH score already improves due to SH skill (and so the reduced SH value after the first hit is higher because you'd have and higher SH score to start from). But it makes sense and simplify mathematics and damage calculation. Still I would differentiate the effective SH score based on the type of shield.
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Post Wednesday, 7th November 2012, 19:53

Re: Shield reform proposal discussion

crate wrote:Oka characters with shields right now are fine, in fact they're better under Oka than under most other gods since you actually get to benefit from Heroism's +5 shield skill. Oka is the one god where I will actually already wear larger-than-buckler shields just for the extra SH on non-Trolls (well I guess I have done this with Ash too, for the same reason).


Maybe you, but I think most people aren't going extended with a shield bearing melee character of Oka, regardless of the future switch to TSO. Using a two-hander is still fairly better and I think it's still a no-brainer, unless you've a very good randart (shield or one-handed weapon).
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Post Wednesday, 7th November 2012, 20:00

Re: Shield reform proposal discussion

Yes, twohanders are generally better in extended if you put in the investment. Oka is fine for characters who cast a lot of spells and still melee things, like necromancers or ice elementalists. I have several Oka wins where I use shields (at least two necromancers and some UC characters), and I have several where I don't.

Also most characters don't actually do extended. I'm not really sure why people here get so hung up on it, I pretty much just assume it doesn't exist when I am talking about the game since for the most part it doesn't exist when I play crawl (except Tomb and sometimes Slime, but shields are actually quite good in Slime so whatever). Shields not being good in extended is fine imo.

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Post Wednesday, 7th November 2012, 20:26

Re: Shield reform proposal discussion

crate wrote: Shields not being good in extended is fine imo.


It maybe but pure melee aren't good even if you limit your routine to Snake/Spider and Swamp/Shoal, Vaults and Zot, even to the point that unless you are basically a spellcaster who just happens to do a lot of melee, you're never going to use a 1-hander. If you don't train much skills, in a 3-rune game you still have plenty of xp for armour, fighting, your primary weapon, some throwing/evocations/traps and a major other skill or two. Unless you go the haste route (which may be not good for a 3-rune), you're left with a choice between shields, dodging and invocations (provided you worship a deity which makes sense). Currently, unless you invested in shields right away, you quite almost choose dodging because it has a better bang for the buck. So using a shield bigger than a buckler is still a no-brainer, IMO.
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Post Wednesday, 7th November 2012, 20:48

Re: Shield reform proposal discussion

I'm not sure why if the only thing you are doing is melee shields should be good. Unless you're with trog you should be doing things other than just melee though imo.

It's like asking why aren't twohanders good if the only thing I'm doing to kill things is cast conjurations (actually this is kind of a lie because twohanders at skill 0 actually outperform onehanders at skill 0 in most cases, but having a shield plus a weapon you don't use is better than having a weapon you don't use plus no shield).

I almost never train both dodging and armour in a 3 rune game unless I am with trog, or if I'm wearing mottled dragon armour or maybe one of FDA/IDA/PDA. I will basically always choose to learn spells instead of dodging if I'm in plate, it's simply better for a large majority of characters unless you are wearing CPA or GDA (which I very rarely do).

Anyway killing most things with melee with a good one handed weapon plus a shield is a perfectly fine way to go through the game. If you are in light armour (think halfling) then what you end up with is very good defenses (good EV, good SH, reasonable AC) plus lots of utility spells: you get haste earlier, you probably can get controlled blink, you can get things like agony or maybe even silence. If you are in heavy armour then you still get haste plus other charms significantly earlier, you probably can still even grab agony, though controlled blink plus haste in a 3 rune game in plate is not realistic.

At this point I am pretty sure that there is a large space of possible character builds that you have simply not explored and are overlooking, and it so happens that in many of these shields are quite good. The simplest, most obvious ways to build a character in Crawl, yes, are ones for which the decision of "should I wear a shield" is very easy: you either build a Trog character (definitely no shield), or you build a Sif character (definitely buckler). There is much in the middle.

Here are some morgues where I primarily killed things with tab yet still chose to use a shield, and I believe the shield was the right choice:
http://crawl.akrasiac.org/rawdata/crate ... 035240.txt
http://crawl.akrasiac.org/rawdata/crate ... 202307.txt (ignore what I did for extended, my 3 rune game was entirely longblades killing)
http://dobrazupa.org/morgue/crate/morgu ... 075202.txt (I switched double sword -> triple sword for extended)
http://crawl.akrasiac.org/rawdata/crate ... 144223.txt (even an oka game!!)
http://crawl.akrasiac.org/rawdata/crate ... 061927.txt (ok this one didnt melee tough things but it is using a large shield and I would do so again)
http://crawl.akrasiac.org/rawdata/crate ... 072539.txt (another oka game)

These are quite typical types of character for me. I have characters similar to some of these where I chose not to use a shield because of different circumstances (for instance a HuNe who found Doom Knight).

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Post Wednesday, 7th November 2012, 20:59

Re: Shield reform proposal discussion

So basically you're saying there's no problems with pure melee and shields, in the fact that's a no brainer: pure melee should use 2-hander unless they are small.

Note that no game you mentioned is a pure melee except the halfling, which is small...
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Post Wednesday, 7th November 2012, 21:52

Re: Shield reform proposal discussion

If by "pure melee" you mean a character who looks like he worships Trog, then yes, that character shouldn't use shields. If I don't worship trog then "pure melee" doesn't exist when I play a character (I guess I might have one or two Oka games that fit this? My tournament MiNe looked like he worshipped Trog until very near the end of getting 3 runes, though I can't think of any other examples). The characters I listed are as "melee character" as non-Trog characters come. A large majority of the damage they dealt came from pressing tab.

You should for instance actually take a look at my spellset on the NaNe ... the spells it has don't even deal damage except for Agony and DU. It was every bit as much a "melee character" as the HaWr. Also looking at my action_counts is instructive ... I had fifteen thousand melee actions, which is by orders of magnitude the most common thing I did.

Or my HuHe game, where I melee'd with the quick blade twelve thousand times (plus another ~3k or so with other weapons) and attempted to pacify things about one-sixth as often.

If these are not "melee characters", then I'm sorry, I don't know what a "melee character" is.

I have never disagreed that shields are not good for a character who trains only weapon skill, armour skill, and fighting skill. These are the "Trog characters" I keep talking about, and I see no reason that shields should be good for these characters (unless you want shields to be the correct decision for every character, which is what making them good for Trog characters would do). Those are not the only "melee characters" that exist.

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Post Wednesday, 7th November 2012, 22:01

Re: Shield reform proposal discussion

palin wrote:So basically you're saying there's no problems with pure melee and shields, in the fact that's a no brainer: pure melee should use 2-hander unless they are small.

Note that no game you mentioned is a pure melee except the halfling, which is small...

Under his definition, "pure melee" = Trog but without ranged skills. Hybrid melee is what he was focussing his argument on, i.e. "melee + shields is fine so long as that's not the only thing you're doing".

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Post Wednesday, 7th November 2012, 23:12

Re: Shield reform proposal discussion

Just throwing in my 2 cents on a few things:

Shields are terrible if you want to run a pure melee character, yes. Do we actually want that though? If not, we could just focus on making them better for hybrid melee characters. I've run a number of hybrid characters (usually melee/magic) and usually found that shields help more than they hurt.

I will admit, though, that I've never had a run where I've used a large shield, outside of a large species, a naga, or a centaur (who get proficiency with them for cheap). It seems that they're VERY niche at the moment.
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Post Thursday, 8th November 2012, 10:08

Re: Shield reform proposal discussion

crate wrote:If by "pure melee" you mean a character who looks like he worships Trog, then yes, that character shouldn't use shields. If I don't worship trog then "pure melee" doesn't exist when I play a character


You use "I" a lot, and I tell you that pure melee is a character who does not cast spells (unless very basic stuff, regeneration and agony aren't comparable to blink, apportation or summon butterfly), and this is supported by current devs, they said in more than one thread that is supported and encouraged so, if we want to try to improve shield usage for those characters, well, let's try to do that. Saying that those characters are a no-no unless they worship Trog is both pointless and a very subjective opinion.

If we do not want the current status quo improved for those characters, let's say this not denying that such characters could event exists or are bad choices anyway.
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Post Thursday, 8th November 2012, 12:09

Re: Shield reform proposal discussion

This

ebarrett wrote:make higher shield skill reduce the rate at which effective SH value gets reduced per blocked attack in a turn, and maybe even implement a GDR-like lower cap % based on shield size


plus this

galehar wrote:Instead of EVP = base_evp - skill / 5, how about EVP = base_evp * 27 / (4 * skill + 27)


and optionally, one or two new shield brands, would collectively be an excellent way to improve shields.

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Post Thursday, 8th November 2012, 12:26

Re: Shield reform proposal discussion

If you already know you are putting anecdotal evidence up against actual evidence, I don't know what you can possibly hope to achieve.


Well this is a forum. I'm hoping to achieve discussion. I think you should look up what anecdotal means. Who peed in your cheerios anyway?

How many times do you see crystal spears in extended? And how many times do you see torment/hellfire? Just kill these fiends faster, ok? The biggest blockable threat in extended is ice fiend melee, but you still want to count on your other defences against it so you can kill it before it has another turn to torment you rather than poke it for three days.


You are right that in the extended end game the threats transfer from blockable physical ones to abstract ones like torment, mutation etc for which shields don't help too much. This is fair I believe to counter the fact that shields can easily push your characters into invulnerability mode against normal attacks.

Because badass shields and rings of massive slaying are so common, right. Hint: shields of reflection are NOT badass. At all. Just leaving this here preemptively.


...I would argue that shields with egos on them should be a bit more common. But if you do get lucky with drops that favor 1h + shield, including slaying, I believe that it somewhat closes the gap with 2h. A shield of resistance is a huge boon and a relief to your equipment choices. I have a NaFi in extended right now who would be in a much better position if I had been lucky and found one. As it stands I have to carry an insane amount of jewelry to juggle depending on the encounters.

Quickblade of distortion and maybe quickblade of elec aside (not a huge fan of elec brand in late game), the major argument going for the faster one-handed weapons is skill investment cost, not brands. A good big twohander will always have better damage when you reach minimum delay.


No one is questioning the superior damage output of two handers.

By the way, here's some actual anecdotal evidence: once a pan lord fired three crystal spears at me in a single turn, and I only survived because I had a shield. Was one of my first trips to extended, also went on to win the game and all after getting the hell away from that guy. Now, I'm sorry about going FULL ELITIST*, but if I was one of those people who shoved a square peg through a round hole as a kid and got a cookie for it, maybe I'd even have written a guide about how shields are the greatest thing ever and would dismiss everyone who says otherwise as "haters", but here's the thing: some people are smarter than that and are able to identify anecdotal evidence as such, and by consequence, to constantly improve their game instead of hitting a plateau after their first victory because they become intoxicated with power and blinded by "success".


My current NaFi was also saved by blocking IceFiend attacks while caught off guard without very much cold resistance. I'm not here to challenge your or anyone's ELITE status, but as someone who has put about a hundred hours into the game with shield users, I'm just offering my anecdotal evidence. You can make a list of all the pros and cons of 2H vs 1H + shield, and then analyze it infinitely but you will always come up with a subjective result. How do you quantify the value of more resistances and overall defense which applies during all actions versus raw damage? It's not possible to come up with an objective answer, especially when you consider that it highly depends on what loot you happened to find.

*because trying to play well instead of just doing whatever is "elitism", apparently


Elitism is when you invoke some kind of ideology that you do not back up due to some kind of supposed credentials. I'm not saying shields don't need a change one way or the other, I'm just presenting the pros and cons as I see them, since I do use shields a lot. As a relatively new player I already assume that my opinion is not counted as strongly as veterans in the community. I think this goes without saying and it's kind of funny that you are so affected.

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Post Thursday, 8th November 2012, 12:37

Re: Shield reform proposal discussion

roctavian wrote:This

ebarrett wrote:make higher shield skill reduce the rate at which effective SH value gets reduced per blocked attack in a turn, and maybe even implement a GDR-like lower cap % based on shield size


plus this

galehar wrote:Instead of EVP = base_evp - skill / 5, how about EVP = base_evp * 27 / (4 * skill + 27)


and optionally, one or two new shield brands, would collectively be an excellent way to improve shields.


I really like this solution.

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Post Thursday, 8th November 2012, 13:35

Re: Shield reform proposal discussion

GDR is bad on shields. It would mean increasing GDR to spellcasters.
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Post Thursday, 8th November 2012, 14:04

Re: Shield reform proposal discussion

palin wrote:GDR is bad on shields. It would mean increasing GDR to spellcasters.


He didn't say GDR, he said "GDR-like". I believe he meant some like a minimum block chance for larger shields (similar to how GDR raises the lower bound on AC's damage reduction.)
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Post Thursday, 8th November 2012, 14:12

Re: Shield reform proposal discussion

palin wrote:GDR is bad on shields. It would mean increasing GDR to spellcasters.

You have now twice failed to realize that a GDR-like minimal block chance is not "guaranteed damage reduction", it's "guaranteed block chance" following roughly the same rules for the sake of consistency and simplification. Congratulations!
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Post Thursday, 8th November 2012, 14:16

Re: Shield reform proposal discussion

As a branch off the discussion;
roctavian wrote:This

ebarrett wrote:make higher shield skill reduce the rate at which effective SH value gets reduced per blocked attack in a turn, and maybe even implement a GDR-like lower cap % based on shield size


plus this

galehar wrote:Instead of EVP = base_evp - skill / 5, how about EVP = base_evp * 27 / (4 * skill + 27)


and optionally, one or two new shield brands, would collectively be an excellent way to improve shields.

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Post Thursday, 8th November 2012, 17:30

Re: Shield reform proposal discussion

palin wrote:
crate wrote:If by "pure melee" you mean a character who looks like he worships Trog, then yes, that character shouldn't use shields. If I don't worship trog then "pure melee" doesn't exist when I play a character


You use "I" a lot, and I tell you that pure melee is a character who does not cast spells (unless very basic stuff, regeneration and agony aren't comparable to blink, apportation or summon butterfly), and this is supported by current devs, they said in more than one thread that is supported and encouraged so, if we want to try to improve shield usage for those characters, well, let's try to do that. Saying that those characters are a no-no unless they worship Trog is both pointless and a very subjective opinion.

If we do not want the current status quo improved for those characters, let's say this not denying that such characters could event exists or are bad choices anyway.

I have acknowledged that shields are bad for those characters and I strongly believe that unless you dramatically overhaul how shields work entirely (and somehow make them really terrible for characters who are casting spells or something) that if you make shields good for that type of character then you are making wearing a shield the correct choice for every single character (characters who want melee damage the most and are willing to invest in twohanders still can't find it worthwhile to do so over a shield? How can you imagine that characters who want melee damage less will possibly find it worth using a twohander?). This is much worse than the status quo, where there is an actual decision. I have said this before ... did you just ignore it?

(Additionally shields are ok for some characters under Trog already, particularly centaurs, nagas, and small races (aux attack for ce, constriction for na, can't use big weapons for ko/ha/sp)).

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Post Thursday, 8th November 2012, 19:58

Re: Shield reform proposal discussion

ebarrett wrote:You have now twice failed to realize that a GDR-like minimal block chance is not "guaranteed damage reduction", it's "guaranteed block chance" following roughly the same rules for the sake of consistency and simplification. Congratulations!


So let's call pears oranges and then point out that oranges can be green, yellow, brown or red and the people you're talking to are stupid for not understanding. That's about speaking clearly.
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Post Thursday, 8th November 2012, 20:05

Re: Shield reform proposal discussion

crate wrote:I have acknowledged that shields are bad for those characters and I strongly believe that unless you dramatically overhaul how shields work entirely (and somehow make them really terrible for characters who are casting spells or something) that if you make shields good for that type of character then you are making wearing a shield the correct choice for every single character (characters who want melee damage the most and are willing to invest in twohanders still can't find it worthwhile to do so over a shield? How can you imagine that characters who want melee damage less will possibly find it worth using a twohander?). This is much worse than the status quo, where there is an actual decision. I have said this before ... did you just ignore it?


No, but I failed to understand how it applies to my proposal. My proposal is that now SH xp investment is wasted, so not investing in it is a no-brainer, even for characters who want to actually use a shield, at least not investing beyond cancelling the penalties.

With my proposal you would have meaning in the XP spent for almost any SH level, and not making shields too good to pass up, but to make the choice between 1- and 2-handers meaningful to melee characters. Making it not a no-brainer is not the same as make it a must-have.

I'm starting thinking that you didn't read my proposal and that you are countering it only to keep the status quo.
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Post Thursday, 8th November 2012, 20:14

Re: Shield reform proposal discussion

palin wrote:
ebarrett wrote:You have now twice failed to realize that a GDR-like minimal block chance is not "guaranteed damage reduction", it's "guaranteed block chance" following roughly the same rules for the sake of consistency and simplification. Congratulations!


So let's call pears oranges and then point out that oranges can be green, yellow, brown or red and the people you're talking to are stupid for not understanding. That's about speaking clearly.

Say, you want a shovel to help with that hole?

Also: return of the son of
njvack wrote:it doesn't help; people often continue to aggressively defend really terrible ideas
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Post Thursday, 8th November 2012, 20:43

Re: Shield reform proposal discussion

ebarrett wrote:Say, you want a shovel to help with that hole?


No, thanks. I'm being more polite than you deserve.
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Post Thursday, 8th November 2012, 20:56

Re: Shield reform proposal discussion

palin wrote:I'm starting thinking that you didn't read my proposal and that you are countering it only to keep the status quo.

The problem I have with your proposal is that it's confusing and probably not very easy to implement. As a player, you can predict the number of hits you're likely to face with a reasonable degree of accuracy, but the code isn't designed in a way that would make it easy to say, "Don't block that rat's attack or any stones thrown by that goblin over there, just worry about the Ogre." Putting in an arbitrary minimum amount of damage to block would let you get nibbled to death by things that you'd otherwise block.

I'm not 100% sure that I'm reading the code right, but I think SH is checked first when defending. A poor facsimile of your idea would be to check EV first, then check whether AC reduced the damage to zero, then check SH. That's just a reordering of the code, and approximates what you're suggesting: don't try to block attacks that you don't really need to block.

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Post Thursday, 8th November 2012, 21:14

Re: Shield reform proposal discussion

Well I frankly don't understand what your proposal is trying to do. It doesn't seem to me to make shield skill more useful (I am actually only very rarely blocking more than one attack per turn to start with--unless I'm worshipping Chei--except from multiple-attack enemies, and there are few of those I really care about most of the time) so I had no idea what your goal is. One thing it definitely does is it makes shields behave unintuitively (they get worse against certain attacks at high skill). I do not see where it makes me want to actually train shield skill more than I do now on any type of character.

So I assumed you thought in some way that shields as-is were not useful, which I believe is simply not true ... I think from a gameplay perspective shields are in a reasonably good place right now, though as galehar's topic suggests the way shield penalties work is not particularly sensible.

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Post Thursday, 8th November 2012, 21:40

Re: Shield reform proposal discussion

crate wrote:Well I frankly don't understand what your proposal is trying to do. It doesn't seem to me to make shield skill more useful (I am actually only very rarely blocking more than one attack per turn to start with--unless I'm worshipping Chei--except from multiple-attack enemies, and there are few of those I really care about most of the time) so I had no idea what your goal is. One thing it definitely does is it makes shields behave unintuitively (they get worse against certain attacks at high skill). I do not see where it makes me want to actually train shield skill more than I do now on any type of character.


Finally a well tought criticism. Thanks (I'm not kidding).

The main critic about shields is that's not going to block more than one attack per turn (and you can read this opinion in almost any thread in tavern mentioning shields), and my proposal tries to fix than by concentrating on blocking dangerous attacks. If the "rant" it's not true, than explain both to me and to the other users why we're so mistaken.

@BlackSheep
Note that the part that shield get worse against certain attacks is not true, shields with my proposal would still block weak attacks if those are the only attacks you may ever get that turn, the damage treshold would only be applied if there are multiple attacks. Is this unintuitive? Maybe a description of the skill saying "This skill improves your ability to block incoming attacks and your capacity of judging which attacks are best to block in case you get attacked more than once" would dissipate any doubt, maybe not.

I don't know crawl internals enough to see if this is hard to calculate (but I've seen very complex computing done in some code parts), or if it is needed to change the order of something, for instance, predicting potential damage could mean that crawl has to figure out attacks in parallel instead than one after another regardless of how these are presented to the player. This is more easily said by current developers who can assert that the result would not be worth the effort, but this I could understand.
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