Two ideas to make shields more viable


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Mines Malingerer

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Post Friday, 8th February 2013, 15:01

Two ideas to make shields more viable

Because shields are not usually preferable to two-handed weapons for melee, as getting the monsters dead faster is usually better than extra survival potential, I propose the following changes to shields:

1. Add a new passive mechanic 'Bashing' that scales with the shields skill. Each point in shields gives a 1% chance of proccing. The bash effect will depend on which type of shield you're using:

-Regular shield: Bash applies confuse on target.
-Shield of fire resistance: Bash if landed applies a weak version of sticky flame to the target.
-Shield of ice resistance: Bash if landed applies a weak version of slow to the target.
-Shield of poison resistance: Bash if landed creates a weak miasma cloud.
-Shield of magic resistance: Bash applies silence on the target for 1-2 turns.
-Shield of life protection: Bash applies a weak version of agony, or vampiric draining. (I can't really think of an interesting effect for this one)
-Shield of resistance: Bash applies confuse on target. (This gets the basic effect because resistance is already a very powerful attribure)
-Shield of reflection: Bash has a chance to transfer enemy buffs to yourself. (Also don't have any great ideas for this one)


The actual bash would be resistible based on HD and size of the monster. Once a bash is successfully landed, the actual effects are reduced or resisted further based on resistances, except confuse which should be a 'physical effect' (bonk!) and should be affected only by size and HD.

Power of all effects are 15/30/50% as effective as their parent effects for small/medium/large shields.

Reasoning: The main reason would be to make shields a bit more strategically competitive compared to two-handers in melee. Other reasons are: To add flavor and strategy to your shield of choice. To add more of an incentive to keep training shields past the breaking point for your race/shield combination, without buffing the classic spellcaster with a buckler. To make shields somewhat more viable as a training choice in the beginning. To make large shields more competitive compared to medium/small ones.

Downsides: Tricky to balance. We don't want to make shields become the obvious choice for melee characters. Presumably this can be done by playing with the percentages of the parent effects. Is it worth the headache though? There are many other, easier ways to code a balance fix for shields if desired by the devs, although obviously I think my suggestion adds a lot of flavor.

2. Shields give a passive protection against torment and hellfire: 10/15% for medium/large shields.

Reasoning: Shields are drastically less competitive compared to 2-handers when it comes to dealing with monsters that deal damage through torment or hellfire, which currently bypass classic warrior defenses. I chose not to give bucklers any passive protection because bucklers are already a 'no-brainer' for spellcasters most times. This is meant to throw a bone to melee-shield users particularly who enjoy the post game, although it can help with the rare instances of hellfire/torment found in abyss/zot.

Downsides: It is perhaps intended for characters to not use shields for post game. This combined with my first suggestion may make shields potentially OP, and overall harder to balance.

We have some very smart people in the community. I'm happy to have any of you shoot down my ideas with stuff I haven't thought of. I welcome the opportunity to discuss shield viability (again), as I think it's a good topic.

EDIT: Added idea for shield of reflection.
EDIT2: Made some of the language clearer.
Last edited by Bomanz on Friday, 8th February 2013, 15:12, edited 1 time in total.

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Post Friday, 8th February 2013, 15:11

Re: Two ideas to make shields more viable

Bomanz wrote:Because shields are not usually preferable to two-handed weapons for melee, as getting the monsters dead faster is usually better than extra survival potential, I propose the following changes to shields:

Why is this a problem? Shields are better for some chars, big weapons for others. If it were any other way it would be quite boring.

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Mines Malingerer

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Post Friday, 8th February 2013, 15:17

Re: Two ideas to make shields more viable

Galefury wrote:
Bomanz wrote:Because shields are not usually preferable to two-handed weapons for melee, as getting the monsters dead faster is usually better than extra survival potential, I propose the following changes to shields:

Why is this a problem? Shields are better for some chars, big weapons for others. If it were any other way it would be quite boring.


By some characters do you mean spellcasters? Disregarding the RNG giving you good equipment of one type or the other.

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Post Friday, 8th February 2013, 15:22

Re: Two ideas to make shields more viable

Yes, obviously chars who rarely rely on their weapon to deal damage suffer less from having to use an inferior onehanded weapon. And yes, the RNG also plays an important role. If you find one of the rare good onehanded weapons early enough, shields can be worth using even on characters that deal damage mostly with their weapon.
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Barkeep

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Post Friday, 8th February 2013, 15:56

Re: Two ideas to make shields more viable

Galefury wrote:If you find one of the rare good onehanded weapons early enough, shields can be worth using even on characters that deal damage mostly with their weapon.

Suitable weapons aren't even *that* rare. Daggers of pain and distortion are readily available to those who want to go for them, and taste great with a shield.
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Post Friday, 8th February 2013, 16:11

Re: Two ideas to make shields more viable

Bomanz wrote:
Galefury wrote:
Bomanz wrote:Because shields are not usually preferable to two-handed weapons for melee, as getting the monsters dead faster is usually better than extra survival potential, I propose the following changes to shields:

Why is this a problem? Shields are better for some chars, big weapons for others. If it were any other way it would be quite boring.


By some characters do you mean spellcasters? Disregarding the RNG giving you good equipment of one type or the other.

I would offer invokers to be better suited than spellcasters, who themselves are better suited than a typical melee. Then you can sub-divide casters further.

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Post Friday, 8th February 2013, 17:19

Re: Two ideas to make shields more viable

It sounds like you are trying to fix a problem that doesn't really exist. Also even if the problem did exist these would not be good fixes (unnecessarily complicated list of multiple effects, making deliberately irresistible damage sources resistible for no apparent reason). If shields need changing, there are plenty of ways to do it just by adjusting bonuses, penalties and so on.

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Mines Malingerer

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Post Friday, 8th February 2013, 23:29

Re: Two ideas to make shields more viable

MarvinPA wrote:It sounds like you are trying to fix a problem that doesn't really exist. Also even if the problem did exist these would not be good fixes (unnecessarily complicated list of multiple effects, making deliberately irresistible damage sources resistible for no apparent reason). If shields need changing, there are plenty of ways to do it just by adjusting bonuses, penalties and so on.


Hellfire and torment are disproportionately punishing to characters who focus on defense instead of huge damage or summons. That's the reason for my suggestion..

Now whether or not my suggestion is crap, that's one thing, but you can't say I don't have a reason.
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Post Friday, 8th February 2013, 23:55

Re: Two ideas to make shields more viable

Bomanz wrote:proccing

This must be the most ugliest verb I have ever seen. What's wrong with happening?

Bomanz wrote:Hellfire and torment are disproportionately punishing to characters who focus on defense instead of huge damage or summons. That's the reason for my suggestion..

Now whether or not my suggestion is crap, that's one thing, but you can't say I don't have a reason.

He means there is no explanation. Why would wearing a piece of wood on your arm protects you from powerful magical effects that your armour and most magic cannot protect you from?
We might say that gameplay is more important than realism or theme, but there have to be an in-game explanation to mechanisms. This proposal doesn't make any sense.
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Post Saturday, 9th February 2013, 03:03

Re: Two ideas to make shields more viable

Bomanz wrote:Hellfire and torment are disproportionately punishing to characters who focus on defense instead of huge damage or summons. That's the reason for my suggestion..


Expecting Crawl to support defensive-focus characters is unreasonable. An offensive-focus character benefits from their focus on their own turn, actively changing the current situation. A defensive-focus character benefits from their focus on the turn of absolutely every creature except for themselves, passively stalling. If they are on par for fighting hard monsters, the defensive player will simply be impossible to challenge by any number of medium-difficulty monsters. A character that is untouchable is also a character that is boring.

Stop focusing primarily on defense. Crawl is set up so you're potentially three turns from death on purpose.

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Ziggurat Zagger

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Post Sunday, 10th February 2013, 02:19

Re: Two ideas to make shields more viable

Rename the Shield (SH) attribute to Blocking (BL). Shields now give BL. Now give some weapons (staves and flails, perhaps) an intrinsic Blocking value, which might increase with appropriate Weapon Skill.
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Post Sunday, 10th February 2013, 02:30

Re: Two ideas to make shields more viable

Hey, that's almost like onehanded weapons with a shield! Except you don't get penalties and don't have to train a second skill for your defenses! Best idea ever!
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Ziggurat Zagger

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Post Sunday, 10th February 2013, 08:45

Re: Two ideas to make shields more viable

For each successful BL, if the next player action is an attack or spell, weapon speed is reduced by x%.
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Post Monday, 11th February 2013, 17:20

Re: Two ideas to make shields more viable

KoboldLord wrote:
Bomanz wrote:Hellfire and torment are disproportionately punishing to characters who focus on defense instead of huge damage or summons. That's the reason for my suggestion..


Expecting Crawl to support defensive-focus characters is unreasonable. An offensive-focus character benefits from their focus on their own turn, actively changing the current situation. A defensive-focus character benefits from their focus on the turn of absolutely every creature except for themselves, passively stalling. If they are on par for fighting hard monsters, the defensive player will simply be impossible to challenge by any number of medium-difficulty monsters. A character that is untouchable is also a character that is boring.

Stop focusing primarily on defense. Crawl is set up so you're potentially three turns from death on purpose.

As a potential counterpoint to the above, I offer up the minotaur headbutt. I've had turns where I killed more guys with headbutt than I could kill with an attack on my turn. I'll grant it was low-level chaff and prior to the cleaving change. Nonetheless, that's a primarily defensive benefit in that for every dodge, you get a chance to headbutt.

Mines Malingerer

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Post Tuesday, 12th February 2013, 14:52

Re: Two ideas to make shields more viable

In terms of mechanics it feels appropriate to me for someone who invests a ton of experience into shields, and wields a large shield should get at least a little protection from hellfire--torment is debatable, both mechanically and thematically.

'Blocking' hellfire with a shield doesn't seem thematically problematic for me either. But even if it did, there are lots of other things that don't make sense. Demonspawn being vulnerable to holy wrath, without having any natural immunities that demons have for example. Also, finding pizza in a cave system.

It's just hard for me to imagine that when hellfire and torment were implemented that the intent was to make melee with a shield relatively weaker. Maybe it was though.

Anyway, devs know best.

Mines Malingerer

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Post Tuesday, 12th February 2013, 14:55

Re: Two ideas to make shields more viable

I've had turns where I killed more guys with headbutt than I could kill with an attack on my turn.


You have a chance to headbutt after dodging? Didn't know that.
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Dungeon Master

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Post Tuesday, 12th February 2013, 17:21

Re: Two ideas to make shields more viable

Bomanz wrote:'Blocking' hellfire with a shield doesn't seem thematically problematic for me either.

You can't block a fireball either. The problem isn't even the fact that hellfire is irresistible, it's an AOE spell, you can't block them.
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Mines Malingerer

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Post Tuesday, 12th February 2013, 17:49

Re: Two ideas to make shields more viable

I would much prefer a fireball hit my tower shield than my torso. However I think hellfire isn't a projectile so point taken. Still, mechanics are more important even if they are a bit of a stretch.
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Post Tuesday, 12th February 2013, 20:24

Re: Two ideas to make shields more viable

Bomanz wrote:I would much prefer a fireball hit my tower shield than my torso.

A fireball will engulf you and the 9 people surrounding you. Why should holding a shield protects you from being in a fire?

Still, mechanics are more important even if they are a bit of a stretch.

Shields protecting from hellfire and torment isn't a stretch, it's nonsense.
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Mines Malingerer

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Post Tuesday, 12th February 2013, 21:11

Re: Two ideas to make shields more viable

As stated below, ac reduces fireball damage, which is equally "ridiculous". Lightning bouncing between two targets a bunch of times is ridiculous. Pizza and pears in a cavern is ridiculous. Shields already protect you from fireball and torment through fire resist and life protection.

I'm really trying to understand why you're busting my balls so hard right now.

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Post Tuesday, 12th February 2013, 21:24

Re: Two ideas to make shields more viable

What is with people taking criticism of their ideas as "ball busting" lately? Your proposal isn't new and has been discussed to death on multiple occasions, including this one.

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Mines Malingerer

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Post Tuesday, 12th February 2013, 22:22

Re: Two ideas to make shields more viable

BlackSheep wrote:What is with people taking criticism of their ideas as "ball busting" lately?


I apologize if there was an idea to make shields help against torment and hellfire, can you please show me where that thread is because I couldn't find it? The bull busting comment is because this debate as to whether fireballs can or cannot be blocked by a shield is nothing more than a distraction from the topic.
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Post Wednesday, 13th February 2013, 03:03

Re: Two ideas to make shields more viable

I think it could be cool if shield could alter fireball's AoE. Like, if the wielder successfully blocks a fireball, it goes like this:

xxx
x@x
ooo

The fireball burns all the x's but doesn't touch the player and the o's.

(I don't know if it's easy to implement, though. :P )

EDIT: Regarding unblockable beams (like bolts of cold), we can create a new brand for shield that allows for blocking them. Call it "Steel brand" or something. :P

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Post Wednesday, 13th February 2013, 09:47

Re: Two ideas to make shields more viable

Actually, it makes sense that AC protects against fire damage.

Which would you rather do: put your hand in a fire wearing a thick leather glove, or put your bare hand in a fire?

It won't protect you indefinitely, but I'd guess a fireball only lasts a couple of seconds. I suppose if you stood in a flame cloud then in theory AC should provide decreasing protection for each turn you are in it, but that would make things unnecessarily complicated.

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