Shields balancing
issueid=1278 10-17-2012 01:16 PM
Senior Member
Number of reported issues by Spellweaver: 9
Shields balancing
Shields are illogically OP.

Can you imagine a character, who is not even a warrior, walking around with a tower shield in his hand without even unequipping it? You know, it's not only heavy, it's the same size as human. How can you move with it without penalties at all?
Everything has penalties. Double-wielding is severely punished (i.e. by to-hit penalties and, worse than it, increased energy cost), but fighting with a dagger from a giant tower shield (and running with it, blocking enemy attacks while moving - can you even imagine running and turning that giant list of metal around you to deflect attacks?) seems normal.

I have two suggestions.
First, penalties for double-wielding should be not that heavy. You are already losing a shield bonuses.

Second, shields can be nerfed in one of the ways:
1. Removing DV bonus given by weapon if you are using a shield. Why? Because it's impossible to block with both your weapon and your shield at the same time. TES shows a good example of how this should work.
2. Make equipped shields give penalties on movement energy cost depending on their type. You can either block attacks and move slower, as you have to pay attention to your shield, or put your shield on your back and run more or less normally, but certainly without the ability to block attacks.
Issue Details
Issue Number 1278
Issue Type Feature
Project ADOM (Ancient Domains Of Mystery)
Category Other (please specify)
Status Suggested
Priority 5 - Medium
Suggested Version ADOM 1.2.0 pre 4
Implemented Version ADOM 1.2.0 pre 9
Milestone (none)
Votes for this feature 5
Votes against this feature 14
Assigned Users (none)
Tags (none)




10-17-2012 01:46 PM
Ancient Member
Can you imagine a character, who is not even a warrior, walking around with a tower shield in his hand without even unequipping it? You know, it's not only heavy, it's the same size as human. How can you move with it without penalties at all?
The same way you can carry 200kg of stuff in your backpack with infinite space, only limited by Strength.

Prevent people from getting shield marks in Very Aggressive tactics, and remove shield DV (or just add an overall penalty) while bookreading. Those are, I believe, subtle changes that would make the game more interesting without introducing frustration, and the only shield-related things I would alter. Too much realism will hurt gameplay.

PS: until I bothered to look it up in Google Images, I thought a "tower shield" was just a really big, U-shaped one :)

10-17-2012 01:52 PM
Senior Member
The difference is not in weight. If you are strong as an ogre, OK. But shield does not help defending yourself freely, is needs your actual attention.
The thing that annoys me most is than someone like an assasin (or a spellcaster) with shield looks ugly, but shields are too effective to not use them.

10-17-2012 02:44 PM
Ancient Member
I think realism is not the reason (if the game were to maximize realism, not only we wouldn't be able to carry 20 weapons in the backpack, but we wouldn't even be able to read or handle tools while wielding weapons). But shields are somewhat overpowered, they're good for almost every class. Almost everyone except beastfighters and some monks use shields all the time except when they find a truly awesome two-hander.

I think the nerf number 1 suggested in the OP makes sense. Number 2 I think is too much, running away is important in ADOM and no weak characters would use shields if they affected speed.

10-17-2012 02:51 PM
Senior Member
You can simply take your shield off and then run.

10-17-2012 03:07 PM
Ancient Member
In real life, you don't generally block with your weapon unless you're fencing (Olympic style). Edged weapons like a longsword or battleaxe, or a club, mace, or flail, you probably don't ever block with. It would permanently damage your weapon to do so. TV is lying to you.

10-17-2012 03:09 PM
Senior Member
That's the reason why axe gives about 5 DV maximum, isn't it?

10-17-2012 03:39 PM
Ancient Member
Swords were historically used for blocking. Not as spectacularly as in movies, but blocking. http://www.thearma.org/essays/edgemyth.htm

Quarterstaves also had their defensive maneuvers. http://www.ehow.com/way_5304629_quar...echniques.html

Spears could be used to deflect attacks as well. http://www.swordacademy.com/weapons-spear/index.html

Axes, whips, etc. I agree, they just weren't used for blocking AFAIK.

12-08-2012 07:00 PM
Ancient Member
I kind of agree that magic users should be using Staves so maybe a RFE for buffing Staves should be created, if not already.

But definately remove PV from shields. PV is subtracted from damage and the balance from HP, if positive. As it is now it implies that your shield is always hit, unless you get punched through your armour, then PV is ignored. Yes, I know each hit doesn't strike your helmet and gloves, etc. But then the code will have to be changed if you want to only use one worn/wielded piece's PV used per hit.
This is absurd, sorry. Maybe.

I'm not certain of this, but think it's like that.

12-08-2012 08:08 PM
Member
Realism? Our characters walk around with a dozen corpses, spare armour, full climbing gear, a small library of books, 10 long swords, a full cooking set and AN ANVIL on their back while double-wielding spears and casting spells from the third mouth on their forehead. No, seriously, I don't think shields are broken in the game. I agree dual-wielding tower shields is a bit funny, but then our characters do a lot of strange things an shields are by far not the weirdest.

As a long sword fencer, I can say al-Khwarizmi is right: long swords are definitely used for blocking and while there's some weapon damage, properly made and maintained swords can take a surprising amount of punishment. I'm not sure how you'd implement this in the game, though. It would be nice to see staves being more useful to wizards, although fantasy sensibilities aside, I find using a weapon and a shield more realistic even for a spellcaster.

12-08-2012 08:37 PM
Ancient Member
I lolled at your 2nd sentence, but shield PV is something that bugged me from day 1. Before I even knew you could wield two. I always imagined that those given by weapons are magical, but why would most shields be magical. That should only be reserved for the artifact shields.

Edit - Giving and attack energy penalty while wielding a shield(s) is another possible way of nerfing shields, dependant on weight(of the shield), skill, dexterity, talent and strenght.

12-08-2012 08:43 PM
Senior Member
I don't agree with the original suggestions. There can be such a thing as too much realism. A different thing I would agree with, though, would be making it more likely for shields to be generated with intrinsic minuses to to-hit.

12-08-2012 08:55 PM
Ancient Member
The only thing that really bugs me about shields is that you can dual wield them effectively and even shoot arrows or cast spells while doing so.

Then again, afaik dual wielding shields is the only way to walk around in dwarftown without getting queries if you really want to backstab people. Such a walking mode is really convenient and good to have.

12-08-2012 09:03 PM
Ancient Member
Quote Originally Posted by grobblewobble
The only thing that really bugs me about shields is that you can dual wield them effectively and even shoot arrows or cast spells while doing so.

Then again, afaik dual wielding shields is the only way to walk around in dwarftown without getting queries if you really want to backstab people. Such a walking mode is really convenient and good to have.
Spellcasting is just words from memory, bookcasting and learning spells from books you need a free hand, I would say. Archery, well, I'm not commenting.

Hopefully we get an auto-swapping in the next prelease, seems TB is interested in implementing that.

12-08-2012 09:21 PM
Ancient Member
Quote Originally Posted by paivi
It would be nice to see staves being more useful to wizards
Maybe better staves could be added for 1.2.0. Or the double weapon marks requirement for wizards could be lifted just for this weapon class. Or the damage of current ones could be increased; even the artifact staff of the archmagi does 5d2+2 base damage, which is pitiful.

12-10-2012 09:01 PM
The Creator
How about 100% shield DV only for fighters, chaos knights and paladins, 75% for rangers and barbarians and 50% for the rest?

12-10-2012 09:17 PM
Senior Member
Why rangers? They are supposed to double-wield, aren't they?
And weapons should be somehow buffed then. Maybe slight increases in DV given by weapon skill.

12-10-2012 09:26 PM
Member
I vote against, unless something practical is implemented to make up the DV for non-melee classes. Not being a very dedicated or advanced player, my spellcasters and especially bards have definitely needed every bit of DV they could get.

Maybe you could penalise to-hit for non-melee classes when wielding really big shields if some change is felt to be necessary?

12-10-2012 09:52 PM
Ancient Member
I don't see much of a need to nerf shields as to nerf pole arms + shields. Don't agree with this suggestion so much--I'd rather have a movement penalty as originally suggested.

Edit - and remove weapon DV to fix p-arms.

12-10-2012 10:28 PM
Ancient Member
I'd rather see a bigger damage and crit bonus to weapons that need two hands, to encourage them as a form of high risk meleeing. At the moment shields already raise in skill level slowly for certain classes, and if you're not in melee much you won't get many marks in them anyway. Without the skill shields don't give that much DV.

Removing PV from non-artifact shields makes a bit of sense, though how that would affect game balance I'm not sure.

12-10-2012 11:19 PM
Ancient Member
Quote Originally Posted by adom-admin
How about 100% shield DV only for fighters, chaos knights and paladins, 75% for rangers and barbarians and 50% for the rest?
Spellcasting classes already get marks at lowered speed; now their hard to achieve grand mastery would also be worth half that of others. The spellcasters' lack of martial training or aptitude suddenly is doubly represented. In addition, this would severely hurt all the non-spellcasting classes, such as thieves, merchants and so forth, whose power level is decidedly not an issue. I always thought the class-independent weapon skill system was a strength; a "fail-safe" that allowed all classes, even the crappiest, to develop power independent of their class in a numerically competitive manner. And it adds customizability and therefore room for roleplay: Even the most common-born farmer can become the world's grandest sword master in the course of saving the world from chaos, second to no fighter; why should grand mastery in shields suddenly be an exception? Doesn't it defeat the point of achieving "Grand Mastery" if your Grand Mastery is worth less than a fighter's level 8 (which puts him at merely "skilled", without recognition of any level of mastery)?

Shields aren't that much of a problem. The combination of Coward mode, shields (especially dual shields) while wielding completely unfettered spellcasting power is.

Being stuck in webs makes it impossible to cast spells since you can't perform the hand movements necessary - in other words, there's a somatic component to ADOM spellcasting that should make it all but impossible if either hand is strapped to a shield, let alone both. I think wearing one shield should result in 25% spell failure, and dual-shielding in 75%. I'd also add a talent named "Shield Casting" that requires a certain shield weapon skill level (7?) which would eliminate the 25% spell failure for one-hand shield use. With that solution, dedicated spellcasters are given the choice of mastering any kind of two-handed weapon, most probably the staff with its respectable defense, or to go the "magic knight" route - hone their paltry melee combat skills and shield usage enough to make it their own. It would make for a meaningful choice to be constantly remade as you discover new and improved staves and shields, in contrast to the current situation, in which not using shields is just plain suboptimal and staves are chosen almost solely for roleplay reasons.



As for spear+shield - I'd have to say that I don't think the defense benefits of a polearm fully apply to a one-handed spear - though a one-handed spear does have reach, which is definitely part of it. A 40% reduction of polearms weapon skill benefits when using a polearm one-handed seems like a fair fix - but has the disadvantage of not being apparent from the weapon skill screen. A special message if the player equips something in one of the hands while a weapon using the polearms skill is already equipped in the other hands could be the solution: "You're now wielding the spear in one hand, reducing your DV benefit from it by 40%".

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