Rethinking the Design of Shields

Discussion in 'Suggestions & Feedback' started by XxX_MLG Noob_XxX, Jan 7, 2020.

  1. I'm gonna go ahead and throw out a probably-controversial, certainly-game-reversing idea: What if shields couldn't be broken?

    Some Major Problems
    Recently I've been spending more time thinking about the kinds of things the game rewards and the kinds of things it doesn't reward, as well as how players appear to be encouraged to play the game. Looking at things so far, although melee/Close-Combat have gotten some buffs compared to the past (thanks Teddy), the game still seems to reward easier, distanced gameplay over riskier, more aggressive gameplay.

    I'm not going to dive into melee theory, as I've done that in a different post. But I do think the issue that I've pointed out here affects shields significantly. Although you're taught to shield, the game does not put significant effort into encouraging the player to shield. And while it doesn't teach the player how to use their shield effectively, it does show the player that their shield can be broken after they very likely get their first shield broken by Mrs. Bee or Giga Slime. What does this teach people? It's safer to run around and deal damage from afar than to do anything risky with a shield. Even for more aggressive players, they learn to blink away and back off once shield HP is low. And easy run-and-gun maging (and frosty) happens to be just what the game encourages, especially in Arcade mode.

    Late game, there are no significant rewards for using the shield (without pguards). You block damage that you simply could've avoided altogether by maging cleverly...all at the risk of taking more damage, getting stunlocked, or losing your shield. Enemies like Mrs. Bee are almost entirely out of the picture. Instead, less enemies get stunned by shield, and more enemies have an easier time hammering through your shield. Less stunned enemies would be fine...if shielding were better.

    As for pguards, they have their uses...but their uses are few. And even then, the game only mentioned it once in story twice with the onset of Startlington. Talking to some people recently, there are some familiars with the game who played through all of story and didn't even know pguarding was a practical thing outside of flying fortress. Arcade taught them pguarding.

    The Ideal Solutions [Updated 1/7/2020]
    So... There are a few solutions to the issue. One is to increase the rewards on pguards...but that still leaves you with a ton of people who will rarely pguard. Another option is to talk about shielding more...but that still leaves the fact that shielding is not significantly encouraged in the game. I honestly think it's worth considering making shields unbreakable at this point.

    So here's what I'm thinking:

    1) The Shield Is Unbreakable by Default
    This means that players can shield as much as they need to in order to stay safe. They'll still have all the vulnerability that comes with holding up shield, as well as shielding certain attacks. The only difference is that there won't be "a certain number of hits" until the shield breaks. The shield will remain durable.

    2) For Auto-Breaking Attacks, Guard Is Broken Rather Than Shield
    L4ur helped me come up with this idea. The basic premise is that there are attacks clearly intended to be "perfected-guarded only". For these attacks, the player's guard can be broken and they can still experience the fallback animation. However, their shield will be immediately accessible afterwards because their guard was broken, not their shield. I know there are other balanced games that take on a similar idea. It helps keep the game active with uptime, it removes some jankness, and it also really helps the player see which attacks are meant to be pguarded (since there'll be a clear distinction between a "strong guard" and a "weak guard").

    3) Knockback Could Be More Thoroughly Reconsidered
    Tiz created this idea. Basically, the idea is that pguards should never have knockback -- not even now in the present game. But if the unbreakable shield idea gets implemented, it would be more worthwhile to consider how knockback should affect players who fail to perfect guard. (How far different enemies move a player who had a "strong guard" up.) I think this idea brings up several balance questions, but I think it's a great counterbalance idea to avoid careless shielding. If this idea gets implemented, I think it should start out first simply by taking the first 2 ideas (which should be easier to implement quickly). Then, at a later point where addressing overall balance is easier, thoughts of player knockback could also be looked at.

    Along the same line, this could address issues regarding "How would shields be different?" Shields that appear later in the game can simply have higher knockback resistance, with pguards always negativing all knockback resistance. This also has some balance considerations that can be consider much much later.

    Some Arguments for the Idea
    I put this last so that you didn't have to read it if you weren't interested. This is just justification.

    This idea would remove a lot of jank situations, even in multiplayer hardmodes in Arcade. And if you think about it, having an unbreakable shield does not make the player that much stronger. While your shield is up, you're still vulnerable from behind. And when you're blocking an attack, you still get noticeable shield stun. You can't really do anything while shielding except backoff and prepare for a safer attack, which is already what the game requires.

    With this change, melee would have a much easier time because they wouldn't have to worry about their shield breaking to crabs ( <_< ). Tips and NPC's could encourage people to use shield more because it would be a legitimate viable option for defense. And it would create interesting shenanigans with things like plants.

    Finally, this change would address an issue Own mentioned long ago for shields and that I think a lot of people shared similar sentiments would allow shields with cool abilities to remain reusable.

    Really? Implementing This Idea Now, Though?
    I understand that at this point we're already super deep into the game, but I think this idea would have a significantly positive impact on the overall balance of the game and the overall player experience without significant risk to make anything OP. It would also make it easier to balance some of these late game enemies, who really create a lot of frustration when they break shields so easily.

    Also, having jumbled around with some of the code, my presumption (though I could be wrong), is that it would be very easy to test this idea on a super-surface level. In simplest form, all shields could get a super huge hp boost in the meantime. And any shield breaks could followup with an immediate shield regen. (I know there's a method to regen shield. That's how the iron shield doesn't show regen at the start of Arcade Mode.) This would be just for testing purposes -- say, in meatshield.

    Or, if the idea is good enough to use now, from what I recall it shouldn't be too difficult to implement the idea. Shield hp goes away. On hit of shield, no damage numbers need calculation (unless you just want to display how much damage was blocked). On "shield break" (guard break), the shield is still usable. Naturally, all of this would still take some effort. It's not a totally seamless change. But compared to my other 2 game-changing ideas, I think this is easiest.

    Shielding can be well-balanced even when it isn't breakable. In fact, unbreakable shields arguably add more balance into the mix. Perhaps there's some way they could find a place or half-place in SoG.
    Last edited: Jan 7, 2020
  2. KoBeWi

    KoBeWi Jumpkin

    The problem with unbreakable shields is that most of the shields would become redundant, because they differ only in shield hp. Maybe shield hp could be reworked. Like, when your shield loses durability, it becomes less effective (e.g. blocking only 30% of damage). Also broken shield delays could be removed, so shields regenerate as soon as you lower guard even if the shield is "broken".
  3. Yeah I’m aware that it does throw a wrench in a few things. Honestly I think one of the largest issues with this idea is the crystal shield, whose entire gimmick (and it’s a pretty bad one honestly) is to give you low shield hp, but a little less shield damage if you pguard.

    But what I’m worried about the most right now is balance and player options. Redundancy of in game items is a small price to pay for a better pro and average player experience. Besides, people love cosmetics anyway. They would still swap out shields based on appeal. An easy option to keep shields from being boring is to give more of them special effects, like Own was talking about in another one of his posts. Also, Tiz had the brilliant idea of counteracting unbreakable shields with knockback, and only blocking all knockback on pguards. With that, stronger shields could have more knockback resistance. And pguards would always block knockback like they should be doing right now.

    I agree with you that shield regen delay is kinda crazy and isn’t necessary. That could go. But in a game where enemies hit harder and harder and faster and break shields earlier and earlier — and in a game where certain shield abilities become a virtual necessity for classes like melee — the concept of shield hp doesn’t make sense in general. We could beef up shield hp to a point where only those who were really spammy would get punished. But at that point, for most players it’s effectively the same as being unbreakable. At that point, the only difference (compared to unbreakable shields) is that buffing shield hp makes programming easier (my assumption). It just changes a few constants.
    Last edited: Jan 7, 2020
  4. What I’m most honed in on is what the game encourages and fails to encourage, as well as the design of late game enemies, and how all of this has grown progressively more incompatible with the idea of how shields work in the game. Addressing these issues requires thinking outside the current box.

    I think one of the reasons close combat classes have such a harder time, and why so many folks can’t play the melee classes they love unless they’re literal kings at the game, is because the game does this really confusing thing where it says, “Hey here’s a shield” but also “Oh don’t use it too much, though”. So it becomes this awkward balancing act between shield hp and other things that really shouldn’t exist. And the kings are really just people who know how to preserve shield by pguarding all the time. (Mage kings also pguard, but differently.) Thus, as I stated earlier, folks are encouraged to run around and cast easy spells. The game doesn’t give them sufficiently viable defense options.
    Last edited: Jan 7, 2020
  5. I haven't touched shields much at all in the game. Granted, I am a fully spec'd flamethrower mage, so there's a lot less emphasis of me needing to do so, but even with my melee characters, there tends to be so much going around that rather than just defending myself, it's usually more viable to just try to kill the thing trying to kill me faster than it kills me.

    Half the reasons I don't like using shields though, especially as a mage is that the shields do break. And they break really easily. Even with having all the cards, and being a ridiculously high level, with buffed defense, almost everything will either automatically guard break the shield (like crabs), or the shield will be broken in just two or three strikes. Sometimes you don't even get a chance to prevent the guard break, such as Solem's laser beams, which will literally animation lock you into guarding until the shield breaks.

    Which also brings me to another issue about shields -- when your character gets hit, you get invulnerability frames, so something like a Solem's beam will only hit you a 2 or 3 times if you get hit from start of the animation, to the end of the animation.
    However, when you're guarding and that laser hits the shield, you get no invulnerability frames -- so that shield takes a hit literally dozens and dozens of times rather than just two or three, so even if you were only to take 200 damage without the shield through multiple hits, that shield literally takes over a thousand damage in one attack and there's no shield currently in the game that can take that much damage.

    The Frostling mini boss in Seasonne is very notorious for this too, when he machine gun snowballs at you. Try to block that with the shield and uh, yeah, it's not surviving that barrage. You get animation locked until the shield breaks, and then you get hit anyway. It was actually this mini boss when I was new to the game that "taught" me to not bother using the shield because when I tried to use it, I just got hit against him anyways and died. Then I stopped using it and I won against him very easily. I understand now how good perfect guarding is, particularly in Arcade mode, but I still find very little use for it in Story Mode and only use the shield as a reflexive last resort when I'm in a bullet hell and have no way out of it so I just block and hope the shield might survive.

    Barrier doesn't have this problem, because when you get hit with barrier, you still obtain those invulnerability frames like normal.

    I don't know if shielding should have the same invulnerability frames as being hit (I'm pretty sure that shouldn't because that sounds too good on paper), but it would be very nice if nothing else to provide shields a small bit of immunity time against multi-hit attacks or barrages where if it blocks incoming damage, the shield bar cannot be reduced for 30 frames or so.
    Maybe make it so if you perfect guard the beginning of one of those multi-hit attacks, that it chain perfect guards the rest of any other attack in short succession, like for the Frostling in Seasonne or the Solem in the desert, or any other amount of projectiles that are bunched right next to each other. This would make perfect guarding these attacks actually possible and viable and they won't tear through the shield like it's wet tissue paper, whether it be with the current "shield HP" system we have, or from the player's guard being temporarily broken as MLG suggests.
  6. Teddy

    Teddy Developer Staff Member

    Thanks for the feedback!

    Some quick thoughts on this (scattered, this is not an essay):

    I agree that the ShieldHP system as it exists now has fundamental issues

    I don't think shields are bad, I'd argue they are extremely powerful even as they exist now
    But I agree with the issue that it's mostly already strong players that are able to benefit from that strength

    While the cooldown time for both the shield regenerating damage and recovering after a break are probably on the high end, this doesn't read as an unhealthy interaction to me at all

    This does

    I might add some debug commands for reconfiguring how the shield works for people interested in testing such things (no massive fundamental reworks but a theoretically invincible shield is of course ez pz)

    My gut tells me unbreakable shields are not interesting, but I might be wrong (ha-ha, as if!!)

    I suspect many people won't be using their shield no matter what, and for perfect guards that number goes way up, which is fine, though of course the optimum is that no players who want to use the shield decide to stop using it

    We'll definitely have a look at the shield before release (it's one of the top things on my personal radar)
    XxX_MLG Noob_XxX likes this.
  7. Teddy

    Teddy Developer Staff Member

    The following commands will ship with the next update [0.870d] (might meatshield it):

    /godshield - Gives all shields 100000 SHP, aka virtually unbreakable by regular damage

    /eqshield - Gives all shields a baseline 100 SHP, reduces all shielded damage to 10 (PG will take less) - aka all shields will now survive 10 consecutive hits, or 25 perfect guards. In theory, shields can still have different SHP with this system, but this hack will equalize all shields, even crystal

    /quickshield - Makes shields regen very fast when lowered, and also halves shield break duration. Can be used on its own or in tandem with the others

    /iframebreak - A shield break counts as damage as far as i-frames is concerned

    These commands will be usable in Arcade Mode as well but will disable high score uploads!

    Note: I don't think any of these leads to a world with a perfect or universally loved shield, but maybe they'll provide some additional insight for a more serious overhaul. The most notable unresolved issue is Sairek's mention of lacking shield invulnerability against certain continuous attacks EDIT: Ok, iframebreak should prevent most cases of "break into unavoidable damage"
    Last edited: Jan 9, 2020
  8. Swiss cheese! Thanks Teddy! Whenever that updates comes out I’ll checkout the commands. I’m especially hopeful for the 2nd and 3rd.

    I’m sure a “perfect” shield world is likely impossible. But a universe where it could be used well would be awesome. Confident that the commands will help with that.

    I did have some questions/comments about some of the stuff you said, but you’re free not to engage if you don’t have the time (or interest).

    Question/Comment 1
    This is probably my largest question, and it’s the source of my later comments in some way or another: What do you guys as the devs want to encourage the player to do in the game? Are you designing with the hopes of people shielding more? Or with the hopes of people running away and attacking/throwing distanced attacks more? Or maybe there is no preference?

    I know earlier l4ur mentioned that he thought y’all legit wanted to encourage running like a chicken (which is already heavily rewarded rn) over trying to fight and shield. But I find that doubtful? I’d at least imagine a balance would be preferred. But knowing what you’re after would be helpful for me in shaping my feedback (even if I disagree).

    Question/Comment 2
    I’m curious to know if this is looking at shields as a whole or just plain shielding. (No pguards.) I’m also wondering if you’re rating shields this way in isolation or in comparison to other abilities. I can’t argue with pguards being powerful due to that mage/melee post I made awhile back. But outside of that — especially late game — shields don’t seem too great compared to other options. Running/Blinking and casting (which melee can’t do so easily) seem so much more optimal.

    A stubborn shieldhead like me took literally years to hit #5 with melee, with tons of build rework. Meanwhile people who used frosty and meteor/es/ice magic/CL (pre nerf) and had almost no clue what a shield was (or an optimized build was) towered over me. Granted, that partially speaks to frosty and partially to the power of distanced damage.

    Similarly, in the desert. I still can’t survive as melee out there. But as a mage who keeps away all day, my hp doesn’t move much. Again, speaks partially to enemy design. But still, the shield — which typically brings folks closer to the chaos inherently — is always the most vulnerable of the options.

    Question/Comment 3
    I personally feel like people could be moved to use shield more. (Can’t detemine percentage.) I think part of it is the fact that shielding is hardly emphasized. You don’t get trained to shield anywhere in story, really. So, just like pguarding, it’s kinda valued less. From what I see here, folks like Sairek learned shield lessons late. (So did I.)

    I think the other side of it is what this whole discussion is. (Regular) Shielding is indubitably strong early game. Not so much midgame. Really weak late game.

    People tend to flock to things that are clearly rewarded and flee from things that are punished (in addition to choosing personal playstyles). But that ties back to what you as devs prefer. I guess I can’t expect noobs to shield a lot though.

    Thanks again for the comments and commands!!! :D
    Last edited: Jan 9, 2020
  9. Teddy

    Teddy Developer Staff Member

    (As always, sorry for the shotgun rhetoric, but I must use it lest my brain will suffer too much of a mode switch from programming)

    We really don't care as long as people can find something they like.

    I'm... maybe biased maybe because I love the shield? Or maybe that makes me quite qualified. Fred hates Smash. I love Smash. Maybe we could change smash so that Fred liked it - who knows how that would affect my love for it? Same goes for the shield. I'm fine with people not using the shield, but that doesn't mean I'm against improving it.

    Playing defensively will always be inherently less challenging than playing gold berserk and taking every opportunity to deal damage.

    I mainly hope that people are enjoying the game, and in addition I also hope that people who enjoy a challenge can be challenged.

    With that said, there is no universe where all people will enjoy the game or everything in it. Even games with more focus like CrossCode and Hollow Knight have people who hate the gameplay to its core.

    Again, me feeling those things doesn't mean I'll stonewall "objectively positive" changes

    As a whole.

    To be frank my experience is that there is a vast mass of people that view any kind of interaction beyond moving around and pressing one button a hell of a chore. They'll do it if they have to but a lot of people just... don't want to, and probably never will, as confusing as that might be for you and I. The only thing that match such a person's disinterest for the shield, is my disinterest in catering the shield to them. And I think they are very happy with that decision :D

    Many people just like to walk around watching a beefy snowman and a happy cloud decimate cute things. And who can blame them?

    That's, to me, the most glaring issue!

    Well put! Speaking of Arcade Mode, I don't generally speak of Arcade Mode. There will come a time when I do, but right now I don't. So for me, speaking about these things, I'm 90 % focused on improving shields in late-game Story Mode right now. I'm not sure how much that changes things, but our differing main focus might be something to keep in mind.

    And how did that work out for you?

    You're welcome!
    Last edited: Jan 9, 2020
    XxX_MLG Noob_XxX likes this.
  10. Awesome! Thanks for taking the time to answer all of those!

    Not sure I remember mentioning the story for babies thing in here. Sounds like something I'd say in another area though. lol. Nonetheless that info was helpful too! xD

    And no worries on the "shutgun rhetoric". Haha. Everything you said seemed fine to me. That's a really cool term though, so I might have to steal it.
  11. I think the Iframes alone would encourage me to be less afraid to use shields (because I suck at them and if I failed at shielding some attacks like Solem I would end up getting hit anyway so was better to just dodge), so I'm hoping it will be a welcome QOL improvement.

    When the update hits, I'll try making an aggressive (or maybe a purely defensive, since I have two already) melee character and try playing through the game with a couple of the commands and will give feedback to how it feels.
  12. Faangzzz

    Faangzzz Rabby

    Honestly what scares me about using shields more than them breaking is the idea of Perfect Guards. I'm not good at timing windows that small, and even though I've spend time trying to learn how to do it in SoG I still can't P Guard the first few floors of enemies in arcade mode. If I can't block an attack, my brain pushes me to dodge, and since using the shield slows me down I don't ever use it.
  13. Teddy

    Teddy Developer Staff Member

    PSA: for people who are on the meatshield beta, the commands should be usable now!
  14. Faangzzz

    Faangzzz Rabby

    I was thinking on this and instead of the shielding or guarding.. What do yall think of a parry/clash mechanic? Thinking of hollow knight here, where attacking at the exact moment an enemy attacks causes both of your attacks to be cancelled out. Ignoring balance concerns, what do yall think about that as a mechanic?
  15. xEleaa

    xEleaa Rabby

    I'm not normally one to post in general.... or on something like this but I have some input, mind you it's not very constructive. Be warned!

    I do think the game in general could go a bit further in giving direction about shield usage and p blocking. Just to help newer players and such. But as it sit's right now it's pretty fulfilling to use with melee or ranged builds imo (Purely based off arcade and not story content) Keep that in mind XD.

    Yes getting the full benefit of it comes with learning timings on all attacks and quick judgement on your current position, as well as knowing when you need a quick charge to eradicate those pesky chickens(please let us kill them). But the durability seems pretty fair as well as the timing windows. It's fun having it break in a derp moments.

    As it stands though with proper management of the shield as a resource to negate damage at critical points or gain the pguard bonus to cleave a group of enemies strategically, I really don't mind it's current state :D

    People will always run around not trying to block no matter what, it just gives the option to better your game play if your willing to learn. (Again give abit more direction during early stages of them game possibly idk?) XD

    That's my two cents but I find it useful :D <3
  16. Own

    Own Moderator

    I think that heavily rewards people who enjoy spamming the attack button.

    Which is to say not a very good idea.

    Anyhow, you'll probably have more people using shields once the dojo shield training gets added to Story Mode. And if not, just tie an arena/dojo challenge in Story Mode into defeating Phaseman using only your shield. Make it a part of the 100%. That'll give people an actual reason to try to get good with it. Carrots on sticks are the best teachers.
    Eiroth likes this.
  17. thzfunnymzn

    thzfunnymzn Green Slime

    Not someone whose played hundreds of hours of Arcade, or even hard mode of Story. Just one solo run with a two-handed "big hp" build, and one co-op with my (not a competitive gamer) sister where I ran Ice.

    Didn't use shield with my melee dude (or with ice dude, obviously). Shield breaking is part of the issue, yes, but MORE importantly is the very slow speed while only blocking damage from one direction. (Potential for stunlock is a concern too). You just can't afford to sit still in Grindea; there's just too much going on on-screen, from too many directions. If you want defense, either go for big HP + Barrier + heal potion, MOVE (includes teleport), grab a meatshield (snowman is best technique), or let a good offense be your defense (dunno how good Grindea is with using status effects or manipulation offensively, but straight-up killing is always an option). Even if they're unbreakable, Grindea shields are still very low on the rung of player defensive skills; more of a last resort if all else failed.

    IF the goal is to make shields significantly more important as a defensive skill WITHOUT just "eh, you equip shields for the secondary effects they give", THEN the solution will likely be a deeper level re-work than simply "shields are unbreakable". (Simplest idea is to just copy Zelda: Link to the Past. Shield is just auto-defense on certain parts of your character's sprite from certain attacks. Passively helps with all the garbage on screen, different shields could block / reflect / absorb different stuff. Mind you, I'm not saying Grindea SHOULD do this. In fact, I have no illusion that y'all will, nor am I saying that that's what I want. Rather, it's just an example of a way shields could actually be useful, given Grindea's conditions).

    Also didn't use P.Guarding, because the window is too tight, with the punishment for failure being too much. (Can't afford to take hits willy nilly in Grindea). P.Guard seems to only be an option for those who have attack timing & spacing memorized WHILE they also either employ effective herding / controlling tactics or isolate enemies from the action. So, it's a veteran-only skill, but it feels like such in a bad way somehow. High skill floor / steep learning curve whose only function is to further reward veterans for good gameplay? (Rewarding veterans and steep learning curves aren't BAD things at all, just ... something feels wrong. I've enjoyed using status effects and knowledge of enemy scripts to rip through RPGs after repeated runs. But even then, I still maintain that old jRPGs handled status effects very poorly, and I wasn't being given special extra techniques to rip through enemies that only I could use because I had enemy scripts memorized; I was just efficiently using tools everyone all ready had).

    Can't give any further ideas on p.guard; mostly because I don't care for the mechanic in general. : / Sorry.

    So, there's someone's two-cents on shields.
  18. Faangzzz

    Faangzzz Rabby

    I think this is a grand way to get people into it. There's a pretty hefty learning curve from first learning what a perfect guard is straight into fighting phaseman.
  19. So over the weekend, I played the game from the start (with a friend who's sorta new at the game -- he's played it before a little bit, a couple of years ago) with the intent of me using an aggressive build that would require the use of both the shield and dodging strike, and he just doing whatever he wanted (I wanted to gauge what a normal, casual player would do). For our session, I used the "/iframebreak" command. I let him know about the shield and how it functions and the intentions of the test, etc.

    I think the amount of times I saw him use the shield I could count with a single hand if you count the times where he had to use the shield (on one exception which I'll mention in a minute). I think there needs to be more encouragement to use the shield in the play through. He certainly knew it existed because I was shielding and etc every chance I could get and perfect guarding, but he just opted not to use it. I asked him after the session why he barely used the shield and his response was "Dodging feels easier and it's just how I react to an attack coming towards me."

    Now, at the end of our entire play through, we did the arena mode, where to get an S rank you need to not take a single point of damage. In our attempts doing this he was using his shield *a lot* more. And properly too! He knew how to use the shield, despite how little he had used it the entire play through, and was even perfect guarding the red giga slime just fine -- even that very quick hammer attack after a few attempts I intentionally kept getting hit and failing without letting him know it was on purpose so I could "study" this more). When I asked him afterwards, his response was "I don't know. I guess I felt more pressured to use it knowing I couldn't afford to take damage and knowing we had to also beat him in a time limit."

    I'm going to try and convince him to do some Arcade mode runs if possible to see how he reacts with shield usage there. I think there needs to be a little bit more to at least encourage newer players to use their shields more. Not a buff or a mechanic change, but more of a visual show and tell of how useful the shield can be here and there. Maybe the Collector Test at the start of the game can have a fourth section devoted to guarding/avoiding damage or maybe be a part of the third test -- something like that. It would at least give a proper tutorial other than saying "Shields exists" and a sign on the road in Pillar mountains with a picture showing that "blocking a bee = a stunned bee". Test 1 and 2 teach about fishing and puzzles, but test 3 doesn't teach anything currently. It's just an enemy gauntlet with the first boss.

    As for my usage in shields and dodging strike, it was honestly a lot of fun and I definitely have a new appreciation for using them both, though I doubt I will still use them much aside from an aggressive melee build because as my friend said "Dodging feels easier and it's just how I react to an attack coming towards me."
    However, as far as the iframes during the breaking of guard goes, this did save me from taking some damage I would have otherwise taken, and it felt like a very good quality of life feature if nothing else that I appreciated having, since it made the usage of the shield itself -- the very thing made to help me protect from damage, not take damage from trying to do it. So I felt encouraged (my build aside) from using it more when dodging was an option because I wasn't always afraid that blocking too soon would = damage anyways.
    Teddy likes this.
  20. Own

    Own Moderator

    Years ago I suggested a talent that synergizes with getting your shield broken. Specifically to get people into the habit of using their shield at all. If you can encourage people to actively try to get their shields broken, they'll at least occasionally perfect guard or learn when to use it to block a destructive attack. There's a few different ways you can do it to make it worthwhile to get people using their shield and having it break, especially since a shieldbreak isn't something you'll be able to abuse constantly.

    Shattered Strength - After your shield is broken...
    ... temporarily gain # defense?
    ... your next attack/skill gains % damage?
    ... restore # EP?
    ... your next # attacks are guaranteed crits?

    Ideally you don't want people to get their shield broken, but it's a carrot on a stick to steer them towards it. You can give people all the "After a perfect guard..." talents you want, they're going to be ignored if no one is any good at perfect guarding to begin with from a lack of shield use. Anyone can get a shield broken, though.

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