Captain Mode Shield Strength Multiplier Should Be Reduced

Users who are viewing this thread

Zarthas

Knight
@NIN3 I'm not sure of the exact nature of the mechanic, whether it reduces damage taken by shields or increases shield hp, but there's some variable that increases longevity of shields in Captain mode vs. Skirmish/other modes. Devs revealed this in some of the patch note discussion a year or so ago.

If I remember correctly, it is something like a 1 to 4 ratio, with shields being something like 4x stronger in Captain. This makes it functionally impossible to break shields in Captain mode as part of a standard melee. Breaking shields is just not an important part of the game, which is bizarre considering how important it is in every other game mode.

Captain games would be more compelling if we reduced this factor to about half to 3/4s of its current value. (Bringing it closer to Skirmish/Siege values)

Here's some Cons of Current Value:
-Makes player-on-player encounters in Captain very boring "I Go, You Go" affairs if they both have a 1h weapon and shield.
-Makes one-handed Axes a moot choice vs Swords, decreasing the impact of player perk choices.
-Decreases the usefulness of Throwing weapons in Captain, especially Throwing Axes. Since Shields are virtually unbreakable, there is no reason to change your tactics to attempt to break them.
-Makes it foolish to use many of the Improved Shield perks. Many of these perks don't increase surface area, just shield hp and resistance, making it always a suboptimal choice compared to other perks in that slot.
-Makes it so that the vast majority of players do not realize the AI will pick up new shields after theirs has broken.
-Makes it so players with good shields are able to AI exploit easily by crouching in a corner with a shield raised or other AI abuse.
-Makes it difficult to balance factions across game modes. Axe-heavy factions like Sturgia suffer these problems in Captain, while being axe-centric in Skirmish or Siege is a boon.

Pros of Current Value:
-I suspect this was originally done early on while Archers were still being balanced. I think this was to prevent Arrows from destroying the shields of heavy infantry over time, as arrows were very powerful around EA launch. I think there is a middle ground in which we are able to accomplish all of these.

Pros of Reducing the Value:
- If it were functionally possible to break shields in the duration of a standard captain melee, Axe-equipped light infantry would have a new role as anti-Heavy infantry, and Axe-Equipped Shocks would stand a fighting chance against Heavies in good positions.
- Lowering this value would open up new tactics, involving Brigands closing to volley on Heavy infantry set up in strong points so Hunters could hit them from range.
- The AI is able to recycle shields. Could open up new gameplay moments in which you have to resupply heavy infantry with scavenged shields, in the way Skirmishers and Archers do now. Since the AI is able to recycle shields this way, this decreases our dependency on the Shield Strength Multiplier even further.
- Player on Player encounters in Captain would be more interesting, as in Duel and Skirmish.

Cons of Reducing The Value:
-It will be harder to Rambo-kite lots of enemies at once
-It will be harder to stand in a doorway and draw AI aggro so your sub-par clan can win melees.
 
Agreed, shields are just out of this world in captain mode. Not only do they block with a much wider hitbox like some magic item, they are also durable in BS levels like they are made of diamonds. A more realistic approach is needed.
 

Brandis.

Subforum Moderator
As you pointed out, this was done early on when archers were stronger. You couldn't push anywhere on infantry because they couldn't deal with crossfires that were just 15-20 degrees wide.

Now that people are much better at dealing with archers, they haven't been meta for years and we've had an infantry meta for maybe 2 years total with a brief rambo interlude.
 

Cek

Squire
I agree with you that right now the shields are too much durable and probably can take something like 50 arrows or 10 jareed before being destroyed, but in the other hand i would also not change is value by too much, or you risk to reduce the effectivness of shieldwall and heavy infantry in general.

For example you mention that doing so will make infantry need to scavange shield more, but that could also not be used by the opponent to work against you? Taking only skirmisher and archer units, so basically the skirmisher destroy the shield you have while the archer finish you off, as without any melee fight there are no other shield to get.

I think it is quite tricky to balance it well, but notherless would be good to see this type of changes more often and see how could they eventually swing the meta
 

Zarthas

Knight
I agree with you that right now the shields are too much durable and probably can take something like 50 arrows or 10 jareed before being destroyed, but in the other hand i would also not change is value by too much, or you risk to reduce the effectivness of shieldwall and heavy infantry in general.

For example you mention that doing so will make infantry need to scavange shield more, but that could also not be used by the opponent to work against you? Taking only skirmisher and archer units, so basically the skirmisher destroy the shield you have while the archer finish you off, as without any melee fight there are no other shield to get.

I think it is quite tricky to balance it well, but notherless would be good to see this type of changes more often and see how could they eventually swing the meta
Absolutely, it would need to preserve the shielded unit's role as a wall of sorts.

What I'm suggesting is exactly your second scenario, within reason. Destroying an opponent's shield should be a valid part of the game's strategy in Captain as it is in other game modes. We do need something of a buff between Captain and Skirmish just to accommodate the nature of the combat, but the current value rules out any tactical choices related to shield destruction. Specifically this obsoletes Axe-users the most, and removes a perhaps interesting gameplay decision with using Skirmishers to somewhat weaken enemy shields before closing as is part of their historical use.

I don't think a reduction to 75% of its current value is going to tip anything too much, honestly I don't think it would even be noticeable enough to effect the changes we are discussing. The current value is a relic of early over-balancing and should be readdressed.
 
Top Bottom