Mordhau

Kick Stun Ruined Shield Balance (Shield Thread VIIII)

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Held block is a necessary mechanic for shields to bulwark objectives, block arrows and supplement one handed weapons' ability to fight off multiple opponents. But it's only fair that if shields get held block, they have to be aimed accurately.

Adding kick stun and making the shield parrybox massive was a horrible mistake that has plagued FL. Devs were warned as much during the Alpha.

Shields should not be thought as noob crutches, but as tools for supplementing 1h ability to fight multiple opponents or come out even in a stamina duel against 2h... By making shield parry box smaller it will require a shield user to READ attacks and skill to block them in time. A shield is now only as good as the user... just like parrying. Specifically, shields should have much tighter parry angles, faster turn cap so they can turn in time, no longer be stunned by kicks and MAYBE a slight stamina buff.

I beg the devs to bring back the shields of Patch 14/15 and improve on shields from there. I think Patch 14/15 shields were perfect but if the parry angles were too tight one could simply buff them a bit? Shields should not be noob friendly any longer...

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  • 23 Aug
 SushiFish

A quick solution would be to give shields two defensive moves.

Tap - - > The user tries to parry with the shield which leaves them vulnerable if failed.
Can riposte after a successful block.

Held - - > The user holds the shield up till the button is released like normal.
The lowering speed is slow so it cannot be used to riposte and will generally lose the shield user the initiative.

This way the shield can be used as an defensive tool for one-handers without making it a crutch, while still retaining the held-block for different scenarios but with drawbacks.

Edit: Also shield should get a massive buff in terms of stamina management if these changes are made too so that shields can truely be used as a proper defensive tool.

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  • 23 Aug
 Aodlop

Just make them a passive 15% damage reduction and be done with it.

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It's IX - not VIIII.

@Aodlop said:
Just make them a passive 15% damage reduction and be done with it.

Passives are boring.

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@Aodlop said:
Just make them a passive 15% damage reduction and be done with it.

Why do we have to copy Chivalry ideas? Longsword was 4-5htk on armor when paired with a shield. Rediculous.

Bastard Sword already takes 4htk against armor in most cases and 15% damage reduction doesn't do anything for light/naked people fighting a shield. Well now mace is 3htk wooooo shields are now balanced. Rapier isn't annoying because it has high damage, rapier is annoying because it puts you in constant flinch and then the user gets to be impregnable behind a shield in a team fight.

Knight 755 3279
  • 24 Aug
 Mittsies

@Lionheart Chevalier said:
Bastard Sword already takes 4htk against armor in most cases

Only if you don't use stabs:

Stab to T3 Chest (38) + Stab to T3 Chest (38) + Slash to T3 Chest (27) = 103
Stab to T3 Head (45) + Stab to T3 Head (45) + Kick (10+) = 100

Also worth noting that Bastard Sword deals 50 damage to T1 Legs (both stabs and slashes), which are somewhat common.

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Thanks for correcting me...

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  • 24 Aug
 Aodlop

@SWSeriousMike said:
It's IX - not VIIII.

@Aodlop said:
Just make them a passive 15% damage reduction and be done with it.

Passives are boring.

Armors are boring, then? I'd rather have boring than frustrating.

Knight 917 2521
  • 24 Aug
 Pred

Title incorrectly implies shield balance ever existed.

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@Aodlop said:
Armors are boring, then? I'd rather have boring than frustrating.

Are you entertained by armor? The current meta (if you can still talk about a meta) is all about weapons that do their best to ignore armor.

Conscript 183 471
  • 24 Aug
 Shovonem

Even though I am usually on the side of shield having better parry box than normal weapon I do believe if the devs want to keep held block without any stamina drain, making parry box tighter and enabling leg hits are the ways to balance it. As you said give better turn cap and perhaps slight stamina buff for one hander (assuming shield is a lot more penetrable with enough parry box nerf). Giving dropped shield a parry cooldown could add some mind game potential as well. Perhaps even increase the parry box for normal weapon parry. Then weapon parry will be more timing based and shield block will be location based. Different Playstyle.

And just remove kick stun already. Thinking kick stun will balance shield is a delusion.

There is one issue with stamina for shield currently that will still remain. Even though shield stamina is not good right now, shield users tend to use one handed stabbing weapon. Reading stab morph for one hander up close is pretty much impossible. Which means a non shield user will have to almost consistently stab chamber to read the stab morph while the shield user can just chill. This is the main reason why shield win stamina wars and I don't think simply nerfing shield stamina will be a good solution. However, as long as held block exist I am not sure how it can be solved.

Knight 2227 4000
  • 24 Aug
 Runagate

Literally just fucking yeet held block and give current held shields a longer parry window

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@Runagate said:
Literally just fucking yeet held block and give current held shields a longer parry window

That would make them OP in the right hands.. Then top players have to worry less about delay drags or accels... only feints/morphs. Shields wouldn't be much use to noobs since it's feints/morphs that do them in and make them rage, not so much swing manipulation.

You could argue that the obvious shield drawback should then be stamina but that would only force shield users to wear light armor to force whiffs and run away when low on stamina. Shields can't really push objectives in FL as well as any 2hander for the same point cost... Heavy armor shields would be useless in a duel without superb matrixing/footwork to win the stam war... If point cost increase comes then that just reinforces the minimal armor shield meta in duels. FL simply won't see shields except for roleplayers... like buckler and other small shields currently stand.

Shields should not be thought of as noob crutches to help them "learn the game" but as an alternative form of defense to allow one handed weapons to shine through FL and 1vX scenarios and at the very least come out even in a duel against 2 handed weapons of equal point cost.

Knight 460 887
  • 24 Aug
 wierHL

How about the following:

  • Get rid of kickstun.
  • Replace the current held block by a guard that's toggled by a key (or held key if people want that). The melee block size of this guard mode is accurate to the shield model. The current poses/animations for held block can just be repurposed for this.
  • Toggle between guard and normal mode is quick and snappy.
  • Maybe make the block size for projectiles slightly more lenient. Blocking projectiles with shields should be easier than with melee weapon parry.
  • This guard mode does NOT function as a parry. Hitting the shield does not put you in a lockout like you just got parried.
  • Swings just make a "clang" noise and continue without dealing damage, unless you're using like a maul which has hitstop by default. Now if you're in a 1vX, a single shielder holding block can't just shut down nearly all your offensive possibilities. This may end up looking a bit silly but swords already go through plate armour so "eh"?
  • Stabs should stop when they hit the shield. Swings going through shields is a sacrifice for the sake of gameplay, stabs going through shields would just look terrible for no reason.
  • Tanking attacks with this guard mode would cost stamina. The actual numbers I'll leave up to people with more gametime/skill than me.
  • Turncap in this guardmode shouldn't be restricted. If the block area is on-model blocking everything should be hard enough. No need to make it clunky.
  • Parry button still functions in guard mode, the "parry" animation is a sort of short "swipe-in-front-of-you" move. This uses the normal parrybox and is the ONLY way to riposte in guard mode.
  • Attacking lowers your guard during the entire attack animation.
  • Missing your timing for the parry puts you in the same lockout as normal parry, after which your guard returns.
  • Sprint speed is reduced in guard mode.
  • Maybe make some weapons temporarily lower the guard, like just enough where a teammate could follow up with an attack. I was thinking of maul or billhook doing this with their swing. (I was also thinking it would be funny if billhook could pull shield out of your hand but I fear we'd reach critical mass of meme builds.)
  • The swiping parry animation could double as a short range shield bash. Very short range, shoves people out your face like kick, maybe with a wider affected area. Wouldn't really make sense to make it uncounterable though, kick countering it would look stupid as well. Maybe make it parryable? Parryable parry? nvm that's stupid too

The idea of these changes is that holding a shield in front of you protects you from spam, but doesn't allow you to ignore all timing aspects of the game without sacrifice. Either you try to time a parry right or you get no initiative and need good locational skills.
All shields would work this way except buckler, which should just be a stamina tool.

Less related to shield: parrybox may need some work.

  • Split the parrybox into a high and a low box, each with their own animations. The high box protects your head, the low one your legs. Both protect your torso.
  • 1-handed weapons get a much smaller horizontal parrysize. Perhaps a size each for small1h, big1h/small2h and large2h/polearm.
  • Alternatively one could just loosely base the parrysize on the model or swing tracer length. e.g. Bardiche would be forgiving horizontally, rapier would be less forgiving, dagger would be hardmode.
    The idea is to incentivise small 1-handers to be used either as backup/pointdump or together with a shield.
Knight 2227 4000
  • 25 Aug
 Runagate

@Lionheart Chevalier said:

@Runagate said:
Literally just fucking yeet held block and give current held shields a longer parry window

That would make them OP in the right hands.. Then top players have to worry less about delay drags or accels... only feints/morphs. Shields wouldn't be much use to noobs since it's feints/morphs that do them in and make them rage, not so much swing manipulation.

You could argue that the obvious shield drawback should then be stamina but that would only force shield users to wear light armor to force whiffs and run away when low on stamina. Shields can't really push objectives in FL as well as any 2hander for the same point cost... Heavy armor shields would be useless in a duel without superb matrixing/footwork to win the stam war... If point cost increase comes then that just reinforces the minimal armor shield meta in duels. FL simply won't see shields except for roleplayers... like buckler and other small shields currently stand.

Shields should not be thought of as noob crutches to help them "learn the game" but as an alternative form of defense to allow one handed weapons to shine through FL and 1vX scenarios and at the very least come out even in a duel against 2 handed weapons of equal point cost.

But shields don't work for shit against feints because if you just hold block every time you see a windup you get kicked. Also I really doubt it's feints that make noobs rage, it definitely at least in EU is drags that they think they can't read

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keep up the good work lionheart I don't want to talk balance since im an idiot but I don't want to see shields be "noob" tools

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@TombstoneJack said:
keep up the good work lionheart I don't want to talk balance since im an idiot but I don't want to see shields be "noob" tools

It feels good to be appreciated :)

And yeah Runagate, noobs hate dying to anything that looks unrealistic or bad... and delay drags will always feel like an exploit to them and feints will never feel good. But with the option of held, locational based defense vs timed, forcefield parry... Everyone, noob or pro, will be better off. And if someone wants a shield that uses timed parry and is built for stamina warfare well the game has those too. And there's archery and cleavers for people too bad to use any of the above options.

Kite would be the big boy shield, weak to side stabs and overheads with limited vision and a clunky feel but really good at holding chokepoints, blocking archers and tanking hits. Good for beginners and costs 3 points.

Heater may be the hardest to use since it's the smallest held shield but that's fair... At 2 points, armor could easily be used to counter act it's size weakness... fall for leg hits alot just wear leg armor.. You could strategically place armor wear you know you fall for hits alot at and go without armor on spots you know you won't get hit at. It would really shine in duels and 1vX since it doesn't obscure vision, is very reactive and can be used to block multiple oncoming attacks from different directions.

Targe, buckler and viking shield get normal timed parry but get a stamina buff at the cost of a few points. They really shine in duels or in light/medium FL builds.

And ofcourse 2handers get normal timed parry and have the range, damage and stamina defense better than anything else in the game. The game will always revolve around 2hander and the raw damage they can inflict in duels and 1vX alike.

Imagine playing FL back in patch 14/15... shields would be fun to fight against and use and would not be so obnoxious... or rare. I bet people would use shields alot more.

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We already had this discussion in the thread I've made so there's no point in repeating stuff. I just wanted to say one thing :

Heater may be the hardest to use since it's the smallest held shield but that's fair... [...] fall for leg hits alot just wear leg armor.

I agree that the Heater shield being able to protect your toes is ridiculous, but why does no one bats an eye when the Dagger can do the same ? I have doubt about the tighter parry angle for held shields when it's still visibly superior for most 1 handed. Most of the time, taking a shield is spending points to get weaker.

For me, no matter how Shield gets tweaked, as long as the majority of 1 handed have better defensive qualities than Shields, there's no real point in using them. In my opinion, with the exception of bigger 1 handed (Messer, Bastard Sword, Short Spear and maybe Rapier), block radius, at least downward block radius, should be reduced to match the Heater Shield, so that we can have some actual reasons to use a Shield, or at least a Parry shield, with a one-handed.

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  • 26 Aug
 LoPan

Actually. Shields were fine before the backpedal speed buff last patch. Now anyone with medium light/light loadouts and half a brain can avoid any and all kicks unless they’re completely incompetent. I feel genuinely bad when I see a top tier duelist losing consistently to a mediocre player w held block on a duel server. Don’t get me wrong they get them every once in a while. But it’s so clearly a crutch in any 1v1 scenario I don’t see how ppl can defend this unless it’s their personal meta.

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Would held block be so bad if you could just hit their feet @LoPan? It sounds like you only have duel experience... so I'll forgive you for thinking kicks made shields ok at any point... but kick stun makes shields invincible in ganks and useless when getting ganked.

Kicks area a clunky, defensive tool that have been half-hazardly commandeered to punish shields for doing what a shield is supposed to do. A band-aid that should have been peeled off a long time ago, or better yet; not put in at all.

Kick stun was the worst thing to happen to shield balance. Shield hitbox needs a massive nerf... And I agree @Quenquen, one handers should have a smaller parrybox than 2handers for obvious reasons... but I would rather keep this thread to specifically shield balance since kickstun and shield's massive parrybox are what's hurting the game.