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Making Sword and Shield style more useful

CorvinoCorvino Member Posts: 2,269
At the moment the Sword and Shield style is not very good, and I can't find any posts requesting an improvement. It provides +2/+4 AC bonuses against missile weapons when using a shield. In effect, you only actually get solid benefit from it when you're fighting missile-armed enemies who you cannot engage in melee combat. Very few of the tougher fights in either game involve archers. I can see it being useful early in BG1 when fighting bandits but this is all.

All other weapon styles (2h, 1h & dual-wield) have advantages in every combat you fight. If you use a 1-handed weapon and a shield you are usually better off putting proficiency points in a different melee weapon or dual-wield than putting points in Sword & Shield style. Look at it this way, 2 points in both longswords and sword and shield style is less versatile than 2 points in longswords and warhammers and the only downside is less bonus AC vs. archers.

I would suggest changing the bonuses of Sword and Shield style from +2/+4 AC vs. missile weapons to +10%/+20% damage resistance when using a shield. This bonus is more universal and can be applied to just about every combat in the series. It synergises with Barbarian damage resists/Armor of Faith/Hardiness but cannot be abused until ToB when everything is easily abusable anyway. With this availability of damage resistance it may require a % resist cap, which is the main downside. As it stands a lot of gamers use Defender of Easthaven (+25% damage resist) in their offhand instead of a shield anyway - this proposed change would make shields more useful.

Post edited by Corvino on
ZeckulGrandeCBugratzwadekDeltaslayerCrevsDaak

Comments

  • CheesebellyCheesebelly Member Posts: 1,727
    20% damage resistance is kind of a lot actually. Besides, the DoE is a good item overall, even in the main hand. A Fighter/Cleric would be basically not only the an impenetrable tank against weapon using foes, but also a formidable damager. Then again that's just my opinion of course, but still.

    Besides, I think two handed weapons get the worst advantage for putting proficiency points into them. Again though, it's subjective I guess.

    Then again your point is also fair. 4 AC bonus vs missile weapons isn't that much of a big bonus.

  • CorvinoCorvino Member Posts: 2,269
    Well 5%/10% or 7%/15% would work too, the numbers aren't too important. It would just be a way to make it more desirable overall. As it stands Sword and shield style is only useful against archers, and there are few archers after the early stages of BG1.

    With 2h weapon style you get a critical chance bonus and improved weapon speed IIRC which affects every attack you make. It's not huge but it is of use in every single combat in the game, unlike Sword and shield.

  • LadyRhianLadyRhian Member Posts: 14,694
    They should include different types of shields- everything from a buckler to a body shield. Body shields provide a +1 to AC generally and a +2 versus missile attacks. Better yet, make a shield proficiency, and have it up your AC to missiles the higher you take it. So at 1 pip/star, you get a regular shield bonus, at 2 pips, +1 to AC, +2 vs. missiles, 3 pips, +2 to general AC, +3 vs missiles, all the way to 5 pips giving +4 to general AC, +5 vs missiles.

    TehCerealKillerCrevsDaak
  • CorvinoCorvino Member Posts: 2,269
    @LadyRhian With regard to types of shield they already have bucklers, small shields, medium shields and tower shields with appropriate missile bonuses/penalties. I'm not looking to make the existing system more complex, just to turn Sword and Shield style from the ugly duckling of weapon styles into something useful.

    As far as I'm aware Sword and Shield style doesn't exist in PnP so it was likely created by the BG2 team. I'm not sure how things like this overlap with the licence agreements with WoTC etc.

    Moomintroll
  • ZeckulZeckul Member Posts: 1,031
    Sword and Shield style is useless in its current form and definitely needs some tweaking. A defensive bonus sounds like a good idea. Maybe it can be +1/2 AC rather than damage reduction though.

    Moomintroll
  • BoasterBoaster Member Posts: 622
    I've thought about ways to make SWORD AND SHIELD weapon style better. The problem is, you run the risk of the tweak being too soft or too hard.

    +5% physical resistance at Level 1, +10% physical resistance at Level 2?

    +2 AC vs Missile at Level 1, +1 AC bonus at Level 2?

    or both sets?

  • FrozenDervishFrozenDervish Member Posts: 295
    edited July 2012
    Sword and shield style instead of resistance or ac could provide a 1 round 5% chance at stunning a target with every hit as a shield bash to give it some nice oomph and make it more useful than increasing a shields already amazing defensive power with magic shields.

  • TanthalasTanthalas Member Posts: 6,738
    If it were possible I'd actually like something that simulated bashing an enemy with your shield.

    Perhaps something like 5% to stun an enemy everytime you are attacked with a melee weapon (if this is even possible to code).

    CrevsDaakSchneidend
  • BoasterBoaster Member Posts: 622
    But you're turning a defensive mechanism into an offensive one.

    The benefit of wielding a shield is a defensive one.

    Maybe, just maybe keep it the way it is and add a third proficiency point that would provide protection from normal missiles?

    Or is there even a way to give a percent chance of sending the missile back to target? Granted that's more of a magical effect, but it's still a defensive one.

  • FrozenDervishFrozenDervish Member Posts: 295
    Well the thing is the defensive ability is already on single weapon fighting and most shields in history are used equally as an offensive weapon as well as the passive defensiveness the shield provides.

  • BoasterBoaster Member Posts: 622
    So with the two proficiencies, you're making one more defensive and the other more offensive?

    Why not just keep them as they are if that's the case?

  • FrozenDervishFrozenDervish Member Posts: 295
    edited July 2012
    Well it's not simply being offensive or defensive it's about making them unique to each other while being interesting as well as something you would choose as an option as right now most sword and boarders do not choose to put points into the proficiency as it is worthless.

    Now on to the resistance option with BG1 the small amount of resist would be essentially worthless as your hp pool is to small to make it worth it and if you carry it over to BG2 you get so much resistance from items and spells that you may as well play with invulnerability on as you would take no damage and possibly even heal from being attacked as you would have so much resistance.

  • CorvinoCorvino Member Posts: 2,269
    @FrozenDervish I'm not sure about that. A flat 10% damage resistance is 10% less damage taken. It's not huge, but small increments stacked with improving AC will make a long term difference. If at level 10 you have 100hp, then you can take an extra 10 damage before dying. Will you really notice it every fight? No. Would you notice the difference if you played 2 games, 1 with and 1 without it? Quite possibly.

    Any 10% difference would be the same. Most medical studies use a 5% cutoff, or "P value of <0.05" as the difference between something being likely due to chance or being due to intervention. At 5% or less changes are difficult to fully interpret as the difference is so little, but above 5% you tend to notice the something has changed.

    Comparing it to other games (such as World of Warcraft) then a 5% or less increase in survivability is something that would be seen as considerable.

    It all comes down to whether or not it matters to your character. I have a friend who exclusively roleplays very survivable paladins, and I know he would love an additional 10% damage resist as a matter of principle. Given that damage resistance is a relatively rare stat in BG (apart from AoF, barbarian resist and hardiness) then it's interesting as well.

  • FrozenDervishFrozenDervish Member Posts: 295
    edited July 2012
    Well even in WoW it is not significant and it is seen as significant or given greater credit than it should by min/maxers the fact they are tackling something that they shouldn't in their weaker gear so for min/maxers it is good.

    For BG though the odds of you having high enough hp until you reach higher levels to make the resist worth it is slim, and as I said before you take this into BG2 and it becomes 100% invulnerability.

    Now as for a shield bash being offensive it is and isn't as it can be used to reduce damage done to you and protect teammates as well as stopping runners, disabling casters, and even allow you to get a heal on yourself.

  • ogharaeiogharaei Member Posts: 6
    Corvino said:

    @LadyRhian With regard to types of shield they already have bucklers, small shields, medium shields and tower shields with appropriate missile bonuses/penalties. I'm not looking to make the existing system more complex, just to turn Sword and Shield style from the ugly duckling of weapon styles into something useful.

    As far as I'm aware Sword and Shield style doesn't exist in PnP so it was likely created by the BG2 team. I'm not sure how things like this overlap with the licence agreements with WoTC etc.

    are you sure? Not even as a part of their combat and tactics manual? I have a digital copy somewhere

  • ogharaeiogharaei Member Posts: 6
    ogharaei said:

    out of Combat and Tactics:

    Weapon and Shield Style

    Normally, a character employing a shield in his off hand can shield-rush, shield-punch,
    block, or trap as if it were a secondary weapon, with the normal penalties for attacking
    with two weapons. The disadvantage is that the shield's AC bonus is forfeited for any
    round in which it is used this way.
    However, characters who specialize in weapon and shield style can choose to make
    one of these secondary attacks every round without losing the AC benefit for carrying a
    shield. If the heroic fray rules from Chapter Two are in use, the character only gets one
    secondary attack, not two, but his primary weapon attacks are still doubled, of course



    The problem is that such secondary attacks don't exist in Baldur's Gate - they would be hard to implement properly w/o slowing everything down another notch, which would be fine by me.

  • bbearbbear Member Posts: 1,180
    edited January 2013
    I dont think damage resistance is the way to go. Shield is supposed to block attack, not to reduce the damage received from an enemy.

    I actually thought about this topic last weekend, but didnt post it because I didnt like my proposed suggestion. I still dont like it because it is kind of underpower/overpower at different moments in the game. Quote from myself:

    "By ToB, 2 weapon style is the way to go because the offhand thaco is good enough to consistently hit enemies. In addition, tob enemies have better thaco and they can consistently deal damage regardless of the party member's AC. Because of this, shields lose their effectiveness (compared with 2 weapon style).

    To enhance shields, I propose that shields should have a new innate "evasion chance". Buckler has 5%, small shield has 10%, medium shield has 15% and large shield has 20% evasion chance. To utilize/unlock this evasion chance, the character needs to spend 1 proficiency point in Swords and Shields (S&S). A second pt raises the evasion chance further by 5%.

    The mechanics is that anytime an opponent attacks an npc equipped with a shield and the npc has at least 1 pt on (S&S), there are 2 dice rolls. The first dice is the d20 to determine whether the opponent can connect the hit normally. If the hit misses, there is no need for the second dice roll for evasion. If the hit succeeds, then a 2nd d20 dice rolls again. If the dice roll is below a threshold value, then the hit is blocked (and there is the the sound animation "clink" of a weapon hitting a shield).

    Examples:

    a) 1st Dice Roll - 2 -> miss, no need to roll a second dice
    b) 1st Dice Roll - 19 -> hit, if defender has a shield and a pip in S&S

    Roll a 2nd Dice:
    1) Buckler: 2nd Dice Roll must be 1 for attack to be blocked
    2) Small Shield: 2nd Dice Roll must be 2 or less for attack to be blocked
    3) Medium Shield: 2nd Dice Roll must be 3 or less for attack to be blocked
    4) Large Shield: 2nd Dice Roll must be 4 or less for attack to be blocked

    A second pip in S&S increases the Dice Roll by 1 more point."

    The maximum evasion chance is 25%. When normal ToB opponents have like 3 attacks per round, this means there is a good chance that a few attacks will be blocked. Also, 2 handed weapons should also have a evasion chance (possibly at 15%, same as a medium shield).

    lunar
  • ZanathKariashiZanathKariashi Member Posts: 2,867
    edited January 2013
    Keep the same bonuses as now and add 5% general DR for * and 10% (total) for **, as they did with two handed and single weapon styles (in PnP they do NOT give a bonus to your chance to crit, they just raise ac or increase weapon speed only).

    In fact currently S/S is the only one that is actually accurate to PnP.

    That or nerf all the styles to their proper bonuses. (and fix the class usage, wizards are supposed to be able to put points (plural) in single and two handed style, and clerics and druids AREN'T supposed to have two weapon style, and rogues shouldn't have sword and shield style, two weapon should only have 2 ranks, and every class should be able to put 2 points in one style (Two weapon for rogues, S/S for priests, single weapon for Mages), except warriors who can put 2 in all styles)

  • TvrtkoSvrdlarTvrtkoSvrdlar Member Posts: 353
    edited December 2013
    bbear said:

    I dont think damage resistance is the way to go. Shield is supposed to block attack, not to reduce the damage received from an enemy.

    I actually thought about this topic last weekend, but didnt post it because I didnt like my proposed suggestion. I still dont like it because it is kind of underpower/overpower at different moments in the game. Quote from myself:

    "By ToB, 2 weapon style is the way to go because the offhand thaco is good enough to consistently hit enemies. In addition, tob enemies have better thaco and they can consistently deal damage regardless of the party member's AC. Because of this, shields lose their effectiveness (compared with 2 weapon style).

    To enhance shields, I propose that shields should have a new innate "evasion chance". Buckler has 5%, small shield has 10%, medium shield has 15% and large shield has 20% evasion chance. To utilize/unlock this evasion chance, the character needs to spend 1 proficiency point in Swords and Shields (S&S). A second pt raises the evasion chance further by 5%.

    The mechanics is that anytime an opponent attacks an npc equipped with a shield and the npc has at least 1 pt on (S&S), there are 2 dice rolls. The first dice is the d20 to determine whether the opponent can connect the hit normally. If the hit misses, there is no need for the second dice roll for evasion. If the hit succeeds, then a 2nd d20 dice rolls again. If the dice roll is below a threshold value, then the hit is blocked (and there is the the sound animation "clink" of a weapon hitting a shield).

    Examples:

    a) 1st Dice Roll - 2 -> miss, no need to roll a second dice
    b) 1st Dice Roll - 19 -> hit, if defender has a shield and a pip in S&S

    Roll a 2nd Dice:
    1) Buckler: 2nd Dice Roll must be 1 for attack to be blocked
    2) Small Shield: 2nd Dice Roll must be 2 or less for attack to be blocked
    3) Medium Shield: 2nd Dice Roll must be 3 or less for attack to be blocked
    4) Large Shield: 2nd Dice Roll must be 4 or less for attack to be blocked

    A second pip in S&S increases the Dice Roll by 1 more point."

    The maximum evasion chance is 25%. When normal ToB opponents have like 3 attacks per round, this means there is a good chance that a few attacks will be blocked. Also, 2 handed weapons should also have a evasion chance (possibly at 15%, same as a medium shield).


    I really like your system. I also like the OP's, where he mentions % resistance to physical attacks.

    My question is, does anyone know how to mod this in? I know a lot of people don't want BG2 to change, but I'd like to buff S&S style for my own personal use. Does anyone know how to do this via using DLTCEP?


    EDIT:
    @Corvino
    New thread about S&S over at http://forum.baldursgate.com/discussion/comment/426139#Comment_426139

    Feel free to chime in :)

    Post edited by TvrtkoSvrdlar on
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