Jul 182012
 

The Armor writeup from last week has drawn a lot of comments. People are curious. What about Physical Resistance Rating (PRR)? What about Damage Resistance (DR)? What about shields?

I was only writing about the armor. For that matter, I’m still not ready to address PRR and DR. PRR especially seems to be needlessly complex. But shields, how complicated can that be?

Quite a bit as it turns out. Before we get started, a word of warning: I have never in six years played a character that regularly used a shield. Bearing that caveat in mind, here we go:

What we used to have

Four types of shields: buckler, light shield, heavy shield, and tower shield, that could each be made out of a number of materials. Construction material changed the shield properties:

  • Wood: Was supposed to reduce weight but on bucklers reduced ACP and SF%
  • Steel: Was supposed to be the standard material but had reduced armor and DR on some shields
  • Mithral: Reduced ACP, SF%, and weight
  • Adamantine: Was supposed to add to shield weight and DR but doesn’t seem to actually do so?

I am looking at deconstructed versions of the above and it is quite perplexing. The materials do not have the same effects when applied to differing shield types, and in some cases, do not appear to have any effect at all. Is this a typo bug in the item description? A side effect of the Cannith Crafting deconstruction process?

Whatever else it may be, it is also a moot point, as shields have been completely redone for the new update. Feel free to ignore everything above.

It is worth mentioning one feature we used to have that I believe was undocumented: if the shield had zero SF% then anyone could use it even without shield proficiency. Without suffering a loss in To Hit. You would get a warning icon that you were not proficient with all of your equipment but that was all, there was no actual impact, just the warning icon.

What we have now

Four types of shields:

Click for full-size image

Max Dex Bonus does not add to MDB from armor, but rather you will be stuck with whichever is the most restrictive of the two.

I do not know if we still have the ability to wield a zero-SF% shield without a proficiency penalty. I’d like to know though. Testing will have to follow.

Shield Categories

Much like armors, shields now come in five tiers. The base item, with a minimum level of one, and four progressively better tiers that each have a progressively higher level requirement.

Tier names vary but all of the armors and docents break down like this:

  • Base item, min level 1
  • First tier, min level 4
  • Second tier, min level 10
  • Third tier, min level 16
  • Last tier, min level 20

As with the armors, adding magic effects to the shield will increase the minimum level. Note that the highest tier shields begin at level 20, not level 22 as is the case with the new armors.

The Numbers

Again I bought one of everything off of the AH and disjuncted to ensure my numbers were not influenced by anything other than the shield itself.

Details:

Click for full-sized image

? Could not find one of these on the AH on any server – I checked them all – and no one responded to link requests either.

* Something is weird about these. I have two Heavy Spritcraft Shields in my inventory now, one is ML16 and the other is ML20. One has a base damage of 1D8, the other has 2D8. They are otherwise identical. Same with the Light Spiritcraft Shield, you can find them at ML16 or ML20, and the ML20 version does double base damage. To make it even weirder, the ML16 heavy shield showed ACP of -1 before I disjuncted it, and -2 after. Weird.

Observations

I wonder if the differing types of Spiritcraft shields is a bug or working as intended? One type would seem more valuable than the other but perhaps that would only be for Shield Bash builds. Someone, somewhere must be playing a shield bash build, right?

It seems clear that Turbine wants Sword & Shield to be a viable combat style. Those Tower shields are very impressive; maybe even good enough to forego monk levels to use one?

But that is a topic for another day. For today, here are the available shields. Enjoy.

🙂 😀 🙂

  7 Responses to “Doing the Math: The New Shields”

Comments (5) Pingbacks (2)
  1. I think the spirit craft shield is following the same pattern as weapons that are ml20+ as in they are treated as epic shields/weapons and get the epic 2W instead of the heroic 1W

  2. Let me correct a minor typo mistake.

    You said:

    It is worth mentioning one feature we used to have that I believe was undocumented: if the shield had zero SF% then anyone could use it even without shield proficiency. Without suffering a loss in To Hit. You would get a warning icon that you were not proficient with all of your equipment but that was all, there was no actual impact, just the warning icon.

    I think you are talking about Armor Check Penalty not Spell Failure. I think this is a basic dnd rule so I hope they will never change it.

  3. Yeah, my first thought was “Oh, it’s L20 so it automatically went to epic damage” as well.

    I know that the first armor I disjuncted, the ACP increased, which worried the heck out of me as my crafting wasn’t so hot at the time and I had to purchase the shards I wanted, so I didn’t want to screw things up. And then looking at the AH, I saw that all the ACP of the “base” armor was increased, and then learned on the forums that it’s considered a non-magical shield after crafting… but returns to “normal” after you craft something on it and it’s now considered magical again. So I’d venture to guess that does it with ALL the shields, and you just didn’t notice.

  4. Normally I don’t read these but found this one through some links, and wanted to offer some feedback.

    When you say “armor class penalty” on the table, and on the armor table in your other article, you mean “armor check penalty”.

    When you’re talking about using a 0%SF shield without proficiency, you mean using a 0 ACP shield without penalty… %SF only matters for Arcane spells with Somatic components, and is unrelated to attack.

    The difference in your two shields between having 1d6 and 2d6, is the 2d6 one is “Epic Level” and so has an additional base die. This is the case for all “Epic Level” random gen loot, you can look anything ML21+ (and some ML20) items have it on the AH.

    The advantage of Tower Shields is their extra +2 to AC over regular shields, which scales up to a larger value as you go higher. However, they limit your MDB, same as the heavier armors. Your comments around how using a lower MDB results in a lower AC isn’t entirely accurate anymore though, because of how the systems changed.

    Yes, your raw AC value might go down, but both your PRR and Dodge Cap can change as well. Defense is now about having a total package, not one huge stat. Having enough PRR to be hit for 20% less, and having enough Dodge to avoid another 10% hits, etc etc are both going to matter a whole lot more than another 3 points of AC. So, its less “maximize my raw ac through light armors” and more “wear the heaviest armor I can without losing out on Dodge modifiers”… at least in a traditional sense.

    Nice to see an article trying to help people out and inform them, hope this input aids in that endeavor. Cheers.

  5. 1) To confirm what others have said: Any shield (or armor, for that matter) with an Armor Check Penalty of 0 will not impact the user’s attack roll, irrespective of proficiency. This is because, in D&D 3E and 3.5 (the latter of which is the basis for DDO), the ACP of armor & shields applies always to certain skills, and for nonproficient users also applies to attack rolls and a couple of other things. It is possible to believe that it’s about the SF%, however, because there is no shield with a 0% SF% but a non-zero ACP.

    2) You write, “To make it even weirder, the ML16 heavy shield showed ACP of -1 before I disjuncted it, and -2 after. Weird.” This is not weird — it probably means that most of the shields you found had a hidden Masterwork quality, and that one did not, so when the magical quality which gave it the ACP benefit of the Masterwork quality was removed, that benefit was removed with it. I’ve seen that many times before with other items.

What do you think?

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