I have heard a lot of players panicking over the pending changes to damage shields and lots of speculation as to whether the changes will stick or not. I cannot play PTS as I am on xbox but I have my own speculations. Please try to answer my three questions below with your own speculations especially if you have experience on the PTS. Finally, here are my thoughts concerning these changes. Let me know what you think:
I don’t think there’s enough negative feedback for them to not make the change to shields. However, they have not made that change yet- it is still early in testing phase. Just because they rarely go back on changes that they made in the PTS before launching for real doesn’t mean they won’t do it now if it’s necessary. That’s why they have a test server. Also, there could be more significant modifications to shields that make this a good change for everyone.
Second, by making such a drastic change, the devs are showing strong commitment to making this game run well for a long time to come. I’m sure it’s going to take a lot of work to gather the feedback and data to make the change to shields work well. IF THE DEV TEAM STOPS MAKING CHANGES, THATS WHEN YOU KNOW THE GAME IS IN TROUBLE. But if they’re making balance changes then you know the devs are making money and trying to make their game better. Roll with them for a while.
Nextt, the devs are trying to fix a problem that the community as a whole agreed needed to be fixed. The problem was that you could gain too much of both an offensive and defensive advantage by stacking all your resources toward one thing-max magicka. You would have high damage and strong shields. All other playstyles had to distribute their resources toward different stats to gain an offensive and defensive advantage. However, this change to shields may create a host of other problems. The first few that come to mind are: 1) Are sorcerers going to have enough offensive capability now that they have to put more thought into their defenses. 2) How are light armor users supposed to protect themselves without shields?
3) Are there going to be sorcerer supertanks now in heavy armor using damage shields?
For all the players out there distraught over the pending changes to damage shields, EXPECT FURTHER CHANGES. If all you have are shield stacking light armor users and you think those will be garbage, take this time to try to learn another class/playstyle. There are a lot of fun and successful ones out there.
If you are tired of the devs nerfing everything and rarely buffing classes and skills, remember that they are not only balancing the game between different classes, they also have to balance the players against the environment/NPC’s. If all they ever did was buff every underperforming skill and class, then the PvE side of the house would soon become too easy and very bland and die out. As a PvP only player, I still understand that we are going to get a lot more nerfs than buffs.
In conclusion, roll with devs for a while and be happy that they are trying to improve their game. Expect further changes and have fun relearning the meta.