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Request to improve damage shields

i11ionward
i11ionward
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First of all, I'll talk about such forgotten skills as Annulment, Steadfast Ward, but you can also remember about Defensive Posture, Sun Shield, Conjured Ward.
At the moment, damage shields have the following pros and cons

Pros:
1. Can be used before the battle starts.
2. Damage goes through the shields first, and then through HP.
3. Shields can be stacked.
4. Shields are not affected by Minor/Major Defile.

Cons:
1. The duration of shields (6 seconds) does not always allow you to take advantage of the pros.
2. Shields can't crit, so the Critical Healing parameter doesn't work either.
3. Shields can't instantly increase HP from the execute zone.
4. Shields can't use block mitigation.
5. Shields almost always have significantly less tooltip than burst heal.
6. Oblivion damage ignores shields
7. Shields are not affected by Minor/Major Vitality & Minor/Major Mending.
8. There is no simple set bonus like "Adds 4% Healing Done" and "Adds 4% Healing Taken" for shields.

I may have missed something, but the above is enough to know that shields are weaker than burst heal, and using shields is not the best idea at the moment.

I'm not asking for a complete overhaul of shields, I'm just asking for one thing - to reconsider the mana/stamina cost of shields, the cost should be reduced in proportion to the effectiveness.

I would also like to mention light armor skills. At the moment, medium armor dominates light in almost every aspect of the game. It would be great if light armor received some kind of improvement related to damage shields, for example:

Each piece of light armor will increase the strength of the damage shields you apply by 2%.

or

While the damage shield is active on you, you receive 600 armor for each piece of light armor.

P.S. This topic does not apply to damage shields used by ultimates or to arcanist shields, I think everything is fine with them.

EDIT: added 3 to the pros and 6 to the cons.
EDIT: added 4 to the pros and 7, 8 to the cons, corrected 2 in cons.
Edited by i11ionward on December 4, 2023 7:45AM

Request to improve damage shields 38 votes

I agree that damage shields should be improved.
71% 27 votes
I don't agree that damage shields should be improved.
28% 11 votes
  • DinoZavr
    DinoZavr
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    Ionward, you can get a plenty of shields at the very same moment.
    For example, you character can wear Hexos' Ward and both 2 Iceheart pieces, use 2H Brawler at the very beginning of the fight and apply your class shield, like Living Dark, for example.
    also Red Bastion CP star slotted affects them all.
    This is what i do in EA facing Gothmau, (though i dont wear 2pcs Iceheart), but i hope you got my point, you can have a lot of shielding if you would want that
    PC EU
  • Turtle_Bot
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    Something else to note with shields is that they tend to scale based on max stats (max health or max magicka), so the way they scale is significantly worse than heals which scale off raw damage that have significantly more (and stronger) modifiers.

    This does technically relate to point 6, but its the reason why point 6 is a thing.

    For those who want to compare health base hardened ward to health based heals, polar winds scales to 22k non crit or 30k crit in cyrodiil while hardened ward scaling off health caps at 12k in cyrodiil.

    I wouldn't necessarily increase the size of shields as that can create balance issues, what should happen is shields should have additional utility for using them.
    What that utility is I would leave up to ZOS to figure out, but if they want to buff shields without making them OP due to size or mitigation values, then giving them other utility factors such as healing while active or interrupt protection or something else (like they did for the arcanist shields) is the way to buff them.

    This would give those abilities more uses than just being a (very) temporary health buffer.

    Light armor definitely needs another look at as well. It's far too punishing with the doubling down on its downsides that they did by giving it additional martial damage taken on top of its already significantly lower armor values.
  • LunaFlora
    LunaFlora
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    i am all for better damage shields
    miaow! i'm Luna ( she/her ).

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    PlayStation and PC EU.
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  • i11ionward
    i11ionward
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    DinoZavr wrote: »
    Ionward, you can get a plenty of shields at the very same moment.
    For example, you character can wear Hexos' Ward and both 2 Iceheart pieces, use 2H Brawler at the very beginning of the fight and apply your class shield, like Living Dark, for example.
    also Red Bastion CP star slotted affects them all.
    This is what i do in EA facing Gothmau, (though i dont wear 2pcs Iceheart), but i hope you got my point, you can have a lot of shielding if you would want that

    No, I don't understand your point at all. I also don't understand why you mentioned damage shields from sets, if I'm talking about damage shield skills that are not popular at the moment. I also want to note that I'm not asking to redesign shields or increase their size, I'm only asking to decrease the cost of shields. But you are right in that you can stack multiple shields, I will add this to the pros in the first post.
  • Twohothardware
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    They should make shields scale heavily off the number of light armor pieces you’re wearing and remove the scaling from resistances.
  • AlterBlika
    AlterBlika
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    I'd like a shield that scales off max stam
  • CameraBeardThePirate
    CameraBeardThePirate
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    AlterBlika wrote: »
    I'd like a shield that scales off max stam

    Chakrams (Arcanist hula hoop shield) scale off max stam or max mag depending on which is highest.
    Edited by CameraBeardThePirate on December 2, 2023 3:31AM
  • CameraBeardThePirate
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    OP, to address a couple cons:

    1) the 6 second duration is necessary. Back when shields lasted 20+ seconds things got pretty silly.

    2) Shields can't crit, but they also aren't reduced by things like Defile or Cowardice like healing is. This makes shielding extremely reliable - if the enemy can't do however much DPS your shielding/sec is, then you're safe.

    I've been playing an Arcanist shielder - can sustain spamming 10k+ chakrams on 3 groupmates + myself at all times. It is very strong and I don't think shields should be buffed across the board. Sorcs can still get great shielding as well.

    Edge cases could be buffed - things like Bone Shield or Sun Shield don't see nearly the usage levels as Hardened Ward or Chakrams.
  • Turtle_Bot
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    OP, to address a couple cons:

    1) the 6 second duration is necessary. Back when shields lasted 20+ seconds things got pretty silly.

    2) Shields can't crit, but they also aren't reduced by things like Defile or Cowardice like healing is. This makes shielding extremely reliable - if the enemy can't do however much DPS your shielding/sec is, then you're safe.

    I've been playing an Arcanist shielder - can sustain spamming 10k+ chakrams on 3 groupmates + myself at all times. It is very strong and I don't think shields should be buffed across the board. Sorcs can still get great shielding as well.

    Edge cases could be buffed - things like Bone Shield or Sun Shield don't see nearly the usage levels as Hardened Ward or Chakrams.

    1) nobody wants the old 10-12 seconds duration of shields back, but the current 6 seconds it too short considering how much those shields cost to cast. Meeting in the middle with an 8 second duration on shields would be a nice QoL improvement for shields while still requiring the shields to be actively kept up. Especially on Shields that don't have additional utility like hardened ward or the light armor shields.

    2) Shields also aren't buffed by things like mending, vitality, courage and sorcery/brutality like healing is. This makes it so that shields cannot scale anywhere near the extent that healing can. Even accounting for defile (only really used as a secondary effect if an ability happens to have it, due to how much its been nerfed over the years) and cowardice (which is still quite rare for anyone not on a NB), healing is still considerably more reliable than shields are.

    OP also specifically stated that they think arcanist shields (and ultimate shields) are fine and that this topic doesn't apply to those shields specifically.
    i11ionward wrote: »
    P.S. This topic does not apply to damage shields used by ultimates or to arcanist shields, I think everything is fine with them.

    Sorcs use shields because they don't have access to proper healing. If sorcs had a proper burst heal and Heal over Time that didn't require them to keep dealing critical damage, I can guarantee you that sorcs would immediately drop their shields as well.

    Arcanist is the exception that proves that when ZOS puts their mind to it, they can make shields strong, useful and interesting, but not overbearing. Too bad that every other shield ability is yet to receive this same treatment of adding utility instead of just being a temporary health buffer.
  • Amottica
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    Damage shields add effective HP and can be stacked. From what I understand they used to be larger and last longer which seems a little ridiculous. It seems good to them in the more balanced state they are in how and require us to give more thought to using them.

  • ESO_Nightingale
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    I used to love playing hardened ward+healing ward magden in pvp but man it sucks
    PvE Frost Warden Main and teacher for ESO-U. Frost Warden PvE Build Article: https://eso-u.com/articles/nightingales_warden_dps_guide__frost_knight. Come Join the ESO Frost Discord to discuss everything frost!: https://discord.gg/5PT3rQX
  • i11ionward
    i11ionward
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    Turtle_Bot wrote: »

    2) Shields also aren't buffed by things like mending, vitality, courage and sorcery/brutality like healing is. This makes it so that shields cannot scale anywhere near the extent that healing can. Even accounting for defile (only really used as a secondary effect if an ability happens to have it, due to how much its been nerfed over the years) and cowardice (which is still quite rare for anyone not on a NB), healing is still considerably more reliable than shields are.

    OP also specifically stated that they think arcanist shields (and ultimate shields) are fine and that this topic doesn't apply to those shields specifically.

    Thank you for your reply, my thoughts are completely in line with your reply to @CameraBeardThePirate .

    I'd like to point out that Steadfast Ward scales from both WSD/SPD and max resources, so with Major/Minor Cowardice it's not so clear in favour of shields. And in general to consider Cowardice as an argument in favour of shields is lobbying, we have a huge number of effects and parameters that increase heal, and only a handful of such for shields. Perhaps I won't add to the first post the pros and cons associated with scaling tooltips of skills depending on offensive stats or max resources.

    Added some pros and cons to the first post.
  • i11ionward
    i11ionward
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    We have a large number of sets that apply a bonus when using healing skills (and some of them are even really useful), but sets that apply a bonus when using or applying shields are many times less (not sure if there are any really useful ones).

    I don't want to add this to the pros or cons, I'm not suggesting anything, I just wanted to mention it.

    de4rqrglsiry.png
    iggyqvg48w01.png

    P.S. I'm not talking about sets that apply a damage shield, like Hexos' Ward.
  • YetAnotherLinuxUser
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    go to cyrodil and get reviving barrier.
  • CameraBeardThePirate
    CameraBeardThePirate
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    i11ionward wrote: »
    We have a large number of sets that apply a bonus when using healing skills (and some of them are even really useful), but sets that apply a bonus when using or applying shields are many times less (not sure if there are any really useful ones).

    I don't want to add this to the pros or cons, I'm not suggesting anything, I just wanted to mention it.

    de4rqrglsiry.png
    iggyqvg48w01.png

    P.S. I'm not talking about sets that apply a damage shield, like Hexos' Ward.

    This is likely just the number of healing skills vs the number of shielding skills. There are far more healing skills than shielding skills, so there are far more healing sets than shielding sets.

    Like you, not really suggesting or interpreting anything else from this, just making a statement.
  • i11ionward
    i11ionward
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    i11ionward wrote: »
    We have a large number of sets that apply a bonus when using healing skills (and some of them are even really useful), but sets that apply a bonus when using or applying shields are many times less (not sure if there are any really useful ones).

    I don't want to add this to the pros or cons, I'm not suggesting anything, I just wanted to mention it.

    de4rqrglsiry.png
    iggyqvg48w01.png

    P.S. I'm not talking about sets that apply a damage shield, like Hexos' Ward.

    This is likely just the number of healing skills vs the number of shielding skills. There are far more healing skills than shielding skills, so there are far more healing sets than shielding sets.

    Like you, not really suggesting or interpreting anything else from this, just making a statement.

    It's true, I won't argue with that.
  • i11ionward
    i11ionward
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    go to cyrodil and get reviving barrier.

    I do not understand what do you mean.
  • RemoryAzure
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    shields, due to no cd mechanics of the game, are double-edged sword, and a single change can change them from utter trash to meta and vice versa, which happened multiple times in the last years.

    with the introduction of arcanist, ZoS tested a new shield mechanic absorbing part of damage.
    i think this is a step to make classes like sorc playable again - shields need to be reworked into something like:
    "Heals for X and gives a 6 sec shield for Y which absorbs 50% of the damage" where X+Y is current full shield value
    this will:
    1. still leave character killable no matter how big shield is
    2. remove a con of using shield on executable health, since it will both heal and cover
    3. improve its usability coz it will no longer wear off in milliseconds due to only half damage going into it

    MAYBE ZoS can even further add flexibility to the playstyle if the mentioned values will be scaling on current hp, meaning at full health u get full X+Y shield, while at 1 hp u get full healing potential. for example:
    sorc has base 7323 power on hardened ward and 3600 healing on matriarch (move or duplicate this effect into ward)
    at 100% hp this will be 7323 shield
    at 50% it will be 3661 shield + 1800 healing
    at 1 hp it will be 3600 healing
  • Turtle_Bot
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    shields, due to no cd mechanics of the game, are double-edged sword, and a single change can change them from utter trash to meta and vice versa, which happened multiple times in the last years.

    This, this is exactly why my suggestion for shields is to improve their utility instead of just buffing the size of the shield.
    Turtle_Bot wrote: »
    I wouldn't necessarily increase the size of shields as that can create balance issues, what should happen is shields should have additional utility for using them.

    There's never going to be a "Perfect" size value for a shield because damage and healing will always be changing. The best way to buff shields without breaking them is to make them useful for more than just adding a temporary health buffer.

    Templar was a good start with this design philosophy for shields, it has a damage return component and scaling component based on numbers of enemies giving it some ways to counter large groups, but it just got nerfed into oblivion and never revisited. Revisiting it to give it some additional utility (I made a suggestion for this in another thread for the specific topic of reworking plar shields, so won't repeat here) would be good to bring templar shields up to scratch as well.

    Arcanist being their latest attempt at this has been their biggest success imo.
    - Interrupt immunity is a niche but good utility buff to get for classes that have easily interrupted abilities.
    - Scaling shield sizes, the increased size for the first second after casting the shield is good because it promotes skillful use of the shield to block a strong burst of damage (similar to how a burst heal recovers from a big burst), but keeps a lower shield value for the rest of the duration that acts more like a heal over time to mitigate the damage over time that is lower, but still ticking.
    - Healing while the shield is active, this helps with the whole execute issue with shields allowing classes that depend on them to partially recover from the execute threshold.
    MAYBE ZoS can even further add flexibility to the playstyle if the mentioned values will be scaling on current hp, meaning at full health u get full X+Y shield, while at 1 hp u get full healing potential. for example:
    sorc has base 7323 power on hardened ward and 3600 healing on matriarch (move or duplicate this effect into ward)
    at 100% hp this will be 7323 shield
    at 50% it will be 3661 shield + 1800 healing
    at 1 hp it will be 3600 healing

    I really like this idea for sorc shields. Just some slight tweaks to the numbers imo
    - When cast at/or above 90% health it's a 7323 shield
    - When cast at 50% remains an equal half/half mix of shield + heal as you stated
    - When cast at/or below 10% health it's a 3600 heal

    Going a step further, maybe make the regenerative ward morph into this heal/shield ability (better suits the name) and hardened ward instead grants additional armor or mitigation + interrupt immunity (to go with the hardened name) alongside its shield instead of being a shield/heal mix.

    That way both morphs can have the higher current shield value of hardened ward but will have separate use cases to suit different playstyles, and both cannot be used at the same time which would be very strong.
    - Hardened ward acts as a preventative measure to reduce/mitigate damage and facilitates using dark exchange with its cast time as the heal to pair with this morph.
    - Regenerative ward acts as a recovery measure allowing to recover from the damage taken, but not prevent/mitigate it as effectively having the caster rely on other abilities to reduce/mitigate damage.
  • RemoryAzure
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    Turtle_Bot wrote: »

    I really like this idea for sorc shields. Just some slight tweaks to the numbers imo

    honestly, at this point, anything will do, even the most lazy variant of "heal when lower than half hp and shield when above"
    but i like the idea to implement my suggestion on a regenerating ward, which is weaker than hardened, balance wise
  • DrNukenstein
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    Not having effects when shields break/expire is a massive missed opportunity in this game.
  • i11ionward
    i11ionward
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    Not having effects when shields break/expire is a massive missed opportunity in this game.

    Great idea!

    For example, when a damage shield expires a portion of resources is returned depending on the value that was not used.

    An example of this mechanic is already used in Blazing Shield.


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