Diablo® III

Suggestion: Shield Overhaul

Hi everyone, I would like to start a discussion on the usefulness of shields in diablo 3.

To my knowledge currently all the effective builds don’t make use of shields. Everything is stack IAS,CC,CD,LS,LOH. The most effective D3 strategy is offense is the best defence.

The 3 main points I see as limiting a shields use are.

1. Block damage figure being so small, especially when you play high MP and it’s totally possible for you to take 10s of thousands of damage in one hit.
2. Block % chance being low
3. No effective skills that make use of equipping a shield.
4. Dual wield being too effective

I don’t want to harp on about how it was in diablo 2 but shields were useful, actually in allot of cases on high difficulty a requirement. My preference if Blizzard did in future change this would be for a happy medium to be beneficial if you want to change your play style to incorporate them.

A few suggestions to potentially help with my above points.

1. Block damage figure have a dynamic element. E.g. variable base block + extra figure based on strength (include cap based on class)
2. Block chance figure have a dynamic element. E.g. variable base chance + extra figure based on dexterity (include cap based on class)
3. Open to suggestions on how but some skills to allow for some crowd control while using a shield. Without adding more skills I’m sure there are plenty of under used skills/runs from all classes which could be changed as appropriate.
4. dont nerf it but make other things as effective

I feel if something like the above could be achieved it would be a step in the right direction to move away from IAS,CC,CD being the only way to build an effective toon.

Input/thoughts appreciated.
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Shield will be good for PVP, at least for Barbs anyway
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Shields are just fine. You should take a look at the monk forum and the barb forum. Both have S & B threads.
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If they are just fine how come i never ever see players using them?

Every Barb i play with is wrath, ww, dual wield or skorn.

Every monk is dual wield or skorn.

I have not once done ubers with a party member using a shield.
Edited by Cakes#6385 on 3/5/2013 5:50 PM PST
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If they are just fine how come i never ever see players using them?

Every Barb i play with is wrath, ww, dual wield or skorn, every monk is dual wield or skorn


The idea of 'defense' doesn't appeal to a lot of players in an ARPG. My brother's monk uses a shield quite effectively, and this guy
http://us.battle.net/d3/en/profile/Dakkon-1755/hero/29961394
claims he farms MP10 with his low dps/high defense.
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I've posted this before but I feel that shields should be the ultimate defensive item slot.
At this time shields cannot keep up with the life gain of a high LS, LoH weapon.

Shields should be able to roll Life Steal higher than 3% and LoH higher than 1k.
This would also open the door to some sick trifecta shields CHC, LS, LoH that might even give Wizards and WD's something to think about.
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If they are just fine how come i never ever see players using them?

Every Barb i play with is wrath, ww, dual wield or skorn, every monk is dual wield or skorn


The idea of 'defense' doesn't appeal to a lot of players in an ARPG. My brother's monk uses a shield quite effectively, and this guy
http://us.battle.net/d3/en/profile/Dakkon-1755/hero/29961394
claims he farms MP10 with his low dps/high defense.


I understand a defense play style doesnt appeal to allot of players, after all diablo is all about overkill and destruction at the fastest possible rate you can acheive. Dakkon may farm MP10 with his shield but at what rate, would it be considered effective, highly doubtful.

Im not saying we should play more defensively i just want people to think changes that can lead to more viable options. As a community we should be pushing Blizzard to get the game to a point where BIS threads are far less common and or complicated.

Blizzard have talked about itemization at length and they to continue to plan to change things but what and when who knows. The side benifit i see of this is that if there is no clear BIS or several options AH prices should go down as we should have a greater supply of what is considered a top tier item.
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I just did ubers on MP7 yesterday with my shield monk(was with some friends who sat back and did the bulk of the damage while I tanked and provided them with damage buffs), my gear isn't even that great. For soloing, shields really aren't that great but in group play one guy with a shield and heavy support build can sit there and take the brunt of the damage while everyone else can glass cannon it. It can be pretty fun to play that way.

You can get higher crit chance with a shield than you can with any other weapon as well if you have a lot of abilities that rely on crit procs. There are uses for shields out there now, though one thing I would like to see is some better legendary shields and some different visuals(most shields are hideous).

I think it would be interesting if they could go the route of putting lifesteal or multiple sockets in shields, that might make a lot more people think about using them.

Another route they could take is putting some special skill bonuses or procs on shields only, for instance the lidless providing you with a chance to be shielded, I'd like to see more things like that on other shields(and am looking forward to seeing an ilvl 63 lidless in the future).
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until shields can roll 200% cd and lifesteal/loh, they probably wont see any use. 10-20% cc cant overcome those by itself. a shield might be strictly better if it could roll even 100% cd, at least until the new legendaries come out.
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the main problem is that all classes can either dual wield, or have a class offhand (or both for the DH), both of which give better DPS than a shield can.
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I get the feeling people want more damage affixs on shields. Why are we not suggesting more damage mitigation affixs?

If you can use a shield to achieve high damage reduction would it be better than making it do more damage? Additional mitigation would mean less lifesteal and loh reliance etc.

Would it avoid the health rubberbanding or stacking this with as much IAS as possible?

Take for instance a DH. You either use smoke screen for total avoidence or Gloom for LS trying to stack LOH or LS for this class while maintaining DPS equivlent to other classes is pretty hard to say the least. If you could use a shield to block a large percentage of incoming damage you now have a new way to play the class and who knows what build types this might open up.
Edited by Cakes#6385 on 3/5/2013 7:26 PM PST
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Shields are already pretty mandatory in HC, those who argue otherwise usually die fast. Want shields to make a comeback in SC? Let players adjust MP so monster dps and hp can increase separately. Tanks will set the MP so monsters do 500% dps and have 50% more hp while glass cannons will select MP for 500% hp but do only 50% more dps. There's your balance!
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I feel shields are an area that can be improved greatly. I hope in the future, when they do fix itemization along the lines of unique effects on legendaries, we see shields that give auras (similar to d2 defiance, might, etc.). Another idea for a legendary shield would be the ability to deflect ranged attacks, but have that same shield be unable to block so as to not have it op. I feel shields should not completely neglect offense for defense and I feel that certain affixes for rares and legendaries could help that. For instance, it would be cool for a shield to be able to convert a %of life to you dps. These are just some ideas from the top of my head that sound good to me on paper.
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03/05/2013 07:43 PMPosted by RonJick
I feel shields are an area that can be improved greatly. I hope in the future, when they do fix itemization along the lines of unique effects on legendaries, we see shields that give auras (similar to d2 defiance, might, etc.). Another idea for a legendary shield would be the ability to deflect ranged attacks, but have that same shield be unable to block so as to not have it op. I feel shields should not completely neglect offense for defense and I feel that certain affixes for rares and legendaries could help that. For instance, it would be cool for a shield to be able to convert a %of life to you dps. These are just some ideas from the top of my head that sound good to me on paper.


Shields giving auras! I love that idea. Would definitely support group play and give people a reason to use a shield. You could have multiple people using one for different group buffs or one person simply being the meat shield and providing support for everyone else.

You'd at least see them more in party games, not sure about playing solo though.
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IMO a shield currently only has a very small niche yet there are tons of shields out there. Blizzard should really offer a small buff to the offensive and defensive stats of shields so the damage penalty of using one isn't as severe.

One thing though is based on what the dev block said today on itemization is we will see several legendary shields be able to roll lvl 63 stats which alone could greatly improve the variety. I could also see a level 63 lidless wall offering some unique build options with a few tweaks for Wizards or Witch Doctors for example.
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03/05/2013 08:25 PMPosted by TeejayMac
I feel shields are an area that can be improved greatly. I hope in the future, when they do fix itemization along the lines of unique effects on legendaries, we see shields that give auras (similar to d2 defiance, might, etc.). Another idea for a legendary shield would be the ability to deflect ranged attacks, but have that same shield be unable to block so as to not have it op. I feel shields should not completely neglect offense for defense and I feel that certain affixes for rares and legendaries could help that. For instance, it would be cool for a shield to be able to convert a %of life to you dps. These are just some ideas from the top of my head that sound good to me on paper.


Shields giving auras! I love that idea. Would definitely support group play and give people a reason to use a shield. You could have multiple people using one for different group buffs or one person simply being the meat shield and providing support for everyone else.

You'd at least see them more in party games, not sure about playing solo though.


Its funny allot of the suggestions herald back to Diablo 2.

Blizzard developed d2 for 10 years and had some good mechanics in the game but seem to throw most if not all of it away for Diablo 3.... I can see them slowly bringing them back via community request over the next 10 :)
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I was hoping for some more interest in this thread, shields are a great candidate for some love changes to an essentially unused item could have some big and nice ramifications on gameplay.
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Whenever you block a melee attack, deal "X" weapon damage as physical to attackers,
Whenever you block a ranged attack, increase movement speed by X.
Reflect 100% of the blocked damage to enemies within 8 yards (increased by a proportion of the pickup radius).
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Nice idea Doombringer. Increase movement would be great.

I like the idea of on player successful block enrage monster to force engage player for x seconds.

Would add some degree of crowd control, very helpful for certain fast monster types and group play etc.

Kit your monk/barb out with this and then then have an archon wiz and dh glass cannon built to nuke :)
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