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Suggestion to Improve Shields


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Quick Summary of the Problem with Shields

At present, shields are a warframe's worst stat in the Arsenal UI. Having "High Shields" is the short draw when high armor, high energy or high health is so objectively better in most situations. Once you go above levels like 60 through 80, depending on the enemy type, shields just deplete instantly. Shields are also one of the less interesting enemy health types. There's no damage reduction, and while shields are functionally infinite health as long as they aren't depleted, the case still stands that eventually they will always deplete to zero instantly or just short of instant without a form of damage reduction on them through a mod or ability.


Quick Summary of the Solution for Shields

Shield Gating apparently won't work, so how about a gameplay mechanic that probably will? Why not have warframes with high shield pools have a non-comparable advantage to high health and high armor warframes. Every time your shields deplete, you get damage reduction on the damage type that depleted it. Only one damage type at a time can be resisted in this way, and its duration ends when shields start recharging again. During this time, you're immune to status procs of that damage type regardless of how strong the damage reduction is.

The strength of the damage resistance would scale with the warframe's base shields and the highest their shields got to regenerate before being depleted, as the damage reduction resets as soon as sheilds start to recharge. This takes into account overshields in relation to the base shields.


Implications for Warframes

This isn't exactly armor. Most factions deal damage primarily in one damage type against the player, but not exclusively. So the results of this damage reduction will vary and will not be as reliable as the armor stat's damage reduction on health. Tanking isn't the primary role of this mechanic. The strength of the damage reduction scales with how high shields got before being depleted and reset when they do start recharging, so tanking heavy fire will have abysmal results if you don't have armor and health to keep you alive in those instances.

The status proc immunity for the offending damage type in the case of players are for burst damage that instantly depletes your shields and has the potential to crowd control you into taking fatal damage. Things like explosive barrels, bombard rockets, and high level melee units. Results for the latter, like slash procs, will vary as those would hit through shields anyway. This would prevent some insult to injury when you've got at least 1 unit of shield on you.

This would also give purpose to the sound cue when your shields are depleted. As the damage reduction only lasts until your shields regenerate, this is your sign from the game to get focus fire off of you until you get a bit more shields. Failing to heed this will result in a weaker damage reduction when your shields get depleting shortly after shield regeneration begins. So this does not turn squishy frames into tanks. It's impossible to face tank with these mechanics. It rewards being evasive and taking chip damage, and letting them recharge. These changes extend to Companions, and also grants a use to Shield Regeneration mods.


Implications for Enemies

The Corpus are known to be a very squishy enemy type. Toxin, Gas, and Slash all deplete their health through shields and that would still be the case should this mechanic be extended to them. What this would do is reduce the damage they take in the event that their shields get depleted before their health is depleted. This would grant them temporary bulk scaling with their total shields, that might even necessitate switching damage types once or stalling the damage reduction out. Corpus are already really hard to crowd control thanks to nullifiers, this gives them some status proc immunities depending on what's being used to fight them individually.

There is an alternative solution, now, though. Magnetic Status' 75% shield reduction applies before the damage reduction calculation does. At least it ought to. So a magnetic proc would drastically reduce the corpus unit's survival in this instance. If Magnetic damage is the resisted damage type and status proc with this mechanic then it's even better, because Magnetic only needs to proc once before the shields are depleted and once they're depleted its done is job. 

For Sentients, not much changes. However, this mechanic for shields is just a step below them lorewise. A certain sentient origin Warframe would benefit a ton from this too, as they'd be closer to the species they harken to and are also high with base shields and can generate overshields.



This is only one of many ways to address Shields. It'd have impact on gameplay, enemy variety, and some damage types. I can see it opening up a variety mod builds and at the very least can be made to compete with Vitality. A potential oversight is status procs being used to bypass shields anyway, like Slash, but could potentially be fixed by having this mechanic also heal that sole status proc if that's the direction people want to take it in. Otherwise, this is my best crack at it as a player.

Another potential oversight is functional status proc immunity (if surrounding enemies can only inflict one status), which can be addressed by making it simply a chance to resist status procs that scales the same way the damage reduction does.

This just my perspective, which isn't infallible. So take this all with a few grains of salt. Both the summaries and the suggestions themselves.

Edited by Azimbee
changes for clarity
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