So first off I love the idea of shields in Siege and think they 100% belong in this type of game; however, I'm not a fan of how they're being played and what they're currently capable of. Personally I think that with some tweaks Ubisoft can add a huge layer of depth, team work, and tactical gameplay to Rainbow Six with their shields which may sound silly now considering how they're currently played, but I will explain.
So to me the problem with shields right now is that they're too effective at pretty much every range and their playstyle revolves largely around gun play rather than positioning. I think shields need to be very strong at extremely close quarters (like they already are) but awful at medium and long range which would put more focus on proper positioning rather than simply outgunning the enemy. I want to list my proposed changes to achieve this style of gameplay and explain why I think this will help bring a more tactical experience.
1) Remove leaning with shields entirely. Leaning on shields is one of the biggest issues right now. In a 60FPS video it takes 5 frames to move from one side to the other which is 1/12th of a second, an inhumanly fast movement speed. Regardless if the animation was fixed and at a natural speed, being able to lean still lessens the risk of a shield aiming down sights since the head position is much more unpredictable. Now I know some may say just get good and hit your shots but you have to consider that shields have the option to shoot the defender in the head or the body whereas the defender can only shoot the head, and the fact that shield pistols and defender SMGs have comparable DPS you inherently have an unfair advantage in direct gunfights while using a shield. To balance out this unfair advantage those exposed heads need to be extremely vulnerable which I think is more than fair because at the end of the day, the shields dictate when they expose their head to the defender.
Aside from the problematic bobbing and weaving meta, leaning with shields needs to be removed for another reason and that is to prevent pixel peeking and the ability to hold very tight angles. Why do shields need this ability? That is what the 4 rifles on the team are there for. Removing their ability to pixel peek will only further define their roles as a support operator.
2) Slow down the speed of aiming down sights. This is for the same reasons as removing leaning on shields, aiming down sights should not favor the shield in a direct gunfight. As of now I feel like I need to prefire the shield's head in anticipation of him aiming down sights because quite often I'm dead before I can even see the aim down sight animation fully completed, combine this with a Finka and it is a nightmare. Overall if a defender is staring directly at a shield anticipating the shield to aim down sights it should be a free kill; I've seen many of the best aimers on PC even struggle with this aspect because shields are just so quick right now.
3) Make shield melees a DBNO and not an instakill. The reason for this is because it's nearly impossible to save a teammate from getting meleed by a shield, defenders can trade the kill while a shield is vulnerable in his melee animation but you're never going to actually save the defender from death because the melee is just too quick. With a DBNO melee, those defenders who outnumbered the shield and played it properly wont get punished as severely since they then can still get revived. Now I've heard some people who would want to go as far as making shield melees do 50 damage but I think this is too much of a nerf for shields, I think Ubi needs to maintain shields as a major threat in very close quarter fights, that way it forces defenders to either keep their distance or simply outnumber the shield with a crossfire. This DBNO melee change would achieve a nerf to shields when in a 1v2+ situation but not nerf them in a 1v1 situation at point blank range.
In conclusion the role that I'm hoping for shields to have in Siege is a supportive role where their job is to displace the defenders out of position. Since shields haves the ability to melee and hipfire relatively accurately at close quarters they'll still be a major threat in CQC which forces defenders to keep their distance from them. Now if leaning was removed and aiming down sights was slowed down defenders would be extremely confident to just maintain their distance against any shield to easily win a 1v1 gun fight against them. So with that said it's up to the attacking team to set up the defenders in a tactical/coordinated way that'll have the shield force them out of position and make them vulnerable for other attackers to get the kill, otherwise staying still will get them killed by the shield. Now keep in mind if shields are nerfed for their medium to long range capabilities, defender crossfires will be much easier to establish since the shield will be forced to fully commit into a room to get within a lethal range, again putting a stronger emphasis on positioning for everyone in play. Now with the proposed change to slow down the aim down sight, albeit much slower and making medium-long range fights less feasible it'll still be useful for dealing with distracted defenders, again encouraging team play for attackers.
Lastly I want to emphasize that both Montagne and Blitz have abilities that directly assist them in closing the gap so it would make sense for Ubi to put a stronger emphasis on shield positioning and limit their effectiveness strictly to CQC. I think the emphasis on positioning will also define the two shield roles more distinctly; if defensive crossfires are now easier to establish and problematic, Monty might be the choice since he has more protection, but if attackers can isolate the defenders more easily Blitz would be the choice since he's quicker and deadlier. Overall this puts emphasis on the shield's actual abilities rather than the current meta where most shield players just aim down sights and engage in direct gunfights the same exact way.
TL:DR Nerf shields ability to fight at medium to long range but keep them strong in CQC.
© Post "Macie Jay’s Opinion On Shields And How They Should Be Changed" for game Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six Siege.
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