I threw this suggestion in the "if you could add anything to the game" section of the 1.5 review survey, and thought they were interesting enough to want some opinions, suggestions, and criticisms. Not putting any numbers in, because I don't know much anything about breakpoints or deeper mechanics. I just know shields are so passive and underwhelming they rarely see play, and I wish they did more. Reused some VT1 trait names for style points.
Improved Guard: Blocking powerful strikes deflects the impact to enemies in melee range, and within your block arc. Equivalent enemy types are staggered, lesser types receive some of the damage.
Light and running infantry attacks would not trigger this.
Blocking during a patrol would create openings by staggering nearby elites after eating an overhead, and damage infantry mixed in with them
Blocking a monster would damage all lesser enemy types near you.
Blocking hordes would require staying still, because you'd want the heavy attacks to trigger (running attacks are triggered if you're moving) if you wanted staggers ricocheted to the horde around you.
This trait would particularly benefit those with Push/Block Angle properties. Larger angles means more security for players fighting behind you, as it would now stagger behind your sides, not just the basic 180°.
Opportunist: Every blocked strike amplifies the power of your next attack by X%, up to 5 stacks.
Rewards blocking enemies with bonus damage. Enables tanks to headshot elites after a series of blocks (Axe or Sword+Shield push-attacks), or sweep a few infantry with a more deadly light or push attack (Mace or Hammer+Shield push attacks).
Opportunist as it exists "increases push strength by 50% against attacking enemies". I can't imagine a situation where this would be beneficial besides timing your push while CWs are attacking. Maulers, Stormvermin, Berserkers all already can be pushed regardless of if they're attacking. If someone can clarify how this works that would be very helpful.
This trait would particularly benefit those with Block Cost Reduction properties, also Attack Speed would shorten your window when you're not blocking.
Improved Pommel: Consecutive heavy attacks amplify damage and stagger by X%, up to 3 stacks. Stacks are reset upon receiving damage, hitting armor for no damage, or attacking with three stacks.
Generally benefits chains of heavy and push attacks. The caveat is that shield bashes do no armor damage, so utilizing this versus elites would require push attacks to start the heavy attack chain, which is good anyway to interrupt/stagger them.
Particularly the Axe+Shield would benefit, because it's heavy attack pattern's third strike has high damage vs armor already, but it would help any Shield's damage and stagger versus Berserkers, Maulers, and unarmored Monsters.
I'm guessing they would have to alter shield cleave properties to make this work properly. I believe shield bashes stagger a large number of enemies, depending if targets with higher mass are in the mix, but only damage one or two targets.
This trait would particularly benefit those with Stamina Recovery and PowerVS properties.
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© Post "Add Shield-specific Traits" for game Warhammer: Vermintide.