A Question on Shield Immunities

So this has been bothering me for awhile now, and I feel I must be missing something.

Barring special cases(Melee Zero, Hellborn Krieg etc…) it seems that the default immunity recommended is inflammable. I have mulled this over for a while and to me I would think that in most cases Grounded should be the default.

The reason for this is that the majority of the time it is a players shield that takes damage. At OP8 this is especially the case as even small capacity shields such as the Bee will have more capacity than a player does health. Furthermore only Salvador and Krieg lack a skill that regenerates shields on kill. This creates a situation where even when players take damage it is the shield that is hit and the excess then strikes at our health.

Just to explore some of the maths behind this:

For the following calculations base dot damage = 100 and I am ignoring that dots deal multiple ticks per second as all elements deal the same number of ticks per second.

Fire on shields is x0.4 and lasts 5 seconds.
Therefore a fire dot deals: 100 x 0.4 x 5 = 200
Shock on shields is x2.5 and lasts for 2 seconds.
Therefore a shock dot deals: 100 x 2.5 x 2 = 500

For reference the same calculations done vs flesh produce:
Fire dot: 875
Shock dot: 200

Now the math makes it abundantly clear that fire is capable of dealing far more damage, however this is in a vacuum. As I already mentioned 4 of the VH’s have Kill Skills that make shields regen through damage. In a mobbing situation it is fairly easy to keep kill skills active almost the entire time. Therefore shouldn’t we protect the shield that is taking damage the majority of the time?

I have a suspicion that partly what drives peoples trust in inflammable shields is that fire dots put us into FFYL more often than shock dots. As it was the finishing blow we immediately associate it as either being the biggest threat or as being inescapable. What I think a lot don’t realize is that if a fire dot has dealt fatal damage it is probably because A) kill skills are down or B) health and shields were dangerously low. Shock dots however are at their most dangerous when our shields are active, thus they weaken us and leave us open to a fatal blow of any kind. The fact that shock doesn’t generally deliver the final blow shouldn’t detract that it is often the biggest source of damage.

So what am I missing? I check the top gear and I see recommendations for Alkaline and Inflammable but not for grounded. Why is grounded not recommended equally or more so for characters that have skills like inertia or unstoppable force?

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I didn’t read it all yet, but the reason Inflammable is highly regarded, is because a fire DoT is a near death sentence at OP8… when your shield isn’t up. Something like a Bee is going to break no matter what DoT is on it, so you want the immunity that matters for the hit point pool after that.

However, a Grounded turtle shield tends to be the preferred on characters that can actually keep that kind of shield up. But it is a double edged sword, as if you don’t keep it up, you now have less health and the wrong immunity.

  • The exception being the health regen com + white turtle shield, where Alkaline is preferred because it has the longest DoT.
  • The reason you don’t see Grounded being praised as much is because of red text shields. No one is going to use a turtle when they could use a Blockade or Antagonist, which can’t spawn with immunities.

So TL;DR, the large capacity shields that benefit from the Grounded prefix, are overshadowed by red text shields that can’t spawn w/ imunnities. Making only the immunity preference for small capacity shields, the one people praise.


If this didn’t answer your question I’ll now read the thread and come up with a better response.

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But wouldn’t a skill such as inertia recharge some hit points of the shield between DOT ticks? Thus the fire dot would receive the debuff from the shield?

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Inertia will also fight against a shock DoT, even if it is less-so. The problem is that, yes you are “keeping” your shield up, but an OP8 fire DoT will definitely eat through a Bee shield and dip into your health. Which is much harder to regain than a shield is in most cases.

Add in the almighty mechanic of health-gating, and prioritizing that my health be above 50%, outweighs my need to keep my shield up for 2 seconds, as the impact damage from the bullet is probably breaking it already anyway.

Plus what happens when you don’t have Inertia, like in a boss arena? BADASSASAURUS REX anyone?

I’m sure I’m missing some points I want to make.

Calling @DeputyChuck to make sure I don’t stray too far from science, and start making assertions simply on my perception of the matter, as I sometimes do.

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To drive it home some more, here are the popular shields people tend use. (I know you said excluding Krieg/Melee Zero, but…)


Preferred Elemental Immunites

  • Antagonist - n/a
  • Blockade - n/a
  • Evolution/Neo - n/a
  • Big Boom Blaster - Grounded (niche - because fire and corrosive DoTs actually make this shield stronger)
  • Hide of Terra - Grounded (niche - so the Chain Lightning doesn’t kill you)
  • Sham - n/a
  • Fire Hawk - Fire (The shield needs to be down to work, and it is the only on you can have)
  • Bee - Fire (This is a boss shield in my eyes, and you don’t tend to have kill skills in boss arenas)
  • Love Thumper - Fire (As the shield is always down)
  • Rough Rider - n/a
  • White Turtle - Corrosive (Because all you care about is the length of the DoT, as your shield will be down anyway, and you’re truing to heal through it. A shorter DoT means less chances for your health regen to mess up.)

So basically the Inflammable and Alkaline praise comes from basically just the Bee, with a side of level 5 white Tediore shields. As those are the immunities needed in boss fights, and the Bee is a shield everyone uses. Where Grounded is favored is too niche for it to be a bandwagon, being the examples above and Turtles while leveling. But as if you’re going to find a nice Grounded Turtle. Even if you do it will be out leveled and out of your mind in a couple hours.

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Both would eat into your health, and if as I understand it to work and inertia means the dot will always impact the shield then surely that nullifies the fire significantly. Surely if a dot of a 100 damage impacts a shield of capacity 10 then

In the case of a fire dot: 100 x 0.4 = 40. Thus the shield is depleted and 30 damage is done to health.
In the case of a shock dot: 100 x 2.5 = 250. Thus the shield is depleted and 240 damage is done to health.

Am I misunderstanding how a dot applies damage here?

In boss fights I see the benefits to inflammable.

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The damage reduction a fire DoT takes on shield impact, does not carry over to the health when the shield breaks. Even on the same tick.

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Fire immunity or corrosive immunity. Either will wipe you in seconds. Even in just UVHM you’ll likely die from it. Melee Zero should always have inflammable as you will never have a shield to begin with. If your breaking your own shield grounded is needed or you will kill yourself.

I say, carry immunities to everything you can and try to manage it best you can. No matter what you do, you’ll die to dot somewhere

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This is what I was unaware of.

Thanks for laying it all out for me.

A mod can lock this thread my confusion has been cleared.

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Carry on, I agree with you here :slight_smile:

Health is what ultimately separates you from death. At any point in the game, you might have shields up or not, but you will always have health… or you’d be down… So any time you’re taking a DoT, it will get to your health before killing you, but doesn’t always have to go through your shield.

Add to that that a Fire DoT lasts long enough to kill you when you’re alone by yourself, while a Shock DoT is quicker, so if it was going to kill you, whatever inflicted it will still be around to give you that second wind.

And another thing: Usually you will get a Dot from a Damage source, so that means that you will almost never get a DoT when you’re at full shield, so that proportion of your total “hit points” that has to deal with Dots will even more disproportionately be your health because of that.

Yet another thing: unless you need a specific shield like the Bee for your build, if you are worried enough about shock damage to wear a grounded version, you should be using a Transformer :stuck_out_tongue:

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I was wondering when this somewhat obvious solution would be brought up :grinning: It’s my shield of choice for Peak runs because of surveyors…

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