I’ve been thinking about shields recently; been running around with my (imperfect!) FotFH + Grog with Krieg, watching mobs kill themselves on me. I painstakingly reset for that shield too, and skipped a 1600 radius one like a fool, and ended up settling for a high 1400s days later…and I never once cared about how much shield durability it had. Which makes sense for that specific shield, but that mentality is one I’ve shared for most shields. Isn’t that odd?
I feel as if perhaps Gearbox has yet to create a scenario in which a player would sensibly consider how bulky their shield is, at least in terms of farmable legendary/unique shields. The effect shields bring tends to matter far more than their durability. Calculations for shield capacity boosts have level caps, lowering their effectiveness. Health gating exists as a mechanic, and is a much more controllable resource, what with the existence of Moxxi weapons. At lower levels, players typically don’t encounter these hurdles, and so having a strong shield can be desirable. But the stronger you get, the more likely your shield will be swiped or shot away, and so less concern is placed upon the durability of one’s shield.
Consider the Transformer. In theory, this should be a spectacular shield. If one could carefully manage their shock output with splash weapons, one should gain a hefty amount of durability. In theory, characters like Axton and Gaige can use this shield splendidly, what with the large amount of shield support and health management they possess. However, with the heavy focus on offense, and the (relative) ease with which health can be controlled, the Transformer doesn’t seem nearly as appealing. And even if it were, how many players would aim for a higher bullet absorption chance over the shield capacity?
I’m interested in hearing others’s thoughts about the place shield capacity has as a mechanic on its own, as opposed to it being simply a limiting/enabling factor for the shield’s effect. Do you believe more incentive could be placed on shields to encourage players to be bulkier? Or perhaps are certain conditions set up to make that sort of thing a non-issue?