Why Main Hand Shield Would Be Awesome For An Elite Specialization
A few weeks back I was talking with a few Guild Wars 2 guild mates about how main hand shield would be awesome for the Warrior elite specialization. One person wasn’t really convinced and jokingly said I should write an editorial about why it would be awesome. And here we are. Here are my reasons why main hand shield would be awesome for an elite specialization and, well, is just awesome in general. Note that I’ll be talking about using main hand shield in a melee fashion for the most part.
Why Main Hand Shield Would Be Awesome
1) Very Innovative: Off the top of your head, name an MMO that allows a class to wield a main hand shield. Go ahead, I’ll wait. You can’t, can you? Guild Wars 2 has always been about thinking outside the box and innovating on good ideas. Melee staff and ranged hammer are cool to wield but I really can’t see a better outside the box idea for a weapon than wielding a main hand shield.
2) Possibly More Defense, Small Hit In Offense: In GW2, a main hand shield means you get more defense for a small hit in your damage. However, this damage decrease isn’t so bad that makes wielding a main hand shield worthless. At least in my opinion it doesn’t. For example: The best dual hand damage would be something like dual Swords which would give you 1810 – 2000 damage with no defense. An exotic Sword and an off hand Shield would yield 1711 – 1909 with 61 defense. Two exotic Shields would give you 1612 – 1818 with 122 defense. The worst stat combo would be (exotic) main hand Shield and Torch which would give you 1595 – 1835 with 61 defense. You see where I’m going with this.
3) Good Balance of Offensive & Defensive Skills: With respect to off hand shield skills they, more or less, provide the defense nature already. Main hand shield skills could provide the offense. Slam-like basic attacks, offensive shield leaps, and charge attacks are some of the skills that would compliment a main hand shield.
4) Grants Access To Different Conditions: A Guardian is a good example for this point. A Guardian’s main damage-over-time condition is burning and not much else. I know the Dragonhunter elite specialization will allow Guardians access to bleed but main hand shield can facilitate access to more conditions. Some possible conditions for a main hand shield I can see are confusion and maybe bleed if a skill added spikes your shield when you hit or something like that.
5) You Could Wield Two Shields: Think about that fact. Think about running around with two Flameseeker Prophecies and bashing Mordrems in. Is that not a sight to behold?
Why Main Hand Shield Probably Doesn’t Work
Main hand shield is a cool idea, but not without it’s pitfalls:
1) Sheathing A 2nd Shield: Besides stacking shields on one’s back, which would probably look awful with clipping, there’s no real visual way to store a 2nd shield well.
2) No Attack Value: May not be relevant here since in GW2 shields have a damage value because weapons determine some of the skills you have. However, with other MMOs, shields may only have a defense value which is probably the main reason why you don’t see main hand shield in MMO games. So unless you really want to be tanky, you can’t do much else.
3) Damage/Defense Values Not As Intended: I know this counter acts my pro point #2 but I’m not a GW2 game dev. It may be possible that I see the dip in damage main hand shield facilities as not a problem whereas the GW2 balance team can see it being a problem.
4) Possibly Too Overpowered CC-wise: Let’s face it, Dual Shield alone in GW2 would just be too awesome and would become meta in an instant if main hand shield status effects would, most likely, feature dazes and knockbacks. That would just be too annoying to deal with by any standard.
In conclusion, I really see the possibility of main hand shield in the future for Guild Wars 2 since they have a pretty good way to implement it. If they can work out the visual and damage trade off issues, I think they have some thing to work with. Right now, I can’t see it happening for the Heart of Thorns expansion.
This is meant to be more of a gag article. However, I’m going to use this article as a reference for “I called it!” if main hand shield ever gets implemented.