Shield Usage skill

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Shield Usage skill is used in determining the effectiveness of an arm-worn or held shield in blocking attacks. The stats that assist in blocking (from most to least important) are Reflex, Discipline, and Strength.

Spells and abilities that boost Shield Usage

Spells and abilities that decrease Shield Usage

Shield Usage

To use a shield, just hold one in your left hand and fight something. Alternatively, shields may be worn on the arm (see below).

You may adjust the amount of shield skill you are actively using via the STANCE command.

Training Strategies

Below about 50 ranks, shield is not a terribly effective defense. However, shield coupled with the evasion skill is the most effective means of defending against ranged attacks. You will be unable to effectively use larger shields' higher protection values until your ranks in Shield Usage increase. There is a contest in shield that examines the stats used in your defense (Reflex, Discipline, Strength) and compares that to the weight of the shield to see if you have full use of your ability to block. When working normally this "penalty" is truly a trivial thing and most likely only impacts very young characters. Most characters have no penalty whatsoever from the weight of shield. At low ranks in skill, small non-hindering shields are your best bet. Target shields from the goblins west of the Crossing make a good starter shield.

An arm-worn shield will penalize shots fired by a longbow, short bow, or composite bow, as per the standard penalties for two-handed weapons.

As skill approaches 100 ranks, moving to medium-sized shields will begin to pay off.[citation needed] Larger shields are generally more hindering, but with more skill in shield your defense will improve at an increased rate compared to the shield's maximum appraised protection. Shield defense will increase at a slower pace after the maximum appraised protection has been reached.

Experience is now awarded to all skills you are stanced to use, regardless of whether or not that skill is actually contested. It may still be in your better interest to swap stances around a little, but the need to stance down dramatically (especially in evasion) should not be as common or necessary.

Arm-worn Shield Notes

The ADJUST verb changes any shield to allow wearing on the arm. Adjusting it again will revert it to shoulder-worn.

The maximum size of shield you can wear on your arm is based on your guild's facility with armor:

  • Armor Primary - Can wear large shields (tower, kite, etc.) or smaller
  • Armor Secondary - Can wear medium shields (oval, buckler, etc.) or smaller
  • Armor Tertiary - Can wear small shields (buckler, targe, target, etc.)

There is a 4th circle requirement to arm-wearing a medium or large shield, to exclude commoners from wearing medium shields.

Note: An arm-worn shield's protection is reduced by 25%.

Clerics can arm-wear an infused Shield of Light shield that is medium in size, an exception to the size rule above.

Different classes of ranged weapons interact differently with arm-worn shields:

  • Slings are not affected in any way.
  • Light Thrown and Heavy Thrown weapons are not affected in any way.
  • Crossbows do not seem to be affected. (The 50-rank loading requirement was removed.)
  • Stick bows receive both a loading penalty and an accuracy penalty when used with an arm-worn shield.

The exceptions to the stick bow penalty are as follows:

  • A Paladin wearing a medium or small shield.
  • A Barbarian wearing a small shield.
  • A Ranger wearing a small shield.

Shield Stats

All shields have two levels of protection, referred to as:

  • "fortuitous block chance": Previously called "minimum defense",[1] this represents the chance of receiving a substantial bonus to your ability to block with a shield. This reflects the idea that sometimes the shield just happens to be in the right place to block an incoming attack, regardless of how skilled or unskilled you may be in using the shield. This chance remains the same whether you are holding or wearing the shield, so it is only listed once in shield appraisal messaging. When you appraise a shield, you will see that the shield offers "a [fortuitous block level] chance to fortuitously block attacks."
  • "protection": Represents how well you can block with the shield, with the ability to take full advantage of this stat scaling through Shield skill. (Note that unlike fortuitous block chance, protection is penalized when you wear a shield on your arm instead of holding it.) When you appraise a shield, you will see "Additionally, the shield offers [protection level while held] protection when held and [protection level while worn] protection when worn on the left arm."

Possible levels of protection: none, extremely terrible, terrible, dismal, very poor, poor, rather low, low, fair, better than fair, moderate, moderately good, good, very good, high, very high, great, very great, exceptional, very exceptional, impressive, very impressive, amazing, incredible, tremendous, unbelievable, god-like

* Some protection levels can only be discerned by Paladins and people who are skilled with shields.

Size Differences

Even beyond their stats, different shield sizes behave differently against different types of attacks.

Small Shield: 100% melee, 80% Missile
Medium Shield : 98% melee, 90% Missile
Large Shield: 96% melee, 100% Missile

Shield Slam

Using a shield (held in left hand or worn), it is possible to SLAM left an opponent with your shield. Larger shields are heavier and therefore have high impact damage.

Update: "You can now SLAM with arm-worn shields in combat as if you were holding it in your left hand."-Ssra 09/08/15

Shield Listing

Listed below are the highest protecting shields of each type. Only those with current appraisals are shown. They are sorted by maximum possible protection, then by minimum hindrance.

Small Shields

 Fortuitous Block RatingMaximum held protectionMaximum arm-worn protectionHindranceWeight
Shield:Darkened leather siege shield712380
Glossy starsteel ceremonial shield set with symbolic Imperial gemstones614104112
Gleaming agonite ceremonial shield engraved with a labyrinthine design61310480
Shield:Leather-covered buckler (1)612350
Shield:Bloodstained leather shield edged with iron spikes612350
Shield painted with the image of a rearing black unicorn612350
Shield:Rusty rondache612350
Shield:Matte silver targe painted with a ship6123
Shield:Black and white cowhide shield612350
Shield:Darkly enameled wooden targe612350
Shield:Shield painted with the image of a rearing black unicorn612350
Shield:Small rounded shield inlaid with a golden lion's head612350
Shield:Leather-covered buckler (2)6121550
Shield:Dark steel target shield prominantly displaying a silver crest611270
Shield:Simple target shield emblazoned with a pattern of ivy610270
Shield:Target shield painted with a pair of crests610270
Target shield painted with a pair of crests610270
Simple target shield emblazoned with a pattern of ivy610270
Shield:Kertig targe adorned with crimson moonsilver514440
Kertig targe adorned with crimson moonsilver514440
Hammered ka'hurst shield of abyssal black51310348
Glittery cupcake-shaped targe sprinkled with raspberry-pink spikes51310348
Polished icesteel shield glistening with snowflake-cut frostflare opals51310348
Reinforced smokewhorl shield wreathed with dragonfire amber flames51310360
Ceremonial shadowbark shield burned with a ring of overlapping runes513480
... further results

Medium Shields

 Fortuitous Block RatingMaximum held protectionMaximum arm-worn protectionHindranceWeight
Loimic skirmisher's shield embedded with fragments of stura atulave818762
Dawnfire steel shield with glowing truegold inlay818137187
Dwarven iron skirmisher's shield caked with mountainous layers of volcanic rock818137187
Gleaming steel pavise inlaid with a slender mother-of-pearl lily812105100
Stalwart kiralan deflector lined in stormsilk717126162
Gleaming vardite deflector traced in glowing truegold716136125
Shield:Polished oval shield etched with a raven pecking at a pile of gems7155140
Dwarven iron skirmisher's shield embellished with asini crows715126125
Steel oval trencher with a lumium-chased rim7156125
Oval shield engraved with shesegri etchings7156125
Shield:Soot stained variegated buckler7144100
Shield:Steel-banded ironwood oval shield7145140
Armor:Discolored potter's wheel7145140
Discolored potter's wheel7145140
Shield:Oval steel shield emblazoned with a giant mechanical spider7135140
Oval steel shield emblazoned with a giant mechanical spider7135140
Skirmisher's shield with a black charging ram on the front713106175
Icesteel oval shield with a black charging ram in the center713106125
Ebony oval shield with painted flowers7136125
Ecru oval shield embossed with gold midwinter sickle blossoms around the rim7136125
Brightly polished steel oval shield emblazoned with a crescent moon7126
Round steel shield emblazoned with a rampant brass griffon6165120
Enormous mistglass saucer with a ghostly-white sheen616125150
Shield:Round steel shield emblazoned with a rampant brass griffon6165120
Engraved kiralan curved shield with a luminescent starshine overlay616125150
... further results

Large Shields

 Fortuitous Block RatingMaximum held protectionMaximum arm-worn protectionHindranceWeight
Massive cell door with a small barred window132212
Massive vardite phalanx shield with a blackened skull boss122312550
Icesteel tower shield inlaid with a winter-bare sana'ati tree11231812450
Kiralan war shield glimmering with motes of asarenjan112112300
Shield:Olvi war shield forged from pure lumium10247100
Olvi war shield forged from pure lumium10247100
Reinforced war shield10217302
Shield:Reinforced war shield10217302
Ceremonial vardite aegis bristling with kertig spikes10211611350
Radiant uthamar tower shield haloed in luminescent starshine10201611280
Fine wall shield102011600
Star-kissed kertig tower shield depicting a sinuously coiled roaring leviathan10201612300
Bogbirch war shield plated in ka'hurst102012300
Massive round shield embossed with a rising orichalcum phoenix9215125
Shield:Massive round shield embossed with a rising orichalcum phoenix9215125
Shield:Massive steel wall shield embossed with a black tower upon a royal blue field9205130
Massive steel wall shield embossed with a black tower upon a royal blue field9205130
Massive wall shield bearing the personal arms of Raenaden Jeladric Theren9206130
Shield:Massive wall shield bearing the personal arms of Raenaden Jeladric Theren9206130
Gold tower shield emblazoned with a rising sun9207200
Shield:Blue tower shield emblazoned with a snow-capped mountain9207200
Shield:Gold tower shield emblazoned with a rising sun9207200
Ebony tower shield emblazoned with a platinum lightning bolt striking a stout oak tree9207200
Shield:Bronze tower shield emblazoned with an imposing stag9207200
Shield:Ebony tower shield emblazoned with a platinum lightning bolt striking a stout oak tree9207200
... further results

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