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This may be common knowledge, but I just realized it and thought I'd share. I had been running my Aloth with Whale of a Wand one handed just for the accuracy bonus (I know it only applies to weapon attacks not spells) when I tried giving him Tuotilo's Palm, the small shield that also counts as an off hand weapon. This means it benefits from two weapon style and weapon and shield style. Normally I don't like offhand weapon shields because in melee they decrease your dps since their damage is so much lower than your main hand weapon would be, but at range you only attack with the wand anyway. Testing dps, he can now kill a dummy rotghast in 1:10 as opposed to 1:30 before, so not only has his dps increased ~20% but he also gains +16 deflection and +16 reflex. Not bad.

 

Now his autoattack damage is still pretty bad (my watcher can do it in 25 seconds) and he should be casting most of the time anyway, but still you lose nothing since small shields don't have an accuracy penalty. I would even say it helps him weave in autoattacks with his spells since the faster speed means you'll be less likely to be stuck in recovery when you want to cast a spell. I feel like real ranged dps like rangers or rogues would rather be dual wielding or else two-handing something like the red hand, but for casters who only sparingly use their weapon this seems like the best setup.

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I've been using Nerian's Ward medium shield as end-game on casters who need a shield - the acc debuff (malus) from Large was too much, and the medium shield modal (30% to block attacks, I think) plus Nerian's enchantment to downgrade hits seems to help a lot when you get swarmed solo, especially during your self-buffing phase.  Nature's Resolve buff basically helps with the shield penalty.

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One thing you didn't mention is I'm pretty sure the extra deflection makes him less likely to be focused by enemies. Enemies seem programmed to swarm squishies on POTD at least, so there is good reason to invest in caster defenses.

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This may be common knowledge, but I just realized it and thought I'd share. I had been running my Aloth with Whale of a Wand one handed just for the accuracy bonus (I know it only applies to weapon attacks not spells) when I tried giving him Tuotilo's Palm, the small shield that also counts as an off hand weapon. This means it benefits from two weapon style and weapon and shield style. Normally I don't like offhand weapon shields because in melee they decrease your dps since their damage is so much lower than your main hand weapon would be, but at range you only attack with the wand anyway. Testing dps, he can now kill a dummy rotghast in 1:10 as opposed to 1:30 before, so not only has his dps increased ~20% but he also gains +16 deflection and +16 reflex. Not bad.

 

Now his autoattack damage is still pretty bad (my watcher can do it in 25 seconds) and he should be casting most of the time anyway, but still you lose nothing since small shields don't have an accuracy penalty. I would even say it helps him weave in autoattacks with his spells since the faster speed means you'll be less likely to be stuck in recovery when you want to cast a spell. I feel like real ranged dps like rangers or rogues would rather be dual wielding or else two-handing something like the red hand, but for casters who only sparingly use their weapon this seems like the best setup.

 

if you are playing on potd, you will lose out on accuracy which is very important so that's a trade-off. 

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if you are playing on potd, you will lose out on accuracy which is very important so that's a trade-off. 

 

 

Accuracy for what? One handed doesn't affect your spells and the bonus action speed from two weapons outweighs it while autoattacking as my testing showed. Even in some extreme case where the bonus accuracy is necessary (say a megaboss or something where you're barely hitting otherwise, most encounter even on potd won't matter), you'd probably only get a minor dps boost. And you should be casting most of the time anyway, during which one-handed gives you zero benefit whereas an offhand shield gives you deflect and reflex without affecting you spell accuracy since it's a small shield.

 

Quick and dirty math: to balance a 35% speed bonus, you need to do roughly 50% more damage per hit. Normalizing everything, we can say that attacking when your accuracy matched the opponents deflection you do 25*0 (misses) + 25*.5 (grazes) + 50*1 (hits) = 62.5 damage. Now with +12 accuracy this goes up to 25*.5 + 50 + 12*1.5 = 80.5 or a ~29% bonus. As your relative accuracy increases, the relative damage bonus from additional accuracy decreases (imagine your accuracy is way higher to begin with, you'll be critting most of the time anyway so extra accuracy doesn't help you). So it's only when your accuracy is below their deflection that we can reach that 50% damage increase. Specifically when your accuracy is 40 below, you'll do 25*5 + 10 = 22.5 while at 40-12=28 below you'll do 25*5 + 22 = 34.5 or roughly 50% more. Of course this skips over other damage boost or other speed buffs but is a reasonable approximation.

 

TLDR: As long as your accuracy is within 40 points of the opponent's deflection (i.e. most of the time even in potd), the speed boost from an offhand weapon shield outweighs the accuracy buff from one-handing while also boosting your defenses.

Edited by arkteryx
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Dual wielding and Two weapon style don't affect casting speed either.

 

But the increased defection and reflex without losing anything (but an ability point for weapon & shield) is nice.

 

However - if you want to cast all the time a non-bashing small shield will do the trick equally well.

Edited by Boeroer

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