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It doesn't have to knock them down. I'm just saying, in games, it generates an effect beyond a regular weapon strike. Why? Because, in real life, it tends to do so, as well. Sure, there's more than JUST "shield bash to stun" when it comes to shield usefulness, but I'm just using that as a single example ability. IF you want 15 distinct shield abilities in the game, then awesome. Seriously, that would be great. I'm not against that at all.

 

But, the point is, without actually simulating all the factors involved in the timing of something like a shield strike, it's going to be abstracted. Simplified. When you shield bash (in a game) and you generate a stun-type effect (or a chance at one, at least), it's assumed that, when you click "shield bash," your character intentionally does all the things necessary to make that shield bash effective. Strikes at the right time during the opponent's swing, maybe jukes with his weapon hand THEN shield bashes, etc. This is why the stun (or whatever) can also fail, via mechanics. Just like it could if it was automated.

 

In the face of abstraction, the only thing automating something like shield bash into passiveness does is limit your tactical interaction with the situation. Sure, we could make it passive, just like we could make it passive for any character using any ability to automatically attack at the opportune time. Wizards! You ONLY launch a fireball, automatically, whenever 4 or 5 enemies are clustered. Archers! ONLY fire your arrows whenever you know you're not going to hit a shield.

 

What's this? Now we have no tactics left. The characters take care of everything, and we just hope the odds were in our favor from the get-go. Next we'll have them automatically positioning themselves for the best shots and defenses, etc.

 

So, at least as far as things such as shield bash being active and not passive abilities, I fully get that. You can still have AI behaviors that "passively" utilize active abilities without your direct input, but they're still not going to be shield-bashing a foe every 2-3 seconds. They might be using their shield in combat -- knocking a weapon strike aside, catching arrows and blows with it, etc. -- but you're not going to simply swing your shield at someone with a particularly forceful might with the specific intent of delivering an effectively stunning blow with it, every single chance you get simply to swing it thusly. That's going to be tiring, and easy to dodge/compensate for if you don't do it properly and time it right, etc.

 

So, again, in the midst of the abstraction, which is there even if it's made into a passive ability and used at all the "opportune moments" (they're just abstractly estimated, since you're not actually representing all the specific motions and factors like in a 1st-person boxing game or something), the player's timing of the active ability, and his limitation in how often/many times he can use it in a given amount of time directly represents the estimated number of times (and frequency of these times) that the opportunity will arise for the character to effectively deliver this particular blow as intended, as something beyond a normal strike.

well your first point that shield bashing does something special in real life is wrong, it is not much different than striking with a gauntlet.

 

the second example is a bit off, as you aren't being prevented from firing your bow by someone raising their shield, though tripping someone who is already prone seems silly, think more like telling one of your characters to attack, would it be better for them to attack on their own, or have you constantly clicking to get them to attack?

 

so since i have stuck mainly to fighters, a good question would be to ask is:is it something that is being done with something that just sits at the ready and isn't used while in combat?  if the answer is yes then it probably is a good candidate for instant use, otherwise probably not.  of course if you can't find more than a couple of things that would fit this, then you should ask yourself would there be great benefit for an instant use over short delay use?  if not then maybe there doesn't need to be instant use.

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well your first point that shield bashing does something special in real life is wrong, it is not much different than striking with a gauntlet.

Simply striking with a shield, yes. But, the very fact that it's an active-use ability and that it does produce an additional effect (in games) is all the more reason to think that they're referring to a very voluntary, effort-intensive attack that you wouldn't be simply working into your swordplay "combos."

 

Besides... striking with a gauntlet? One would thing that a striking gauntlet would contain a hand, attached to an arm, with muscles. This isn't a slap we're talking about.

 

The initial inquiry here was "why is something like shield bash not just a passive thing?" I'm merely pointing out the probable basis for its being an active-use ability in most games.

 

the second example is a bit off, as you aren't being prevented from firing your bow by someone raising their shield, though tripping someone who is already prone seems silly, think more like telling one of your characters to attack, would it be better for them to attack on their own, or have you constantly clicking to get them to attack?

It isn't off, really. I wasn't suggesting an obstacle prevents you from attacking. I was pointing out that, if we just say "wouldn't my character do this automatically?" and go from there, what WOULDN'T our character do that would be left for the player to decide? Specifically, when would you ever have to worry about making ineffective attacks if your character just automatically adjusted to whatever factors were at play? Target's shield is raised? I'll just stop firing arrows automatically, or switch targets. Shield back down? I'll immediately switch back to that guy. Why does the player get to assign targets and time ANY abilities? Because it's a game, and part of the fun is the tactical control of combat.

 

so since i have stuck mainly to fighters, a good question would be to ask is:is it something that is being done with something that just sits at the ready and isn't used while in combat?  if the answer is yes then it probably is a good candidate for instant use, otherwise probably not.  of course if you can't find more than a couple of things that would fit this, then you should ask yourself would there be great benefit for an instant use over short delay use?  if not then maybe there doesn't need to be instant use.

This I actually agree with. There are certainly things that are often active-use that can be better worked into passive/automatic triggers, and vice versa. Existing games obviously aren't the pinnacle of perfection in all things. But, at the same time, there's no point in judging specific implementations that could've been done better, then just deciding something like "there's no way an attack with a shield should even BE timed or resource-intensive, because a shield CAN be attacked-with in the regular flow of combat!" No matter what, the implementation should be decided based on a thorough evaluation, as per your quote segment.

Should we not start with some Ipelagos, or at least some Greater Ipelagos, before tackling a named Arch Ipelago? 6_u

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Not that I particularly care about this conversation, but if you bash someone with a tower shield, that person WILL be knocked down. It's a thrust, not a smack, so you'll push someone off balance, and the shield prevents arms from getting in between, so you'd have leverage. It has a good chance of knocking someone over.

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