Since MC is beginning to lean towards survival-based adventure gameplay in terms of recent updates, I've had a couple ideas for augmenting combat for both PVP and PVE. This post aims to explore some of the weaponry possibilities and diversify the new combat system as a whole, as well as inspire other players to contribute new weapon concepts of their own.
Note: Visuals are attached to the bottom of this post; the suggestions displayed below are written with the assumption that the weapons and mechanics currently in MC will be rebalanced by Mojang in order to accommodate a larger list of player combat options.
Since the new combat system is centered primarily around the damage-cooldown mechanic and shield-blocking, I've thought up some concepts for new shield types which may appeal to certain playstyles and combat tactics.
The Heater Shield
Historically, knights and other heavily-armoured soldierly categories began to switch from using larger shields to using smaller, more robust shields, as the quality and reliability of body armour increased. While less protective overall due to smaller size, Heater shields were created with higher metallic contents as opposed to older-model shields, which used mainly reinforced wood. Some Heater shields were made completely out of steel, and thus possessed a higher durability and lifespan.
In Minecraft, Heater shields would ideally mimic its historical pros and cons in comparison to the 1.9 shield:
+ Increased durability
+ Increased durability resistance against damage overall, including melee attacks, fire charges, and explosions
+ Decreased likelihood of axe attacks disabling shields
+ Increased first-person visibility due to smaller size
- Decreased block hitbox radius (normal shield blocks roughly 180 degrees from where the player is facing.)
In survival gameplay, the Heater shield would be a mid-late tier asset, as well as an arguably superior weapon in comparison to the normal shield for PVP scenarios. The normal shield which we have right now would remain as the ideal shield of choice for cave-diving, exploration, and other scenarios which involve PVE and mob grinding due to its cheap recipe cost and increased block radius hitbox in comparison to the Heater shield.
The heater shield will also be customizable with the use of banners.
The Pavise Shield
Ah, the Pavise shield - a favorite of the archers. The Pavise is large, rectangular oblong shield which rose to popularity during the Middle Ages and Renaissance. As a protective agent, the Pavise is deployed onto the ground as a cover for ranged units, such as crossbows. This type of shield is very similar visually to the 1.9 shield.
Instead of acting as an actual shield, the Pavise is a deployable 2x1-sized entity with a set amount of "health" (durability) similar to the normal shield. When deployed, the Pavise will block any incoming projectiles and melee attacks towards it in a 180 degree radius. The Pavise will completely protect a crouched player if they stand behind it, and will allow for defending players to shoot arrows or other projectiles through the back of the shield.
This effectively translates into a player being able to withstand a decent amount of enemy fire without continuously holding right-click to bring up the normal left-hand shield.
There are two primary counters to this versatile shield: focus-firing arrows into the Pavise all at once, or simply running around it.
Despite limited applicability in survival due to general mob AI stupidity, the Pavise will be very useful to PVP combat, especially in sieges and ranged battles, and offers a clean alternative to messily placing blocks in a crackpot barricade. The presence of the Pavise will make combat centered around ranged weaponry viable while simultaneously balancing ranged weapons with the normal "sword and board" 1.9 melee gameplay. Additionally, the Pavise can also aid players in the recently-added 1.14 Pillager raids.
As with the Heater and 1.9 shield, the Pavise can be customizable with banners.
The Buckler Shield
A buckler is a very small-sized, circular metal shield which was popularized during the Renaissance by dualists. Historically, bucklers were carried as both light military armaments, and personal defense weapons for civilians. The buckler would be held as far away from the body as possible by hand - this was so that the buckler could deftly parry melee attacks with precision, as opposed to having the sheer mass of the shield block attacks by simply being held there.
The Buckler would retain these characteristics within gameplay:
+ Decreased block cooldown
+ Decreased movement speed penalty when blocking (ideally -15% speed - the equivalent of a Slowness I potion. The normal shield in-game reduces movement to crouching speed)
+ Immunity to axe attacks which disable blocking
+ Increased first-person visibility
- Decreased likelihood of successfully blocking melee attacks from multiple enemies at once
- Greatly reduced block hitbox radius due to very small shield size
- Greatly reduced projectile-blocking and AOE-blocking capabilities (arrows, fire charges, explosions, etc.)
All in all, the buckler is the go-to for fast combat styles and 1v1 duels, as well as small-scale PVP in general. Survival PVP is the ideal environment for the buckler due to speed and low concentration of players in comparison to games which are entirely centered around PVP. Survival PVE itself, however, is a disastrous place to use the buckler due to mobs spawning in groups, closed-in spaces, and ranged attacks. The normal shield, heater shield, and Pavise would be better options to utilize instead of the Buckler in those instances.
The buckler can also be customizable with banners, albeit in an appropriately scaled size.
These three shield options are but a few of the ideas which I have for the game.
I am very open to reception and your own suggestions. If you have one that you thought up of, feel free to suggest it!
Yep. This is a nice suggestion and I would like to see this ingame...
I would also like the idea of having a secondary chest armour slot only
for banners (no armour just decoration) to be used as a tabbard of sorts.
(Well Mojang already said no to custom capes due to Minecon uniqueness)
As for the Pavise (nice and original idea that adds a bit of strategy to the
fighting... superior defense at a cost). The only question I have is how you
pick it back up? I mean is it similar to punching a boat until its self regenerating
health reaches zero (wouldn't make sense with the durability) or does a simple
left klick drop it as an item? If the latter is the case this could also mean the
enemy could rush to you and punch/steal it from you... if they get close enough.
But maybe I just misunderstood the whole concept behind the shield placement.^^
Stil I support the idea of adding some extra shields... and yes we need heater
shields. Mine and Blade intensifies...
Ah, I should have specified. My mistake.
For survival/vanilla, the Pavise can be picked up by right clicking with an open inventory slot. This can be changeable PVP, where only the owner or perhaps team members can remove it.