Get to know your Shields!

the StarOnion Brigade

“Real” Sheidls :)

Shield… most of us don’t use it, don’t care about it and… even don’t give a crap about it. Shield in this game is really… just a cosmetics unless its an Aegis, in which its actually good. Btw.. Aegis in Greek mythology means Shield of Zeus xD Anyway…

There isn’t really “well known” good shields in FFXI. Pally uses Koenig/Kaiser, Mages like us uses Genbu Shield if we decided to not use a staff (and why wouldn’t you use a staff). Warrior don’t even use a shield (Wut? Sword and Shield > Pally?). Bst or Thf might use a Tatami shield but… that’s about it. You could look cool as a White Mage and use a Shield/Mace, but it is notreally practical. So today’s post going be about shields, and how it may change your mind towards shields, because in fact, it isn’t really that bad!

I didn’t do the discovery, I simply research and put the data together as a knowledgable post~

All about Shields

Shield is activated when your damage is blocked. You see an animation on your screen that your Toon blocks with your shield, the chat log don’t say anything but the damage taken is dramatically reduced.

So who does have Shield skill? pally have 276, Warrior have 230 (lol, although no one uses it), White Mage have 210, Beastmaster have 200 and… Red Mage / Thief have it capped at 189.

Like all defensive ability, FFXI uses a multi-roll table, meaning it rolls the dice a few times to determine how much you damage you take or if you take damage at all. Order as following (for Pally at least)

Evade or not?
Parried or not?
Block or not?

If all else fails.. then how much damage taken?

Which is why Pally always want to capped out Parrying and Shields, its one step closer into taking less damage, making them EASIER to heal and less hate is lost.

Remember from the enmity research? Hate is lost when you take damage, and more is lost when you take more damage. Therefore, having a good shield and taking less damage is one good way of… keeping hate! Source here.

Shield’s Look, Size and Proc

In FFXI, there are 4 different types of shield. Round, Buckler, Kite and Tower shields. As the name implies, you probably know the look of their shield from their name. Round would be Astral Aspis, Buckler would be Genbu Shield, Kite would be typical Koenig Shield and.. Tower would be… Tatami shield.

“Most” Tower shields (big shields) are only accessible to Pally and Drk, in which you get when you’re lv 5x+. Drk don’t really have shield skill, they can just equip it. But since drk mostly uses 2-handed weapons, their shields is usually just to fill in an empty spot, in case you do stuff like Kraken Club Drk.

Did you know their look also corresponds to their Size? Sizes not only just the look of it, but it directly affects block rate of a shield (or Proc rate).

Here’s the kicker. Smaller shield blocks more, hence getting shield skill at lower level is much easier but… it doesn’t reduce as much damage as a big ass shield. So technically, for skill-up purposes, you’d just want a shield that procs more but if you’re looking or a damage reduction shield, then you got to find a balance between damage reduced vs proc rate.

the StarOnion Brigade

Proc Rate from others, adjusted~

According to this website, (and by utilizing their data), Size 1 blocks at 59% (with an average of 14.75 dmg reduction. Size 2 is 38.8%, Size 3 blocks at 42.85% (wtf) and Size 4 blocks at 28.38. I believe the data wasn’t adjusted due to mob’s level difference. So I did a little bit of correction. Assuming the accuracy of EM and T mobs are at a difference of 12% (meaning DC mobs hit the target 12% less than a T mob), then the following results are obtained (to the right is the excel sheet)

Adjusted Results:
Size 1 Adjusted: 57.15%
Size 2 Adjusted: 36.27%
Size 3 Adjusted: 39.55%
Size 4 Adjusted: 27.63%

To achieve a 20% damage reduction, you need the following Proc Rate.
Size 1: 75.00%
Size 2: 44.45%
Size 3: 33.34%
Size 4: 26.67%

By looking at the “actual” proc rate of shields versus proc required to achieve 20% dmg reduction, we can see that
Size 1 needs to proc 17.85% more. Even with possibility of statistical error, there’s -no way- it will proc 17% more.
Size 2 needs to proc 8.18% more.
Size 3 procs MORE than the required proc rate to achieve a 20% dmg reduction. In fact, it procs 6.21% more, which means the damage reduction from a Size 3 shield is greater than 20%!
Size 4: procs MORE than the required proc rate to achieve a 20% dmg reduction, but just 0.96% more.

So its safe to say for most purpose, a Size 3 shield is the way to go, since it offers more damage reduction, hence less hate with lost.

Also, there are posts on BG that says block rate is -capped- at 65%. This makes Size 1 shield kinda… garbage but…

So why a higher-proc Shield?

First and foremost, if you are skilling up, you want a shield that procs more. Proc = More opportunity to skillup, and that is the only thing that matters.

Second of all, the less damage you take, the higher the chance your spell completes its casting. I have direct experience with that on my RDM parrying skillup. When I take 10 dmg or less, all spell including Stoneskin were able to get off. I did realize when I take 15 + dmg (when Phalanx is off), I tend to have a hard time complete any casting including Phalanx itself (which is only like a 2sec cast time). Therefore, if you are fighting a mob that does low damage, consider a shield that procs more because if it procs and you take lower than 10 damage, then your spell are less likely to be interrupted.

Third reason: If you’re a pally! Shield Proc now directly reduce the chance of your spell being interrupted as stated in the December 2006 update. Getting off spell can mean a Cure 4, which directly relates to a better tanking experience.

Last reason: If you’re soloing, Enmity won’t matter at all. Also, if you’re soloing as a PLD, you probably want to self heal hence you don’t really want your spells to be interrupted.

Damage Reduction Calculations

Damage reduction is calculated by Base % + (Defense on Shield * 0.5) Source here.

Buckler: 22%
Round: 40%
Kite: 50%
Tower: ??
Relic: 76% Source here.

So for a Koenig Shield (22def), Size 3 (Kite of 50%) + 11% dmg reduction from defense = 61%

A Genbu Shield (24def), Size 1 (Buckler of 22%) + 12% dmg reduction + an additional 10% dmg reduction = 54% dmg reduction. Plus high proc :)

Keep in mind this is only damage reduction if it procs :) gotta take into account proc rates! :) & Proc rate varies with Shield Skill so… I won’t go into detail about that, but take the result above as… some good guidance.

Shield Proc is very debatable… like this thread on BG claims Aegis procs at 60%…

the StarOnion Brigade

An Aegis!

So is Aegis Owning?

Its got a league of its own. Aegis’ damage reduction is around a Size 4 shield (of course, better than Size 4), but with a higher proc than Size 4 shield (around Size 3 proc rate). Usually a Size 4 shield doesn’t or never Procs, so Aegis is significantly better because its a Size 4 +1 Shield that Blocks that Procs like a Size 3 shield. Of course, Aegis also have MAGIC damage reduction :) That should be factored in!

From BG (Source here, bottom of page).

So for Melee DoT reduction with max block rate:

Koenig: .65 * .61 = 39.65% Physical DoT reduction.
Aegis: .65 * .76 = 49.4% Physical DoT reduction.

~10% difference in DoT.

One more thing, notice Aegis has a significant defense jump! Ice Shield +1 has 24 defense, Kasier have 23 defense and Aegis has 40 defense! the 17% more defense works out to be 8.5% more damage reduction to start with, on top of a higher proc rate.

Technically saying, Aegis is a 50m+ Defending Ring + Dmg Reduction :) If you have everything that a Pally dream of, then yea Aegis would be a big upgrade. But in general, a Koenig Shield Pally isn’t that far from an Aegis Pally in terms of Dmg taken. So don’t worry if you don’t have Aegis. You aren’t that far behind =P

Lots of facts, so here’s some stuff I’ve gathered from reading Shield threads.

  • Sipar is a very good Anti-MNK tank shield. Simply because its got a proc rate of its own + 25% on top of it.
  • Sipar is a good skillup shield because it procs more, and all it matters is that it procs and you have a “chance” of getitng a skillup
  • Genbu Shield is nice for mages simply because it Procs more (less chance to be interrupted), and also offers a damage reduction that is significantly close to a Koenig Shield (of course, mages don’t have high shield skill so… it procs a bit little to most people)
  • Koenig Shield is the best tanking Shield, due to the VIT, +Enmity and highest damage reduction, which equates to less MP required to heal and Provokes that gives a higher VE.
  • For mages, you might want to stick to a higher proc-rate shield, simply not getting the cure spell interrupted can means life or death.

A little bit of my own experience here. I personally enjoy Rdm/War than Rdm/Nin for meleeing. With a Taco and all Dmg reduction equipment, it offers a better Stamina build than… /nin. I find for soloing purposes, a more consistent damage taken > high damage and possibly bad luck. /nin IMO is more like for spell casting type of soloing where the casting time is long. Its just my preference and by no means… the ideal sub for others. Playing style should always the reason you pick specific things :) There is no one method works all :)

I hope it opens your eyes to shield. Again all the stuff above is not my reserach, I’m simply putting together what I read into a page :) For your entertainment!

For your convenience, a list of Shields, stats and their size can all be found here.

4 Responses to “Get to know your Shields!”

  1. Jowah says:

    buy me Aegis k?
    brb switching to Fenrir

  2. aramins says:

    I melee a lot on WHM (not often in my EXP parties mind you), and I’m still using the same Holy Shield that I have had since Level 50. I plan to try to make a Divine Shield once I get my Alchemy higher.

    I don’t actively look for shield skillups on WHM, but I definitely notice them when I get them. I’m somewhere in the 135 Shield range atm, and I am starting to get more frequent skillups on Coffer mobs and such.

    I definitely am getting a Tatami for BST, since I prefer BST/WHM to BST/NIN for soloing.

    Great post, Mai!

  3. Maiev says:

    Thank you thank you :)

    Hehe, yea definately Tatami Shield for… stats :) but skil that up :) so maybe ur BST lvling would be easier :) higher survivability xD

  4. Aramina says:

    Problem with skillup on shield on BST is that your EXP mobs, you want pet to tank, so you don’t get much parry or shield skillups.

    BTW, I finally got my Reverend Mail today, so I got my payback on Shen!


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