Balancing shields

Lately I see more and more suggestions to remove shields completely from pvp. These suggestions have a good reason and turning them off will improve pvp in general. That’s an easy solution. But in this thread I’l propose a shield rebalancing system which is supposed to remove negative aspects of shield mechanics while making combat more deep and skill based than it was before.

To prevent some of the questions, before the discussion itself, please note that all changes I propose while targeted to improve gameplay for all groups of pvp players, were made with competitive players and meta combat tactics in mind. Making a newbie in workshop CV survive 2 minutes longer in pvp space doesn’t justify breaking balance and enjoyment for high level players. That’s how all good games with competitive pvp are balanced.

Current system flaws

After hearing a lot of feedback, I point out these 2 aspects of shield gameplay to be considred the most frustrating parts and are the reason why this thread was created.

  1. Lower skill ceiling in group fights.
    Empyrion has unique building systems, combined with limitation of class size and block count, which results in any ship having a weak spot. Exposed weapons, cockpit placed not far from the outsides, not enough fuel tanks etc. It doesn’t matter with shields now because until it is gone, it doesn’t matter where you shoot, you just need to hit a ship. Before you could win in a fight quickly by shooting weak spots before opponent has the time to react. Same for bases. Now it’s not possible.

  2. Balance shift towards numbers, not skill.
    Simular to the topic before, when the fight is with not equal numbers, the dominating side has much more advantage than before. When shield goes down, player retreats, recharges (or just plays more passively). All this without any damage to ship’s performance. Before you could win in such engagements by properly switching targets and targeting weak spots.

  3. Economical issue.
    Shield recharging cost is much cheaper than repairing the ship, while shield is a considerable amount of ship’s effective hp. It results in a loss of war of attrition to a side with fewer numbers. While underdog takes a lot of damage to ship, the bigger faction takes it to shields.

Possible Fix

While switching shields off in pvp will definitely help with said issues, I’d like to propose a way to keep the shields while dealing with issues I stated above.

The main idea is to make shield a “passive” protection. It works great until opponent decides to focus on you. Then it gets destroyed when you are directly engaged. How to make it work?

Make manual pulse lasers for both CVs and SVs one shot any shield on any structure. Until your opponent is focused on you, you have decent shield protection against turrets (CV, SV, BA).

What it will promote?

More teamwork. SV pilots will need to focus on enemy shields to support allied HVs, Bases and CVs. Tanking base with shielded ship will still be a good tactic, unless defenders focus attacking ship in time, which will result in more teamwork for both sides.

More rewards for skilled sv pilots. If SV pilot can effectively dodge manual shots by enemy CV or is attacking when it’s busy dealing with other enemies, it can deal considerable damage and stay alive.
Good sv pilot can quickly win in dogfight by shooting enemy ship’s weak spots without worrying about shooting said weak spot for long time until shield’s gone.


Originally I wanted to propose complete shield removal in pvp, but after having conversations with @Shadace and thinking about balancing for quite some time, this is my solution to current balancing problem. Let me know what you think! Thanks for your time.


Thanks for mentioning me though i did not contribute to this idea, only challenged the complete removal of shields.

What I really like in your proposal is, that it is also pve friendly -> it doesnt affect pve at all (as pois dont have manually targeting turrets)


Very good topic Politary. But I tired write about this over and over. I’m decided to take a break from pvp till next changes in game. I’m not leaving HWS but spend more time whit missions and in creative.


Personally, love the shield mechanics, although I preferred them last season.

I think a clear way to fix the issue you’re referring to would be to massively increase the pentax cost per hp.

So it takes huge amounts of pentax to refill the shields.
This would make it so your aim to to deplete your enemies pentax reserves rather than shield hp directly.

This would help stabilise the economy as gives a need and a drain.

Pilots would have to choose between weight of the pent and the longevity of shields.

So pent cost per hp x1000%
Regen cooldown and recharge rates could be set high again then.

Certainly would complain if they were removed or reduced to single shot shields.

I do think that cv flak should be changed for an emp shell that does more harm to shields and also be able to fire in atmosphere.

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i have suggested a shield depletion in pvp zones. call it a radioactive nebula if u will. i agree shields are nice for pve but can lead to long grueling battles in pvp. i feel if recharge was disabled in pvp it would make for more interesting flights. if they cannot be “disabled”, having them take constant damage would stop the recharge entirely. just a thought…

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I think a clear way to fix the issue you’re referring to would be to massively increase the pentax cost per hp.

It will fix the economical problem, but not the combat issue sadly. A sv can only be 3000 blocks, while player can have as much pentaxid to recharge it as he wishes to.

I like your ideas, but this wouldn’t promote skill. However, if you made it three or four shots it would. Think about it this way, you leave atmosphere and oh wait your shields are already down because you where shot loading in, or maybe you where going after an enemy CV and they just held down the W key firing everywhere and got a lucky shot or two on you, maybe there are 3 enemy SVs, and two enemy CVs. All they have to do is one or two get a lucky shot on you.

Then we get into how would this affect bases? Would they be one shots too? Sounds like a great way to get all of your HVs and Bases offlined by players, because HVs defending a base would need to keep their shields through at LEAST 3 shots, because you can’t defend it. In MY opinion, shields need to take at LEAST 4 hits because if it takes you 5 minutes to get into a PvP ship, and get to the base location to defend, most of your ships SHOULD still be alive, you should have a fair chance of defending it, unless forty people attack the base.

I also have another idea that I probably should build a whole new thread for but whenever I build a thread it becomes toxic so I’m posting it here.

Shields should take energy, but there is no sensor for turning them on and off, so when you have bases and HVs you have to have at least a dozen fuel tanks, what would last one hundred and twenty hours without shields now lasts about thirteen hours. WHAT? I don’t even care about the fuel usage, I care about how many fuel tanks I now have to put in my HVs if I want them to be useful. To leave an HV on in PvP requires a 24 fuel tanks and checking once a day, or twice a day and twelve fuel tanks.

In my opinion, that should somehow be reduced, maybe there is a sensor for HV that allows turning shields on when enemies are within two kilometers? Or maybe it only consumes fuel if there are players on the playfield? Is there a way it could consume a reduced rate of fuel without player son the playfield, or a way to set it up so it pings us on discord if tanks have less than 10% fuel?

Note: Those numbers above are for tanks that have all their RCS, thrusters, and hover engines off, in an “energy efficient” mode.



Pentax is already pretty expensive, I don’t think the economy needs much more stabilization.

What about bases, HVs, and POI’s? I don’t want to put 40,000 pentax in each base, but assuming I need to and I do, I just ruined every enemies chance at taking the base, because most of them won’t have shields, this mostly just stops all the smaller factions from getting a chance at PvP.

I agree, I would be okay with three or probably four shot shields would be better, but definitely not for bases and HVs are already underpowered against SVs so they would need some kind of buff against it.

I like your ideas, but this wouldn’t promote skill. However, if you made it three or four shots it would.

My original intention is to make fights more about shooting specific parts of enemy ship like it used to be - not ship as a whole. It does promote skill because it’s much harder to shoot enemy weapons, etc. instead of randomly hitting the ship. In my opinion it should be greatly rewarded. 4 shots is too much, even unskilled player will have the time to react and run away. One is more than enough. Not to mention that just shooting a weak spot won’t instantly destroy a well built ship. It will just affect it’s performance more than just shooting the hull.

Then we get into how would this affect bases? Would they be one shots too? Sounds like a great way to get all of your HVs and Bases offlined by players, because HVs defending a base would need to keep their shields through at LEAST 3 shots, because you can’t defend it.

You can easily offline a base even now, with shields or without them. Base is still the most armored structure in the game, and is not supposed to die once shields are down. Even though I think defended bases are too strong with current balance, if they won’t be after the change, their turret hp can be buffed to make up for shield nerf.

Are you saying that if I say shoot the body of your ship your shields stay up, but if I hit a gun or if I hit any block that isn’t armor you lose shields?

i think politary’s point is completely missed here. depleting shields require a hit anywhere on the ship. after shields are down, skill is needed to hit specific “weak points” of a ship. agreed that 1 shot seems a bit low to bring down shields but i see where he is coming from. shields seem to be allowing more timid players to enter pvp zones but has also increased the ability to flee from a battle. im not against fleeing (i have done so many times in the past) but it is very frustrating to those who enjoy battles to the death. this isn’t the disney pirates of the caribbean, this is the relentless pirates of homeworld. nothing is safe in PVP :wink:

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At this point I am for removing shields altogether. It was a nice novelty item for PvE but it is too overpowered IMO, not much skill needed. The only other way I would say to keep it is to make the addition of a shield generator increase the class size by 1 autotragically to any structure. That way the PvE planets can cater to the PvE crowd, and PvP planets will be more challenging instead of battling out with shields. The shields aspect just got so boring that it’s breaking the game for me. Honestly I don’t feel like playing for more than a couple hours max anymore because I have been burned out by it.

Hello all. Personally i wouldn’t go straight into removing shields, in my opinion they simply need rework/re-balancing… there are many ways to fix the problems faced and i believe a combination of them is needed…
I do agree that shields were hastily added and not very well thought out, what if we extend this new mechanic in ways to enhance the game-play and provide more alternatives…
Such as:

  • Revert nerf done to blocks hp
  • Make shield generator weight ALOT/maybe consume more power… basically the idea is for players to start having to choose what they would like their ship to be… A Shield tanking ship, an Armor tanking ship, or a bit of both?
    This along with some value tweaks for how fast shields recharge / certain weapons doing more damage to different types adds alot to the game imo…
    PS: All player weapons could be boosted to do extra damage to shields while POI alien weapons do less, thus preserving the PvE aspect a bit too if that is a concern…

A 3000 block sv cannot reasonably carry much weight, and the more it does the worse it will preform in combat.
To add to that, you cannot get pentax from hws traders anymore and it’s expensive as hell to buy in. :unamused:Even if there are clouds of this in pve HQ system for some reason.

Remove the clouds of pentax, move the pve deposits under large fortresses, and the pvp ones out into the rimworlds, make sheilds use massive amounts to charge up and you’ll soon see people opting out of installing a shield be choice.
All by choking the pentax.

People will be going station to station buying pent instead of selling it.

It’s got a 50k tank, make it use 10k-20k just to charge up at t2 base or capital ship sheild to 100% You are talking about millions of hp points after all, its not that unreasitic.

Bases are very underpowered right now.
They need their ranges increasing across the board all weapons should significantly outrange everything else in the game.
And outgun, and the shields should be significantly thicker.
It cannot move, it needs to be Hardened.

We shouldn’t have to worry about a triple class 3 base cluster array getting taken out by one lone class 1 fighter while we’re afk for an hour.
It’s absurd.
But that’s how it is right now ~
Bases are useless without piling hv on top to supliment their firepower.

I’d overpower flak vs sv, that’s what they are supposed to be for in the first place after all.
Both ba and cv, make them super effective against sheilds too.

I’d also let cv fire flak and laser turrets in atmosphere!
Make them less useless, it is a damn capital ship after all, it shouldn’t be outgunned by a small fighter just because it came to planetside.

:expressionless: Then get rid of that ludicrous 150block limit.

Gonna be both honest and blatant, I don’t like most of your ideas, bases are most definitely not useless and if it takes twenty thousand pentax to charge shields then you might as well delete them, and the block count limit is there because people abused large CVs and rammed them into bases to win fights easily. and as you said

well, I can carry about 8,000 pentax and just barely fly, (assuming I’m in space) so trying to put 20,000 or more in there would make it so I couldn’t have pentax in my shield tank and fly, either shields or being able to move.




A 3000 block sv cannot reasonably carry much weight, and the more it does the worse it will preform in combat.

You can carry almost infinite amount on your character. Even if it will be changed (which probably won’t happen any time soon) there is OCD7+. I don’t think it’s right to give high OCD lvl users so blatant advantage over people who are not interested in money grinding or are just not able to get so much. You have ship, you have ammo, you can fight enemies on mostly fair terms. Grinding 700 million to start pvping is just…wrong

What I wanted to say is your proposition will require a complete rework of several base game and server features to work, which will have much more impact than the shield change itself.

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I would say remove shields in pvp but leave them in pve. Seems easy. Also @WillEatsPie about HVs being used as turrets should not be a thing. I never liked it and it was abused a few seasons ago and pretty sure changes were made to counter it.


Really shields need to be removed completely from pvp. It has no place there.
The strategy used in shields fighting is retreat back when shields go down then an ally goes forward and waits for their shield to go down and then they retreat then repeat.

I posted whats below in another thread but its also related to shields so i’ll post here.

Here are some videos that prove the point that shields and carbon blocks should be removed from pvp. A ships shield in pvp are the layers upon layers of blocks protecting it. Shields are made strictly for pve. Pve ships have exposed cockpits which tells you right there in no uncertain terms that shields are made for pve only. Pvp cockpits are covered by layers upon layers of strong blocks and these are their shields!

On my checkered knight hv i was tanking like 5 plus enemies without shields. This tank was made with combat steal hv blocks not hv carbons and still weren’t able to kill me and i was pretty decently mobile too. My movement made it hard for them to hit me too. :smile: Also, i would have lasted much longer in that fight if i had my auto-reposition key set working which i hadn’t, and got alot of my few hovers that i had on shoot off. So thats why i had to pull back.Anyways, that checkered knight has been updated with more hover and its less likely it will flip as much anymore.

Also, heres another one with plain hv combat steal blocks, and lasted a long time and with no shields against like 6 enemies.

Also, here is another video from about a day ago this season of a hv with plain combat steal for hv’s tanking like 7 plus enemies. I’m not sure if this was a carbon hv though. But anyways, thats further proof that we already have decent blocks to last a long time in pvp without an overpowered block like carbon and then plus shields.

Don’t know who was faster but thanks a lot for your feedback everyone.

A new meta will start and I’m looking forward to your feedback:


I like being able to build cv and hv turrets. Adds a bit more game to the game.
And I like shields in pvp :sweat_smile: gives us guys who don’t do pvp regularly more of a fighting chance.

Cycling shields is pretty hard right now because of the long cooldowns on regenerating them, even when they come up, they’re off again in 10 seconds flat anyway vs cv lasers.

And cv vs sv the drops a fighters shields in a couple of shots rn.
Practically impossible for sv to hurt cv right now and I think that had to change, I’d move the fixed mount dumb fire rockets into a emp rocket, hard as hell to hit anyone with them anyway. Might as well make antisheild bombers a thing.

In a cv? Or a base?
I didn’t talk about hv and sv. They have a fraction of the health, should be a fraction of the cost.

I don’t understand why everyone’s trying to remove a feature everyone was asking for, for so long, instead of adapting it to make it work.
Don’t tell me you’ve never wanted to say to your crew “raise the shields” and have it mean something :smirk:

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