AI War:Shield Damage Reduction

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What's This About Units Doing Less Damage When Protected By Forcefields?

Q: I've heard that units protected by a forcefield do less damage, but that there are exceptions. What's the deal?

A: Any unit protected by certain forcefields/shields does 25% of normal damage. Specifically:

Only these shield-emitting units cause the damage reduction (i.e. are "firepower-reducing forcefields"):

  • The special player-home forcefield generator that starts next to each human home command station at the start of the game.
  • The normal forcefield generators the human can build from the SUP build tab (all three marks).
  • The hardened forcefield generators the human can build from the SUP build tab (all three marks).

No other shield-emitting units cause the damage reduction, including:

  • Any AI forcefield generator (including normal standalone units, shield-emitting guard posts, hybrid shield generator modules, etc).
  • Shield Bearers.
  • Riot Control Starship shield generators.
  • Spirecraft Shield Bearers.
  • Spire Captial Ship shield generators.
  • Spire City shield generators.

The damage reduction only occurs if the unit is actually protected by the firepower-reducing forcefield. For example, an AI Raid Starship under one of your firepower-reducing forcefields does not receive any protection or damage-reduction from the forcefield.

Also, some units attack primarily by generating other units that then go and attack a target. Those generated units do not have their damage reduced simply because their "parent" is protected by a firepower-reducing forcefield, but they will have their damage reduced if they personally are protected by a firepower-reducing forcefield. For example, a Spire Blade Spawner's direct "shots" are affected by the damage reduction, but the Blade units it spawns are not unless they're protected by a firepower-reducing forcefield at the time they hit. If you are not sure if a "shot" is actually a shot or a generated unit, put your mouse cursor over the object in question; if it shows a tooltip giving details (name, attack power, etc) then it is a generated unit.

Design Rationale/Notes

  • Turret-balls under lots of stacked forcefields were too durable for the damage they could put out.
  • You can still use firepower-reducing forcefields in that manner, it just isn't as efficient at dps.
  • There are other harder-to-get shield-emitting units, and this makes them more strategically valuable.
  • Since the reduction does not impact any secondary abilties (engine damage, tractor beams, grav well, etc) there's still a lot of units that are "free" to protect in this way.

(This article last updated for version 5.023)