Shields and Armor have Defense STR, or Strength, to protect against physical attacks, and Defense INT, or Intelligence, against magic. Heavier armor slows down its user somewhat, hence the minus to Agility of higher Tiers of shields.
Shields and Armor all have 16 grades, or Tiers. They ascend in their degree of physical defense, but the early grades (Leather and Wood) offer superior magical protection for their level. The final two grades of shields and armor, Jazeraint and Dread, reduce in magical protection as they ascend to the highest degree of physical protection.
While the Affinity of other armor and also weapons can be raised quite handily by spells Ashley casts (Area Effect spells like Meteor, or Enchantments like Luft Fusion), Shields are very resistant to these effects, despite a shield's effectiveness in lowering the damage of self-cast spells. So enemies raise Shields fastest; this can be finessed fairly easily, by casting elemental weapons Enchantments on an enemy, instantly making them a temporary source of that elemental damage type.
Materials Bonuses Edit
See Main Article Materials
Two items of the same Design and Tier, or Equipment and tier, but of different Materials, will have different Strength and Intelligence bonuses. Thus it can be seen that Strength and Intelligence are intrinsic properties of Material types. The bonuses are of small benefit in comparison to the maximum benefit available from Class, Affinity and Type bonuses, but are potentially easier to obtain.
The resulting material of combinations of shields can be predicted by their own unique system. While armor and weapons use the Prevalence and Same combination rules, shields have a material-based hierarchy, in which two shields of different materials will always become the material higher up the sequence, with two exceptions:
The equals sign indicates one of the exceptions, and the other is Bronze + Hagane combinations, as seen below.
One exception is that BRONZE shields always combine with IRON shields, in whatever order, to make HAGANE shields.
The other exception is a BRONZE shield in the first slot combined with a HAGANE shield in the second slot, which makes a SILVER shield. Since Silver Shields can only be combined with Damascus to make Silver, or with 'lesser' materials to make lesser, this is of purely aesthetic utility in comparison with similar rare combinations of armor and weapons.
WOOD shields, lowest on the hierarchy, always combine with DAMASCUS to make DAMASCUS. This is usable to strengthen the damage Type resistances on shields without multiple playthroughs, as Damascus shields are very rare.
Strength, Intelligence, and Agility bonuses of specific shield Equipments are a defining quality of those equipments and never vary, but are added to by the bonuses of the materials of which they are composed.
As no Jazeraint or Dread shields ever drop as loot from enemies or can be found in chests, there are no statistics available for the Type bonuses of those tiers. Crafted Jazeraint and Hoplite shields will be, as for all armor combinations, the Type bonus of one ingredient plus the type of the other, multiplied by the combination percentage of between 40% and 80%.
- Main article: Shield loot in Vagrant Story
As with armor and weapons, drops tend to be weak until the mid to end game. There is no Knight shield chest loot corresponding with the full set of Fluted armor found in the Great Cathedral (but instead, an Oval shield).
Heater shield drops in the game are severely limited (two): one BRONZE in Rue Crimnade, just outside of the Junction Point workshop in Town Center East, and one HAGANE in the First Iron Maiden dungeon (along with numerous Casserole shields in other rooms), in The Whirligig.
In the second playthrough, the second DAMASCUS shield in the game, a Casserole, can be found in the Limestone Quarry, in a Companions in Arms. Chests in the Second Iron Maiden dungeon have both a Knight and a Hoplite Shield.
The fact that Wood combines with Damascus to make Damascus can be used to make powerful shields in the first and subsequent playthroughs, although this of course requires a great deal of killing in low areas.
See also Edit