Bastion shields, and how to improve them

Since I always throw shade or knock on TC for their incompetent balancing and/or horrible coding of certain functionalities in the game(cough cough ghost melee cough cough), here’s a subject that actually serves some constructive use… not that I expect TC to read it, and that wasn’t really the goal of it, anyway. Though with how dead this place is at this moment, it’s probably not going to engender much discussion either.

So, Bastions. Love 'em or hate 'em(I’m firmly in the latter category), they’re probably here to stay, and I’ve had some thoughts in their regards over the last few days. I’ll lay out what I perceive as the problems with them, and how I see ways to improve it. Obviously, if you’ve got ideas of your own, feel free to add them below.

Problem #1
The shield(or as I like to call it in my head, “Hue hue, I’m now 100% invincible right in your face, suck it up as I proceed to ■■■■ you over” shield).

So yeah, my primary issue with this part of the Bastion is just that it 100%, completely negates ANY damage that the enemy is supposed to be taking right from the very moment it is applied, cancelling whatever bleed or burn you had on it already, even if it would have died from it. Also the fact that it literally gives the enemy super health regeneration no matter the mods, which is just ridiculously stupid(just start hitting a Bastioned Warden as BM or with mace slams and you’ll notice this).

Solution #1
I see three ways to really make this less of a BS mechanic/annoying.

1.1 : Allow bleed/burn damage to continue working even after the Bastion shield is applied. There is no reason why it suddenly turns into a complete plot armor shield for the enemy not to die regardless of circumstances, while it is active.

1.2 : Create a ‘hidden’ stun counter that applies to the Bastion which is either based off of damage hitting the shield, or requires a certain number of hits to reach a threshold and stun the Bastion for like, five seconds, giving you either an opportunity to kill the Bastion itself without it zipping all over the place or hiding behind a wall with no way to get to it(more on that later), or the shielded enemy.

Alternatively, let every weapon hit the Bastion shield for a fraction of the original damage to be transferred over to the shield bot instead. But I don’t really like that as a solution as much as the stun idea.

1.3 : Let melee attacks go through the shield because the fact that they are ■■■■■■■■ blocked by it it just so ridiculously stupid and dumb when melee attacks go through literally every other type of shielding in the game(excluding stim which is a completely different mechanic, and some attacks still insta down through it nonetheless - eg direct hit by a Dropshot). Kind of works on Wardens with BMs ult or mace slams for whatever reason, never seen anyone claim that it was an issue… though it obviously wasn’t intended and only came up late in the game’s lifecycle. I’d keep it as a feature.

Personally, I would like to see a combination of 1.2 and 1.3 at the very least, preferably all three.

Problem #2
The AI

There’s only two major problems I see with the Bastion AI… which is still more than I want to have on the damn thing.

2.1 : Constantly hiding behind walls. Need I say anything else? I really get tired of Mr Boomshot or Mulcher standing somewhere or slowly marching forward while its shield bot just sits around a corner shielding it through a pillar or wall with absolutely no repercussion. What do you do? Hope it comes out from behind the pillar/wall randomly or cheese it with Boomshots fired into the shield(yes, I know the Scorcher also can, but who does that besides Scorcher Brawlers that die more often to their own flames than they kill anything). Most classes can’t do anything but that in that scenario. And since sawer enemies are about and just don’t care about anything other than a mace or Claw to the face/other Lancer, Gunner sometimes can’t safely dig out the stupid bot around the corner either even in the supposed immunity ult.

2.2 : Constantly zipping around and changing positions at the most minor sign of damage. Technically applies to Guardians and Sentinels too, but this subject is not about them. Ever tried hitting a Bastion set on fire by a Brawler or an Anchor putting Boltok bleed stacks on it? It’s practically a thing of impossibility to do anything other than non-weakpoint hits at that point. And it’s already difficult enough to hit it with most weapons accurately as it is, because it constantly shifts its position to get out of your aim and behind something(sometimes the shielded enemy) in the first place.

I guess it is that one example of TC AI actually working as it’s supposed to, but more often than not it just results in BS scenarios where you can’t hit the Bastion because it’s either not giving you a good enough target to hit(especially with the piss poor controller aim of Gears 5) or just not giving you anything to shoot in the first place. Once again, cheese it with Boomshot, hope to luck out with the AI or wait for your impending death. Oh, and shielded Drone type enemies deciding they’re too good to do the ‘let me pummel you to death’ move when they have a Bastion with them while botwalking aggressively all over the map.

Solution to #2.1
Quite simply, stop making the Bastion hide behind walls for all eternity or prevent shield projection through solid objects, like TC decided to “fix” Jack having the ability to heal beam allies through walls for all time. Also kind of ties in with solutions to problem #1.

Also, make flashbang stuns through Bastion shields work consistently, and on ALL enemies. No reason why it works on a Boomshot Scion but the Warden behind the Bastion shield just keeps walking.

Solution to #2.2
Stop making the Bastion AI try to dodge literally every single Lancer bullet, or make it move around less quickly. I would say either works. And as with the prior solution, reduce its likeliness to go behind a wall where nobody can hit it.

Like, what am I to do if there’s an enemy underneath the overhead structure on Asylum shielded by a Bastion hiding where the pistol spawn is(or used to be. don’t know) in Versus, I move to try getting a shot but instead it just hides away even further into the tunnel so I can’t hit it at all unless I cheese it with a Boomshot?

Of course, if they end up removing Bastions in Gears 6 I’ll have wasted the time it took to make this writeup, but it’s not like I got anything else to do right now. Particularly with it being the weekend and all. Now have at the thread. Or not. Whatever. At least you got to the point of reading it to the end.

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Another potential solution is for Bastion Shields to no longer be impervious. Set a threshold for maximum damage it can take before the shield is knocked out (similar to the shields used by Guardians and Sentinels) so Bastions basically give other units a massive health buff (in essence) and in the event the shield is knocked down set a cooldown of say, 10 seconds before the Bastion can use it again. That way players/teams can take a head on approach and just plow through it if they wanted to.

I sort of touched on this with this bit.

Just to say it. Anything that makes Bastions less of a stupid thing for enemies to get as a cheesy immunity and something actually interesting to work around.

#2.1 is the most valuable change in my view. I’m highly annoyed with but can accept it dancing too much and requiring more luck/skill to defeat, but to nerf Jack healing through walls, yet keep Bastion-shield enemies invincible until the insanely long AI dodge timer randomly decides to poke it out of cover is maddening. Combined with the Bastion beam also stretching ridiculously far in this state lets the enemy make too much unstoppable progress (I rarely carry or dedicate a locker slot to a Boomshot for cheesing this single scenario if I’m not an explosives class).

A related complaint I have, though probably at least as much about Brawler’s Glow And Slow since that card doesn’t meaningfully slow anything down but Matriarchs, was evident in yesterday’s no-fortification dailies… I couldn’t separate any burning, supposedly “slowed” Bastion from its bum-rushing Warden. If it’s going to be hard to hit, it shouldn’t be able to keep up. If it’s going to be able to keep up, it shouldn’t be hard to hit.

A stun or other cooldown-like counter is also an interesting idea. I could maybe imagine it integrating with the Bastion suicide mode, too. I don’t mean the busted Operation 4 update where Bastions were always in suicide mode and never shielded anything, but something where they could eventually be made to aggro or whatever.

I’d made a custom hive (R.I.P.) with Bastions in a handful of set-pieces where it was designed so they never were shielders anywhere in the hive. They would kamikazi you across rooms, around corners/over gaps, while you were occupied with something else, etc. I don’t know if that particular hive worked or not as a whole, but the freebie “new kind of enemy” changeup felt it would’ve been interesting to continue exploring. So being able to “knock” the Bastions out of invincibility mode and into this alternate pattern that already exists might be a solution.

My final personal gripe involving Bastions is that shielded enemies don’t appear differently in X-Ray. I can’t tell you how stupid I felt after unloading into a Scion and thinking how bad my aim must be for it to still be unfazed, before finally the Bastion purple blob separated from another semi-nearby group of enemies (just as my ultimate ended). Either let X-Ray work through the Bastion shields, too, or else make shielded enemies distinguishable.

I wouldn’t mind seeing something that required teamwork. Not sure how to incorporate that with bot teammates or solo runs though.

For instance if you had 5, 4, 3, or 2 teammates a certain time of sustained fire might disable a shield. Maybe if two ultimates or more were activated within a small time window. Something that rewarded group work, and possibly created a decision to be made (like use ultimates when you’d rather wait).

FWIW, this is just one reason why people have an explosive class requirement.

I realize team work isn’t always going to be ideal, but incentivizing it wouldn’t be a wrong move.

Is killing bastions by hitting the shield with a boomshot not intented by the devs? Why are yall calling it cheesing?

How does this work when you shield a teammate? I mean can you get meleed down by enemies if youre protected by a highjacked bastion. If you can and enemies in the same situation cant then I agree thats bs

Or you can simply focus down the bastions giving your teammates the opportunity to deal with the other targets without having to mind the pesky bastions. Everyone wants the big kills for themselves unfortunately. Not much teamwork going on in a team based game mode.

I really dont see a problem here.
Theres a perfectly fine counter, unless the reduced explosive damage mutator is active.
Bastions announce their presence the second they spawn. If you dont prioritize it when you have enough time and distance to deal with it as a team thats on you and your teammates. And even if it gets close you can flash the bastion making it drop the shield on whatever it was targeting for a few seconds giving you a window to deal with the problem then.

I personally like bastions and how they currently work. It spices things up a bit.
Does everything really has to be where mindlessly throwing damage at it solves the problem?

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… but that is exactly how you get rid of Bastions. Do you think just slapping a Boomshot or two into the enemy it is shielding(which, I might add, it was the only weapon to ever do until the Scorcher was added) requires a lot of thought or skill?

This isn’t something I know. If you find a Jack who is good at Bastion shielding you and hijacks that enemy(most don’t) instead of going for a Scion or something, feel free to try it.

Sure it’s an easy counter, however not all teams will have a Tactician or Demolitions. Many classes don’t get any benefits from using a Boomshot so won’t pick one up. Good teams will grab one and keep it on a locker just for instances a Bastion turns up but this takes some planning.

I think it’s about giving other classes parity in terms of dealing with Bastions.

Im not saying it should be super hard or anything. Im just against the idea of making it even more easier than it already is because the status quo requires you to think ahead a bit if youre not a demo or tactician. Just save up 1 or 2 boomshots in case you need to deal with bastions. Is that really too much to ask?

This is exactly what im talking about. Its not alot but it requires more engagement from the team, making the fight more dynamic and imo more fun. Granted demos and tacts most likely always have a boomshot on them but most other classes dont which is why I usually check if my mech has a boomshot reserved for such situations and tag boomshots for other teammates. Cant recall how many times we almost or just clear wiped because the team failed to prep for bastions while we had more than enough chances to do so.

People already have so many ways to ezmode their way through content. Why cant we have these small little things that add a little bit of complexity to the games without crying about them?

I always have one on me as a Pilot, Gunner or Anchor for that reason. But why would I have one as a BM, engineer, or Striker?

And calling it ‘crying’ is taking it a step too far. I genuinely think Bastions are generally just an annoying/frustrating enemy to fight with a very one dimensional counter. So I decided to throw some ideas out there how I think they could be made less so.

One player related gripe I want to voice about Bastions is when I mark it as BM and it stays marked for an eternity but literally nobody even looks my way for the entire time until it’s casually waltzed up into the base.

I think this is basically the crux of it. Boomshotting the shielded target becomes the most obvious way of dealing with it.

Sure people can shoot it, but as you highlighted, the Bastions’ fast and erratic movements as well as sometimes being hidden behind structures can make it annoying to deal with. Plus if there is the Enemy Health Regeneration mutator on, it can fly off behind cover and recover all of it’s health.

I don’t think it would take alot of tweaking to give it some better balance. Any one of the above ideas could work well. Or another idea is for the Bastion’s movement to be slower when they are using the shield.

Why wouldnt you have one as engineer? But dude, you have a team. It seems youre missing my point. I dont want bastions to be easier to counter partially because how they are now they somewhat promote teamwork. This game and its modes are so f-ing easy the whole teamwork part of the game has pretty much become obsolete. Everyone is out to get theirs and theres no incentive otherwise. Bastions how they are now are one of the few things where you cant just chuck norris solo everything with your brain on zero. I like that. Id like to have more of that, especially in teambased games.

Crying, complaining, critiqueing you know what I mean. I use words like that interchangeably. Apologies for any misunderstandings though. Nah I hear ya and understand where youre coming from. I just disagree that it needs more dumbing down.

Ive complained countless times on voice comms when dealing with flyers. Whether its no1 prioritizing them or the wrong person targetting them making it more difficult for the better suited teammate to deal with them. We have the same problem/annoyance/issue. Our solutions are just opposite.

Just hard to say on the internet where you don’t have vocal intonation or body expression to judge things by. But you cleared it up. So all good on my end for that matter.

Also, I only play Robo as engineer and prefer keeping the Overkill around. I’m really not there to be killing enemies anyway, just support stuff. If it comes down to me killing the Bastion as the engi something’s obviously not working somewhere.

Yeah youre right. I sometimes go on auto-pilot and forget to stop and think about how things I say can get taken differently than initally ment. Especially when people dont know me.

Same, as engi class I like to have a longshot and some weapon to handle close quarters with. But if possible I try to have a boomshot or 2 on a locker in case the team needs one.

Gg on Allfathers today mate, smooth game. That Gunner knew how to play :joy::joy::joy:

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lmaoo nehneh was raging over that guy on voicecomms. all i heard was GET HIM THE F*** OUT OF HERE KICK HIM NOW!1 :rofl: :rofl:
it was only after i saw gunner drag a sentry it finally dawned on me what happened lol

but yeah, great run aside from that mate! thx for joining

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Me likes. The slow blade penetrates the shield, after all.