"Ballistic shields are shields designed to stop or deflect bullets fired at their carrier. Although modern ballistic shields are specifically designed to protect against handgun, long gun, and shotgun projectile threats, many will additionally protect against most types of stabbing or cutting-type weaponry, and [...] will reliably defeat high-velocity centerfire rifle calibers at muzzle velocities."
The shield will be a crucial part of defensive weapon setups, and might even finally draw a clear line between a run-n'-gun style, and a more conservative, tactical approach to the game. It's a bulky piece of equipment aiming to protect the player (and their teammates) from any and all incoming fire in a direction they are facing. Combining immunity to melee weaponry and high resistance to ranged weapons, it's a fine choice (and perhaps the only one) in a flag/point defender's arsenal, or a player wishing to take a defensive approach for a certain amount of time.
// Main Features
- Even though it's technically equipment and not an offensive weapon, the shield is placed inside the first (primary weapon) slot.
- Carrying the shield results in a speed penalty - any player carrying it cannot run, and as a result cannot dive either. Switching weapons does not remove the penalty; to remove it, the shield must be dropped or replaced entirely.
- The shield acts as a constant "block" action in melee combat - meaning that unless you pass the block and attack from behind, any attack from the front or when overlapping the blocking player will be negated.
- It has infinite durability, meaning that at the expense of mobility and an offensive playstyle you can provide somewhat reliable cover for yourself and your teammates throughout the whole duration of the match.
- It has a small chance (10%?) to deflect an incoming bullet rather than absorbing it.
- It covers the upper leg area, torso and the head, leaving the lower legs exposed to enemy fire.
(1) Merely holding the shield (first weapon slot active) will place it in front of the fighter, blocking all fire to upper legs, torso and head in the direction they are facing. The shield's area of protection is changed by walking/jogging direction.
(2) Aiming with the shield equipped allows the player to adjust the angle the shield covers, and also change its direction (left/right). Releasing the button returns the shield back into its default position (excluding direction change), meaning that blocking incoming bullets from different angles requires the player to stand still.
(3) Pressing the attack/fire button performs a shield shove/bash that staggers the opponent and deals slight melee damage (the equivalent of a punch). This bash has a couple-second cooldown, and the damage can be negated with a regular melee-weapon block.
(4) Crouching with the shield equipped covers the whole body of the fighter (including legs) but, as with any other weapon, removes the ability to manually adjust the angle of cover.
(5) Kicking has the same effect as without using a shield, but in order to do so the fighter moves it aside for the few frames the kick action is active. This small window can be uses by snipers to damage the shield-bearer and potentially kill them.
- Interaction with explosive equipment:
(1) Grenades / Grenade Launcher - The shield absorbs explosions in the direction it is deployed to, but doesn't negate knockback. In order to deal actual damage the grenade has to roll/explode behind it or explode above/below the player.
(2) Molotovs - A direct molotov hit doesn't set the player on the 2nd stage of fire instantly. Instead, they start at the 1st stage, giving the blocking player time to react to it.
(3) Mines - Work as usual, no special interaction with a shield-bearing player.
(4) Bazooka - Rockets explode on impact with the shield without dealing any impact damage. A single rocket can destroy the shield completely.
 The shield having infinite health can be a balancing issue, in the sense that it can be considered way too overpowered. Additionally to being completely immune to melee weapons it can take an infinite amount of bullets, which can be a massive advantage on certain maps. Then again, that's the whole point of it, and the question that should be asked is whether the movement penalty and the weapon penalty have enough impact to justify giving one player such control over damage dealt to himself and those around him. If they are, keep it infinite. If they aren't:
- Option A: Limited health - 75/100/150 HP should suffice. After the durability meter reaches 0 the shield breaks like any other melee weapon. The problem with this is that giving such equipment limited health moves away from the idea of a whole different playstyle, and gets closer to the idea of temporary equipment, and fairly useless one at that; at that point the cons are way more significant than the pros, as people would rather retreat to look for better weapons/more health rather than stay immobile and take additional 15 MP5 rounds, or an extra 2-3 sniper rounds. Dodging is probably way more viable in that case, but it's one way to solve the issue.
- Option B: "Absolute defense" phase - limit HP, say 50. Block 50HP worth of bullets, after which the shield becomes less effective, meaning with every bullet it absorbs the bullet has a chance to bypass the shield entirely and damage the player. Gradually increase that chance with every X amount of bullets hitting it, up to 50%-75% to bypass it. Players are given two equally-risky choices: either rely on RNG to protect you, or drop the shield and look for better defensive methods.
 On the topic of a shield dealing melee damage equal to a punch:
- Option A: Remove the melee attack in its entirety so that shield-users are forced to expose themselves through kicking.
- Option B: Remove the melee damage from the shield bash so it is solely used to control attackers rather than a way to damage them and potentially kill them. Use this to nerf the shield so it has less advantages, in case it is considered too useful/overpowered.
- Option C: Increase the melee damage the shield can deal so it's not completely useless offense-wise. I don't think this is necessary because the user CAN equip a melee weapon or a secondary weapon which he then can switch to if needed, but this is still an option.
- Option A: Low explosion resistance - break the shield if a GL grenade/rocket directly hit the shield, deal no damage to the user.
- Option B: No explosion resistance - shield doesn't break on GL grenade/rocket impact, but doesn't block any damage either. Force rocket riding even if the shield is equipped.