I don't mean, "what button activates them," or anything like that. I'm trying to understand how shields function as a defense mechanism in The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild. Here's what a (partially made up) version might be for how armor works:
Armor reduces the damage Link takes. Each piece of armor has a protection rating, and the pieces you equip (up to three) are summed up to generate the total protection. Each point reduces the damage taken by a quarter heart, with the caveat that any hit will cause at least a quarter heart of damage. (So, a four armor rating will reduce a three-heart hit to cause two hearts damage, and cause a one-heart hit to cause a quarter-heart damage.)
(Hat tip to @Fungo for helping me improve my example there.)
With a shield, I really don't know how it works:
- Does it repel some attacks, based on rating, and those it doesn't repel hurt the same? Or does it reduce the damage from all, and some are reduced so much that they cause none (and appear repelled).
- And how does it get used up by that mechanic? Is it worn down "once per use" like weapons mostly are? Or is a successful use "absorbing" some amount of damage, so it can be used many times agains a weak attack or once against stronger ones?