I would very much like for different palystyles to all be relevant and more or less balanced, because it feels good to be able to pick a different playstyle/weapon/equipment each game and not feel underpowered or as if playing a challenge game.
Right now, I think dual wielding and two-handing are quite balanced. Early to mid-game, using two-hander is very powerful, while dual wielding is always powerful. You can sometimes dual wield two-handed weapons by end-game, but this is OK, IMHO.
Sword-and-board definitely needs a buff, simply because you do no damage with your shield, while you can block with you weapons. There are three thoughts on improving shields I had:
* We could increase the gap in block value between shields and all other weapons. This would make shields much more useful, but I'm not sure it's the best way to go - right now, blocking seems very well balanced and getting hit more often without a shield could easily make the game very much harder to play, basically inverting the current problem into making sword-and-board the only best strategy.
* Quoting myself:
We could make heavy shields more worth the hassle. Light shields are better because of their accuracy, thus blocking more blows. Heavy shields, on the other hand, could drain less stamina per attack blocked, because of their increased bulk and stability. Thus you could pick to wear a heavy shield and loose only very little stamina from all the blocked attacks.
In addition, we could make all shields take less stamina per block than any weapon, with heavy shields taking next to 0 stamina. This would be probably my preferred method, because we don't need to rebalance blocking value, while making shields useful. Weapons could carry you through fights by blocking hits, but you would not be able to fight that long, because you would be loosing stamina quickly. With a shield, you would be able to last much longer, loosing only minimal stamina. Thus dual wielding or two-hander builds would be good for very aggresive playstyle, because you have more damage but need to kill things quickly and then regain stamina, while shield builds would be good for defensive builds who can fight for a very long time in one go.
* We could give shields a shield bash attack. This again should be balanced not to transform shields into just another weapon. Maybe the shield bash could be a bit like a kick, doing less damage than most weapons, but having a chance to knock back the enemy? That could be quite useful in many situations.
Also, thinking about different playstyles, I would like to add a fourth playstyle to balance against the others: unarmed. Right now, it's rather nice early-game, but quickly overshadowed by enchanted weapons. One way to go with unarmed would be to make the player automatically use a kick attack every time he attacks unarmed. This would make the playstyle rather distinct, giving three attacks per turn with a chance the last attack (kick) will knock back the enemy (forceing them to move next to you again), while balancing it by retaining the lower damage per hit unarmed already has. BTW, I think gauntlets already add their enchantment to unarmed attacks?