This can be a bit long so brace yourself.
I was thinking what would I want to see in the game and ended thinking about fighting spitters and cuttletrunks etc and that we currently have slingbow and grapple to use plus there's lance coming soon. I'm happy out as I believe quality is better than quantity so I don't need 100 types of weapons to chose from. I'm missing on the defense department though as we only have dodging in our arsenal as of now so I thought shields.
They shouldn't be too big and there shouldn't be too many types of them, so not too complicate things and keep it simple as with offensive weapons.
After some thinking that followed I came up with 3 types of them that could be introduced: lets call them basic, mechanic and energy shields.
BASIC SHIELDS Typical solid fantasy/medieval style, made of wood, copper, iron or titanium. I thought gems, gleam, silver and gold could be used for decorative upgrades on them, but whatever.
Would have durability of course, going down with each blocked damage until it reaches 0 and the shield is broken.
Would have elemental effects available for them, so in case of a direct contact between an attacker and the shield, boom!! (So if a vicious wildstock goes at you with a headbutt, you can not only block the attack and all damage but also affect the monster with fire, ice, corrosion, shock or else. Just don't add healing effect to your shield...)
MECHANIC SHIELDS These ones would have a central piece with a mechanism inside that would enable fin-like parts to slide out to form the full shield. Crafting of such shield would require a tech fragment and maybe some spark to create a battery like load of the shield (each sliding out and retracting of the fins would use some energy and after a while the shield would have to be charged in a workbench: placing it in there would work like plugging in I imagine).
Elemental effects available as well.
ENERGY SHIELDS Would have a central piece made of iron/titanium and would create an energetic protecting field around it upon activating (so I imagine tech fragments or components to be involved in crafting process). Just like a mechanic shield would have a load of energy to be used for activating, but also for blocking damage (I imagine this working this way - every time an attack is blocked the shield energy is depleted so it needs to be recharged not just for activating but for blocking as well).
Elemental effects welcome of course.
As for pictures I have an example of a mechanic shield here (yes, you can laugh especially the lavender bicep is epic)
The red part is the central part attached to the forearm - blue parts are the fins. The vertical ones here slide out first and then smaller ones slide out to the sides. In the end the smallest fins pop-out vertically again. You reverse that order for retracting of course.
I had a few different shapes and combinations of fins but I forgot to save the image and its lost - I guess I was trying to be too fast.
Heres how it might look like on a character from Boundless - it ended too small (you would think about doubling the size of fins) but you can get the idea.
As for energy - I imagined 2 circles of the field emitted from two corners of a central piece. Below you can see how it would look like when activated in front of the arm (yes, you can laugh again ). Second picture shows it from the arm side - you can see the red central piece that would be attached to the forearm - two opposite corners of the piece are emitting the elliptic energy fields. Then you have a view from behind with an outline of an arm - you can see the red central piece and two different ways of creating the energy field. The circles might be emitted out to different distance from the central piece and work like layers, or be emitted at the same distance and merged together.
Many other shapes and configurations are possible (wont even go to the materials, colors and such). And yes, I believe talented people working on the visual side of Boundless can do amazing shields, way more inspiring and all - providing the devs would be interested in introducing shields at all.
Either way I had fun thinking and imagining all that in the game.
Thanks for your patience.