It isn't necessarily that it exists, its the role it plays being redundant and unnecessary, pointlessly drawing out combat. In space, you can justify from a gameplay perspective that shields are necessary. There is no cover, no way to completely avoid damage and returning for repairs with already massive supercruise travel times would be just awful. On foot, damage is completely avoidable through strategic use of cover and your surroundings. You also have access to health kits in abundance already if you make a mistake. Its very forgiving. Maybe they could be worked into the gameplay as an active defense against incoming ordinance at the cost of massive power use, but the shield projector grenades already fill that niche. Alternatively they could just be very, very light as with Planetside 2, or the Halo games. Really just there to give you a chance to react to being shot at.I don't think the shield existing is a problem. The problem is that it comes back online way too quick (and it recharges too fast?). And this is a major problem if you are trying to fight against more than a single enemy at the same time. I would prefer if we, and the npcs, have a mix of both worlds - a shield that can protect you just enough for you to react when under fire before going offline for few minutes, plus armor plating that can take a good beating before depleting permanently and exposing your hit points. The shield should still be very absorbent to kinetics, the armor plating should make energy weapons feel like water guns and your hit points should suffer from both weapon types.
I find the idea of shield tanked ships with legs more than a little disturbing and discouraging. Its bad enough I feel like ten minutes of my life was wasted in space chewing through a cutters shields and cell banks. Even with efficient plasmas in every single hardpoint on an anaconda it still takes a mind bogglingly long time, so long that I was already bored of turning a lot and flying backwards less than halfway into the engagement. That isn't even counting the numbers a player can get in terms of shield strength. I thought the whole point of this expansion was to make you feel vulnerable outside your ship and not just yet another ship with legs instead of wheels like the SRV.Which should be an easy to deal with problem after some engineering. Suits should allow a lot of tinkering and optimization imo. A shield with a lot of hp and slow regen, a shield with small hp and very fast recharge, a balance between hp and regen, but more energy hungry. Same for armor: normal armor good for any occasion; heavy armor for heavy beating, but reducing your speed and jumps; experimental one that slowly repairs itself, but at the cost of extra energy consumption. There is so much potential with both suits and weapons that can satisfy any taste out there and I hope that Fdev will not be afraid to be creative and experiment.