Trying to understand Psychokinetic Shield

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Firstly, in your example you'll have more DP for seven PP.  Secondly, you've wasted DP.  For starters, you'll have no especiall need for Hide Matricies - if your shield drops, just refresh it.  Secondly, if you use Hide Matricies, you can maintain it at the minimum difficulty needed to activate it without boosting it.  Provided you meet the minimum non-failure difficulty in your Potential roll, you can sustain it at that minimum difficulty by putting it into an Innate.

As an example, say I have Energy Shield instead of Psychokinetic Shield - nothing else is different in your set-up.  Thus, I have a total Potential of only 80 with Energy Shield.  Now, I make the 120 difficulty to activate it.  I can then put it in my Innate.  Although I technically only maintain it with an 80 Difficulty, the minimum Difficulty for Energy Shield is 120, so that is the level at which it is maintained in the Innate.

Instead of taking Hide Matricies I would take Energy Discharge (if you're going with Psychokinesis, I would reccomend either Psychokinetic Impact or Ballistics, since Shatter's pretty useless unless you're fighting Damage Resistance creatures - also, this assumes you're a combat-oriented Mentalist, obviously).  If you want to go crazy you can simply fill it in as-is and be able to consistantly fire off blast after blast.  Alternately, you can pare it down a bit.  Dropping two of the PP invested still means you're consistently shooting off blasts at a reasonable rate.

This way, you have 9 PP remaining.  Subsequent Energy powers that are useful would be Immunity, Energy Object Creation, or Energy Dome.  For Psychokinetic, consider Minor Psychokinesis, Motion Detection, Organic Psychokinesis, or Atomic Restructuring.  In either case, Sense Matricies is handy.  Certainly, your abilities will be considerably more focused, but you'll also be able to pull them out infinitely without fail, and in particular you'll never have to worry about "what's coming over the bend".

Also, if you end up not taking Hide Matricies, consider dropping the second Innate Slot as well unless you take another maintainable power like Minor Psychokinesis, Energy Object Creation, or similar.  That will free an additional 2 PP.

Two major considerations:
First, if someone drops your shield, you will have had to guess how many times you will be trying to raise new shields in the round, and split your Psychic Potential based on that number. 
In order to protect yourself from a dropped shield, you will have to set aside Psychic Potential at the beginning of the round to make sure you can try and raise a new shield.  The better the shield, the higher the target to activate it, and the more potential that would need to be set aside for a decent chance to succeed.
There is no automatic activation of psychic powers.  There is no infinite use without fail for Psychics. 
The status of any shield being a passive action does not negate the limits on Psychic Potential for the round.  If you fail any of those rolls, you get hit with fatigue, and have no shield from that roll.  Use another roll if you set up to use one at the start of the round and hope for a better result.
If you are depending on your shield, and expect it to make you unbalanced against other character types, you need to be able to keep the shield up.  As a Psychic, you may even want to use other powers during the round.
Second, if you used Hide Matrices, and maintained it at only the minimum level, it would function at that minimum level.  Sense Matrices begins functioning on a Psychic Potential roll of 40.  Hide Matrices must reduce effectiveness to below that level to work, which would mean a minimum level Hide Matrices would only work against a medium effect roll of 80.  A difficult level roll of 120 or higher on Sense Matrices would still detect the power, even if it would not be specifically identified.  If someone is using a shield, and only has one maintained power, it's a pretty good bet which one is the shield.
If you know it's there, you can attack and destroy it. 
Increasing the Hide Matrices potential level to Difficult means opponents must score a 140 on Sense Matrices to detect your shield.
I checked my math on my first example, and don't see where you find two more PP.
180 DP's will give you the Psychic Projection of 90, with +10 more from Dexterity.  With beginning Fighters able to come close to that level on attack ratings, you need to be able to at least match their skill to block consistently.
130 DP's and the free PP for first level will give you the powers, potentials, and slots I noted.  20 for two powers, 40 for two innates, 30 for +20 potential (1+2 for 3 PP per the chart), 40 for +40 Hide Matrices potential.
The Mentalist can't spend more than 360 DP's on Psychic abilities.
That leaves 50 DP's that can be spent on PP for Psychic Abilities.
I agree there are several better ways to build a Psychic.  The discussion had centered around using Psychokinetic Shield as a spam defense that was unbalancing.  I was pointing out how trying to make that option effective would leave you with a less than impressive character.  As noted, even with the points expenditure I listed, spells and energy attacks would not be blockable with Psychokinetic Shield.
Energy Shield is a much more powerful option as a shield, but is harder to bring up easily if something brings it down. 
Energy Shield would indeed maintain at a 120 level even if the psychic's Psychic Potential were less than that.  My alternate suggestion using Energy Shield in the same way as Psychokinetic Shield was also a less than optimum build, but one that would allow a new Energy Shield to be put up every round as easily as the suggested Psychokinetic Shield.  It would take a significant DP investment without the Hide Matrices expense to make it something that would be easy to bring up every round.
Again, trying to set up a spam defense that makes a Psychic unbalanced does not create a very viable character.  It would be much better to buy more options, and create something much more effective and interesting as a character.
Psychics are designed to be playable characters, but are not overbalanced due to the expense of setting up their power options in a way that makes them viable characters.


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