I'm not sure on where to beging to address this as the level of terrible is hard to properly put into words.
Long of the short:
- it costs over 40 AP to get the abilities we have now on live.
- Stance requiring a shield is just terrible, even if it is intended to prevent exploits in splash builds.
- It's weak and lousy compared to what you can get by splashing monk.
Quick and dirty solutions:
- lower the AP costs. not perfect but maybe if we have enough points to invest in the pretty nice Kensai tree it'll lower the pain of this PRE being terrible
- Remove the shield requirement. If the concern for having this is the unintended synergies with splash builds FIX THE BROKEN SPLASH OPTIONS.
- I'm not sure there is a quick-n-dirty solution for this. Defender builds biggest advantage over offensive builds defensively is Armor Class. Armor Class is the LEAST IMPORTANT LAYER in a layered-defense when you get to EE. As long as this is the case Defender builds will be a big bucket of meh. Closest thing I can come up with is a bunch of PRR and threat. As it is now my 18/2 Evasion stalwart WITH ARMOR AND SHIELD cannot get the same PRR as a monk-splashed kensai with Earhstance 4 and Defensive strikes and that is beyond broken.
Better solution: Put a disclaimer on the PRE letting new players know it's horrible.