I continue to be frustrated by how utterly worthless certain builds are in the higher-level content. I don't mean that people have built a character poorly, I mean that the entire build structure, no matter how you stack up the abilities, is worthless. Specifically, I'm talking about melee.
There is no such thing as a good tank in the game any more, because in order to get even close you'd need ALL of the following:
Scads of HP
Massive, massive DPS
Enormous saving throws
And many of those are mutually exclusive. You can't tank a dragon with a massive, massive breath weapon on a character without evasion, because it does more damage than you can possibly have HP. But you can't tank it on a character WITH evasion because it hits so hard that you need all the stuff you can ONLY get if you build for heavy armor and a shield. And you can't HOLD it wearing heavy armor and wielding a shield because your DPS gets tanked. It's absurd. Whatever you try to do, you wind up being fail in another area and as a result you are worthless because you HAVE to be good at EVERYTHING to succeed.
Compare this to a straight ranged dps character. They don't need the heavy armor because they can just stay out of reach. They can circle-strafe and avoid the breath weapon most of the time. They get to keep their huge DPS. Getting beat up? Line-of-sight it and take ZERO damage for a while. Oh, and they're not constantly getting knocked back/down/around, either.
It's time to cut melee, and melee tanks in particular, a break. It is *absurd* that the only defense is to take almost zero damage because stuff can drop you so fast it's not even funny. Yes, once it was possible to make a tank that was nearly invulnerable. THAT. IS. THE. TANK'S. JOB. The solution is not to switch to a malicious diminishing returns system where you're going to be eating 50%+ of everything whether you like it or not. Oh, and then we'll throw you some crappy little meaningless 20% bone somewhere so you'll be SLIGHTLY LESS DEAD instead of OVERWHELMINGLY DEAD. Bleh.
Here's some suggestions that don't require much in the way of changes, but will at least help a little bit:
1. Make intimidate work so that if you successfully intimidate something, you don't generate 50% additional threat--you actually DO 50% additional DAMAGE. When you bluff someone, you do extra damage (sneak attack). Why not with intimidate? It's hard enough to get a useful intim score anyway (and since you can't aim the thing it's often more of a curse than a blessing). Too much? Make it a stacking debuff that requires sequential successful intimidates. Require them to be in a defensive stance.
2. Take away the goddamn fort bypass that every freakin monster in the game has (not just "rogues" the way it was stated originally). And make the goddamn fort system more transparent. I need to know what my ACTUAL chance of getting crit by a given monster is. If I have 200%+ fortification and I'm still getting crit (which I do, on my elemental form druid), something is messed up. Instead of displaying fort as a %, display it as a flat number and have a tooltip that at least gives you some sort of "here's your base crit chance vs. monster of X CR, X-10 CR, and X+10 CR"). I don't mind fort bypass in general, but when EVERYTHING AND ITS MOTHER HAS IT it gets real old real quick.
3. Put more ablative stuff in the game, and increase the benefit of existing ablative effects like Protection From Elements. Back in the day when a single energy hit did, at *worst*, 400ish damage, 120 absorb was fine. Now it's a joke. The cap on this needs to be removed pronto. Even 250 ain't all that great in the face of attacks that can do 2000 damage.
4. INTERRUPTS. Put some interrupts in the game as tactical abilities and MAKE THEM WORK ON BOSSES. I'm not talking about stun or trip-style moves that would paralyze the boss and turn boss fights into a joke. I'm talking about abilities on the nature of "no breath weapon for you for the next 6 seconds!" or "no spells for you for the next six seconds!". Make the cooldown longer than the effect so you have to make an effort to time them or have multiple tanks trading them off.
5. Fewer spawns: The best tank in the world can't tank 17 mobs even on easy difficulties. Every new quest does not have to have so many spawns that you instantly get alert the second the fight starts. It should be PHYSICALLY IMPOSSIBLE to get an alert of ANY kind unless you drag multiple fights into one another. Oh, and the excessive mob spawns cause massive, massive lag that can reduce even excellent computers down to single-digit framerates.
6. Don't put debuffs in the game unless there's some ACTIVE way to clear the dang things (active meaning, cast a spell or use an ability, not "wait for the dang thing to expire"). For the most part this is true, but it should apply even to effects tossed out by raid bosses.
7. Do something about the amount of damage melee weapons take when you're whacking things with them. When mobs have 4000 hp, you're going to be hitting them a substantial number of times more frequently than when they have 400 hp. The amount of damage you do per hit (aside from crits and other multiplied effects) does not increase tenfold between the levels where you find these mobs--yet higher-level weapons don't have 10x as many hit points as lower-level ones. You should not get a third of the way through a quest and be getting "worn" flags because you decided to go with a melee weapon that actually gets damaged over time. Item defense does not successfully mitigate this problem. Even 75% less of way too much does not begin to compare usefully to weapons that just don't take damage.