In the early days of ddo, before it was possible to hit 400 hp or pull 80 ac by level 10, a welcome sight at any quest was to see a fighter or paladin show up with a shield equipped. Now if your a fighter or paladin and show up with a shield for a pug group your just likely to get kicked from group.
This is more the case the higher the level as a properly built wf sorc or wiz can tank a mob as easily as any Stalwart or defender can with 1 huge difference, the caster can lay down 10-100 times more dps while tanking.
Ive got a lvl 27 wf sorc that I roll with, not so much as I enjoy the class better than others but because I can solo most content on EN or EH and run 2-3 quests before having to re buff at ship.
Im not suggesting in any way to lower the playability of any class, but improve the fun factor of some.
Sure a stalwart defender or a defender of syberis(sacred defender) can solo any content well enough, but for a quest I can solo with my sorc in 15 minutes, it might take a hour+ on a fighter or pally to complete.
Even tho they are absolutely slow I personally love paladins with a shield and sword(I personally think pally's should get b-sword as a granted feat), I played a pally from beta simply cause my play times never seemed to work well with the rest of the active ddo population and soloing was possible and fun. Now a pally is just drag to play unless multiclassed with everything else to make it viable.
But what this is about is Tanks. Sword and board. Stand there and intimi and take everything that's thrown at them laugh and ask for more.
So what to do, what to do. My thought for Stalwart defender and Sacred Defender's is possibly adding a new item to the tree's, damage reflection.
I know that there are already enhancements that have a chance of damaging attackers "while blocking" but seriously if your blocking your not fighting, and if your a tank and fighting your not doing that much damage. So either way your just gimped.
The damage reflection would work as a toggle with up to 3 ranks, Rank 1 your ac is decreased by 20% and your prr is increased by 20% and while this is toggled on any damage absorbed by damage reduction of any nature is reflected back at the attacker with a increase to damage modified by your prr as if it were a spell power. This also has a 50% effectiveness with any spells cast on you. Rank 2 decreases ac by another 20% and increases prr by a additional 20%. Rank 3 decreases ac by another 20% and increases prr by another 20%.
It would be nice if this required a core ability, so levels would have to be invested instead of just mixing in 2 levels of fighter or paladin.
As example of what I am suggesting:
Character has 100 ac and prr at rank 3 of damage reflection and while toggled on the characters ac would drop from 100 to 80, then 80 to 64, then 64 to 51, while the prr would go from 100-120, 120 -144, 144-173.
So character would have 64 ac and 173 prr. If character was attacked successfully for 100 points of damage while blocking and say damage reduction from blocking and other effects not including prr was 25, then the character would take about 46% damage of 75 or 34 points of damage. The 66 points of damage would then be reflected back at the attacker at "Damage x (prr/100)". So that would be 66 x 1.73, attacker would take 114 damage.
As I was saying this would be half effective for spells cast against this character. With 173 prr, this character would be able to shrug off 23% of incoming magic damage and reflect it back at the caster with the increase to damage according to its prr rating acting as a spell power. So if the character has 40 cold resist and has a polar ray cast at it that does 100 damage, The character has "shield deflection" and is using a tower shield which absorbs 40% of incoming elemental damage and is blocking. Then 40 would get eatin up right away by the cold resist, then another 24 points would be absorbed from shield deflection thus the character would take 36 points cold damage, this means that 64 points od cold damage is reflected back at the caster at a rate of 64 X 1.73. The caster would take 110 points of cold damage before any resists.
So any way this was a idea I had on how to give those tanks out there a edge that makes them useful again.