Or, more likely, you just don’t dash at all because doing so would put you in a bad position and you’d die, lol. The idea that you’re going to dash through the situations the ult would be useful over just swinging is really not a very reasonable one. You end up only ever using it on trash that you’d kill basically just as quickly by swinging your weapon at anyway.
I’ve used HM a bunch, both on live and in modded stuff, and unless I’m abusing wraith walk (at which point I’m just memeing), you end up barely bothering to dash through stuff. Bar maybe the crit talent, where you can cancel your dash very early and still get alright value from it.
Yeah, which is mostly irrelevant outside modded content, which you said yourself isn’t something we need to care about for balance. Any situation you’d really hit the cleave limit with a shotgun shot on is a situation the HM is just suiciding by dashing into.
Shotguns leaving you open is a player issue, dash relying on you putting yourself out of position is not. It’s a dash, it dashes. You either have to go on weird awkward flanks and dash back, or you dash forward, and are now in the middle of a horde in a corridor. Whereas if you have a shotgun and some basic situational awareness, you just left click and the trash dies, without you needing to leave your good position.
If you’re going to have to rely on super specific positioning (such as flanking the side of a horde in a corridor) or being at risk for the stuff either in front of you or the elites you’ve just put behind you and decided to let your team deal with (for some reason), you should be rewarded more than a bardin left clicking once, or maybe twice if there’s a lot of shields. There’s no reason you’d bother running this talent over the alternatives in the same row, let alone the alternative horde clearing choices. An ult that’s just an occasional alternative to your melee weapon in low pressure situations is not a good ult, regardless of the CD on it.
Also as to the timeframe argument, I actually went into modded realm and tested, trying to roughly spawn the same amount of enemies you did (3 gors, 3 ungors, 4 fanatics, 3 marauders, 3 assassins and roughly 8 clan rats), and bardin kills them all within two shots. That takes about a second, if that. It could possibly be one shot even, though I didn’t want to stack them literally all right on top of each other, because that’s not terribly realistic and I have no idea how cleave behaves if you do weird stuff like that. This is on cata with no ults, an orange grudgeraker with 10% vs skaven and 6% vs zerkers, and a charm with your standard chaos/inf split.
An ult that is worse than two shotgun shots is not a good ult.