Shields arent great for high level play (legend) as always. The problem is they’re niche(or highly specialized) AND not good enough at their first task (control).
Also they require high stamina regen (more than 50%) to be able to barely hold the line against a horde, or 3-4 elites with roamers. You can’t spec into high dps with them - it doesnt work at all, the only real choice is to make pushstick out of it.
Also what little crowd control shield give - it requires perfectly disciplined teammates to get some use of it. They still get hit with high possibility, because as i mentioned shield cc isnt good enough, not long lasting, have very limited range.
This level of CC almost doesn’t do anything worth against special spam, or horde+boss difficulty spikes. Once you need to reposition/kite and need burst dps, the shield becomes huge liability. Its like shields give comfort to the team while fighting easier fights, naked horde with maybe couple of elites, but when the real fight starts with difficulty spike, a shielder cant possibly hold the line against 3 CW, a miniboss, warpfire and dozen of trash mobs. Neither he can kite to at least stay alive through the fight, not even dps-ing to help the team in a real way.
My ideas of buffing them include steps toward better crowd/elite control, or towards higher dps, or towards the ease of use for the wielder:
push interrupts berserkers combo w/o the need of stacking 23-30% power vs (thats a lot and you are limited to only monks or savages, cant do both).
push attacks dont open you up at all, if you’re holding RMB constantly youll be unhittable as long as your guard is up. Alternatively, they open you up for a very short period compared to other weapons.
shield bash isnt strong enough - have often wonky and short reach, stagger is weak, attack speed (including time to charge and chain into next attack) is low… So overall they ‘re not worth and will just get you hit. I’ d like much stronger, impactfull, reliable shield bash, with a bit increased speed on mace variant. Prevent shield bash spam on axe+shield by not reseting charged combo after blocking (i saw that feature for dual axes - if you do 1st charged, then block cancel, and do charged again - you still get 2nd charged attack).
unique attacks for shields buffed, so 1h counterparts remain the same. Sword shield charged stab - increase anti armor damage. Mace shield 1st charged - increase anti armor damage significantly on 1st target, or increase attack charge speed, or up the damage good for 2nd-3rd infantry targets. Just like with shield bash, mace attack needs buff to make it worth comboing with.
dodge range increased to 1. I really don’t see a reason to make mobility so diverse between 1h,2h,and heavy 2h+shields. Dodge play is almost absent on shields, which limits the variety of playstyle, while this downside of a weapon class isnt justified balace wise imo