I'll start with a couple Mythic quotes and I'll build from there.
For example Andy stated in this thread:
The fact that we're going to do a deeper evaluation has the potential to increase the likelihood that we will be restricting Guard to shield only sometime in the future. Before we make a move like that, we need to make sure that all tanks using a 2 handed weapon are on even ground, hence the decision to delay and focus on the issue at a more appropriate time.Also Nate said in his 1.3.2. Developer Diary about Crowd Control changes:
Secondly, another aspect of allocation that we're working towards as a long-term goal is to slowly shift the general distribution of Crowd Control to be more common on defensive careers—such as the tank archetypes—and away from DPS-focused careers.I would continue down the path that was started back in 1.3.2 by Mythic. That path is the clear and obvious delineation between offensive and defensive support. This can also be clearly seen by the new armor sets. The next logical step to rebalance the classes for this. The general idea is to split up the abilities so that the offensive support abilities are in the offensive tree and the defensive support abilities are in the defensive tree.
We determined that there needs to be a clear and obvious line drawn between which effects we intend to be used offensively and which we intend to be used defensively, and that lead to the final change that you'll see in this patch.
We're introducing a new effect called "Stagger". When you Stagger an enemy, they'll be briefly disabled and unable to move or take any actions, just like a Stun or a Knockdown, but with the critical difference that the Stagger will immediately break if they suffer any damage. We've gone through every player ability that's a Knockdown or Stun, and have done one of two things to it: either it becomes a Knockdown (a clearly offensive tool which allows you to knock an enemy tail-over-teakettle and then beat them down) or a Stagger (which is now a clearly defensive tool to remove an enemy that you're not attacking).
The Khaine Swordmaster uses his Elven Greatsword and the Winds of Magic to tear apart the defenses of his foes. He is fully capable of dealing swift death to his enemy once he fully exposes the enemy's weaknesses. The true DPS class will always be able to take better advantage of the Khaine SM's openings though.
Blurring Shock/Forceful Shock - Either Blurring Shock has it's proc damage doubled or Forceful Shock doubles the proc damage of Blurring Shock. Blurring Shock is offensive utility so changing it to a knockback doesn't make much sense. It makes up for the loss of Guard by helping your group kill the enemy faster.
Sapping Strike - 50% incoming heal debuff for 10s. The SM is the only tank on Order side without a heal debuff. (The BO is in the same boat for Destruction.) This makes the tanks more on even ground. It also has synergy with the 2 piece Doomflayer and Warpforged offensive tank sets.
Phoenix's Wing - Moved to 13+1 Vaul with a different effect.
Crashing Wave moves to 9+1 in Khaine and is now a 4s knockdown. This puts it on even ground with the IB knockdown Cave-In. (4s KD with added effect.) It should likely have a 2h requirement since it's clearly offensive utility.
Whirling Geyser - 3s AoE knockdown instead of a knockback. Knockbacks seem more defensive than offensive, so it doesn't seem to fit to have a knockback in the offensive tree.
The Vaul Swordmaster puts aside the classic Elven Greatsword in favor of the shield. Using his shield and the Winds of Magic, he creates magical absorb shields to protect his group. He will determine where the battle lines are drawn. The Vaul Swordmaster highly values his own personal survival. For the longer he stands, the longer he can use the Winds to protect his brethren.
Dampening Talon - Shield required - Dragon's Talon will now affect 3 (or 9) targets within 20 feet (30 feet), but it's damage is reduced by 10% (20%). It doesn't make sense to have offensive utility like defense strikethrough on a defensive ability. Same reasoning as Forceful Shock and it'd be a decent enough "mirror" to Crippling Strikes.
Redirected Force - Requires Block. Single target 9s stagger. 10s (or 20s if that's deemed too powerful) recast. I originally wanted this to be a knockdown like the IB shield knockdown, but a stagger fits the defensive tank better. It might need to switch places with Crushing Advance in the Vaul tree.
Vaul's Buffer - Grants your group an absorb shield whenever you defend against an attack. This is a pseudo mirror to the DoK group absorb shield tactic. It helps balance the realms since Order has no equivalent to that tactic on the DoK.
Phoenix's Wing - 13+1 Vaul. Flames of the Phoenix engulf your group's armor causing X Spirit damage whenever attacked. 15s duration, 30s recast. Basically a mirror to the Chosen's Bane Shield with the tactic.
The Hoeth Swordmaster uses the Winds of Magic to neutralize other magic and refresh his allies. He is the bane of any spell caster. He combines a mix of offense and defense to turn the tide of battle.
Calming Winds - Gusting Wind will now knockback a single target a long distance. A good single target knockback is required to deal with Guard effectively, and the SM/BO just don't have access to one good enough. All tanks should have access to a good single target punt to put them on even ground.
Whispering Wind - Moved to 9+1 Hoeth with same effect. Other tanks get their CC at 9+1, so it brings the tanks more on even ground. Also the Choppa can buy their cooldown buff for 9+1.
Protection of Hoeth - Moved to 13+1 Hoeth. Group magical absorb shield for 10s. 60s recast. Sudden Shift has made the current version much less useful, so increasing the investment required and the return seemed like a good idea. It definitely has to be changed to be worth 13+1. I would make the absorb about 2k if magical only. The healer one that absorbs all damage types absorbs is about 1k. Alternately, it could just be an exact copy of the healer one.
Let me know what you think either way.