I realised I neglected to mention a major expansion feature, PvE Scenarios. It seems like a fairly obvious design evolution when you think of it; all the mission-ey stuff that’s in the more recent BGs such as Isle of Conquest, just without an opposing team to gank you along the way.
I initially dismissed this as more noob pandering [er, no pun intended =\ ], recalling the eponymous Rift events from that game that got so boring, so fast. But then it occurred to me that they may actually be designed to be challenging. If they can get the challenge of a dungeon boss into a small-group encounter which does not necessitate a tank, I can see that being something well worth getting into. Of course, my inner cynic points out they will probably just make them faceroll noob fodder, so I refuse to raise my expectations until I can actually play one.
Rohan of Blessing of Kings pointed something out which bothered me:
As for tanking, it’s somewhat odd, but non-shield tanks will actually outnumber the shield tanks. That does feel a bit weird to me. Legendary tanking polearm incoming?
I see how this has happened. What was at the beginning the standard [or depending on your opinion, only] tank configuration has now fallen out of fashion as every new class introduced to the game has had tanking shoehorned into it, along with the necessary stat contrivances to give them plate + shield-level armour.
I guess this is just another unfortunate effect of the evolution in design philosophy which has occurred since the classes were originally created using outdated design concepts like a non-hybrid DPS class.
Actually, one more thought occurs to me. With twice as many Leather tanking classes [and Druids being given the added endorsement of a tank-specific spec], perhaps there is enough reason to finally put Leather tanking gear back into the game. =D