With a new expansion coming there will be new things added to the game. Oddly enough more often than you would realize many of the new things added to the game are actually old things that were in the game before but were removed or changed into something else.
For example a warriors heroic leap was in the game but there were mechanic issues with it so it was removed. Hunters original resource was focus but they could not make it work so they switched them to mana. Things like that, things that were tested and removed but found their way back into the game.
What if some other things that were once in the game found their way back into the game.
The idea that has popped into my mind has to do with the buckler, but there are many other things that were removed that could some day return, perhaps when this what if article is done you could add a few removed things you would like to see returned, but I am going to think about adding the buckler back into the game.
Back in the original game hunters and rogues could use a buckler, which is like a shield. It was removed from the game and any remaining bucklers in the game were relabeled as shields but both hunters and rogues were able to equip one.
Being there is no longer a ranged weapon slot the idea of a hunter using a buckler is really something we can not roll with. That along with the fact hunters do not have a melee spec. But rogues on the other hand use melee and melee weapons so them using a buckler is not exactly out of the question should they return.
What if the buckler returned and gave rogues an option to tank?
Unlike most tank classes that will, as the expansion goes on, eventually move up to the point where they can "cap" some defensive stats or become so high in them that it makes them in game super heroes. Kind of like how I can solo the celestials on my druid now just for fun or when guild mates finish their legendary line and need to kill all four I will just go and pull with only me and them and not worry if others join in or not. While I'll be the first to admit that is amazingly fun and exciting to do it really should not happen in a current content, even for something like the cesestials. A rogue with a buckler can be the first class to reach true balance as a tank to the point they would not be able to do things like that.
The rogue could be left as is, no real need to even redesign the class what so ever. Just add something to abilities that acts differently while a rogue has a buckler equip. When a rogue keeps their poisons up, keeps their finishing moves rolling, keeps their buffs up, keeps their debuffs or DoTs rolling, they now also add something passively to the rogues defensive capabilities.
Lets say that with a buckler equip they automatically gain the ability all tanks need to not be able to get crit plus a base amount of dodge and parry. No block however as bucklers are smaller and should not be able to take a full hit but block could work too I guess, if you feel that strongly about it.
Then when the rogue puts up a buff like slice and dice, while a buckler is equip, it would give 20% dodge and 20% parry. Keeping it rolling would keep those numbers up. While poisons are ticking on a target with a buckler equip they gain another 10% dodge and 10% parry. Then from that point on their finishing moves offer short buffs. Maybe an envenom with a buckler equip would give 2% dodge per combo point used for 6 seconds or a rupture with a buckler equip would give 2% parry per combo point used for 6 seconds. Things like that.
It could be designed to work exactly as they intend it too. If they want rogues to have a maximum of 60% dodge and 60% parry at any given point they could make it so. If they decided that 60% was too much they could just adjust how things work. Effectively they could set it up that rogues would have exactly what they want them to have and no more. Unlike other tanks that get stronger as they get more gear a rogue tank will always be what it is with a buckler equip and excellence of execution.
Now this would not make for a rogue being a great main tank but it would make for a rogue being an exception off tank for those moments when one might be needed. They could effectively fill a roll in the game there really is no class that can fill right now. A part time tank and a full time damage dealer, all with the switching of an off hand weapon to a buckler. While the plate classes can do it to some extent, they are all left at a disadvantage while playing off tank. A rogue could be designed with the intention of being an off tank while wearing a buckler. I think it would add something really exciting to the game.
The possibilities are there and all it would require is the buckler to make its way back into the game the same way heroic leap did and hunters using focus as a resource did.
What if something you liked that was removed came back? What would you like to make a return, and what could you see it changing if it did return?
Remember, anything can come back. Who would have every thought something as huge as a complete change to resources would come back but it did for a hunter so nothing is impossible.