What do you guys think?
IBF is both a blessing and a curse, although it is a far cry better than what it was in alpha (45% armor increase and stun immunity). However, it has since created nothing but problems for both us, and other classes.
It's a blessing in that it's essentially shield wall on a 1 minute cooldown that also grants stun immunity for a dirt cheap RP cost.
It's a curse because our total mitigation package seems to be balanced that it's used almost every time it cools down, which as many have pointed out, is not always ideal.
Emergency cooldowns should be for emergencies. From what I have seen from other people's math and theorycrafting on these forums, however, it seems that IBF is not balanced as an emergency button, but part of our total mitigation package.
It's a great cooldown, for sure. I just seem to be gathering that most people would rather have a flat damage reduction increase across the board at the cost of IBF mitigation, making damage intake less spikey as a whole.
And to be honest, I'd almost argue that IBF is probably too good in PvP as well, as Zeth and myself have pointed out on a few occasions. The fact that we had a 15S cooldown AMS (plus access to 1 min IBF), both of which could be used for extreme magic damage mitigation, made us pretty OP in PvP. I believe the wrong step was taken to correct this, without first properly addressing the PvE side of the issue.
I'd argue that IBF should probably go back to being a less essential, less game-breakingly good ability on such an OP cooldown (where it's only really OP in PvP). IBF needs to be toned down, base mitigation needs to come up (probably in frost presence), and AMS needs to be available more often.
Perhaps I'm alone on this, but I believe it's not good for the class as a whole to leave IBF as it currently stands. I'd rather see it going back to being a big armor increase + stun immunity, and drastically drop the cooldown of AMS for magic damage mitigation (which is more fun to use anyways, as well as what we need more of in PvP). Then, I would argue that in frost presence, our base mitigation of armor and magic damage mitigation needs to be raised by 10%.
The problem is IBF doing too much, too often. This hurts the dev's ability to balance our minimum mitigation without making us OP tanks in PvE with an IBF on a 1 minute cooldown. It also makes balancing our mitigation in PvP hard, since IBF steps on the toes of the role of AMS to a large degree, as it also provides a ton of magic damage mitigation. Shouldn't we have one cooldown for mitigating physical damage for emergencies, and another for magical mitigation? To compensate for the loss of the 1 minute shield wall, reinstate it to what it used to do, and provide high levels of physical mitigation via increased armor (and parry + dodge for use with the new rune strike?) + stun immunity. Raise the base mitigation via armor another 10% or so. Remember. We cannot block. It should be OK that our armor is higher than warriors. It shouldn't be a nightmare for healers to heal DKs through extremely spikey damage. Base mitigation is key. IBF as it currently stands is ruining this for us.
AMS needs to have it's cooldown brought down significantly (20-25s), as well as possibly reducing the damage it absorbs to around 50% or so untalented. In addition, our base magic mitigation in frost presence needs to be raised another 10% to make up for the loss of mitigation on IBF.
Thus, we'd have better PvP balance, and be more viable PvE tanks as well.
If anyone disagrees, please feel free to say why.