Well, seeing sentinel the way it is now got me upset since beta test...it could be a real class, but was subdued as a secondary skill of 1-handed weapon classes...
Just because the weapon is a shield, it doesn’t mean it can’t be a main weapon. The most classic western example: Captain America (Marvel Superhero). Sentinel should be just like this…a class that uses a shield for both attack and defense!
“But how?” you might ask…well, shields can be used as weapon…while they can be used to bash opponents, they can also have multiple formats…just imagine, as example, the round shield…if you put a saw at its border it can be thrown or used as slashing weapon. Shields full of spikes can deal piercing damage when bashing enemies, long shields that are attached like bracers can have claws in it…the options are uncountable!
Also, we could have a thing that was very rarely seen in a RPG…2-handed shields. You can just imagine full-body shields working like real bastions, with sentinels being able to fight enemies just like those SWAT-like military squads do…or even composite shields, which are my personal favorites… Shields split in 2 blades that are attached to each arm of the sentinel while attacking, but that can be also connected into a powerful shield when he sets his arms together…
For basic actions, the Bash and Guard would be the starting ones, but since each shield would have its own way of usage, they could learn multiples basic attacks as they rank up that would require that specific type of shield to be used…here some examples:
-Buckler: Shield Throw -Round Shield: Shield Slash, Shield Throw -Hoplon: Slider (Action. Uses the smooth, round surface of the shield to slide away attacks, evading them. Would, pretty much, be exactly like Featherfoot) -Pelta: Counterstance (Action. Uses the shield format to strike the enemy from behind it so the enemy cannot see the attack. Deals reduced damage but cannot be evaded.) -Composite shield: Crosscut (attacks twice, dealing slashing damage), Barricade (Connects the plates to form a shield. Increases damage mitigation but cannot attack while in this mode). This shield would be the most offensive one, allowing Sentinel to really deal damage as needed. -Bastion/Ladder Shield/Full-body Shield: Sanctuary (Firms his position, using the shield to create a safe are for anyone behind it. Increases damage mitigation and receives any enemy attack that that targets any ally behind him as soon as he’s in the line of fire. This basic attack will bind the character for its duration (duration based on wield rate) and even knock back actions won’t move him. While he cannot move or attack during this effect, his orientation will follow the locked target (automatic reorientation), being always facing him). This action would be the most important one for heavy damage dealer monsters…specially if they can’t move or move slowly. You can just imagine it as the game of musical chairs…the party constantly moving around him to always leave him between them and the monster for full protection. This would basically reinvent the way of tanking since it would become more a matter of position than enmity (while it’s active, of course…if it would stay active full time it would just become too boring and too easy for the tank…so these shields would need to have a pretty low wield rate so he would need to actually time the action based on monster attack frequency). ^^
I think this class has its own charm and that it should be treated as a real class, leaving the role of heavy tank to it. And talking about it, like was suggested at last chapter, would be nice having among its actions the cover moved from GLA to SEN.