Your question was aimed at kitten, so I won't really go into discussion here trying to hijack anything. I just wanted to mention that the freedom of a defender isn't as big as you may think.
A SW can kill a defender off guard in one combo if the defender is specced fully into the dps tree. If the defender decides to go a hybrid between damage and tank, they won't really be able to invest into aggro skills for any decent PvE. If the defender builds between all three, it's damage will suffer greatly and will quite frankly hit like a wet noodle.
In a 1v1 battle, the survivability makes defeating one insane because of how long they can last. But mmo's are never really based around 1v1 combat/balance. They try to design it around a group point of view, so each class can bring something to a group. If they made the defender squishier, they wouldn't be able to tank. If they gave it less damage, they would really do no damage. Tanks are usually the ultimate solo classes because of their durability, it goes for a lot of mmorpgs. It takes several people to kill one, but when fighting geared/equal level opponents alone. They can't do much as they are just mana drained and stunned for the duration of the fight. Their damage won't allow to kill anyone in time unless the player it's attacking is weak or if they can get their ult off.
If one player was able to kill a tank alone in a few seconds, they'd have no use on the battlefield as they aren't able to tank.
Now I've always played tank classes in all mmo's. And the balance feels somewhat equal, if not a little higher than most I've played. But I personally would not consider them OP to a point where I would call them broken.
But I'm also curious about the PvP at a higher level cap. I imagine defenders actually becoming OP after level 30 since we get a 40 second +50% damage buff at level 30.
Curious what the two mentioned players have to say about it.
I appreciate your response too. But even as a tank, you're hitting people over 1000 in pvp. So where's that wet noodle hitting? You're a tank build, are you not?
Also, I have a Defender, although it's not a 29 yet.
I don't personally see a use in aggro skills. In the grand scheme of bosses so far, Even a Shadow Walker can tank them. So why does a Defender have to stat tank-esh? To make the medic's job a snooze? Does resetting a boss even exist in this game, unless you kill the other faction entirely? That's the primary reason for Aggro - to maintain control and possession of a boss. Bosses in this game dont seem to be too dangerous (yet) when secondary tanks draw aggro.
But, at 44, you have 15 Skill points from puzzles, probably some 12 from quests, and 47 from levels, for about 74 Skill points.
There are 181 Skill allocation slots. So you can get a 40% skill allocation. If you discount the aggro skills, you can have 45% allocation. You probably don't need the 13 in SP passive, which increases that to a 49% allocation.
I know that doesn't sound like much, but it means you can probably max out every skill that has 5-6 allocation slots, and can also halfway max out those which have the insane 20 or 18 skill point allocations. You also don't technically have to max the HP passive.
And then, there's also the fact that Skill resets are abundant, meaning you don't necessarily have to stick to one job. A SW pretty much does not have an option, but to follow its one job.
If they go stealth fully, Sentinels can still debunk them, as can Medics, and can any aoe, And on top of that, they lose alot of attack skills doing that, most of which have 9-55 second cooldowns. A Defender's Longest Attack Cooldown is 40 seconds, and the next best is 30 seconds. Most are between 3 and 20 seconds.
Also, Mechs are an exception to any skill build rule. As long as you have a high enhancement weapon, your mech is going to be just as strong, and in some cases stronger, than any other built Defender. I do think they made a good decision to make Iron skin decrease attack, but as it levels up, does it increase or decrease the amount of attack it reduces (havent gotten that far with it yet)?
I do feel more balance in this game, but I'm concerned that at high levels, that balance is destroyed.
I do not hit over 1000, I absolutely wish I did. Unless you're talking about in mech form. Which I do agree is very powerful. But my maximum PvP crits with my biggest skill (ult excluded) is always around 500, fully buffed.
Aggro is required for devilkin overlord, I don't know how well other classes do on titan and strider with tanking. But I'll just use devilkin overlord as reference. Our sw's do not last a minute. (20 seconds in fact +-)
Another reason for aggro is, why the Hard would anyone want to take a defender to a dungeon if it can't keep aggro? Sure, you may have a geared SW and healer. But you might as well replace the defender all together then. But it's still early-game and I'm expecting it to be required on later bosses. Note, the population right now is overgeared for level 29s. If the level cap was higher they wouldn't be +7ing level 29 items.
I hope I'm not misunderstanding this one sentence here, but skill resets? Do you mean for the defender to re-spec with skill resets every time he has a different job to do? eg. pve > respec > pvp, repeat. I probably misunderstood, but with the prices. That is not possible. =P
I'm a hybrid between dps and a tank right now which allows my damage to be higher than the average tank, but I have no capabilities to hold aggro at all. Except titan, which has an easier going aggro scheme it seems. (I afk'd a minute while tanking it once.. I was shocked. :p)
But please, keep in mind. I'm strictly trying to keep my opinion to the current level bracket. As I have not studied the capabilities of other classes, so if I'd talk about any of the later game content my opinion would purely be based on assumptions and speculation. While at the current bracket, I can simply give my point of view. Maybe they are broken late game. Maybe not.
My biggest issue actually are SW's (aside from the whipper hook). In large scale battles, their damage often exceeds the healing I can receive. And they just scratch my eyes out and keep my stun locked from 100% to 0%. (Multiple ones of course)
SW's mostly kill us, punishers are most of the time the fodder that feed. Sentinels stun us but aren't much of a danger besides the stuns, in fact the only good sentinel I've ever met is Dienasty.
Defenders we usually ignore, we let them keep hitting. Most are like bee's. they don't really dent anything. Silence/stun lock is painful though, and mechs do hurt, I admit.
Iron skin damage gets lower on every level. -5% per point from what I've seen till now.
What level is your defender? Mine hurt a lot in the earlier levels, I usually had the most kills and did kill most players in seconds but at level 29 and as people started getting 29's I've noticed my damage decreasing and people being able to tank me for much longer. I strongly encourage you to get yours to 29 if it isn't already and to hit any medic in a tank build. He can probably do a /taunt as you're hitting him (If you don't mech).
Two geared and fully buffed defenders cant kill each other, if they're playing their cards right. Pots will outheal both sides' damage received. :p It's depressing!
But I was really just addressing the current state and level bracket as you mentioned, and wanted to share my opinion why I don't think they're broken (Currently).
Still hoping we'll get information from someone with experience at the later levels, also really curious what the two unlisted defender skills do. :)