| Math just isn't nice considering one possible formula makes evasion God, and makes the shield and parry skills worthless. This was 2.0.|
The second possible formula makes shield useful, but also pretty necessary if your enemies are using ranged attacks. This is what we have with 3.0.
The third possible formula available allows parry to help against ranged attacks, but must be tempered so as to not make shield a worthless skill again. This is what I've selected to pursue for now...
Players are just BEGGING to need only 1 defense. If I had a million dollars I'd hire the 10 coders and spend the next 6 months making a generic "defending" skill, and stick ARMOR skills in with SURVIVALS. Then we'd figure out what to do with Paladins, Traders, Rangers and Barbarians that use the Armor skillset. Messaging would ultimately just be "fluff" as there would be no parry, evasion or shield skills.
Of course, with this approach shield type no longer matter, nor does weapon balance. DFA goes away, etc. Some Guilds would lose out substantially as they no longer have an easy to train defense available to them. Others win, as the harder to train defense goes away. Like I said, million bucks, 10 coders, 6 months. Maybe we'd improve it... but I really think it'd just be a bigger mess and DR would lose in the end :P