I noticed this on the forums today, posted by Bashiok:
For Savage Defense the change we’re thinking about would probably be instead of reducing the next physical attack for X damage, it would instead absorb X damage for some duration. Big single target hits would probably drop the shield either way, but all the dinkier hits from pack pulls would be mitigated rather well. It’s probably something you’ll see fleshed out on the PTR.
Here’s the source.
I vaguely remember the initial implementations of Savage Defense working something like this, causing constant absorbs so that druids took almost no damage from trash packs. That was an unintended bug at the time, and was fixed. I think this was a latency issue rather than a shield that was depleted by multiple hits though.
This new proposal sounds like a Death Knight’s Blood Shield. Death Knights have some interesting mechanics they can use to maximize the size of the shield but also have constraints on how often they can create one, and I wonder if there will be any changes like that for druids? It’s probably more likely that the mechanic will stay the same from the level of interaction a player has with it (ie. almost none) and that the size of the shield will be balanced against bosses and trash so that druids do not become significantly better in single target tanking situations.
With this change we’ll go back to the days of trivial soloing of old content instances, as all trash hits are absorbed. There can be quite a bit of cash in some of the old instances, and it’s much quicker to complete them when you manage to pile up all the corpses in one heap 🙂 It should save on the repair bills from that kind of activity as well.