Im sure the Barb will be able to use shields, but i sincerely doubt he will have any specialised skills related to it, basically because he isnt a defensive warrior. sword and board defensive play will likely be the domain of the expansion class night/templar etc
My favorite melee characters are tanks.
I don't think he should have shield-specific skills, in the same way that I don't think he should have axe-specific or mace-specific skills. I'm glad those passives are gone.
But there are active skills (and traits) that he has available that synergize well with a shield. Taunt, for instance. Especially in conjunction with the shout that increases armor values.
The post by Flex on the main page got me to thinking. Should Barbs have shield skills? I would much rather see them only using 2handed and DW. I say leave the shield skills for another class.
I totally agree with this. A barb's defense should be his offense, he doesn't need to hide behind a shield. Heavy damage, high life and warcries should make up for it. Imagining all my favorite barbarians, shields are not for me.
Only barb I've ever used a shield on is a pure berserker, last but not least shield on barbs reminds me of those sad bvas that sit on their shield, only to hunt bvcs, because he dies to any other class. I'd do anything to avoid shields on a barb.