I just started experimenting with making my nimble but strong bandit wear much heavier armor along with the wolf ring and greatshield. All of these things raised my poise from 0 to 100. There's also the benefit of having a great stability rating that goes hand-in-hand.
I had a vague idea of what being a tank felt like, but it's better than I imagined. It's like I'm playing a completely different game.
I never flinch and my animations are rarely interrupted by quick attacks. I can just wade for multiple hits, without worrying much about stun locking. Even heavy enemies actually get stunned bouncing off of my shield, which leaves huge openings. My guard never breaks and I'm rarely knocked down.
Some of this is because of high stability rating and good endurance stas obviously, but it's really poise that makes the whole thing gel together. It makes up for being slow by being completely unflinching.
I went from a character who would weave in and out of attacks to avoid damage, to one that just takes it full in the face and laughs (my vitality isn't even that high). It's a different experience to just walk up to anyone, even giant enemies with no fear. It's like controlling a boss monster. I like it.
Just saying, I'm a fan of this addition to the game.