Decisions – Healer, Tank or Ranged DPS?

So, yesterday I watched Syiler on TwitchTV exploring the various DPS classes with respect to the amount of damage that they were doing. Although I realise that I will not be involved in the high end raid content, and that the only place I really need to consider my role would be in LFR, I thought it was time to start to consider which role I would be playing in the forthcoming expansion.

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I am going to discount melee DPS due to the reasons I explained early in my raid role post although I do need to level either with a pet or doing melee DPS. What I am going to do is explain my thinking – please don’t think this is a recognisable process that everyone should use, its just helps to record my thoughts

  • Healers – I basically have a 90th level shaman, paladin, monk, priest and, at the moment, an 83rd level druid. All these classes, save the priest, have a melee off spec that I could use for leveling. The priest I can level using their divine shield spell to protect me as I get whacked in close combat, so would be happy with that. The paladin and monk also have a tank spec which, according to my play testing on the beta, is a good leveling spec. The healing role is very tempting although there are some concerns. Firstly is whether I would be able to heal the dungeons and raids – not only with the new spells and rotations but also with my often lacking item level. The second is the need to have two sets of equipment. Although this may not be a problem with the dual stats equipment, it is important when it comes to items such as jewellery and weapons. Also, as I am leveling and a choice of item drops, do I select the melee DPS item or the healing item? Finally there is the issue that if I was ever accepted into a guild, my off spec would be melee DPS which, as mentioned before, at the moment I find difficult to play in a raid situation.
  • Ranged DPS – Options here include the aforementioned shaman, priest and druid but also my warlock and hunter. The latter two have the advantage that they only generally need one set of equipment and I find leveling with a pet a lot easier. The problem here comes with the LFR and dungeon waiting times. People who only ever play DPS will probably not realise the difference in waiting time between this role and that of a tank or healer. It is considerable. I’ve also never been able to ‘master’ a ranged DPS class when it comes to damage on the meters. The first three class also continue to have the difficulties of having to have a different set of gear as well.
  • Tanking– My two classes to tank with would be either the paladin or monk. My druid is currently healer/dps spec and although I have a deathknight it is only 60th level and I have never been able to master the playing style. These classes have a very good wait time for dungeons and raids and effective specs for leveling however I do not feel I know enough about raids and tactics to operate these effectively. It might be that I can actually learn this role which would require time. Within any guild, there appears to be limited number of tanks, and this could have an impact on my raiding – if I manage to get membership in a raiding guild. With the monk, paladin and druid, there is option to have healing as an off spec, although this might complicate the whole situation. After watching Treckie on Twitch he makes tanking look very easy – although I am aware that is this completely deceiving. There is also probably the need to understand all the tank classes in order to truly support a guild and its progression.
  • So that’s it – my current thinking. As usual I am no further forward to deciding what to play although I am considering trying to heal some dungeons within the beta to see how I do. I feel that once I have decided on my role then my application to a guild might be more focused although there is always the challenge that a guild says “we need you to play a…”. Maybe that would solve the indecisiveness.

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