I played all roles this weekend. I tanked for a few T11 raids on my Druid (throne and BoT) who is still in need of gear with 4 318 pieces and 2 PvP pieces, but had no issues. I healed for a firelands run on my shaman and I DPSed for another firelands run on my hunter.
I've always said that playing all roles makes you a better player in any role you play. If you are a DPS then knowing the issues a tank might need to deal with will let you know how the mob will be moved, so you can move accordingly. Being a healer would let you know when the spike damages come and when things are avoidable and when things aren't. Being a tank you're the perfect position to feel when the big hits will be, what is avoidable and what you are going to need a cooldown on.
All this translates into you playing your role better when you do it. After tanking and knowing when those big hits are coming you can plan your big heals to land at the right time so much easier when you are healing. After DPSing a boss and knowing what areas give line of sight for range it makes you a better tank in the sense that you can position the mobs better so your DPS can get to them. Learning the patterns of when avoidable damage comes is a lot easier as a healer, you know, things are more noticeable when you are the one that has to heal it, which in turn helps you as a DPS knowing when to move to avoid it.
Playing every role helps the others. It really is a holy trinity and that is why they call it that. Each role helps the other. One problem I see however is that there is a burden put on one role more then any other. The role of dealing damage.
After playing all three roles again this weekend it has done nothing but increased my belief that DPS is without a doubt the hardest role in the game to play.
While the fact might remain we did not experience many wipes when I was tanking on my druid (2) or when I was healing on my shaman (1) it does not change the fact that whenever their is an issue, any issues, there is always a call for more DPS.
When the fight gets healing intensive what do you say? Come on people, burn burn burn. It is an effort in the DPS downing the boss before the healers run out of mana or just can't keep up with the incoming damage any more.
There never seem to be any enrage issues and in all honestly I think the only time I have ever seen enrage timers is when we are first learning a fight. Once you learned a fight you will never come close to a timer again. But that, the enrage timer, is again, a DPS issues. It is the perfect case of, need more DPS.
When having issues with a boss most people blame the tank or the healer. Tank is not geared for this. Healer can not keep up with the damage.
Call me different. I blame the DPS. The faster the boss goes down the less chances their are for errors.
Someone get caught in something that was avoidable 3 minutes into the fight and it caused a wipe? That is the fault of the DPS. If they had downed it faster that mistake would have never happened.
Healer ran out of mana? Blame the DPS. A healers mana is a soft enrage timer, much stricter then the in game one, DPS need to be able to down the boss on that timer. Not the in game one.
Tank having issues on the burn phase do to increased boss AP or speed? Then DPS faster so the tank does not run out of cooldowns and die before the boss does. Simple solution if you ask me.
Tanking & healing is easy in a raid group (still not so much with random people because random people are stupid) and anyone that tells you any different is lying.
Sure, there will be some fights where tanking or healing become a challenge but the real challenge is always firmly placed on the shoulders of the DPS.
Tanks and healers can only do what they are capable of doing. A damage dealer can do better, always do better.
At least 10 times a raid night I hear myself saying, we need more DPS here or there or whatever. I rarely ever see myself in a position of saying the healer can not handle it or the tank can not handle it. Usually when it comes down to saying the healer or tank can not handle it is it not a gear issue, it is a skill issue, no offense to them, but they are not good enough to do it and no amount of gear is going to help them.
See, that is the key right there, "it is a skill issue".
The skill required to be a passable tank in a controlled environment like a raid is low, really low.
The skill required to be a passable healer in a controlled environment like a raid is much higher then being a tank, but it is still quite low.
The required skill to be a passable damage dealer in a controlled environment like a raid is maybe equal to a healer.
The real different is the difference between passable and good.
For a tank the difference is unnoticed by the group around them. A good tank does everything the passable tank does, they are just better at it and thus the job is less stressful for them. Sometimes to the point of being boring. I can not count the number of times I have had tanks say they could fall asleep at the keyboard.
For a healer the difference is noticed by the group as they all have a bit more more health but the end result is the same. Everyone is alive, just with more health. So the difference between passable and good healer, while noticeable, is not really needed, everyone lives either way.
For a damage dealer the difference in noticeable, amazingly noticeable. Passable DPS will get the boss down. It will take time, you will be on the edge of your chair at all moments, a wipe is just one mistake away. At any moment a kill can be a repair bill with passable DPS. When you have good DPS the difference is like night and day. That barely made it kill becomes a laugh fest because things go down so fast with good DPS.
I've noticed somewhere along the line this expansion that it is not so much the content that is harder but the players that are worse.
The content is not really all that hard. Once you learn the fight it is just a matter of going through the motions. What makes it hard is the fact that the DPS requirements to make things "easy" is a lot higher then it had been in past raids.
DPS are the most important role in the raid and will mean the difference between a successful raid and a failed raid most of the time.
The problem is, there are not enough good DPS out there. There are still people coming into firelands doing 10K and thinking they are good.
A guild mate just dinged a new 85 and we took it to firelands for some rep and he was doing 10K and was quite proud of himself. In all honesty 10K right at hitting 85 is not bad and is really better then a fair amount of the player base, in better gear, but I had to give him crap about it. I said to him, sure it is not bad, for a Zul maybe.
We all got a good laugh out of it and he knew we where just teasing with him. 10K is fine and in truth we downed stuff in firelands on an alt run with people doing just barely above that since the nerfs but that does not change the fact that 10K is bad, horrible bad, should not even be allowed to zone into firelands type of bad.
In the end, to make pugging better for the whole world (or warcraft) we need more DPS.
Everyone likes to say DPS is easy, some even say it is the easiest role in the game. They are wrong. DPS is hard, it is the hardest role in the game.
There is always stuff going around on how to fix raids, how to fix pugs, how to make things more inclusive.
The answer to that is fixed by addressing the issue in my topic. We need more DPS.
Make DPS easier. There is no reason why I see one hunter doing 6K and another doing 26K while both are wearing the same gear. That is why pugs fail. You never know which hunter you are getting.
The biggest thing missing in this game is the quality of the damage dealers.
We need more DPS.
At least more good ones.
No more 370 item level 5K DPS boomkins, rogues, and paladins please.
More good DPS.