Of course asking a question like that will be bound to get different answers from everyone because it is opinion based but there would have to be some baseline where people do meet in their opinions.
What class mechanics do you think are best?
I'll start with the resources.
There is mana, rage, focus, energy, runes, chi, etc. The list can go on and on, even combo points, holy power, and the like are actually resources. Which do you think is best?
I did not like the change to focus when hunters first got it. It removed one of the things I loved about hunters. We could provide burst on demand for target switching or PvP with mana whereas focus is a limited resource, extremely limited at that. You can't just pound off 10 big shots in a row with it. Heck, you can not pound off 3 shots in a row with it and that was initially a turn off for me.
As time has passed I would have to consider focus to be one of the resources I would seriously consider as the best resource in the game. Sure, being caught with none makes you feel useless, just like needing rage and having none, being out of mana, or basically waiting on energy for what seems like an eternity. But with the one focus class there are still some things you can do and one of them will even help you generate your focus back slightly faster.
Mana is a resource that just seems natural to me but that is probably because it is the main resource in basically every fantasy game you will ever play. It is a staple. My biggest problem is that it is a limited resource. Sure it can be managed but the game is not fun when you are playing conservation all the time, at least not in my opinion. In no area more than healing is mana annoying because of its limited quantity. As such, while mana is the most comfortable or resources it could very well be the worst. All other resources are not as limited as mana is.
But at least mana can be managed. It is not energy. The dreadfully slow generating resource of rogues and feral druids that basically keep me from playing them more than anything else. Hey, I am a button masher and I like to always be doing something. I can't with energy so while I might have issues with the limited resources of mana it will have to step aside for energy when it comes to winning the award for worst resource in the game.
How about them buttons?
Do you prefer a class with a lot of buttons you need to hit all the time or a few buttons? Maybe you like the classes with a whole mess of long cooldowns and a few buttons. Or a class with a lot of small cooldowns but an otherwise simple selection of abilities.
As a hunter I am not fond of the current design of 101 abilities, not because it eats up a ton of key binds but because it makes all abilities feel small and powerless. It does however fill one of my likes in the game being a button masher, with 101 buttons and a resource that I can self generate there is always something for me to press. And for new hunters that is the problem, being there is always something to hit there is always a chance to make an error and hit the wrong thing.
When I tested out shadow priest DPS for the first time ever this expansion I was surprised what it felt like to play a class with so few buttons after the changes to hunters. I've actually started to rebel against the 101 buttons and have been enjoying the priest, shaman and rogue lately for the simplicity.
The beauty with fewer buttons, to me at least, is that the "big ability" actually feels powerful. With many abilities, to even things out, you can not have the big ability doing huge damage because it would make that one class over powered. So I would have to say, for sake of feel and game play I like lesser buttons. Not because it is easier, but because hitting that big ability just feels more rewarding when there are only 3 or 4 other abilities between it instead of 13.
Building, DoTing or bashing, which feels better?
You have the building classes. Build combo points to cast a finisher, build chi for a power shot, build holy power for a more powerful ability, build stacks of arcane power before your bigger shot, build rage to use defensive cooldowns.
You have the DoTing classes, with lots of debuffs you need to keep going, or self buffs too. Like the warlock or shadow priest or feral druid with their personal buff and DoTs on the mob.
You have the bashing classes where they might have a little building and a little DoT to worry about but it is more attacking that it is all about, the buffs and / or debuffs kind of take care of themselves.
I like the bashing class. Hunters are mostly a bashing class. Sure they have one DoT they need to worry about and any other DoT they might throw on kind of takes care of itself as it is part of the normal rotation. No upkeep needed for black arrow or explosive shot other than firing it. That is more enjoyable, for me. No worries, just do your job, kill stuff.
As far as the absolute worst class in the game for things they need to worry about that award needs to go to the feral druid. Self buff they need to keep up, a few DoTs they need to keep up, combo points, refreshers, finishers, all that and a rotation too. No thank you blizzard. When playing feral I feel like I spend the entire fight watching buffs, DoTs and debuffs and never actually beating the mob up. The mob is just there to use as an instrument to keep my stuff up and rolling. Yeah, no thanks. Worst class in the game for feel is a feral druid. I never feel like I am a team player or I am beating up the boss, I always feel like I am watching timers and making sure to keep everything up at all times and that alone is a full time job. Sure, the good numbers do come with doing all that but it doesn't feel fun. Not at all.
So in my opinion just bashing feels the best for a damage dealer but can also be the most boring once you have got it down. So some minor building or DoTing might be nice even for the bashing classes. At the moment however, when it comes to what feels best in game, I would be left to say, nothing. Not one single class in game feels good right now with how it is played, not even my beloved hunter. But hunter does remain the best but I am a bit bias there.
How about healing?
I have yet to delve too deep into monk healing but as I get closer to 90 I am reading up more and more on it and am left to wonder what drugs the people on the creative department are smoking. We are talking about a player base here that can not handle the maze in LFR. Even the people that say, put a marker on me I know what to do, routinely lead people straight to their death. The player base is horrible and sooner or later blizzard is going to have to acknowledge that and accept that they can not and will not ever get better or learn, they are children of the modern age and they expect things to be given to them without work and effort. So why make a healing class with three resources, all that work off each other?
I am looking forward to hitting 90 and trying healing. I look forward to the challenge. But I can already tell that it is something that can become overwhelming frustrating quickly. So monks that have been healing can give their thoughts on that. I'll just leave mine to all I have read about healing and label monks as the absolute worst healing class in the game, mechanic and feel wise.
Now to play and the ones I have played. I have never been a fan of the druid healing model. HoTs are nice, but it seems to be the focus point for druids. I gave up on healing with them in early cataclysm and never looked back. But when 5.3 comes out I intend to go healing again on my druid thanks to being able to choose what type of gear you get. I refuse, with a passion, to tank LFR but I do not mind healing it as much, so I will make a healing set and heal it for my tank gear.
Paladins are the same for me. Love the tank spec, hate the healing spec, but I will roll heals for the LFR alone. Not sure exactly why it is that I dislike paladin healing. It has always been powerful, even over powered. Has been for an extremely long time. But I am not about playing the flavor of the month. I don't like the feel of paladin healing.
Now priest healing feels right. They have a lot of tools, too many if you ask me, but they can do a bit of everything. They can raid heal, tank heal, spot heal, DPS and heal, they can do it all. They are a solid healing model. However, I choose the lesser of the two healing specs, disc. I know, it is powerful, but it is still the lesser of the two even if it is doing better than holy at the moment.
The reason I like disc is I really enjoy the play style. I enjoy preemptive healing and they are masters of that. Their shields are very powerful and in random content like the LFR if you are a good disc priest the other healers will all have low numbers, not because you are so good, but because of the mechanics of the disc priest. A good disc priest makes everybodies life easier. I think the disc direct heals can really use a boost. Their big heals do not do nearly half as much as the other classes but I guess when played correctly the shields do compensate a fair deal for that. Either way, disc healing is a great deal of fun and I like the mechanics of it.
Last but not least, the shaman healer. The class I labeled the best 5 man healer in the game a long time ago and still the one I think is the best 5 man healer in the game. They have more tools than all the other healing classes that do not actually count as heals, like an interrupt. If an ability is going to do 2M damage divided among the group and you interrupt it, you have effective healed for 2M with one spell. I believe all healers should have an interrupt. I believe it should be off the global cooldown so they can cast it at any time. Interrupting is basically healing before healing is needed to be done. Stopping 2M damage from happening is the same as healing for 2M. Why don't all healers have interrupts? No, seriously. It is a healing spell.
But all the other shaman tools, not just that, are why I think shaman are the best 5 man healer. CC, slows, added DPS, an off tank, even instant revival if they die. Plus their heals are made for small groups tightly spaced and together. Healing raid and chain heal are perfect for 5 mans.
Does this extend to raids? Yes and no. If you want to have a lot of shaman healers in your raid you really need to have a group of people that are smart enough to stand in places that will benefit from the shaman healing style. So they could be good.
Play style wise, shaman are the best. They have a lot of tools and are very new player friendly. If you have never healed and would like to heal this is the class to learn on. It is a simple healing rotation and has many powerful tools to use in a pinch. Can't really say it gets much better than that mechanics wise. But I can see how the massive amount of tools they have can really scare new healers off. But like I said, stick with just the basic heals and in a 5 man a shaman will be just fine and can take the time to learn how to use all those tools.
The simple one type of heal for every situation is why the mechanics of being a shaman make them the best healing class in the game mechanics wise as I see it. Simple and complex all in one package so anyone from the beginner to the advanced player can get a lot out of it.
What about tanking?
Just like monk healing I have no experience monk tanking. I do not level in dungeons and felt like trying the DPS spec while leveling. On a side note, monk DPS is nice and simple and easy and extremely over powered when done correctly. Just thought I would say that.
I do however tank on all other tank classes. My warrior however I have left for dead. It just does not feel the same as well as feeling under powered compared to the other tank classes. My paladin feels okay but the loss of righteous defense makes me want to never tank on it again every time I think of it. It was a simple ability, a taunt off a target ability, and I loved it. Why did they lose a mechanic like that? When taking I think we need more simple mechanics like that.
My only active tank is my druid. Even my DK I do not tank on all that often. I like the rage changes some, not much. I do miss the gaining rage when getting hit. That made sense. But I do like the generating rage using abilities, the problem is, it always feels like it is not enough. But an incarnation with mangle spam and frenzied regeneration can keep me up through anything allowing the healers to concentrate on others. So I really can not complain in all cases even if I do miss the fact rage used to be tied to damage.
I can't rightfully say anything has changed with the DK model since the change to all tanking models being DKs were always designed as an active mitigation class and while many seem to dislike that model I love it. I find it bring a lot to the role of tank and puts my survivability a little more in my own hands.
I like the active mitigation model but I still believe it needs a little work to make it better. At the moment there are no tank classes I would say work well or smooth. They all have their moments. DKs might be the best of the bunch but that bunch is a bunch of badly designed class abilities thrown together. So the new style can be a winner but it just hasn't reached that point yet in my opinion.
What class types do you like?