In terms of design elements that have been problematic over the course of World of Warcraft
's existence, the idea of hybrid classes and what, exactly, they should be able to do has always been one of them. When the game first debuted, two hybrids - priests and warriors - weren't even treated
like hybrids. Priests were considered healers, with their two healing spects (holy and disc) while shadow was barely utilized, and warriors were not only nearly the only
tanking class (druids and paladins could tank, but warriors were the unrelentingly favorite choice in classic WoW
) and they were designed as a pure DPS class as well, not balanced as a hybrid, in their DPS roles.
Over the course of the years and years since classic (seven of them, to be exact) we've seen hybrid classes rise to ascendancy. The way hybrids were balanced for pure DPS changed to be much closer to pure DPS classes, and since all
healers and tanks are hybrids there's been competition between each for both of these roles (considering that the two new classes added during WoW
's life, death knights and monks, are both tanks and monks are also healers, competition has been necessary) making hybrids more attractive. However, it was really the addition of dual spec that made hybrids start to live up to the ideal of the hybrid class - with dual spec specialization, a druid can choose to have a tanking and healing, or tanking and ranged DPS, or healing and melee DPS specialization ready to be selected at the touch of a button.
However, it's never as easy as all that. Yes, a paladin can have a ret and protection spec, or protection and holy, or holy and ret ready to go. But he or she still needs to gear
said spec. If you intend to heal for you raiding, tank for five mans and flex, and go ret for fun you'd actually not only need to hit a trainer from time to time to drop a spec, you'd also need three
sets of gear ready to go. And it is this very limitation, so woven into the fabric of the game over the past few years that I myself have almost entirely forgotten about it, that is about to be bent further than it ever has been
Make no mistake - Warlords of Draenor
will change not only what stats we want on gear, but how we use