I was playing on my shaman in WoW earlier doing the Isle of Thunder dailies and the thought struck me that actually this character spends most of his active play hours in his secondary damage dealer spec (Elemental). The sad thing is healer specs for most if not all classes are hyper specialised in WoW – they are next to useless at doing the usual job of adventurers, that is killing monsters.
Especially in more recent WoW content the story ‘boss’ monsters have such wildly inflated health pools that trying to kill them as a healer would be painful if not impossible. The reasons for this are complex and lie in the history of the game’s many expansions. But it has resulted in a bonus feature – dual spec, being a required feature for healers and some tanks as well. To do the story quests, which are tuned in difficulty and pace to damage dealers, you need a DPS spec to be able to efficiently finish it all.
I compare this situation with that in Tera. In Tera my priest *is* a healer, full stop. There’s no equivalent of the DPS spec for him. He is expected to heal and damage in equal measure. Perhaps his damage output isn’t that of a sorcerer (another ranged spellcaster class in Tera) but he can mete out some serious damage at least in short bursts. I have no issues questing with him as a healer.
It’s nice to be playing my class as intended from level 1 upward without needing to take one completely different build for leveling and another for group content or the end game!