We know there is shortage of tanks and healers to allow the masses of DPS to run Raid Finder and heroic 5 man content and that is in part because the roles of tanks and healers are more highly pressurised. This is because a 5 man needs only 1 tank and 1 healer and therefore any slack is instantly noticed compared to 1 of the 3 DPS who can be carried by the other 2 performing the same role. In LFR the gap is even bigger for tanks and slightly less for healers but again DPS get away lightly because there are 16 DPS that can carry one slacker.
Blizzard seems to have given up trying to incentivise healers and tanks and have now fixed the problem with scenarios and while that will fix the problem of long queue times for DPS will it fix the problem of too few healers and tanks? I doubt it. In fact I would suspect that it will actually make the issue worse as those DPS that used to queue as healer reluctantly in 5 mans now will switch back to DPS mode.
What I believe will resolve the issue is a different reward system for tanks and healers and not just the Call to Arms
guff we got before, which in my opinion, failed horribly. What would work is extra rewards in terms of valor points, say an extra 25% when you queue up as a tank and healer. To avoid people abusing the system, it would be necessary for people to be automatically respecced into their tank/healing spec upon zoning into the instance and then being locked into the spec until they zone out of that instance.
The other issue that such a reward system would create is that tanks and healers would cap faster than DPS and then not queue, therefore a possible solution would be for these extra points to be added to the cap so if a tank/healer chooses to earn all their valor via LFR/LFD they would end up with a 1250 weekly valor cap. This would enable them to gear up slightly faster and then spend their valor points on off-spec gear which gives them a better experience outside of the dungeons and raids.
As a healer such a system would not encourage me to change my play style but then I predominantly play tanks and healers because I like fast queues and am not afraid of the pressure. However, I suspect the lure of extra loot would encourage some DPS to go beyond their comfort zone and actually try out these vital roles and discover that it really is neither scary nor hard.
I’d love to know your views on this suggestion, especially if you are a serial DPS player. Would this system make you more likely to heal or tank? If not why not? And what would encourage you to try tanking/healing? If nothing would encourage you why not?