I've had a few arguments back and forth so far about whether or not Windwalker will have a raid spot in 5.2. After my own testing, I have found that our numbers are nothing short of competitive, and the fact that we now have something to "fill the hole" (per se) on fights with 2-3 targets will make us much more desirable.
I've heard a few people in high-end raiding guilds state that they want to have at least 1-2 Windwalkers on their roster - though no more than that. To me, that indicates that we are becoming a strong class. Then there are others who state that our 5.2 numbers mean nothing, and we will be nerfed to the ground if we are able to out-damage rogues - making us less desirable, as we would be a hybrid out-damaging a pure DPS class.
Here are my thoughts:
- Monk itself is a hybrid class in that one can choose 3 different roles (tank, healer, DPS) but the Windwalker role itself is not especially hybrid. Most other hybrid roles are able to use a semi-strong heal (such as Healing Surge, Flash of Light, et cetera) to do quick "off heals" or are able to turn on a buff (Blood Presence, Righteous Fury) in order to tank in a ten second gap (or so). Windwalker can taunt, but not necessarily hold aggro, and our Chi Wave is arguably weaker than, for example, a Ret Paladin's spammable Flash of Light. Because we do not contain that utility, I consider our specialization closer to a "pure" class than Mistweaver (which can damage while heal) or Brewmaster (which can switch to Stance of the Fierce Tiger, though they do more damage in their tank stance). As I mentioned to someone in a raid - having a healing or tank spec does not give a class's spec "utility" - because having them switch is not bringing that class.
- Because our offhealing is arguably weak, and our offtanking (while decent) is more comparable to a Rogue's evasion tanking, I feel that Windwalkers should be able to do competitive numbers. We do not have a raid-wide cooldown such as Skull Banner or Stormlash Totem, and as I mentioned, our hybrid functionality is much weaker than that of other classes.
- Of course, there are PvP concerns. But then - even Rogues have recuperate.
Overall, I'm not sure how fair or unfair my assessment is. It does enter into utility - which is something I'm attempting to avoid, but let's face it - most Windwalker discussions come down to that. I also feel that Windwalkers are incredibly underrepresented in PvE, including high-end content where I find many (including myself) benched in favor of another class such as Rogue or Death Knight.
I guess the ironic thing is that I typically do very competitive numbers in my own raid =/ But - that's not enough reason to really justify a raid spot. Do I just have too much hope for us in 5.2? Are our moments of "utility" just too "anything I can do another class can do better"? Or are other people just mislead?