Lets assume that the next Xpac will provide a 4th spec.
What will they be? What can they be?
Warriors already have 2 DPS Specs, and a Tanking Spec.
Their trees cover 2x2H DPS; 2x1H DPS, 2H DPS and Sword and Board Tanking.
As a Melee class, they are fairly well rounded. Whats missing is the "Mastery of all Weapons" bit - so could we see a Plate Ranged class?
As a melee class, Warriors already fill two roles. Could they gain a third via a "Combat Medic" style specialisation?
4th spec options: Ranged Physical DPS: Sniper. Healing: Combat Medic.
Mages have three ranged Spell DPS specs.
Do we need three specs? Could Fire and Frost be Merged into an Elementalist build? Should the trees be renamed? Fire appears to be a WC3 style Blood Mage in many ways.
As a Spell DPS, Mages have just one role they can fill. In the novels, however, Mages are shown engaging in minor healing activities. Could we see a fourth healing spec? Or the Timewarping Arcane revamped for that role? Perhaps a melee DPS role could be reward enough
4th spec options: Healing: Chronomancer. Ranged DPS: Spellbow. Melee DPS: BattleMage/Spellsword
Rogues have three melee Physical DPS Specs.
Again...are three similar specs needed? Can they be merged?
As a melee DPS, the Rogue fills just one role. But the archetype itself leands itself to others. Could we see a Ranged DPS class, helping give competition for AGI Bows and Guns? A leather wering AGI based class with stealth capability? The traditional Ranger? Or could the space be there for a tanking class of some sort? And what about the spy and saboetur roles embodied by SI:7? Or the possibility of Light infantry? The class also embodies some of the concepts of the Bard. Could we see a Rogue develop a use for that singing voice? The bard as a Rogue Healing spec?
4th spec options: Ranger. Tank. Bard/Healer
The Hunter is a Ranged combat specialist with a pet and mail armor. That, to me, isn't an archetype easily filled. Again, we have three specs but do we need all three? What if the Pet was moved entirely into BeastMastery? Then we'd have a Petless Ranged DPS spec and room for a melee DPS Spec. With the Hunters emphasis on traps, there'd be room there for a D3 style Demon Hunter, and perhaps a Shadow hunter or Dark Ranger.
4th spec options: Pet based Tanking: BeastMastery. Petless Ranged DPS: Dark Ranger. Melee: Shadow Hunter
Shaman - Tank spec
Shaman, OTOH, is easy to accomodate.
Fire - Melee DPS Water - Healing Air - Ranged DPS Earth - Tanking
4th Spec options: Tank: Earth Warden
Priests have two healing trees and a Ranged Spell DPS tree. Fairly well covered.
Does the class need these tree? Disc and Holy are styles of healing and all three are forms of casting. Buff Holys shields a bit, make Shadowform a stance and perhaps you can get away with 1 tree. What else? What if we made Discipline the Melee DPS Spec it was originally intended to be. Could we see the priests as a Monk style fighter? Or how about a "Ninja" as a cloth tank?
4th spec options: Melee DPS:Acolyte
Warlock, like Shamans are easy. Three Ranged Spell DPS specs leaves them well covered in that role. Whats open is tanking, healing and melee. Healing seems a bit outside the Warlock theme, but not beyond it. A suitable Demon could be summoned, the Healthstone mechanics expanded upon. The most plausible fourth role, hwoever, seems to be a melee based tank centered around Metamorphosis. Y'all know where I'm headed.
4th spec option: Melee Tanking: Demon Hunter. Demon based healing: Mystic Theurge
Three specs, three roles. It seems possible for Paladins to collapse those into 1 combined DPS/Tank melee spec and 1 healer/caster spec, relying on Seals and other mechanics to balance them.
Paladins cover Sword and Board Tanking, 2H DPS and healing. There is perhaps room to grow. 1H and Shield DPS, 1H DPS and 2H tanking seem plausible options. Some of these COULD be provided for via a single talent/ability akin to SMF or TG. Blizzard also seemed interested in providing for Melee healing...which could be attached to Ret or Holy or its own spec. Most plausible would be a Ranged Spell DPS spec.
4th Spec options: Ranged Spell DPS. Inquisitor.
Death Knight - Healing
Three specs, two roles. It also has the option for a pet. DPS and tanking seems covered, although as before a new spec for a new style is possible. A healing spec is a possibility, but seems unlikely. A Ranged DPS Lich spec or a Pet centered caster spec (Necromancer) seem much more likely - th lich less so so as to avoid comparison with the aladin.
4th spec options: Pet Based Caster: Necromancer. Ranged Spell DPS.Lich.
The Monk has 4 focii but only three specs. Tanking. Melee DPS. Healing. Ranged DPS via the Crane seems likely, with both physical and spell based as plausible options. Maybe this would be a good place for the Spellbow?
4th Spec options: Cranedancer: Ranged DPS