Secret Design of WoW PvE: Introduction, and a call for comments

The series: [Introduction, and a call for comments, Solo Difficulty vs Group Difficulty, PvE vs PvP, Variety vs Specialization, Solo Performer vs Group Utility, Your role in a PvE raid]

It occurred to me that people who haven't been grouping or raiding a lot don't know what role various classes have in a raid, or of class design in general. You can go read the page on the worldofwarcraft website, but they make every class sound equally great at everything. That's just not the reality of it. So I can keep complaining about how many people get stuck between little knowledge and expanded knowledge, or I can take my shot at fixing it via explanation.

If you don't know how a particular character or spec of a character fits into the group game that follows the leveling game, this is for you.

It's possible to find out everything I'm about to write from various places online, but as far as I know, there's not one place where it's all connected. Most articles are written from the point of view of one class or another; every guide is written by that class, for that class.

This is going to be the top level view, how raid leaders (and possibly Blizzard designers) look at classes and their role in the game.

I write here simply to relay what I've come to understand as the game of WoW as it relates to the PvE endgame. If you disagree with something I'm about to say, that's fine, but please remember that I'm not thinking of any one player, especially you, when I'm writing this. I've read as many internets as I could, led many raids, played too many classes, and this is what I know.

Now, I've raided with a number of classes at high level, but not all of them. I've lead many raids of various sizes, but not all the way through the endgame in either version of WoW. Some of what I'm about to say might be incorrect. Therefore:

Please comment to educate me, and I'll update the articles as necessary.

Hope you enjoy it.

(Someone else can write a "The Secret Design of WoW: PvP" guide or series. I'll be glad to link from it here.)

More Words!