Ferrel's a bit disappointed that his plate Templar healer isn't actually that much more durable than EQ2's other healing classes. EQ2's especially vulnerable to this kind of homogenization because the game has so many classes that it's very easy to end up with too many niches. It's not alone by any stretch, however, just today the crab is talking about the same type of issue in WoW.
Fury Warrior Vs Ret Pally
With my warrior now on the move once again, I decided to dust off the old Ret Paladin to see how the two classes compare hitting Northrend content around level 70. The first thing I had to do was gut and overhaul the Paladin's keybindings, as he had previous been a bizarre spell power Prot/Ret hybrid and I had never fully updated him to the Wrath era. Having literally just logged off the Warrior, I ended up with a very similar key layout.
The crucial keybinds that I am most likely to use when soloing one or more normal mobs are:
2: Heroic Strike (single target, burns excess rage)
3: Bloodthirst (single target, triggers a self-heal)
Shift+3: Slam (single target, ONLY used when a specific talent triggers, making it instant cast)
4: Whirlwind (AOE)
2: Crusader Strike (single target)
3: Judgement of Wisdom (single target, triggers mana regen)
Shift+3: Exorcism (single target, used to burn excess mana ONLY when a specific talent triggers, making it instant cast)
4: Divine Storm (AOE, triggers a self-heal)
There are substantial differences between the two classes - for example, the Paladin has many more healing and buffing skills beyond the passive ones, and the Warrior has multiple stances and more defensive tools as a non-tanking spec. From my perspective DPS'ing solo mobs, however, the end results are very similar - both guys can kill multiple mobs at once while regenerating their health and resources (mana or rage) pretty indefinitely, using a very similar set of key bindings.
I haven't played a Death Knight since the Wrath beta, and their current rune system probably requires more than four buttons on a typical fight, but, again, the end result is pretty similar based on what I remember - DPS with enough passive mitigation and self-healing to keep on killing.
Eliminating diversity for laziness?
It's possible that I'm working on the wrong melee alt at the moment. The one melee experience that's really different from the above is what I have on the rogue, who is specced for Subtlety. With this spec, the first mob is dead within 4 seconds of my sneak attack and the rest of the pull is attempting to survive long enough to mop up.
Ironically, rogues don't like to level as Subtlety, because stealth is too much work; why sneak when you can evasion tank and burn stuff down faster than it can hit them like some more agile version of Fury Warriors, Ret Pallies, and Death Knights? Blizzard has announced plans to grant Rogues their wish, with Cataclysm changes aimed at making the use of stealth while leveling more optional, and adding a way for Rogues too to burn their passively generated resource for self-healing.
I suppose that this change was inevitable, as Rogues were the only class left that did not have some way of healing themselves (or their pets, in the case of Hunters). Perhaps the intent is to make each individual class a bit more responsible for their own self-healing, to lessen the burden on healers and thereby lower the entry bar a little bit for players who are new to that role.
Even so, I'm a bit concerned that the homogenization is getting a bit much. It's starting to feel like all the melee characters are going to be played exactly the same way, with different graphics. What's the point of having so many classes if that's where we're going?