I spend most of my time in SWTOR PvPing these days and my main character is a Jedi Knight Guardian. He's got a balanced tank heavy spec that is able to do some DPS as well but he's more than capable of holding a base or protecting a healer. The problem is, at least on my server, that we're seeing less and less healers wanting to heal. They are complaining that none of the tanks want to do their job. So where have all the tanks gone?
The majority of the Guardians in the guild that I am in are switching to what they call a LOL sweep spec. This spec allows them to do large amounts of damage to groups of people at once by completely specing into all the AOE sweep abilities. Unfortunately this prevents them from being able to be proficient guards and the healers die faster than they can heal. Due to the nature of the Guardian play style, in the past, the Gaurdians were the last true tanks that healers could rely on to protect them. Now that the LOL sweep spec has become popular though, healers are dying as soon as they engage in combat in PvP. Healers are now swapping to DPS spec so that they can last longer in PvP. As a result we are seeing greatly unbalanced teams - sometimes for the good - and sometimes for the bad. I was more than happy to get seven straight wins last night and it was obvious that our opposition was made up of an attempted LOL sweep team with no healers.
In a PvP team you would ideally have a balance of two tanks, two healers, four DPS. In SWTOR, as in other games, certain classes were designed originally to be better in certain roles, Guardian being a heavy armor spec and limited to melee range was far more effective taunting and guarding than attempting to do DPS. Unlike Powertech Bounty Hunters that could do a reasonable amount of ranged DPS and have a good amount of survivability the melee restriction of Guardians gave them a DPS disadvantage due to range restrictions. So Guardians were concentrating on getting their medals by guarding and intercepting and taunting. This has all changed with the LOL sweep spec. Now they are effective AOE damage BUT unfortunately they are ineffective at guarding, leaving healers wide open.
Should there be more awards for protecting and guarding and healing players? It is obvious that DPS classes have a distinct advantage for achieving high medal counts in PvP. Is it this advantage that is forcing tanks and healers away from their role? Do Bioware need to rethink the allocation of medals for both healers and tanks to make matches more balanced? Obviously, the balance needs to be precise, since matches made up of four tanks and four healers can take forever.