Over all I do have to say I am extremely excited about the game. I wake up every day wondering if new information will be released. When I wake up I almost feel like an addict needing more and moar information about the game, when it will be available, new art, new... anything involving the game!
The one thing that has me concerned is the fact that there is no longer a dedicated Healer class. They have assured us that the mechanics of the game will not need such a class, and that each individual class will have some sort of healing ability to aid their person/party.
One of the explanations to the reason of doing away with the Healing class was that people dislike waiting for parties. In Guild Wars we sat around in many different districts, spamming chat LFP/LPG or LFM or something along those lines. Often there were even groups that could do without a healer, and I bet they stood waiting looking for that 8th person to complete their group. I cant say that the reason people stood around looking for a healer was because their was a lack of healers (everyone had heroes and henchmen which a properly used hero could heal as well as any live healer) the game was full of them plain and simple.
This brings me back to the "waiting around LFG/LFP" the mechanics of Guild Wars were not setup so that you can easily (all though they tried to aid in making it easier) to look for a party or a group.
I have been gaming for YEARS and can honestly say that through those years of gaming I never have once had to wait around in an "Area" or "World" or "Party" chat waiting to find a healer. The mechanics of Guild Wars 2 (no longer being based off of instances) makes the "LFP/LFG" much easier. So why do away with the Healing class? There is always going to be a lack of some class, or players available causing people to LFG/LFP.
Infact I bet the game will find that their will be even more LFG/LFP as cities and towns will likely no longer have districts, their will still be the AFK'ers, the people who want to socialize, and people off in their own little world, people who want to do things solo, and people unsure of what they want to do next, people looking to do specific quests, and people looking to help with Personal Stories, the list goes on.
So my question is, if once Guild Wars 2 is released and after some time everyone realizes that we are STILL looking for parties and having to wait.. will Healers make a return in a future expansion?
We've seen so many skill changes in Guild Wars, I'm sure it would be just as easy to test out skill changes for each profession to tone down their healing, allowing Healers to be useful.
If Healers make a return, something has to change from the regular healing class, press 1 to heal X for H so on and so on. Healers need a challenge, something new and innovative like the rest of Guild Wars 2. A lot of us Healers in Guild Wars made other classes to play simply because, healing got boring, protection got boring, smiting... was near useless. Healers like in Guild Wars 2 could have an attacking attribute such as "Smite" or Holy Damage (or something to give them the ability to do other then heal and be able to solo parts for their own personal story)
- Game play as a healer more challenging such as adding something like the blood sacrifice of a necromancer when a healing spell is cast. (I guess that is similar to the ritualist skill as well)
- Other game skills that decrease the effectiveness of healing/buffing.
- Healing skill powerups, similar to a game called Return of Warrior/Risk Your Life where you held the skill key down untill it reached a certain point to select the amount of healing, full charge was a large AOE/Party heal.