Q: A majority of the fights in T11 favored having little or no Melee DPS. Are there plans to fix this? – Merissa (NA), Espiritu (NA)
A: We view this more of a class problem than an encounter problem. It used to be the case that casters really suffered whenever they had to move, which was the penalty they paid in order to make up for the fact that melee took a lot of extra damage. Nowadays, melee classes don’t really take that much extra damage, and we’ve also given casters a number of movement-oriented tools designed to keep their DPS from dropping as much as it used to when they are asked to shoot-and-scoot.
Whenever there are situations in an encounter that encourage grouping, the ranged often move into melee (with the occasional exception for hunters), but melee never move to ranged. Any of the fights that punish clumping also tend to punish melee more. We recognize all of these problems, as do many players, but it’s challenging to address them quickly. For example, without compensation, casters would suffer a lot in PvP if their movement tools were suddenly stripped away.
In the meantime, we don’t want to over-constrain encounter design, or worse, make it feel very formulaic by getting to the point where players expect the “melee fight” to be followed by the “adds fight,” followed by the “Patchwerk fight,” then the “ranged fight.” We’re making sure that melee have some fights where they can shine in Firelands. To use just one example, the Sons of Flame on Ragnaros tend to be better handled by melee than ranged.
I can accept viewing it as more of a class problem to a certain extent, but you follow up with explaining unwillingness to make class changes address problems.
Also, the "melee take more damage - ranged don't move and dps well" is only a secondary issue with T11 content.
The primarily issue centers on the ability to participate in key fight mechanics. If a guild struggles to down adds that cannot be safely attacked from melee range, they are strongly encouraged to stack more ranged to make the fight easier. If melee cannot easily meet positioning requirements for a fight that a guild is having trouble with, they are encouraged to stack more ranged. If melee looses a lot of uptime having to switch targets across a room... Or, a difficult fight is shortened by dpsing a boss in the air, unreachable by melee... T11 is strewn with such situations, with very few situations where a melee makes the fight easier to complete.
Another secondary issue is multi-dotting favoring certain classes, none of which are melee. Multi-dotting may be a good candidate for class tweaks rather than encounter, which may be your preference. Certainly, multi-dotting is potentially fun and involving for those who can do it, as is cleaving for melee, so I would hate to see opportunities for it removed from future encounters entirely.
Since the only solution to the primary issue, participation in key mechanics, is encounter design, encounter mechanics need to be flexible enough that 10 man raid groups can run groups that are either ranged or melee heavy depending on their players available rather than rigid requirement on dps type.
A great example of an involving and challenging raid mechanic that is still flexible to role is the Ice Tombs on Sindragosa. They definitely required a lot of coordination and involvement, yet were extremely flexible to being handled by any role of dps.
I am encouraged with the acknowledgement of the disparity between ranged/melee and the suggestion of at least one key mechanic where melee may outshine ranged, however the quoted response doesn't seem to indicate clarity in viewing the primary cause of the disparity.