I think this is the most common discussion when two or more WoW maniacs try to smalltalk. What’s harder – tanking or healing? I’ve seen this question yesterday again over there at WorldOfMatticus und thought about it on my way home.The first mistake in the question is to leave dps out of the question. That shows that the question doesn’t shall answer in terms of difficulty but pressure. What do I mean with pressure?
Well there are 6 or 7 healers, 14 or 15 damage dealers but just 2 or 3 tanks. At a boss most likely even just one tank. When a damage dealer dies you probably won’t have a problem in actual (aka ez-mode) content. When a healer dies you might be able to compensate this and basically show yourself that you have to many healers in your setup anyway. But when the tank dies you normally call it a wipe. That’s called single point of failure.
So the pressure on the tank is the highest in terms of non-dying. But what’s so hard with this? You normally just have two buttons and eventually another two trinkets you could fire up but that’s it.
The situation changes when the instance gets more and more demanding and challenging. When your healers have to heal just perfectly. When every heal has to land just right in time. Or your damage dealers have to pump the seventh hell of pure damage into the boss to fight an enrage or something else. A good example were the bosses in pre-nerf-Sunwell.
These situations push the players into the regions of perfect play and there every job is hard. When you always want to play at your best this means you want to squeeze every single point out of your char. For example as a affliction warlock you want to time several debuffs perfectly with 100% uptime of each debuff while you also spam the boss with shadowbolts. As a holy priest you want to beat this stupid rotten broccoli who wants to beat you. As a tank you want to use your cooldowns just perfect. You want to need no heal while beating this poor dps on damage meters and crushing Omen into pieces.
At this level there is no harder or easier. And it gets even more interesting. At this level the players tend to switch in their opinion and start to think of their job as the easiest because it’s very easy for them to play good their class but they have not this insight on another class or role.
So, what’s the hardest? Simply to play perfectly.