This isn't the first nor the last time we will see a discussion about community and the sense of community, I'm sure, and that's not necessarily a bad thing. It's important though that we keep these discussions constructive however.I'm going to channel some Ghostcrawler for you this morning and see if we can open up the discussion a bit.
/puts on her hat and robe
Keeping a sense of community while still meeting the needs of the community as a whole is a huge challenge for us. We fundamentally believe that having a sense of community is an important thing for the long-term health of the game. However, we don’t think the way to foster that community is to force players to spam global channels trying to find groups. Dungeon Finder and Raid Finder have enabled a lot more players to run dungeons and raids regularly and we’d be very reluctant to ever go back to a world without them.
The trick for us is trying to grow a stronger sense of community despite having global queuing features that will likely pair you with strangers you may never play with again. We believe players generally have more fun and stick with the game longer when they play with friends. The queue systems are a substitute for when you don’t have enough friends (or even enough friends online at the moment) to participate in that content. We aren’t trying to, and wouldn’t want to, turn WoW into a solo game. These systems are merely to facilitate a need to connect more easily with players interested in tackling this content.
We made it a banner for a couple of reasons.
We thought the demoralizing and mocking mechanics were more useful if the warrior could place them somewhere else. For example, imagine a warrior (and not just a tank) using the Mocking Banner to direct incoming adds over to where the tank is currently standing. Now Skull Banner doesn’t strictly have to be a banner, since the warrior will probably want to benefit from it most of the time, but we left it as a banner for one pretty cool reason: since the banner is an ally, you can Intervene to it (!). That opens up some cool gameplay options.
Ultimately, we wanted to try and expand the design potential for warriors a bit. Increasingly, it seemed that any new ability had to be another type of movement, a weapon strike, or shout, or it wouldn’t feel like a warrior ability. We wanted to try something new, and we're hoping that warriors will give them a shot once we’re in beta and let us know how it feels.
Anyway, we don't have a problem with players choosing to PvP as tank specs, but if they do, then we want them to be effective because of their defensive and control abilities, not because of their damage-dealing potential. It's intentional that, overall, tanks have to sacrifice some DPS in order to make up for their other strengths.
For comparison's sake, we don't think it would be cool if healing specs did as much or more damage than DPS specs in PvP, and the same is true for tanks. In Battlegrounds, tanks often do have a role, whether it’s running flags, defending a node or tanking NPCs. It is much harder to provide tanks a role in Arenas since the strategy ultimately revolves around focusing down enemy players. Nobody wants to try to focus down a tank, and tanks typically can’t contribute as much to focusing down enemy targets.
I'm not so much for debates, because design isn't about rhetorical prowess. It's about making the game the best it can be for all players, not simply those who can make a compelling case on the forums. Because of how personal (even emotional) the experience of playing a character is, sometimes it's hard to see over the fence into someone else's yard. We have to keep an eye on the whole neighborhood.