These are some terms that you may or may not be familiar with if you've been playing WoW for any length of time. I know a lot of people like finding ways to work outside a paradigm and succeed. sometimes that's the whole thrill is the attempt. That ability to be outside the box and try and find a unique way to use "set" rules.
Finding like minded mavericks might be fun, but they often don't have the research and knowledge to inform the strategies. This is frustrating, as well as most others who follow the "norm" roles don't have the patience or care to listen to an alternative.
Specifically, in WoW, there are one of three "roles" that a player falls into if they choose to group. Tank, which is the heavy damage taker, the guy the big baddy wails on while the rest of the group does other things. Heals, guess what he does . . . makes sure the guy Tanking stays up and also heals the other guys. DPS, literally "Damage Per Second" but has become a catchall term for any player who is not performing the first two roles.
|From THIS SOURCE|
HOWEVER! There are some of us that wish to try the weird and wonderful. I'm sure many of you have heard me call my own toon "Termenus, The Incredible Tanking Mage" and my ol' buddy Necrus, who was once a Fury Spec'd-Titan's Grasp Tank, and our even OLDER comrade from the Cutthroats who was our Shammy Off-tank( the backup/secondary/tank who picks up any additional enemies). There was even this warlock who I once met that told me he was a melee lock. These are of course just actual players I have met. Many times there's a conversation about other alternatives, like Hunter Tanks (when Survival spec was heavy into the hunter's . . . survivability), Priest Tanks who stack stam, armor enhancements, mitigation specs as well as heavy heals. OR even the idea of stacking spirit on any character in such a way that your regen is ridiculous. Is it possible to give yourself such regen that your bar ticks right back every time you get hit? No idea, haven't looked it up. But the IDEA . . isn't it worth wondering? I mean, I get giddy whenever I start casting so fast the Global Cool Down stops me from casting any faster, I couldn't imagine being able to walk through combats like I was MuthaFuckin Wolverine!
Can it be done at hi end? I don't think so due to the fierce pigeon holing done by specs, gear, and the fights of instances-and-higher content. But I always have hope for leveling, especially with all the nerfs that have been done over the years, maybe even in max level instances/Heroics due to access to better gear.
One last thing though, this only applies to "at level" instanceing/partying. I consider it a "run through" or even "Cheating" if your more than 5 levels out of the encounter's suggested level or have gear that is more than like 50ish higher a gear score than the average blue/starter epic at that level range. To me, it's not only the idea of "alternative role filling" it should not be a cakewalk either.
I'm sure there are countless more "alt specs" out there. Maybe you've tried some of them? I know I would love to have enough time to not only play WoW as much as I used to but find other crazy people who play about the same time I do to try and gear up and ATTEMPT some of these crazy things. ah well. Later H47ites!