The 6.0 changes are finally upon us and I will be taking this opportunity to talk about the game play changes to the different roles in the game specifically for PvE. We will now look at the changes to melee DPS. I generally favor melee classes and it is what I played most on Beta; on the live servers, my main character is a rogue.
One of the things that stand out with melee changes is being much slower in terms of rotations and priority. I feel that there is a big misconception around how to play a melee character in that spamming your abilities is the way to go. Now normally, there comes a time with most expansions in which the level of gear we are in makes it possible to spam most of our abilities and have good results; right now and at the beginning of the expansion, however, we will see most melee classes having a lot of downtime.
With greater downtime comes more responsibility in using your resources efficiently. This brings out what I believe to be more interesting gameplay. Currently, the timing of your main abilities is more important and using your cooldowns effectively to produce high amounts of burst makes better gameplay than just pressing buttons whenever you can.
Melee rotations in general are simple, with one or two important buffs or debuffs to track. This gives melee an easier time in being aware of the environment and looking out for encounter mechanics. From my testing in beta, it seems like doing mechanics right is much more important than having constant DPS on boss. Melee tend to have very good movement abilities which makes them excellent for doing mechanic-heavy fights.
If you have played a melee DPS in the Beta, or are currently playing one on live, I would encourage you to post what you think about them in the comments below.