Earlier today Tobold wrote a post outlining why he believed Damage Dealers have less responsibility then their Tank and Healer counterparts. He goes on to outline this is because they have it easier and that shifting more of the responsibility onto the Dps would help to alleviate what he says is a ongoing Tank and Healer shortage. He then goes on to claim that a lack of feedback of damage output and damage taken causes the responsibility to be split allowing for a more enjoyable raiding experiences as he believes this removes focus from a single player being responsible for the wipes. The core of this idea is that all members of a raid team should shoulder the same responsibility and that in doing so would make for a better typical raid model.
When we talk about responsibility we are talking about being accountable. It is about who will shoulder the cause of the result. Typically in a raid most of the responsibility falls to the Raid Leader. This is simply because the raid leader dictates the strategy and who will be brought along as part of the team. If however we toss aside the idea of leadership and enter a PuG scenario we then view the players and their respective classes through the eyes of responsibility. We will assume for this post that the goals of the group are entirely the same and expect to destroy a certain boss without anyone dying. We will also assume that they play near the same skill level unless told otherwise. In the majority of situations I have encountered the Tank and Healer do shoulder more responsibility then the Dps. This is not to say Dps do not shoulder any responsibility but that when they fail in their responsibility it is not a significant as when a Healer or Tank does. The biggest reason why Dps are not as responsible for a wipe is that when Dps fail they fail at the end of the encounter. Healer and Tank wipes occur shortly after their failures. It is not uncommon for a Dps to die quickly but have the raid go on significantly longer. When the tank dies or healing stops the wipe happens within 30 seconds for most cases. The other main thing about Tanking and Healing is that inconsistency in mitigation or healing output will cause an immediate wipe where Dps inconsistencies often only prolong the fight.
It is also important to remember when designing a raid that not only do some not want to shoulder responsibility. Some are not able to. This is because one of the common responsibilities of the player is skillful play. Being skilled is complex and often players reach a state where they are unable to become more skilled at a particular task. If you plan to design a raid that all your players will enjoy you have to have players attempting to play within their maximum capabilities.
So far I have sited my belief that there is more responsibility on the Tank and Healers then the Dps. I have also said that I believe that some people are unable to shoulder the same responsibility and furthermore that some simply do not want to. What I would like to now point out is to remember that Skillful play between the different roles have more of an effect on the shouldering of responsibility. This does not mean that playing a certain class requires more skill then another and so on. It simply means that playing skillful for certain classes will have more of an effect then others.