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I have read somewhere while going through various Guild Wars 2 resources that all classes in Guild Wars 2 have healing abilities sufficient for keeping themselves alive when played properly (ie: dodging big attacks instead of trying to stand there and tank them), but that no class in Guild Wars 2 could ever be classified as a 'Healer' in the way that there are specific healing classes in other games.

Does this mean that all classes have basically the same healing capabilities or are there some classes better suited to healing, some classes better suited to damage dealing and some better suited to tanking?

From what I've read, the warrior and guardian classes obviously look more suited to tanking damage in comparison to say, a thief, but none of the classes jump out at me as being specialised in healing. Is the standard "Holy Trinity" of MMO class design not as relevant in Guild Wars 2?

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Correct, mmo-champion.com/threads/… –  Brian Nov 27 '12 at 23:20
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Guardians have very strong healing when they whip that book of theirs out. Elementalists also have strong healing. I can't think of any other classes that are really capable of healing allies. –  Sadly Not Nov 28 '12 at 0:00
    
@SadlyNot Engineers have several team healing and protection skills, like Healing Turret, elixirs, and bandage drops. They're mostly a healing/support hybrid. –  Hackworth Nov 28 '12 at 0:10
    
@Hackworth That's good to know. Sounds like a good number of classes have healing then, and there definitely aren't any dedicated healers. –  Sadly Not Nov 28 '12 at 0:20
    
The so-called "holy trinity" is a stupid, STUPID trap that far too many MMOs fall into because "everyone else does it". Its usual end result is that everyone wants other people to fill the tank and healer roles, but they all tend to roll up DPS classes. –  Shadur Nov 28 '12 at 9:09
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up vote 2 down vote accepted

All professions have 1 of their 5 skill slots dedicated exclusively to a small selection of healing skills. Obviously, there are only so many ways to design a healing skill (heal immediately, or heal over time; heal single or AoE; skill is active or passive), so when designing 3 heal skills for each of the 8 professions, some overlap in the core mechanic (healing) is unavoidable.

However, they are not the same; every profession gets its uniquely flavored healing skills, tailored to their general abilities and allowing for various playstyles. A Necromancer's healing skill might involve draining an enemy, while an Engineer's healing turret also heals nearby allies while the turret is alive, or he dispenses bandage packs that can be picked up by any ally. A warrior's healing skill might provide passive regeneration and an active, immediate heal, while another trades the passive heal for an adrenaline boost when using the active, increasing your fighting power.

In essence, it's true that there are no dedicated healers - if any player just stands around and takes a lot of damage quickly, it will be pretty much impossible to save him with healing skills alone. Dodging, positioning, and selecting the right weapon/skill loadout for an encounter (i.e. skill and game knowledge) are much more relevant for survival than healing skills or gear quality.

Every player in Guild Wars 2 might have some abilities to heal or protect each other, which means that there is no holy trinity. No character will only tank (it will also heal and deal damage), no character will only deal (it will eventually need to drop some heals) and no character will only healbot (it will be dealing damage, and may even tank). Besides that, all characters will be applying eventual boons to party, so as protection zones and overall support skills

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Note also that the game doesn't reward you for being a dedicated healer. There is no "game reward" for only healing. If you spend your time like a medic from TF2, you get no experience, you get no loot. You only get those if you participate in damaging the enemies. –  Gnoupi Nov 28 '12 at 9:22
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