For me I'll have to use FFXI as my example because it the only other MMO I have played. In FFXI PLD had high DEF lower ATK, DRK was the opposite, SAM was a WS and TP machine, DRG had a wyvern and Jump moves, NIN blink tank and dual wield. The point I'm making is every class had something special about them.
Ah, yes. That kind of uniqueness.
I remember that in one of the first screenshots "Lancer" was portrayed as a
class that could keep enemies at bay with its lance, and use its range as an
advantage. A very interesting idea (that's fully implemented in TERA, btw.)
This element of positional advantage seems to have gotten completely scrapped.
(No wonder; I have yet to discover an enemy whose ranged attack actually does
LESS damage than its melee attack, so positional advantage becomes moot squared.
Every goat is equipped with a nuclear-powered water-cannon, and tiny squirrels
carry around MOUNTAINS of razor-sharp acorns.)
So while you want many options to fill the party spot of a "general archetype"
(e.g.: Healer, Tank), you want the different options to have a very distinct
"feel" to them, although the result of what they do could be very similar (and
thus make it possible to switch one class for another of the same "archetype").
Am I reading this right?