Normally I would refrain from insulting multi-national mega corporations, but in this case, at least from the perspective of the Sony Online Entertainment division that is over EverQuest, its a fact.
Go read the websites for the warriors, rogues and monks over the past year. Look at every idea they posted on how to bring melees back into balance.
Okay, warriors got new taunt skills. With the splitting of disciplines, all melees got a method to more often boost their damage through their use. Monks are getting (if it ever makes it off the test server) an essentially single target lull to assist in splitting spawns.
Now, do you remember all the other stuff you read? Ranged damage, group auras, directed attacks, etc, etc… SOE is implementing all that stuff too, only not for the people who need it. Instead, they are making a new class, the Berserker.
I mean, why enhance the classes you have when you can add a new one? Why make three classes better and more desirable to play when you can make yet another addition to the already overcrowded loot pool on raids?
When beastlords were introduced, they were nice. You could play in groups and you could solo. But in groups they really weren’t needed. Anyone can DPS, shaman have better buffs… so what to do? Why, give beastlords a unique skill! Lets give them a mana and hit points regen buff that stacks with just about everything. Give them a buff that works as a mass group buff heal. Basically, you see, they introduced a new class, then that class complained that they weren’t wanted on raids, so SOE made them desired for raids. So now we will get Berserkers, and then they will complain that they don’t have a role.. so SOE will find a way to give them one.
But most important to keep in mind about the berserker class, it is designed to do one thing.. attract new customers. At some point, there is an accountant at Sony who doesn’t care what is good for the game, nor what is good for its players, he only knows that a new player shells out $60 for a copy of the game with all the expansions, and that equals 3 or 4 months of an active account. So they want sales, and lots of them, because high sales means they financially buy 3 to 4 months to keep thinking of a way to keep the players playing, to keep them subscribed.
Mark my words. Gates of Discord will be released, and within 3 months, Berserkers will be tweaked, and the other melees will be told “With the expansion behind us, we can now address your concerns.”