With the next WoW patch on the horizon, I started thinking about how this will affect my playstyle and army of characters.
Characters (level 80):
Paladin - Tank/Healer
Priest - Healer/Ranged DPS
Druid - Healer/Melee DPS
Shaman - Healer/Melee DPS
Death Knight - Melee DPS
Rogue - Melee DPS
In total I have 1 tank, 4 healers, 1 Ranged DPS and 4 Melee DPS.
What patch 3.3 will introduce is a new Looking-for-Group (LFG) and Looking-for-Raid (LFR) tools. This will allow you to find groups or raid groups for each character faster. But you can only use one of these tools at a time.
So LFG for 5man instances or 5man heroics, or raids (10 or 25man). But the LFG tool will also have a "join random" group feature. Meaning it will automatically match you with a group that needs your function (Tank, Heal or DPS).
So what am I getting at?
Based on my own (and other's) observations, you ALWAYS struggle to find tanks and healers. In each 5man group you need 1 tank, 1 healer and 3 DPS. In 10man raids, 1-2 tanks, 2-3 healers, rest DPS. 25man raids 2-4 Tanks, 3-6 Healers, rest DPS.
So if you look at the group function each character can perform - the 2 key ones are healing and tanking. A group cannot start a raid or an instance if those slots are not filled. Yes, you can start with less DPS - it will just take longer to kill stuff (as long as your healer can keep the tank alive).
So back to my thoughts for my characters.
I think my paladin is already in the best of position - she has both specs right - heal & tank - to fill either role.
My druid is Feral-cat geared and talent specced. I plan to change her talents to bear, and start changing our some of the feral-cat gear for feral-bear gear. Once again to fill both key roles (tank and healer).
My Death Knight needs to get a tank talent spec, and has no tank gear - so I will need to work on building a basic tanking set for her.
My Shaman, Priest and fine with how they are specceed and geared, and the same with my rogue.
To enable my characters to getting into groups/raids quicker. I do not want to "hang out" LFG/LFR for hours (or even 15 minutes).
I want to log in, join LFG/LFR, and be able to start running the instances within a couple of minutes. By talent speccing and gearing for those key, in-demand roles in groups/raids, I aim to keep my down time (waiting around) to a minimum.
Remember the Goblin saying: "Time is money, friend!"