This is a repost from the closed forum since it doesn't breach NDA, and so others would have the chance to read it:
I would like to have a discussion about ZoS's concept of competitive PvE trial healer with the direction they are taking for next patch. Please note I am basing this discussion around score runs in vSO, vAA, vHRC, vMoL and vHoF...not PVP, not vDSA, not Crowswood, Fungal Grotto, or that delve near the way shrine in Malabol Tor. I'm also not discussing the warden quite yet, as I really believe we need to let things settle there a bit before we can do a true detailed analysis and comparison.
This is in light of the recent ESO Live, where it was stated that we should feel comfortable bringing for example, a DK healer or NB healer into a raid; for the record I have successfully healed all craglorn HM trials with a DK, NB and Sorc healer, and have come within a few %'s of clearing vmol HM on a NB healer, although I haven't put much time into actually pursuing that. I also want to establish that I would never bring these toons on a dedicated scored run, nor do I believe they are anywhere near as strong as a Templar.
So if we are to look at this idea of 'bring whatever class you'd like' to a competitive raid, I'd like to examine the functionality of each class as a healer, and then determine the suitability of brining non-templars into a competitive raid environment.
First- Base line skills for a PvE healer (not a hard an fast rule, but a collection of skills you could expect to see in most situations, exceptions and preference apply): Healing Springs, Combat Prayer, Ele Drain, Inner Light, Harness magic, Orbs. War Horn. Cleanse.
*Not counting lightning wall due to incoming heavy attack meta...
There are 8 skills that are fairly standard, out of the 12 you can slot, all of which are non class skills. So those remaining skills that you pick from your class skill line, should really be a deal breaker in terms of who you are bringing into the trial....
Templar: Breath of Life, Ritual, Channeled Focus, Shards, Power of the light, Nova.... So here we have a burst heal, a persistent HoT with a cleanse synergy, resource return synergy, minor breach debuff, damage mitigation. Casting PoL also grants group minor sorcery, and personal ulti regen via passives. Rune gives good buff to resistances and mana regen (useful for sustain nerfs). Potential to have 100% uptime on minor mending.
Verdict: Excellent! Burst heal is important, persistent HoT from ritual helps keep uptime on SPC and cleanse bonus, shards for added utility.
DK: Igneous Shield, Igneous Weapons (or molten armaments), Hardened armor, Cauterize, Choking Talons/Chains...umm..Magma Shell? Lots of situational things here...Talons and Chains are often redundant as they overlap with tanks, and don't really offer extra utility on boss fights. Hardened armor is your personal resistance buff (dead healer doesn't help the group)...Igneous Shield will to get a brief second of major mending + a tiny group shield, igneous weapons is a nice 33 second source of major sorcery/brutality. If you needed a massive shield ult for your group, not sure why you would use magma shell over a Barrier Morph.
Verdict: Meh. Fun for casual runs when you're just messing around, but doesn't offer tons of group play bonuses. Igneous shield from a healer is almost a mana sink. It's such a small shield (even with a number of points into Bastion) that it's mostly useful for the brief flash of major mending,. Cauterize, while it is a healing morph, is SUPER lack luster. Sure you get major prophecy, but activating it for the heal only gives you 3 small, single target heals over a period of 15 seconds- would rather have inner light for the extra magica if I had to choose.
Night Blade: Refreshing Path; Funnel Health; Mark Target; Siphoning Attacks??; Soul Siphon; Veil; Sap Essence? Idk???: Refreshing Path is a HoT...I've actually seen it heal more over time than the templar ritual, except that it's tiny and has no synergy...people can run a bit faster for a second...not a game changer. Funnel Health- negligible DPS addition from a healer, insignificant heal when you have a whole raid to take care of. Same thing with Sap essence- when my group needs big heals and buffs, there isn't really a convenient time to stand in the middle of everything and spam sap. Mark Target- nice debuff, although that is overlapping with the tank already. Soul Siphon- its a big heal and its interesting to have Major Vitality for a whole 4 seconds; with 150ultimate cost, its really not practical in a trial setting. Veil: Actually useful! Major Protection is helpful to have, especially with the 15+ second duration.
Verdict: Rip. Really nothing useful here for end game vet trials other than Veil...
Sorcs: Twilight Matriarch; Empowered Ward; Bound Aegis; Aegis Streak?; Dark Conversion? Boundless Storm? Absorption Field
People have called Twilight Matriarch akin to a breath of life...except now you have to double bar it, and control an AI pet that can hypothetically get killed. To me, BoL wins the comparison battle here. Bound Aegis: Minor resolve, minor ward and extra mana. Survivability is great, although again, you need to double bar the skill. Empowered ward, big shield with group minor intellect buff. Streak for mobility if you want, Dark conversion if you have time to channel for more resources. Boundless storm for even more survivability. Absorption Field, mediocre healing plus a negate- don't need tons of negates in trials, but barring no other unique class skill available I guess you could use this instead of a DPS in the few places you would drop a negate to save a DPS having to do it.
Verdict: Rip+: again, lack of substantial group enhancing skills. Night blades at least get increased healing for each siphoning skill slotted. Sorcs get no innate healing boost. Their passives are however nice for boosted stats..
So even with nerfing templars with major mending, shards +orbs on CD together, etc. I'm struggling to find the incentive to pick another of the original classes as a main healer, or even as an attractive healer option for score runs. The benefits that the templar offers the group are too substantial to bring along my night blade "because I feel like it". I recognize that it can be hard to "buff" the healing capability of other classes as that would make them OP as dps players in any of the content, but imaginably it could be done. For example, DK is arguably the closest to being able to compete kit wise with a templar- but it would help if Cauterize wasn't such a god awful skill. If you're going to intentionally give me a healing morph of an ability, I'd like for it to heal more than 3 people in a 15 second period for a lackluster amount.
Ultimately what I'm trying to get at with this post is this (aka TL;DR)
Now, all of these passives have group buffs that are added already to the group either from tanks or dps characters doing their normal rotation. Even without templar healers, a dps can drop ritual for people to synergize a cleanse. Really the only thing a templar healer brings is their increased healing done, a burst heal, and the excellent HoT from their ritual to keep SPC buff topped off- the other classes simply don't have as powerful of burst heal and HoT's, leaving templar as BiS.
One of two things need to happen:
1) Admit and accept that Templars are the primary healing class of the game, and stop hitting them with the nerf gun.
2) Nerf templars a bit, but if you want us to feel comfortable picking other classes, you need to give us incentives to choose those classes, as opposed to de-incetivizing us away from templars. I would actually be all onboard if other classes had more unique class based healing quirks that, maybe wouldn't make them BiS all the time, but would give me reason to pick them in a specific trial for a specific reason due to what they can bring the group.