Are DPS classes outdated?

We Fly Spitfires is well known as one of the contrarian blogs to watch, and today Gordon’s got a great post up there, presenting solid, persuasive arguments that the DPS-only class is a relic in most MMORPGs, and isn’t much longer for this world

“Let’s face it, single role classes were always flawed right from day one. Rewind back seven plus years, before the dawn of multiple talent trees, and you have a pretty broken system comprised of healers who can only heal and tanks who only know how to tank making it pretty difficult to fill out a six man group or a 24+ player raid. Given the makeup of the grouping system in MMOs, it was simply inevitable that healers and tanks were going to be given the option to perform damage roles.

Of course, this creates the problem of function and desirability and, if tanks and healers can put out the same damage as a pure DPS class, suddenly those damage only dealers become less attractive in comparison. Why would I go a Rogue when my Warrior can output as much damage? And why go a Jedi Sentinel when the Jedi Guardian can do just as much damage as well as tank? Personal playstyle preferences aside, DPS only classes are becoming dated and restrictive, a throwback to an older style of MMO gaming.”

Gordon’s excellent post echoed a similar argument from Matthew Rossi last year for me – except rather than eliminating DPS, Rossi was suggesting that Blizzard, in particular, eliminate tanks. Overall, the sense in the blogosphere seems to be that the old single-role model is dating badly, and that we’re in for a hybridish future.

What do you think? Will there be a role for DPS-only classes in the future of MMORPGs, or is RIFT’s do-it-all Cleric class the model for the future?