Historically, Melee DPS are underrepresented among the very highest end raiding guilds, though this becomes less true pretty quickly as guilds become less competitive. This is because many raid mechanics naturally reward ranged specs or punish melee specs, especially among the most coordinated groups. Though movement can be annoying for ranged, it can often be predicted, especially as progression goes on, while many movement mechanics for melee require the loss of uptime on the boss. Similarly, mechanics that call for stacking in certain locations can hurt melee when that location is far from the boss, and mechanics that require players to spread often leave only a few spots available in melee.
This raid tier doesn’t appear to be especially full of these mechanics, but they certainly exist, and it’s a safe bet to assume that the top raiding guilds will opt for at least a 2:1 split in favor of ranged. There are always at least a few spots for Melee dps, as there are several buffs that they bring (Chaosbrandmal
, Mystische Berührung
) though sometimes there are options to instead bring those buffs on Tanks or Healers, so there’s often a calculation done by top guilds to figure out which spec is the best way to get each buff.
All of this doesn’t mean you need to sit all the melee in your guild, especially if you’re operating anywhere below the very bleeding edge, for several reasons. One big reason is that the mechanics that most punish melee are often nerfed during the first months of the patch, such as Mythrax’s Oblivion Spheres no longer targeting Melee
and Uu’nat’s Unstable Resonance no longer targeting Melee
. Furthermore, taking a small damage loss to do a mechanic becomes less of a strike against a spec as players become more powerful, and the dps checks become less tight.
Some melee specs also have ranged DPS options: Enhancement Shaman, Feral Druid, and Survival Hunter. These specs have historically been caught in a bind when it comes to high end PvE. They often come with all the drawbacks of the balancing their class received based on the ranged alternatives, without reaping any of the benefits. They also tend to lack raid utility, or it tends to also be available from the ranged specs, making them less appealing.