If you guys feel my posts are too "fleshed" out (aka TL;DR(aka U IZ ADD(aka I write too much (aka I have a sick sense of humor)))), I'm going to make the bits irrelevant to my point italicized so feel free to skip. Being a long time player of Diablo (I remember people trying out the open beta of D2 and coming back to D1 spreading the word that there was a run toggle. And we sang all night.), I basically just type whatever rolls out of my consciousness. Makes writing more fun for me and less enjoyable for you. Everyone wins.
Me? Suggest guns in Diablo? Never!
Me? Needing to research on Diablo 3? Don't think so!
Me? Being aware that a heal-other spell has been present in every other game in this franchise (all two not counting the expansion or the bastard child that was Hellfire) and knowing there is a profound difference between suggesting GUNS to MAGICAL HEALING SPELLS THAT YOU SEE IN ALMOST EVERY SINGLE FANTASY RPG INCLUDING THE DIABLO'S?!?!?!?! Poppycock! Wait, no that describes me pretty well.
I agree with you on that there probably won't be a healing class. Partly because Diablo 2 and LoD have set a "standard" for Diablo 3. Every class must be diverse. Not only from one another but also have a varied skill tree. And mostly because a class entirely dedicated to healing, though a prominent fantasy RPG archetype, obviously does not match the pace or even the entire point of the Diablo games. That point being to kill en masse and acquire items en masse.
Necromancer, for example can focus on poison, standard ranged magic damage, and summoning. Now throw in all the different curses for crowd control and off the wall skills like poison dagger and you already have dozens of possibilities in that single class. Including extremely odd builds such as melee necro (poison dagger) or a suicide necro (iron maiden vs. a WW Barb).
Also take a look at the Druid and Assassin. While many may consider them the two odd men out of Diablo 2, from just glancing at their skills, they're two of the most malleable classes in the game.
Having said that, I'm well aware that the team isn't bound by some unseen and probably unholy force to follow this trend for Diablo 3. Think about it. If they were, you'd figure at least SOMEONE from the team would confide in a friend or loved one. The word would get out. Next thing we know, the Blizzard offices are getting ghost busted. However, from what I've seen of the classes, they have indeed followed the trend, forced by a ghost or not. I've fiddled with that Wizard skill tree on some fan site (forgot which) and made a good number of workable builds and that is just with the alpha build of the game!
There probably won't be a healing class just like there probably won't be a bow class.
Of course, there most likely WILL be a class that can use a bow and has active skills dedicated to it. But I'm fairly certain it won't be it's exclusive means of damage.
What game dynamics are you talking about? You seem to still be thinking of Diablo 3 in terms of Diablo 2. I'm not trying to be a condescending %##%#@% when I say that. Promise. We're talking about a video game. I would have to be a pretty sad individual if the only jollies I can get are from being condescending to others when talking about the possibility OF a possibility of a subclass appearing in an unreleased video game that we all know hardly anything about. If Blizzard does decide to make a healer build in say, the monk for example, it would only really need a single active skill dedicated to it and MAYBE a passive to buff up the healing aspect. That would be it. And with the changes to the fundamentals of the skill system, a single skill or two would NOT cut into the capabilities of a character.
The skill can be something like... a holy rune appears on the ground at his feet with a certain radius. Maybe after a couple of seconds of cast time it heals himself and any friendly units inside the rune. Possibly over time as long as the party members remain inside the rune. Maybe not. Not a combo. A standalone skill in another tab of the skill tree (if they were still around).
Maybe increasing the skill level increases the diameter and maybe a passive increases the health recovered. Maybe vice versa. Maybe increasing the skill increases both. Maybe there won't be a healing skill in the first place. Maybe Diablo 3 will come out late this year. Probably not. Irrelevant.
Ok, so my point is that there would only need to be 1 or 2 skills set aside to make a workable cleric build. They've made it pretty clear up to this point that they're avoiding the ol' Max-Out-3-Skills-and-Use-1-of-Them syndrome Diablo 2 had. I call it MO3SU1T. Pronounced Mo- Soot. That's a hard "o" on "Mo". Like "low" without the "w". Putting points into various active skills and actually using more than one isn't a stretch anymore. If this was applied to Diablo 2, a sorceress would be shooting ice orbs and switching to lightning to finish off the slowed monsters without gimping the build by leveling up both spells. I call this process NO-MO3SU1T. Pronounced No Mo' Suit. I'm pretty sure Blizzard does too. If they don't, I suggest that someone suggests it to them. Thanks.
I don't see how D2's problem with people throwing a potion kegger every time they take a step out of town can relate to a healing skill. Besides the fact that there were health and mana potions and a healing spell would restore health and would undoubtedly use a resource similar to mana.
I also don't remember clerics flooding game servers, raiding villages, killing babies, violating crosses, using God's name in vain, working on the sabbath, spitting venom and otherwise just being a problem in Diablo 2.
If they cut a healing skill from D3, it would most likely be done with a shrug. Not with a sit-down brainstorming session that probably led to the potion change.
Unless they decide to let the janitors take over when it's time to balance the healing spell, it won't cut into this "core gameplay" element you're talking about.
Why wouldn't it? Well, it will probably require a resource (i.e. mana until we figure out what's going on with the monk) making it presumably unspammable. It could also have a cooldown similar to the Wizard's teleport as of now.
What it WOULD do is give the monk an impact on the party instead of just being that guy who runs ahead of everyone, shouting profanities and smelling badly, throwing out punches with no regard to his party members until everything around him is dead. Of course I'm sure there is going to be more to the monk than from the handful of skills that were showcased at the last Blizzcon. Ahm juss sayin'. Allow me to reiterate. What I mean is that without "depth" and "party dynamic" to the monk, his only contribution would be to slap around monsters. That kind of single-minded party dynamic makes for stale bread. And stale bread makes for nasty sandwiches. AND NO ONE LIKES NASTY SANDWICHES IN A PARTY. A healing spell would add dynamic. It would add freshness. Good bread. Yum yum sammiches. Urrbuddy happy in da partay. Ya dig? But here you are suggesting that adding dynamic to a class would go against some fundamentals of the game!! What's up? Did you eat nasty sandwiches as a kid and now you want the world to eat them too? Do you just not like it when everyone has fun in the party? No spanks.
I guess I can just sum it up in a single sentence.
A healing skill would have as much impact as the D3 Barbarian's warcry, taking somewhere in the area of 5 skill points and providing some welcomed support and dynamic to solo and party play.
P.S. Sorry that you are insulted by a suggestion about a videogame.