I’ve never been a big-numbers kind of guy. Chasing the DPS dream is fine for some, but when I look at my current crop of characters, one theme stands out: survivability. My Templar in TSW has a purple tanking headpiece for an extra 2000 health and has four emergency healing/shielding skills on hand. My Engineer in GW2 has specced and geared full-on flametank, with constant regeneration coupled with loads of toughness and vitality. My Captain in LOTRO is, well, a Captain. She just doesn’t die, ever.
For me, trading the big numbers for slightly-less-big numbers is really worth it to me. It’s invaluable in soloing, and even in group situations I like to think that it helps the team because I’m not face-planting as much or being a big drag on the healer.
Survivability and durability is attractive because I do want to be the last shortie standing. I don’t usually go so far as to become a tank, but if there’s a way to do half-and-half, I’m there. If the fight takes an extra five or 10 seconds because of it, that’s a trade-off I’m willing to make.