Tuesday, June 9, 2009

I Heart DPSers Too

Aeltyr posted a comment asking me about my DPS experience in a recent post. It occurred to me that I haven't given much love to DPSers here on my blog. Please allow me to remedy that now.

While leveling, I was basically run through instances up until my low-60's. At that point, I respecced tank and the rest is history. Since then, I haven't really DPSed much of anything except for taking Nab through Stockades with other level-appropriate guild members' alts.

I kinda sucked at it, but there's some room for error in lowbie instances. No big deal.

In TBC, I ran Cheesi's character through Karazhan because they didn't need me to tank and I didn't need anything from Kara. Cheesi was unavailable to go herself, so I took control of her tiny rogue and ventured in.

Again, I sucked at it. Pulled aggro repeatedly. Died often. Couldn't drop aggro fast enough. It was ugly.

DPS is a skill, just like tanking and healing. It takes practice and knowledge of what you're capable of. It's not easy.

The thing about DPS that makes it different than tanking is the need for balance. As a tank, I'm pumping out as much threat as I possibly can. That's one of my major goals in an instance. There's no upper limit. I don't have to hold back for any reason. In fact, I shouldn't be holding back.

DPS, though, has a ceiling. They need to do as much damage as possible without pulling aggro. That's where the skill and balance comes in.


We've all run with bad DPSers. "Bad" doesn't always mean that they don't do enough damage, in fact it usually means that they're trying so desperately hard to top the meters that they pull aggro.

I ran a heroic maybe a month ago where I was stuck with such an individual. I'd pull, and as the mobs were running at me this person started unloading on them. The pack quickly changed direction and headed straight towards him. As a clothie, he was crushed rather quickly. This was worse than a DPSer jumping in before a tank gets a head start on threat. This guy started pewpewing when the only threat I had acquired was from a Heroic Throw on one mob in the pack. He then had the nerve to insinuate that our ultimate failure in the run was due to my tanking. Genius.

Good DPSers know that you can't top the damage meters if you spend half the instance dead. Good DPSers know that the threat meter is just as important, if not more so, than the damage meter. Good DPSers understand balance.

Bad DPSers get their jollies out of ZOMGCritz!!!1! Bad DPSers don't understand mana/rage/energy/RP management.


Ah, the lost art of crowd control. I've always admired those DPSers who could do ridiculous amounts of damage while keeping a mob trapped/sheeped/banished/enslaved/shackled, etc. I've always admired Rogues who could keep something out of my hair by Evasion-tanking it or sneaking up and Sapping (which just takes balls, let's face it.

As a tank, I'm basically trying to piss off everything. I run up to them and get in their face, insult their mothers, and throw crap at them all the while trying my best to beat them down.

With crowd control, DPS has to kill one thing while watching another. Multitasking at its finest. As a Warrior with double-digit intellect, I don't know how they do it and I absolutely respect those who do it well.

Get to the Freaking Point

Geeze, fine. Having epic gear and a high crit rating doesn't make you a good DPSer anymore than slapping a shield on a Warrior or Paladin makes him a good tank. There's an art to it.

If I'm tanking an instance, I want a team behind me who is going to be useful 100% of the time. Dead DPS does no damage. People who only look for the big crits are useful to me [insert crit percentage here]% of the time. People who run out of mana a minute and a half into a 10 minute boss fight are only useful to me if their wand is uber.

Bottom line: it takes work, research, and practice to learn how to maintain a high level of damage throughout the course of a fight without pulling aggro. I've had the pleasure of running with DPSers who could do that exceptionally well. I truly, truly admire them.

Could I ever be a good DPSer? Sure. I've got Nab and Big Mac climbing up in the ranks. Maybe with some practice I can make them endgame ready and contribute to a group on the damage side.

Just gotta be willing to put in the work.


Aeltyr said...

Heh all that from my comment :p ?

And the real good CCers use Focus macros so they only have to press one button to resheep/reseduce/rewhatever without switching targets.

And as a rogue I can't do much .. Evasion tanking in heroics is a ticket for a free faceplanting, so a blind, perhaps a stun, and a sap.

That reminds me: don't follow the rogue that is sapping too close. If he's discovered in stealth by the mobs, he'll vanish to safety and you'll be the victim of it.

Misneach said...

@Aeltyr: You planted the seed, my friend. This is all your doing :)

My wife, who also plays a Rogue, is usually my default sapper. I've had the "Oh, poop" moment where she has to vanish and I'm scrambling to try and salvage the pull.

Come to think of it, that usually happened in SH [shudder].