Lament of a DPS-Starved Raider

May 18, 2008 - 6 Responses

When I’m bored and working on leveling a random non-priest alt, I will typically take the time to seek out and read guides specific to that class to better understand how to level efficiently, perform well in instances, survive in PvP, etc. Today I came across a decent rogue guide that made a particular point that rang true with me.

From :
(This is a great little guide for rogues, btw. Well written and to the point.)

More DPS equals faster kills equals less tanking equals less healing. In all of the forums I frequent there are often posts where rogues are claiming that “Damage meters are only about e-peen”. The rogues that make these posts are looking to justify not having to drive for excellence at what their class was designed to do. Is e-peen really just overcompensation for self-esteem? It might be in a lot of cases. Is too much emphasis on the damage meters counter productive? Yes, it can be. But if you’re not specced properly, enchanted and gemmed from head to toe, don’t run damage meters or SW:Stats and don’t put a solid effort in pumping out damage, then don’t wonder why you’re not getting invites.

Now, I know this quote mentions rogues specifically, but I feel that is speaks to most of the DPS classes out there.

In my mind, there are two kinds of DPS classes. There are the “Meat and Potatoes” DPSers (rogues, mages, locks, etc.) who do the bulk of the DPS in a given raid, and then there are the “Utility” DPSers who have to off-tank, off-heal, etc., and were brought along mainly to be able to fill both that role and DPS as needed.

Shadow priests (like me!), obviously, fall into the later category. They are utility DPS. They are brought along for their raid debuffs and party mana regen. Sure, they can do some respectable damage at the same time, but their damage-dealing capabilities do not scale well into later raiding, thus making the decision to bring shadow priests to raids based not on the damage they can individually provide as much as how significantly they can increase the raid’s overall DPS. A shadow priest could sit at #1 or #2 on a damage meter, but it would likely mean that the rest of the DPSers would be slacking. (These facts should hopefully not come as a shock to anyone.)

But let’s just concern ourselves with meat-and-potatoes DPSers for a moment…

Now, the quote above makes the DPS leader in me want to scream: “YES! YES!!! A THOUSAND TIMES, YES!” in heartfelt agreement. A DPSer is there to …. wait for it … … *drumroll* …. … DPS! Big surprise, right?

My beef is that I don’t know why this comes as a shock to some people in higher-level (or “progression”) raiding. This has been the problem with my guild’s raids as of late. When transitioning from one level of raiding to the next, certain raid encounter DPS minimums get raised and the base level of DPS output per individual DPSer increases. However, we still have a small handful of people who do not take the time or effort to properly gem and enchant their gear. They do not understand their class well enough to spec or spellcast well. To be fair, this isn’t the case with all our DPSers, just with a small few. The fact remains that they are making progression more of a challenge for us than it has to be. They are holding us back.

One of my better friends from my guild recently /gquit. He played a rogue, and the one that consistently sat at the top of the DPS charts. He didn’t leave on bad terms; he simply desired faster progression, a feeling we all understood. His leaving really has been weighing on me heavier than I expected. Sure, I will miss his guildchat commentary, and spending time in raids with him, but I have to ask myself: at the most fundamental level, could there be more to it? Am I just jealous that he will see more of Sunwell than I probably will?

For as much as I complain about it, I do love my guild. I’m not at the point of wanting to jump ship yet. But every raid where I place highly on a DPS meter, I know it is not as much a result of my individual success as it is a result of the collective failure of others. And every time that happens I become a little more fed up with the situation.

The question remains: How do you make people care about their raid performance? Do you dock DKP? Threaten to /gkick? How do you convince the chronically underperforming DPSers to change their ways? They know where they are on the DPS meter, and they know what is expected of them, but refuse to work any harder, citing: “As long as the boss dies, what does it matter?” (The difficult piece for us is that the lowest-performing members are the guild leader and the longest-standing officers.)

I can complain about the problem, or I could do something about it. And while I’d like to do something about it, I’m just at a loss of what to do at this juncture.