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Posts with tag dps

Do certain roles encourage bad behavior?


I still like tanking and healing more than anything else in the game, but they have their deficiencies while you're trying to smash Hexos into a well-deserved stain on the floor. In order to finish off Brawler's Guild achievements, I went DPS for the first time in 6 years and then thought, "This is actually kind of fun. Let's try some LFR and see what this puppy does in a raid."

In a matter of days, I and my hapless raid-mates encountered the following:
  • A tank who RP-walked to everything. (Spoils took forever.)
  • A tank who posted the meters after each trash pull and boss to make fun of the least well-geared DPS.
  • Tanks who couldn't be persuaded to kill the blademasters in Gates of Retributon, trapping the entire raid in perma-combat.
  • Tanks who kept taunting Thok back and forth to alternately breathe on or tail-swipe the raid.
Notice a pattern?

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion

Blizzard's new level 90 crash-course videos

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Blizzard has released 11 instructional videos designed to give a new level 90 a quick and dirty introduction to their class. The title is perhaps a bit misleading, because these are not complete class overviews. Instead, each video focuses on a particular specialization of that class--and specifically, a DPS specialization. The specs featured are: Frost death night, Balance druid, Survival hunter, Arcane mage, Windwalker monk, Retribution paladin, Shadow priest, Combat rogue, Elemental shaman, Destruction warlock, and Arms warrior.

If you've got a brand-new 90 that you're still figuring out, or if you're looking to busy yourself learning a new aspect of your class before Warlords of Draenor, these might be of interest to you. It is nice to see a Blizzard-sponsored guide for specs such as the Balance druid, which I personally find annoyingly complicated to play, but I'm a bit puzzled by the extremely specific nature of the videos. Are there going to be further guides for tanking and healing specs? Or for the DPS specs not covered here, such as Affliction warlocks, Fury warriors, Feral druids, Subtlety rogues, and more? I think videos like this that come straight from the horse's mouth of Blizzard are a great idea, but it's strange to see a set of them that feels so incomplete. Still, if you're toying with the idea of learning one of the specs covered, the videos are a good place to start.

Filed under: News items

Switching roles

It's officially the end of the expansion, because I'm tanking again. Every expansion, this happens. I start off tanking, something happens and I switch to DPS, and then by the end of the expansion I'm tanking again. The best part is that it usually happens in the middle of working on heroic progression, meaning that I'm suddenly tanking the hardest fights in the game. Usually without having ever tanked them before, in fact. Last night for instance I found out that I am much better at doing Heroic Norushen if I go down to kill the big add with some Vengeance built up, for how much it helps with Shield Barrier if I mis-time and get hit by the big attack.

My gear is adequate - about ilevel 566, with quite a few heroic pieces - but it's still a learning curve and one that's sometimes fairly hard to adjust to, and not just for me. This is a raid we've been clearing weekly, and suddenly here's a new tank who doesn't know what's going on as well as the previous tanks did. Combine that with my general sense of perfectionism (I do not like making even the most understandable mistake) and it can be pretty stressful.

But sometimes it's necessary -- your group has all the healers it needs, and you volunteer to DPS. You've been playing a hunter, now you're on your priest healing instead. (Hi, Final.) You're a tank but you're burned out and you need a change of pace. So, how can you deal with this, both as a player and as a group with a player switch? While I'm not pretending to having any sort of universal answer, here's a few things I've noticed.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Raiding

Interview: Technical Game Designer Chadd "Celestalon" Nervig talks Warlords of Draenor

I was lucky enough to head over to Blizzard Campus this week to talk to Technical Game Designer Chadd "Celestalon" Nervig. Chadd is a huge part of the class design team, key to a lot of the changes we saw in the recent Warlords of Draenor patch notes, which is just what we discussed. We were also joined by Senior Community Representatives Zarhym and Lore. You can also find a much-abbreviated summary on Wowhead.

Olivia: First up, is there anything you really wanted to clarify and get out there?

Celestalon: I've tweeted about pretty much everything. This was the first version of the patch notes, there have been more changes since then, those patch notes are about a week old or so?

Zarhym: Yeah it's like, tons of changes. [Rygarius] said he had a huge list of changes.

Celestalon: There's another five thousand words that aren't up there yet, which [Rygarius] is working on now.

There have been different amounts of patch notes released for different classes. Paladins have been complaining that they haven't got enough, rogues have been really happy that not much has changed. Is it safe to assume there's more to come? This is just step one?

There's definitely more coming. Like, for example, paladins had relatively few patch notes, and a lot of that is we were relatively happy with how things played out, at least for ret and prot, with the exception of a few things we can solve with tuning – changing numbers. So a lot of what you see in the patch notes now is what we call design changes, so the mechanics that we want to change so we can get to some design that we like.

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Filed under: Interviews, Warlords of Draenor

The struggle between gear disparity and good play

Okay, truth time - I can solo any five player heroic dungeon in Mists of Pandaria, as long as it doesn't have mechanics that prevent me. If I'm even concerned that I'll take too much damage and die, I'll pop on my tank set and go prot, but many times it isn't even a concern. Blow all my DPS cooldowns, blow my defensive cooldowns when I'm at about half health, boss falls over. Done it in Mogu'shan Palace and Scarlet Monastery. And I'm hardly the exception here - the fact is, the Mists of Pandaria dungeons were introduced at the beginning of the expansion and tuned so that players in ilevel 450 gear could complete them.

I'm at around ilevel 576.

Even players who are just in flex or LFR gear out gear these instances immensely. If a DPS player in full SoO LFR gear goes into Mogu'shan Palace and decides to pull more mobs than the tank was ready or waiting for, he or she can probably DPS them all down before dying themselves, especially if they get a few heals. Meanwhile, even the tanks can often put out enough damage (while taking so very little and having various means to heal it up) that they can basically solo the whole place if they want to, leaving absolutely everyone in the group feeling very little need to actually play as a group. As many, many people point out to me on twitter, it's just assumed that everyone is going to pull like crazy, so even undergeared players in a specific role often assume it's going to happen and react. Maybe your tank doesn't want to pull like a fiend, but they saw your gear and thought they had to in order to keep control of the dungeon. The lines of group communication have broken down into a silence that masks intent - runs are zoned into and pulled with grim efficiency.

Into this veil of silence enters you, the player. So what can be done about it?

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Wrath of the Lich King, Cataclysm, Mists of Pandaria

Officers' Quarters: My roommate is a slacker

Rhonin
Every Monday, Scott Andrews contributes Officers' Quarters, a column about the ins and outs of guild leadership. He is the author of The Guild Leader's Handbook.

As a guild leader, it's never easy to tell someone that they aren't pulling their weight. What happens when that person is your roommate?

hey Scott.

few months back, me and my dad revived our old guild, and it went soo good!
within weeks our ranks were swelling with people, having a good time etc
then we started raiding, all was well untill we started progressing properly.

one of my raiders (Bob for this story) has an itemlvl of ~563 yet doesnt pull his weight
as dps (Mage) he tends to slack if he thinks he can get away with it, threatens to get angry etc
if people keep complaining about his damage.

heres the real issue. this raider is my roommate and longtime friend.

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Filed under: Officers' Quarters (Guild Leadership)

Pro Tip: Damage meters don't tell the whole story

Pro Tip Damage meters don't tell the whole story
Some people /ignore others in random raids or dungeons for language or bad play. I add to my instant /ignore list those who spam the meters in raid chat.

Anyone who cares about whose bar is the longest is already measuring on their own screen. Not only is the reporter almost always on the top (and conveniently never reports when s/he is below), but displaying the damage done for a fight to the same raid who's on the meter is just pure epeen spill. Asking for a damage meter is just laziness (or, in rare cases, a really crappy computer paired with a log-intensive fight).

Let's not forget that problem of boiling a player down to a single number. All three roles of the holy triad have a complex set of abilities for every encounter.

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5 tips to improve your DPS, no matter your spec

5 tips to improve your DPS, no matter your spec
Readers may have recently caught our six simple tips for getting started in tanking, and the follow-up, six simple tips for getting started in healing. We couldn't really come up for six simple tips for getting started in DPS, other than, you know, hit things with damaging spells, don't stand in bad, that sort of thing, so we're taking a slightly different angle with this short guide. And yes, some of the tips will be kind of obvious to old hands, this guide is aimed at new players, but you never know, you might just learn something if you stick around.

While tanks and healers are in the spotlight by merit of their lower numbers in groups, DPS stress comes from the fact that your skill is almost always visible. No, a mistake from you isn't as likely to wipe the group as a mistake from a healer or a tank, and yes, there is safety in numbers, but there's no escape from Recount or Skada, or another DPS meter of your choice. As such, DPS is a numbers game, and it's a case of the bigger the better in many cases. So, what can you do to improve your DPS?


1. Don't fear the meter

That is a retro song reference if I ever saw one. I mentioned meters a moment ago and they're back again, from a positive angle this time. While DPS meters can be less than perfectly accurate, and a source of stress for DPSers, they're also a great way to analyse your performance. DPS improvement, as we'll see going forwards, is a lot about information.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Raiding

Dungeons and you - a guide to basic etiquette

Dungeons and you  a guide to basic etiquette
I am generally a tank, and therefore when I run heroics I tank them. This is not always the case. If I want DPS gear, I queue as DPS because it's only fair to perform the role you intend to gear up. This results in me ending up switching to tank after a previous tank has left, or the group has wiped a few times, about half the time I sign up to DPS. This is intensely frustrating to me, because I don't like having to switch and end up seeing the gear I came for, and signed up for, going to someone else because I'm tanking. I also don't like tanking after waiting in a queue for twenty minutes.

Therefore, this is a basics guide to dungeon running that covers a few things all groups should know, because I'm seeing a lot of groups that don't seem to know them. Five man dungeons are all about personal responsibility in the Mists of Pandaria era - you need to help keep yourself alive by making smart decisions.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Mists of Pandaria

Blood Pact: The importance of heroic Spine

Blood Pact The importance of heroic Spine MON
Every week, WoW Insider brings you Blood Pact for affliction, demonology, and destruction warlocks. This week, Megan O'Neill, Savior of Azeroth, revisits some old patch 4.3 raid fight that everyone might have forgotten about and reflects on the insights into DPS it gave her.

Heroic Spine of Deathwing, 25man: I hated this fight with a passion.

At first I hated it because I could not possibly contribute as my favorite spec affliction and call it even with the rest of my guild's raid. I could pass by on normal, blaming my lack of burst for my low-metered results, but that wasn't going to cut it on heroic.

Then I started to hate the fight as I struggled to squeeze out every last drop of damage I had in me, even min-maxing my offspec demonology to progress with. Warlock hell, they called it. What a lockblock! My anger started to extend to things outside of WoW, emotionally and physically, because I was so frustrated with my apparent failure to kick some Destroyer derriere.

But the fight really opened up a lot of the finer points of DPSing an encounter. Heroic Spine reminded me that the fight isn't all about the end DPS number when the combat logs stop flowing.

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Filed under: Warlock, (Warlock) Blood Pact, Cataclysm

Healers need something like the raid dummies

Healers need something like the raid dummies
If you didn't know by now, there will be a new raid dummy setup in Mists of Pandaria's latest beta build. They will be located in Shattrath and are designed to mimic a raid boss. They will have 50 million health, can be killed, respawn quickly and are set up in such a way that they won't interfere with other people's tests. They will not turn to face you, so you can practice DPSing from behind, and will give a full suite of raid buffs for the duration of your combat with the dummy.

The idea behind this new marvelous tool is to make it so players can get a better idea of their actual numbers in terms of damage output under the optimal conditions. It's a way to really bring simcrafting back into the game instead of solely through a spread sheet, adding a layer of practical application.

It's a fantastic idea, something that I think should have been around for a long while. While I agree something like this is fantastic for DPSers, lets not leave out the other player types as well. Something like this could be absolutely amazing for healers, something that I know would be most welcome.

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Filed under: Mists of Pandaria

Mists of Pandaria Beta: New training dummies make testing raid DPS more accurate

Mists of Pandaria Beta New training dummies make testing your raid DPS more accurate
Have you ever wished you could shackle your entire raid team to the wall behind the the training dummies in Orgrimmar? You know, so that whenever you needed to test your DPS, you'd be fully raid-buffed.

What? It's not like I wouldn't leave them food ...

Anyway, Blizzard finally came up with a solution to this little conundrum by adding new training dummies in the Mists of Pandaria beta. Check out Ghostcrawler's post about them below.

Ghostcrawler -- Raid DPS Test Dummies
As an experiment, in the next beta build, you may find some new kinds of test dummies.

In order to keep them out of way in less travelled areas, they are located in Shattrath. (The Aldor and Scyers miss you!) The dummies have 50 million health, can be killed, and respawn quickly. They are spread out so you don't accidentally cleave or interfere with someone else's test. They won't turn to face you, so you can attack them from behind, if that's how you roll. The dummies also should buff you if you get near them with a full suite of temporary raid buffs, including food and flasks, and debuff themselves. These won't stack with your group buffs or debuffs, so it doesn't matter if you buff yourselves or not. (We're only talking about main raid buffs here, like Battle Shout or Blessing of Kings. If it's an individual buff or debuff, you'll still need to apply it normally.)

We are leaving this thread open if you'd like to post your DPS or link to logs such as World of Logs. It will be very easy to sandbag or cheat in this testing, so understand that we'll have to take all such numbers with a big old grain of salt. However, in order to compare apples to apples, we suggest purchasing a full set of PvP gear, including one on use and one on proc trinket, but no enchants or gems. Reforging is fine. If you use different sets of gear, please state that in your post. Also keep in mind that target dummy DPS is not encounter DPS. :)

Please keep this thread clear of class feedback -- it's just for numbers.

Again, the main purpose of this experiment is to make it easier for you get consistent DPS testing. It is only for beta and may get turned off at any point if it becomes disruptive.


Curiously, the new training dummies don't look anything like the ones we're all used to. Instead, they look like miniature versions of Patchwerk. Ha, I see what you did there, Blizzard.

The new dummies aren't currently up on beta servers, though they were yesterday before server maintenance. Another post from Ghostcrawler yesterday evening mentioned there were bugs, some of which would require server restarts to fix, while another would need a whole new build to correct. So I guess we probably won't see them again for a bit. All the same, it's a very cool idea for players who are concerned about their DPS.

It's open warfare between Alliance and Horde in Mists of Pandaria, World of Warcraft's next expansion. Jump into five new levels with new talents and class mechanics, try the new monk class, and create a pandaren character to ally with either Horde or Alliance. Look for expansion basics in our Mists FAQ, or dig into our spring press event coverage for more details!

Filed under: Mists of Pandaria

The headspace of switching roles

The headspace of switching roles
It's about as easy to switch your role in World of Warcraft as it has ever been in the history of the game. With dual spec, you can have two ready to go. With the justice/valor system and heroic Hour of Twilight dungeons, you can have a passable off-spec set in a few days. The problem nowadays isn't gear, and it isn't having to go respec to do it. The problem is ingrained habits, and that problem can be the hardest to overcome.

It's certainly far from impossible, though.

The first thing you have to do when switching from tanking or healing to DPS or vice versa is abandon how you approached the job. You're not doing that job anymore. When I first went DPS in Firelands, it took me two weeks to get myself to stop trying to intercept mobs running for the healers or other DPSers and getting myself killed. That was because no one was healing me -- not because they didn't care, but because they had no idea I was about to get aggro on Firelands trash. Why would they? I wasn't a tank. It's not that they didn't appreciate it; it's that they had no way of anticipating I was going to do it.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, PvP, Raiding, Cataclysm

How I learned to love tanking again

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So yeah, I'm tanking again. There are a few reasons for this. Reason #1 is my experiences testing prot in the Mists of Pandaria beta. Quite frankly, I think it's going to be much easier to level to 90 as a tanking warrior, what with the spec working quite well on the beta at the moment. Since I expect us to be doing so by August at the latest, I wanted to get a jump on things.

Another reason is simple necessity. We needed a tank; I happen to be capable of doing the job and doing it well. Even back when threat was harder than it is now, I always knew I was a respectable tank. I pay attention to my positioning, I know how to use my cooldowns, and I've got a lot of experience with the role. When my guild found itself short a tank, it seemed like the right thing to do. It's just plain easier to recruit a DPSer and have someone established doing the tanking.

I've asked before if it's time to kill tanking. Almost a year down the road from that question, here I am tanking again. I think what I'm learning is that, at present, it's fairly easy to tank decently and not very hard to tank well, but tanking itself is now split into two halves, and one of them is actually more difficult than it has ever been. It's easier to learn but not easier to master.

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Filed under: Warrior, Analysis / Opinion, Cataclysm, Mists of Pandaria

This Too Shall Pass: Balance and imbalance in World of Warcraft

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First off, we know that game balance is an eternal goal. As the game evolves and becomes more complex (as it does every expansion, because new abilities are introduced and new classes or races make their debut), balancing them all for every role they can fill and every aspect of the game (Arena PvP, BGs, 5-man instances, raiding) becomes ever more complicated. Abilities that seem minor in impact can mushroom in importance due to synergy with other talents or abilities. As an example, Vengeance in PvP became important enough to cause it to be turned off, as gear improved and health pools rose.

This has been the case in World of Warcraft since its debut. Heck, thanks to Indalamar, warriors got nerfed before the game went live. Balance is ephemeral. Your class may be on top one day, but your day will end. Anyone who's tanked for the past six years can attest to the roller coaster of which class is best at which aspect of the role. There was a time where paladins were the undisputed kings of AoE tanking, a time before Death and Decay or Blood and Thunder.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Guilds, PvP, Raiding, Hotfixes

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