Ah, the sweet smell of wipes. How I have missed them. My guild stepped back into 25-mans this week, and I am so glad to be back. Every time I take a break from regular raiding, I need a week or so to truly get on top of my game. The muscle memory needs time to return, and I have to learn the steps to the new dances in a way that makes sense to me. Figuring out a good time to use Spiritwalker's Grace, the best time to unleash my fire elemental ... These are the sorts of details I love figuring out for myself, and the satisfaction of returning to 25-man raiding has been great stress relief after a hellish week.
The return to raiding has also confronted me with the state of elemental DPS in general. I am aware that the gap between myself and the front-runners is down to personal error (a lot of the time) and someone has to be in the middle of the pack. In fact, the middle of the pack is a mighty fine place to be. Those State of DPS numbers only show results for the top 40 and top 200 parses, and being in the middle of the pack isn't what is alarming. What often raises eyebrows with these sorts of comparisons is the difference between the top few specs and the middle of the pack, not the placing on the scale, so I can understand why some players are upset. It isn't being middle of the pack; it's the magnitude of distance between yourself and the front-runners. Personally, I'm not too worried. I need to sort out my own mistakes first, and it's important not to forget that things change.
So, is patch 4.0.6 going to ease the pressure a little? A very small amount. The change that has made me smile most so far is the fix for the graphic bug that hid Elementium Stormshield when it was in the resting position. I'm glad to see Quality Assurance Goblins got it right on that one.