Ladies and gentlemen of the blogsphere, I want to take a moment to put to rest a serious issue that has been floating around the internet lately. Primarily, this is the notion that DPS are just meat in a run – and that one is just as good as the other.
I DON’T THINK SO
Much like tanks and healers aren’t necessarily equal (to their respective counterparts), so goes the same for your DPS. While many tanks and healers you encounter in your random heroic are extremely over geared for the content and can survive anything short of a hard enrage, it’s your smart DPS that got you there. I’m guessing the only reason you remember the dumb DPS at all is the higher concentration of them in any given group – given the requirements of most raids/heroics.
Smart DPS can make you look good
Regardless of your personal feelings about the average DPSer, a smart player can save a run from a wipe, and make you look like the quiet hero you should be. Snapping off a quick stun on a loose mob, a timely counterspell or death grip, or simply waiting that extra two seconds before blowing up a group of mobs – all of these are done by smart DPS.
An unlikely example
Our resident mage and surfer of dark corners of the internet is, on the surface, the last guy you’d expect to fall into this category. I swear I’ve seen him flamestrike/blizzard pulls as their on their way to me, and it’s not a successful night unless I can get him cleaved or otherwise killed. Here’s the thing though – when needed, he comes through – regardless of the toon he’s on. I’ve seen him grip runners or casters into my tanking range (on his DK), sheep a mob heading for the healer (or more likely himself), and slow-kite something back to me.
Our rogue is the same way. Leveling up in BC (back where CC was really needed), I knew I could count on that timely blind/gouge to buy us a few key seconds. Sapping a target was just a given, and even now he’s always up there providing the utility required to make a run smoother. These are the kinds of actions I can expect from smart DPS. I don’t expect to see this from my run of the mill PUG.
I could list a dozen examples from all of our current guild members that reflect smart and heads-up play. Everything from the retadin off-tanking something for a moment, on the fly battle-rezzes, etc. Not to say their always at 100% - sometimes the Bowl game is on.
But they can’t out DPS the tank!
Odds are very good that everyone has run into this situation in a PUG heroic. The tank is 1st or 2nd on DPS (especially on damage done), and the rest of the DPS is lagging behind – even if their in comparable gear. While this would understandably be an issue in a raid scenario, and it is certainly possible that your DPS is just not on the ball (or in fact does suck).
It’s also possible that your DPS doesn’t have the time to wind up properly.
Paladins generally start with a full tank. On the pull I’m pushing maximum DPS (for tanking), and I want to go quickly to keep Divine Plea up. Retadins can roll right along with me, as they don’t have any wind up time (if we’re speed pulling). Warriors have a bit of a wind up time, but if you’re just rolling along they shouldn’t lose too much rage, and shouldn’t fall behind too badly.
Hunters are very similar. They can pop shots out quickly, and can switch to Viper between pulls if they need a few seconds of mana regen. While Warlocks can Life Tap between pulls, they are generally dependant on DoTs for maximum damage. If they can’t get several Seeds of Corruption out, they’re reduced to using Hellfire – which is highly ineffective. Spriests are in a similar boat.
Rogues need CPs to do high DPS. If the target dies too quickly, they lose those CPs for their high output finishing moves. DKs need to spread diseases, Arcane Mages need to get their stacks up, etc.
Focus on the boss DPS
Instead of looking at the trash, focus on boss DPS. If after the first boss goes down your tank is still way above your DPS, and that DPS is lower than say 1500, you probably have an issue. Players in ilvl 200 gear (yes, even blues) should be able to pull around 1500 DPS, with an increase of about 1k DPS per tier level (plus or minus, your mileage may vary).
I guess my point here, is don’t crucify your DPS too early simply because they lag behind the tank in DPS. If they aren’t meeting the expectations (given their gear level) on a boss, feel free to kick away. Unfortunately for that freshly minted 80 though, they’re not going to touch my 4k tanking DPS.