Wednesday, February 11, 2009

The Art of DPS - Also an MMO Rant

An interesting post found by Holy Discipline made me think about today's post, which is the first since my first giveaway here at The MMO Experience. The post is regarding some basic rules that DPS classes must follow to be "good" at their class. While for the most part they are really common sense (Which doesn't mean people FOLLOW them, they're just common sense for anyone with a brain.) , the entire thought of guidelines for a person to follow just seemed to click in my head with something I was thinking about throughout the day yesterday.

I'm not going to be so arrogant and tell you I'm some paragon at ANY type of game, or any aspect of life. I've never understood how people could go to someones website and feel as if they are in the virtual presence of someone greater than themselves because said person is recognized as a great player. However I will state that I have played 3 Rogues and 1 Hunter, got them both to "high" end raiding status, and was known to at least be considered "good". (If anyone says differently, stating something along the lines "Danshir used to wipe us constantly, don't listen to his delusional nonsense" them no mind!)

What these various guides do not tell you is how to go beyond a typical "good" player. It's all well in good to know that one of your LEAST priorities as a DPS class is actually focusing on the damage aspect, but going from good to great is....what?

I can give my opinion on it.

A good hunter will trap on pulls, making sure to pull the target away from the group to avoid AOE damage, and time his trap so he can get 2 down to maximize how long the monster will be taken out of combat. A good hunter will use misdirection and all his tools available to ensure the aggro stays where it needs to be, on the tank, and not gank aggro himself. That and having a decent amount of damage in between these various tasks will mark you as a good hunter.

However you won't make people shocked and stunned with JUST that sadly. How do you go beyond that and truly make you it a work of art for people to praise you for? (Again, only my opinion, my person experience, and what SOME probably disturbed minds have said about me.)

A GREAT hunter, or any dps class really, will focus on all those tasks as WELL as keeping his dps high. Recognize the limits of your group/raid. For example, on my rogue if I was grouped with someone that seemed to be a decent tank, I would start using Blade Flurry and see if I could gank aggro on the 2nd monster.

If I ganked, I stopped using it. If I didn't then I had just made a note in my lil brain that I don't have to be so cautious with aggro, even on secondary monsters. This enables more options to increase your dps WHILE maintaining the unity of the group. (IE You're not constantly ganking dps and making everyone mad.)

Of course it's easy to say you need to do this WHILE maintaining your DPS as high as possible, but in execution it's rather difficult. Especially if you're participating in a "Pick Up Group" where you never know how good a tank is until the group has started and you've probed a little bit. So here is my set of guidelines to not only be a GOOD dps class, but to excel and have people make you their friend in case they need DPS for a heroic instance. (This practice is generally reserved for Healers/Tanks, as DPS classes are a dime a dozen. However I've had quite a few people make me their friend not because I was INSANE dps, but because I was a good player with good dps at the same time. At least that's what they said. I'm still under the firm belief I epic fail. Though on one occasion the rogue in our group had 500k dmg over all, I had over 1 million. *toots own horn*)

1: Always see what limits you have to work with. Bad tank? Hold back a little until you find a good pace. Great tank? Let loose and go insane!

2: Always verify with the group leader which icon they want you to pay attention to for whatever (if any) type of crowd control you need to perform. Do it quickly then resume your dps

3: No matter how squishy you are, if the healer is about to get sent to the abyss, take one for the team and take aggro if you can. The healer is almost ALWAYS more important than a dps class in terms of group survival.

4: Don't get lazy. There will be times that a situation calls for an entire switch of play styles. A great example is back in BlackWing Lair when all the tanks fell down dead on Vael, and I, the wittle Rogue, became a tank. You can either stay where the DPS goes and wipe the whole raid, or you can show that you listened to the WHOLE raid strategy and go where the tank needs to go, pop evasion, and become a hero. (I didn't, I did the former and wish I hadn't became lazy. Learn from my mistake eh?)

5: The Number 1 Rule for a DPS class is this: Your DPS is 0 if you're dead.


Today's discussion has nothing to do with my rambling that you've just read. If you learn anything from what I've typed above, then you've learned something from a madman! Good for you! Anyway, today's discussion is about parts of group edict in MMOs. What made me think of this was today I was invited to heal a Razorfen Kraul group. I was the last person they needed. However we couldn't start the dungeon because 2 members of the group continued to delay stating they were off doing something else and we would have to wait.

What is your opinion on people making the whole group wait while they do something by themselves? Should they be booted from the group? Should you wait on them in silence? Is that proper group conduct? Discuss =).


  1. It is annoying, but really depends on the group's willingness to wait for them, and what they need to delay for. While it would be proper etiquette, in my opinion, to be ready to do a thing before joining a group to do it, you could be the person who has been looking for a group for days to do something that you need to do, with no success. Just so happens that, just as you start that timed escort quest, a group forms to do that very thing. You don't want to miss out on it, and you don't want to take a fail on the quest you are on only to have to redo it later, so you join and beg for a delay while you complete it. Or the commission you just ported to *somewhere* for finally shows up with all the mats to make something for them, so you can't leave the job undone but want to go with the group forming up. Or RL intervenes...and RL is always trump.

    There could be lots of reasons other than being inconsiderate of everyone else's time. Repeatedly making groups wait for you, however, might get you passed over for invites. Just something to consider...and only my opinion.

  2. Words to live by there, "You do 0 DPS if you're dead". I forget the tricks of my trade sometimes in a pinch, but I think everyone does from time to time, so I try not to sweat it TOO much.

    As far as grouping... I guess I would have to say that it depends on what they were doing and how much they had invested in it before the group finally got together. For instance, they were off trying to get Elders in an out-of-the way place, which had taken them quite some time to get to. I'd give them a few more minutes because 1. they couldn't have known how quickly the group would be filled, and 2. I wouldn't want to have to do all that over again either. It's a touchy thing though, because on the other hand, you have the people who head toward the instance the moment they get in a group, and if it takes longer than expected to put the group together, they're wasting their time waiting at the meeting stone. So it's not unreasonable to continue, so long as it's only a few minutes. More than 10 and I start getting antsy though! :)

  3. Old post but worth replying: I used to play a mage and would occasionally get praise (and could usually get a group even when "nobody" needed any dps), but I later played a (resto) druid, and I'd definitely friendlist any of the great DPS I met, because when you have a good tank and great DPS classes, you can sometimes take an accidental triple pull (yes, heroics), and have nobody die, 'cos the mobs are frozen/trapped/stunlocked or tanked by voids, and people know when to kite to buy their healer time, and the tanks job then reduces to keeping the main nuke targets standing still and dying. :)


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