Home > Uncategorized > Golden rules of DPS

Golden rules of DPS

When I was first considering doing a blog, one of the things I really wanted to post about was various ‘skill’ related things. In a computer game its very easy to lose track of what skill is. Everyone’s pressing buttons, so what separates one player from another?

Throughout wotlk DPS has been perceived as the ‘easy’ job. You sit there and you set pew pew lazers to maximum and let the boss have it. Occasionally you switch to the adds and kill them. As such now towards the end of wotlk in the casual to semi casual parts of the game skill is almost never considered, and experience comes down to have you been in a group that’s killed the encounter before? Never mind if you were on the floor the entire time because you failed and died. This ‘casual’ part of the game has taken up the old raiding mantra of if you have the gear, you have likely been farming the bosses for a while, you know what your doing. Sadly this is no longer so black and white with full tier and badge gear so readily available to non raiders.

So what makes one player better than another? Over (potentially the next) several blog posts I intend to go over some of these things, some will be more philosophical things, some will be practical. This post? I intend to go over several ‘rules’ of DPS, mostly with a eye towards cataclysm. While these are aimed at dps, they can apply to healers and tanks as well in some regards.

Rule 1) Avoid avoidable damage.
It sounds obvious, but a lot of people don’t, especially in pugs. People tend to avoid the REALLY obvious ones (Green DND on LDW anyone?) but tend to fail at the more subtle ones, such as ghost explosions (again, on LDW). This is especially true of the ghosts on LDW where 2 people failing at the same time can lead to a large portion of the raid dieing instantly. This will become especially true as we head into cataclysm and healers won’t have the time/mana to save your sorry ass because you didn’t move.

malleable goo about to own people

This is avoidable, it does bad things when you get hit. And god kills a puppy. 😡

Rule 2) Minimize unavoidable damage
Some damage you can’t avoid, no matter how hard you try. Sindragosa is a very good example where individual players can have a lot of control over their incoming damage through unchained magic/mystic buffet. Especially with mystic buffet you have to watch how many you have so you don’t take a huge amount of damage, but you have to take some damage in order to damage the boss. At the same time, some/most classes have some ability’s to reduce incoming damage significantly without a huge impact on dps. Neither ward, bark skin and divine protection all come to mind here, I tend to use neither ward when I reach 5+ stacks of mystic buffet.

Rule 3) Make yourself more available to multiple target healing spells
What do I mean by this one? Unless theres some boss mechanic which means you need to GTFO and away from everyone else, stand next to them. If a shammy chain heals you and it doesn’t jump to someone else, hes going to be annoyed. If you arn’t next to anyone you won’t be picking up the CoH/WG splash healing, and they won’t be getting the splash healing of you.

Rule 4) Move into healer aoe effects
So these days pretty much every healing spec has some form of ‘true aoe’ healing, an effect on the ground that heals people in it (or in the case of paladins, heals people around them). they’re fairly obvious, so stand in them, for bonus points stand in the over lap between 2 aoe healing effects. Yes we know they can look similar to other bad effects in game, use your brain to differentiate between good and bad stuff on the floor. If you can’t see these effects then you should probably read my post about fixing that bug.

holy priest AOE healing effect

holy priest AOE healing effect


Where to stand for healer aoe effects. NOT HARD

Where to stand for healer aoe effects. NOT HARD


Rule 5) Watch your agro, especially on newly spawned adds
Don’t be that idiotic dps that <insert big nuke here> the taunt immune boss/add/trash before the tank can even lay a finger on it. Don’t even do it when its not taunt immune. Watch omen and try to wait to open up. If your class has a lot of ramp up/debuffs then apply those first, for example I tend to open up with Curse of X, Bane of doom, corruption, then immolate. Yes, its not the ‘top dps’ opening. But it lets me do something when I can’t/don’t want to be causing a huge amount of agro and having a internet dragon go NOM NOM NOM to my face, and then when I can do my big nukes I don’t have to worry about applying curses etc.

Rule 6) Just because you have to move, doesn’t mean you have to stop dps
Biggest misconception. Ever. Especially when its something like the twilight cutters on normal mode Halion where with a little planning you can chose when you move. Know your instant spells, take advantage of them. Cast corruption? Move a bit. Improved imp proc? Move a bit again. When we all reach 85 fel flame will make this bit easier, as we’ll have a spam able instant cast spell. Sometimes you will have to move suddenly with little warning, use that time to refresh corruption, cast shadowburn, shadowfury, shadowflame, life tap if its a long fight, cast conflagrate when it comes of CD. Do something.

Rule 7) Pew pew at boss
Lastly, and actually least,  turn your pew pew lazers at the boss and fire.

Categories: Uncategorized
  1. November 4, 2010 at 3:11 pm

    Hmmm we used to judge a player by their gear alone (before the Achievement system was brought in) and that was never a good system either. But now, yes, you do hear horror stories of players with Kingslayer making very basic mistakes. And with GDKP runs who has the best gear is even more misleading.

    One of the best things about playing a DoT heavy class is that it forces you to think about your spell casting not just at the moment (when you have a Malleable Goo flying at you!) but also about what you might need to reapply 20 seconds, 4 minutes or whatever from now. When I know I need to move soon, that’s when I start pondering if I can wait until it’s time to reapply an instant DoT.

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