The ten DPS commandments – Week 1

The ten commandments for DPS have made the rounds on the internet of late. They sum melee DPS up pretty well. I find it hard to add anything to them really. So why make a post at all, if the ten commandments are all that are needed?

Like the original 10 commandments, they are very general and non-specific. That is not to say they are poor, far from it. Rather, they show you the truth, but don’t tell you how to get to it. One may hold the truth in ones hand, yet not know how to implement it. With that in mind, I’ll offer my take on the meaning of each of the commandments in turn. Every week another post on the do’s and don’t of furying.

I. Do not die. Even if you can Ankh. Using your death as an aggro wipe is an abomination.

There it is, simple and straightforward. Don’t die. A veritable nobrainer indeed. Just avoid hitting 0 HP.

And yet, it happens time and time again that some melee dps’er gets themselves deadered by some mob or other. Usually, either because of overaggroing or because of not looking at the HP bar. Summed up: lack of situational awareness. If you don’t stay focused, if you just mash your buttons while oblivious to the world, you’ll likely end up dead.

The first thing is, don’t overaggro. Especially not at the beginning of the fight. Tanking classes vary, and tanks vary. While its undoubtedly the job of the tank to output masses of threat, remember that the tank also needs to keep themselves alive. So, their TPS curve might not be as steep as your TPS curve. Generally, a tank will out-TPS anybody after a while, but its essential to give them that little head start.

If you do catch aggro, stop your DPS, especially if its a nontauntable mob. You are already 10% ahead of the tank in threat, so the tank has enough of a problem getting aggro back from you without you adding more threat. If the mob is tauntable, the taunt might be on cooldown, in which case see below. It’s still a dicey game, since one is rarely uncrittable in DPS gear. Moral of the story, watch your aggro.

The next point is, use your health pots and healthstones. Don’t hesitate, thinking “But I only have one per fight. I might need it later.” If you die now, you can be sure that you wont need it later. So use your pots, use your healthstones. Thats why you brought them. If you’re hurting, but not immediately at risk, Enraged Regeneration is your friend. 30% of your health over 10 seconds can’t be bad. It’s no good against the mob hitting you, but it’ll help the healer keep the tank alive.

If you know you’ll take a pummelling, use your Commanding shout. It helps every other melee DPS’er too. If you’re really taking heat and no healing is in sight, defensive stance and a shield have been known to keep people alive. Shield Wall isn’t only for tanks. Yes, you’re desperate when you need to use it, but a live warrior still fights. A dead one is just ornamentation. And in desperate times, a few seconds might mean the difference between getting the situation under control and wiping.

The short of the long is: dying is the first and worst crime a DPS’er can commit. When you’re dead, you output exactly 0 DPS, and you’re being a hindrance rather than an asset to your raid. Sure, you may have the most awesome DPS when you’re alive, but fat load of good it does while youre eating the muck beneath the tanks feet. If your Omen screams at you, or if your healthbar looks distinctly empty, don’t rely on somebody else to save your sorry behind. Self reliance is what separates the living from the dead.

“I am the warrior. Death is my business, be it yours or mine.”

We all know which death is the right one, and which is the wrong one.


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