The DPS commandments – week 3

It’s been slightly more than a week truth be told, but it’s never too late to pick up the baton again. So without further ado:

III. Do not overtax your healers by taking undue raid damage. In this spirit, do not stand in front of the Big Nasty, nor should you stand in any nastiness the Big Nasty has strewn on the floor.

This could also be known as the “Don’t stand in the fire” commandment. It’s inherently unwise to stand in any mob abilities that have stuff on the ground beneath you. Whether it’s blue, green, lilac or red…get out of it smartly. It’s surprising how many people fail to fathom this simple truth of raiding in fact. You see people dying because they “didn’t see it”, or because “it didn’t hurt so much last time”. Don’t wait around you fools, get out of it. Would you stand in burning pitch in real life? Thought not.

In any case, this is not about people who stand in fire. It’s about the commandment and what it says. In short: take no damage. Which is all good and well, but how do you avoid taking damage, or at least minimise it?

The first, and most basic, of rules is: don’t stand in front of mobs. It is not only a good idea from a damage taken perspective, but also from a DPS perspective. So, get behind the mobs, always, unless it means certain death or certain add-pulling. That goes for groups of mobs as well. What oneshots a rogue leaves a DPS warrior heavily injured despite the plate, and if two mobs are present, well, it’s dead Jim.

The second rule (or guideline if you will) is: know your mobs. Know which mobs do cleaves, which ones do whirlwinds, which mobs have interruptable AOE, which mobs have casting time on their nasty abilities. Reading up might not save your hide in all cases, but in the few where death is avoidable, the literate warrior is distinguished from their non-reading brethren.

Rule 2.1 is: apply your knowledge from rule two. If you can’t interrupt the hurty stuff, move out of it instead of blindly stand around thinking “lalala, if I just DPS some more the healers will save me”. You are melee, you are expendable cannon fodder if things go badly. If you get hurt too much, you can be sure the healers will notice, and you will NOT be saved if the choice is between you, and another DPS’er who takes far less damage. Healing priorities don’t favour suicidal melee folks.

Minimising damage also takes the form of thinking about your cooldowns. Yes, all our fun stuff makes us hurt more, and while I’m not saying “don’t blow your cooldowns”, I’m merely saying “don’t necessarily blow your cooldowns while youre standing in a blizzard”. Think before acting. In most situations, cooldowns are used as dictated by the fight, but sometimes it doesn’t hurt (pun intended) to wait 3 seconds until youre out of the nasty bits.

The final thing is a virtual no-brainer, yet it still happens time and again. It’s so simple, and simple to forget when your blood is up. Do not hit the mob before the tank, and do not overaggro. It’s so very basic, yes I agree, but it’s also a surefire way to be hurt badly. But, admittedly, it’s on par with saying “don’t step in front of an oncoming highspeed train”. Don’t…just don’t.

The overshadowing concept I’m hinting at throughout this post is: situational awareness. Blind pushbuttoning is out. Look at where you are, and where you’re going. Be mindful of the overall situation in general. Is the tank in a bad spot with HP? Then you’re not likely to get healing just now. Are the healers in trouble, or even dead, ditto. Use your eyes and common sense.

Oh…and don’t stand in the mobs Cleave.


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