Archive for the 'The DPS Commandments' Category


The DPS commandments – week 4

Following the template from the previous 3 sermons, this weeks topic is:

IV. Focus your Fire by assisting and following the kill order. ALWAYS.

A commandment that doesn’t really need much analysis. It’s really that simple: follow the dotted line, or in the case of raid markings, the order of the floating winegums.

Except, life is not always that simple. Eh wot? Did I just dare utter my slight disagreement with the commandment? Short answer: Yes ,with a but…

Long answer: No, with a however…

99.9% of the time, any melee DPS’er will not go outside the kill order, and they shouldn’t. If they do, they’re likely to get killed and/or get other people killed, i.e. not be worth their salt. And to those that say “But Imma offtank, so I needs to have aggro to save teh healurs” I reply: “Then why arent you bloody in tanking gear?”

There is, quite honestly, no excuse for melee DPS’ers to not follow the kill order. Unless you see something that the tank doesn’t, and you move to temporarily save the healer from certain death. In other words, if the tank is really unable to cope, due to either being CC’ed or dead or whatever, it is okay for you to neglect the kill order. Melee DPS’ers are more resilient than most casters and healers, so we will last those few seconds longer than they will.

Now, you can argue that ranged people have all the CC in the world, so why can’t they deal with it? They can. And if they’re worth their salt, they will. But sometimes, you do have that poor healer who needs to survive, and there are no others to help. Hello emergency offtank.

The lesson to be learnt from this week is: be disciplined, but alert.


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.


The DPS commandments – week 2

Time for the second installment of sermons, based on the DPS commandments by Weryl over at DPSPlate. In the interim, numerous commandment sets have sprung up all over various blogs and webpages. I’ll stick to the original, and deliver a long and, most likely, inanely obvious sermon to you. So please, do read on.

II. Do not cause your raidmates to die. In this way, do not allow the healers or wearers-of-cloth to become squished by Lesser Nasties should the Tank ignore them. Your weapon shall be your weapon, but CC shall be your shield in a time of trouble.

We are warriors. We wield big weapons. But when the animal waste product hits the rotating air-delivery apparatus, we must always fall back to our humble origins. Remember our very first Tier-set? Might. It was a tanking set. Remember our very second Tier-set? It was also a tanking set. We used to be a tanking class, with some DPS tacked on, at least judging by our available epics.

In a raid situation, or other group situation, one must never forget the credo “every warrior a tank”. So when it goes badly, it is our duty to whip out the ol’ sword and board and do our best to tank whatever mob runs loose. Or, if we’re supremely confident, dps-tank it. It matters not.

What matters is, that if your tank dies or overlooks something, we’re the next best thing. Especially if we can manage to get an intercept in. 3 seconds of stun is wonderful, both for us and for the squishy person we’ve saved.

In full DPS gear, our avoidance and mitigation is, let’s face it, worse if we were wearing swimsuits. However, we still have a goodly supply of health, usually more than most squishies. Use it. If you manage to get your shield equipped you are much better off. Do it. And then taunt and shield wall, and then shield block. Yes, your health will look like a hyperactive yoyo, but thats not your problem. That’s the healers problem.

At this stage: Apologies to all and any healers reading this. But when a DPS warrior has to emergency tank, they will need healing, and it is your job to provide it. Be warned, that the fury warrior in your party may try such things if your tank goes bellyup.

Ideally, of course, our tanks are both awake and alive, so we’ll never have to emergency tank. But in times of crisis, we can’t just think “not mah probluhm” and DPS on. Give it a spin sometime, it wont hurt (the healer) much, and they will thank you for it.


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.