Friday, October 24, 2008

The World Outside of Kara

I got the chance this past week to see some of the progression beyond Kara. This is the upside of "The Great Nerfing of '08". Even though I would have been previously undergeared for the higher stuff, I held my own. My best performance came throughout Gruul's where I was between 800 and 900 DPS and 3rd overall on the Damage Done meter. This is sort of how I gauge my performance.

Your DPS will vary with buffs, fight, and raid make up. Thus, unless you have a similarly geared 'lock with you, it can be hard to gauge where your DPS "should be". Overall Damage Done, IMO, is a more accurate depiction of performance when looked at in relation to the overall DPS of the group.

Say you're sitting at #6 on the DPS chart. This may be where you naturally fit in the group, with 5 people better geared than you, or better suited to the fight, or whatever. Then, if you show up as higher than #6 on the overall Damage, you have "out-damaged" others who are outputting higher DPS than you. This means you were more active, kept your DoTs up better, whatever. You just generally did a good job of making the most of the DPS you're putting out.

This isn't to say those other people were slacking, because heaven knows crazy things happen in battle that really mess up damage output. Some fights are definitely easier for some class types. But, you can rest assured that you were "pulling your weight" if you are out-performing your DPS ranking. At least that is my take on it.

The goal here isn't for "bragging rights" or anything like that. In a perfect group on a perfect fight, your DPS ranking would equal your Damage Done ranking. In a very good group, when things don't go perfectly, people will pick up the slack for other people who have been incapacitated or something through no fault of their own. This is what makes a good team.

So, your goal should be do be equal to or better than your DPS ranking, as this lets you know that no one has needed to "step up" for you. When it is not, you should try and think about why that is. Maybe you died early, maybe you didn't position well, maybe you were just silenced for half the fight. Whatever the reason, you can learn a little about your class and playstyle by thinking this way.

I personally "stepped up" in Gruul's Lair, but then sucked it big time in Tempest Keep. As an aff'lock, obviously I'm there for the hurt I can put on bosses (trash right now is rather weak for 'locks because it dies too fast). On both the TK bosses we attempted (VR and Solarian), I died early in the fights because of random things: AoE bombs on the part of VR and falling damage from Solarian's "time-bomb" that hit too close.

The good news is we had a great group, so we were able to down two of the three bosses we faced on the first try (VR included despite my poor performance). Solarian gave us a lot more trouble, and we still need to work on our strategy for that fight. A vast majority of people in the group were there for the first time (me!), so we weren't very fluid. It was my first time with all of these, so there are definitely things I could have done better. Avoiding AoE related deaths is one big one.

In any case, here are some cool screenies from our fun:

That Gruul is one ugly cyclops.

Love the voice overs in this, much like Curator. Killing a giant robot is fun.


  1. Grats on the downing of Gruul and Lootreaver. Regardless of the huge nerf, it's still a step in the right direction.

    Our guild has the motto "the only meter that matters is the threat meter" but it's always good to use something like Recount & WWS to judge your overall performance. Seeing where you can slip in that extra Shadowbolt or something always helps.

  2. I get really frustrated when people obsess over the Damage meter. Even locks should understand that being at the top of the DM doesn't mean crap in compared to what the group has achieved. What if you have to keep a demon off of the tank by banish. Doesn't that make your DPS much lower? How about if you are a hunter? Keeping something freeze trapped to make sure the clothies stay alive... now that's an achievement to be excited about. Now I'm not saying that it's pretty neat to do damage. I'm a tankidan so I don't really feel the joys that you do but I'm much happier to have you doing your job by killing the boss, not pulling aggro off me, and keeping that big ugly demon off my butt until we can finish the job. Then you can take you lovely pictures of Gruul laying on the floor :)

    Just a tanks opinion.....

  3. Yeah, my point is not to use it to judge others, but to judge yourself. As a DPS'er, its hard to get a baseline for how well you're doing. That is to say, tanks know they're good if they're holding aggro, healers are good if ppl aren't dying, what about DPS? Especially in a big raid, its a lot easier to "hide" and be "dead weight". Damage meters are really the only ones to judge how you're doing as a DPS (threat meters are also huge, but I consider that DPS'ing 101).

    I should point out that I don't agree with a "leetist" attitude concerning the meters, but only advocate them as a tool of self inspection.