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An ex-raid leader, gamer extraordinaire.

Friday, June 4, 2010

Benefits of Insane DPS

I love to explain everything with a napkin math.
  • Let's say the boss you're working on needs 30k DPS from the raid (After Tanks' DPS). 
  • With 15 DPSers, it means each DPSer needs to bring at least 2k DPS to bring the boss down to the table.
Here's a common pitfall - "Anything else is unnecessary".

All DPSers learn from Rogues that 'A dead DPSer does 0 DPS'. Non-dps classes evaluating the raid DPS seems to miss this bit when they're evaluating the raid DPS. To their eyes, 2k DPS is the amount their members should be pulling off. This evaluation relies on the fact that not a single DPSer dies during the boss fights. These guilds go with the bare requirements, having read on TankSpot the DPS they need to bring, and then complain that the boss enraged after some DPSers dying to [un]avoidable damage.

The blame goes to 'LolDPS died to fire.' and the raid leader making a lecture like 'Guise, PvE is easy. Sometimes there's fire, sometimes there isn't. Don't stand in the fire.'

Darling, we all know that. If you want to blame someone, blame the healers who leave DPSers to heal themselves with pathetic bandages on progress nights when people are learning the encounter thus, learning where the fire stands and how to avoid it. Progress means learning. People will make mistakes. Healers are one of the key buffers to help DPSers when they couldn't have avoided avoidable damage because they are not used to the encounters. But the real progress buffer with fights for DPS requirements is simply more DPS.

Let's say that the each DPSer was on steroids, and were pulling 3k dps a man. The boss does an avoidable damage, but say 5 DPSers died, unable to react to a complete new encounter the first time ever. Your remaining 10 dpsers are still pulling 3k dps each, which means the 30k dps requirement is fulfilled.

Further exaggerating the same example, if all your DPSers were doing 4k dps, then you would still have a shot after your 7 DPSers dying.
  • Progress kills are messy.
  • Progression guilds seek clean kills. 
  • Hardcore guilds pull off the same encounter with 5 people remaining in the raid, all of them being healers and wanding and smiting the boss from his last 100k health. 
  • The difference between the two guilds is, the latter clears the said encounter a good few months before the former.
Some encounters (Mainly, VoA, Onyxia and anything of that salt) do not have steep skill requirements. Most of them are pathetically easy tank & spank. Lots of people can die to avoidable sources of damage on progress nights, and it's not a sign of being a bad player. Sure, a good player might have a lucky reaction time the first time and adapt quickly, but case in point: 

Mimiron 25 Firefighter.

The Stars completed this challenge after 500 wipes. Knowing the fight myself, I don't doubt their kill was messy as hell. They most probably didn't instantly become more adapt to react to the fires after the 499th try and then suddenly killed it with 25 players remaining. Go to YouTube and watch Ensidia's Firefighter. More than half the raid (including the main tank of the bottom) is dead when the boss is downed. Were these lucky tries?

No, it's a simple equation. There are two definite points that dictate the length of the encounter:
  1. Enrage Timer. Some of these 'instant-kill' the raid, even.
  2. Healers' ability to keep up the tank and then the rest of the raid before going out of mana.
Progress doesn't mean 'learning not to stand in the fire', it means killing the damn boss. Killing the boss without any deaths is farming. You have to progress through the encounter first before farming it. 

What does more DPS achieve with all these? While theoretically, it could be calculated through a function with variables and an average approximation, you may never know when the healers are going to go out of mana. But, if the [hardmode] encounter lasts its time, it's likely that one or all healers are going to get OOM even before the enrage timer goes off. People will take avoidable damages and healers will have to heal these damages. Which one would you prefer:
  • Wiping for one-two months on flavor of the month (Formerly Yogg-Saron, Anub'arak, currently Lich King) before all your members learn the encounter inside-out and get a 'clean kill'.
  • Wiping for a week and killing it first time with 7 people remaining alive, the number increasing by 5 every subsequent reset and having the said boss long on farm status when the former guild has just had its 'clean kill'
Long story short, more DPS means more room for margin of error for DPS deaths, which is more common in progress guilds than the healers being unable to heal their BiS Tanks. 

This is why, while there is always a bare minimum for the DPSers, but this number should at all times be ignored, because this specific number is so low that 15 educated monkeys staying alive could pull it off. You will easily top these numbers if you know what you're doing and you should set sky (And not even the #1 spot on DPS meters) as your limit and pour liquid destruction on the bosses accordingly. 

PS: Being good at DPS doesn't mean being on the top of the DPS Meter. While it's a good sign you're doing better than rest of the people, DPS Meters should make you race with yourself, constantly making you do better than the previous attempt. If you're top of your guild's DPS Meter, it doesn't mean it's OK to just do enough to stay in top - that's counter intuitive to everything DPSers stand for. And conversely, just because you aren't the top of the meter, doesn't mean you suck because you did 20k DPS and your Fury Warrior did 22k. 

PSS: Randomly, please also pour your hearts into killing the trash ASAP. Our guild's mad DPSers were notorious for pulling the mobs in General Vezax's room 10 at a time, and AoE them down with 20-30k DPSers per head. While a horror of most guilds, we had the mod time with trash in Ulduar in there. Respect your fellow raiders and kill the damn trash as fast as you can!

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