Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Bad dps

As noted, I've dinged 80 with my third character. I noted something very interesting this time, which I hadn't before.

My first two characters were both geared up as healers. I ran instances as healer, rolling greed on dps gear I needed. As a healer, I could solo stuff, but didn't do much dps. I considered 1.5k dps "good", 2.0k dps "great", and anything above that superb. Why? Most dps I ran heroics with was around 1.5k, some of them lower. When I got a dps that could pull out somewhere above 2.5k, I was amazed.

At some point I got dual spec on my shaman, and could suddenly pull out quite decent dps as elemental. I joined a Naxx25-man, doing somewhere around 2.5-3.0k dps. I was very satisfied. Not that I topped the charts, but I was definitely far from the bottom. I assumed it was because I'd gained so good gear while healing... many ilvl 213-pieces, even.

When I levelled up as bear, I had tanking spec- and glyphs. I could go cat, but I had trouble breaking 3k, even mostly clad in ilvl 219-gear with several pieces higher. I was happy breaking 2k while tanking in bear form.

Now, when I levelled my DK, I did so with a heirloom axe, chest and shoulders, and with a Unholy PVP spec. The most important dps talents, but also stuff like On a Pale Horse, Improved Unholy Presence, and 17 points in Frost to get Endless Winter. 17 points in Blood would've been much better for dps.

At lvl 78, in Culling of Stratholme, I broke 1.5k dps. I'd like to repeat that. Two levels before 80 I did more dps than most dps I had ran with when I was healing at lvl 80. Apart from the heirloom stuff, I had quest blues and greens.

At lvl 80, I quickly broke 2k dps, after respeccing to a pure dps spec. I did 3.5k dps on Onyxia 10-man, but that fight hugely favors Unholy DKs due to the AoE damage on the whelps. Fast forward a few upgrades. Interestingly enough, upgrading from the heirloom axe with Crusader (which hardly does anything at lvl 80) to the ilvl 219 axe from TotC heroic with Rune of the Fallen Crusader was less of an increase on my dps than I'd expected it to be. Unholy is much less dependant on weapon damage than Blood and Frost, I believe.

At the moment, I've got a gear score of around 2000 in That translates to mostly ilvl 200 gear plus 4 ilvl 219 items and three items below ilvl 200. I pull 3-3.5k dps on single target fights in 5-man. Above 4k raid-buffed. Much more on fights featuring adds and cleaving. I pulled well above 7k dps on Onyxia 25-man, but that fight isn't the best to check that kind of stuff.

I've got a fairly good knowledge about death knights, but I'm far from mastering it. I still make noob mistakes like forgetting to save a blood rune for Death and Decay when it's coming off cooldown on AoE fights.

The conclusion I pull from this is that many of the dps I've met lack knowledge of their class. They lack knowledge about what makes the better upgrades, priorities on their attacks, they forget to use cooldowns, and so on. Or to say it with a word: They suck.

Dps is a way more forgiving job than tanking and healing. You can get away with much less knowledge about your class and gear than you can as a healer or tank.

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