I’m sick of hearing tanks and healers talk like they’ve got the hardest jobs in the game and generally behaving as though DPS are a bunch of slack-jawed yokels who don’t do anything except mindlessly press the same handful of buttons over and over again, probably while drooling.
Don’t get me wrong, I absolutely respect that healing and tanking can be difficult and a lot of pressure. But someone needs to stand up and point out that DPS is not so easy that you could set your cat free to frolic across the keyboard and expect to see stellar results.
I’ve done some tanking and healing and I have a fair idea of how much work goes into being good at either role. Neither of them are roles I prefer though, so I have never bothered to try to be any better than what is needed to tank or heal a random heroic or (before this expansion anyway) the occasional raid.
In fact, in all my years of playing WoW, I’ve never stopped loving my mage – even when people laughed and said, “Oh, you’re an arcane mage? Doesn’t seem like it would be very fun to push the same button over and over.”
It wouldn’t be very fun if that’s all there was to it. Fortunately for me, there’s quite a lot more to keep track of than just my mana bar.
Utility: I has it
For those who aren’t aware, mages are utility machines. We have solid CC without any rotten lengthy cooldowns or inability to use out of combat. We have an interrupt (which does have a rotten lengthy cooldown). We can de-curse the accursed among us. And we can steal things and turn them against the mobs we stole them from.
Take into account our additional extra CC of Ring of Frost, the way we gently float people down from high places and our bags of tricks that can be employed to increase our own survivability, increase DPS and even heal ourselves in a pinch, and you might begin to understand that we are very, very far indeed from spamming one button over and over.
But here’s the thing: I’ve been sheeping and silencing and stealing for years now and, until recently, even I never fully realized just how often I am interrupting my own DPS rotation in order to bring that utility to the group.
The thing that did make me realize how often I am doing things beyond DPS is that I finally stopped relying on my own internal timer to know when to re-sheep a mob (though that was pretty damn accurate, I sometimes missed an early break or wouldn’t be immediately aware some idiot had broken it) and downloaded DoTimer and RSA.
I’ve never taken the trouble to go through and tweak the settings in RSA and have instead just let the thing announce whatever it was set to announce by default. That’s when I started spamming the hell out of party chat in heroics.
That’s the sort of thing that renders me a bit embarrassed – not enough to actually change the settings, but enough to cringe when someone replies to “Alastriona: Stole [Remedy]!” with some comment about how that’s nice, as if they think I actually took the trouble to not only steal the spell, but also to write out an announcement that I had done so.
Bad DPS versus good DPS
And that, of course, is when I started paying enough attention to party chat in pugs to notice when other people were also running RSA, and what it said they were doing. And despite there being lots of other classes out there with a lot of utility, it’s not altogether very common to see DPS actually using all their tricks and abilities. (This sweeping statement is brought to you by Recount, which seemed to bear out these observations in a by-and-large fashion.)
So, yes, there are certainly DPS out there who do just sit and go through their rotation and can’t be arsed to get out of the bad, let alone get in a timely interrupt or help with cleansing something. Those are bad DPS, just like we all have seen bad tanks (who overpull or won’t taunt or….) and bad healers (who use inappropriate spells or spend 95% of their time in bear or kitty form [like the druid healer we had in ZG the other day] or…)
The point is, good DPS do not just stand in one place and do nothing more than go through a memorized damage rotation, relying on muscle memory and the efforts of others to compensate for their not bringing that ranged spellcaster in with a well-timed silence or for their standing in the bad.
There is a world of difference between a good DPSer’s job and a bad DPSer’s job. Anyone who wants to ignore that has obviously never made an honest attempt at being skilled in every facet of their DPS alt or offspec.
Now get off my lawn and go pwn the meters while also bringing all manner of utility to the table.