It’s All The DPS’ Fault

DPS Chart

Nothing says "bloodthirsty warrior" like number crunching

I was dicking around in WoW again over the weekend and decided to run a couple of PUGs with one of my Warriors. It’s been a while since I’ve done one and, let me tell you, I don’t miss it at all. I mean, I miss the grouping and the tanking and general dungeon crawling, just not the nutsacks that I seem to get landed with on an all-too-frequent occasion. I’m sure there’s some legitimate psychological reason why people behave like monkeys when they’re matched up through the random dungeon finder and not when they’re playing with friends or guild mates but alas I fear I’ll never know of it.

This particular dungeon run started off the same as any other: in complete silence with the DPS running on ahead trying to play chicken with elite mobs before the tank and healer had even finished loading. Anyway, I was tanking (as is my delight) and the Paladin healer was doing a fine job despite the continual complaints from someone in the party that he wasn’t wearing the correct set of gear for the job. All was going well enough until half way through the dungeon when one of the DPS players went rogue and decided to pull several groups of mobs onto us like a small child pulling down a bookshelf on top of themselves. Like the awesome seasoned veteran I am, I braced for impact and did all could but we eventually wiped in a blaze of glory.

I’m an easy going chap and after suffering through death mechanics invented by sadists in MMOs of days gone by, the mild stratch that is the abyss in Warcraft doesn’t phase me in the slightest. I didn’t even feel the need to reprimand the pull happy offender as, y’know, mistakes happen. As it would be though, he or she had a completely different idea of who was to blame.

“HEALER YOU SUCK!” were the first words they shouted as soon as they returned from the loading screen. Suffice to say the diplomatic situation of the group declined quite quickly from there on until eventually our healer quit and I got kicked for taking too long to return to my corpse. Charming.

To be honest, this isn’t the first time I’ve had issue with DPS classes in PUGs and although I usually play the tank so I’m not in a position to comment on that, I find that 95% of all the healers I’ve had have been well versed and well played. It always seems to be the rest of the party that lets us down with their incessant need to try and pull mobs before I do, steal aggro whenever possible, never assist the tank or continually berate us with whines about something or rather.

Now It’s not that I think DPS classes are easier to play than tanks or healers (the last time I suggested that I got crucified by a virtual lynch mob so my lips are sealed tonight) but they are certainly a role that comes with a lot less responsibility and is a lot harder to measure the success of. Horrible add-ons like DPS meters don’t help matters as all they do is train people to put out as much damage as they can to try and top the charts without consideration of strategy, threat or cooperation.

Unfortunately it’s just far too easy for DPS to blame healers for not keeping them alive or tanks for not holding threat properly than it is to accept their faults and/or limitations and play as part of a team. It also puts Blizzard in a bit of a quandary when they’re trying to alter the mechanics of play and make the DPS role more challenging and strategic because as long as they expect to be babysat through groups, the finger of failure will always be pointed at the tank or healer and never at themselves.

I’m not saying all of this because I’m trying to be a Negative Nancy here though as I actually do have a solution to all of this. Seeing how much players like metrics and big flashy signs popping up on their screens, I think Blizzard should create a DPS Performance Indicator bar. It could be a little box that sits on the screen of every damage dealing class and changes colour from green to red depending on how well the person is playing. Steal too much threat, pull too many mobs or whine more than three times in 10 minutes and a giant throbbing neon announcement flashes up onto the screen announcing “DPS YOU SUCK!”.

Yes, I think that would do the trick.

Anyway, I still finding myself enjoying WoW regardless of these PUGs (gotta laugh, right?) but I think I’ll be sticking to soloing, PvPing and hanging out with my friends and guild mates for a while. At least until I need another inspiring story to blog about.


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  1. Why is it “always” the DPS’s fault in WoW? Because a typical group is 1 Tank, 1 Healer, 3 DPS, correct? If everyone is fucking up equally, then DPS will be to blame 3x as much as the Tank or Healer.

    Plus, people always want to blame someone else. So, it’s easier to blame the DPS since they are more numerous. Personally, I think it’s always the blogger’s fault, since they probably set it up so that they have an excuse to post something. ;)

    • Gordon says:

      “I think it’s always the blogger’s fault, since they probably set it up so that they have an excuse to post something”

      ROFL :D Funny y’know, cause when this happening I was chuckling to myself thinking it would make a great story ;)

  2. Klepsacovic says:

    I say it’s always the healer’s fault.

  3. The LFG system in place right now breeds this sort of behavior, unfortunately. When you have no responsibility to others, no motivation to be nice, and no reason to communicate…everyone thinks they can get away with doing things any which way they want, then blame others when surprise, surprise, they discover not everyone else thinks like them. As a fellow tank, I’ve encountered difficult DPS in the past. A lot of the time, these are overconfident players, who overestimate their own abilities and have unrealistic expectations of their tanks and healers.

    Anyway, I’m surprised your DPS had the nerve to insult the healer, and not just because he or she was the one who should be apologizing for that stupid move. Not sure how it is for you, but healers and tanks are hard to come by on my server, if you’re DPS be prepared for a 15 to 20 minute wait to get into a random dungeon. You do NOT piss off your healer :D

    • Gordon says:

      I think a lot of it comes from the unproven need to have follow cookie cutter specs and have certain gear and a certain gearscore. The DPS guy was alienated towards the healer right from the start because he didn’t approve of the fellow’s gear even though it really made very little impact on his performance. As Blizzard keep trying to tell us, you don’t need to be 100% perfect to play and there is actually quite a lot of wriggle room.

      • It’s not even a question of wiggle room from perfection. You have that in current raids. If you get placed in a 5man other than the ICCs or maybe ToC with even a moderately geared and competent tank (say 4.5k gs), and dps that are not stupid-bad (aggro pulling, facepuling etc., <1k dps), then healing is a faceroll even on day 1 of 80 with a pile of greens.

        When I was trying to do undergeared, I would run tank/healer combos through randoms in all blues (def capped tank though) to go for BiS blue gear, and we could carry 3 numbers poor dps easily (facepullers and other terribads not so much). If the tank didn't try to pull multiple trash packs, I would generally have time as the healer to dps some and be kinda bored if I didn't. Even ToC5 wasn't that hard. As a healer it was *far* less stressful than healing raids.

        The 3.0 heroics were designed to be doable by average players with 155-187 blue gear and leveling enchants/gems. Of course, we often took a raft of shit going in with our fully enchanted and gemmed 187-200 blues in undergeared merely from looking at our GS. On my pally, I finally succumbed to buying a bunch of crafted/emblem epics and equipping them for my LFD dungeon crawls just to avoid the hassle.

  4. Tesh says:

    Hmm… how about altering that just a wee bit and making threat actively decay the DPS meter, complete with sparklies that tell you why? Or maybe make it a mechanic; if you have more threat than the tank in an instance, your offensive output declines by a proportionate percentage. Steal 100% threat from the tank? Prepare to do no damage whatsoever.


  5. Shouldn’t the tank or the dungeon leader be the one with the responsibility to say who pulls and whatnot in an instance?

    If so, then the DPS puller would be at fault in this case, right?

  6. Adam says:

    “…when one of the DPS players went rogue…”

    I see what you did there …

  7. Akely says:

    If one was so inclined as to try to find a reason except from people being idiots one might reason that most people do not understand the mechanics of the games they are playing. They do not get how aggro works, how different buffs affect themselves and/or others or even how mobs are triggered. They just play. And the game is so easy that most of the time that works, given that the basic level and gear of the players are better than the gear required for the instance.

    Mostly I’d go with the “people are idiots” explanation though.

    • Gordon says:

      It’s a tough cycle to break. If players die because they don’t know how to play, it’s easy for them to blame someone else and just find another group that will carry them. Getting them to learn and adapt and improve seems to be really difficult.

  8. Bronte says:

    Tank died? Healer sucks!
    Fan of Knives Addict Rogue died? Healer sucks!
    Arcane Explosion Addict Mage died? Healer sucks!
    Boss wiped group? Healer sucks!
    Healer died? Healer sucks!

    How is it possible that nearly 100% of everything that goes wrong in a dungeon is somehow the healer’s fault?

  9. zahraah says:

    need more healers that stand up for themselves

    • Expert Novice says:

      Ha. Isn’t the whole point of the healing mentality to be a bit… pacifistic? I mean I know they like DD as much as the next guy (I way take that back lol, people obsess), but they’re more leader~ish players, right? I’m not rolling with stereotypes here, I’m just saying anyone who is willing to press a button for /someone else’s enjoyment/ isn’t likely to dispute the idiocies brought to the table by some man-child DPS-exclusive player with virtual compensation. Get where I’m coming from?

  10. Utakata says:

    You know…before 4.0.1, my main, a Fire Mage of Gnome pigtails used to top 5 peeps heroics between 4 and 8k on average. And I never pulled aggro unless intended. Why? Because the tank would let me know they’re noob and/or undergeared…and I would tone it down accordingly – to help them out, because they needed the gear and learning experience too.

    You know…most Heroics in Wrath only require 1.4k to successfully clear. I’m not sure what people don’t understand when they have massive wiggle room in toning it down and still get it done in time for dinner. We’re not trying to take down LK…just finish an instance without the epeen and grief. Just saying…

    • Gordon says:

      “I’m not sure what people don’t understand when they have massive wiggle room in toning it down and still get it done in time for dinner. ”

      Exactly. Everyone wants to be perfect instead of just enjoying the game and the company of the other players!

  11. theanorak says:

    I’m prone to twitch a little at the “everything is the DPS’s fault” meme because, as best I can tell, it’s not really fair (although I would say that, as I’m primarily a DPSer). Lots of perfectly nice DPS will just shut up and take it when faced with obnoxious tanks or healers, on the basis that it’s better to just get on with it than wait 30 minutes for a replacement healer or tank.

    That said, a general “performance meter” for stupid behaviour might be a fun thing, to track DPS ninjapulling, tanks who don’t EVER let anyone loot, etc :)

  12. Nils says:

    When I tank heriocs I only encounter dps that are too slow. Or healers that are too slow. I never had a problem with people complaining about me. If anything is said at all then: “Great Tank, so fast”.

    I laugh silently sitting on my chair when I read this, because I know how some dps/healers hate this. But all I do is play the game the way Blizzard wants me to play it! it’s not like I actually needed a healer as tank in a heroic. I’ve made my way though several heroics with just 2 dps. One dps and the healer would go on strike. So what? My epics are that IMBA, literally.

    Do I enjoy the Dungeon Finder? It is probably the most stupid MMO-related invention in that decade: I like to point people to the “why” when I tank.

    Why do I use the DF? Because I am human.

  13. Anti says:

    Blizzard already implemented a system to inform DPS when they suck.

    its called a spirit healer.

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