Thursday, November 15, 2012

DPS Cures Everything: Be Nice to Your Healers

I always go on and on about damage dealers and DPS and expecting more from them.  This time an experience in the LFR made me think about it again.  A poor healer got harassed and eventually kicked when I do not feel they deserved it.  There were a slew of damage dealers not doing their job of putting up big numbers while following mechanics and avoiding junk.  DPS cures everything.  Don't always blame the healer.

I've spent a great deal of white space on this blog posting how important I believe DPS is.  Everyone loves to toot the horn or tanking or healing as being important and they are, but are they that important, do they make the fight shorter, when all things are considered?

Don't get me wrong, I've basically been tanking all expansion, have not even stepped into one single raid as DPS yet so I am not saying other roles are not needed.  I am sure some people will read into what I am saying as I am meaning tanking and healing are not important and they would be wrong.  I am saying that DPS just makes everything easier.  Even tanking and healing.

As a tank, when you first attempt a new boss and you are rotating your cooldowns and learning how best to time them it becomes an iffy issue.  One wrongly timed cooldown when you could have used it for more effectiveness 6 seconds later could mean the difference between a kill and a wipe.  But as you get more attempts in and the DPS keeps going up as the damage dealers get more used to the fight and refine their output while doing the mechanics and avoid the junk you gain the luxury as a tank of not having to save those cooldowns for later, just in case, because later will never come.  The faster the boss goes down the less work it is for me as a tank to keep myself alive via cooldowns and less work it is for the healers to keep me up because they have to worry less about conserving mana the shorter the fight becomes.

When first learning a fight I always say all the pressure is on the healers.  Always has been and always will be.  When something is new they have less regeneration, smaller healers, and longer cast times.  Also, just like damage dealers get better with practice so do healers.  But unlike damage dealers when something is new and they are just learning you can often pin the wipe on not enough healing.  Unless you hit the enrage timer you will usually never say it was a DPS issue.  Unless you are me of course.  Enrage timer means nothing except you need more DPS for sure. It doesn't mean if you don't hit it you don't need more DPS.  You always need more DPS.

I say everything is a DPS issue.  Perhaps that is because I hold damage dealers to a much higher standard.  I expect more from them.  Some might say I value DPS way to much and they might be right but the way I see it is that DPS cures everything.

When doing the daily grind that first day of mists after reaching 90 they seemingly took forever.  Now with gear and pulling triple, or more, the DPS I was when I first hit 90 the dailies are just laughable.  I can run in and grab the 12 mogu I need to kill all at once and 30 seconds later go to turn in the quest whereas it used to take me what seemed like 30 minutes just to kill 12 of them.  DPS cured the dailies taking forever.

When doing old content it is really apparent as well, just like it is with the dailies.  Do you remember doing rag your first time and it took a while to down those fire elementals during transition?  You needed to assign people to areas, weaken some and move to others.  You would need to have them set up who goes where based on where the hammer fell and even when you executed perfectly, or it seemed so, one could still get through.  Go do it now, I implore you.  Even a tank can one shot the fire elementals.  The hardest fight of all of the last expansion is made trivial by DPS.  I can not speak for others but for my guild it was that transition phase that took us forever to get down.  Now it seems like nothing because they are all one shot mobs.  DPS cures everything..

I like to solo and I can tell you for sure that most solo fights are all about DPS.  Yes there are many that are about timing and using your abilities at the right time and your skill playing your character but many are about DPS.  Or at least in part about DPS.  I remember the first time I did many bosses solo.  Being a hunter with no real way to heal it became a race of who will kill who first.  AoE fights are not very hunter friendly.  Unless of course you can pump out the DPS.  If you can kill the boss before the boss can kill you then you are golden.  See, DPS even cures some soloing issues.

No matter what aspect of the game you are talking about DPS means everything.  DPS makes everything easier.

Now to the point.

A recent LFR run when the group was getting on the lowest healer (and I do admit they were pretty bad compared to the others but they were gemmed, enchanted, reforged and trying, you could tell) because their numbers were not great after two wipes made me think, why isn't anyone looking at the real issue.  There were 3 people, yes, just three people doing over 50K DPS.  If the rest of the raid were doing more DPS the fact this one healer was doing 8K less than the other five wouldn't mean a damn thing.  The boss would have been dead.

This is one of the reasons people do not like playing tanks or healers sometimes.  They get all the pressure put on them when the damage dealers get away scott free most of the time.  I hate that.  I say put more pressure on those that deserve it.  DPS cures everything and more pressure should be put on the damage dealers to do their job better.  Instead of blasting some poor druid healer that is barely the item level to be in there for being 8K HPS under the others try busting the balls of the damage dealer that has a 480 item level and can't break 30K. 

Put the pressure where it should be, on the DPS.  DPS makes everything easier.  Bad damage dealers makes everything harder, and remember, it is not just about damage, it is about avoidance as well.  Doing top DPS is never an excuse for standing in the bad.  So never try and say, I am making the fight easier on the healers by doing top DPS to make the fight faster so I am allowed to stand in the bad.  Nope, being a good damage dealer is about doing as much damage as possible while taking as little damage as possible.

DPS cures everything.  Give LFR healers a break sometimes, they might deserve it if they are not really that far behind.  Start bitching at the damage dealers that are not doing their job.  Easy or hard, the DPS decides.  Next time you wipe in the LFR don't look at the healer or the tank instinctively, look at the damage dealers.  Sure, it could be the fault of the tank or the healer but it usually isn't.  I'll bet you 4 out of 5 times if the damage dealers were better that wipe would have not happened.

Just look at the facts.

More DPS means a shorter fights.  Shorter fights means more cooldown up time for tanks.  Shorter fights means less mana issues for healers.  Short fights means less chances for someone to screw up a mechanic.  Shorter fight means healers covering for the idiot damage dealer that stands in junk becomes possible.  Shorter fights means easier fights.  Shorter fights are all thanks to DPS.

DPS cures everything.  Leave the poor healers alone unless they really deserve it.


  1. I hate LFR. A friend of mine coined the term "looking for morons" and it stuck. I'm not saying that you don't get good people in LFR. I mean like you're a good player and you run LFR so there's bound to be more like that. It just seems that when a lot of people run LFR they turn their brains off. Then when something goes wrong they start blaming everyone else but themselves. Me, if I screw up, I hold my hand up and admit it. I don't go find someone else to blame.

    I mentioned I think in a previous comment how so often when I go, the only dps above me are ones from my guild, and I'm a tank. In a regular raid with my guild I'm never above any dps, not ever. Sometimes in LFR I'll look at the numbers when there's been a wipe, both dps and healing. Occasionally there's some shockingly low healing numbers but far more often there's shockingly low dps. I mean if you can't do more than 12k dps how are you even level 90?

    We've been progressing through MV normal. Got 4/6 right now and we've got through the last 2 fights by having the holy priest swap to disc. The extra dps turned it from depressingly low % wipes into kills. We just needed that extra dps, there's wasn't anything that I could do more as a tank, I was flasked and pre-potting for strength as it was. When people get more used to the fights then it won't be such an issue. Dps as you said cured everything there.

    I agree with you I really do. Unless everyone in LFR is doing 30k+ dps then lay off the healers. Unless the healers only doing like 10k hps then fair enough. I mean when we couldn't find a healer for our first ever raid, as the person I asked to come let me down, I tried to go healing. I hadn't healed since 4.3, got pvp gear off the AH and went straight to the raid. I put out 19k hps, still awful it was very nightmarish, I do more healing as a tank, but if I can do that then I reckon any proper healer can do at least the same. That's off topic, upshot is I agree with you here. I think that all roles need each other but, particularly in 10 man, if a dps goes down then it's a wipe as sure as if a tank went.

    1. The poor healer I was talking about here was pulling 22K when most other healers were 28K-30K, still not fantastic in their own right. But they were all down on the 22K healer when there was a damage dealer in 480 gear pulling less than 30K. 480 gear should be good for at the very least 50K on a mostly stand still fight for any spec in the game. Heck, at least pull 40K. Don't blame the healer when you can see thy are trying and you aren't. (not you of course but you as the person complaining)

      LFRs are a nightmare. I had one group on the second boss of the second half of HoF wiping and wiping and they just could not get by. It was all a DPS issue and they were blaming everyone but the people they should have blamed. Switch to MCed people, down them fast, easy fight. Don't, impossible fight even on LFR. Simple as that. Stop blaming the freaking healers. I feel so bad for the people getting blamed when it is not their fault.

  2. There's a reason the mantra is...

    "Tanks/heals make or break normals, DPS makes or breaks heroics."

    And if you conclude that there's a reason high end raiding guilds gear DPS first, you can probably extrapolate that down to normals and LFR.

    1. As a casual raid leader I always say healers first. When learning a new fight the longer they can keep us up the more time we have to learn the "dance". The faster we learn the dance the fewer attempts it takes. But longer or shorter, once you learn the dance DPS is all that matters.

      I guess that is the reason why DPS matters so much to high end guilds, because they understand the simple fact that the shorter the fight is the better it is for everyone involved.

  3. This tier's been all about personal responsibility. I'd say to DPS that it's not all about putting out the numbers anymore, you HAVE to survive and help out. For the life of me, I can't teach my team to use the bloody healthstones.
    Heroic Feng - they get outside Velocity because they have Arcane resonance and they eventually die. No nothing. Makes me scream. So many cooldowns, so many things to help out - but dpses seem to be oblivious.

    I've mixed feelings about LFR. MSV only needs one tank to know how to do for all to go right. HoF, hm, needs some cooperation - people not die in silly things mostly and not hinder the tank (think Garalon). In LFR I've noticed dps isn't all that much of an issue, just having enough people alive to kill stuff. This is why people probably blame the healer. Of course higher dps would cure thigs, but so would higher heals.

    What I'm trying to say... for LFR... where do you set the lowest limit for each role? When do you say - it's the dps' fault because they're not outputting X dps each. When do you say - it's the healer's fault because they aren't outputting Y hps each. When do you say it's the tank's fault because he's not mitigating Z%. We also shouldn't tie this to gear, is the person geared with 495 item level outputting the minimum required dps? If so then he's doing his part. It's LFR, not a guild run where everyone is required to help as much as possible. This is probably why people tend to kick people with lower numbers, not comparing potential. I've noticed the other tank never does the dance on heroic will of the emperor, yet people don't get frustrated he's not doing his job. Well, if I'm doing it why isn't he doing it? It's like a 30-50k dps loss for him. Well... because it's considered acceptable. So LFR is all about being acceptable. not about doing what you need to do nor what you can do.

    1. Each of us set the limits where we think they should be. I put it on the damage dealers, as I said, many will disagree.

      Do more damage, avoid more damage, fight is done no problem. It is all on the DPS as far as I see it, even more so in the LFR.

      I guess I can not embrace the LFR mentality of doing the minimum of what needs to be done. Sorry, not the way I am built. I believe everyone should try to do the best they can do. I do not say that because your gear says you have the maximum potential to pull 80K DPS that you should do 80K DPS but I do say that if your gear says you can you should be pulling a hell of a lot more than 30K.

      Healers are a horse of a different color and can not be judged just on numbers alone. Some healers will do better on some fights. Some healers have abilities that favor things which will cause them to have higher numbers. Lets not also forget that healers need hurt people to pull numbers. If you have a disc priest in a group keeping maxed people with a shield then the druid with all their HoTs will be over healing and not healing so their numbers will seem lower. Things like that. The better your #1 healer is the worse your #6 healer will look even if they are not really that much worse, it is just because #1 is that much better.

      DPS does not have that stigma. Just because the the mage is doing 100K does not mean it lowers someone elses potential. This is another reason I put more pressure on DPS.

      We can all make our numbers in our minds on what we feel people should be doing and for me I feel the damage dealers could all be doing more damage and taking less damage. So that is where I say people should put the pressure. I've seen people in LFR doing 12K. 12K, can you F'N believe that? That was not even considered really good at the beginning of cataclysm in all quest gear. There is no reason any DPS should ever do 12K at level 90 even in all quest gear. 20K maybe in pure quest gear, not 12K and definitely not in 460 gear.

      Perhaps the problem is me, not them. I just expect more of damage dealers because I know they are capable of more. That means it is my fault and I am the one that is wrong for expecting them to play their role correctly.

  4. "I guess that is the reason why DPS matters so much to high end guilds, because they understand the simple fact that the shorter the fight is the better it is for everyone involved."

    Partially. The other part is that if the healers can heal X amount, then letting them heal X+1 amount is often irrelevant.

    Same for tanks. As long as tanks and healers *can* survive and manage to keep everyone alive, getting them more gear doesn't really help at all. But more DPS is always useful.

    Add to that the fact that most fights are balanced around DPS checks and the healing/tanking requirement is much looser (see crazy stuff like 3-4 healing Heroic Ragnaros).

    1. Never did heroic rag, should go back and do it, but I get what you mean. Some fights you might want to do differently because of mechanics but any fight, no matter what, is always better if you can somehow squeeze out more DPS as in 2 healers or 1 tank.

      We three heal things usually in my guild and our first kill on some of the bosses sometimes ends up having to have only 2 healers while our DPS are gearing up.

      Poor healers have to have all the pressure put on them. Seems like healers and tanks usually have more work put on their plates when DPS just can't cut it.

  5. "Poor healers have to have all the pressure put on them. Seems like healers and tanks usually have more work put on their plates when DPS just can't cut it."

    The reverse, in most cases.

    For example, Elegon. That's *always* intended to be 2 healed. Expecting your DPS to be able to do it with just 5 is putting more pressure than intended on THEM.

    Likewise for Gara'jal (on normal, at least).

    Taking more healers than actually needed is pure luxury. It gives people the freedom to make too many mistakes because they can be healed through. Blizzard addresses this by putting in Berserk timers. Otherwise, you could do Stone Guard with 3 tanks and 7 Disc Priests.

    1. And here I was thinking my groups DPS sucked when we needed to 2 heal gara'jal because we hit the timer 6 times in a row. lol

      Guess I've gotten so used to the luxury of having that extra healer around. I have to beat that out of myself. I think I got spoiled by not really running into a DPS check until heroic spine last expansion.

      I would love to try that with a raid boss. I have a disc priest in guild pulling 30K, better than many LFR people. lol

  6. "And here I was thinking my groups DPS sucked when we needed to 2 heal gara'jal because we hit the timer 6 times in a row. lol"

    Technically speaking, if your DPS were really good, you'd have enough DPS to 3 heal.

    On the flip side, if your healers were really good, 3 healing it would make it feel like they have nothing to do.

    I'm guessing that for the level your guild is at, expecting the DPS to be able to handle 3 healing it is probably expecting more out of the DPS than you expect out of the healers, if that makes sense.

    But in a theoretical sense, with a good raid, you could nine man it with two tanks, two healers, five DPS.

    1. We are a casual group so we do not stress it, we do it old school. The more attempts you throw at it the better people get a handling it.

      DPS will do better the more they see something, healers will do better the more they see something, tanks will be better the more they see something. I am sure being in more advanced guild you get where I am going. We take our time with refining our personal abilities, like one of the DPS did 52K first attempt and by the last attempt he was doing 78K. It just takes us more attempts than a hard core team most of the times.

      We hit enrage at 19% the first time, each attempt got better, when we had half an hour left to our raid night we were down to 6% at enrage. Seeing healer mana was seemingly a non issue I had one healer switch to DPS, we wiped the first time and downed it the second.

      Each team has their strengths and weaknesses, my team is odd. We one shot the second boss after we downed the first for the first time. Not sure many people can say that, but give us a nice and easy fight and we will find a way to screw it up.

      Good people however, and that is all that matters to me. We might be weird in that sense, but it sure makes playing with them that much more rewarding when we get something done.