Monday, February 2, 2015

Tips and Tricks of Successful DPS Pt. 2 - Don't Die

Welcome to part two of my tips and tricks! Visit part one where we talked about the importance of uptime.

I've written a guide before on how to learn how to learn how to play. If you aren't already doing well, you should start there. This is less 'how to play' and more advanced tactics on upping your game. 

I primarily play ranged, though I have had experience as melee DPS. If you're already a superstar, you probably won't need any of this advice, but if you don't already know your class' rotation, you might not get as much out of these as you could. I really can't go through and tell you on a class to class basis which abilities you should be using to accomplish these goals. You have to already know that. I've been a balance druid for six years - if, like most people, you are literally any of the other twenty two damage dealing specs, I won't have much detailed advice about your class to give you.

To recap, there is one ultimate truth to successful DPS:

Perform mechanics correctly while avoiding taking damage or dying and simultaneously continuing to perform your rotation efficiently and effectively.

The most important aspect of this is, in my opinion, is uptime, which we discussed last time. Your uptime is your active time, time spent hitting the monsters. In order to maintain uptime, you have to learn how to adapt your rotation to boss mechanics and movement - in order to not die.

no no no you're doing it wrong

Not Dying

Not dying is technically the most important part of successful DPS. However, I find that it's also the most obvious, so I put it lower on priority. You'll naturally avoid dying at the cost of uptime before you sacrifice yourself in an attempt to maintain uptime. We all know that it's important to not die, but today we'll go into detail.

Melee and ranged have relatively similar focuses in this department, but different threats on a boss per boss basis.

There are clearly obvious ways to not die - using defensive cooldowns, healing yourself, avoiding damage - but the biggest aspect to not dying is reaction time.

Reaction Time:

This is something that is hard to teach. Your reaction time is, pretty obviously, the amount of time it takes for you to react to something. Reaction time is something that varies between players on a personal skill level. Reaction time is something that you can practice, but it can deteriorate, too - unfortunately, sometimes through factors we can't control, like aging. If you don't have a good reaction time, you can always try to get help through the use of addons.

watch out!

Deadly Boss Mods and BigWigs have built in announcements for dangerous abilities, but if you find you need a little extra help there are other addons you can try as well. GTFO is specifically created to announce when you're taking damage, and it also lets you know when you've already failed - which can help you learn from your mistakes. Weak Auras and Power Auras give you the ability to make additional graphics show up on your screen in reaction to certain factors - debuffs, buffs, cooldowns, and even your health pool total.

Your focus is reacting to incoming damage or mechanics in the appropriate way. If you can track when the ability will be occurring, you can plan for it, but sometimes abilities don't have timers, or happen randomly. Being aware of what abilities you will face and what abilities you should use to counter them will help you, but your goal should be being able to react to something unexpected.

Where you are when these things happen matters, too. If you're already in a bad spot, you're just making things tougher on yourself.


Where you're standing is important on every fight, and varies from fight to fight. Obviously, you should stand wherever you're supposed to, but I have one good tip for fights where you have to spread out and move around.

If you have to spread out a certain distance from others, move out of range and stop. I would hope your raid members are smart enough to also do this, and I would hope they would be smart enough to move away from you in the first place. In a situation, like for example Arcane Volatility on Mythic Twin Ogrons, where a few people have to move a short distance away from everyone, the worst result would be you and someone else trying to move away from each other and just running around like idiots, bumping into each other and other people while trying to get out of range of each other. When you have to spread out, move and then stop. Just stop. If someone else moves into your range, pause a second to see if they continue to move out of the way, if they don't, only scoot a little bit - hopefully, though, your raid members are decent.

hopefully not your raid members

If all else fails and so do you, there is one last thing you can fall back on to avoid tanking the floor.


If you take damage or find yourself in a tough spot, the worst thing you can do is panic. Knowing how to react to taking damage, either by accident or by something uncontrollable, will help keep you alive and keep you from panicking. Sometimes if you take damage from something you shouldn't have, you will accidentally still try to react - try to move, or use an ability - so it's important to always remember if there is nothing you can do in order to try and recover, then just keep attacking. However, if "not attacking" is something you can do to not die, then do that. This is only the case in just a few encounters that I can think of.

Once the damage has been done and you've failed to avoid a mechanic, if you aren't already dead, recover if possible and most importantly, remember to refocus on the next upcoming threat to avoid complicating things any further.

For best results, combine parts one and two. Not dying is the straightforward part - you need to remember to keep your rotation going in the midst of danger, while continuing to not die. Check out part one, linked at the beginning and below for you convenience, and stay tuned for the third and final part coming within the next week or so!

- Tips and Tricks Series -
Pt. 1    Pt. 2    Pt. 3

No comments:

Post a Comment