Friday, 6 August 2010

Damage done vs DPS

The Pugnacious Priest is working out some guild issues in her blog.

Basically, she's getting criticised because her dps is too low (although I think 11k is pretty damn nice), and she responds to this criticism by pointing out that her total damage done is not too shabby - in fact total damage done comes in at 7th or 8th in a 25 man raid.

While this is valid to an extent, and certainly appears to have convinced some of her blog commentors, I'm not sure I agree that damage done > dps all the time. For this to be true it implies that if you die it must be your own fault - you have sacrificed some dps and instead gained some extra life time during which you have inflicted extra damage. This analysis neglects two points -

1) It's not always your fault if you die!

Sometime's it's the tanks' fault for not picking up a mob fast enough, sometimes you had the right to expect a heal from your raid healer but for whatever reason you didn't get one, sometimes a dispel is missed, sometimes you are the target of a nasty blood boil-type ability which requires massive healing to survive and you don't receive said healing. In any of those cases your total damage done might not be great, but dps is a better measure of your abilities at such times.

2) Burst is valuable

Many endgame encounters these days involve a requirement for burst dps. Halion is an honourable exception, but think of the val'kyr in the Arthas fight, the iceblocks in Sindragosa, the oozes in Professor Putricide, etc. In these encounters the ability to pull out all the stops for a short period of very high dps is crucial. In these encounters a high dps player will be more valuable, because they will shine in those short periods.

I agree that a dpser who can't be taught to stay out of the fire is useless, but that alone does not make damage done superior to dps as a metric for analysing raid performance.

In the case of the Pugnacious Priest however, she's screenshotted a log which covers 12 attempts. This should even out unlucky deaths (you wouldn't expect to die unluckily every fight), which means that there is more likely to be something wrong if a high dps player is consistently poor when total damage is considered. In such cases there's the possibility that there is some issue with their survival skills - perhaps they are neglecting them in favour of dps, which doesn't seem to be helping their progress.

1 comment:

  1. Like some of those add's that were getting hit by firebomb attacking the dps because the tank didn't have agro on them - happens sometimes.
    I hate Shadow Priest burst :(