This didn’t start out as a rant, but being it’s coming from me, guess what this turned into?
This one is all about Damage Meters and the people that use them.
If you don’t know what I’m talking about, then you are fortunate. Run away now. Now, I tell you!
Since running Karazhan with the guild, I have once more had to come face to face with the players that are obsessed with Damage Meters. Coincidentally enough, they are the same players that obsess over PvP. Can we draw some conclusions there? Sure, I probably will later, just for fun. And because they annoy me, so if I insult even one of them it will give me warm fuzzies.
A quick break down is this; Damage Meters is an addon, or a generic term for any addon that tracks the damage done by each member of the party or raid, and compares them, displaying the results usually in a ‘top 10′ format. This comparison can also be done for amount healed, amount OVERhealed, etc. And you can broadcast the results to a channel. Such as the raid channel.
It CAN have a positive use for a guild. If a group of players are pretty tight, and willing to listen to constructive criticism when it’s presented in a respectful way and backed up by comparative “apples to apples” math, then it can be used to compare the damage output of a pair of hunters, or rogues, or the overhealing done by various healers, and help guild or class officers to pinpoint areas of player skill that can be improved with training or practise.
Whew! I love run on sentences!
So, sounds good, right? Yeah, too bad that’s not how it gets used.
Instead, what you get is an asshat that thinks that being #1 on raw damage output in a run makes them the most valuable member of the run, and also gives them a license to talk shit or belittle other members of a run.
I have personally been part of a failed Black Morass PUG run, as the tank, where a full Tier 5 rogue pulled aggro away from me constantly… just a horrible run. And afterwards, when we were trying to talk about how to approach the fight for the second try, the rogue broadcasts the Damage Meters tally, with him proudly at #1, and declares that someone needs to go… and obviousy it’s not HIM that was the weak link.
And that there is one of the biggest problems of Damage Meters. There is more to any run than just who pumped out the most damage. But the asshats don’t want to hear that.
For example, in our Karazhan runs we have taken two different hunters in the last week. Both of them have shown excellent skill in trapping and re-trapping mobs on the pulls. Both of them have kept control of the situation when it goes into the crapper, and both have been joys to work with.
When Damage Meters gets broadcast across the raid channel, inevitably they are both showing up at around #7 or #8.
Who is #1? Why, a warlock or mage, of course… although a retribution paladin is close behind.
I find myself amused to see that I, when tanking, am hitting around #5.
Wow! A feral tank at #5 on Damage Meters! I must be overpowered! Feral bear druids are melee DPS! (yeah, right).
Or, just perhaps, we should examine what ELSE a class is responsible for beyond damage output? Maybe something else is going on there? Hmmm?
As a feral tank, my threat is closely linked to damage output. I sit there and pound away as hard as I can, using every drop of rage to get aggro and hold it. Therefore, that #5 represents the absolute best damage I can generate.
The hunter, on the other hand, is running around trapping and retrapping targets, and hey, guess what? On 80% of the pulls the warlock or mage is pulling aggro and yanking a mob straight back into the casters… and forcing the hunter into melee range.
What Damage Meters do is provide a way for players that get off on bragging that they are better than other players to have some math to prove they are right.
And boy, what do they do to get high up in the Damage Meter rankings? Why they pour out the damage as fast as they can…. and put out so much threat that they pull a mob on top of themselves, and die in one or two blows.
I think of Damage Meters as the ignorant redneck stepchild of Threatmeters.
Threatmeters provide a way for a raid group to see exactly how much healing or damage they can do to a target, without drawing it’s attention away from the tank. Hear that? Without drawing it’s attention away from the tank!
We have been pulling together as a team lately in Karazhan. Those who care about others and are trying their best are being noticed, and those that are in it for themselves are also being noticed. It is only a matter of time before we get it all together and become a strong, consistent team. I’d say the majority are already there.
But it’s becoming clear to me that the people I want to run with aren’t necessarily those that are at the top of the Damage Meters rankings and trumpet the fact.
No, it’s the players that are doing MORE than spamming their attack button as fast as they get the mana. It’s the player that sets their trap, sends their pet to help me, hits misdirect to pull their designated mob to the trap, and then does damage to my mob in a carefully measured stream while watching their trap and readying the next step in the chain.
It’s the Warlock that banishes the demon on the pull, keeps an eye on it while doing carefully measured damage to my mob, and gives out a countdown of the last seconds before the Banish is due to expire so we are prepared.
And by Elune, it’s the mage that comes in second in the Damage Meter rankings… but never once pulled aggro away from me during the run. NOT ONCE.
Now that is something to brag about.
Oh yeah… and to anyone that consistently pulls aggro away from me with ranged damage, drags the mob into melee range of the hunter, and then after the run insults the hunters’ low Damage Meter ranking? Yeah, I got two words to say to you, and they ain’t Merry Christmas.