This crabbiness is inspired by BRK. Not caused by, just inspired by. In BRK’s latest post, he said something that reminded me AGAIN of something that’s been bugging the shit outta me: players on a team that aren’t team players.

To quote BRK;

WoW is NOT a DPS race.

It is fun to compare damage-output but you don’t get better loot if you do more DPS than the other members of your raid. If you are not causing wipes, not grabbing aggro, not FD’ing trash mobs onto your healers, are chain-trapping when required, and doing a respectable amount of damage, your guild will be more than happy you’re along for the ride. A rogue who does 1200DPS but grabs aggro and gets squished will not be loved as much as a hunter who does 700DPS and never disrupts the tank’s or healers’ jobs.

Last week my guild’s Group 2 tried to run Karazhan. I say tried, because most nights we just didn’t quite have enough players to form the Group and go, so it ended up getting called off about half the time. Which is, yeah, very frustrating, but what can you do? We all have lives. And I’d rather have too few players that are all damn good, which we ahve, then plenty of players available, half of whom are asshats. Those nights we DID go, we kicked massive butt, frankly, and I personally credit our healers, who are pretty damn on-the-spot. Our DPS ain’t bad, but, well… they don’t keep me alive. So screw ‘em. (I’m joking, Respy. Honest. :P)

Anyway, we’ve had some great posts around the blogs lately, all seeming to feed into one another. We’ve had A View From Behind, where Doomilias posted Dungeon Stunlocking: A Tanks’ Plea.

In it, Doomilias accurately stated;

But it’s poor practice to stunlock everything when your tank is focused on a single target. Your intentions are good, but they are more of a hinderance than a help. Not allowing your tank to get hit will also keep him from generating the rage necessary to use his abilties (shield bash, sunder, etc.) in a threat generating manner.

He then goes on to provide what sounds like excellent advice for the young Rogue about town for when stunning is appropriate in an instance/group setting. He’s the expert, I’ll take his word for it.

We follow that with Of Teeth and Claws, where Karthis posted two great articles that go great together, Rage, The Currency of Tanking, and Rogue Let Me Get Hit!. These two provide insight for the non-Druid in how a Druid gains Rage, and why preventing the Druid from getting hit is a BAD THING.

To quote/paraphrase Karthis;

Rage Gained from Suffering Damage – Every time an enemy lands a successful physical attack that causes you to suffer damage, your rage total increases. (If you are shielded in some way, and are hit but take no damage, you gain no rage.)

The formula Karthis provides is that @ level 70, Rage = 0.0091 * amount of damage taken. And plugging in numbers as an example, getting hit for 2500 damage = 23 rage gained.

The lesson to learn from that is that a Tank COUNTS on getting hit to generate Rage. The dance is to take enough damage to get Rage to generate Threat, without taking TOO MUCH damage. This is one reason why it is bad to DI the Tank.

There is one more post that I think is relevant to the discussion. Way back on September 10th I posted I Hate Damage Meters. It is as true now as it was then.

To quote myself, (and why the heck not,);

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.

In recent weeks, there has been a big push on the blogs I read to drop Damage Meters as an analytical source in favor of WoWWebStats, and I wholeheartedly endorse this. Big time.


Now it’s time to put all these disparate posts together, to try and form one cohesive whole. And I’d like to do this in the form of a rant. I mean story.

Once upon a time, there was a guild that had two Groups that would go into Kara.

In the first Group, all the big boys and girls knew each other well, showed up on time, and worked well together. They played their characters with skill and daring, and made the bosses dance to their tune. And all was well in the world.

In the second Group, things were not quite so rosy. There were just not enough players in the guild to make up a full reliable second Group that also had a solid mix of classes. And so these most excellent players sought throughout the lands, desperate to add more brave knights, wizards and witches with which to assail the dark castle.

In many cases, some players may have been pushed a little hurriedly through the attunement process, and their gear could stand some improvement before they would truly be ready for Karazhan. But the new players quickly showed that whatever their gear, their skill and daring were second to none! And bosses began to dance the tune for Group 2 as well.

And then along came a Rogue… a Rogue that had skyrocketed with amazing skill and powerful DPS from level 50 to 70 in 2.5 months. A Rogue that was eager to run Karazhan, and progress through the bosses. A Rogue that mentioned many times in guild chat the loot he wanted from Attumen, until I verily was sick of hearing it.

Now, abandoning the BS medieval tone here, let’s go over some preliminary observations.

First, from the moment that the Rogue began running in Group 2, I noted that he regularly scored #1 on the Damage Meters. Clearly, he knew how to pump out some solid DPS. And I made lots of rejoicing, because aside from one Retribution Paladin, we had very little regular Melee DPS that could show up for every run.

Around the same time, though, I noticed that the boss and trash fights were getting more difficult than I was used to, from a personal perspective. It was getting harder for me to develop and maintain Rage. But with the way the Group 2 player roster fluctuates, it’s pretty hard to pin down causes for that kind of thing. I could be having an off night, or maybe we have an off-tank that is tanking great, and I’m ending up with the wimpy squishy mobs. Whatever.


It came to a head the other night. With a full crew, we went in after Attumen. Group 2 had become accustomed to having Attumen on farm, and veritably blasting through the early trash mobs to get to Midnight.

We had the Rogue with us, and I noticed on several pulls SPECIFICALLY because I was looking for it, thanks to Doomilias, that several times the mob that I was main tanking would have that tell-tale ‘Stunned’ debuff. I wasn’t generating Rage because I wasn’t getting hit, and the exact same problems I’d been having previously with my Rage draining away from use without refilling were happening again.

This time, I made a point of saying something in our Teamspeak. I can’t remember the exact wording, but the gist of it was, in a nice calm tone of voice, “If you have abilites that cause the mob to be stunned, please do not use them until I have built up some Rage. I need to get hit to build up my Rage, to let me keep aggro. If your stuns are the result of a talent, and are automatic, please refrain from attacking at all until I get some Rage. Again, thank you.” I heard some chatter from others on the Teamspeak channel that made it clear to me that what I said had at least been heard by some folks.

Now up to this point, the Damage Meters had been posted once or twice, with the Rogue on the very top each time. And that is cool.

On the very next pull, everything went smoothly. It was the four pull, we tanked the mobs in sequence, the crowd control went by the numbers, healing and DPS were kickass, and everything seemed back on track. I was VERY HAPPY.

Some son of a bitch posted the Damage Meters AGAIN, and this time the Rogue was at #2. And I noticed it, and mentally praised god that teamwork prevailed over bullshit ego stroking.

On the VERY NEXT PULL, the 5-mob pull before facing Midnight, I positioned myself exactly where I planned to go. The Rogue was where he had been on every pull, in stealth slightly in front of me, between me and the mob.

Everyone was ready, the command for me to pull was given, and I hit a Moonfire and Shifted to Bear. I popped Enrage, and readied myself to begin the pounding.

The mobs do their part, and run right at me. Each mob designated for crowd control gets Shackled, or peeled off for Traps.

My mob, the one I am already mentally referring to as ‘lunch’, comes closer, closer, cloooooser… and then stops dead, OUT of my melee range, stunlocked.

STUNLOCKED!!!!!!

There is only one cuplrit. The bastard had the sheer gall to not only blow off what I said in Teamspeak, he didn’t even wait for the mob to get within my melee range before he opened up!

I shook it off and ran forward to engage the stunned mob and begin building up some Threat, but as my Bears’ Rage dropped down to nothing, my own personal rage was reaching White Hot proportions.

I spent the entire rest of that battle frothing at the mouth, silently, waiting for dribs and drabs of Rage to trickle in, praying that it was enough to hold Threat on the mobs and keep them off the Priests that had Shackled them.

If my own rage could have been loaned to my Bear, I would have been in what Karthis terms an ‘infinite rage fight’.

The Damage Meters got posted again after the fight. Can anyone guess who was #1 again? Anyone?


I said something again in Teamspeak about not stunning the tanks’ target… I do not have it on tape, and brain chemicals prevent me from clearly remembering the details, but I feel it safe to assume that my tone of voice was probably a little cranky… and maybe a teensy bit too loud. And excited.

I made a mental note to myself that night. I’ll put it all down to learning how to play a role as part of a team, and being unfamiliar with the mechanics of Rage and tanking…

But I’m going to make sure that the next time that I run, that I clearly state that the target designated for the Main Tank must be unstunned 100% of the fight.

If, after that, I keep getting handed a stunned-mob sandwich, then I’m gonna leave it to the Group 2 leaders to figure out what to do.

Because having it happen once is frustrating. Having it happen continuously is infuriating. Having it happen forever is bullshit.

19 Responses to “#1 Damage Meters, #10 Team Player”
  1. Ferocious Bite says:

    Doh! Does your guild have class officers? Sometimes it’s a simple matter of mentioning the problem to them and let them educate the raider. Yes, you mentioned it in TS, but usually either they don’t realize you mean them specifically or their ego and ranking on the damage meters over rides common good sense and team play. If the class officer explains that the guild doesn’t just look at the rank, but also the contribution to the raid, it may help him play well with others.

  2. BigBearButt says:

    that’s a good question, Mooire!

    In fact, the guild does not currently have class officers, instead being quite a bit more open and friendly. The officer duties are handled very well, and I’m not just being nice cause I know someone may be reading :)

    I was present recently when there was a loot ninja guildie versus guildie, and immediate and decisive action was taken for the better of the guild, professionally and with no bullshit or excuses.

    The thing is it’s hard, as a player, to be critical of another player, even when STILL DRIVEN BY WHITE HOT RAGE.

    Sorry, calming down now.

    Like I said, next time I’m going to be a little more clear on the effects of stuns on my rage accumulation, and if, after that, there are still problems, then I will bring it up with my raid leaders and ask, nicely, if they can help me find a peaceful resolution.

    If not, I BURN THE MUTHA DOWN!! MUWAHAHAHAH!

    Sorry, calming now. Cassie, put down the jacket, it’s okay. I’m cool.

  3. Mike says:

    As a druid tank myself, I agree wholeheartedly with you about stunlocking things. I feel the same way about (idiot) priests who feel the need to “pre-shield” me when I go to fight a boss or something. I have similar stats to you, so there is NEVER any reason to do so in a non-heroic/non-raid, and even then the bosses don’t hit that much harder, so it’s still more a hindrance than a help.

    I have a dps meter, but I use it somewhat differently. I use Recap, which very nicely breaks down spells/abilities that people use which cause damage or healing. So as an experienced player, I know when there’s a priest that’s flash-healing constantly, I can mention something to them about how they might try using renew and greater heal more.

    My only other rule about dps meters is this: if a DPS class has less damage done than the tank by about the second boss in an instance or so, they’ll get the boot. This has happened more than once. (certain exceptions apply, of course)

  4. Lypi says:

    LOL you’re much nicer than I am. I just come right out and call them on it directly “(rogue name)please do not stunlock the mobs” the second I see them doing it. PUG instances are the worst for rogues stunning on the pull – especially LOS pulls ::scream::. Most rogues want to start with cheap shot because they get an extra combo point out of it. I do have an informal agreement with guild rogues tho. If they don’t stun/stunlock, when two tanks are in use, I’ll keep my mob positioned so they can blade flurry :) They also know they can stunlock if I’m tanking multiple things at once. My husband is a rogue, so I know how to talk to the sneaky little sods.

  5. the Daakster says:

    Well, as a long time but inexperienced-in-instances type rogue, that is a very useful post indeed! Nice one.

    Stunning is a key part of a soloing rogue’s toolkit. Helps mitigate damage when fighting and thus gives more time between bandages/food or whatever. It gets used a lot. Now I know that it’s not always a good thing.

    Think this post also helps me appreciate that it is important to understand how all classes work if you are going to be a successful group player.

    Cheers BBB keep up the good advice.

  6. Karthis says:

    One policy that both of my guilds (I changed recently) seem to have adopted is: No damage meter reports during raids.

    Might be worth suggesting…. it seems to mitigate some of the one-upsmanship that you seem to be experiencing with certain players.

  7. Exanimo says:

    I’ve been tanking in Karazhan the last few weeks on my Warrior alt (and having much fun doing it) but where people used to wait 3-4 sunders, nowadays they often have hit the mob a few times before it even reaches you. (fecking up rage generation)
    So you have to work your ass off just to stay ahead on threat, even more when some people think Omen is a DPS meter >.>

    After warning people a few times to watch their meters and gimme a sec (even more on multiple mobs) i got pretty kranky and told them the next time someone would overaggro i would count till 4 before using my taunt and i actually did.
    From then on things went better. ;)

  8. Kestrel says:

    What Karthis said. Our guild is pretty casual, and AFAIK, I’m the ONLY one who has a damage meter (I use Recount). I N E V E R post results until we’re all OUT OF THE INSTANCE…and then only by request.

    Now I realize that in a 10-man or 25-man, a lot of people may be running meters, but I would hope the RL or GM would remind people that raids aren’t DPS races: Just because you CAN top the damage meters, doesn’t mean you SHOULD.

  9. howardchua says:

    one way to teach a rog…a lesson is to let them pull aggro and watch them die a few times. after the 3rd or 4th death they will get the point!

  10. DC says:

    @BBB: Form a pact with a hunter in the raid that if you whisper “oops” it means “misdirect onto the rogue”. Kill the rogue, save the raid. ;)

    Just kidding, I think.

  11. Barron says:

    Also a bear tank here. I used to run raids on my old server and nothing annoyed me more than people posting damage meters before a boss was down. I’d be apoplectic is it happened between trash pulls. I’ve always thought that people that want to track damage should get a meter for themselves (did on my hunter for example). They may post it once or twice in a run to calibrate it against other peoples’, but between trash pulls?!?! RAWR!

    Ahem, ok, better now. I haven’t seen mentioned one my my biggest complaints against stuns, that they don’t allow me to position or move the mob where I want it. Pat coming, move mob back, mob stunned, oh crap! And opening more stuns are the worst for that since they limit my positioning at the outset when it is most important. I’m all in favor of a stun as an emergency matter. But not when it messes up the tanking.

  12. Xizang says:

    Meters are good tools if used properly. Ingame I rely on recount, because as already mentioned, it provides a breakdown of the abilities people use, and not just sums up the damage delivered. It has been useful a couple of times, because I could not only figure out, that someone is low on the meters, but also why. And we were able to change someones playstyle for the better in both cases.
    The last time I actually posted a meter in raid was when I was topping the dmaga statistics with my holy(!) priest. But I have learned that while this build is a fun to play hybrid, the air is just getting thin when sustained DPS is needed in long fights.

    I once had a heroic PUG to shadowlabs as a healer. Two of the DD were so concerned about topping each other on the meters, that I was unable to keep either one alive. The tank had no chance to hold aggro because the firdt thing that happened was a pyro overtaking him on each and every pull.
    Using an ability compromising the masterplan of the pull, just to put your own DPS in favour like your rogue does is a crappy behaviour.
    As a hunter I could easily DPS till I pull aggro, feign death, watch the healer die, watch other DPS die, watch the tank die, and end up with the highest damage because I was just alive for the longest period before the wipe.
    Instead I misdirection-pull for the tank, pull a mob into a trap in a fashion that enables me to retrap once the shit hits the fan, but doing little to none damage for a serious period.

    So your post makes at least two major points:
    -Meters mean nothing, at least when you are successful!
    -Know the other classes mechanics so you don’t compromise their efforts in doing their jobs.

    PS:
    Do you know locks dotting sheeps, and the mages trying in vain to resheep multiple times. This makes the lock overtake the mage on the meter. Same mechanics!

  13. Anonymous says:

    Haha yeah I was there for that. Yuo handled it well. Next time it happens you can have the raid leader or myself pst them about it. Also “SHIT… I got mentioned on your blog, not once, but twice”

    LOL cya ltr wind

  14. Kellie says:

    “No damage meter posting during the raid” is a sound policy, and has been a cornerstone of every successful guild I’ve been in. In fact, in most cases it’s been severely frowned on to post them after a raid, too. Knowing that Leetroguexx was #1 in damage dealt helps nobody at all, and there’s no need to clutter up raid chat with that junk.

    It’s good for the raid leader and officers to have an addon like Recount, that will track all sorts of things, not just damage done. For any role in the raid, you need to look at the whole picture to see if someone is doing their job. For instance, with healing: being #1 on the “healing done” list tells you a lot, but you also need to look at overhealing done, healing done in combat vs. out of combat, and number of decurses/dispels cast. Even that won’t give you the complete story, but it’s a heck of a lot closer than the basic “top five” approach.

  15. Clana says:

    Of all things, i love people who come to me with issues…and i really feal for ya there man, so just for you, whenever you run with G2 again…that rogue will be on the bottom os standy…. annoyed the heck outta me too man

  16. Minxette says:

    I play a rogue who helps farm Kara.

    Just so that you know, stunlocking actually LOWERS a rogues dps.

    I don’t stunlock in 10+ man raids. It lowers my dps AND annoys the hell out of the tanks due to lack of rage generation.

    The rogue that you were referring to does not know how to play his class.

  17. Morghus says:

    Rogues shouldn’t use stunlock in raids, no. It’s counterproductive in most ways thinkable, unless that particular mob is special and needs stunlocking, and should be given a warning for useless actions.

    On the other hand I would say that damage-metres are the best invention ever. While more and better healing is really awesome for keeping people alive and well, the tanks mitigation is awesome for keeping the raid alive and well, dps is an entirely different ball-game. While you can say that pulling aggro is a really bad thing, and that it ruins a whole lot for the raid, it’s still better than that sorry butt that thinks his measly 500 dps is ok because he’s not pulling aggro.

    I’m going to sound like a real ass now most likely, and you won’t like to hear it, but the fact of the matter is that with some decent threat-cycles, the right buffs and gear they won’t be pulling aggro. Atleast not if both parts are on their toes and knows their limits. To be perfectly honest I prefer a person that does so much damage that he pulls aggro because he gave just a bit too much, to the bugger that’s not taking his role seriously as dps. The former is competitive and eager, while the latter is just slacking :<

    Why should dps do alot of dps? He’s dps. It’s what he does. If he can’t do it to the max I don’t want him around. There’s a million others that can do it properly, and I refuse to let one person hamper or hold back the 9/24/39 others because he doesn’t know his stuff. While I’m a really nice guy that doesn’t want to do stuff like that it’s not me that’s being the actual bugger in that equation :p

    In addition it’s the dps that drives the raid forward. The more dps, the less healing needed, the less tanking needed, and the less time spent. Saying WoW is not a dps-race is kind of like saying you’re content with your Epic mount from pre-TBC, while leaving the Swift Flight Form unused when you intend to travel lengthy distances. Or not equipping your Charm of Swift Flight because you don’t think that extra 10% helps tremendously because that other trinket will help when you’re landing.

    Yes, I know, that analogy doesn’t seem to make much sense to some, but neither does it to me to say that WoW’s not a dps-race. It’s a perspective, of course, and we’re all entitled to each ours ( hopefully ;P ).

    As I said I might come across as an ass and offensive, but it’s all meant in the best of ways. Encouraging dps to do their best, and remind them that dead people don’t do dps, will most likely make your raids move along alot more smoothly. If they keep pulling aggro someone’s doing something wrong and should do something about it. High dps and damage-metres isn’t wrong, and in most cases inspirational in some way, assuming you’re willing to look at yourself in a critical light and ask yourself what you can do better.

  18. BigBearButt says:

    @Morghus… Sorry, but I didn’t see any of what you said as being offensive. Try harder next time. You made too much sense and were entirely too reasonable. :)

    I am not sure where in my article you got the impression that I do NOT want the DPS to be ‘all that they can be’. I agree witha ll of your points as to WHY having as much DPS as is humanly possible is a GOOD THING.

    My point actually circled around a point I’d made in an earlier blog post… the use to which some asshats put Damage Meters, and their frantic desire to top others on the meters at teh expense of teamwork, makes me want to cry.

    but I did not advocate tossing the meters out and relying on guesswork as to who is doing what.

    Instead, I recommend to guild officers to try out WoWWebStats.

    In case you did not investigate that link further, what WoWWebStats does is allow all the members in a raid to keep a running log of all actions in the run… who did what, by how much, and what was teh enemy response? WHo took damamge, and how much?

    The bgest thing is that the results of all members can be woven together to form a consistent, comprehensive picture not only of who did max DPS ina raid, but who did what DPS, in what way, at each stage of the game. Whose traps lasted, whose were resisted, who kept shackle up and reshackled before the mob broke, or played catch up?

    In other words… I agree that DPS needs to be as strong as possible… but I’d like to see guilds use a more mature and informative tool for evaluating it.

  19. Morghus says:

    I’m glad you didn’t see it as offensive.

    For some reason I had the impression that you wanted to ditch them altogether, and use only WWS ( which I’m extremely familiar with ;) ), something I can see the merits of, but the benefits of the instant gratification and measuring stick given by damage-metres during a raid shouldn’t be swept away. Important to quite a few :p

    The asshats and ADD kids are a completely different manner though, and highly individual. Personally I would like to slap them around ’till they get the point, but a gentle whisper saying “We’re not entirely too sure we want to bring you along for todays raid, since you proved the previous one you completely fail at following instructions” is a rather gentle smack :p

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