Natarumah’s DPS Redux

Natarumah gravatarA while ago I commented on how I seemed to lack competitive DPS compared to the rest of my 25-man raid, and I couldn’t pinpoint what exactly was causing it. I wagered on the choice between stacking Crit or Haste, pondered the possibility of a large amount of partial resists, and believed my gear to be quite up to snuff.

At that time, I barely scratched at the 4K DPS, performing a machine-gun style of DPS which would make a cardiologist alarmed at my condition. As time went on, it also made me quite sad, because it made me question my spot in the raid and whether I brought in something valuable enough to warrant it.

Shadowpriests across the world wonder where their DPS is off to, and there was even an article at WoWinsider dedicated to it.

Now it’s a few months later; I had some upgrades, and I have been focusing mostly on Crit instead of Haste. I still carry 350-400 Haste rating, but I am now rocking about 900 Crit rating (I am hovering at the 30% mark self-buffed), but also a lot more Spellpower. During the raids I paid a lot of attention to absolutely not dropping my DoTs off the boss, even though that cannot be helped some times (thanks a lot, Faction Champions! Bastards).

On Onyxia, where the full force of Mind Sear can come into play, I am doing around 5.8K DPS, with 5.2K on fights with a moderate amount of adds (Gormok the Impaler as an example). On fights where there is a lot of confusion I am at around 4.2-4.4K which I still find moderately acceptable.

I have noticed a few things (about myself as well) which greatly influence my DPS, and which may help you as well:

  • Relax before the raid; I take a short walk to clear my mind and breathe in some fresh air. It gets me less worried and cluttered so I can raid with full focus.
  • Keep your trigger finger flexed; don’t hammer your keys to DPS – I noticed it caused me quite some discomfort over the course of a four-hour raid, making me slower. Relaxing and slowing down on the keys actually made my spells no slower, so why cramp myself up needlessly?
  • Hit > Spellpower > Crit; I found that indeed a large amount of Crit not only made my DPS go up, it also allowed my DoTs to tick harder when moving, cushioning my DPS loss a bit. Also, my partial resists went from 3.5% average to only 1.5%-2%, which also means less damage loss.
  • Barebones UI; I am using an extremely simple UI with basically buttons, Unitframes, Vuhdo, Skada and chat to keep my FPS at a tolerable level. When doing TotGC 25 I still have nasty fps drops, it has settled down to the point where I can raid in peace.
  • All flesh must be eaten; in order to get my gear upgraded I did a lot of daily heroics, 10man Ulduar, 25man Ulduar, 10man Onyxia, 25man Onyxia, 10man TotC (and Heroic) and 25man TotC (and Heroic). I ate everything. I got my upgrades from everywhere. You can’t afford to just go for Best in Slot items, if it’s an upgrade I am eating it.
  • Keep it cool; raiding for hours makes my laptop hot enough to bake an egg on. It will take some time to save up for a new PC with good cooling, but until then I set up a fan to blow fresh air past the back of the laptop. Now the weather’s cooling down again, my PC functions better and for a longer time.

In short, any or all of these things contributed to my DPS feeling more competitive, me more productive and saving my general sanity. Yes, my DPS is still 1K short of our top DPS (and sometimes a bit more) but I am less concerned with being the best as I am with not being the worst. I am Human too, and while my ego is not especially large, it shrinks when I am at the minimum level to be considered for Heroic modes.

Here’s to hoping we get some good scaling and awesome new abilities in Cataclysm!


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