Larisa and Rohan touched on a subject which is close to my heart – the subject of the responsibilities and fun levels of different roles in raiding. I often hear from people that ‘it’s ok… it doesn’t matter what you do, you are DPS…’ or ‘but healing/tanking is SO much more stressful than your job!’ This attitude drives me bananas. People seem to get this weird kick out of belittling DPS, when in all honesty we are just as essential to a raid as any other role.
You think that your DPS crew don’t have their eyes glued to the threat meter just as much as the tanks? One misstep, the boss eats you for breakfast, and the raid/class leader kicks what is left of you up the backside. Threat management is made even more complicated by the complex and unpredictable nature of critical strikes. Sure, tanks and healers need to be able to anticipate upcoming damage. DPS needs to be able to anticipate when they will crit, and exactly what impact that will have on their threat level. Every time I cast a spell I try to predict and calculate how much threat it will generate and the likelihood of it critting.
I am sure that there is an equivalent for melee, but caster DPS need to know their spell rotations. They then need to be able to change this rotation at a moment’s notice, or adapt it to different situations while still maximising their DPS. This can be difficult to do in some encounters, which have threat wipes and other things interfering with your casting. You also need to ensure that you don’t cast useless spells (ie – non stacking spells, things bosses are immune to, etc). While this might sound really simple, it can be difficult to manage after being put into a set routine or pattern.
Often your DPSers have a secondary role in the raid. Whether it be maintaining certain debuffs on a target, crowd controlling a mob, or managing player placement, we do have more to think about than merely pewpewing. The fact that we are often expected to maintain our damage output while managing other tasks often escapes the notice of others. I often hear people congratulate the healers and the tanks at the end of a fight, but very rarely the DPS. This is just an observation based on raids and groups I have been in, and certainly may not be the norm.
Everyone knows that DPSers look at the meters. In fact, that is all I hear people saying DPSers do! Well, we all know that everyone else looks at those meters too, and they certainly aren’t afraid to say something if you aren’t pulling your weight. It can be very stressful knowing that your damage output is scrutinised, and I know some raid leaders who are not afraid to replace people at any time if someone logs on with better DPS (not that all raid leaders are like that). It’s a dog eat dog world, people! Again, this is merely my experience.
Sure, it’s not easy being a healer or a tank. However, you aren’t the only one who has to make snap decisions. Your DPS generally aren’t just goofing off all the time. Sure, a couple might be, but you know, I have seen plenty of healers and tanks do the same thing. Give us a little credit here people! As for ‘healer burnout’ – I think most people get burnt out doing the same thing day in, day out. I made a tank alt, because I was tired of caster DPS. I found it ‘boring’ after a while. Does that mean that either of them are easier? Heck no! It’s just a change of pace. All people in a raid are accountable, and saying otherwise is either trying to let yourself off the hook, or inflating your importance far beyond what it really is.