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.

Threat management

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.

Spell management

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.

7 Responses to “Go on, give your DPS crew a hug today!”
  1. Oh I loved this rant! I didn’t want to QQ but be kind if balanced in my own post, but yours is so much more direct. Thanks for saying this. Its about time someone speaks out of this perspective. And how quickly you put it together! I’m impressed.

    Larísas last blog post..Are healers responsible and dps just having fun?

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  2. We have a resto druid who tells me that dps is hard every time she goes boomkin or plays her shammy. I sorta giggle at that a little, personally I think healing is harder than DPS. However, I agree with you whole heartedly, I think people don’t give DPS enough credit. We’re essential, and it takes work to be good. Everytime I hear someone suggested Healers & Tanks > DPS for loot drops, I tell them to see if they can down those bosses WITHOUT the dps and see what happens. lol. That usually shuts up the conversation. ~.^

    I have a 70 lock, but she’s terrible, so I’m not sure what it’s like for a lock, but I imagine it’s much the same as for a mage. Enjoyed the read very much!! Also, thanks for stopping into my blog, it’s always nice to see a new face.

    Maes last blog post..Site theme: Old & New

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  3. I’ve played both the DPS and healing roles, though I invariably prefer healing because of how much more involved I think I am in a raid. Multiple targets, multiple spells, and I feel like I am more involved in a fight.

    However, DPSers are pretty damned important. Back in the day before enrage timers were introduced, you typically had a raid of forty people, but around ten to fifteen of them could walk away and AFK auto-attack/shoot and come back to down the boss. As long as you continuously applied damage and kept people alive, it didn’t really matter how much damage you were doing per second.

    Enrage timers changed all this. Suddenly, every DPSer became important in a raid when an enrage timer could cause you to lose. This is why we see raids that maintain minimal DPS requirements when going up against different bosses or being so meticulous in maximizing the amount of damage that can be done by each class with raid/group composition.

    Having played a number of DPS classes and healing classes in a raid, I feel that I have a more difficult role as a healing priestess that lacks Circle of Healing. I focus on twenty-five targets as opposed to one, I don’t have a rotation to fall back on and instead need to rely on judgment to select the right spell to use, I need to maximize my efficiency by doing this otherwise I run out of mana and people die, and I honestly believe that I think more. However, healing is more intuitive to me and I still respect the DPS classes for doing what they do.

    Cynras last blog post..The Best Beer Festival You’ll Never Remember!

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  4. I am a tank, Normaly I am the lead of the group. And any good group is balanced. Try going with out dps, big no no. My wife plays a lock. and tanks love there lock, so long as they are thier locks LOL. but you are right DPS and even CC don’t get the prop’s the deserve. I will remember that. and damn you put a good point out there and still have a tad of funny in it.

    Hanhars last blog post..Alteric Vally

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  5. [...] Are healers responsible and dps just having fun? The followup comments are great – be sure to read Saresa and Gevlon’s posts on the subject. Ulv’s ranking of the different roles on different [...]

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  6. Na, I jest. I play a healer and a dps, neither seem to appreciate the other.

    Dechions last blog post..Gearing your fresh 70 hunter for WotLK

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  7. Interesting post. I guess it all depends on the raid boss you are doing. We find these days that for progression we will generally stack and extra healer above dps as more often the fights take longer as you learn them. However as we get more experience we will drop healers in favour of more dps. There is no doubt that at the lower level raids dps can have a pretty easy time of it. However try being responsible for the adds and cores in the Vashj fight and you will find that it can get pretty stressful for the dps as well.



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