…Or, the correct use of Damage Meters.
Damage meters can be a wonderful tool in raids. With the more complex meters being able to provide detailed information at the click of a button, they can be used as an effective diagnostic tool to tell when someone is slacking, and when someone is perhaps not using the best rotation. It can also show who works the hardest in your raids, and who is performing their job well. Excellent examples of this include showing top decursers, crowd control breakers, and DoT Uptime displays.
Damage meters can also be used for evil. Their beautiful intent can be turned to the sole purpose of epeening in front of the raid. Examples of this include the people who consistently link the meter while they are first (often at any random point), and people who truncate the link to one or two people for the sole purpose of showing off. Want to know something? It doesn’t make you look good. It makes you look like a douche bag.
Personally, I have some very strong ideas when it comes to damage meter linkage. You want to see how you went, that’s fine. Either run your own meter, or ask someone to whisper a link to you. Straight damage meters should not be linked in raid chat, unless at the request of a raid leader. Why?
They encourage people to not do their job. All of a sudden people start slacking on critical aspects of a fight such as positioning and crowd control in order to increase their damage output. Others forget that they should be watching the threat meter (which is infinitely more important) and pull aggro and wipe. Of course, some people could increase their damage output. Others are doing the best that their gear, abilities and the encounter will allow for.
So, how do we use a meter correctly?
1. I would strongly advise having someone run WoW Web Stats. While meters like Recount are useful for on the spot assessment, WoW Web Stats allows for a complex break down of a fight. This is much more useful than a damage meter. It also shows where people were afk’ing (to an extent), and what buffs they had on at what time. For example, the ones linked below dob me in for not having flasked or foodbuffed until Bloodboil.
2. Raid leaders should be consulted before public posting of a meter. It keeps everyone in line, and prevents a lot of egotistical garbage.
3. Run your own meter, but don’t use it to compare your performance to other people. Compare your own performance from fight to fight, and note where you have improved and where you could have done better. Always remember to allow for differences in the fights! Example:
a) This is a WWS report from a Teron Gorefiend fight. This fight is a simple stand a nuke (when you don’t get killed and turned into a ghost, anyhow). My DPS is always higher on a fight where I don’t have to move around or watch for AoE.
b) This is a WWS report from a Supremus fight. This fight requires a fair amount of movement, which makes nuking very difficult. Yes, my DPS is overly low (I did horribly this fight). However, most people also had lower DPS, because you spend a great deal of the fight dodging volcanoes, fire, and running from Supremus himself. You also have to ensure you don’t have a stack of DoTs running during his phase shift back to Tank ‘n’ Spank, just in case the tanks don’t get him in time. All this allows for a lot of lost damage. Don’t beat yourself up too badly on high mobility fights!
4. Don’t just look at damage meters. Remember other useful information contained within them, such as ‘friendly damage’, ‘CC breakers’, and ‘debuffers’. These are just as important as damage done.
5. Please, Please don’t tell everyone to copy the spec of whoever is top of their class (especially if you don’t play that class!) Quite often there is a reason for them to spec the way they are, and if you aren’t very familiar with their class you can come out with egg on your face. I know someone who likes to make these sorts of comments all the time, and sometimes sounds silly because he forgets to make allowances for gear differences and other factors. I am a firm believer of letting people play what spec they like (within reason – most raiding guilds want you to have a spec that works!), and not having all your classes specced identically.