Remember a couple of days ago when I was talking about my wife giving up the other two items she won in OS25 after also winning the Drake? Today I want to focus on something else I said in that post: It’s the kind of player recount and gearscore can’t show you.
The dps meters look awesome, especially when you’re near the top of them. They sound great too, otherwise you wouldn’t hear “ilevel 377,”"27k dps,”X gearscore” (though you don’t hear gearscore much any more since Blizzard implemented the ilevel). But I’ve maintained all along that ilevel and gearscore only tell you where a player has been rather than what they can actually do. Dps numbers are equally as inadmissable, because you don’t know the context of how those numbers were generated (buff, specific fight, full raid, what the rest of the raid was like).
Here’s an example of what I mean. My 80 Hunter’s dps is probably nothing to write home about. Liouxpold is a glorified Leatherworker and a character I do enjoy playing but I’m by no means a master Hunter on the charts. I do, however, misdirect and use my traps or CC abilities well and always protect the healer. I also learn the fights/follow direction. Good qualities to have in your Hunter, if you ask me.
Well, said Hunter is currently doing Heroic Trial Of The Champions on a near-daily basis trying to get a belt from the Black Knight for a new Transmog set (that’s otherwise nearly complete). Last night I ended up with a Pally tank, two Death Knights, and a Shaman healer. As seems to be the case these days, the jousting went well once I marked the final three and thus people focused. I’m still amazed at how hard folks find that, but the usual culprit is “divided we fall syndrome.”
Where was I? Right. So now we have the three boss fights. The first is the Horde bosses, which we drew Troll/Forsaken/Tauren. The group burned down the Tauren first to get rid of the heals…but then proceeded to wipe from standing in the poison. Even after I said in party “get out of the poison.” Got through it the second time, mostly thanks to the healer because again people stood in the poison…just slightly less.
Second fight, we ended up with the Argent Confessor. She summons her shadow and I proceed to watch the DK’s continue to pound away on her. If you’ve not done the fight, while the shadow is up this word comes up when you attack her instead. IMMUNE. I again explained in party chat to go kill the shadow (and by this point she had nearly healed back up) instead of her, and one of them did. The other one never moved. Fortunately we got through that fight as well. Even dropped an Epic chest for me, which was a nice bonus but killed my hopes for the belt.
Finally came the Black Knight. Two Death Knights, I’m thinking we’ve got it made. They’ll both pop Army during Phase Two, Bob’s Your Uncle, instance done. Second phase came…oh my. Three of us are still alive at this point. Then it’s just the healer and I in the third phase. Growl’s flipped on at this point, along with all my cooldowns. Healer goes down and I hit Kill Command and the Knight literally dies right before I do. Dungeon done (and no belt).
The first thing I ask is if either of them popped Army knowing full well I was going to be told no…and that’s exactly what it was. But the one Death Knight is talking about getting 18k crits three times in a row, talks about repeatedly getting them and how Death Knights are overpowered. I (foolishly worded) said “that’s why the Hunter killed him?” I then corrected myself to say, “your damage was really good, but it becomes ineffective when you die.”
The conversation continued briefly and I explained that while he clearly knows how to deal damage with his class, success becomes elusive if you don’t know or learn the mechanics of a fight. You die before your dps actually makes a difference in the fight. The healer and I carried on the conversation because they understood what I was saying, even if the Death Knight didn’t.
If you have a player who learns fight mechanics, follows direction, and does most things right, you can always help them improve their numbers. That’s the plain and simple of it. It can be done. However, if you have a player who’s main goal is to be at the top of the meters but can’t learn a fight to save their soul (or follow direction in the middle of one)…you can only do so much before you throw your hands up in frustration.
These are the two sides of what things like recount and ilevel can’t possibly show you. Now, I admit I’ve shown bias on the non-meter player but I will say the true goal of dps players lies in the middle. You should be able to learn the fights, be that successful unit that does things right and do well on the meters eventually. If you refuse to improve your rotation at the advice of others because you’re doing everything else properly, then you’re no better off. I’ve started doing that with Liouxpold already, because if I don’t then where could I possibly get off saying everything I just did?