Well, here’s the final role specific addition to this series. It is also the one role that rew people realize as being as important as it is. The role of DPS is also the most popular role to follow, simply because of this misconception.
More often then not, though, most DPS feel that Tanks and Healers have some sort of entitlement when it comes to grouping. Simply put, they feel that because they are “must-have” roles, that they are more imporant than the lowly DPS. In some cases this is true, as if you did not have a tank, the DPS would get swarmed by mobs, and if you didn’t have a healer, those mobs would slice down the DPS with no resistance. However, without the DPS role, Tanks and Healers would never finish an instance within a single night, nor would they ever meet enrage timers. It was once joked that 2 paladins could almost do an entire instance (at level), it would just take 3 weeks to do it.
Because of this perception, a lot of DPS feel that they have to push themselves into the forefront so that they can get noticed. Hence the rise of Damage Meters, and the DPS ePeen. However, there are those who still stand in the back (figuratively or literally) and work hard as hell to keep the pain flowing, but also help out the rest of the group/raid. It is here that you can separate the real DPS from the twatmelons.
I think that it is the political side of me coming out, but I feel that is is based on personal responsibility. Either a DPS can wait for the RL to start yelling at them to get out of the path of flaming ice barreling towards them, or they can get off their tails and think proactively. Again, this is common among tanks and healers as well, but is usually most noticable among the DPS, as they are somehat dependant on the Tanks and Healers to keep them from becoming a stain on the floor.
If it wasn’t for the DPS, boss encounters would last for hours, and that is if the boss doesn’t have an enrage timer. There are several fights that have been deemed “DPS races.” It is in these encounters that the DPS become very important, often more important than even the tanks/healers. In current raid content there is very often a hard enrage timer that must be met. Also there are several encounters where a boss will spawn adds that can cause havoc on a raid group. More often then not, the burden is laid solely on the DPS’s shoulders to take care of the adds, giving the rest of the raid some breathing room, but it is also required that they burn the boss down fast enough that the enrage timer does not hit and the tank gets insta-gibbed. If the DPS is able to step up and provide the damage throughput required to successfully complete the encounter, then they have successfully done their job, and in turn should be congratulated or even praised for it. That is unless they didn’t.
Just like healers and sometimes tanks, DPS can get tunnel vision. They can get so engrossed in their spell/attack rotation, that they don’t pay attention to what’s around them. There could be a few reasons for this, either pride and padding the damage meters, or high stress situations such as running low on mana, but having to burn cooldowns to beat the enrage timer. Either case, there really isn’t an excuse. I am currently running a Holy/Ret dual spec, and have had to learn the tricks of DPS, and have pushed myself to keep the same situational awareness that I have as Holy or Prot. Because of these issues, DPS should be prepared to take some flack if they were standing in the fire/snot/goo/ooze/ice/feces, whatever. There is no excuse to get “just one more shot” off before an ooze eats them and craps out their bones. But if it happens, whether on purpose, or because there was no other escape, be prepared to take a few shots yourself, since the current WoW environment doesn’t reward noobs as much as everyone advertises.
In the end, I hope that this opens your eyes to the brighter side of each of the roles, and not just the negative conotations that are most often placed. Everyone chooses their class/role because they want to play that way, it’s your $15, you should be able to play how you want to. However, if you follow that mindset, be prepared to have your feelings hurt, or even shattered. Take responsibility for your actions, and if possible, don’t provide any reason for anybody to bear down on you.
What do you think? Do DPS get the short end of the stick sometimes? Are Tanks/Healers more entitled then DPS is to rewards?