Sunday, May 23, 2010

How to become the bestest dpser (part 2)

About a month ago I mentioned some good to think about tips for all those people out there trying to win the dps race. Since then I've thought about a few more, and thought I'd mention them as well. As last time, they might seem obvious to some of you. But you people probably aren't struggling to win the meters ;) These tips are for those who aren't sure if they've covered every avenue yet.

Start Attack
This only applies to melee players. I mentioned last time that you need tempo when dpsing. Any down time is no-dps time (unless you're a bass turd affli lock). I also mentioned "training" or "seaming" your spells together. The equivalent for a melee would be to use a "start attack" macro with your main skill. Or all skills if you're dedicated enough. That means that when using your skill, your char will start attacking the closest target, or the target you're currently targetting, even if you don't have the energy/rage/mana/runes to do the skill. If you don't use a start attack macro, you will have to right-click your target manually to have your char attacking, or wait for enough rage/energy/mana/runes to accumulate for your skill to execute.
Say you want to Sinister Strike a target just after killing another. You'll probably be low on energy, and since SS costs 45 energy (not talented) you'll have to wait for that amount until the char actually does something. OR right click the mob. OR keep start attack as a toggle button on your action bar which = waste of action bar space. OR simply use a start attack macro!
Here is one that works;
#showtooltip [Skill name here]
/cast [skill name here]

[skill name here] obviously means you should replace it with your preferred skill. And no brackets needed then. Be sure to spell your skill the exact way it's spelled in the tooltip.

Do it from behind
See what I did there? *chuckle* Ok enough preteen humour... Seriously though, I see alot of melee getting this bit wrong, even at 80. And yes, this only applies to melee as well. When dpsing something, always try to get behind your target. Some rogues and most cats do this anyway since they can't backstab/shred otherwise (although few raiding rogues backstab to my knowledge), but I don't think all of them think about the best reason to stay in the ass of the mob. It's simple. A mob can't parry or block with its rear. And unless you happen to be expertise capped (which is like impossible) getting rid of the mobs parries and blocks will do alot for your overall damage. They can still dodge however so you'll still like some expertise, which importance varies depending on class. A good hint is that hunter/warlock pets always try to stand in the back of the mob. If the pets understand the benefits from this, you should too!
In raids, this often means trying to find that perfect spot were you don't stand in fire/otherevilstuff and still try to be in what counts as behind the mob.

Stack your cd's
As a commenter tipped about in my last post, you should try to fully understand how your skills interact with your cooldowns and with other peoples cooldowns. Most dps classes have some sort of cooldown (and all can use haste/spelldamage pots). In my last post I told you about "Knowing your skills" like the back of your hand. Of course, knowing about -any- skills anyone might cast that increases your dps, like the back of your hand is the next step. And definitely needed for optimal dps. Try to find out what every other class can do to increase your dps, and what you should do if they use that skill. Skills like; Hysteria, Bloodlust, Shattering Throw, Tricks of the Trade to mention some. Items like Potion of Speed and Potion of Wild Magic (although most casters prefer Potion of Speed) are things you can try to time with cooldowns like these.

Double the potions, double the fun
And while I mention potions, it's worth thinking about that you can use one potion just before the fight starts and then one more once that cooldown ends. It's called the "double-potion trick" and used for those fights where every ounce of dps counts for success (like old-school sarth 3d nuke). Or for serious (and rich) dpsers in any fight.

That's all I could think of this time. Give me a comment if you can think of anything else!

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