The Interchangablility of DPS

At the end of our Scarlet Monastery run Hurmoo was about 10% into level 33.  I decided that before we went into the next instance, I ought to get him caught up to the some of the team who were already 34.

So on Saturday I got him out and went looking for a level.

A Saturday afternoon in winter seemed like a bad time for uninterrupted solo questing on a PvP server.  At level 33, every place Hurmoo can go for quests is contested territory.

Battlegrounds now give experience, but at 33 your choices are Warsong Gulch and Arathi Basin, neither of which are on my favorites list.  And being at the lower end of the 30-39 bracket, you tend to spend a lot of time dead as people shoot for the easiest target to kill.

That left the dungeon finder.

Could I PUG for a level?

The answer turned out to be yes.

Three PUGs was all it took to get Hurmoo to 34.  And an illuminating 3 PUGs it was.

Being a healer, I did not expect to spend too much time in the queue, and I was right.  All three times I was picked up with in a minute or two of joining the queue.

All three times I ended up in the Library wing of Scarlet Monastery.

All three times I ended up with the same protection spec’d paladin as a tank.  He knew what he was doing which made things go smoothly.

All three times we blazed through almost without stop.  The practiced caution, target identification, and crowd control of the regular Saturday night group was nowhere at hand.  Pull, kill, pull, kill, pull, kill, eat or drink if required, repeat.  The main point of discipline was the tank insisting (quite rightly) that we stay back and he pull mobs to us, rather than rushing forward into a mix-up with possible adds.

Despite the haste, through all three runs nobody in the group died.  And only once was there a questionable need roll on an item, so nobody got kicked.

During all three runs, communication was at a minimum.  It was a greeting, a statement from the tank about how he’d hold aggro, an occasional “in” or “back” to bring the group forward or have them stay back while he pulled,  then a thanks for the group at the end.  I had configured and turned on voice chat in WoW just in case, but nobody mentioned it.

And all three times the DPS players were completely different.  We had hunter/shaman/rogue the first time, hunter/warrior/mage the second, and warlock/druid/paladin the third.  But the tank pulled, I healed, and the DPS damaged and it all went the same.  The only minor issue was that the warrior seemed to feel the need to pull aggro on himself every now and again, so I had to heal him once in a while.

The mix of DPS did not seem to matter.  As long as the tank held aggro and I kept the tank healed, the DPS could ply their trade however they liked.

The whole thing ran rather like Syncaine suggested in a recent post, and all in about the span of 90 minutes.

In the Library Again

And, this brings us to another proposition being discussed of late.  Should tanks and healers reap the greater reward due to their position in a group or not?

Hurmoo certainly did not reap much as part of these runs.  At least not in the instances.  But the nice little treat bag you get for doing a random dungeon provided him with some nice blue upgrades.

So Hurmoo got his level, got some goodies, and had some fun using the dungeon finder.  What’s not to love?

10 thoughts on “The Interchangablility of DPS

  1. VatecD

    As I’ve stated on the LotRO forums a couple of times: people are confused when they equate “soloing = easy mode.” If you want “easy mode” all you have to do is play DPS is a group that has a competent tank and a competent healer (and a competent crowd control if you’re talking Dark Age of Camp-a-lot or original Everquest). There is nothing easier than pounding out the same three or four “efficient damage-to-power ratio” attacks on whichever enemy has been targeted for death first.

    And to address your point, yes, the tank and the healer should definitely get more reward than the fungible DPS. The devil, as they say, is in the details….


  2. Jeff

    I think that what you have demonstrated here is that tanks and healers DO reap the greater reward, in that you and the tank ran the instance three times while each of those DPS (probably) only got one turn in the same amount of time. So maybe you were unlucky with drops… the fact remains that you got more chances.


  3. Jemre

    about the WoW voicechat, i’ve seen people use it once, two days after it came out. I’m on a pacific server though, VoIP with 200+ ping isn’t nice, so possibly it’s used more often over in the US.


  4. Llani

    What Jeff said is pretty true, mainly because there are close to a dozen (counting off the top of my head) damage specs and only 4 healing specs (five if you count discipline priests).

    Reminds me of what someone asked me in a PuG on my druid yesterday (she’s 76 now) — “Is healing easy?” For me, I love healing more than dps, so I personally feel healing is easier for me. Overall, I’d say healing is just as challenging as dps which is just as challenging as tanking — it’s the experiences/blame if something goes wrong that might have a tendency to be tossed in the wrong place. As for extra rewards for being the tank/healer and possibly being shouldered with that blame…eh, we already are rewarded like Jeff said with near instant queue times.


  5. Random Poster

    “WoW has voicechat?!? I never knew about it :O”

    Heh theres nothing to remember about it. The sound quality is crap. And if one is in a guild typically that guild has a vent server, or teamspeak server so the guilded don’t use it. For everyone who ISN’T guilded most don’t care and probably have no idea it exists, no idea how to get it running and probably don’t even have a mic :P

    @the post
    This is what I was talking about when you posted about your SM run the other week. So long as my healer knows what he is doing and the DPS stays back I can grab 9-10 mobs at level 35and be fine (more if I am in GY, three pulls for the entire instance max)

    And I agree with Jeff’s perspective on “greater rewards” while leveling it works out that me as a tank or you as a healer we get more shots at good loot, more reward bags and more experience than a DPS does at that level.

    It does however fall apart a little if one is level 80 and needs no gear or experience, but really what kind of reward/incentive could you offer to a tank or healer at max level with top gear, more badges they don’t need?


  6. pjharvey

    I find tanking to be easy, and being good at it is its own reward.

    As for DPS being interchangeable, well, so are tanks. I’ve run instances as a prot warrior and frost death knight with no problems, and been in groups with paladins and druids tanking. All the runs happen the same way, with respect to the tank holding aggro, in the same way that DPS is DPS.

    And DPS does seem easy, until you don’t have a good healer or tank, then DPS gets harder as you are suddenly forced to balance damage with threat. Half the time the DPS claims that the tank isn’t sticky enough, you could just as easily say they aren’t watching their aggro well enough.

    It’s also worth noting that the lower-level instances are really easy for an experienced group, even a PuG, and it’s not until reaching the instances of the various level caps that they become a challenge.


  7. Eric

    Haha, seeing those shoulders on your tauren brought back memories. I think everybody has been using those crafted ones in this lvl range for years. If you don’t have the heirloom ones that is…


  8. Paul Schuster

    DPSing at that level range is pretty bullet prof. The tank most likely heavily out gears them, due to him running instances non-stop. They are running talent sets with soloing in mind, so they may have survivablity talents that you would never see later on, or other non-optimal choices for dps.

    Most of the boss’s at that point are just tank and spank. This minimizes the possibility or in some cases even the ability of your average dps to really screw up.

    Now a bored uber-alt decked in heirlooms and with glowing like a twink, thats a different story.


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