Login with Patreon
Officers QuartersJan 13, 2016 1:00 pm CT

Officers’ Quarters: How to help your guild’s struggling raid DPS

demonology warlock

What should you do when a damage dealer is incredibly low on the DPS meters? This week, a raider is concerned about a Warlock on his team. Should the team institute a minimum DPS requirement, or is there a better solution?

Tuned asked
I’m currently part of two guild raid groups – one raiding normals weds/thurs and the heroic/mythic on friday/sunday – i’m getting no loot at all from the normal runs anymore and do it just to help out and for the fun.. but in this run we have a lock doing between 10-19k dps @ 699 ilevel (i’ve never seen 20k+) which has him only above the heals in dps and below everyone else..

Being as this group is currently doing norm manna/archi atm with plans to do heroics in the new year… I’m (and some of the other dps/tanks) are getting sick of seeing these numbers and are trying to find a nice way to encourage the raid leaders to set a minimum dps for heroics to avoid us having to carry this person through – and what should we set this minimum level to be?

Being a AOTC heroic raider (for the first time in 9 years of playing wow) and moving into mythics (again first time ever) atm with my other group am i expecting too much?

It’s definitely frustrating when you see low numbers like that from a DPS. I don’t think setting an arbitrary minimum is the solution, however. If you want to take this Warlock into Heroic raids, then someone needs to help him.

Diagnosing the problem

Many factors can contribute to low performance. Some are obvious and some not.

  • ilevel: In Hellfire Citadel, ilvl isn’t necessarily the absolute value that it has often been. Some specs’ 4-piece bonuses are incredibly strong and make for a huge jump in numbers. The same is true for Archimonde trinkets. Now clearly he is not putting up the numbers you’d want from his ilvl, but the big disparity between him and others may be fueled by these jumps.
  • Just not hitting the buttons fast enough: In my experience many times it’s as simple as this. To maximize your raid performance, you have to hit the buttons faster than they actually work. The game will fire off abilities even if you press them a split second too soon. Every time you hit the button after it lights up you’re losing fractions of GCDs that add up over time. Looking at combat logs should tell you if he just isn’t using the same raw number of abilities as others.
  • Mouse clicking or keyboard turning: This relates to the above point, but it affects his ability to respond to changing combat situations as well because it limits his movement options. That means more time spent running and less spent casting.
  • Not using optimized gear, glyphs, talents, or rotation: He hasn’t done the research or doesn’t even know what research to do.
  • No DPS meter: It’s entirely conceivable that he doesn’t even know he’s so far behind. If he doesn’t use a meter and no one is posting meters in chat (which can be obnoxious, so most guilds don’t it), then he simply has no idea what his DPS is.

Very often, players who aren’t super experienced with MMOs will fall short in several of these areas. They don’t know how much harder they can push themselves. They don’t know the best practices that it takes to excel or the research that will help them to improve.

Criticism culture

DPS is not really an issue in Normal mode, but for Heroic there are certain DPS checks that the raid has to meet. I don’t think this player should be taken into a Heroic raid at their current performance.

However, what you or the officers do next is a function of what I call the raid team’s “criticism culture.” That means how comfortable and expected it is to give performance feedback. I think in this case the player could benefit from an experienced team member taking him under their wing and trying to figure out which of the above situations might be causing his poor performance. But if the raid team isn’t comfortable with that type of thing, then you have to let it go.

Now I would argue that the team is going to have a very tough time in Heroics if they’re not comfortable pushing one another to do better. That’s how you progress. It should be friendly and constructive but it should happen.

If it’s not happening, that’s their choice, but you have a choice, too. It sounds like you’re better suited for a more proactively critical raid team like (I assume) your Mythic team. It’s nice of you to help out, but if it gets to the point where raiding with them makes WoW no longer fun for you, then this team might be a bad fit for you. It might be time at that point to bow out.

warlock casting spells

The Warlock’s response

Let’s assume someone is able to approach the Warlock with a friendly offer to help. What he does next will tell you whether or not he has potential as a raider. If he responds emotionally and refuses the offer of help, then he’s probably not cut out for a raid team that’s looking to progress to the next difficulty level. The team may have no choice but to bench him. If he is willing to accept advice, if he tries to correct the existing problems, and if he uses it as an opportunity to learn and improve as a raider, then you have a player that might one day join you on those Mythic runs.

Everyone deserves this chance to do better. It’s why I think all guilds should have at least some acceptable way to give constructive criticism to their raiders. This Warlock either already knows he’s far behind everyone else or he doesn’t know and doesn’t understand the impact he’s having on the group. If he knows, he might be too embarrassed to ask for help. He might have a lot more fun if someone can help him get his numbers up.

If he doesn’t know, then it would be good for him to understand what’s happening. If it were me, I wouldn’t want to unwittingly cause problems for my raiding group. I’d want someone to tell me so I could fix it with their help. I’d feel a lot better about my role on the team after an intervention. I hope this Warlock gets one, and I hope there’s a good outcome for him and for the team.

Have a question for Officers’ Quarters? Ask it below or on Twitter.


Blizzard Watch is made possible by people like you.
Please consider supporting our Patreon!


Join the Discussion

Blizzard Watch is a safe space for all readers. By leaving comments on this site you agree to follow our  commenting and community guidelines.

Toggle Dark Mode: