Friday, December 11, 2009

Tamarind's Topic

Or, Why Sissy Robe Wearers Should (Wo)man up and Do It From Behind.

Tam's 'gift' to us bloggers is to hand out topics for us to write on.
I could make the snide comment that he gets more traffic this way, but then I'd have to look at my stats and see that this little project will probably net him 3 referrals from me while I'll get a hundred from his site for this project. :)
That, and while I only have to write one blog in response, he has to read dozens of blogs, try to understand the Gestalt of the author, and then give them a topic that is appropriate to them. Dang good work, Tam.

For the record, here's his 'assignment:'

DPS, right – I don’t get it. I know you have a broad selection of alts but whenever you write about DK DPS you light up like some of pinball machine when you hit the high score so it’s pretty safe to assume that this your major WoW passion. I don’t get the appeal of making the big green bar go down as opposed to to all the little green bars go up – and certainly don’t get why you’d want to do so by hitting the boss in the backside with a sword, as opposed to safely, at a distance, with magic. What’s the appeal? Why does it draw you more than any other role? And why should a confirmed sissy-robe wearer give it a go?

So, I'll do my best here to answer the unanswerable: if you don't 'get' melee dps, how can I convey my love for the role in ways that might help you 'get it' - even to the point of giving it a go?

First, I'll say that I 'get' the other three main roles in Wow. At least to some extent. I've very much enjoyed my times tanking, healing, and pewpew from the back. I still enjoy taking a break from my normal role to do any/all of these from time to time.

But yes, I always seem to go back to hitting stuff up close and personal.

Wanna list? Ok, here you go.
1) Melee dps is cool. Precisely because it's not safe. We stick our noses in it (and hopefully) live to tell the tale.
2) It's the harsh, braggart's swaggering version of dps.
3) It's the busiest role. Not the hardest, but when I heal or cast, there's time while you sit there and wait for stuff to happen. Heck, lots of time while I wait for a chain heal, I can open /raid, make a comment, and start my next cast without missing a beat. When doing melee dps, it's all fight, all the time. I'm constantly spamming keys, and that's the way I like it.
4) I like the mechanics. Casting has gotten better for many classes with either proc-based mechanics, or combinations. But I still like putting strikes together.
5) Instant gratification. I hit a button, something happens. Now.
6) 'Energy.' While mana isn't horrible, I don't like managing it much. I like energy and runic power. I don't like Rage. Hmm. Not much of a reason. I just do.
7) Weapons should Do Something. Casters' weapons don't do anything but sit there and look pretty. Hunters may say they get to use their weapons, but I have plenty of other reasons for not preferring them. :P

Now, the truth is, all of the above are and will always be about preference. I'm very glad for it too. I can't objectively say melee is better because frankly they're not. All four main approaches to the game boil down to preference - what do you like?

But I'm not giving up yet.
Let me try another approach. Analogy.
Soccer/football, for example.
It doesn't break down perfectly, but you have the keeper, the defenders, the midfielders, and the strikers. The keeper is the tank. The buck stops with them. They're special, and they're protected, but if they go down, the whole enterprise fails. The defenders are like healers; they keep the keeper safe and are defensive in nature. They can't win the game, but they can keep their side from losing it. Midfielders work their magic from further back. They do score - sometimes very well, but they're usually not as flashy, and they're usually not the ones mixing it up right on the edge with the defenders (yes, the analogy really breaks down here because middies do many things dps don't. Ah well). Strikers, however, strikers are up front. They are chasing the goal and nothing but. They pounce on the ball, hang out near the opponent's goal, and put it in. It's a feel thing, and some ranged dps may feel more like strikers as well, but it's the best one I could come up with. When I play soccer (I have a match in 90 min tonight), I play striker. Suits me perfectly. :)

Not convincing?
Final effort.
Oh noes, Hine's gonna prose.
"It's a lovely morning for a walk. I let my Deathcharger, Asterix, pace beside me as I amble down the dirt path, soaking up the warmth of the sun. Rounding a bend, I come upon an ugly scene.
Four trolls, two skeletal undead, and a large bovine creature are idly pulling the entrails out of an elderly man, laughing amongst themselves as they watch the light fade from his eyes.
Littering the ground around the old man is his family. The matron, dress torn, stares glassily at the sky while the last of her life's blood trickles from huge gashes in her neck, torso, and limbs. The children......

Rage fills me and the edges of my vision turn a misty red. My heart pumps, turboboosting my muscles with oxygen and that chemical soup best expended vigorously. I charge, yelling wordlessly. My axe demands the blood of the villains and drinks deeply. Before the berserker madness fades, I am drenched in the ichor of my enemies. My armor is dented, my skin torn. But not a single brigand escapes. Justice is done."

Who'd want to stand back and prissily zap the baddies? Shoot arrows into their hides from 40 paces? Not Hinenuitepo, Goddess of the Night.
I assure you.


  1. Very nicely put :) I have to admit after being a resto druid for most of classic before switching to feral tank from late classic present I had been pretty 'out of the loop' on the whole dps thing.

    With the advent of dual specs though I've since experimented with boomkin and (proper) cat specs. I think Boomkin was a lot easier from a raid awareness point of view especially on fights like Mimiron - much less to watch out for and you don't need to move WITH the boss.

    With that said I threw in the towel and ended up dropping boomkin to take up feral cat dps as my offspec. I have to say I agree with you that it's much more fun to get in the thick of things as a melee.

    The only bad thing is when you have the occasional daydream that makes you a half second too slow in saying to yourself "Hey..aren't we supposed to move when he's casting th..." :p


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