The “Why Does My DPS suck?” is a post series written for the person starting to raid. While a raider might learn a thing or two, it is written more for the WoW Rookie than for the WoW Pro.
Why Does My DPS Suck?
If you have ever listened on a raid, you might have heard the Raid Leader say, “pop your cooldowns!” sounds like fun doesn’t. If you want to get into raiding one of the first things you should do is ask if you can listen in on a raid. You will start to get a sense of what is said during the fight. You might be lost at first, but if you que up the videos of the bosses the raid team is attempting you might get a good visual of what they are facing.
Cooldown management is something a lot of new DPS have trouble with. Healers learn quickly that you have to use mana regen abilities to keep their mana pool going, but some DPS don’t know how much DPS they are leaving on the table by not using their cooldowns correctly.
Cooldowns are abilities that give you a boost but have a reset timer. Think of them as the “nitro” boost you see on some racing games. They come in a lot of different shapes and sizes, but they accomplish the same thing, they give you more DPS.
Your trinkets might have something called a “proc” which means you don’t have to worry about them, but if they are an “on use” trinket, that means that you have to click it to get the boost. The simplest way to start experimenting with this cooldown is just to drag the trinket to your bar and use it on click. Another way is probably to macro it to an ability that you already use. The best way is to know exactly when to use it and be smart about it.
Like your trinkets, most classes have abilities that allows them to do a lot more DPS for a short time. You might have heard the term “burst damage” being used. Some classes have lots of it, meaning they pack a punch when they use all their cooldowns. At one point some classes used to be able to line up several and the fabled “one shot macros” were all the rage on PvP. That does not happen all that much anymore, but you can still pack a lot of DPS in a short period of time.
The fight against Deathwing calls for it a lot. This is where saving your cooldowns for that moment it is needed is critical.
If you have played with a Demo Warlock you have probably noticed that they go on demon form. That is one of their DPS cooldowns. You might have also seen a mage get turned into a human icicle, that is a defensive cooldown. You might be thinking that you don’t care about defensive cooldowns, but they are just as important… a dead DPS does ZERO DPS.
As important as finding out what your cooldowns are, it is when to use them. Every boss is different, and also every raid team lines them up a little different.
There are also cooldowns that affect the whole raid like Heroism/Lust. You have to learn when to use your cooldowns and how they are affected by other cooldowns. If your cooldown gives you more strenght, then it is prime for using during the Heroism/Lust phase; however if you cooldown gives you haste, it might not help that much since Heroism/Lust is already giving you that stat and probably will simply be a wasted cooldown.
So your homework is to investigate what your cooldowns are and make sure that they are available in your arsenal. Play around with them and see how they affect your numbers. Are they things you want to use every time they are up? or are they ones that can be saved for burn down phases? Its all part of the fun of the game.