1. #1
    High Overlord Solarflair's Avatar
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    How has DPS changed over the years?

    Someone asked me an interesting question this past week, "How has DPS changed in WoW?"
    At first I didn't know how to answer, because I didn't really have an idea. I've been raiding seriously since mid-WotLK, so I'm withdrawn from any Vanilla and TBC experience - but from my experiences - being a DPS has always, to me, meant how much damage can I do (understanding rotation and maximizing damage), without taking damage (fire is bad), while using my abilities to most benefit the raid (perhaps raid CD's).

    Any thoughts on the evolution of being a DPS?

  2. #2
    -Threat is no longer a game mechanic, for the most part. That's the biggest thing.
    -A lot of classes play 100% different than they did in the first few years, some even have viable specs now that didn't exist in Vanilla & BC.

    Other than that, the math has always been there since BC and the good players are just as serious about it, but maybe it's more readily available and shared?

  3. #3
    Epic! schwank05's Avatar
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    -Threat is no longer an issue, back in BC FD used to be part of my rotation on my Hunter.
    _DPS used to have about 900HP (It was weird for a DPS other than a plate to have over 1K HP in Vanilla), DPS has went from an average of id say 600-900DPS to 80-100K DPS.

  4. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by schwank05 View Post
    _DPS used to have about 900HP (It was weird for a DPS other than a plate to have over 1K HP in Vanilla)
    You had a few thousand when you were in just MC alone :P

  5. #5
    I assume you mean in terms of playstyle and not the obvious we used to do 300 dps now we do 300k.

    The 3 biggest changes are:

    - No threat issues
    - Far more complex rotations for a lot of classes, it was quite common for some DPS in Vanilla and TBC to be literally just pressing 1 button
    - Far more "viable" specs and less niche roles, everyone can do everything at least decently well. It did't used to be like this at all


  6. #6
    Epic! Tokru's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by schwank05 View Post
    -Threat is no longer an issue, back in BC FD used to be part of my rotation on my Hunter.
    _DPS used to have about 900HP (It was weird for a DPS other than a plate to have over 1K HP in Vanilla), DPS has went from an average of id say 600-900DPS to 80-100K DPS.
    Tanks at the end of Naxx had 10k, others around 4-5k.
    You surpassed 1k hp as early as lvl 40 or something like that.

    The best dps I saw in vanilla in a video of Patchwerk was 1027.

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by schwank05 View Post
    -Threat is no longer an issue, back in BC FD used to be part of my rotation on my Hunter.
    _DPS used to have about 900HP (It was weird for a DPS other than a plate to have over 1K HP in Vanilla), DPS has went from an average of id say 600-900DPS to 80-100K DPS.
    what vanilla were you playing? my mage had around 3k throu most of vanilla in pve gear. with pvpgear i had around 4.4k. (unbuffed ofc).
    as for dps.. as a mage in naxx i had around 600dps in naxx gear (not counting ignite rides that occasonally happend). thou i think a furywarr could come up to near 900dps.

    as for how dps has changed in wow, well for mages, we have gotten 1 more ability to use every expansion pretty much, in vanilla we spammed frostbolt/fireball with 1 mage on scorchduty pretty much.
    in tbc we got hotstreak. in wrath we got living bomband mirror immage. in cata we got flameorb and dotspreading with fireblast. now in mop the mechanic of hotstreak changed a little and we lost our flameorb, but we got alter time and a better designed way of spreading dots with infernoblast.
    as for arcane it have changed pretty much every expansion. in wrath it was allways 4ab->abar or ab spamm for burst dps. in cata it was mostly the same with minor changes if ir emember right. in mop it was redone and am no longer resetted stacks.. imo i like the mop version best sofar. scorchweaving ftw. (thou without scorch weaving i hate it the most. to long rampuptime).
    frost.. well vanilla fb spamm.. in tbc fbspamm with a waterelemental beside you. and later on we got those 2 procs and deepfreeze wich did mssive dmg on stunimmune targets (wich was later changed..)

    overall pve rotation have become more and more complex with more and more abilitys. (especially now with alter time wich makes getting that perfect combustion very instresting ).
    Last edited by Aphrel; 2013-05-09 at 02:17 PM.

  8. #8
    The Lightbringer
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    Quote Originally Posted by schwank05 View Post
    -Threat is no longer an issue, back in BC FD used to be part of my rotation on my Hunter.
    _DPS used to have about 900HP (It was weird for a DPS other than a plate to have over 1K HP in Vanilla), DPS has went from an average of id say 600-900DPS to 80-100K DPS.
    Wait what..? Casters and rogues had close to 2.5-3k hp once they got the start lvl 60 dungeon gear, and tanks (read warriors) would have much more depending on gear and buffs.


    Edit: Regarding the thread, mana was an issue for mana users (not warlocks though), so most had to work around it with stuff like wanding, using mana pots, limiting your rotation etc. And threat was an issue in the start of an encounter. It wasn't unusual to have the whole raid wanding and auto attacking only, during specific phases of a fight.
    And if you ever got low on hp, most players would run away from the action of a fight to use bandage and to heal up. The general consensus was that survival and taking the least damage possible to save healer mana was the best solution, hence many wearing resistance gear for specific fights. DPS wasn't as important, because some classes naturally dealt more damage than others.

    In Tbc with fights becoming harder, raids being 10/25man, the game evolving, and gear easier accessible, expectations for every person also grew. It was no longer possible to carry 15 players in a raid. Roles such as only "decursing" and CC'ing as your only job for the entire fight quickly went away.
    Last edited by Funkthepunk; 2013-05-09 at 02:19 PM.

  9. #9
    Fully Naxx geared tanks had around 8k hp.
    As for dps, Fury Warriors managed to break 1k dps on Patchwerk, although just barely.

    But i agree the biggest chance was threat management. Even in ICC i still had to be extremely careful with my Warlock, but that was part of the fun, once Cata hit and it was no longer an issue, i really missed the Omen dance. I remember when some skills were shown in the Cata Beta, Soul Shatter was buffed from reducing threat by 90% instead of 50%, my fellow Warlock and i were like "this is gonna be so awesome" and then we never really needed it =(

  10. #10
    Tank DPS is now important and in certain cases can even pull ahead of designated DPSers.

  11. #11
    Only thing that was really changed is the need to be more raid aware at all times

  12. #12
    We have more buttons now.

    We don't have to wait for Sunders to stack before we go balls out.

    ...that's all I got.

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  13. #13
    Quote Originally Posted by RavenGage View Post
    - Far more "viable" specs and less niche roles, everyone can do everything at least decently well. It did't used to be like this at all
    The problem with everybody doin everything at least decently is if one class is missing even 1 component compared to other classes then its left far far away behind all others and blizzard needs to tweak all class all the time on ptr to keep up with it - some changes over they years were indeed great but i sometimes wonder at what cost it comes.

  14. #14
    Quote Originally Posted by kamuimac View Post
    The problem with everybody doin everything at least decently is if one class is missing even 1 component compared to other classes then its left far far away behind all others and blizzard needs to tweak all class all the time on ptr to keep up with it - some changes over they years were indeed great but i sometimes wonder at what cost it comes.
    Its nowhere near as big of a problem now as it used to be. The worst case scenario you might encounter nowadays is something like "X spec can't do Y quite as well as the rest, so we kinda prefer to not take them on this one fight".

    In Vanilla it was more like "X does less damage than Y, period. End of story, they suck and nobody plays them". Or the famous hybrid specs that were brought to buff the real DPSers. But god help you if you took more than 1 of em, its a buff bot you only need 1 and the rest should all go heal spec or not raid.

    There is absolutely no question that classes and specs are way better balanced now than they were in Vanilla/TBC. The only downside is a loss of uniqueness, but when you're a Shaman that loves elemental and wants to play it but can't because mages do 3x your damage being "unique" is a small consolation prize.


  15. #15
    "We need more dots now, more dots more dots more dots....come on more dots.......kay, stop dots."

    Don't need to worry about that *hit anymore

  16. #16
    As everyone said, threat changed.

    The other main thing is that it doesn't matter if you're 999999 times more skilled than another player. If he has 10 more ilvl he will do more damage. Back in TBC/WOTLK things weren't like that, MoP is too much gear deppendant, which is sad tbh.

  17. #17
    Herald of the Titans MrHappy's Avatar
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    i think complexity and dynamic changed over the years. More specs have more utility/more viable than before where x spec has either pvp or pvp role.
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  18. #18
    Quote Originally Posted by Carolainz View Post
    As everyone said, threat changed.

    The other main thing is that it doesn't matter if you're 999999 times more skilled than another player. If he has 10 more ilvl he will do more damage. Back in TBC/WOTLK things weren't like that, MoP is too much gear deppendant, which is sad tbh.
    You're delusional. I know people that I could beat on a toon of the same class 20-30 ilvls behind them.

  19. #19
    I've been there since the start of Vanilla, raided in high end guilds throughout my tenure in Azeroth.

    1.) There was no theorycrafting site. Too many selective cuts and video edits convinced many players of incorrect gearing. I know that for example, the majority of the mage community believed in gearing for crit over spell damage or spell hit, which was utterly incorrect.
    2.) The gear creators didn't know how to parse stats. Mages got spirit on their gear - as did warriors and rogues. Tier gear was generally awful for basically every class with a few choices that they didn't screw up. In many cases, gear from much, MUCH, earlier points in progression were much better than raid gear. To bring up mages again, the Robe of the Archmage, a tailoring pattern, was better than everything up to and possibly including T3 frostfire chest from Naxx. The T2 mage 8piece netherwind set bonus, widely touted as the best set bonus ever in Vanilla, was worthless because it brought less damage to the table than equipping ONE offpiece would've.
    3.) There was an absolute chasm in player skill. The best players then were probably 60-70% of the best players these days. But the worst players ... oh man ... damage meters didn't really make a splash until AQ40 opened really, and when they finally got their sync'ing and area issues taken care of, the disparity was enormous. You'd have the top players doing 300-400 dps (in BWL), #5 was doing ~200 dps, #25-30 were doing like 40-50 dps. And this was a top guild. Maybe not tippity top, but we were somewhere in the world top 50 for various fights. Nowadays, if you imported Method/BL players back to that age, you'd probably get the top dps = ~500-600, and the bottom dps to be ~400 minimum.
    4.) "Rotations" were much, MUCH simpler then. Right now the average dps spec has to watch two debuffs, track two self-buffs, watch one or two procs, and use 3-4 buttons otherwise in their normal rotation. Back then? the average dps used maybe 3 buttons, sans cooldowns. I remember as frost, my damage came from frostbolt and blizzard, with the occasional arcane explosion or fireblast thrown in.
    5.) Class imbalances were far more prevalent in vanilla than now. Currently the top dps class is maybe 30-40% ahead of the worst dps class. Back then, the difference could be 300-400%, a full order of magnitude higher.

  20. #20
    Scarab Lord ringpriest's Avatar
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    Others have covered most of the ground, particularly the loss of threat as a relevant mechanic. The biggest one I don't see mentioned yet is the greatly reduced importance of crowd-control. Another one is removal of very narrow-use abilities that were basically required for some encounters, or at least moving them into irrelevance. Stuff like Tranquilizing Shot, Mind Control, Detect Invisibility etc. Finally, I'll throw in scouting. It was never a huge part of the game, but I remember when having it in the form of a rogue or druid, stealthed pet (cat), Mind Vision, etc, was useful for checking out the composition and layout of upcoming trash. Scouting was more useful in PvP, of course. In theory it should still be useful in PvP, but hardly ever seems to get used. (Battle for Gilneas becomes trivial after you have your starting base and WW by the simple expedient of parking a rogue or druid in sight of the opposition's gy and calling out the incoming as soon as they take off.)

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