A new approach to dealing with damage

| Wednesday, November 25, 2009
Currently damage is mostly dealt with by two types of players: tanks who mitigate it and healers who undo it. For tanks it's mostly about gear while for healers it's mostly about fast responses, anticipation of damage, and somehow surviving knowing that a single screw up can kill everyone. I admire healers for this. DPS don't do much in this process. You might see a ret throw up a sacred shield or maybe a mage or warlock throw up a specific absorb type, but in general DPS aren't involved in the damage control.

Let's change that.

I propose a way for DPS to increase their damage by protecting the raid. It would be a way to redirect certain types of hostile spells to themselves, absorbing most of the damage, and as they get more they accumulate spell combo points. These could be released for various devastating attacks.

Imagine you're on Thorim and Sif is throwing around a lot of frostbolts. You could throw up a resist aura and heal through them. Or, you could get a mage. They could redirect the bolts to themselves and with frost ward absorb the damage. After a while they could strike back with the absorbed damage. Other classes and specs would have similar abilities: shadow priests, warlocks, and DKs controlling shadow. Fire mages, destruction warlocks, and elemental shamans would control fire. Frost mages, DKs, and elemental shamans would control frost. Arcane mages, DKs, and warlocks would control arcane, though warlocks would retaliate with shadow damage. I spent too much time typing those out: the idea isn't meant to be so specific.

Lore-wise some of these might not make enough sense. A warlock protecting the group doesn't seem to fit, but maybe if it's boosting his ability to hurt other people? If it's a net gain in pain, a pain profit if you will, perhaps he'd do it. Other classes would seem to make more sense since several are healers or tanks and mages aren't social rejects (well, maybe only in lore)*. Hunters might have some sort of special arrow which they shoot at spells to catch them and then can be shot back, maybe this would tie into arcane shot.

What would rogues do that would help the group? They're not nice or even casters, so I'm not seeing any potential spell-control utility. Maybe they could have an anti-melee ability: looping a string around the enemy's weapon and pulling it taut, so when they swing at the tank it gets pulled back towards them.

* No crying, it's a joke, I have enough water for now.

6 comments:

Dw-redux said...

I really like the idea. There is one inherent flaw in this ofc: asking dps to do anything with responsibility involved.
I kid.. a little bit. But in my experience the only type of people who want responsibility in a dungeon or raid, either have a tank/healer main, or one alt that they want to change to their main.
Maybe thats just my experience :)

jeffo said...

It's actually a pretty neat idea, but I think it also flies in the face of what Blizzard has been doing for some time now: it complicates the game. Blizz has been streamlining talents and abilities to make things easier for the players; this would seem to complicate things.

DW, I think a lot of what you're seeing is something that has really risen since 'Wrath' hit. There's no longer a need for DPS to do anything BUT dish out pain and move out of the bad stuff. The people I've run with used to do more than that when they had to sheep/sap/shackle/trap. Give them the need to do something (whether it's CC or doing what Klep suggests in his post) other than that and I think *most* of them would be fine.

Klepsacovic said...

I agree that DPS in general tend to be incapable of handling responsibility, but I believe that is more due to lack of experience. I remember a time when, despite the way we mocked hunters, somehow they managed to do a good enough job kiting Drak in UBRS. Mages sheeped, hunters trapped, it was really only warlocks who couldn't manage fear all that well, mostly because it's a tricky thing to control and impossible now that recklessness doesn't work anymore.

It's time to raise a new generation of DPS who add more to the group than pretty numbers.

Klepsacovic said...

@Jeffo: You somehow timed your post for right as I was responding. GJ.

You're right that it adds complexity, but it is complexity with benefits. To me, DKs are complex, but their abilities work together to create a very potent class, so the complexity is acceptable. Beacon of Light arguably adds complexity since it's another short-term buff to track, but the benefits far outweigh the hassle.

I would hope that it doesn't end up all that much more complex than a tank or healer popping a cooldown for a hard phase except that it's a DPS instead.

Shy said...

Good dps is already about damage. Damage avoidance.

If your good dps you'll not only be pewpewing the hardest, you'll also be the one causing the healers least trouble.

And from what I've seen as a healer so far, a lot of dps players aren't ready to deal with more abilities, since that whole damage avoiding I just described is still quite hard apparently.

Yes, apparently dpsers have tunnel visions too, just that if they do so not everybody falls over, and if the healer does so people start dying left and right.

Klepsacovic said...

@Shy: I hope that if DPS are better integrated into the group that they will then see their death as not just a single death but for the negative effect it has on the entire group. Perhaps they'd think more of the group if they had abilities which required them to do so.

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