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Girl on Game

Gaming from a gamine perspective.

Author: Sumeragi

DPS Ain't Nothing But A Number, Baby

Posted by Sumeragi Tuesday September 22 2009 at 6:34PM
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Once upon a time, I was a dirty Elvaan WHM/SMN in a faraway land named Vana'diel.  As a White Mage, my job was to heal, and so, when I got invited to a group or went off for an adventure with my Link mates, that's what I did.

I'd make sure our Protects and Shells were up, I tossed Regens and Cures on my party mates to keep them topped off; I was an  Erasing, Cursnaing and Virunaing fiend, and in between  I even made sure to toss in a few Holys to help out with a Magic Burst.  I didn't know how much healing I did. or how hard my heals hit for, but our tanks always lived (except for the occasional  NIN/WAR tanks miscounting Utsusemis), our DDs kicked ass, we mocked Tarus, we went to Sky and beyond, and everyone had a jolly old time.

We lived to loot without breaking a sweat.  That's how I knew I did my job right.

Fast forward a few years to a game called DDO, where I played a Rogue.  Not a sword and board Rogue (which I saw a ton of later on), but a real, honest to goodness, "DANGER DANGER!" trap disabling Rogue.  I knew where the traps were from experience, and if not, I could sense them and disable them with a happy little click.  I dual-wielded my +5s and stole a lot of kills off our Fighters (thank you Weapon Finesse), I tossed a few heals (thank you Magical Devices), and I could swim in Lava for hours on end thanks to my Robes of Greater Resistance and sexy ability to make all my saves.  I don't know what my "DPS" was, nor do I know how much damage I did, but we ran Giant Caves in under 2 min, were the first to down the Dragon on our server, and everyone had a jolly old time.

We lived to loot (and I picked those pesky locked chests for more locks) without breaking a sweat.  That's how I knew I did my job right.

Fast forward a year or so and as a dirty Shadow Priest (and occasional Holy Priest), I watch this little box in the corner of my screen and IT tells me if I did my job right or not by proclaiming to all how much damage I did, what did I do my damage to, how high my spells hit for, and how much better my GearScore is than JoSchmoe's.  And if this little box doesn't happen to work, NOT TO WORRY, my friends on the Internet are more than happy to broadcast how I did based on their little boxes as well.

It does not matter that on ToC 10, I was the only DPS that didn't stand in a fire or eat the wrong colored balls; who cares that I was the only DPS to survive the Flame Dance until the end, eventually downing the boss while others got their drinks or what not.  Here is what happens:

  1. Arcane Mage 5900 DPS
  2. Arcane Mage 5300 DPS
  3. Marksman Hunter 4900 DPS
  4. Shadow Priest 4500 DPS

Followed by, "Step up your DPS, Priest."  To which I post something akin to:

  1. Shadow Priest 27% Damage Done
  2. Arcane Mage 16% Damage Done
  3. Arcane Mage 13% Damage Done
  4. Marksman Hunter 9% Damage Done

Apparently, it doesn't mean anything to the raid leader because on the next boss, he's back to spamming DPS.  Don't make me even start on HPS, because I know exactly what I need to spam as a Holy Priest to get my HPS up too.  But I choose not to; casting what I need to cast to make sure everyone stays alive.

When, I wonder, will people ever learn that you can do 10K DPS, but if you're dead as a door knob within 2 seconds of the fight, you're even shittier than the DK in greens doing 700 DPS for the entire fight.


But then today, a light at the end of the tunnel, for as I open up Aion again, I see a blank canvas.  No more boxes, no more other boxes.  Just me, my mace, my Victory Mantra and a party with full health.

That's how I know I did my job right.


JKnight1 writes:

Yes, sadly, gaming ahs become about the numbers. It doesn't matter if you're doing your job well, anymore. It only matters that you get the max numbers, regardless.

It's the way of the newest generation. The generation of instant gratification. So, you can heal, and keep everyone alive? Cool, but can you hit this number EVERY time? No? Aww, too bad, I don't need you.

People have forgotten what it meant to enjoy a game. They break it down to numbers. Min/Max every little thing so they can squeeze that extra three points of damage a second, even if that extra 3 points means diddly when it comes down to it.

But i'm also seeing a change. Players are getting it, again, that gaming is for the fun, the joy, not the numbers and epic phat lewts.

Tue Sep 22 2009 9:43PM Report
Trucidation writes:

Meh, this isn't new, I've seen this in singleplayer games. How people will argue on forums over builds simply to max DPS. Forgetting, as you observe, that there are other things such as staying alive to deliver said DPS. It didn't surprise me at all to see the same tunnel-vision epenis size comparisons in MMOs.

Not that they're entirely wrong; game developers also share the blame for making games that rely heavily on simple damage output. In many RPGs you can guarantee a win by simply overpowering the enemy, e.g. a level 20 character vs a level 10 mob. Far too many games encourage this mindset, having stupid AI mobs that simply try to hack away at the player. It won't work against DPS-hoes. You need to be sneaky, with stuff like poison, stuns, and other creative status effects.

Of course then you get said players QQ-ing about not being to simply plow through the mobs. Fuck that. If you're too stupid to realise other things are just as, if not more, important, then you deserve to fail no matter how large your DPS epenis is. I'm tired of mindless DPS counts and the stupid people who use them as a crutch. Like you, I've played a variety of classes, and in fact I enjoy the support role the best - mainly because I've met other kindred souls who realize it's the harder job and takes a skilled player, rather than some wang who simply has to worry about maxing his DPS.



Wed Sep 23 2009 4:48AM Report
streea writes:

Agree 100%. It didn't matter in WoW that I brought a lot more than just DPS to a group... you know, things like skill and buffs and not dying. I'm playing a Chanter now in Aion... go ahead, sum up my class with numbers!

Wed Sep 23 2009 10:18AM Report
UNH0LYEV1L writes:

Interesting post and I agree.  WoW has really numbed a lot of aspects about what made a game fun and I think a lot of people are starting to get that.

Wed Sep 23 2009 7:50PM Report
teleri_moses writes:

 I agree.

Thu Sep 24 2009 2:56PM Report writes:
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