Greedy Goblin

Friday, October 8, 2010

Getting group as DPS

Tobold reminded me of the permanently existing fact: it's hard to get to groups as DPS. I already wrote about the tank and healer shortage, and its reason (lot of M&S who play DPS since they couldn't get past the first pack as tank or healer). However this is about a personal solution, you as a DPS want to get to 5-man dungeons.

If you just queue up like the others, you'll get the same as every other DPS, long waiting. To get ahead of the queue, you shall queue up with tanks or healers. If you have tank or healer friend, it's easy, but let's consider the pure market solution without personal connections.

The dungeons need DPS. While tank and healer performance is mostly binary (you wiped or you did not), DPS performance affect speed. A tank and a healer can duo any "heroic", but it will take lot of time. What you can offer is faster runs. Since tanks and healers hold the key to the fast queue, you have to convince them. If you want to run just one dungeon, there is no point, you just queue up and do something else. However if you want to run many you should find a group.

I'd suggest something like that on /trade "DPS with 4-5K single target DPS with 5-man buffs and 10-15K AoE with aggro meter looking for tank and/or healer for dungeon farming". If you are hunter or rogue, you can mention your ToT/misdir services. Queuing up with a newbie tank and helping him with aggro is better than waiting in Dalaran. If you don't have high DPS or threat moves, you can offer gold for every run.

The point is that you are selling something they want. You are not begging for help. Avoid "plz", ":D" and any other kidspeak that would make your prospective partners believe that you are just another punk begging for boost.

After a successful run, put your partners to the friend list and mention them that they can contact you for good DPS any time. Remember: from the outside, you are dime a dozen. You must advertise that you are better than the others, the tanks/healers shall pick you!

Still no quality moron. Don't tell me that WoW ran out of them!


Martin said...

A tank and a healer can't duo any heroic. There are fights/mechanics where you need other players - frost tombs on Keleseth, the harpoon event on Skadi, Bran's event in HoS, Sjonni...

Zazkadin said...

If you do significant DPS (> 3k), you probably are not interested in doing more than one heroic, because you already drown in emblems of triumph.

On my battle group a tank will get a group immediately, a healer in 1 or 2 minutes and a DPS 15 minutes or more, depending on time of day. If I am a tank and I invite a DPS friend, we will get a group immediately. However, when I am a healer and I invite a DPS friend, we have to wait a long time. Therefore when I play a healer, I am not very keen on grouping with DPS for a random dungeon, unless they bring a tank too.

I don't understand how the queueing algorithms work. It seems that when there is a tank in the party, you are put in the fast tank queue, but then there is no tank, you are put in the slow DPS queue, even if you have a healer. So this makes me wonder "is there a healer queue?"

Anonymous said...

That is just the way it worked in BC. Build up your reputation so people know you play well. I think in Cataclysm it will be even more important as the difference between "lol heroic, pew-pew aoe"-dps and "cc-ing focusdamage"-dps will decide if it becomes a wipefest.

blub said...

@Martin of course they can duo any heroic. There is no mechanic in any WotLK Dungeon that needs more then 2 persons.

Actually a good tank could solo most of them...

Anonymous said...

DPS only affect the speed of the run if they are all very bad.
Mostly, the speed is determined by how fast, and how many, the tank pulls.
If there is just one decent (not necessarily very good, just decent) DPS in the group, and usually there is one, the speed will remain pretty much the same. This is mainly because our gear scaled way too high compared to heroics, and one decent DPS, with the help of bad DPS, can kill most trash packs and bosses very quickly anyway. So if it dies faster, it won't be noticeable.
(This is regarding WotLK heroics only ofcourse, as I understand things will be very different in cataclysm)

I have a tank main, and a healer alt.
As Zazkadin said, grouping with a DPS seems to slow my healer queue significantly.
As a tank, I rather not have a too high performing DPS, as then I need to work harder to hold aggro, which obviously I rather avoid, if I can get a near identical result (regarding speed), without having to work hard.
Offering gold for though, might make it worth my while, if it's enough of it.

Ephemeron said...

Keep in mind that in Cataclysm most tanks, healers and quality DPSers will be running dungeons with their guildmates (in order to farm guild XP/rep).

Ydraisa said...

From a tank perspective, I welcome the changes in vision Cataclysm will bring. Measuring the performance of damage dealers solely through their DPS will (hopefully) be a thing of the past.

I've been playing since vanilla Wow, as damage dealer through Burning Crusade, and as a tank in Cataclysm.

Back in BC, I was often invited in groups primarily because of the reputation I had across the server. I offered reliable crowd control. When the tank needed a mob taken out of the fight, he knew I'd do it flawlessly.

From the feedback in beta so far, I am pretty sure reputation (reliable crowd control, sit out of the fire, good DPS) will play a big role when selecting those we group with.

As a tank I'd rather group with a healer I can trust, and damage dealers I've grouped with in the past and have proven understanding of their class (crowd control) and fight mechanics (stay out of the fire, bring down certain targets), rather than risk wasting my time wiping endlessly.

To sum up:
I regard what happened in Wrath, especially since the introduction of LFG, as an anomaly and am glad Blizzard appears to take the right direction to reward once again accountability, responsibility and reputation.

With the carrot on the stick (in the form of guild perks), I predict most capable players will find their groups inside their own guild, or from their own server, and only those who cannot perform (M&S in your terminology Gevlon) will have to revert to LFG because nobody from their server will want to group with them.

Anonymous said...

Been doing this for years with great success. I've seen these tanks who sell daily hero runs for 100g/spot but even through that I usually get more than 1 response for "6400GS hunter LF daily hero, Misdirect on CD included." I would have used DPS but the community these days somewhat doesnt respond to that...

Roger said...

You could also try the more aggressive approach. Check if there are any tanks idling in Dalaran and ask them, very politely and with proper grammar, if they would be interested in running a daily heroic.
I had run my daily when I got such a whisper from a total stranger. My brain was screaming "no. there's no gain in it", but my social fingers had already typed "sure".

Don't underestimate the power of asking someone directly. The Trade/LFG chat is spammy and when someone's asking there, they're not after someone special. Just any tank will do. Why bother replying to that?
If someone asks you personally in whisper on the other hand. Wow. You're special. This guy wants _you_ to tank for him. No other tank will do. You cannot say no to that, can you?

Even tanks who "knows better" fall for that from time to time, especially when they are idling in Dalaran and are bored out of their skulls waiting for some raid to kick off...

Riryoku said...

What a relieve the Cataclysm dungeons will be, crowd control, having to watch mana-bars, healers dedicated to the tank only (if DPS draws agro, it's either "let them die" or "wipe and pay repairs")
You'll actually have to do the normal dungeons to get prepared for heroic dungeons, nothing but goodness that will frustrate the gogo power... I mean M&S

Bear Pelt said...

What Roger wrote is a pretty effective strategy at times. I have been on the receiving end of such whispers and rarely ever turn them down unless I'm not feeling up to it. One might come off as attempting to stroke a tank's ego, but the direct and personal approach may land you with better success than posting on a spammed trade chat.

Anonymous said...

I'd rather group with another tank. Most tanks I know can top damage charts on 5mens, can take a beating and know what the fuck they are doing.

Anonymous said...

This is essentially how I got into dungeons in late BC. Even as a shaman without any CC, I advertised "DPS with Omen LF any heroic". Since almost all groups were assembled by tanks or healers, they knew the value of a dps with awareness of threat.

Anonymous said...

I have a guildless hunter alt which I play irregularly (transmute slave) and back in BC I was on the FL of a few tanks and healers. They would ask me to join their daily hero because I know how trap and kite. Best compliment I ever got was when a random mage asked the tank why he pulled the sheep before the trap and the tank said "i know the hunter knows what he's doing" :-)

I hope it will be like this again in Cataclysm. In Wotlk my hunter is just one of hundreds, the tanks have their daily groups 10 seconds after logging in.

Wildhorn said...

@Martin: The fights you mentioned can be done with a duo of tank/healer.

Grim said...

What about Eregos (the dragon in Oculus)? Would 2 players be enough?

Anonymous said...

occy can be 2 manned if your gear is up there. just take a green drake and a red drake... theres no mana to run out its just going to take a longer amount of time.

Anonymous said...

There will be people using LFG in Cataclysm because it gives you the Valor points (it called emblem of frost now).I know that it is not something you want these days, but you will want tham when The Cataclysm comes out. So people will use that tool(atleast once a day).Regardles they have to play with morons .Blizzard makes this game for the widest community possible=they will nerf tham to be easily completable for morons .

Nikola Begedin said...

On my server, DPS queue is usually bellow 10 minutes so I don't have much issues. I have another approach. I simply stopped using a single banker alt. Each of my characters has their own storage and their own professions, so they manage their own auctions. Thanks to some addons, i can manage my inventories just fine and almost as fast as if i had them on a single alt. When i login in the morning, i instantly queue, do my crafting and auctions and, by the time im done, the queue usually pops up.

Since i don't do dailies with all of my characters, I'm usually done withing the hour.

WeekendWarrior said...

I tank. When I have time and am in the mood to run a random, I ask in trade if anyone is interested in queing up. If I get no response in about a minute, I join the LFD que. The reason I ask in trade is because I'm looking to build a list of people to group with in the future. I don't respond to people's offer for gold to que up with them or people who can't type a complete sentence. It's unlikely that I would see or pay attention to something like that on /trade "DPS with 4-5K single target DPS with 5-man buffs and 10-15K AoE with aggro meter looking for tank and/or healer for dungeon farming". I probably would not respond to that simply because I'm only going to be looking at trade chat to form a group for a random for less than 5 minutes.

I would notice and respond to a whisper and probably accept if I had the time simply because I'd like to build my FL and I'd like to be added to someone's FL as a good tank for future runs.

I would recomend folks to do a /who and whisper folks who may be tanks and ask them if they tank and if they are interested. I still have a few folks on my friends list that I hooked up with that way while leveling up over a year ago and running various level instances.

I recommend to anyone to always try to form a group from your server first before jumping into the LFD tool.

So now when I log on one of the first things I do is check my friends list, guild, and see if there is anyone online I'd like to run a random with. Running with someone you "know" is always a more enjoyable run than risking the random folks you get in LFD.

When I'm on a DPS alt I'm leveling, the que for DPS doesn't bother me. I que, go get a cup of coffee, quest, or level a trade skill. If it bothers you to wait 15 to 20 minutes, try to remember when there was no LFD and how long it took to form a group if you could make one and travel to the summoning stone and start the instance and have someone leave and have to call it quits because you couldn't get another group together. Honestly people it is so much better now.

Weekend Warrior
"I Tank, Therefore I am."

Michael Young said...

Just a technical problem. When I want to run an instance, I queue up right away, as soon as I log on. I'm a healer, so I've got about 45-60 seconds before my queue pops. The only opportunity I have to see your trade chat spam is after I'm queued, and no matter what you're spamming it's usually not worth resetting my queue, delaying it by half a minute or so.

Besides, I've noticed that trade chat spammers tend to be less pleasant and more annoying than the average dpser. Remember, these are people who can't even find someone in their own guild who wants to run with them. With random people, you at least have a chance of finding other like-minded people.

Also, my experience is that people who post numbers or gs tend to make running the instance more annoying for me. DPSers who pull aggro and blame the tank for not having enough threat, or that warlock who taps himself empty all the time so he can aoe spam. Higher dps trade chat people are less considerate, more aggravating.

I find I prefer doing a 20 minute run with friendly (or at least courteous) people than a 15 minute run with assholes. The time just isn't worth the extra stress.

Also, if you want to get on my good side, the moment you join my group you should say something like 'Hello! :)' Being pleasant lets you get away with a lot.

Lupius said...

I find it strange that you should mention "Avoid "plz", ":D" and any other kidspeak" since you stated before that this type of language exists because it works! After all, most tanks/healers on trade are still socials.

Martin said...

Maybe you can duo them, in a same way melee priest can solo Wailing Caverns.

Mantra that dps is useless and only tanks/healers matter is stupid. With current gear amounts, it is actually tanks who are useless, as dps can "tank" any 5 man boss.

Anyone who wants to gear up fast (be it heroics farming or raid farming) should just join any guild, social guilds work quite good, as they might feel obliged to help you.

Amyiss said...

@Martin - ....There's an achievement for ignoring frost tombs on Keleseth, so I'm going to take a wild guess and say I can. My pocket healer *already* has to pick up the harpoons on Skadi because PuG DPS are morons (and in fact we've stealthed through the instance and duoed him for tries at his protodrake). Bran's event in HoS?... Doesn't this example assume someone would willingly enter that instance?

The only instance I see being tough for a duo is HoR because new waves will spawn whether or not you've completed the last ones.

As for the original post, I like the idea. Demonstrating in trade chat that you know what you're doing (without a single mention of GS) is an excellent route. Hopefully this will catch on in Cataclysm, where good play becomes more important - and having a list of people who know what they're doing from your home server is an immense advantage over taking chances with PuGs.

The Gnome of Zurich said...

"I don't understand how the queueing algorithms work. It seems that when there is a tank in the party, you are put in the fast tank queue, but then there is no tank, you are put in the slow DPS queue, even if you have a healer. So this makes me wonder "is there a healer queue?""

Here's my guess as to how it works.

There isn't a separate tank or healer queue, there is just one queue, and everyone in it is marked by what time they are in.

The tool tries to put together groups that maximize the total "has been waiting" time for the group.

Generally the queue contains tons of dps who are queueing constantly, a few healers and even fewer tanks.

so what typically happens at prime times is that the tank is the bottleneck. A group can't be formed until there is a tank, so every time a tank queues, they get a group immediately because there are already a couple healers and a ton of dps in the system.

So it doesn't matter whether there are zero, one, two or three dps with the tank in the queue, they are the only tank, so no groups are getting formed without them, they still go instantly as long as there is a healer available.

The healers queueing solo go faster than dps, because every time a tank shows up, a healer gets taken and pretty soon, they are the longest waiting healer, so they get taken when the next tank shows up.

Now if a healer queues with a dps, let's see how this looks.

a minute goes by, and our healer is now the healer with the longest wait time in the queue, but other healers have queued since while she was waiting. Also the dps in her party still has a pretty short wait time as dps goes.

So now, the next tank shows up -- who gets put with that tank? the algorithm has two choices, it can take the healer with the longest wait time (2 minutes) plus their pocket dps who has only waited 2 minutes. Or it can take the next healer who is solo and has waited 1 min 55 secs and then also take 3 dps who have all been in queue for 1/2hr.

presumably it chooses to take the long waiting dps, to minimize total waiting time (or maximize each party's time already waited).

So the healer stuck with a dps in their party when they queue has to wait, unless their extra wait versus other healers is enough to balance the dps's shorter wait versus other dps.

On the occasions when healers are as or nearly as scarce as tanks, this won't make much difference, but whenever healers have to sit in a queue for more than a few seconds, taking a dps with you, could potentially make that healer's queue almost as long as a dps queue.

Only if you are the most in demand role can you take as many dps in your party as you want and still get an instant or near instant queue, because there is no way to form a group without you if you are the only tank or healer in the queue. This happens with healers occasionally, but it is almost always true for tanks.

In rare circumstances, tank queues are not instant while healer's are, and this swaps. At that point, the healers can queue with however many dps and their queue is still instant, while tanks who queue with dps may have to wait a long time.

It's all about which role is the bottleneck. Whichever role is bottlenecking will get instant queues no matter who they group with.

Anonymous said...

"There's an achievement for ignoring frost tombs on Keleseth, so I'm going to take a wild guess and say I can."

That achievement relies on DPSing him down before the frost bombs kill your group.

Good luck doing that with a tank and a healer.

Fatah said...

You can also use the other Goblin option - buy yourself a tank for a small fee. Worked 100% of time for me - I have never waited for more than 5 minutes. Never paid more than 25G.