What’s So Fun About Ranged DPS?
Awhile ago when I had first started returning to Ranged DPS via my favorite character, Crando, my good friend Alex had stimulated a good conversation that I still remember this day. Now, the exact words are a bit fuzzy, but the general theme of our chat was “how is ranged DPS fun?”. His points (of course were valid) were a) a lot of the time you spam one button, and b) you’re far away from most of the danger (bosses).
Honestly, with the facts that he brought up it took me awhile to think of a solid defense. Sure, I love Ranged DPS it’s what I’ve done my whole life in video games, but what is so fun about it in WoW? I could still play my Tank and be right there in the action, or my healer and be using quick thinking and intellect to save people’s virtual lives. What’s so fun about positioning yourself strategically in a boss fight? What’s so fun about spamming one button and then hitting a few others to put up DoTs or to use insta cast Procs?
The part about Ranged DPS that is most fun in my mind is LIVING.
Hell, everything in a PvE setting is designed to kill some sort of party member, and let’s face it Ranged DPS are generally the easiest to kill. A good chunk of us can’t heal very well (if not specced appropriately), we have very low HP with flimsy armor, and to top it off we can pull threat off a Tank if we are not monitoring it.
However, when you’re sitting there with your head in the clouds and DPSing that boss and you notice that Marrowgar starts bone storming right on top of you- THAT is the moment that I truely love what I do. Which button do I press? Do I blink out? Do I Iceblock? What’s the most appropriate thing to do at that time? Just don’t think too hard about it because you can only take a few hits of his bone storm!
Playing a Ranged DPS is all about critical thinking and having a fast reaction time. If you can’t get out of fire quickly, then it’s probably not a role you will enjoy since you will be dead most of the time. Let’s also not forget about Mana, we have to be able to 1) avoid death, but 2) avoid it efficiently enough so that we do not go OOM. Sure, an OOM Mage/Warlock/Hunter/Shaman/Boomkin/Spriest isn’t a dead one, but both do 0 DPS.
And what about the simple rotations?
Okay, so it is pretty easy to pull some decent DPS out of your ass as most of the Ranged DPS classes. However, returning to the fast reaction portion that I was just explaining, all Ranged DPS Classes have to watch for CD’s, Procs, and possibly DoTs. When that spell goes off C/D it would probably be a great idea to hit it right then, or when Hot Streak is procced you should get ready to fling a frickin’ Pyroblast! Oh, and did I mention not to let your DoTs fall off? Well, don’t let them because that’s a DPS loss!
Sure, half the time as a Spriest you’re mind flaying, or you’re shooting a lightning bolt at the target as an Elemental Shaman and in all honesty there isn’t quite much to what you’re doing. However, when it’s time to refresh those DoTs or use your procs the Class becomes a frickin’ BLAST to play (literally!).
So, there is a bit of downtime for most of the Ranged DPS Classes, but you will most likely not know when that downtime will end unless you are a psychic since there are always procs that will come up in the middle of your Arcane Blast spam that will change your rotation.
Lastly, the fight against OOM(ness)
For most of us, For all of us going OOM is a problem since we cannot do the role that we are tasked with doing, which of course is bombing the hell out of whatever stands in front of us. And, for a fair number of the specs/Classes pertaining to Ranged DPS it can be a bit of a challenge to manage your Mana Bar and still put out your best DPS. This is another factor that I think brings challenge and life to the seemingly dull role of Ranged DPS.
Mana, although a renewable resource, can take some time to regenerate. Time that we do not have if we wish to be DPSing to our maximum limit! So, we have to understand when to pop a mana-replenishing button such as Evocation or Aspect of the Viper. The first thing that we must figure out is a) do I really need Mana right now? and b) is it worth taking a DPS loss to replenish some Mana. In Viper the Hunter takes a significant (50%) DPS loss, and in Evocation the Mage has to sit there for 8 seconds as he replenishes his Mana.
All in all, the reasons that I believe Ranged DPS is challenging, and ultimately fun for me is:
a) It gives me a challenge whether it is lasting the entire fight or simply ensuring I have enough Mana to complete the task given to me.
b) It is not predictable, there is always some sort of Proc or C/D that is needed to be popped or used immediately and by doing so you may have to change your rotation in a split second.
c) Finally, it’s fun to be self-sufficient. You have to look after yourself as a DPS especially Ranged since we are so squishy (Not to say that Melee doesn’t have oodles of fun when running out of a Whirl Wind) and it feels GOOD to know that you avoided a dangerous obstacle.
Soak that all in for a moment, sure it may not be your personal reason for playing a Ranged DPS, but I don’t think it would be too far off of your own take on the matter. Well, unless your only reason would be “I like to see big crits” which certainly isn’t wrong since I am a man who thoroughly enjoys large numbers appearing on my 19″ widescreen /flaunt!
Any who, I hope you all have had a wonderful week!