The simplest method of getting a DPS baseline reading is to hit up a training dummy in a capital city or the Argent Tournament Grounds. In the capitals, there are level 60, level 70 and level 83/boss dummy versions available. If you're interested in getting a feel for what your DPS might be like in a raid instance against a boss, it's the latter version (the Heroic Training Dummy) you're after.
A standard DPS test on a training dummy goes something like this:
- Self-buffs only. Click off buffs that you can't cast yourself.
- No consumables during the test.
- No outside debuffs on the target.
- Use your normal max-DPS skill/spell rotation.
- Test for one complete mana bar or a set period between 3 to 5 minutes (the length of a typical boss encounter), whichever you prefer.
- Rest up, repeat twice, then average your scores.
: Training dummy DPS averages will not match real figures from an actual raid. Getting an "honest" average requires that you actually run a handful of raids and compare the samples. If you're new to raiding, though, checking your DPS at a training dummy will give you a decent baseline and the chance to experiment with the way different rotations affect your DPS. A new level 80 doing 1.6-1.7k DPS on a Heroic Training Dummy might realistically hope to average about 2k DPS fully raid-buffed in an actual raid.
We don't recommend that you use online theorycrafting tools such as MaxDPS.com
to measure your DPS, because they don't reflect how you perform in a real environment. There are quite a few factors that affect your DPS in an actual raid
A few more tips when testing your DPS
- Most boss fights require movement and repositioning, so you won't be able to maintain your max-DPS rotation throughout an entire fight.
- Many boss fights require that you perform other tasks (debuffing, interrupting, decursing) that will also interrupt your rotation.
- The raid buffs you'll get from other raiders will significantly increase your performance.
- Executing the encounter strategy will pull your focus away from maximizing your DPS output.
- Your damage output will be affected by debuffs to the boss and buffs to you from other players.
on a training dummy:
- Use trinkets and cooldowns as you would during a typical encounter.
- Training dummies have "backs," so stand behind them if you're a melee fighter in order to get the proper relationship of blocks, parries and so forth.
- Make sure you're not using a dummy someone else has debuffed or has gotten so low on health that any abilities you have that activate on low-health targets come into play.
- Avoid lines at the dummies and cross-damage by AEing players nearby by choosing a quiet test location, such as Darnassus.
- You might gain some points in weapon skill while fighting a training dummy. However, since these points come solely from special attacks (not white damage), it's not a very efficient or effective way of skilling up.
- Retest regularly, especially when trying a new spell or skill rotation, a new talent spec or have a new piece of gear.
Remember, your DPS is a reflection of one specific aspect of your raid performance. Your DPS averages don't show your contributions to cooperative tactics, strategic planning and execution, raid utility – or of being a pleasure to be around. Apply your DPS averages to fruitful ends, and enjoy the places they take you!
WoW Rookie walks you through all sort of new-player concerns, from game lingo for the beginner to joining your first guild as a mid-level player and on to what to do when you finally hit level 80. Visit WoW.com's WoW Rookie Guide for links to all our tips, tricks and how-to's.