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The state of DPS in early Dragon Soul, page 2

Brian Wood

Overall Dragon Soul DPS by spec

Here, we're going to look at the total for all Dragon Soul fights in each of the four raid types. This includes every boss fight in Dragon Soul, which means there are some odd mechanic fights that skew results. On the other hand, this is the absolute true measure of the amount of DPS across all fights that a spec is capable of actually producing.

In the interest of conserving space and keeping the graphics usable, classes will be indicated by their traditional class colors, and specs will be indicated by the spec icon. Here's a quick guide to the different spec icons.

Data from all specs

Let's start off by taking a look at some data from every spec, rather than just the top specs, to get an initial look at the spread.

This information is taken from 10-man normal mode of all Dragon Soul bosses. This is a really nice raid size to get a quick snapshot of what's going on. Since Cataclysm, around 80% of all raids are now 10-mans, so this is the best representation of what players are actually experiencing, and of course we have a lot more parses for normal modes than heroics. Don't worry, we'll be looking into heroics and 25-mans in a bit.

This first chart is showing us the median DPS of every spec across all raid parses. This is the absolute dead middle DPS point for 10-man normal mode raids -- in effect, the average DPS that the average raider using World of Logs can put out. The number of parses for beast mastery hunters, subtlety rogues and frost mages were too low to be statistically significant, so I've left them out of this.

The first thing that jumps out at me on this one is how narrow the spread is! This is nothing like Firelands, where we saw specs 30% and more away from median. Here, we have combat rogues a bit over 10% ahead, with arcane mages about 15% behind. But aside from those guys, the spread is really, really close.

Here, we're looking again at all specs in 10-man normal but this time looking at the median of the top 100 parses for each spec -- basically a good snapshot of the top the spec is capable of, given the bias toward the best spec (which again means that the amount behind non-top specs are will be exaggerated).

We again see a narrow spread, this time with fire mages spiking up in a significant lead. And you know what? Get used to seeing that blue bar sticking up above all the others -- we're going to see a lot more of it.

Data from top specs

Now that we have a bit of a feel for the baseline of all specs, let's narrow things down to just the top-performing spec of each class (including both druid and shaman DPS specs) and see how the classes are really stacking up against each other.

I know we only hit 10-man normal for the all spec data -- but what we're really interested in in how competitive each class is on the charts, and we'll hit every raid type that we can in the class comparison.

We're starting off here with 10-man normal again (median of top 100 parses) to compare it against what we saw when looking at all specs. Here, we see that the deviation from the median is smaller than ever, meaning that the top specs of each class are really competing closely with each other -- wildly closer than in Firelands.

The largest deviation we see is again fire mages a bit over 10% ahead and enhancement shaman around 6% below. Combat rogues continue to look good, even without their legendaries.

Taking a step up in difficulty to 10-man heroic, we see the spread of DPS actually narrower than ever. Feral druids are about 5% below the median, while fire mages and combat rogues are nicely ahead -- but again, I have to recall Firelands, where the top guys were 20% and more ahead of the median, even more than 30% when looking at all specs.

When we look at 25-man normal mode numbers, we suddenly see a significant shift in the numbers -- and indeed, 25-man normal stands out from all the rest of the raid types. One of the theories for this is that Raidbots currently cannot tell the difference between normal mode and Raid Finder mode, so the normal mode results have all those Raid Finder parses in them as well (and 25-man Raid Finder is popular).

But then, we are looking at the top parses, and you would expect those to represent some pretty darn good and well-geared players.

25-man normal shows fire mages farther ahead than ever, with about a 15% lead over median, and survival hunters dropping significantly into last place at more than 6% behind.
Finally, we have the pinnacle of raiding, 25-man heroic. Be warned that there are far fewer parses for 25-man heroic than any other raid type, so these number are more subject to change as more parses come in.

Here we see fire mages staying up there in the lead but a surprising leap up from arms warriors to around 12% above the median. Feral druids are quite a bit below at around 7% under median, but every other class is less than about 5% off of the median.

All of these charts are showing us data from across all of the bosses in Dragon Soul, but it's always good to look at specific fights as well. To round things out, I thought we'd take a peek at Ultraxion in 25-man heroic just to see how different the numbers are in the best DPS metric fight we have this raid tier.

Interestingly, the picture that Ultraxion 25-man heroic shows us isn't that different from the overall 25-man heroic chart. We still have fire mages up at the top, and we still have the surprising surge of arms warriors, nearly on the level of the fire mages.

Combat rogues have crept up a bit more, and feral druids are doing comparatively a bit worse at close to 10% below median.

Good work, and keep working!

From looking at this data and comparing it to what we saw at the end of Firelands, it certainly looks like Blizzard did a really good job of improving the balance situation with patch 4.3. I mean, the deviations from median are about half what we were seeing last tier!

Of course, it's not perfect. We still have outliers above and below the 5% mark, and I'm certain that anyone below by the slightest bit wants some love (I mean, I look at this and all I see is "buff hunters!"). But in terms of the obvious issues, fire mages are almost certainly doing more DPS than they should be doing, and it looks as though arms warriors might be in danger of that camp too.

Without question, once rogues have their legendaries, they're going to be dominating -- but then, that's what legendaries are supposed to do for you. Feral druids are the most obvious spec crying out for some buffs at the moment, albeit small ones. And survival hunters, of course. We need all kinds of buffs.

But ignore my bias. What do these numbers mean to you? Are you happy with the state of DPS? Who would you buff, and who would you nerf?

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