What’s up with my Heroic DPS?

I’ve had a few comments and emails recently about Rogues getting destroyed on heroic bosses by Mages.  I figured I’d do a quick write-up on why.  Before I get into that there are some things you should know:

  • It’s going to happen.
  • It can happen often.
  • It doesn’t matter if you’re better geared.
  • There’s not a whole lot you can do about it.

A well-played Mage will destroy a Rogue on fights that last around 40 seconds every time.  This happens due to our resource, Energy.  Energy is a great mechanic.  Even if we’re completely out of it, Energy will completely regenerate in ten seconds or less.  However, it’s not Mana, and for that reason a good Mage can whip you on those short fights every time.

in 40 seconds, a Rogue can expect to have at least 500 energy.  When you think about  how much our abilities cost, 500 energy goes pretty quick.  In fact, you can count all of the rotations you can pull off in your hands (more likely on one hand).  Energy may be a blessing on longer fights, but it truly can be the bane of your DPS on a short fight.

Energy can’t compare to Mana on a short fight.  It doesn’t really matter how fast a Mage’s mana regenerates if they know how to use all of it in exactly the same time it takes to kill a boss.  Arcane Mages are excellent at this, and it’s incredibly fun (you can guess which spec my mage is).  Arcane mages can burn through their mana pools ludicrously fast.  They can trade-off massive DPS for extreme mana inefficiency.  On a longer fight this would be a terrible idea, but on a short fight, you simply burn the mana as fast as you need to reach zero mana when the boss dies.

Seeing damage meters where my Mage friends pull 8-12k DPS on a short fight is not uncommon.  Even Combat Spec with all of my cooldowns, there’s no way I could possibly compete with those numbers in a 5 man group.  I imagine that there are few Rogues geared enough to compete with that kind of Damage output.  Basically if you’re getting owned in heroics by a Mage (or any other fast burn mana class), it’s not your fault, and you may not be doing anything wrong.  Don’t worry though; you should steadily catch a mage on a longer fight, and eventually overtake them.

Mana may be great for initial burst, but it has to be rationed to be used efficiently, and there’s always the time needed to evocate or use a mana gem to consider.  In the end, Energy is a much better mechanic for long fights due to its steady and predictable regeneration.  I don’t know about you, but in the end, it’s the raid boss DPS that I care about, and you should be in a good place there.

– Sam

8 Responses to What’s up with my Heroic DPS?

  1. Clint says:

    You could tricks of the trade the mage and they’ll produce a lot less DPS…when they’re dead >.> Seriously though, rogues are probably the most overpowered class for heroics in that we can never pull off our rotations to get to our sweet spots. If all the classes present produced off the chart DPS, rogues would clock out at maybe 4-5k, not because thats the peak but thats the most we could get before the boss was dead (and most likely halfway through our rotations). Our rotations have gotten better since BC but its still not the one button “I Win!” rotation that some classes have :cough:Retadin:cough:.

  2. Thimble says:

    Don’t forget the fact that rogues are hugely effected by buff scaling, at least as much as any other class, if not moreso, and in a 5-man environment, you’re not going to be seeing a whole lot of buffs.

  3. Hinenuitepo says:

    Hey, Mages press 2 buttons! Don’t be mean! 🙂

    Mages will also absolutely dominate in raids on certain fights. Twin Val’kyr because as you mention it’s so short, and Lord Jaraxxus because of spellstealing insanely powerful buffs.

    But as I’m sure you know, you rogues have got the powa in a multitude of raid boss fights and are unparalled in many single tank and spank encounters.

    It’s all good!

  4. Knut says:

    This is more a general post saying:

    Thank you for an interesting Blog.

    My rouge is not at 80 yet (priest and pally at 80 tend to get som /w about healing this and tanking that) but I really enjoy your writing.

    Best regards

  5. Rochmoninoff says:

    Mage arcane mage friend totally destoyed me in the DPS race in a heroic the other day. But as the chain pulling continued he got back in line and we ended up tied.

    Now I understand the mechanic better –
    He couldn’t continue the suicidal mana burn and had to start pacing himself. Once that happened he was back down in the “normal” 3-5K DPS range.

  6. Finurlig says:

    Since I found your blog I really can’t wait to get my rogue to 80. It is now 71 and I aim for 80 next weekend. I’ve got some really good tips here and it will be really exciting to see how it works in the hc’s and raids when I get there.

    So, thanks for a great blog and keep up the good work!

  7. altaholic says:

    By the way, on a 40 sec boss fight a rogue will have more than 500 energy.
    combat has a talent that increases the energy regeneration rate by 25%, so its 600 energy for combat.
    assassination has a talent that regenerates rage quicker for the first 15 seconds after breaking stealth. this talent favors short fights over long ones…

  8. Mostrarskegg says:

    I recently switched to assassination from combat from some of the posts on this site. I’m still getting the rotation down, but I am pleased that my dps has increased. I was the king of Kara with my combat rogue, and switching to WotLK, I’ve benched my rogue in favour of my shammy. We didn’t have a rogue in our newly formed small guild, so I figured with 3.3 it was high time to get him geared up and back to work.
    I totally missed using daggers for my rogue, and it was refreshing to get a pair thru my first run of the new Icecrown 5 mans. I got the new spec, and ran a few 5 mans with my warlock buddy. The first several pulls in Culling, he was laughing his ass off at me, and my poor performance. I am old enough to be able to laugh it off and sit back on the multi pulls and let the aoe do their thing. by the second boss, I was getting better with the rotation, and I walked up to the boss and properly spanked him and hit 4800dps. My warlock buddy only did 4500 on that fight and he finally shut his mouth.
    Part of running a rogue is to know your role, and not get worked up over not seeing all the numbers all the time. Even in Kara, going up the stairs after the first boss, I would go make a sandwich and get a drink while the aoe did their thing. It’s the same now. I’m not concerned.
    Now if we could just throw shadowstep into the mix, that would be sweet.

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