Survivability, at what cost?

So in the most recent wave of blue posts surfacing on MMO-Champion we have this little tidbit from Ghostcrawler:

Survival Talents
Selfish players won’t take survival talents. Pug players who don’t interact with a regular group might not. But we think organized guilds will. This kind of situation happens already, and we think it will happen even more in Cataclysm:

The raid wipes. The leader, or the officer, or the tacticians or whoever start looking through combat logs and parses to see what they can do better. Ah, the Resto shaman kept running out of mana. They start to look at why. Well, this one rogue and one dps warrior took a ton of damage that ended up wasting healer mana. Maybe they stood in the fire. Maybe they were too focused on dps and not on situational awareness. Maybe they skipped over a couple of talents that could have minimized damage. We don’t expect every guild to post damage *taken* logs and tell their guys to fix those problems. But some will.

I thought this was interesting because it reminded me a lot of a post I made a month or two ago pertaining to healer/DPS relations. You can read it here: I don’t think that Ghostcrawler is advocating that you destroy your personal output to have more survival just that you put some thought into where you spend your floater points or perhaps make some minor sacrifices. On the MMO-Champion boards I saw this reply:

oh ghostcrawler you make me laugh.

you know what else causes wipes? hitting the enrage timer on a boss because the dps took pvp survival talents, or even without an enrage timer the fight going on too long and the tank healer going oom because the dps are specced into survival talents when the boss should have bene dead a minute ago.

the only time people pick up survival talents is when they have a few left over points to dump somewhere and pick up utility; and that’s pretty much a no brainer.

It did make me pause a little bit. I don’t know if it is fair anymore  to say that all survivability talents are PvP talents and I don’t know if it fair to say that all DPS players will take those talents with their spare points as opposed to convenience based ones.

Saying that you won’t hit boss enrage timers if DPS players take survivability talents is also a dangerous statement to make. When learning a boss encounter it isn’t about getting through to the end but more a matter of living through certain phases or controlling some very hectic groups of adds etc. Order and stability are sometimes the hardest things to achieve and usually the DPS falls into line after that. Any fight that is complex is going to have elements in it that break DPS players rotations.

I am not saying this player isn’t entirely wrong because there are going to be pure DPS check fights. I just think we can’t be so focused on our personal performance that we ignore choices that can make us more useful raiders. Perhaps, for learning content, players will have two raiding specs where one contains pure throughput talents and one contains survivability talents? I know a lot of people like to have a second spec for PvP or something for that ilk but maybe this might be what is required?

Having not had a chance to raid on the Beta yet I can’t speak for exactly what kind of damage we’re looking at but from what I’ve read there is still plenty of raid damage, burst damage, and critical healing scenarios wherein any form of help a player can offer is most certainly welcome.

What do you think of these two points of view?  Do you lean towards one side rather than the other?


5 responses to “Survivability, at what cost?

  1. DPS players who talk about the enrage timers as the first line of defense for not taking any survival or utility talents are the ones who are obsessed with their damage meters. There are 41 points to be spent, ~35 of which can be spent on dps talents. The last 5-6 talent points will do little to the damage output and a lot to player survivability or CC utility for most specs, especially for progression fights.

    Most destruction Warlocks did not pick Shadowfury talent but I did and it helped us immensely on LDW, Gunship, Saurfang, VDW and LK adds. Later on I dropped it for all but Saurfang(H 25) & LK(normal 25) when the fights became easy. Enrage timers were important for very few fights in ICC. If the last 5-6 points are preventing you from beating the enrage timer, you have other bigger problems to sort out.

  2. Deandre - Dalaran

    To add onto something Galdy said, how often are you doing a significant part of a fight down a person, sometimes two? A lot of people love to ignore the fact that 0 health=o DPS. 5000 DPS for two minutes is worse than 3000 DPS for anything over the three and a half minute mark, and often on those longer bosses it REALLY counts in the end.

  3. Another reason this mentality is bad is because CC is going to be a bigger deal in Cata and it seems like a lot of dps just don’t know how to do it. Yeah, they say they aren’t interested, their numbers won’t go high enough, etc etc, but the reason my old guild couldn’t get DBS wasn’t because of low dps. In fact, at least once a tier, I ended up CCing as a healer because the dps couldn’t focus on more than one thing at a time. Even if they actually did CC something, they would never keep it up. They would just cast whatever once, and move back onto the boss.

  4. Hmm an excellent topic to ponder on.

    There are a lot of variables to consider. Skill and gear of the healer; skill and gear of the DPS. Raw amount of damage the tank is taking, which is taking heals from the DPS. Loose adds they aren’t bothering to pick up or CC. Adds eating the healer, who’s running circles around the tank in a panic or, possibly, fleeing off into a corner. DPS’ threat management over tank’s ability to hold aggro.

    I’m going to walk the gray area and suggest that players consider survival talents with spare points if they find they have need of it: Cataclysm, by all accounts I have heard, is pretty nasty on raid-wide damage. If they can’t survive it, then they aren’t adapting properly, and it’s not necessarily their healers’ fault. Most classes have some sort of emergency survival cooldown that will help them through a rough patch, but I also can’t ignore the glory that is a rogue or cat that has talented into a healing-taken booster.

    Some players will continue to focus purely on the meters; they did it before WotLK, and they’ll continue to do so in Cata. It takes an intelligent raid leader to look at logs and boot the top DPS because they weren’t doing their job with aggro, cc, interrupts, or swapping to the adds… and it doesn’t take much to compare damage-done with max DPS to see the player spent most of the fight faceplanted and begging for a res. 🙂

  5. Deandre stealing the “Dead DPS is 0 DPS” thunder. ‘Nuff said.

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