GamesWorld of Warcraft

Making the Best Use of Recount, Part 4: The DPS Report

This is the fourth in a series of posts about Recount, an add-on for World of Warcraft. It gathers and reports on data taken during combat.

A Quick Note

In my last installment I overlooked the most obvious part of the Damage Done window, which is the summary chart. It’s fairly straightforward, but I still should have covered it.

Recount damage done window

The chart lists all the players who did damage during the fight or fights for which data is displayed. The player who did the most damage is at the top of the chart. Each player is represented by a bar in the color which commonly represents their class. Overlaid on that bar are the player’s name and the total damage they did during the fight or fights for which data is displayed, followed by parentheses containing a decimal number representing the damage the player did per second while in combat and what percentage of all damage done came from that player. All of the summary charts Recount displays use similar formatting.

That said, you may have noticed that the person who did the second-largest amount of damage in the above screenshot did more damage per second than the person who did the largest amount of damage. This leads me into Recount’s second data report.

The DPS Report

The second data report recount offers us — assuming we’re proceeding from left to right using the navigational arrows at the top of the window — is the DPS report. DPS is an abbreviation for Damage Per Second, and is a measure of ouchies a player causes in a given amount of time.

I don’t know what happened to the image I had for this. I may add it in later, but I don’t think it’s really necessary. The DPS report looks a lot like the Damage Done report, except that the only numbers displayed on a player’s bar are the DPS number and their percentage of the total damage done (the latter of which is in parentheses). Players are ranked according to who’s putting out the highest damage over time according to Recount’s calculating formula.

Clicking a player’s name in the list brings up the same detail windows you get from clicking player names on the Damage Done report.

Why DPS is Not Valid as a Sole Measure of a Player’s Eliteness

If the player who throws out the highest DPS dies in the first few seconds of the fight, he can end up being last on the Damage Done chart. (Just for the record, this is a perfect example of why good gear doesn’t make a good player. He who does not live to bring his massive DPS to bear is as useless as bringing a sack of flour to the raid.)

Now, even if all players stay alive for the duration of the fight, you’ll see some discrepancies between the Damage Done and DPS reports. There are two possible reasons for this:

  1. The player(s) with higher DPS weren’t attacking as much as the player(s) with the highest Damage Done. There are any number of possible reasons for this. For some fights you have to move around a lot, so a spell caster with few or no instant cast spells ends up being robbed of time in which he could be attacking. In a fight in which the melee fighters have to keep switching targets, they can potentially spend a lot of time out of range of anything to attack. The raid leader might have started the fight while someone was AFK, or the player could have disconnected mid-fight. The player may have had his face handed to the floor in one swell foop after catching the boss’s attention with a poorly timed critical hit. The player may have spent most of their time on crowd-control and/or interrupts. Etcetera.
  2. Recount’s DPS formula doesn’t represent all classes (or specs, even) equally. To use an example from my own class, if a fire mage and an arcane mage do the same amount of damage in the same amount of time, the arcane mage will always show up with a higher DPS number. Why? It seems to have to do with the fact that fire magery is more DoT based than arcane magery. We fire mages — if we’re playing right — are always sapping life from our enemies somehow, which inflates our active attack time and lowers our DPS number. I don’t know what similar inaccuracies there are for other classes, but I’m sure they exist.

Coming Up Next

The next report on our list is the Damage Taken report.

  1. The Introduction
  2. Display Window Basics
  3. Damage Done Details
  4. The DPS Report
  5. Damage Taken and Friendly Fire
  6. Healing Done

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