I always poo-poo'd Twitter, but I'm discovering that you miss out on a lot of the interwebs conversation if you aren't there. For instance, I saw an intriguing twoot by prominent WoW blogger Matticus this morning:
matticus I sealed off that "controversial" guest post on my blog. Tired of moderating shit and tired of being accused I do stuff "for the hits".
The guest post he is referring to was by We Fly Spitfires, and it was indeed controversial. It was titled: "Tanks and Healers Should Get the Biggest Rewards". And boy, am I sad that there is controversy over that statement. Of course they should get some extra reward, because when compared to DPS, they are in higher demand, have more responsibility and harder jobs, and are really the crux of the group. Which is basically what Spitfires said.
I say this as a DPS who will top anyone but Jong on the meters while not pulling aggro or breaking CC or standing in bad shit, while leading the raid. When it comes down to it, I am the first to admit that no matter how leet my superstar dps is, I'm just a piece of interchangeable meat compared to the tank.
And sadly, speaking that truth is where Spitfires' post went wrong. Instead of the comments section becoming a reasonable debate about the differences between the roles and how we can incentivize the less popular roles, it became an angry flamefest in response to a few choice phrases he used to (coughaccuratelycough) describe DPS in most situations:
“But the DPS? They’re just meat in the room.”
“DPS are a dime a dozen.”
“DPS can just be picked up randomly as required.”
“I’ve got nothing against DPS. It’s fun and there’s nothing wrong with that but they simply don’t deserve the equality of rewards.”
I think he's absolutely right, (especially in the dungeon finder) except when it comes to the most high-end of raids, or in the case of absolutely terrible dps. But the bottom line is: your raid or group can handle one bad dps. Your raid or group is going nowhere with a bad tank or healer. Unless you are in complete denial of reality, the fact that there is a difference in the value of tanks and healers compared to dps, no matter how good the dps, is indisputable.
But petty little egos must be fed, so the the fragile, defensive dps players must come out and express how insulted they are. Bad dps! Bad! Back to the LFG Q with you!
Spitfires asked the right question, but tragically in the wrong way (not that I would do any different). Tanking and healing are more important than dps while requiring more responsibility and skill. And there is a shortage of both. DPS, it is in your best interest to encourage people to play tanks and healers at every turn. Kiss their feet. Massage their aching shoulders. Buy them presents. Take off your robe and wizard hat if you have to.
Just stop pretending like you matter as much as they do.
Your fellow dps who never has to wait for a tank or healer because he knows how to treat them.
PS: Just saw Rohan's thoughtful post on this issue. In light of it, I'd like to clarify that I don't think there is any "moral superiority" to tanking or healing, which is probably the perception that rubbed dps the wrong way. I am referring only to their higher value due to scarcity, and the increased personal responsibility of those roles.
Rohan makes a good point that at high level play, dps matter more and more. For instance, my guild runs two ICC 10 runs a week (one of them contains some geared alts and friends of the guild). The only real difference between the groups is the gear and experience level of the dps. Group 1, full of our best dps, pushes progression content while our second group has to actually try Saurfang twice before he goes down, can't beat Festergut, etc. And those dps aren't bad by any stretch, they just aren't the extraordinary deliverers of beatdowns that the other group is.
BUT - and that's a capital but for those of you paying attention - I'd argue that a tank or healer still has more personal individual responsibility, even in the highest-end raids, simply based on numbers. We as DPS are less important because there are 17-19 of us. There are 2-3 tanks and 5-8 healers (in my case in 10-mans its 5 vs. 2 and 3, a similar ratio). No matter how much great dps can "carry" a tank at the high end, it still won't fully make up for the responsibility of being part of a smaller group.
Plus, they are still rarer - but I would never argue that they are morally superior. I do argue that they should be pampered and incentivized so they become less rare.