aka Leigh and Bloom versus the Aggromaniac

I have a reasonable suggestion. It’s simple, too. Before a person can be qualified to be a dps character in a five-man dungeon, first they should be forced to play a tank in a group with bad dps. I feel that this experience, the frustration at seeing firsthand all the things dps players sometimes do to make a tank’s life hard, would make them a better damage-dealer in group situations.

Leigh and I hit up Shadow Labyrinth a few days back, and one of our dps members was a hunter who’s name I forget. She had pretty decent dps, her raw numbers were right around Leigh’s. But she was absolutely terrible when it came to aggro.

The hunter consistently pulled aggro off Leigh, to the point where I checked my Recount to make sure she wasn’t using some kind of bizarre rotation that contained Distracting Shot. This was not a problem of Leigh’s. She was tanking like she always does, doing high dps and damage, but the hunter’s dps choices were as poor as they could be.

She would target the enemies that had the least threat on them from Leigh, the one furthest down her target list, and then unload. I suspect she liked bragging about taking aggro from the tank, and she did nothing to dissuade me from that theory — the hunter talked about how great her dps was, and how the tank should be doing better, and how she couldn’t help taking aggro, it wasn’t her fault, her dps was just so high.

(For the record, it was about 750, with Leigh at 730.)

I tried to explain to her that threat doesn’t work like that. Leigh, under the effect of Righteous Fury, does threat at a much, much greater level than her actual dps indicates (and her actual dps is not low). In order for anyone to take aggro from her, they have to be playing very poorly, or have some kind of a death wish.

There’s really no excuse for this. Even if your single target dps is three times the tank’s, then guess what? Dial back your attacks, do some more auto attacks instead of popping your cooldowns and going for broke. The run will be better with a little less overall damage than it will be if everyone is constantly trying to save your aggro-whoring ass.

She clearly didn’t believe me, or just wanted to keep making a fuss, because on the ogre boss in Shadow Labs, she constantly unloaded on the boss before Leigh could get back onto it after a mind control session, forcing Leigh to taunt.

So, after enough of this, Leigh didn’t taunt. I didn’t heal. The hunter died. The rest of the boss fight went so much more smoothly.

To illustrate my aggro point, a little later we were in Utgarde Keep with a level 80 death knight. I have no idea what he was doing there, but there he was. He was raid geared and did 3000 dps. This death knight … did not take aggro. Not once. Even though his dps was more than three times higher than Leigh’s.

Because you see, there’s a little something called aggro management. Dps should have to pass a test on it before they’re given a license. Seriously. We’ve gone over it before. Attack the tank’s target, be careful with your AoE, focus fire, lay off or temporarily switch targets if you see the mob’s threat number getting too high. This is not rocket science, people.

Moral: If you don’t manage your aggro, the tank has every right to let you die. I don’t care how awesome you think you are or how big your numbers are — if you’re making things tougher on the group, then you are not impressing me. And last time I checked, dead hunters do zero damage per second.

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