Improving your DPS: Sims, WCL, Bloodmallet, and more

One of the most disappointing feelings in WoW raids is thinking that you did really well during a boss fight, and then looking at damage meters and realizing you did half as much damage as others or only parsed at 15%. This is often compounded by being in a raid with people of the same class and spec who perform better than you. It’s disheartening and can make you feel like you’re not adding anything – or even making things worse for the group.

One of the questions we raid leads get asked the most is “How can I improve my DPS?”. There are a lot of general tips we can give you, but it can be a bit overwhelming to try to walk through all at once, especially for those who are only dipping their toes into these resources for the first time. So I’m going to write up a long post detailing different resources that can help you pump those numbers up, and how to use them to your advantage.

Tanks and Healers; I suggest reading through this because some of it will apply to you. But, a lot of it won’t – so feel free to rest easy once again.

I suggest not reading through the post in its entirety at once. Break it into chunks and work on it bit by bit. Come back later for more. Or grab a cup of coffee and dive in, it’s your life.

  • Streamline and Optimize
    • Ability Clicking
    • Keyboard Turning
    • Enemy Targeting
    • Camera Positioning
    • Game Sounds
  • Addons
    • Boss Mods
    • Weakauras
    • Nameplate Auras, KUI Nameplates, etc
    • Simulationcraft
  • Rotation and Opener
    • Openers
    • Standard Rotation
  • Simming
    • Raidbots
    • HeroDamage and Bloodmallet
    • Warcraftlogs
    • Wowanalyzer
  • Class Discords and Websites
    • Discords
    • Class Websites
    • Generic Websites

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Website / Discord Improvements

I’ve tweaked a lot over the last several weeks, but none were important enough to warrant their own post. So, here’s a big post on a bunch of little updates!

Website

Homepage Posts

Previously I was having difficulties getting certain post category combinations to show up on the homepage (for example, Announcements and Member Content). I’ve fixed the issue and now any post tagged Announcement will be on the homepage, regardless of other categories.

Raid Progress Widget

If we’ve killed a boss, it has a white skull. If we’ve killed a boss on heroic, it has a yellow skull. If we’ve cleared a tier on a particular difficulty, the entire tier gains that color skull. Mythic skulls will be red. Previously, kills were green text (no skull) and heroic was white skulls. Mythic skulls were pink. I think this is a little clearer!

Raiding Homepage

I’ve clarified the text and added more links in the “Required to Raid” box. This should hopefully point people in the right direction!

I’ve also added a link to Miatreeleafa’s stream, since he showcases our raids every week. If you’re a streamer, talk to me to get your info on the site!

Raid Team Page

Instead of showing off your gear / artifact weapon (like it used to), the Raid Team page now shows off individual progress within the current raid tier. Incomplete tiers are pink, while complete tiers are green.

Raid Attendance Page

If you select “Antorus: The Burning Throne” from the dropdown, you’ll see a list of EVERYONE who has confirmed with a Warlord. These are the only people who are eligible to raid with us!

Selecting “Uldir” will show you a list of people who’ve attended raids and the % of raids they’ve attended since they started coming. Some people have confirmed and not yet attended, thus the discrepancy. For more information on the raid attendance page, check out this post.

PvP Homepage

Lunzzul has added a number of useful boxes to the PvP homepage: a Calendar, Recruitment widget, link to Miatreeleafa’s stream (he PvPs, too!), and a link to Discord.

Discord

Member Roles

There are two new member roles: Streamer and Artist. You can tag yourself as either in the #member-roles channel. These roles are taggable! Check out this post on how to assign roles to yourself.

Raiding Logs

I’ve added a webhook so any log posted to Warcraftlogs will automatically post itself to the channel. I haven’t tested this yet, but we’ll see tomorrow if it works or not!

Diablo Detachment

A number of our members play Diablo 3, and a new season just started, so there’s a channel in the Discord to discuss and organize that.

Vanguard-Gladiator

Because of the way Discord works, some roles are always going to appear before others, even if they’re on equal footing. A member who’s achieved both Vanguard (Raider) and Gladiator (PvPer) by default will show up in the Vanguard listing, even though they’re also a Gladiator. Some people might want to show up as a Gladiator even though they’re also a Vanguard. Unfortunately, this would mean we can’t tag them alongside other Vanguards if we need to. So, I created the Vanguard-Gladiator rank. People who have achieved both Vanguard and Gladiator have earned the right through effort and dedication to appear before both ranks in the list, separate from the rest. This also allows us to tag either “Gladiator” and “Vanguard” and still hit the person who falls into both roles.

Weekly Raid Roundup: September 18 – 24

Thursday: 7/8 again

Taloc, MOTHER, and Fetid were 1-shots. MOTHER had surprisingly few deaths – the majority of which were to Cleansing Purge and not moving into the last room soon enough. We need to work on moving sooner.

Vectis was interesting. We had a wipe on him, due to Omega Vector stacking. With 3 debuffs, 3 groups makes the most sense. However, some people are moving around too much in Phase 2 and then the debuff stacks. Other times, people within groups are not getting the debuff. Those with heavy stacks need to remember to step out and wait for others to catch up on stacks. If you have a stack in Phase 2, don’t move!

For Zek’voz, we had another early wipe due to eye beams. Make sure not to re-enter the group too soon, and please be careful to move out! Eye Beam does NOT put a debuff on you, so if you’re relying on debuffs to tell you when to move, find another method! Eye Beam is a 2-mistake kick from hereon out.

Zul was 1-shot. Tanks did an EXCELLENT job in phase 3.

Mythrax had a wipe in the beginning of Phase 2. We simply had too many people taking avoidable damage and clumped far too close together. It can be hard with a melee comp, but the boss is very large. Spread as much as you can! And remember, interrupt often. If you’re not on this chart as a DPS, you’re not doing your job.

G’huun was disappointing. We had wipes at 2 and 3 percent. Mostly, people were not paying attention to Gaze. Raid Leads cannot call Gaze for you. You MUST pay attention on your own. Gaze is going to become a 2-mistake kick from hereon out.  Remember also that interrupting is important on G’huun. Again, if you’re not on this chart, you’re not doing your job.

Thursday Logs

Friday: MOTHER is a MFer

G’huun went down about as well as could be expected (minus fumbles with the orb on first pull) on a fresh day.

Taloc was a one-shot, but…there were problems. People continue not to move fast enough out of the group with blood in phase 1. A lot of people are starting to run to the right and then quickly readjusting to run left. That time means they dump blood in the group. I’m not sure why people run right to start. Here is a simple thing to remember: If you get a mechanic on Taloc and you’re not sure what it is, run left to start. If it happens to be Static instead of Blood, that’s ok! Keep running left if you have room. Don’t double back. As long as you run it away from the raid, Static can go in either direction.

MOTHER…whoof. We tried a lot of different ideas with groups here. Ideally, we SHOULD be moving quickly in groups of 4, staggered. (Move 2, pause, 2 more, heal up, repeat.) Unfortunately, people are not paying attention to others’ healthbars and are making this fight much harder than it is, so we’re moving in groups of 3 and 4 with less organization. Always, ALWAYS wait a second behind someone else before running through regardless. When it is your turn to run through, try to be “on deck” as much as you can (barring mechanics like laser walls). I know we like to avoid running through during winds, but unfortunately, winds may end up being one of the cleaner times we get to run through in the future.

DPS is less important than surviving. I will repeat this: DPS is less important than surviving. If you need to run to the far end of the room away from the fire in order to survive winds and dodge mechanics successfully, do it. Getting an extra swing or two on the boss but dying to fire or her frontal because you were trying to minmax won’t be doing anybody any favors. We need you alive for room 3!

Save your movement mechanics and defensives for when you need to cross between rooms. Especially between rooms 2 and 3. You may be in a group that has to book it from the far side of Room 2 to a safe spot in Room 3 with laser ceiling openings. Use movement mechanics to get across as quickly as possible so we don’t wind up with groups stuck behind.

We “killed” MOTHER, but didn’t get a photo with her. Guess that means we’ll do it again this week for a new photo op!

Friday Logs

TLDR Parse Interpretation

I found this chart on Reddit and shared it in the Raiding Discussion channel, but am resharing it here. This is an easy break down of your at a glance parse numbers when reading logs.

(substitute Legendary for Azerite and you get the idea)

If normally your overall is less than Blue and your ilvl is less than Purple, chances are you have things you can improve. Some of it’s gear / stat priority, some of it’s rotation. Check out this guide to see what the best of your class and spec are doing and see what you can do to improve!

Vanguard Promotions & Congrats to Mia

Congratulations to the following people for attending 5 raids and receiving Vanguard status for the first time:

Miatreeleafa
Nighteld

Congratulations to the following members for maintaining Vanguard status from Legion:

Bellelina
Corignis
Harmesi
Treeson

These fine folks have earned additional gold repair bills from the guild bank and access to Vanguard – only access tabs. If you’re curious if you’re close to achieving Vanguard status, you can check on the Raid Attendance page!

In addition, we’d like to congratulate Miatreeleafa for being granted Twitch Affiliate status! This grants him the ability to receive subscribers, custom emotes, cheers, and other benefits. As a regular streamer of both our Raids and PvP nights, we’re happy to see him continue to grow! You can follow him and watch the streams at https://www.twitch.tv/nfbprototype.

Weekly Raid Roundup: September 11 – 18

Because Warcraft Logs updated and subsequently broke down for me, we’ve got short logs and a shorter Roundup this week

Thursday: 7/8, what a breeze

You can tell that the group is becoming more accustomed to working together as a unit. Taloc went down with few issues – people are getting better about moving when they have debuffs on them. Elevator is still a bit sloppy – in the future, we will likely mark a tank and expect people to stay behind the tanks, rather than expecting someone to stack behind a melee DPS. MOTHER we wiped a few times. There were rough calls on when to go through (sometimes overlapping with wind), but practice over time made this easier. Remember to use your judgement: if you get a call to move through, and wind starts up, hold off until the wind dies down. Everyone did an excellent job stacking up on their markers, though, making dodging fire much easier. Fetid was another instakill this week – I have a feeling he’s going to be a favorite on normal because of the simplicity.

After Fetid came Vectis. Vectis was problematic. We had multiple people getting multiple stacks of the omega vector debuff at once and dying. Raid Leads will work out a new strategy, but remember not to remain stationary within your group. Move around a little to encourage the debuff to bounce between different players, rather than ping-ponging between the same 2-3 people. Zek’voz was a pretty simple fight and was looking to be a 1-shot, but unfortunately we got too intent on the kill and completely ignored a mind-controlled bear tank, thus wiping the raid with his easily interrupted casts. Remember, interrupts are king and we need to focus MCed players. We also had a player confused 2 similar mechanics that need to be run away. Remember: eye beams sideways, Roiling Deceit back or sideways. Focus down those who are mind controlled or they’ll wipe us! For Zul, we employed the same strategy as last week. Tanks still need to clean up the final phase and Rupturing Blood, but the DPS was much better about managing add cleave and boss health.

Mythrax was another toughie. We downed him in 2 pulls, but people are not interrupting, and fewer are focusing on finishing up adds, favoring boss tunnel-vision. These sorts of mistakes lead to wipes.

Thursday Partial Logs

Friday: Ghuun, Heroic Progression

G’huun is becoming interesting. We wiped at 1% on the first pull, in spite of being down a warlock for portals. Interrupts were good, but could have been better. We made better use of Bloodlust by waiting longer to use it – after the collapsing ceiling and tanks got re-situated gave us a few extra seconds. We’re going to start paying VERY close attention to interrupts / interrupt attempts on G’huun starting this week. Be aware of that.

Heroic Taloc is still messy. Too many people are not reacting quickly to static or blood drops. You should be moving the second a timer goes off. Don’t wait to finish casting. Customize your setup to more easily see these warnings if you must. We’re going to be saving Bloodlust for phase 3, since phase 1 is pretty simple. The elevator strategy we’ll be employing from hereon out is as outlined above – tanks marked, party behind the tanks. Everyone should be CCing the bloods and ranged-killing them asap, while the melee focuses on killing the add stuck to the tanks. We’ll continue to move clockwise, lasers permitting.

MOTHER is getting very close. This week we got unlucky with our healer comp – druid HoTs make for difficult spot-healing on tanks soloing MOTHER on the crossover. Ideally, we’d have a monk or paladin who can keep the tank well-protected during that last crossover, before reaching the safety of other healers. If we don’t, we may be changing the strategy of the last 2 groups.

Friday Logs

Thoughts

Next week we’re going to be auditing interrupt and Healthstone usage. If you don’t use either, you’re likely to be sat from Heroic attempts in the future until you improve in normal. These are very simple things that can make the difference between a 1% wipe (or which we suffered 2 on different bosses last week) and a kill. Those who delay on mechanics like like the Taloc or G’huun puddles will also be similarly benched from Heroic attempts. These show a lack of awareness to your surroundings and will hold back a raid as large as ours.

We were very pleased to have gone 7/8 in 1 night. The sooner we breeze through 8/8 in one go, the sooner we will set up an alt / farm night on normal, to focus on pushing heroic progression for our main raid days. This is good for everybody!

This is also the first week we hit max capacity for raid size at 30 people. “First come, first serve” is likely going to start coming into effect here, and we’ll have to start consider split raiding.

Last Saturday was an LFR run. We had 10 people come, and it was a good time. I got lucky and was made leader of the LFR, so was able to use Raid Warnings to talk to the group. You could see where most PUGs followed directions and minimized the wipe chances we had (some ignored it, as they tend to). If you don’t want to LFR during the week, come on Saturday for a guaranteed easy and relaxing run.

Miatreeleafa streams MoD on Twitch!

If you’ve ever wanted to watch MoD raids, Miatreeleafa (AKA nFbPrototype) streams on Twitch.TV from time to time! We’d love to encourage more of our creative members to stream our content – raids, PvP, M+, and more!

If you missed his stream tonight, check out this highlight featuring Truetype:

Or, you can rewatch the whole vod (and its ups and downs) over at https://www.twitch.tv/nfbprototype. Here’s also got the video on youtube up here. Give him a follow while you’re there!

Are you a streamer who showcases MoD events or play? Feel free to send an Officer a link to your stream and we’ll showcase you on the site on the Raid or PvP pages!

MoD LFR Run Saturday!

Never raided? Afraid of LFR trolls or PUGs demanding perfection on week 1? No sweat!

We have an event for Saturday 2pm PST / 5pm EST on the calendar for an LFR run!

LFR is a good time to get your feet wet with raiding, and if we can get a decent-sized guild group, it will mean we control the pace of the LFR. We can cover basic mechanics and help pass gear around if it’s needed.

If we get a decent amount of interest, we’ll make this a weekly event (and maybe move the day, again depending on interest). Otherwise, think of this as a one-time go to get drunk and run through LFR with some friends on a weekend afternoon.

Weekly Raid Roundup: Sep 4 – 10

Welcome back to the weekly raid roundup! For the new folks joining us, every week I take a look at what we did right and wrong on each boss we faced. Sometimes the roundups can be lengthy, while others are blissfully short. I include notes about what we need to watch for and what we should remember from the Raid Leads, so keep an eye out! There’s also a link to the Warcraft Logs for each session, so you can refresh your memory or follow along.

MoD took a vacation at the end of Legion, but came back at the start of BFA to hit the ground running so we could push hard and fast this tier. Our first level 120 popped early on the 14th (congrats, Corignis!), and the rest of us hustled to catch up and spam heroics, mythics, and eventually M+ when they became available. Between old hats coordinating at the start of the expansion and several strong new recruits, we’ve made an outstanding start to the raid tier, culminating on an 8/8 normal clear on week 1 – an unprecedented feat for the Ministry of Defense.

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Another G’huun Attempt on the Calendar

Given our general success and progress on Sunday, we’ve decided to see if there’s interest in going after him again on Monday (same time as usual raids).

If you’re interested, please sign up as “confirmed” in game. If you’re not sure, hit “tentative”. 4 raids on one week is a lot but I know there’s excitement since we got him to 8%. We’d hate to lose steam and disappoint anyone taking a look at getting the kill on week 1.

(Reminder: you still have to be confirmed for an invite. Bonus raid nights don’t count towards promotions to Vanguard.)

Gunning for G’huun on Sunday!

On account of our raid team going 7/8 in two days (holy smokes are we impressed), we’re going to be continuing a trend we picked up in Antorus with Argus, and setting up another raid time this weekend.

Sunday at 5pm PST / 8pm EST we will be going for the kill on G’huun. Invites start going out at a half an hour before, as usual.

Sunday Funday will only be going from 3-5 PST / 6-8 EST as a result.

Please watch the G’huun videos from previous Raider Homework assignments. If FatBoss adds a live (not beta) video between now and then, I’ll make sure to post it for you guys! If anyone has G’huun experience, we welcome you to share your thoughts and strategies in the Raiding Discussion Discord channel.

As a reminder, this is still only for those who properly confirmed with a Warlord that you’ve read the rules / done the homework. This “pick up” event does not count towards or against Vanguard promotions.