Playing the DPS role in World of Warcraft can be lots of fun. When you are in normal mode dungeons it isn’t as vitally important to maximize your DPS, but if you want to be successful in heroic mode dungeons and raiding you need to put out as much DPS as possible. Some of the harder encounters require the damage dealers to do enough damage fast enough before the boss enrages and completely wipes the group or raid. A perfect example of this would be Argaloth, the boss fight in Baradin Hold. If the raid can not defeat him in 5 minutes or less, he goes berserk and does 900% more damage. Needless to say, this will quickly wipe the raid if you fail to do enough DPS. In this article I will go over several different ways to maximize your DPS by making the right gear and talent choices.
Picking The Right Gear
Each class has a primary stat that you should look for on all of your gear when playing the DPS role. Strength for Warriors, Paladins, and Death Knights; Agility for Rogues, Hunters, Enhancement Shamans, and Feral Druids; and Intelligence for Mages, Warlocks, Shadow Priests, Elemental Shamans, and Balance Druids. In all but a few situations, you should never use a piece of equipment that has a primary stat different from the one that your class benefits the most from, because at best you will only get suboptimal benefit from it compared to a piece with your primary stat. Along the same lines, you should never use a type of armor that differs from the specialization for your class, since you get a 5% bonus to your primary stat. This 5% bonus will outweigh any improvement you may get from wearing a leather piece of armor if your armor specialization is mail, for example.
Talents and Glyphs
For each class, there is generally a best talent specialization for doing DPS in a group, with the other specializations being better for soloing, PVP, tanking, or healing. To maximize your DPS you will want to use the best talent specialization for DPSing in a group, as the differences in DPS between the different specializations can be quite large. This is why the Dual Talent Specialization is so nice, because you can have a second spec for other parts of the game in addition to your grouping specialization.
When picking the individual talents for your specialization, you will want to pick the talents that will increase the damage of the abilities you use the most. The same goes for glyphs, use the ones that will give the biggest improvement to the abilities or spells you use most frequently. If you are unsure of which talents and glyphs are the best to use, you can always check the official forums for help.
Tracking Your Progress
A great way to track your progress is to use an add-on that will keep track of your DPS. I personally use the Recount add-on, as it gives lots of helpful information about how much damage I’m doing.
Keep in mind that while DPS will most likely never be in high demand because of the popularity of the role, high quality DPSers are always needed and appreciated.