The Elder Scrolls

A Thought Piece on Learning DPS

Quick note before we start: this is going to be a bit long-winded and contains almost no practical advice, but may be an enjoyable read none the less!

So I've been playing ESO for about a year and a half. It was the first MMO (honestly the first video game) that I REALLY got into. My husband had played a bit before and he helped me so much in the beginning. I started with a magplar and when it came time to queue up for our first dungeon the default role was DPS. And sure! That makes sense, I've been running around killing things in overland, of course I'm going to be a DPS. Luckily my husband was a tank so the queue times were short and to my surprise, the dungeons went great! I killed things and only died sometimes! Now of course, at this time these are base game normals and I'm a level 20 something, but with my new found confidence we roll through a bunch of dungeons and they are always fun and easy!

Eventually I hit CP 160, gather up some gear that is maybe(?) useful for mag DPS, and we start dipping our toes into harder content. Suddenly the dungeons are not so easy and at times a lot less fun. My “ah hah” moment came after a run of white gold tower when the other DPS said I was shit and to “get good”. The healer told me to “ignore that guy, he's a jerk. DPS is hard!”. What do they mean DPS is hard? DPS is like the standard role! You just kill things, how hard is that? But this moment started my journey of trying to get good at DPS.

Queue MONTHS of research, gear swapping, trait transmuting, add-on downloading, rotation mapping, farming, PSIJIC ORDER QUESTING, and so many hours in front of a dummy. That first time in front of a 3-mil skelly I hit a whopping 11K DPS. “OH GOD I really am shit” I thought. But HOW? I've been playing this game for months! None of the dungeons I've ever been in have gone terrible! How could this be? How will I EVER get GOOD??

I have no idea how many hours I've put into improving my DPS, and to this day I still only put out 55K at a trial dummy. But that healer in WGT was right, DPS kind of IS hard. To be good at anyway.

I've branched out a lot in the last year, I have several healers and a tank and I play a wide variety of content. And even with all this experience I still catch myself thinking “what the hell are these DPS doing?” while tanking BC2 and wrangling daedroths. But I KNOW what they're doing, their best! They just have no idea because this game is opaque as fuck when it comes to getting good. They're me a year ago when I thought I was doing great because I didn't have combat metrics downloaded and I was blissfully unaware I was terrible.

So all of this to say, if you're struggling with your DPS, you're not alone. DPS IS hard! But you'll get there. And if you don't, that's OK too! Try healing or tanking! Enjoy overland content and base game normals where it doesn't really matter!

Also, if you've been playing this game for a while and you find yourself in a dungeon with a group DPS of 22K, trust me I get it, but try to be cool about it. Offer tips if you have the time and if you don't it's totally OK to bow out of a dungeon that's just going to take too long, but try not to be a jerk. A jerk is what kick started my path to being solidly OK but it really took the fun out of the game for me for a while.

Thanks for reading and I'd love to hear ya'lls “ah hah” moments or any other funny moments you had while learning this vast, amazing, complex and, at times, frustrating game!


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