Toth And Zorn Are BFF With Ranged DPS
So, this weekend, we’re bashing our heads against Toth and Zorn, the first bosses of Heroic EC, for the quintillionth time. We are not quite beating the enrage timer. They are going apeshit around… 5%? 2% something ridiculous like that.
Now, the setup is 2 ranged dps and 2 melee dps. Melee can’t be put on Zorn, meaning that the encounter won’t even entertain the notion of more than 2 melee dps. But Toth has this berserk where the melee has to GTFO. So twice during the fight, I’m sitting there twiddling my thumbs while the other side makes substantial gains.
My raid leader, frustrated by getting so damn close so many times, said something like “we would have beat them by now if you (meaning me and the scrapper dps) were ranged.” Not saying “you idiots should have picked different classes” – more frustration with the stupidity of the encounters that heavily favor ranged DPS.
And I couldn’t argue with his statement.
Raids Favor Ranged
There are some encounters in which ranged or melee doesn’t matter. However, in every raid, there is at least one encounter that requires (or at least heavily favors) 2 ranged dps… and we’re not even counting some of those annoying and embarrassing trash pulls upon which we wipe too many times if we don’t have a good raid composition for crowd control.
- EV: On the first droid boss, before we were geared, ranged were able to duck behind pillars in the “oh crap he’s shooting us” phase, and still pop out to do DPS. The melee just stood behind the pillar feeling useless. On Gharj, melee lose a lot of DPS time having to run in and out, away from Mr. Stompy.
- KP: On Jarg and Sorno, again, the encounter doesn’t entertain the notion of more than 2 melee dps, as melee cannot damage Jarg. The puzzle is very difficult to complete without 2 ranged dps on the top solving it.
- EC: Kephess requires a lot of movement and, even with a gap closer, it’s tough for melee to get to the bomber on time.
- TFB: The last boss in the new Terror From Beyoooond requires 2 ranged dps to deal with the periodic spawning of 2 adds that will explode upon impact.
On these encounters, there is a maximum of 2 melee dps, but there is no penalty for having ALL ranged dps.
“Have the ranged burn down X because if it gets near you, it explodes and kills you.” OK, when have we heard that before? Oh right all the time. When did we last hear “You need to have melee in on this or you’re totally fucked”? Oh right, never.
Ranged DPS: Cheaterish Advantages
Crowd control. Cough sages cough commandos. Seriously, not restricted to droids OR humanoids, can be cast in combat. Jerks. Gunslingers don’t get great CC, but they have that cheater-dome.
Let’s not even TALK about positional attacks. When you’re ranged, do you have to make sure to be behind the boss? Unless you’re directly in the boss’s face about to eat a cleave, a ranged can attack from just about any position. Fun fact: perfectly round droids do have a butt-side. So do portals. Go figure.
I’m not sure if they are easier to heal, but I suspect yes. They can stand far away from the boss and don’t eat as many unpleasant boss abilities.
Anything Melee Can Do, Ranged Can Do (In Many Cases Better)
Most people say “hey we need melee for interrupts” – if they say anything good about melee at all. But everyone can interrupt, and it’s not like I can interrupt any better than they can.
As a Sentinel, I get an 8 second cooldown on interrupt. I can lower that cooldown to 6 seconds only with one of the 3 specs. However, all ranged dps get a 12 second interrupt. And the tanks have an 8 second interrupt that they can also talent down to 6 seconds. Nobody is like “WHEEE AN 8 SECOND INTERRUPT” because with an 8 second interrupt, I still can’t interrupt every cast, we’ll still have to alternate, so who the fuck cares that it’s 8 seconds rather than 12?
Also, I have to be next to the boss to interrupt. A cheater sage does not. In a fight with a knockback or a lot of movement, I may not be right there when the interrupt is needed.
Now I have one ace in the hole: that heroism/bloodlust thing that we can use once per boss fight for a few seconds. Big whoop.
I have yet to find an encounter that couldn’t be easily accomplished with 4 ranged dps. I have yet to find an encounter where lack of melee dps is a disadvantage. This makes no sense on a game design level since the DPS tree(s) of 5 of the 8 advanced classes are melee (I consider 10m abilities as basically melee).
Now I Whine About My Specific Situation
Which leads me back to last night. If I were ranged DPS, I would have more time on the boss. Although ranged classes have more cast times and admittedly may have a tougher time with heavy movement phases, a small advantage in the movement phase for melee does NOT make up for all the time I have to GTFO or the boss will pound my face in. A DPS sitting and thumb-twiddling is a DPS loss. EVEN IF melee has higher theoretical non-moving tank-n-spank dps, which I’m pretty sure it does not, that potentially higher dps whilst on the boss cannot make up for the thumb-twiddling phases. I can’t even passively regen resources! I don’t have resources to regen because I have to smack shit around to have resources in the first place.
Yes, we finally kicked their sorry Drouk butts, but it was close and half the raid was dead. Could we have done it 5 attempts earlier if the 2 melee had been ranged? I think so. That’s annoying.
At this point I’m really frustrated. I know I can pwn things in the face with my current spec and gear. My DPS is really up there… during those sporadic periods when I get to hit the boss at all.
What is the melee/ranged balance of your raid team? Am I way off base here? Is there a way that melee has an advantage that I’m not seeing?