standing at the back in my sissy robe

June 28, 2009

the demon on my shoulder

Filed under: Altaholism,D'oh — Tamarind @ 3:55 pm

Now the delights of the fuck off enormous dinosaur have worn of, Northrend is back to feeling like a bit of a slog so M’Pocket Tank and I have been playing it fast and loose with alts.  I’ve been trying to help my Girlcow with her self-esteem issues but I’ve also been running around a bit with my fire mage. And I’ve had to face up to something: I’m bad DPS.  I don’t mean I’m bad at DPS.  On the contrary, I’m great at it.  You want things chargrilled?  Flame-seared?  Reduced to pile of ash.  As quickly as possible?  Great.  Put them in front of me and watch the fiery death carnage.

But you know all those things you’re not meant to do when you’re DPS?  I do them.  I do all of them.   I know not to do them, and I know why you shouldn’t do them, and I know how annoying it is when people do them … but I do them anyway.  And I can’t stop myself.

But it’s okay, it’s not me.

It’s the DPS Demon.

It sits on my shoulder and it whispers to me while I play.

It say things like:

But you’re on a crit streak…

Your DPS is so awesome, the rules don’t apply to you.

It doesn’t matter if you pull aggro, you can handle yourself.

Just … one … more … firebolt.

I think I’m especially susceptible to the DPS Demon because if I’m not healing, I’m tanking.  Don’t get me wrong, I love healing (in a sick, twisted, Sid & Nancy, Zelda & Fitzgerald kind way), but it’s not what you’d call a thrilling role.  It’s an interesting, occasionally extremely stressful, quietly satisfying role.  Your tank may give you a “good healing, mate” as she emerges, battered, blood-sodden, grinning and miraculously alive from a battle but only another healer can really tell when you’ve been on top healing form.

It’s a lonely business, healing.

DPS, on the other hand, everybody understands.

If healing is a fine old tawny, aged to perfection over long years, DPS is a fluffy pink cocktail, bristling with cherries on sticks, umbrellas and twizzly straws.

Healing doesn’t really have a feedback loop.  It just has a sigh of relief when you look round and discover nobody has died.  DPS, though – it’s like the game itself is cheering you on by emblazoning your screen with a great big number.  Your great big number.  Your great big number of pure distilled awesome.  I have occasionally, when the DPS demon has been riding me hard, caught myself in the act of yelling “oh yeah, 4k crit!” at my computer.  When the buzz fades, of course, I feel like an almighty doofus.  But we all do it.

At least I think we do…

We do, right?  Right?

Okay.  Moving on.  Quickly.  Nothing to see here.

I think tanking and healing have been described have “the spine” of a group – which is fitting because, although they’re important, their role is primarily supportive.  Supporting the crazy Hawaiian shirt of DPS.

So when I’m neither tanking nor healing, and I’m iberated from having to worry about other people, I think I must go a little crazy.  But it’s the demon, I tell you, the demon.

It’s like when my free pyroblast procs.  Sensible thing to do?  Content myself with the fact it’ll proc again soon anyway and continue to act like a person with a fully functioning brain.  What I actually do?  Run helter-skelter round the world, waving my arms and cackling hysterically, until I find an enemy – any enemy mind you, or not even an enemy, or a tree, the back of a barn, or a small orcish orphan, anything – to throw my free pyroblast at.  Because if I don’t get it off within 7 seconds, that’s it gone.

I have to you see.  I absolutely have to.

Because it’s free, dammit, free.  Free!

And it’ll probably be a crit anyway…

And if it crits, then my next fireblast will crit as well.

And then…

Sorry, I think that was the demon talking again.



  1. lol, I think that’s why they made the free pyroblast procs do that little dingy thing that makes it look like the mage just earned an achievement… to give healers the heads up. 😉

    Comment by Sharon — June 28, 2009 @ 5:18 pm | Reply

    • Oh, of course, you get a kind of “I’m about to do something crazy” fiery aura, don’t you? Usually I’m too busy looking at the top right hand of the screen where the little icons flash up and then, well, it’s all red mist isn’t it….

      Comment by Tamarind — June 29, 2009 @ 10:16 am | Reply

  2. Hrm, and here I thought I only saw the DPS demon because I, well, cavort with demons on a regular basis.

    And I completely understand needing to use a free proc… when Nightfall procs and I go into a Shadow Trance..

    I. Must. Use.

    It’s an insta-shadowbolt, what ‘lock in their right mind would NOT want to use that? Hmm? None, I tell ya, none.


    Comment by Syrana — June 28, 2009 @ 5:36 pm | Reply

    • Cavorting, eh? So that’s what warlocks get up to with their demons. And to think I thought it was all contractual obligations, dental plans and health insurance.

      Free proc… *dreamy* It’s those healers, man, they don’t just *understand* us!

      You know, I blame SOCIETY. Seriously. I’m exactly the same in bookshops with 3-4-2 offers. No, I don’t really *want* the third book (and maybe not the second) but it’s … FREE!

      Comment by Tamarind — June 29, 2009 @ 10:24 am | Reply

  3. I see I am going to have lvl my green tusked self a bit more in order to enjoy the “Running helter-skelter round the world, waving my arms and cackling hysterically” Was nice talking to ya in game… altho I am painfully shy when someone who is so spontaneously funny actually does reply to a lvl 7 warrior whisper 😀 you most likely thought I wanted to sell you some gold, amirite? ;D

    Comment by Salvà — June 29, 2009 @ 9:42 am | Reply

    • If more goldsellers opened their pitch with references to enormous fuck off dinosaurs, I reckon I’d probably think about buying gold 🙂

      Also it’s really hard to start to a fresh character on a new server without all the gold, friends and resources you’ve accumulated elsewhere. I know I’ve tried and failed miserably – I can’t even get myself up on the Alliance side on ED.

      But it was really nice to encounter you, small, green and tusky as you were. I’m glad to hear I wasn’t an abject disappointment 🙂

      Comment by Tamarind — June 29, 2009 @ 10:34 am | Reply

  4. Quite the contrary, good conversation is as hard to find as a hunter that DOESN’T roll on everything or maybe a Mage who is above using that free pyroblast 😀

    Makes me a bit fidgity to realise I am not the wittest, spontaneously funny person I always thought i was, all the more reason to be of the green tusky persuasion. “me smash, me have big axe!” no one expects intelligent conversation from a raging one time demon blood drinking muscle bound Juggernaut.

    Comment by Salvà — June 29, 2009 @ 11:20 am | Reply

    • wtb edit function jeesas!

      Comment by Salvà — June 29, 2009 @ 11:21 am | Reply

    • Apologies for the lack of editing – WordPress doesn’t trust you and I have no idea how it works =P

      You have nothing to be fidgity about as far as I’m concerned – it was a pleasure to talk to you. And I think you’re being terribly unfair with to your orc. They’re a deeply spiritual and civilised people. For all you know, he might all: “Good afternoon, I will now proceed with a light spattering of axe-related dismemberment. RAAAAAR!”.

      Comment by Tamarind — June 29, 2009 @ 12:28 pm | Reply

      • “light spattering of axe-related dismemberment” nice name for a guild.

        “LSoA-RD is now recruiting. We are a naxx15 15/15 OS+ many Drakes killing srs Raiding guild. Applicants must have Champion of the frozen pizza achievement and fuck off enormous Axes for previously mentioned dismemberment”

        you the maybe the R should be small instead of big? ;D

        LSoA-rD naw looks uncivilised

        Comment by Salvà — June 29, 2009 @ 1:42 pm

  5. I get in trouble with the Hot Streak procs when I’m on my mage in the alt-Naxx nights my guild runs. The demon is exceptionally persuasive when you’re the raid leader and you’re normally the tank.

    “The tanks aren’t pulling as fast as I would… I should pull for them… with this pyroblast! I have Ice block, what could go wrong?”

    Comment by Twonationarmy — June 29, 2009 @ 4:56 pm | Reply

    • Hehe, yes, I think normally having to be responsible is enough to bring out the rampant pyromaniac in anyone.

      And, oh God, you said it – the DPS demon is always trying to get me to pull. With pyroblast, of course. To save on the casting time. The demon tells me that if I crit it’ll somehow equalise the insane amount of threat generated.

      It will, right?

      Comment by Tamarind — June 29, 2009 @ 7:52 pm | Reply

      • Don’t tell my pally I said so, and I know it goes against the important helpful lesson I outlined below…

        But, yes, Tam, yes, in our heart of mage-y hearts we know it will. 😉

        Comment by wildgrowth — June 29, 2009 @ 7:57 pm

  6. While the DPS Demon certainly lurks on my shoulder when I’m playing my mage (*drool* free Pyroblast… *more drool*), the best antidote I’ve found for it was playing for months on end as the healer to a tank actually in the room with me who would occasionally yell at his computer when our DPS-ers let the Demon take over and went willy-nilly, attacking everything in sight. As the healer, it was a bit exhausting, but according to my pally, as the tank, it was maddening.

    “Why, honey?” he would say in anger and despair. “Why?! They know they’re not supposed to do that! We’ve been playing together for ages! Auuuggghhhh!”

    And I would pat him consolingly on the shoulder and say, “They’re making you a better tank…maybe…” in a hopeful sort of way. “We survived, right?” Or, sometimes, “Maybe after the 1101th wipe, they’ll learn…”

    So now when my Pyroblast procs after I decided to Fire Blast a beetle when we hadn’t yet pulled the next group, even though my finger twitches wildly to cast the Pyroblast at the next biggest baddest elite thing in my visual range…8 times out of 10 I think of my poor pally and hold off. Only 8 out of 10 mind you…my mage isn’t made of stone, after all.

    Comment by wildgrowth — June 29, 2009 @ 7:40 pm | Reply

    • Ahaha. What you should do is get your tank to *play a DPS class* and then he’ll understand. Unfortunately. after years of patient tanking his mind will be too weak to withstand the demon and he’ll be left drooling on the floor, cackling madly about procs and crit chance, with his finger glued to the pyroblast button.

      Actually, now that I’ve taken the first step (admitting I have a problem) I managed to NOT use a free pyroblast today. It physically hurt to do it. Physically hurt I tell you. I felt the DPS demon weeping inside me. But we were in the Ruins of Andorhal at the time and the nearest target was *cough* Araj the Summoner *cough* so … I’m not sure it even counts as self-restraint.

      Comment by Tamarind — June 29, 2009 @ 8:01 pm | Reply

      • He has played a ret pally and a shaman of some stand-close-and-wail-away variety, but those are close-hitters and he has so far retained his tank-y soul. I think the real trick is to play a cloth-wearing caster. He just started a cow druid with the intention of making him a boomkin, so soon the Demon will have him…

        And it was totally self-restraint. There was a time where my little mage was our group’s much-teased “cloth-y tank”, and believe me, back then she would have called down Araj hell if there was a free Pyroblast available. In fact, she probably did do that at one point. Now, of course, she wears her hair up in a bun and plays the semi-responsible DPS role, but beneath her flowing robes there is at least one tattoo proclaiming “Pyro 4ever”. And if you ever read the faded lettering of her horse’s rumper-stickers, you’ll see that they say: “Want the aggro, tanky boy? Come and get it.” and “Don’t blame me, blame the proc.”

        But good work on step one, letting the first free and useless-but-still-dangerous-since-we’re-not-technically-fighting Pyroblast slide by. Now for the next 2,348. After that it gets easier…ish.

        Comment by wildgrowth — June 29, 2009 @ 8:20 pm

  7. WordPress is very stern when it comes to comment-threading so…

    I would totally join LSoA-RD – am very serious raider, lol. Have big numbers and big axe. (Also you’re right about the “r” – a small r is clearly for plebs).

    Ahaha! Rumper stickers. I’ll have to get some of those for my big pink chicken. Your village called- they’re missing their pyromanaic nutjob. Hmmm. My other hawkstriders an epic?

    I don’t think it helps that my mage actually looks like a proper fire mage – he has lots of red hair and is just at the right level for being decked out from top to toe in red mageweave. BURN BABY BURN! Ahem. Alas. I am clearly not doing well on my 12 step programme.

    Hehe, what we need is a guild comprised entirely of fire mages called Pyroholics Anonymous (we don’t need no stinkin’ tanks).

    Comment by Tamarind — June 30, 2009 @ 2:05 pm | Reply

  8. ‘L So ‘ARD.

    Sorry, had to say it. Yes, even on an old post.


    Comment by boris — June 30, 2009 @ 9:36 pm | Reply

  9. […] on playing like idiots when we were just so recently focused and on top of our game. I know the demon is hard to ignore sometimes but when the tanks are sweating like mad to pick up ten or eleven adds, […]

    Pingback by In which our heroes noob it up « two nation army — July 8, 2009 @ 2:04 pm | Reply

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