Pushing the Limits (1.0.8)
Class knowledge and gear are no longer the golden ticket to owning everything and everyone in your path. Everyone can get decked out in legendary gear with enough time and effort. To make matters worse, there are more resources than ever for players to learn their class inside and out. Breaking away from the pack now requires more effort and knowing which areas of gameplay to emphasize and improve upon.
In groups, nobody wants to be out-performed by another player playing the same class as you. And who doesn’t want to be the group’s most valuable player? Unless you are dramatically under-geared, or your group members are professional gamers, you can easily outperform them and rise to the top. You just need the right mentality. Your peers may be using the right skills and items, but you can still beat them in over-all performance!
Taking advantage of multi-target abilities, boss transitions, cooldowns, consumables and more is critical. This does not mean you should be spamming AoE when you are not supposed to, or continuing to DPS a boss when you are supposed to switch targets. Instead, you need to take advantage of the little things and be creative during times when others are not.
You know what they say, practice makes perfect! Use lower difficulty levels to practice improving your gameplay. It can be hard to become used to changes, especially when you have very old habits. Practice and an open-mind will go a long way.
Know Your Enemy
Being familiar with bosses and monsters makes a huge difference. You’ll be ready for transitions, unique abilities, adds and anything else. By being familiar with the game, you can focus more on your performance and less on your survivability, because you’ll know exactly when to move and what to do.
By knowing the encounter, you might learn to use uncommon abilities (snares, speed increase effects, damage absorbs, etc) to take full advantage of a fight mechanic. Remember, part of out-performing others is to maximize the amount of abilities used, and minimize the amount of time spent traveling. For melee DPS in particular, nothing is more important than speed and quickly closing the distance between you and your target.
Check out our Monster Prefixes guide for information on all the possible rare and champion monster abilities!
Every Split Second Counts
Don’t let a single second go to waste. Your finger should be prepared for the next ability before the last one is finished. Even during phase transitions, movement phases, etc., there are always ranged abilities that can be used. There is no excuse to stop using abilities unless your group leader specifically calls for a stop. The more abilities you use in an encounter, the higher your output will be.
Due to latency, your skill animations may not be completely accurate and may end later/earlier than they appear. This is one way a lot of players lose potential DPS, because they only hit the next ability when the current ability finishes. You should be spamming your abilities to make sure they get off right when they end. If you have a weak keyboard that can’t handle spamming, this is a good time to consider getting a decent keyboard that can take the abuse!
Pro-Tip: Try to find a quiet keyboard to save your operation members from hearing CLICK-CLACK-SNAP-CLICK-CLACK a thousand times a night over voice chat!
Check out the Key Binding guide for more advice on how to setup key binds that improve your reaction time!
Set up your interface so that you’re quickly aware of everything that is going on in a fight. You need to be able to track your debuffs, cooldowns, abilities, health and more all while responding to any encounter/situation. A common mistake many players make is developing “tunnel vision.” This occurs when players temporarily focus on one thing, and miss everything else happening like the giant wave of lava that will instantly kill you. Poor interface setup can promote this problem by making it overly difficult to view all your important information.
Take some time and think about your interface. The goal is to see and notice everything you need without having to constantly scan and look around your monitor. If that means customizing your interface, then do it. Do whatever it takes to help yourself become more self-sufficient and not rely on other players. A productive interface is much more effective than a cool looking interface.
Check out the Interface Tweaks guide for more advice on how to setup your user interface!
Consumables cost gold and therefore a lot of players don’t bother using them. This is unacceptable!
Consumables are cheap. You can easily afford consumables by farming them yourself or buying them from the Auction House. Treat Health Pots like candy and use them often!