DPS Rankings

Level 110, Patch 7.0.3

See details below to learn more about these rankings.

Current Note:

Last updated 9/30/2016 - includes the most recent hotfixes. A few things to note about this update: We brought back the "Real" Encounter Type - details about this are included below. We've also increased the Artifact Rank Cap to 26 Points for item level 865. We will be re-including updated rankings for item level 840 this weekend.

865 iLvl Artifact Settings:

  • Artifact Relics: 3
  • Artifact Rank Cap: 26

840 iLvl Artifact Settings:

  • Artifact Relics: 3
  • Artifact Rank Cap: 19

DPS Rankings Overview

These rankings are created using SimulationCraft, a program that is highly tested and trusted for simulating in-game encounters with characters.

We use SimulationCraft because simulators permit a high degree of control by allowing us to use specific talents, rotations, gear, possible boss mechanics, etc. to arrive at repeatable results that can be compared across specs and time. Also, simulators allow us to average out results from thousands of fights to get a feel for how a spec performs all of the time and not in one amazing fight.

If you are curious to learn about the simulation fight encounters of Max and Real, we recommend to read our past articles that describe them in Part I and Part II.

Common Questions

The damage meters for my boss fights look very different than these rankings. Why?

There are any number of reasons why in-game results will differ from simulated (or log based) results. A few common differences include the following.

  • Fight Length: Dungeons and LFR raids often have shorter fight durations which can result in much higher DPS as the value of DPS cooldowns is greatly increased in short fights.
  • Multiple Targets: The current DPS rankings offer strictly single-target and splash-AoE (1 main target+2). There are scenarios in-game where there are a lot more targets which can allow for much more aggressive AoE.
  • Player Variables: Skill, latency, gear, a lucky string of crits, etc. can all significantly impact in-game DPS. Rankings can help represent general trends, but they’ll rarely predict the outcome of a specific encounter with all its unique factors.

How do these rankings compare to other sources that use raid logs to show spec comparisons?

Raid log sites offer a perspective on how some of top players are performing with each spec. These rankings can be helpful to understand how specs are faring in the current raid tier and often reveal unexpected synergies between specific specs and boss encounters. However, log based sites are subject to their own data problems including players who artificially boost their DPS by employing technical or social exploits, changes in popularity of specs, uneven sample sizes, and generally unrepeatable or uncontrolled results.

While simulators allow us to get a feel for how a spec performs all of the time through averaging out thousands of fight results, it is important to note that simulators are generally weak when modeling specific fights in a raid tier, and additionally they rely on data that is as good as the theorycrafting community is able to produce.

Overall, no single DPS ranking is perfect and they should all be considered when evaluating specs. Simulators and log based solutions both offer value to the WoW community.