To be perfectly honest with you, like most DPSers, I am a gear person.  I love gear.  I will completely forgive spending 20 – 30 minutes in a hellish PuG, wiping every 5 minutes, and being called all manner of names if at the very end I win that epic I had on my wishlist.  It’s like, when that purple is in my bags, all ill will just evaporates.  I don’t know what that says about me as a person and I don’t really have the mental stamina to give it too much thought this morning, but that’s the bald truth.

The other thing I love is the rush I get when I achieve something with a group of people.  It’s truly something else to hear 10 voices on Vent cheering when a boss we’ve been banging our heads against finally drops — and, at that point, it doesn’t matter what the loot is, because the prize we all got was victory.  And a shared victory’s (for me, anyway) way sweeter than any epic.

Thing is, I find it’s getting harder and harder to get that feeling of connection or cohesion.  Even with guild runs.  Seems everyone’s focused on something else instead of on whatever it is we’re trying to do: everyone wants ‘the next thing’, whatever that may be.  It gives them an inward focus, and affects their ability to see challenges as things that must be overcome by the group.  They close off, begin to point fingers, and often find other ways of getting to ‘the next thing’ as soon as there’s a bump in the road or a small detour to take.

You want gear?  You want to progress?  You want the group to work?  Then contribute.  Contribute with more than just DPS/heals/tanking.  A group is made up of players, not classes and roles.  Everyone has to give it all they got, and I unfortunately see more people who don’t than people who do.

Volunteer.  If a fight includes some mechanic that requires one (or more) person to do something other than what their role entails, put yourself out there and do it.  I mentioned in an earlier post that I’m something of custodian for my guild (in that I do the ‘odd jobs’, so to speak), so this topic is really close to my heart.  Usually the odd jobs are the DPS’ responsibility and that’s logical, but the unfortunate fact is that DPSers are more often than not concerned with Recount and don’t much like to stop DPSing in order to do something else — no matter how trivial the time investment.  Not many people volunteer for extras in places like UP, Ulduar, Naxx, EoE, and even good old SL and ST, and that just drives me insane.

Alright, so let’s say you occasionally pick up harpoons in UP or you help position sparks in EoE.  Well done!  Is there anything else you could be doing to help?  Why of course there is!  Silly you.

Make sure you’re using all the abilities granted by your class.  If you can cleanse, dispel, heal, decurse, CC, buff, etc. — do it.  Don’t expect other people to handle everything (maybe your healer is busy — what a concept!).  Most of that stuff takes a second to do, and there’s (typically) no way in Hell you’ll lose aggro or kill your DPS in that space of time.  If you want to make it even easier for yourself, download Healbot.

If you’re asked to CC or you’re managing a particular buff, do it like you mean it.  Stay on top of the situation by using a focus macro or downloading a cooldown timer.  There’s no excuse for laziness with the virtual horde of mods out there designed specifically to make things simple.

No group is gonna have the exact right class combination to be able to overcome a particular challenge.  Sometimes a job needs to be done that no one on the team is really optimized to do, but that doesn’t change the fact that it still needs to be done.  If you’re asked to do it, shut up and do it instead of whining about how you’re not really the best choice.  Better yet, volunteer for it before it becomes an awkward assignment for the party or raid lead.  Strange things are borne of necessity.

If more people did this stuff, I wouldn’t feel quite so disconnected as I do.