Evaluating

I got asked offlist how to decide if a shadowpriest is pulling his weight.  There isn’t a black and white answer to that, but there are (in my opinion) some guidelines.
First, I need to note that measures for a 70 in a raiding guild are different than those of a 29 in a twink battleground guild are different for a level 68 in a progression guild that hopes to become (or be part of) later raids.  This increases the complexity, of course.  Having mentioned that I’m going to simplify a bit by only considering level 70 raiding shadowpriest.

With talents but no gear, a shadowpriest should be able to top 300 dps.  If they are “only” able to reach 250 they need more looking.  If they’re 200 or below, then they either need training or a pink slip — basically, “get it fixed, or leave.  We’re offering you advice on how to get it fixed because we’d rather keep you, but you have to take the advice.”  But that seems awful low – what about gear?

Generally, I add 1/3 of the bonus to the target.  So if they’re 450 spelldamage bonus, I’m expecting a FLOOR of 250+150=400, and really want them over 450.  Oh, yes, I know experienced shadowpriests are going to tell me much higher is possible – and I agree.  This is my floor for qualification.  Improvement is possible and desirable, but if they can’t reach THESE levels it’s time to review retention of the player.

Equally important is what they’re bringing to the table.  I do not insist on improved Vampiric Embrace (though I think that’s actually very important, all things considered).  I do insist on Vampiric Touch, because even though good shadowpriests do good DPS others do more — we’re taking SPs for their extra good.  Which means a major question is whether they are USING VE and VT?  If VE is up less than half the time (which I can check with WWS), we might have a problem.  If VT is up less than half the time, we DEFINITELY have a problem.  With a nod to Mana Bitch Battery, that’s the big reason we have that character instead of a warlock.

Third, and more subtle, is guild support.  When the party or raid loses members, does the shadowpriest help with the rezzes?  Is he sharing the effort of getting the fortitude buff to everyone?

There are other issues, of course, but they’re more general and can apply to all members.  Is he coming with buff food, reagants, potions, flasks, and so on and so forth?  Is he on time (at least most of the time)?  Is he working on his character outside the raid to be better prepared and supplied?  Is he being a sustaining member, or a leech?

But as far as measuring a shadowpriest’s performance – as a LEVEL 70 in a RAIDING guild – the evaluations boil down the three points mentioned.

  1.  Is the DPS satisfactory?
  2. Are VT and VE up a significant part of the time?
  3. Is he supporting the raid with the other priestly skills that he’s got?

If not, you could just ignore it (and that’ll lead to guild drama).  But more typically, you make him an offer.  Fix it, or leave.

By the way, shadowpriests reading this?  Beat the evaluation to the punch.  If you’re not meeting these three objectives, ask for help if you need it, or change it if you know what to do.   Because some guilds won’t ask you to fix it, they’ll just say goodbye.  And that sucks for a long, long time.

~ by Kirk on October 9, 2007.

4 Responses to “Evaluating”

  1. I would have to disagree with you a bit. First, VE seems to e somewhat situational nowadays. A good shadowpriest with an average tank will know not to keep it up all the time, as threat can easily become an issue. S/he should be able to evaluate the situation and use as appropriate. Second, being able to put out decent DPS for your gear is only half the job as a DPSer. Knowing how to gear (and spec) is the other half. Sure, you may rock the house with your 600 DPS, but could you really be cranking out 800 if your gems, enchants, and gear choices were better selected?

  2. MK, good points, but note my initial position. This is floor requirement – barely passing. Not rocking the house, not making it sing, just reaching the point where if the guild has to decide whether to keep or drop, it’s keep.

    Advanced knowledge is how to make it better. How to do all the things you mention and more.

    When I get told of someone with more than 800 in gear who is averaging 400 dps, almost never VEs, and VT’s about a quarter of the time, I’m advising the questioner to tell the shadowpriest to shape up or ship out.

    Oh, about VE… in instances I agree. In raids, if an spriest with mediocre dps using VE is pulling aggro off the raid tank the issue is tank evaluation – something I’m refraining from doing in a priest blog.

  3. You hit the nail on the head there with requiring VT, it is essential for a Shadow Priest to be able to sustain DPS for any period of time, and is the main reason why they deserve a raid spot.

    Your minimun acceptable Shadow Priest DPS equation is definitely a good benchmark. A nice way to know how hard your Shadow Priest is pushing their DPS is to use Recount, and look at the %damage done by spell (<3 the pies). If the priest prefers to Mindflay over nuking, the damage from mindflay should be greater than the damage from VT and SW:P no questions, if it isn’t ask about mana management issues. If the priest prefers nuking, and has 4-5 points in Improved Mind Blast, it is actually possible for that spell to have the highest % damage done (I’ve personally seen as high as 27%) if they spam Mind Blast and Shadow Word: Death every cooldown, keep while keeping VT and SW:P up and Mindflay in between.

  4. I am a s.priest (14/0/47 build) and I do not have Imp VE. In fact I only recently dropped it and I have noticed an increase in my dps which I assume is because I am less concerned about threat than I was previously. I dropped it for the benefit of the raid and I truly believe that it is of greater benefit to the raid in that I can go a little harder and those extra two points are in shadow power (I have 4/5 in imp MB).

    Personally, I would prefer to have imp VE as that would benefit me more solo, but raiding is not about me: it is about the raid as a whole and not having improved VE serves the raid better. That said, I do hope the CO tells me otherwise… That is not likely to happen as he is thinking of dropping it himself.

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