The Daily Grind: Do you think useful MMO tools get misused by the community?

DPS meters, in theory, are a really great tool for players who want to push the envelope in content. That is, however, just in theory. World of Warcraft has made them more or less ubiquitous bragging mechanisms. Heck, even if they could be useful, they lack a lot of useful data; simply knowing that someone is doing lower DPS doesn’t necessarily provide a lot of information as to why. And since they’ve become almost constant bragging tools, most people who aren’t interested in that side of gameplay react negatively to meters no matter how important the meters might be.

Of course, it’s hardly the only example of a useful tool becoming less useful via implementation. Players can turn lots of things into ego manipulation. Do you think useful MMO tools get misused by the community? Does it seem that good tools wind up being used either for unintended purposes or find their useful elements get sidelined? Or do you think it’s more a matter of emerging uses that are equally as valid as the intended use?

Every morning, the Massively Overpowered writers team up with mascot Mo to ask MMORPG players pointed questions about the massively multiplayer online roleplaying genre. Grab a mug of your preferred beverage and take a stab at answering the question posed in today’s Daily Grind!
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94 Comments on "The Daily Grind: Do you think useful MMO tools get misused by the community?"

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I would be hard pressed to name a single tool that can’t be abused, in games or in the real world. For starters just about anything under the sun has been used for killing, which for anything that isn’t a weapon is an abuse of the tool.

So, are DPS meters any less useful because they have been abused? Sincerely, no. A car isn’t any less useful because some asshat decided to run over his former wife on purpose. By the same token DPS meters (and gear score, and log parsers, and so on) are still as useful as ever, despite jerks using them to harass other players.

Tools can be improved to make abuse less common, though. Many modern tools are far harder to abuse than their counterparts from decades ago; safer, cleaner, more silent, easier to use, etc.

That is why I believe the hands-off approach MMO devs use when dealing with those addons is an issue. If you want to reduce misuse, intentional or not, you need to reach out to those that produce the tools and recommend (or even impose) certain standards; it’s what government does when it must make something safer, both on the personal and societal levels. IMHO MMO devs should do something similar, reaching out to MMO tool makers to help make the tools more useful and less prone to abuse.


Or give players the power to choose what the API is allowed to share about them and to whom, placed as opt-in or opt-outs either way!

Sally Bowls

I am not sure there is consensus on misuse.

1) Say you are pugging something where everyone doing 100 dps will kill the boss. In this scenario, is it OK to kick a dps who is doing 200 because you want and can find someone doing 300? That sure feels toxic to me, who is more likely to be the kickee not kicker. But the elitist jerks do have an argument; it is their time and why should they spend more of it if they can find someone who will make it go quicker? I.e., it’s a tougher call when replacing the DPS is not even a requirement to kill the boss, just a time saver.

2) Now say the boss dies with 4×100 DPS. Three people are doing 150, one is doing 80. Is it OK to kick the 80? In general, the 80 is not enough but in this case, the boss will die with the 80.

Patreon Donor

I’d say it depends on how the group is formed. If it’s an LFG tooled group, you have no right to complain about your team (as long as the dungeon is still completable), because the moment you press that queue button, you acknowledge that you can be grouped with absolutely anyone.

If you want a high DPS group, you go to chat and recruit one. Then, if people underperform, you have solid reason to kick, because they lied about their performance and joined a group that they shouldn’t be in.

Personally, I didn’t care about the exact number so much. Like, if I were making a group saying “LFM for random dungeon, req 30k ST DPS, /w for invite” and someone whispered me “hi, I can do 25k, can I still join?” I would usually invite that person. But if someone didn’t say anything, joined the group and then did 25k, I might kick them, depending on my mood and on who else is in the group.


Fundamentally when you break it down it’s a people issue. DPS meters aren’t inherently bad as they just provide factual information. Ultimately it’s the people involved that create the abused where now they can use numbers to backup their agendas.

What is far more interesting is that those same agendas and natures to people still exist even without tools like DPS meters. You can look at early on versions of GW2 where certain classes (Necro, Ranger, Elementalist, etc) were all considered extremely bad despite having no actual DPS meters to back it up. It was only after people started creating pseudo meters via spreadsheets that Elementalist was put back into the meta where it’s remained.

Loyal Patron
Byórðæįr is a good way to tell if your hitting a base line, base on the gear you are wearing. So when you have trouble beating the boss you can run a dps meter to see what you are actually doing, knowing that dps meters don’t have a way to count for moving out of the pools of death on the ground.

Meaning you put your gear into the website it tells you what an optimal run would generate for that gear. Then you run a normal run logging to a text file doing what you normally do. Then you see how much damage you did. If your damage is way lower then you likely need to change your rotation to make up for when you are being interrupted or have to move or when you end a damage over time ability. If your damage is higher then you need to look into protecting the other players in the group that you run with. It is not perfect but it does help people figure out it if is a gear issue or standing in the wrong place when you need to be some where else in the room. Of course there are times when it does not tell you anything at all and times when people were just distracted by something outside of game. I would not recommend it these days but when I used to run with twilight guardians we used to make jokes about stuff that happened outside of game when someone’s kids would say they needed a drink because as a group we would use it as break point to go get a drink get up walk around and stretch so we did not get sore from sitting tense for a four to six hour dungeon. These days people are more likely to be weird about it and than laugh at people having kids that had to be helped before they could go back to playing a video game with their friends.

But the dps meters all through wow have been problems when people used gear score which did not actually measure dps it just randomly set a number and did not actually measure damage. I had one setup that was funny I would run a gear score set and swap half way through to the none gear score set as if I had picked up a new piece of gear and people would go wow what did you equip. I would laugh and say I can go back to that other piece of gear but this one looks cooler and does more damage. People would laugh and say nah keep used that setup.

I have to agree about most of the problems with the apps are that people use them to exclude people they don’t want to have to roll against for loot. When that is not an issue most people just use them to figure out if they are doing something wrong in dungeons. Basically when people use it for themselves they help when someone else uses them it is usually is to justify something they could not justify any other way.

Sally Bowls

I am not a fan of DPS meters. At all. Especially how they are used.

But it’s not like MMOs inventing scoring. Fair Issac & Co, near where I used to live in the People’s Republic of Marin, came up with the credit score. Your financial rating is summarized as a three digit number. They sell that over 10B times a year. Their software comes up with a number. Other institutions, probably also software not people, use that to determine whether you get a loan and how much you will pay. (On a 40K car loan, a 589 pays $15,208 interest vs $3600 for a 720.) Perhaps also for jobs and insurance.

It is kind of convenient to come up with a number.

Kickstarter Donor

All the arguments in this topic are really caused by one mechanic.

Enrage timers.

By devs setting a time limit on boss fights they created a monster. DPS is only a needed value because the group has to race the clock. Remove that requirement and DPS meters are a thing of the past, except for personal goals.

Patreon Donor

They’d still be a thing in any sort of content that’s “on farm” because people often don’t enjoy it, and want to get it over with, and then get angry if someone prolongs it by doing bad DPS.


Most people in this thread are vastly exaggerating the abuse that comes from using DPS meters. I honestly can’t recall the last time that someone was specifically called out in a group, and even then it was likely so absurdly bad that the person in question was either AFK or had a stroke at the keyboard. I like DPS meters because if I play with a really good player, it increases my chances of grouping up with that person in the future, and decreases my chance of grouping with people who clearly don’t have the same intentions in PVE content that I do. DPS meters are generally for group content, where there should be a reasonable expectation for other people in your group to perform – it is common courtesy to actually try, for other people’s sake. People who don’t like DPS meters are, from my personal experience, the people who expect to get carried through runs with suboptimal specs and gear, go afk and make the rest of the group wait for them, or roleplay their way through the dungeon. That’s all well and good, but do it with your own friends in your own groups so that everyone else can have an enjoyable dungeon/raid experience. I very much prefer the self-segregation potential that DPS meters provide me.

I wish that every game had a built in damage meter so that I don’t have to fuss with addons and 3rd party programs. Myself and my group of friends/guilds all compete with each other to see who can pump out the most damage – we find it fun to do so, and it helps us to push each other to be better. I also generally like knowing where I stand compared to other players, because I take pride in my own performance.


Any useful tool is a dangerous tool.

I mourn the loss of so many useful mechanics lost in the pursuit of an ephemeral idea of balance. Crowd control. Pulling. Stackable group effects. Our games have become nerfed kiddie parks, and I want to see useful tools returned to the players. The expectation that one can participate in a multi-user world without being acted upon by others is flawed at a basic level. I think the only answer to such abuse is to give players more tools to counter such misuse.

DPS meters are an easy target, yet an invaluable tool for gauging performance in spite of their obnoxious misuse.

Loyal Patron

I’m on the fence about DMG meters. They’re useful sure, but it’s also nice to play without paying attention to them. I really don’t want to compete much in MMOs anymore. I guess I’ve been playing long enough to get to that point.
I would be interested to see an MMO disable to block DMG meters/Parsing capabilities via addons and instead offer an in-game equivalent that that players can see but only at the end of the dungeon/raid.
In other words, it’s completely inaccessible while you’re in the dungeon/raid.
Maybe at the end the group/raid leader has to click “End” which closes the instance off and triggers the availability of the in depth DMG/Healing meters to the players.


Heh. You might as well be asking if boob physics is a thing in Blade and Soul.

Short answer is yes, and yes, and yes again. They are good questions really but no warm and fuzzy answers. People do abuse tools. They use them as unintended if it is to their advantage. And while many players may not abuse these tools, the ones that do make up for it with a vengeance.