If you've seen some of my screen shots you will notice recount in the bottom right corner. I always have it on and running.
Unless I'm researching something specific using recount it always shows overall damage, that includes trash in a dungeon or raid, and when out questing stuff you only hit twice.
Every now and then I like to flex my epeen with the meter especially when I'm in a guild run, just to give some friends a hard time after a big AOE pull but that's actually not why I like them.
DPS meters provide feedback on personal progression.
I keep track of my dps results on bosses and overall for every dungeon/raid I do. I also note whether I'm tanking or DPS. Then I can use the comparison over time to determine if my new spec, rotation, or gear are truly improvements.
I look at bosses separate from the overall because at the end of the day, if the boss didn't die you did. DPS on bosses is what gets the phat lewtz. DPS on bosses is what gets you invited back to a raid. Even when tanking your DPS matters. I can look at recount after a run and see in tank gear I did 1785 dps on Cyanigosa heroic last night. Since frost bumps that by 1.9 that meant I averaged 3392 TPS for the fight. Next time I go back I can make a comparison whether my threat has increased or not.
I look at overall DPS because I believe DPS on trash does count. Just not as much as bosses. Higher DPS on trash means more time spent killing bosses, means more bosses killed. Again the comparison is over time not between players.
I also pay attention to DPS of individual players, especially those I run with frequently. It gives me an idea of what content we are capable of, including whether its reasonable to push to be a timer etc.
A lot of people malign the meters, but when uses properly they give great feedback to performance. Just don't post your 5k dps in general chat when one howling blast scored you the Jenkins title.
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