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In some boss fights it is important to quickly kill the boss before he kills the raid. This type of fight is called DPS race, and usually has the following characteristics:
- Some effect guarantees a wipe if the encounter takes too long (for example some periodic effect which kills players or an unusually short enrage timer).
- In principle tank and spank (no difficult positioning or evasion needed).
- Not aggro capped (for example because the boss only attacks targets in melee range).
With good enough gear, DPS races degenerate into tank and spank (derogatory form).
DPS Races simple exist to prevent undergeared Guilds from progressing into high-end content (For example keeps Karazhan-geared guilds from gearing up with drops from early bosses in MH. With some luck, players in T5 Niveau Gear could, for example, be able to kill , the first Boss of Sunwell Plateau, gear up with his drops and thus, skip BT and MH on the progression ladder and/or make attempts into those instances easier due to the loot from Kalecgos. , 2nd boss in Sunwell, is the gear check encounter there, keeping those guilds from progressing further. The first "real" and probably most known gear-check encounter was the infamous in the original Naxxramas. Wrath of the Lich King examples of a dps race include and from the Vault of Archavon. With the introduction of Naxxramas as a level 80 raid, classic dps races such as Patchwerk and (see Loatheb for the original 40-man fight) have made a return to endgame content.