Padding vs Scumbagging
So a frequent discussion amongst raiders is the difference between doing the best strategy or doing the most damage. Words get tossed around like “padding” and “scumbagging”. These words are typically negative and used to discredit the DPS someone did. Some people consider anything beyond boss damage to be “padding” and or any damage that takes away from the damage you should be doing as “scumbagging”.
As a Windwalker, excessive use of Touch of Death or Storm, Earth, and Fire are frequently labeled as padding or scumbagging. In my experience and my opinion, padding is a negative term for what is often a positive thing. Scumbagging is the negative term for the negative thing.
By my definition, scumbagging is any time you’re ignoring the strategy, or making the fight harder on the group, in order to increase your personal damage. This can be a wide range of things, one recent example is using SEF on Beastlord Darmac’s Spears or Pack Beasts when someone else is assigned to them. Shadow priests, warlocks, and boomkins all are much better suited at these jobs, and in many cases, gain damage to the boss and mounts by blowing up the other targets. When you attack the spears and Pack Beasts, you’re taking their advantage away, and lowering both your useful boss DPS, and their overall DPS. If its your job to kill those targets, then doing so isn’t scumbagging.
However, arguments can be made that in that example, those targets need to die quickly anyway, so blowing them up is a good thing. I don’t agree with this in that situation, which is why I call it scumbagging.
A blatant example of scumbagging would be on Paragons of the Klaxxi during Siege of Orgrimmar. Due to the mechanic where, upon one Klaxxi dying, the other Klaxxis heal to full, any damage on the non-primary target would be wiped away and not matter. Casting SEF or using RJW/SCK on a second Klaxxi would be wasteful damage, and lessen your damage on the main target. This is bad and the truest definition of scumbagging, there is no arguable benefit to putting a SEF clone on another target.
Padding also has a negative connotation of doing extra damage that isn’t needed. In my opinion, “padding” is doing extra damage that does not negatively effect the raids ability to kill the boss, but is not necessarily part of your primary job.
An example of this is on Kromog, where its common for Windwalkers to SEF, ToD, and Chi Burst during the small hands phase, to break other people out. The extra damage that the WW does is spread over many targets, so its not an immediate and noticeable benefit, but not a negative either, unless people are broken out earlier. There are also other classes like Deathknights and Boomkins that are better at AOE, yet do not lose anything if you are AOEing as well.
A second example is using Touch of Death on more than the primary target. Mounts on Darmac are a strong example of this. By using ToD when the mounts reach 10%, you’re frequently able to use ToD 3 or 4 or maybe even 5 times throughout the fight. This will add 1-2 million damage to the meters, but not be a noticeable help to the raids performance in many situations.
Padding on targets kills them faster which helps the raid, but may be beyond your primary role.
What others frequently call “padding” or “scumbagging” may just be a classes way of maximizing overall damage. A fight like Iron Maidens, where the Windwalker splits up his SEF clones and uses Chi Explosion to do amazing cleave, is a fight where doing as much damage as possible is highly recommended, so the words padding and scumbagging are rarely used there. Other past scenarios, like Fallen Protectors in Siege of Orgrimmar, were examples of where a Windwalker could be considered padding by using SEF on other targets than the main target, yet it helps the fight go much faster due to increased DPS.
Overall, if you’re not being a negative influence on the strategy and not making things harder on your raid, padding is encouraged. Its when padding gets in the way of what your primary job is, is when it becomes scumbagging.
What are your thoughts on the line between padding, scumbagging, and just maximizing? What’s a situation where the line between them became very blurred, or you had to explain to someone that you were maximizing, not scumbagging? Answer below.
— Babs out