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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 sometimes referred to as a DPS Race, and usually has the following characteristics:
- Usually has an effect that guarantees a wipe if the encounter takes too long (i.e., some periodic/stacking effect which kills player or an enrage effect (enrage timer) that significantly boosts damage taken in the encounter.
- Often a simple tank and spank style encounter (no difficult positioning or evasion needed).
- Not aggro capped (i.e., the boss only attacks targets in melee range).
DPS Race fights usually exist to prevent under-geared players/groups from progressing into higher-end content (for example keeps Karazhan-geared guilds from gearing up with drops from early bosses in Battle for Mount Hyjal (MT). For example, with some luck players in T5 level gear could have been 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. , the second 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. With the release of Icecrown Citadel (instance), is a major DPS race boss there, with a very short Enrage timer. There is also in the first wing, which is all that many players have seen.