I have completely stopped using dps meters in game. Let’s delve into why and how it impacts my game.
Skada we all know is “like” Recount. Skada takes total damage and divides it by total time in combat. Simple enough. It has most the options that Recount has after that point. It appears that Skada is always lower on the almighty CPU usage.
Recount is the standard for most WoW users I suspect. It doesn’t count dead time nor downtime. If you notice you generally are higher on Recount than Skada. My favorite example is the ret paladin who will pull 150k in an LFR with righteous fury then die. Recount shows 150k yet Skada will be much, much lower since his dps dropped to zero after his death.
On to a more nefarious thought: Both of these addons have to do all their calculations in between game frames. That means before the next frame (think fps here) is drawn the calculations have to be completed. Repeat, repeat, repeat… This can affect fps. I upload all my combat logs to Warcraftlogs.com so I finally adventured to using their client and uploading the live logs. (AutoCombatLogger is excellent to turn on/off your combatlog automatically while warcraftlogs.com client waits to upload them.) When combat ends, the full advanced combat logs are available and processed ready to look at. The game fps is higher now, plus warcraftlogs.com is much easier to click through or share the link in game to the logs.
I encourage anyone who wants to get better at the game to upload combat logs. When people ask me for help on encounters or rotations the first thing I ask is for combat log links. My favorite saying, “Whatever it is I’ll find it. The logs don’t lie.” Comparing combat logs over a month time is really revealing in comparison to in game dps meters which are generally reset after a certain time/number of encounters. I also encourage if you have the bandwidth to go into the network settings and select “Advanced Combat Logging.” This gives more information than is even available to the in-game dps meters.
For example: Advanced Combat Logging and uploading to warcraftlogs.com showed a warrior tank who was sitting at max rage for minutes at a time. Apparently he was just hitting rage builders and no consumers. I pointed it out and he changed how he does things. His survivbility went up along with his threat. I ran into that tank in a flex pug I happened into. You can get a long ways in this game without perfecting your game play. I’m not sure outside of casts/buffs it’d have been that easy to spot with the in-game meters. Maybe looking at logs presented with graphs/charts would help some of your raid members even if your’re as good as you can be?