The dps is not free... You are preventing BUFFED dps from utilizing cleave abilities such as Blade Flurry, Howling Blast, Sweeping Strikes/Whirlwind (Raging Blow? w/e it is warriors do...) by killing the legs with unbuffed damage, It's definitely a net RDPS loss and loss in overall buff uptime.
From the point of view of your goal, you can only come out ahead with free damage.
Even if you had the cleave damage within the raid to do one full leg worth of splash damage every 30 seconds (unlikely in most comps without at least one person deliberately switching), you hypothetically splashing on the leg does not compromise this. The purpose of you putting cleave damage onto the legs is that it's "free" damage that comes at no additional cost, maximising the time people are able to spend on the boss while keeping in pace with legs. Ultimately, unless you're actually losing uptime on the boss (which you cannot even when you are splashing free damage), your raid dps cannot be lowered.
To put it another way, let's say you go from killing a fresh leg every 20 seconds to every 19 seconds because a couple of shields bounced. While the damage dealers theoretically lost "1 second of cleave", you have ultimately done as a raid the exact same damage to the leg (is it 6.3 or 6.5 or something around there million on 10-N?) in order to kill it. At worst, when you're that fast, you're maybe losing out on the fact that dot ticks could have taken that tiny bit off, so you only possible loss could be 30% of a single AS to his body, which is more than offset by the 1 second less that some of your damage dealers will care about cleaving (the single digit Energy gain your Rogue has from 1 second not in BF mode would probably offset this alone).
And of course, in reality, it's very very unlikely that your raid is doing an entire leg full of truly free damage while killing legs that fast. I don't even think that would be possible even if you brought a raid full of only Frost DK's and relied purely on splash. And of course, as Belloc said, this doesn't apply to AS, but it is relevant when talking about splash from other classes. It could most likely be applied to Holy Prism if you have a Paladin that is able to position themselves so that they can use the Prism off themselves to hit both Body and Leg every time though (that works right?), as long as they don't have the spellpower for the higher initial hit scaling to cross hitting 2 mobs.
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