Tobold's Blog
Wednesday, February 27, 2008
Crowd control in PvP

I said I was doing PvP all evening yesterday, doing first the daily EotS battleground, and then a series of Alterac Valleys. But that statement isn't totally correct: I didn't really do much PvP at all. I spent half of the time getting to where the action was, and the other half of the time I spent being feared, stunned, sapped, sheeped, frostbolted, mindcontrolled, seduced, and whatever else modes of crowd control World of Warcraft had. There were very few times where I was both close to the action and able to control my character. Is there too much crowd control in PvP in WoW?

Of course for me as warrior, that is melee fighter, the problem is probably worse than for people with ranged abilities. I need to charge right into the middle of combat, where the enemy has me right in front of his nose, so melee classes tend to get more than their fair share of being crowd controlled. And unlike a mage with his blink, I can't easily break crowd control abilities.

But I'm hearing that crowd control abilities in WAR PvP will have diminishing returns and long reuse timers. And I wonder why WoW can't do something similar. I have the impression that the way crowd control abilities work are optimized for PvE in World of Warcraft, and thus overpowered for PvP. Preventing the enemy to do anything is a more important part of WoW PvP than actually killing him.

While crowd control abilities in PvE are necessary, in PvP they cause more problems, because they are too annoying. Who wants to spend all day being feared all over the place, or stunned, or otherwise unable to move and act? And if you think that your class should keep its crowd control abilities even in PvP, then why take away a warriors crowd control, taunt? The argument against taunt is that it is unfair to take away the enemies player free will of who to target. So then why is it fair to take away another players free will by sapping him and making him unable to do anything?

I think in World of Warcraft the cooldown timers for all crowd control abilities should at least double when in PvP. And whenever you get hit by any form of crowd control, you should get a buff that makes you immune against all forms of crowd control for 30 seconds after the first effect ends.
Tobold, by being crowd controlled, you were effectively being a Tank! If they're crowd controlling you, they're not crowd controlling others. (Except AoE fear etc.)
Cloth wearer vs Plate wearer; if the cloth wearer doesn't have some sort of CC they are going to die very time they get in melee.
Still, as you said, being unable to do anything, whether you are feared, stunned or whatever, is very annoying.
The problem is, Blizzard seem unable to alter things in PvP without altering PvE at the same time. Is it really so difficult?
actually playing a warrior in AV is quite fun.. charge/intercept and fear the crap out of them. they will get the focus on you, so your friends can easily gank them.
yes you will be dead before you can say blueberry pie, but the chaos is there. and chaos is win!
and never pop your trinket on the fir st cc ;)

oh, and there is a diminishing returns on cc's in pvp
i do miss the days when my mage could sheep a warlock and keep him that way.
Well, when I PvPed as a gnome MS warrior (before 2.3 that was), I rarely was CCd:

- Berserker rage breaks fear
- Death Wish breaks fear
- The trinket breaks most things
- Escape artist breaks most things

Intercept (and charge) brings you into range, piercing howl and hamstring keep them close. Warriors really don't have that many problems with CC, once they know their anti-CC tools ;)
I might add though that as a protection non-gnome warrior that doesn't have the trinket, you're probably majorly screwed indeed :P
Nothing funner than sapping a warrior a few times until you friends can take him out
The two minute cd trinket is a must have. I only have the 5 minute one so saving honor up now for it.

Second wind rocks. I love it when a pally stuns me for the dps boost and my SW out heals his dps. He should save it to heal himself but they always blow it at the beginning.

All crowd control should be on the same timer. So if a mage sheeps you it should effect a warlocks fear. Once 3 CC's have been applied (50% reduction each time) you are immune. Not sure of the time, but probably two minutes or more.

Cyclone needs a definate nerf. It should break on damage IMHO. Haslo is right you shouldn't be feared as a warrior. Very rarely does one stick.
"LF group to kill warrior, have rogue, need DPS "?
In my experience, if a rogue saps but doesn't actually attack, it's because he thinks he can't take you himself -- so I don't break the sap until there is a real threat. If it takes a group to kill a single warrior, I take that as a complement to the warrior class.

For a PvP warrior, you'll probably want to max Iron Will and Second Wind.

You'll probably run Berserker stance most of the time in PvP, as implied by earlier warrior posts, to spam Berserker Rage. Obviously Death Wish is good against CC too.

You'll need the PvP trinket, ASAP.

And if you have a meta slot, consider a gem that has a resist against CC.

I don't know the race of your warrior, but my undead uses Will of the Forsaken all the time in PvP. Use those racials!

Keep Shield Bash / Pummel handy. Reflect can be pretty fun if you use a shield.

Shouts and Thunderclap clap break enemy stealth if needed (some people set up a button so they can spam rank 1 if needed).

Use your own CC liberally, like Charge/Intercept, Hamstring, Piercing Howl, Improved Thunder Clap if you have it, and Intimidating Shout. Additionally, some warriors like using mace(s) and investing in the mace-stun talent.

Investigate macros so that you can circumvent the extra clicks between stances. Some even use macros to swap to use shield abilities and swap back.

Right now my warrior is badly undergeared (my 'main' got most of the TBC playtime thus far), but even so, as others have suggested, a high-armor, high-stamina warrior can act as a damage-soak and target while you DPS fire away from outside melee, and your CC can keep them off the DPS while you do it. If you're lucky enough to have a healer, your group will do well. Sometimes you might even have a random friendly who dispels effects off of you...
Just like the Heavy weapons guy in TF2, the WoW Warrior needs a healer behind him.
A warrior's biggest weakness is crowd control. Before your next bg starts look around for a healer type and whisper them that if they follow you around you will ensure that nobody will get the chance to wail on them. I do this alot and it really does help, healers don't bg because they never get cover and you are the solution to their problems. Meanwhile, you won't being getting crowd controlled as often and won't be dying nearly as much, hence the problem in your post where you write that half the time you spent getting to the fight and half the time spent disabled the fight.

Wow PVP is about cooperation, 9 out of 10 times the answer is to grab a friend.
Yeah, I'v noticed that some changes made to crowd control in the Before the Storm patch didn't really get noticed until level 70 PvP became popular,

I think the problem is basically everyone has a lot of little short duration forms of crowd control nowadays. It basically makes the trinket useless since they are too many forms of CC flying at target of opportunity like warriors and healers.

The main reason I'm looking forward to Warhammer so much is that they really are balancing the game around human intelligence instead of dumb NPC AI.
I'm looking forward to Warhammer also. Hopefully it will be easier to balance since it is strictly a pvp game so there are no pve issues to deal with.

I also like the way they are doing healers. They have to do damage in order to heal better. It should make healers more prevalent and make it more fun for them.
I think taunt, chanaging shout and mocking blow should be the warriors cc ablity in pvp. It does't have to stun, freeze, sleep, Mindcontrol, sap, fear, cyclone, but it should do something in pvp.
I don't buy the argument of, 'I should have the freedom to pick my targets crap'. I should have the freedom of movement, but i don't.
If I'm not mistaken, another proposed game mechanic of WAR is that melee type "taunt" abilities to draw aggro off another player to yourself will apply to PvP. This is one of the major fatal flaws of WoW PvP. I've never played a warrior, but it's got to suck to have to make the decision to spec for EITHER PvP OR PvE exclusively.

WoW is a great game, and right now I'm focused more on the PvP side of things, but I can't help but feel that choosing between PvE or PvP in WoW is like voting in most presidential elections--you're not necessarily voting for what you WANT, you're pretty much picking between the lesser of two evils.
It's entirely possible to design a PvP game with no CC at all. Guild Wars is a very successful example. GW can get away with this because they have a plethora of damage *mitigation* abilities, and a wide variety of self-heals. Instead of preventing your opponent from doing ANY damage (by sheeping him), you reduce the damage you take to manageable or even trivial levels.

I was actually surprised to hear that WAR would be including traditional CC, even with diminishing returns or timers. It's a bit of a lazy solution, given GW's much more elegant approach.
I couldn't tell from your blog if you knew this or not but all forms of CC in PvP already have a cap and are on dimishing returns. No CC can last longer than 10 seconds and each subsequent use is halved so for something like fear it's absolute maximum duration is 10 seconds + 5 seconds + 2.5 seconds and I believe on the 4th you become immune until dimishing returns wears off.
Try being an enhancement Shaman. I have no real CC and no anti-CC. Plus unlike a warrior I can't charge. All I can do is frost shock and earthbind to slow people down.
If you're getting sap'd a lot, remember that if you're in combat, you can't be sapped.

When you're running around looking for a target, just keep an enemy targeted (Fn key for your group members and click their target) and "t" to attack. You'll get a lot of "out of range" messages, but you'll still be in combat and you'll never get sapped. Sheeping and grouging and fearing is still a possibility, but the rogue following you will be p/o'd.
Hmm, Tobold, I haven't played WoW in 2 years, and you play it constantly, and even I know WoW has used diminishing returns on CC in PVP since when I played.
It always seemed odd that taunts didn't work in PvP, as it reduces the possible abilities a warrior would have, and doesn't even make sense 'realistically" (Or as realistically as a game with magic, immortal races, level 20 bad guys who will destroy the world from a dungeon unless stopped by groups of 5 guys looking for loot, etc., can be.). Enemies like Defias, Warsong tree cutters, Theramore deserters, etc. are in theory just as smart and mentally equipped as the player characters are, so it makes little sense that player characters would be harder to get worked into attacking a particular person than NPC humanoids would.

Of course, I never PvP'ed much, so it might have some other issues nbot brought up in this blog or from reading.
"Is there too much crowd control in PvP in WoW?"

In a word: yes. The crowd control state of the game is beyond a joke, and there's a war of escalation going on to "balance" CC effects against classes.

I play a Mage, so I'm somewhat better able to deal with CC effects than other classes - and I still think CC is a bucket of cold sick. I'd like to see more emphasis on the depth of a game and less on the complexity of it.
Hmm, Tobold, I haven't played WoW in 2 years, and you play it constantly, and even I know WoW has used diminishing returns on CC in PVP since when I played.

WoW might have diminishing returns if player A repeatedly casts the same crowd control on player B. But that is pure theory, it is not what is happening on a battleground. You get hit by several players with different forms of crowd control, and there is no overall diminishing returns that would make you immune to everything after being cc'd a couple of times.

It's as you say, the diminishing returns in WoW only exist if you don't play the game. :)
I don't think you get CC in PvP.

PvP isn't about hitting another player. PvP is about reacting to a smart opponent and being smart enough to know what to do next or what to do to prevent them from doing what they intended.

CC is part of that. If you're going into a BG or Arena without an insignia, that is on you. If CC wasn't there, then battles would literally be a) run in, b) hit as much c)either survive or die. There is really no strategy to that, and it would make PvP incredibly boring.
But that is pure theory, it is not what is happening on a battleground.

I guess you're expecting WAR's system to have even harsher diminishing returns and cooldowns? I guess we'll have to see.

SO many expectations of this game...
"Taunt" does work in pvp. It's called /chicken; /lol; and host of other emotes.
You'd be amazed how easy it is piss off an oppentant in BG by laughing at them. If they target me instead of the healer I call that tanking. :P
The lockout fest that was 70 pvp is what made me abandon it almost alltogether and do all of my pvping on a 39 mage instead (and probably one of the factors in my quitting and selling the account).

I was just so sick of everything being balanced against the stupid pvp trinket (they shouldnt have made it so easy to get and definately shouldnt have 2 minute timered it). It was just a series of interrupts--stun, fear, horror, poly, MC, 50 other stuns, etc. I played an undead shadow priest so I had WotF as well as the trinket but it wasnt enough (and I was pretty talented when it came to pvp). It just is not fun to spend so much time losing control of your char.

At 39, everything just feels so much more balanced and focused on what YOU can do rather than what you can keep the other player from doing...and yes, my frost mage was a bit twinked out but I tried to only stick around in the BGs with lots of enemy twinks since I don't derive much joy from 2 shotting ungeared level 36s.
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