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Community Spotlight: The Death of Crowd Control?

Posted by MikeB Friday December 3 2010 at 12:18PM
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This week’s Community Spotlight focuses on the thread “Crowd control? A thing of the past?” by Averros. Averros uses his thread to comment on the state of crowd control (or lack of) in MMOs today:

 “I have noticed that very few games have crowd control anymore..... my favorite class in EQ1 was the enchanter.... EQ2 the Coercer, hell even CoX I LOVED Controllers. What has happened to this in games. I enjoyed this mechanic for the strategy of groups. Now it is simply Healer, Tank, DPS. Does anyone else miss this type of mechanic?

If you know of a newer game (Other than EQ2) that has crowd control, please list it here. I would be happy to find a game again that has the CC classes!”

How does the community feel about the state of crowd control? Read below to find out!

Ajrock622 has a number of thoughts to share on the topic:

“I miss the days of Daoc sitting watching your group die while you stood mezzed/rooted/stunned but it was so much fun when you were on the other side.

You have a point in my opinion. However you can't really deny they still exists Warhammer has knockdowns, roots, and knockbacks. WoW has roots and stuns. Aoins has Asians? Even Eve has electronic weaponry.

Developers seem to be moving towards less fight changing CC (shorter durations unlike 1 min single target mezzes of Daoc). Especially in PvP. I always liked how single target spells lasted tons longer than AoE ones in Dark Age and that you could also spend points into ways to offest the time it lasted on you.

I think the biggest problem facing crowd controll is immunity timers. Finding the right length of time so someone can't stunlock you is at the front of the list. Gone are the days when you could keep someone locked down for more than 20 seconds but with it went being interupted if a melee looked at you when you were casting. Pre-kiting and combat kiting was an artform. Nothing was more frustrating than being locked down not being able to cast except once every 30 seconds as a caster. When WoW came out and you only got set back a half second or less when being swung at I thought it was overpowered as Warlocks.

The point is you are correct in the fact that CC classes no longer exist. Healers have to be able to do damage or they are gimp and everyone needs to have a self heal these days.”

Wizardry wonders why people like crowd control in the first place:

“I have to ask why so many like crowd control?If i was a puller and made a bad pull,shoudl i be rewarded with having skills that can make my bad skills mute?Personally i never liked the massive mob scenario,i prefer 1-3 at most with controlled combat,any more is unrealistic ,your tank should be dead fast if fighting 6+ strong mobs.

If you make a bad pull or draw unwanted aggro,then it should be up to your groups fast thinking skills to help you survive,it shouldn't be a mez everything and your safe routine.IDK maybe it is just me ,but i like the challenge of a skillful game,i don't like easy out mechanics.

Thing of the past?I doubt it ,there is always some old school dev out there ,from Eq days ,thinks it should be in there.IMO i would rather not see it at all.”

Chile267 also laments the lack of dedicated crowd control classes in contemporary MMOs:

“I loved my Controller in COH. He was an Earth controller with Wind as his secondary. I would place a rock formation AOE around all mobs in a certain radius as a hold. Then I would put Volcanic Gases AOE in center of them which was a choke+Dmg. I would add in an Earthquack AOE for knockdown. The boss I would keep held with a Fossel hold. While the tank tanked and everyone else blasted away. I also had a Hurrican around myself (secondary Wind powers) which I buffed with Target + ToHit Debuffs so any mob held in place that fired ranged at me would miss most of the time, and if they broke out and ran to me the Hurrican would push back and then do knockback.

Controllers are fun and part of any good MMO. I do wish they had more controllers like COH style, unfortunalty the end game and repeated mission of COH wore on me after a bit and I left. I still think COH had the best controllers.”

Dedicated crowd control classes aren’t on the class roster for many new games due to the fact that CC in general is viewed negatively these days. Most players don’t like to lose control of their characters and so the role of CC in MMOs has eroded over time. I was never a fan of pure crowd control clasess, but then again I’m not often a fan of pure anything, I prefer hybrids. To use City of Heroes as an example, I much prefer the Dominator to the Controller. The Dominator can lock things down just as well but can also really lay waste to his enemies. I’m pretty sure the days of mass-mezzing a whole warbands worth of people at once are over forever.

What are your thoughts on the state of crowd control/crowd control classes? Share ‘em with us in the comments below!