Amongst the patch notes for Patch 4.2, there was an interesting morsel about proposed changes to Crowd Control functionality.
The news release was a bit ago, has everyone had a chance to think about this yet?
- Crowd Control
- Many crowd control abilities no longer cause creatures to attack players when they are cast. The creature will not attack the player when the crowd control wears off, and nearby creatures will not become hostile to the player either. However, if a visible player gets too close to the target creature, the creature will remember and attack the player when the crowd control effect wears off. The intent is to make it easier for dungeon groups to manage crowd control assignments and pulling packs of hostile NPCs. The abilities affected by this change are: Hibernate, Entangling Roots, Wyvern Sting (will still cause hostility when it begins to deal damage), Freezing Trap, Polymorph, Repentance, Shackle Undead, Blind, Hex, Bind Elemental, Banish, Seduction.
This was followed by a hue and cry that momentarily baffled me. Then I remembered that people will whine about bloody well anything, so why not this too?
Reading the comments by the outraged elitist asshats, one thing seemed pretty clear to me. The outraged elitist asshats sound pretty pathetic. At their best, they’re whining like little bitches that mommy Blizz is being nice to some other kids and they don’t like it, it’s not fair.
Any time someone starts complaining about things getting changed, and the subtext of what they’re saying is that it’s not fair how easy/hard something is going to be, I just stop paying attention. Fair? Wah. Suck it up and soldier on, bitch. You don’t like it, Rift is =====> thataway.
If you have a constructive reason why you think a design change will cause issues with balance or whatever, that’s fine, but just bitching that something’s not fair? In a video game? Oh, grow the hell up.
I don’t really feel like trying to figure out how this is bad, or unfair, or whatever. I usually try to put myself in the other person’s position and understand their point of view, but on this one, I can’t be bothered. It’s a stupid thing to bitch about.
The changes to Crowd Control will only affect PvE, and it’ll streamline the mechanics of crowd control so they all affect mobs in the same way.
They won’t all CAST the same way, they won’t LOOK the same way, they won’t have the same durations. You’ll still have melee-range CC, ranged slow cast to instant activation CC, instant cast to stationary trap CC, all sorts of variety.
What is changing is how the mobs react to the player that caused the CC. That’s it. All CC mechanics that result in immobilizing a mob will take the ‘awareness’ aspect off the table.
Why is this something that changes your game? Whats this all about? Why should you even care?
I’m glad you asked. This gives me the opportunity to revisit the fundamentals of Threat.
I love talking about Threat. Why? Because so many people in the groups I see don’t seem to understand the mechanic, and those that do seem to think that this makes them special. You know, as if having read the breakdown on a website made them uber or something. Just like copying a spec, rotation and gear/stat priority off Elitist Jerks made them special.
If reading something someone else explained on the internet can make you uber, well then, by all means, let’s have all of you who read my blog be uber. Why the hell not.
The first thing to know about dealing with groups of mobs is that there is Threat and there is Awareness.
Threat is measured, with numbers, and that means you can compare it between different characters. Threat starts at zero and goes on up. Threat is developed on a mob when that mob suffers damage, or when a character the mob is aware of has damage healed, OR has abilities/stats increased through some other means such as potions/flasks. Threat from damage and Threat from healing are tied to the person that caused the damage or healing.
Awareness is not measured. Awareness is equal to a Threat of zero. A sneeze by a tank will pull aggro away from you.
You gain Awareness when you do something like walk up close to a mob. He physically sees you, and comes charging after you. You didn’t damage the mob, heal damage from yourself, or drink anything that modified/boosted your power, but the mob is coming after you anyway. That is Awareness, with a Threat value of zero.
You also gain Awareness when you generate Threat in a mob that is linked to others in a group.
Mobs can be linked to other nearby mobs, forming a group. A link means that any status change you make to one mob is communicated to the others it is linked to, regardless of YOUR proximity to the other mobs.
I will give you two examples of the difference between linked and unlinked.
When you are very high level, the range at which you’ll face pull a mob gets very small. At 85 you can wander the halls of Blackrock Depths with near impunity.
In most doorways, there will be two mobs standing guard, one on either side. If you walk up to one, you can kill it and the other won’t even see you.
In some doorways, however, the two mobs are linked. Even though you don’t face pull the other mob from physical proximity, the other mob is linked, and when you whack the one, the other comes running.
There is a hallway in BRD that has Fire Elementals lining the length of the hall in linked pairs. It’s on the way to one of the Fire Elemental bosses, where that black anvil thingie is. The mobs are very far apart, opposite sides of the hall and far out of face pull range, but when you tag one, the other is linked, and you have to run over and get it too.
So. Face pulling (physical proximity) causes Awareness. Dealing Threat or face pulling a linked mob causes Awareness in all other mobs it’s linked to.
Most forms of Crowd Control also cause Awareness. A Rogue’s Sap ability does NOT.
Right now, your Rogue can enter stealth, toss a distraction, walk up to melee range of a mob from behind or close to it, and Sap it. Doing this places the mob in a stunned/locked down state for a short period of time. No linked mobs gain Awareness, and if the Sap wears off without action from anyone else, the mob just wakes up and thinks nothing of it.
No Awareness risk at all.
Not so for other forms of Crowd Control. Sheep a mob, Drop a trap to freeze one, and that mob plus all linked mobs gain Awareness of the person that initiated the crowd control… and come running for the person. With a Threat value of zero.
Seems pretty simple, right?
Right now, you’ve got two forms of pull using Crowd Control.
You’ve got the Rogue pull, where the tank marks a Sap target, the Rogue sneaks in and Saps it at their leisure, and then the tank decides when to engage and pull the mobs away from Sap so it doesn’t get broken.
Then you’ve got the “all else” pull, where the tank marks a target and waits for a player to cast crowd control… which pulls all the rest of the mobs to HIM. The tank then intercepts the oncoming group, and if the tank doesn’t have group AoE ready, or misses one, then the poor CC caster gets a face full of mob.
Another potential challenge for the CC pulling method is Healer aggro. If the group is pulling frequently and ignoring the Healer, then you can have the Healer still topping people off when the next pull is made.
What did I say causes actual Threat? Damage done to a mob… and the mob being Aware of someone getting Healed.
I’ve seen groups where the tank and DPS are charging from mob to mob, and the Healer is isolated and alone, running after them casting heals to top up and then sitting to drink every chance they get. It’s like watching two groups, and sometimes the healer is still casting HoTs to top off people right as they’re firing off Sheep or Freezing Trap… and the mobs head in one direction, then make a 90° direction change to head for the healer instead.
Healing Threat is neat.
Damage Threat is simple; damage done to a mob is Threat on that mob. If you didn’t hit a mob, it doesn’t even know you’re there unless you hit one he’s linked to. You do a point of damage, you get a point of threat. Basically. If this is too complicated, I ain’t getting into the amount of Overthreat needed to pull aggro, or the increased Threat generation from melee DPS as opposed to ranged DPS.
Healing Threat is shared out based on Awareness. Every mob that is Aware of the Healer gets Threat built up… but it’s divided among them all. If there are ten mobs in the group and you toss the tank a heal, only the amount of damage that was actually healed causes Threat, and that Threat is divided up amongst all ten mobs. Like, say as pure example the tank took a hit for 1000 damage. You toss a Flash heal that heals for 10 million. You don’t get 10 million threat, you get 1000 threat, the amount actually healed, divided by ten mobs, for a paltry 100 threat per mob. As the mobs die, the Threat is divided up amongst fewer targets, so technically the fewer mobs, the more Threat per mob the healer generates. Of course, that is usually countered by the longer the fight goes on, the more AoE Threat the tank does.
As long as the mobs are getting hit by the Tank, or someone else.
I love that mechanic. It’s so elegant.
With this Patch 4.2 change, the tank will be able to mark a target for Crowd Control, and not have to worry that the player will fire it off immediately, pulling the group before the tank was prepared. If they fire it off early, the mob will just be CC’d. Oh well.
People are upset about this, and I just don’t get it.
I keep seeing folks saying that now people will be able to have three mobs CC’d, and just faceroll them one at a time.
Yeah? You could do that now with multiple Rogues, whats your point? Or with a Rogue and any other CC activating a pull, which is what I typically see now.
If you’re concerned that this removes your chance to show off how skilled you are in PUGs, let me put that notion to rest, maynard.
I have yet to see anyone chain trap in a normal pug. I have yet to see anyone offer to perform a Misdirect pull on a mob to a tank out of line of sight in a normal pug. I have yet to see any of the CC/DPS juggling that was the heart and soul of doing Moroes in Karazhan, or in Shattered Halls for that matter.
If you think you have these amazing Crowd Control skills, then I am sure you will still have your chance to display them in your heroic pugs. Most players show no sign of ever having HEARD of kiting up to and including level 85 normals. If you break that shit out, you’ll have jaws dropping all over the room.
I can’t even imagine what kind of reaction you’d get if you offered to Misdirect pull onto the LOS tank while having a dropped trap ready to grab the leader at the corner. Someone might Youtube it, and post it with a caption, “SKILL NOT DEAD YET”.
Have I just been playing this game for too long? Have I become the grumpy old man that screams at the young punks whining about their iPhones and Androids that back in my day we had two tin cans and a piece of string, and we didn’t even get new string, we had to cut it off the package of meat dad got at the butchers?
Just, WTF. This is really what you’ve got to bitch about?
I bet there’s a thread somewhere that Rogues are bitching that now nobody will want to use them because they will be the only class that has to get to melee range to use CC.
You know, bitching that now they are the only class that has to show skill, and why can’t they get THEIR game dumbed down, it’s not fair!
Grrr, just grrr.