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Crowd Control III; The Return of the Sheep

August 2, 2010

So tanks are the people that most need to be convinced to set up situations where crowd control is used and Blizzard has failed to properly incentivise them to want do so.

What changes need to be made to crowd control and/or tanking abilities to mitigate this?

Frankly the trouble with crowd control is that it breaks on damage. The best crowd control spell in the game is banish precisely because it does not. You can banish a demon and then drop a rain of fire on top of it and the demon will not notice.

Other crowd control spells either break on any damage (e.g. polymorph) or on a certain amount of damage (e.g. Hex or Frost Trap). In the case of the latter, the amount is so minimal that it might as well not exist. Some glyphs exist to help with this but are never used in PvE because one does not pass up damage for control. With the change in Inscription and the changing model of Cataclysm this might change I suppose.

The easiest way to make crowd control a tactic that tanks are more willing to use is broaden this: Options would be to:

1) give all crowd controlled mobs immunity to all damage.
2) give all crowd controlled mobs immunity to aoe damage. Allow them to take place in the Flamestrike and ignore it. Let them only break if someone uses a single-target damaging spell.

2) give all crowd controlled mobs immunity to cleaves but not aoe. Give all tanks a rotation that does not aoe.

Of course, this would mean that people can be sloppy and takes away some of the skill the developers are trying to inculcate. To avoid this, Blizzard could:

4) Give tanks talents that make their own aoe abilities ignore cc’d mobs. This feels inelegant but would allow tanks to not worry about this while retaining the dps’ need to do so.

5) Give all tanks good single, cleave (2-4 targets) and multiple (>4 targets) target rotations that they can switch between and none of which lose core functionality. This would be the most elegant way although it would retain considerably more difficulty for tanks than the others.

Assuming 4, some specific changes I would recommend at the very minimum and all of which I think would be good in any event:

– Warriors: Add the Thunderclap debuff to a single target ability.
– Paladins: Ensure that a rotation without consecrate and Hammer is sufficient TPS on single targets.
– Bears: Give Bears a cleave replacement for glyphed Maul (I’m not yet certain what is happening to Maul in Cataclysm although we are promised radical changes).

– Death Knights: Add the Attack Power debuff to both blood strike and heart strike. Buff Blood Strike to be equal or >damage vs. Heart Strike on one target.

So, there are solutions to the Crowd Control problem. Assuming that bringing crowd control back is a good idea (and from the dps point of view I think it is) then any of these fixes would work. From what I have seen they are trying to get option 5 to work but I am currently deeply sceptical of the extent to which they have done so successfully.

Personally I think that Option 2 is the best bet. People can still make mistakes and break crowd control but only through mistargeting and not through random aoe and cleave abilities. All I know is that the current situation has serious flaws that seriously needs to be corrected.

But who knows, maybe they will do so and I’ll get to write: Crowd Control; a New Hope.

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