There is a Picture of a Kitten in This Post

Big Bear’s all pondering the future and stuff:

So, let’s accept that if Blizzard wants to, all your fancy gear isn’t going to change the fact that they can make you learn CC to advance.

Suppose that this brave world was here. Now.

Would you be ready?

How many of you remember how to use crowd control effectively? How many of you understand the new diminishing returns rules for Crowd Control?

My answer, of course, is hell yes. I am a mage, born in the darkness of vanilla, forged in the flames of TBC, tempered in the cold of Northrend. I have five different polymorph macros, ranging in use from one shot BG polys to chain cast focus polys to macros meant specifically for mind controlled raid members.

Even my paladin features repentance/HoJ/TE macros, and my hunter has multiple scatter shot/trap/silencing shot macros for any situation. Chain trapping mobs is easy, I can chain trap players (well, as much as one can). Bring back the required CC, I am more than ready, I am-

PvPers, please refrain from cheating on this

Aww. :(

The real question isn’t really if we’re ready for the return of required CC…

Would you really be happy with the return of CC?

That is the real question.

Consider that, technically, we have had nearly an entire expansion where CC is pretty much never needed. The first things I ever saw CC used for was in Ulduar, and even then, that was only trash leading up to Freya and General Yarrg… gerbil… saronite cloud lobster man. (I can’t remember his name, so sue me.) Since Ulduar… really nothing. A couple pulls in ICC, maybe.

Point is, CC has been so rare it is literally a single encounter per raid tier, instead of the majority of pulls.

By the time Cataclysm hits, we’re going to have spent something around two years with CC being a whimsical luxury that only true enthusiasts ever use. Like, say, hot air balloons.

If you’re reading this blog, chances are pretty damn good you are as ready for the return of CC as I am. Or don’t play WoW at all, in which case here is a picture of a kitten:

But consider the quality of people in LFG. I know this might sound like standard DPS bashing, but really consider it. How many dungeon runs do you honestly go on where you encounter clueless, brainless DPS? The majority aren’t.

Now consider if CC was required again. How would the random dungeon runners respond to that?

The people in the random dungeon queue are incredibly diverse. Some are clueless, “gogogo” spamming asshats in full tier 9 with absolutely no clue how to play their class. Some will absolutely blow you away with their sheer skill and complete awesome. Most of us fall between these two extremes.

Will required CC be drowned in a sea of QQ? Well, somewhat, but not so much a sea as a lake. Those of us who are competent will simply incorporate CC into the challenges we already face. Required CC will simply join the ranks of “don’t stand in black clouds”, “run away from the giant purple stuff” and “don’t stand in front of bosses with cone attacks”.

To use arbitrary terms, the “skilled” will take this challenge, respond to it, and succeed. The “unskilled” morons that supposedly plague LFG will not rise to the challenge, and will instead fail.

I, for one, don’t really see how this is a particularly bad thing. In fact, I think it meshes perfectly with Blizzard’s stated design goals, namely that whole “reward the skilled” thing.

Plenty of new class mechanics, the new healing changes, the changes to PvP, are all pushing in the same direction. Blizzard wants to reward thought, tactics, strategy, actual class knowledge and skill. They want to get away from mindless play with a focus on reflexes.

What they want, in short, is for every class to behave in the same vein as DKs and arcane mages behaved in the early days of Wrath.

Any brainless peon could pick up either of those classes, push random buttons and see passable results. Thing is, the better you were, the better results you saw. Blizzard wants this to be true of everyone.

Hence, the return of CC is merely a continuation of this principle.

The skilled will see a required CC pull, and master it, one way or another. The unskilled will not, they will simply perish, blame the tank/healer/dps, and we will laugh at them as we always have.

As an interesting tangent to that…

If CC becomes required for 5man instances, than pretty much every class is going to need reliable CC, aren’t they? Quite possibly against multiple types of mobs too.

A fair number of classes already do, but there are a few gaping holes. Fear, for example, is unreliable at absolute best in most PvE situations. Will this force smarter pulling, or will fear be changed to remove the pathing RNG?

Consider also that warriors have no reliable CC whatsoever. They’re probably going to need something, Intimidating Shout is the best place to do it, and why not fix fear at the same time?

It’s also likely that certain CCs will be extended in their range of viable targets. I could see a Paladin’s Turn Evil becoming simply Turn, and thus working on, say, dragonkin and humanoids in addition to what it currently does. Polymorph could be extended to undead and elementals. And so forth.

It would be really weird, don’t you think, for a mage to be a perfect CC class to bring to Dungeon X, but utterly useless in Dungeon Y, wouldn’t it?

Then again, that’s pretty much exactly what I currently do as a ret paladin. As a swinging sword of retribution, all I do in most dungeons is kill stuff. But turn me loose in, say, HoR, and I become a god. Fear one mob, repent another, easily halving the strength of any given wave, then unleashing automatic crits and undead-only stuns into what’s left.

My mage, by comparison, offers nothing but raw damage output on those pulls.

Another random tangent.

WoW is, well, user accessible, to use a polite term. It is an easy game to get into. Bright, shiny colors, ridiculously friendly interface (compared to other games? uh, yeah, yeah it is), and actually extremely good tutorials/tips compared to what most other MMOs offer (usually nothing beyond “this button does this”, if that).

If required CC makes a comeback, how are we going to know?

By that I mean, how are we going to know if a pull needs CC unless we wipe to it first?

Unless we’re going to wipe to every required CC pull at least once, chances are pretty good Blizzard is going to gently nudge us into what to CC.

Consider how we usually define the kill target/CC target. Someone who knows whats up marks everything. What if Blizzard marks everything for us?

Not explicitly, I mean. What if we have a pull with, say, a mob that quite obviously is a dangerous caster, another that is quite obviously a healer, and so forth.

This is what we had back in TBC. Mobs that could heal actually looked like paladins or priests, or were even flat out called “Priest”. Dangerous casters looked the part, heavy hitting melee attackers were called things like “Reavers” and carried massive fuck off swords and axes. Mobs with “Summoner” in their name tended to summon things, “Axe Throwers” threw axes.

Will we see a return of conveniently labeled instance mobs? Or, really, did they ever go away?

I’m racking my brain, but honestly I cannot really remember of any heroic dungeon mobs ever had logical names. I know Nexus had casters in stereotypical priest robes called “clerics”, but I don’t remember much from there…

Besides, those guys were never a challenge. Their healing was so ineffective we could pretty much ignore it and steamroll them all no matter our gear level.

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25 Responses to There is a Picture of a Kitten in This Post

  1. Saresa says:

    “It would be really weird, don’t you think, for a mage to be a perfect CC class to bring to Dungeon X, but utterly useless in Dungeon Y, wouldn’t it?”

    I remember running various instances in BC as a Warlock, and generally being not welcome if they had to choose between myself and a Mage, because my CC was inferior.

    Unless that run was Mechanar. I could CC that run single handedly while the rest of the party had a nap.

    If Blizzard bring back CC, I’ll be the first one to jump around and cheer. I’ll be ecstatic! (even if CCing has always gimped a Warlock’s DPS a stupid amount) I think it will be a hell of a learning curve for some people though. And I think they’ll need to un-break a lot of CC to make sure that people can do it effectively.

    Although chain seducing, I will admit, was never my idea of a good time. I suffer from sheep jealousy!

    • Pike says:

      Mechanar with my warlock boyfriend was always HILARIOUS. He would control that little demon thing and we’d clear out tons of packs of mobs.

    • Euripedes says:

      For a return of mandatory CC in heroics, at the very least every class that can DPS would need a reliable CC, preferably every spec too.

      All shamans can hex, for instance, so just reduce the cooldown on that drastically (or remove it outright) and now shamans are perfectly reliable CCers.

      Take DKs though. What CC do they have? Godly control for PvP, but that doesn’t translate nearly as well into an instance. Frost Knights can freeze everything around them, so what if they lengthened the duration of that and lowered the cooldown? Decent CC for the DK!
      Unholy Knights wouldn’t have it though, unless they made it base line…

      Could be interesting, say a group of DK/hunter/mage. Mage sheeps something. DK grips another, freezing it when it lands, safely away from the party and any AoE. Hunter traps another thing somewhere else again.
      Everyone goes to town on the remaining mobs.

      PvP, of course, would be a whole different beast if every class had a reliable CC to use.

      • DarthRegis says:

        My “solution” to the CC PvP implications – make some/all of them like the FailLock’s Curse of Doom. Can’t be cast on other players.

        Problem solved!

        *does genius dance*

  2. gnomeaggedon says:

    /looks about

    Fiction?

    Must be…

    Whatever it is, it is good.. kinda feels like home… a new home, new furniture, new header image and a tag that many may miss, but I get a chuckle from.

    Fear was always situational CC… but I remember one run of Shattered Halls, where fear saved us perfectly from a wipe… of course we did other crazy stuff, like pull back rather than charging forward… whatever were we thinking?

    There are time I would trade my sheep for Saresa’s seducing succubus.. but that’s usually just late at night.

    • Azryu says:

      Just what I was thinking! Perhaps this is just a residual charge of QQ that he still had built up when jumping ship and coming here, and isn’t a indicator of what is to come.

      Here’s to hoping the residual charge sporatically shows up, I always enjoy a good dose of QQ.

    • Euripedes says:

      It might be an indicator! It might not be though.
      It isn’t easy to just outright quit the blogosphere, so any thoughts I have that break about, say, 500 words will probably become a blog post of some sort.

  3. Diminishing Returns only applies in PVE settings to encounters where it is specifically applied by Blizzard – to date, the only one I can think of is Faction Champions (though Priestess Delrissa may have had them enabled too).

    So yeah. :P

    And no, I’d absolutely not like to return to mandatory CC. Can I do it? Absolutely. Is it a pain in the nuts trying to prove that I can so I can do stuff like Heroic Magister’s Terrace when that was actually challenging content? God damn right it was, and I’m not interested in essentially having to audition for a heroic spot.

    Plus, Traps are the most god-awful crowd control in the fucking game.

    • Euripedes says:

      Shared DRs are entirely arbitrary anyway.
      I don’t really think that Blizzard would force non-PvPers to learn PvP principles… but… then again… faction champs…

      On another note, I always thought it was a little odd that hunters got the hardest to use CC in the game, but rather than make it easier to use, hunters simply possess various tools that work around a trap’s limitations.
      Distracting Shot, Feign Death, etc.

      Was I the only one that thought Freezing Arrow would be a Freezing Trap that you could use just like a polymorph? Target a mob, hit freezing arrow, and behold for they are trapped in a block of ice.

      Maybe Trap Launcher will do that, finally. (Probably not.)

      • It won’t. It merely makes your next trap work like Freezing Arrow – which, of course, is being removed.

        So, in essence, Freezing Arrow is getting WORSE, since Trap Launcher has a minute cooldown and Freezing Arrow currently has a 30 second cooldown.

  4. Chu says:

    To emphasize cc, one would have to disincentivize dps. Why would moronic players waste gcd’s to cc when they can spam dps and subsequently blame the tank or healer if the pull fails?

    Think Shadow Labrynth before T5 gear with the 6-7 pulls after the first boss.

    • Euripedes says:

      Endlessly wiping because you aren’t using CC seems like more than enough incentive to use it.
      Die and deal big numbers, or live and do some CC? Easy choice.

      The type of people who’d just spam buttons, then blame the tank/healer/other dps when things go to hell, there’s really nothing that can get them to use CC consistently, unless you give them a gold star every time they do (ten gold stars gets you a daily quest’s worth of gold! ugh).

  5. DarthRegis says:

    That was my thoughts on the return of CC – if Blizz’s theory on their game has morphed into “Bring the player, not the class,” then they are going to have to broaden the capabilities of many classes. (Which we have seen some of, ie: “Time Warp”. Take that, shamans!)

    So that would have to extend to CC abilities, as well. Heaven forbid you hop into the Random Dungeon Finder and then get punted from a group. “Sorry, Magey McMage – this instance is full of only dragonkin. PFO.”

    • Euripedes says:

      Exactly.

      Say, if there’s a dungeon that has only dragonkin, you have a paladin tank and a priest healer of some sort, and the DPS is, say, two warriors and a mage, that instance is going to be impossible to complete.
      There is absolutely no way Blizzard would do it that way. I can see some classes, like DKs and warriors, being shafted in the spammable CC area, but most are going to need reliable ways to CC a huge variety of mob types (or outright remove differing mob types from the game) if they expect to actually bring CC back.

      • DarthRegis says:

        Another solution is to have different mob types in the same pull. Which conveniently could be also used for a bad joke.

        “So, a zombie, a dragonkin, and a man are chatting in a hallway of an ominous fortress belonging to Blackwing…”

  6. Delerius says:

    Personally, what I want to see with this mandatory CC.. is mandatory CC. It needs to be designed in such a way that you can’t brute-force it even at the end of the expansion.

    I’m thinking something along the lines of Devourer of Souls/Mirror Image. All damage is reflected to you unless that other mob is cc’ed. You can’t kill it fast enough, you’ll just kill yourself. There are other ways to do it, this is just one of my ideas.

    There also needs to be a better way to convince people to CC, more of a reward. Right now, if you brute-force it you are “rewarded” with a more impressive damage meter. There isn’t really a way to measure how well you CC, no intangible reward behind it. Unless every player suddenly has a change of perspective once Cataclysm comes out, Blizzard will need to encourage CC rather than force. If that makes any sense.

    • Euripedes says:

      Bear’s example had something like this:

      You have two mobs.
      One of them stacks a bleed effect, and deals massively increased damage to any player that is poisoned.
      The other stacks a poison effect, and deals massively increased damage to any player that is bleeding.

      The result being that if both are hitting the same tank, that tank will be taking a dirt nap in under ten seconds, no matter how many cooldowns the tank/healer blows.
      Throw in another mob that alternates between spamming heals on the first two and mana burning the healer, and you have a bona fide required CC pull.

  7. Zuragorvis/Anvilmar Horde says:

    Good article. Why couldn’t you have written this at critical qq? Why did you change? Does this go back to your article about intentionally decreasing your readership? You only want to keep your readers that like the Arkenheart story? Well, I enjoyed the story, followed you here, and found… the same thing, different url. In a way I’m glad, because I like the WoW commentary as wel.

    In response to the actual story… I was never more excited than the day I learned that shamans were getting hex. (I’ll get invite to heroics while not in resto spec! Awesome!) Imagine how you felt when you read about Time Warp… the feeling was similar. How many times did I end up using hex in Wrath? Not sure. Faction champs a few times maybe? (Yes , I’m a pve carebear, only done a few bgs in Wrath. Sue me.) But I like the idea of needing cc for instances. I agree that limiting cc to race types (beast, undead, humanoid, etc.) is poorly designed. I also like the idea that different types of cc can define a class. Leave mages with poly, it’s class defining. Rogue sap is perfect.. similar effect but must be used out of combat and stealthed. A good chain-trapping hunter is awesome to watch. Hex…. is a weak polymorph, and not as fun. Banish is polymorph for elementals. Priest shackle is polymorph for undead. Seduce is polymorph with humanoids. Give us something unique. Make our cc just as effective but a different mechanic. I like, for shamans anyway, giving us Earthquake from wc3 and letting it do something like decrease cast time by 50-75%. Then we wouldn’t be able to take 1 out of comission at all, but could halve the effect of all casters in a small circle. This is just brainstorming.. the solution could be anything, just not “weaker polymorph.”

    What I’m dreaming about is a scenario that a pack of mobs could be taken by any 5man group, but with different tactics based on the group makeup. Mage in the group? Poly the most threatening mob. Druid/DK combo in the group? Root the melee and deathgrip caster. New improved shammy with earthquake in group? Burn melee while casters do half damage. Priest in group? MC the healer. Bad programming would be, “can’t use polymorph or hex on undead.. guess we’re screwed.” I think it’s OK for CC types to be ineffective on certain mob classes (ex melee, caster, healer) but not OK for it to be ineffective agains certain races, provided most pulls have a mix of classes. (As a tangent, I think all tpyes of cc need limitations of some sort. Polymorph longer duration vs melee, and sap longer duration vs casters? Brainstorming again.) This falls into “bring player not class” philosophy AND improves replayability of dungeons, as doing them with a different group makeup may provide different challenges.

    • Euripedes says:

      An excellent idea.

      Add even more effects like that. Elemental shamans unload earthquake, which, say, brings a caster from casting a spell in 1.5 seconds to 3 seconds. Something horribly brutal that doesn’t quite shut down enemy casters, but turns them from a lethal threat to a mild, easily handled annoyance.

      Meanwhile, enhance shammies toss out earth shocks that drastically reduce the melee effectiveness of opposing mobs, say, reducing their chance to hit/damage dealt/attack speed, or all of the above.

      You’d still have stuff like Hex and Grounding Totem too.

      Creative handling of pulls is definitely better than everyone having polymorph, that’s for sure.

  8. Blackthought says:

    Warrior CC Needs to be called “Chin Check”.

    Essentially it can be a “knock out” punch that knocks a target down for x amount of time.
    Please don’t mess with my AWESOME BG caster breaker upper that is Intimidating Shout. I quite literally base a lot of my “line moving” in AV and such around this ability. And nothing saves my healer from 2 rogues like intimidating shout.

    Nothing moves a wall of ally more effectively than charging a group of caster/healers in the back of a group and hitting my fear bomb, the utility it gives in PvP is only matched by it’s utter uselessness in PvE.

    I think only 1-2 times in my ENTIRE wow experience has intimidating shout saved my group from a wipe.

    I like the idea of CC being mandatory though, it takes a focus off of just straight PEW PEW and requires more than 1-2 buttons to accomplish a respectable rotation.

    I like the idea of NOT CCing leading to your death 100% of the time. Perhaps you could have mobs become enraged if all of their counterparts are NOT CC’d.

    • Euripedes says:

      Remember those giants in Oculus that deal increased damage when more giants are around? What if you had, say, four mobs, and all of them give each other a stacking 100% damage buff. However, CC the mob, no buff. And, of course, the buff doesn’t benefit itself.

      Fight all four at once, and all four are dealing 300% damage. Fight only one, CC the other two, and it isn’t dealing any extra damage at all.

  9. River says:

    I look forward to the days where CC is needed again. With everything being taken away from us mages it will be good to get something back.

  10. SpiritusRex says:

    My personal opinion is that rather than an either/or type situation, I would like a use it if you can approach – don’t make it a necessity (a la BC), but let it be an option. For instance, if you are a skilled player and can use effective CC than the run becomes not faceroll easy, but easier than if a player does not. It seems to me that Blizz has kind of taken the two extremes without considering the middle.

    The irony of this post is pretty amazing as yesterday I was in a daily random heroic and a spriest was not controlling his aggro. Being the nice guy that I try to be, I shift to my right, drop a frost trap and save his/her ass. Immediately after, the spriest says to me, “What was that you just did?” “Uhm, a frost trap?,” I replied. The response, “That was pretty cool. Never saw anybody use one of those.” Ugh.

  11. Jujee says:

    Finally the polymporph cat, penguin, rabbit, turtle and of course the sheep gets to be used!

  12. Melissa says:

    Actually, I’d be fine with it. In fact, I prefer to CC a ranged on my pally in HoR rather than hiding in a corner.

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