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Crowd Control in Pantheon

    • 367 posts
    December 8, 2018 10:30 PM PST

    Crowd Control in Pantheon

    One of the things about Pantheon that kept coming up to me was how unfamiliar a lot of people are with the Support/Control archetype or better known in the group as the crowd control class. The group role was made popular in the game Everquest within the Enchanter and Bard classes but has its underpinnings in previous RPGs before it to include Dungeons & Dragons. The class type in D&D was better known as a specialist Wizard who focused primarily in Illusion, Enchantment, Transmutation and or Abjuration.

    The focus of the role is to provide not just crowd control but also Support through performance based buffs such as Hastes, Damage Absorption Shieldings, Mana Regeneration and Resistance Buffs. They also provide debuffs such as Melee Slows, Attribute Reduction Cripples, Potent Dispels and Resistance Reductions. That’s where the ‘Support’ designation comes from.

    However, the primary purpose of this post is to go over crowd control, the categories of it, the purposes and which classes have which type. Because other classes and archetypes within Pantheon have their forms of crowd control, I decided to list the entirety within Pantheon to give players an idea of what their class may be capable of.

    Within the listing I detailed the categories in order of most to least effective by using a value assessment rubric below for each of the crowd control abilities in Pantheon. They’re as follows...

    Function - Does this ability only stop movement or also actions?

    Type Restriction - Is the mob type immune to this effect?

    Duration - How long does said effect last?

    Recast - Can this ability be recast numerous times?

    Cast Time - How long does it take to use said ability?

    Number - How many mobs can be affected by singular use? (Area effect)

    Cost - How expensive is this ability and can it be maintained by your class depending on how many targets you plan to control?

    Involvement - Does this require your class to stop using its primary function in the group to cover this role?

    Resistance - How resistible is this ability or able to be ignored by your target?

    Risk - Does this ability create more risk than what you were already in?

    With the above detailed, there are numerous caveats to what constitutes crowd control and its apparent usefulness. With encounters in a game like Everquest you can have anywhere from one to upwards of fifteen adds, any of which can wipe the floor with an unsuspecting player. It’s not just numbers but you also have to account for the types of mobs and combat dynamics within the game in question. MMORPGs after 2002 have moved to a concept of weakening mobs or encounters so they're able to be tackled by a solo player more easily. This would mean that ease of content follows through into the group dynamic. Because of that, the concept of a crowd control class or crowd control in general within that type of game is largely unimportant. With Pantheon, it seems individual mobs are a dire threat and should be treated appropriately. For this reason, the need for crowd control will be more vital than ever.

    Some uses are viable whereas others are less so. Pantheon is not only looking to add a more complicated AI than in previous MMORPGs to include Everquest, but the mobs in question will have far more uses to include ranged melee attacks, spells to include area of effect abilities, methods to break from said crowd control if allowed to act, etc. Let's go over each category in question and their use in Pantheon.


    Ability Functions: By Order of Descending Value

    Pacify Effect:

    These abilities prevent a mob from aggroing from another through chain aggro when something is pulled or aggroed by vicinity. This isn't technically considered crowd control but in the rough sense, much like Monk FD pulling, it has the effect of limiting the number of mobs you bring to you or your group. Although it’s considered the safest approach, some mobs may be grouped too close together and the effective range of the spell isn’t enough to allow the option to split pull. The limitations are the effective range of the pacify, if it can be resisted, the duration and requiring that class to move to within use or casting range.

    Banish Effect:

    These can vary from game to game. Typically reserved to summoned or elemental types. These abilities act by destroying a target completely thus removing it from the fight. This type of ability isn't listed in Pantheon thus far, however, we still may see it in some iteration. This type of ability requires a very heavy limitation for balancing reasons. Typically the limitations are the relatively small chance of it working, high costs or high recast time.

    Mesmerize Effect:

    The bread and butter of crowd control. These spells typically have a long duration. They not only stop a target in its tracks, it also prevents all actions and can be used in close quarters combat. The limitations are typically that they can be broken by taking damage, target type limitation, resistance and resource cost. For unresistable variants, you typically replace resistance limitation with a long recast time in its place.

    Charm Effect:

    This not only acts as a mesmerize for a singular target removing it from the fight but also turns that target into an ally allowing you complete control over it. You can make it stand still, move somewhere else or use it to attack your target. The latter is usually what players use as it also aids a group in damage by a good margin. Limitations are typically in resistance, resource cost, random duration, increased threat risk of aggro on the caster and only affecting a single target.

    Berserk Effect:

    This is a less frequently used ability type in various MMORPGs, but going by previous rulesets, this has the effect of a limited, short duration ability that not only pulls a target out of combat much like mesmerize and charm, but it then engages randomly on the closest non-mezzed target to aid the group in damage. This ability is typically a short and set (rarely random) duration. It has and can either generate or not generate aggro to the caster on break. Limitations are duration, limited number of targets at a time and possible recast time.

    Root Effect:

    One of the most heavily used types of crowd control in most all MMORPGs and completely dependent on the type of mobs, combat dynamics and the limitations therein. The spell effect means to lock a target in place but does not prevent actions or abilities. You have to deal with positioning the group away from this mob when rooted and account for if that mob can or can't still use abilities that can either attack you or break free. It's also useless in tight quarters-fighting as with multiples rooted, there's little area to stand without being attacked. Then you have to account for the fact that roots are typically a random duration hold. It's these reasons I typically value roots or snares in Pantheon less so than in the original Everquest due to the direction Pantheon is going with crowd control, mob AI and the situational crowd control nullifying dynamics (being able to break free from a root or snare). The strength in root abilities are that they can take damage with only a chance of that damage breaking the hold as opposed to mesmerize abilities and the classes that can reduce Magic resistance are able to extend the possible random duration to its maximum. Limitations as stipulated above are random break, allows mob to attack and resistance.

    Stun Effect:

    Stuns are almost always a very short duration action and movement restriction. They aren't normally used as crowd control because of their general short duration and long recast. That target does however remain stunned while taking damage. There are rare events where stuns have been used as a means of solid crowd control. This requires successive use by using earlier forms of said stun ability or that ability by numerous others with that capability creating a chain stun if timed properly. The most effective of these mechanics was in Everquest where two or three Enchanters could keep dozens to even a hundred mobs locked in a point blank area effect (PBAE) stun web for anywhere from 3-10 minutes depending on how long their mana could last. This was the culmination of 'The AE Group' popularized in the that same game. Limitations are typically recast, duration and mob type restrictions.

    Offtank Effect:

    This isn’t an actual ability but instead a dynamic using a particular class designed for tanking purposes. This is done by that Tank or player generating aggro or grabbing the attention of a particular mob and tanking it separately. While somewhat effective, this creates a major issue for group efficiency as not only is partial damage redirected lengthening time for mobs to die, you also increase the amount of healing required from the group’s Healer or Healers. This style is more commonly used within a raid setting due to raid targets being immune to most common forms of crowd control. Limitations are in group damage being partially spread out and massive increase in required healing.

    Knockdown Effect:

    Similar to stuns but varies heavily in form and function from MMORPG to MMORPG. Typically the knockdown is in effect no different than a stun ability with the added effect of an animation showing them knocked to the floor. Another thing seen within this ability is an added vulnerability to affected mob. It has the same limitations as stun but where it's usually not in such a form that’s as easily abused as stuns are. You typically won’t see knockdowns used in successive fashion like you would a stun to keep a target on the ground permanently. Limitations are typically recast, duration and mob type restrictions.

    Wall Effect:

    Not often seen in many MMORPGs, this uses a physical emplacement to restrict movement of a mob or mobs. The variations are by use a physical wall or static restrictive barrier or that of an entity that engages and restricts passage of a target usually by an entity under an arbitrary ruleset or aggro. Both of these usually have a set health value that's used in the case that the mobs in question are not permitted travel. The variations that involve a literal wall requires placement prior to engagement or in tactical use during an incoming pull of mobs. Those that act as an entity that engages a target may be used during the fight. For a wall, the limitations are that you can't use this function as effectively during combat, dependency on bottlenecks, complicated emplacement mechanics, wall health and recast. For the entity, the limitations are in limitations to a single target, recast, duration and entity health.

    Snare Effect:

    Snares are very similar to roots in that their function is based around impeding movement, albeit not completely. Instead of rooting a target in place, a snare impedes their movement speed slowing them down by a percentage usually designated in the spell description. This isn’t typically used as a form of crowd control unless you have a large amount of room to make use of this ability. This leads to a combat style known as ‘Kiting’ in which you run with your targets following after you. When snared, this method is relatively effective as long as you maintain that aggro. However, while it has that effect, it doesn’t stop that target from casting spells or using ranged abilities. It can still attack your groupmates and aid its allies unless pulled far enough away from them. Additional abilities may be used in conjunction with snare such as fear which leads to a popular combat dynamic called ‘Fear-Kiting’ in which now that target is running away slowly. It has a strength over root in that the durations are typically set and not random. The limitations are that it’s ineffective without a lot of space, allows mob to attack and is only effective with a higher effect percentage.

    Fear Effect:

    Fear as was stipulated in the snare category allows you to instill in your target a condition that causes them to run away from you. During this time, they will follow either a set or random pathing selection. This is typically a very poor use of crowd control due to the issue of that target chain aggroing everything hostile to you or your group it comes in contact with or if those mobs share its faction. This can be certain death within any dungeon or location where risk is a condition. The spell or ability typically has a somewhat short duration that may break randomly between either immediately after cast to upwards of 18 or more seconds in most games. Limitations are the risk of additional aggro, mob type limitations and random duration.

    Memory Wipe Effect:

    This ability isn’t typically found in most MMORPGs for the sole reason that it affects mob AI and combat functions. In a way it’s treated a bit like a console command in terms of how it can be used. Not to be confused with spells that decrease aggro, a memory wipe in this sense erases all aggro done by everything and everyone at all times ever to that target and rewrites the AI back to passive state as it was before being aggroed. It’s typically not used as a form of crowd control as it’s often used in conjunction with others for a more effective result. One example is to root a target in place, then if far enough outside of aggro range, you use memory wipe on it, it will then remove everything from its hate list and upon root break will return to spawn. The effect is typically a percentage chance anywhere from 10% to 60%. Another method is to root a target, use a pacify spell then memory wipe it so you don’t have to move out of range. It can also be used on a target running towards you as well as a multitude of other uses. Limitations are that it’s usually dependent on method that halts movement and percentage chance of success.

    Knockback Effect:

    Somewhat similar to knockdown but instead of a stun element, it creates a distance for your target or targets from you or other players. The time to close in on you or those players is the determinant on the function as a crowd control ability. Some games will have varying ranges, number of targets or even introduce a stun element to the effect. It’s this reason the effect strains to be included as an actual crowd control ability. This can be used in conjunction with snare or a well timed wall. The limitations are effective range, distance being the only attribution to crowd control and the inability to use it in quick succession.

    Blind Effect:

    Blind is one of those spells which has a host of functions in various games or MMORPGs. They can be anywhere from combat or performance reduction or mitigating abilities or can actually blind that target causing them to run around aimlessly. In Everquest, the function blinded your target which would then run around aimlessly unless a player is within melee range of it. For this description we’ll use that function. This was used as a means for other classes to exceed the aggro of their tank as long as the blind held. This can be used in conjunction with snare in much the same way fear works. Limitations are usually in risk of additional aggro, mob type limitations, random duration and requiring that no player is within range of target upon use.

     

    Listings: By Order of Descending Value Within Order of Descending Value

    Below are a listing of every current crowd control ability in Pantheon according to the class pages and updated against the Pre-Alpha 4 tooltips. These abilities and their values are subject to change numerous times or be removed entirely before the game is released in its final iteration. As more abilities are added, removed or altered, I will make changes to this sheet where appropriate.

    [Durations unknown are annotated as ‘unknown’]

    Pacify Effect:

    - Enchanter: Control Breath - Single target, long duration, short recast pacify.

    - Shaman: Headwinds - Single target, medium duration, short recast pacify.

    - Cleric: Edict of Stillness - Single target, short duration, short recast pacify.

    - Ranger: Ladwen's Whisper - Unknown target, unknown duration, unknown recast pacify. Animals only.

     

    Banish Effect:

    No class listing availability.

     

    Mesmerize Effect:

    - Enchanter: Fascinate - Targeted area effect, long duration, unknown recast mesmerize.

    - Enchanter: Mesmerize - Single target, long duration, short recast mesmerize.

    - Enchanter: Enrapture - Single target, fast cast, long duration, long recast, unresistable mesmerize.

    - Rogue: Smoke and Mirrors - Single target, medium duration, medium recast mesmerize. Requires 75% of Endurance.

    - Rogue: Sleeping Powder - Point blank area effect, medium duration, unknown recast mesmerize. The Rogue is also put to sleep for this duration.

    - Enchanter: Foolish Fire - Single target, long duration, unknown recast mesmerize. Target flees during process.

    - Paladin: Knight's Persuasion - Single target, medium duration, unknown recast, situational mesmerize. Random chance.

    - Ranger: Kaylen's Command - Single target, medium duration, unknown recast mesmerize. Animals only.

     

    Charm Effect:

    - Enchanter: Dire Charm - Single target, long duration, unknown recast charm. Small random chance of duration becoming permanent.

    - Enchanter: Charm - Single target, long duration, unknown recast charm.

     

    Berserk Effect:

    - Enchanter: Shock and Awe - Single target, unknown set duration, unknown recast confuse. (Does not require pet controls)

    - Cleric: White Light - Single target, unknown set duration, unknown recast confuse. Undead only. Confused undead target attacks only other undead. (Does not require pet controls)

     

    Root Effect:

    - Wizard: Arcane Shackles - Single target, long duration, medium recast root.

    - Druid: Rockvine Tangle - Single target, medium duration, short recast root.

    - Summoner: Shifting Stones - Short/Medium duration pet based root. Random chance.

    - Dire Lord: Leaden Blood - Single target, very short duration, long recast root. After effect from initial snare aspect.

    - Druid: Hirode's Rescue - Point blank area effect, unknown duration, unknown recast root from target’s location. Requires Verdanfire Tree to be active before it can be used.

    - Wizard: Shatter the Ice - Point blank area effect, short duration, medium recast root. Requires Frozen Fortress to be active.

    - Wizard: Blast of Frost - Single target, very short duration, fast recast root. Requires Chilled status. Any damage breaks Blast of Frost Effect.

    - Ranger: Hidden Snare - Single target, long duration, unknown recast root. Requires creature to walk over trap. Any damage will break Hidden snare Effect.

     

    Stun Effect:

    - Enchanter: Ghaven's Wild Display - Point blank area effect, long duration, medium recast stun.

    - Paladin: Edict of Celestial Authority - Single target, long duration, long recast, unresistable stun.

    - Wizard: Fractal Jolt - Single target, medium duration, medium recast stun.

    - Paladin: Fiery Aegis - Forward directional area effect, short duration, unknown recast stun.

    - Paladin: Pommel and Cross - Single target, short duration, unknown recast stun. Damages mobs within the area. Random chance.

    - Monk: Blast of Chakra - Single target, short duration, unknown recast stun. Requires all of your Chakra and for Gate of Balance to be Open.

    - Warrior: Shield Slam - Single target, short duration, short recast stun. High chance.

    - Paladin: Lightguard - Single target, short duration, unknown recast stun. Requires enemy to be attacking you as it converts Blocks and Parries into a short duration stun effect. Random chance.

    - Paladin: Lance of the Lightful - Single target, unknown duration, unknown recast stun. Requires your enemy to be fleeing. High chance.

    - Warrior: Storm - Single target, short duration, medium recast stun. Can only be used out of combat.

     

    Offtank Effect:

    - Paladin

    - Dire Lord

    - Warrior

    - Monk

    - Summoner Pet: Titan

     

    Knockdown Effect:

    - Paladin: Fiery Aegis - Forward directional area effect, unknown duration, unknown recast knockdown.

    - Ranger: Beckon: Thunderpaw - Single target, short duration, medium recast knockdown.

    - Wizard: Evoke Fire - Single target, unknown duration, unknown recast knockdown. Requires Weakened State.

     

    Wall Effect:

    - Summoner: Summon Wall of Wood - Unknown target mechanic, unknown duration, unknown recast wall.

    - Cleric: Celestial Aegis - Unknown target mechanic, unknown duration, unknown recast wall.

    - Paladin: Glorified Self - Single target, unknown duration, unknown recast projected interceptor. Uses Wrath.

    - Paladin: Miraculous Shimmer - Single target, unknown duration, unknown recast projected interceptor. Uses Wrath.

     

    Snare Effect:

    - Shaman: Deluge - Targeted area effect, medium duration, unknown recast, medium potency snare.

    - Shaman: Chase the Wind - Point blank area effect, short duration, long recast, high potency snare. Secondary element to group movement speed effect.

    - Wizard: Magical Bonds - Single target, unknown duration, unknown recast, unknown potency snare.

    - Dire Lord: Leaden Blood - Single target, short duration, long recast, medium potency snare. Secondary effect roots target at end of duration.

    - Wizard: Glint - Single target, short duration, unknown recast, medium potency snare.

    - Cleric: Revile Undeath - Single target, short duration, unknown recast, unknown potency snare. Undead only.

     

    Fear Effect:

    - Enchanter: Foolish Fire. Single target, long duration, unknown recast fear. Secondary effect to the mesmerize component.

    - Warrior: War horn - Point blank area effect, medium duration, medium recast fear. Primary use as a Taunt with a random low chance to fear.

     

    Memory Wipe Effect:

    - Enchanter: Thought Thief - Single target, unknown recast, unknown potency memory wipe.

     

    Knockback Effect:

    - Ranger: Weighted Bolt - Single target, medium distance, unknown recast knockback.

    - Wizard: Fireflash - Single target, unknown distance, unknown recast knockback.

    - Paladin: Edict of Celestial Force - Single target, unknown distance, unknown recast knockback. Uses Wrath.

    - Druid: Upheaval - Point blank area effect, unknown distance, unknown recast knockback.

     

    Blind Effect:

    - Paladin: Brilliant Aegis - Unknown target area effect, unknown duration, unknown recast blind.

     

    Google Doc Version below

    https://docs.google.com/document/d/14Y1JWuhfi9zSwX66UUUdl6hrvlMy_sw8aCi_LPP7m1c/edit?usp=sharing

     


    This post was edited by Janus at December 8, 2018 10:40 PM PST
    • 694 posts
    December 17, 2018 6:48 AM PST

    You could also add silence for the DL.

    Because of the CC, Healing and rez ability that the Paladin brings to a group (along with tanking) I think they will be highly desired... One of the few classes that can participate in every role, they certainly wont be the best at some roles, but they're the only one that can do all 4 (since the bard isn't released yet but its likely that they won't be able to tank).

    • 367 posts
    December 20, 2018 12:53 AM PST

    Darch said:

    "You could also add silence for the DL."

    Both the short term Silence from Dire Lord and the long term Silence/Interupt from Enchanter are separate. Silence is a mitgation of performance based capability. It's similar to Slow from Shaman or Slow and Damage Reduction from the Enchanter. For that reason, I did not add it as a form of actual crowd control. I agree it can be vague but there's a start line of nuance between certain effects and their ultimate purpose.

    "Because of the CC, Healing and rez ability that the Paladin brings to a group (along with tanking) I think they will be highly desired"

    They have a limited form of locking a target down. And can handle an add but in the fashion of CC, I would say they operate in this area at about 10-12% of Enchanter and about 60% of a Rogue. Stuns while they are form of CC, in the raw sense of stopping an encounter where you at any time can have wanderers that roam, respawns, linked aggro and repaths from other groups, having the capability to handle your normal segment of 3-10 mobs in such a way that the healer isn't bogged down depleting their mana far before all the adds are downed. I would say they have about as much capability in the support/control role as say the Enchanter in the Tank role using the cycle rune, stuns and slows. Possible, but not effective.

    I see what you're saying but keep in mind, there is a reason I listed the order ain the way I did. There's a huge drop off in performance after the first three but I felt the need to add every possible form, even those that are generally uneffective.

    "One of the few classes that can participate in every role, they certainly wont be the best at some roles, but they're the only one that can do all 4 (since the bard isn't released yet but its likely that they won't be able to tank)."

    Every class can do every role technically but not well. RIght now, the Paladin fits in as Tank but can also fit into a Utility role. What a Utility role is, is a place within the 3rd DPS slot. It will be common considering how rare DPS are slated to be. So Tank Primary and Utility secondary. Part of that Utility comes in the form of side-healing. While not as capable as a healing class, they can aid a bit in it within a group setting. As for Support/Control, Paladins have zero performance based spells to label them support and their Control area, while better than say Dire Lord or Warrior, it's still not enough for them to be considered a factor here. Try to understand, a class is set in their role but can specialize within it, not necessarily branch out of it.

    Bard by my estimations will be a Support/Control like the Enchanter. Like the enchanter they will be able to tank somewhat but not effectively. They won't have nearly the capability for direct damage like the Enchanter but can through passive means as well as passive group damage mitigation like the Enchanter. I also don't see them moving into the Healer role considering Chris and everyone else are adamant that roles will be defined within the four crucial archetypes which are Tank, Healing, Support/Control and DPS.

    If you want, here's a listing of the classes within the polls given by other individuals which I took and broke down into a a role based availability. That availability is based on the poll numbers which reflect the composition on that server.

     

    https://docs.google.com/document/d/1S3oS2Ksbltt5tA3Sf5nO6Xod4goODaPFUYPwuWfhNsU/edit


    This post was edited by Janus at December 20, 2018 12:56 AM PST