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  1. #1
    Community Member ristretto93's Avatar
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    Default Crowd Control worth building for?

    I mostly (only) play melee characters in DDO because I love the active combat system but I think I'm ready to try to play a caster to a significant degree again (i have deleted every one that I have tried by level 10 or so).

    From other games (really just EQ I) I really liked the role of crowd control casters (enchanters) and was pretty good at it. I know there are some situations where the ability to control large numbers of mobs is helpful, but are there enough situations where building a wizard (arch-mage I imagine) with a main focus on CC is going to be worth it?

    I'm thinking late-game to end game + epic. Frankly, from my experiences at these levels I am not sure that this tactic (or really, any notable tactics lol) are used...at all. Still, I dont want to make a 'buff-bot' nor do I want to make a pure damage dealing caster - to me this would be boring and I would rather play a melee character.

    I've heard a few different things, but I am curious to hear what others have to say with the addition of all of the content this year.

    Thanks!
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  2. #2
    Community Member akash's Avatar
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    Yes, you can definitely focus on CC and make your wizard around it. CC is indeed the 2nd best ability of Wizards after insta killing. If you are going AM route, make sure you are Warforged that's an AM's "OMG I can't die button". Generally PMs can also do really good CC, and most of them (including me) think insta killing a large number mobs before the angry barbarian can swing his axe is the best CC but if you exclusively want to focus on CC and don't like insta killing at all then AM is a really nice solution. Please keep in mind that whatever class you play if you don't max out your intelligent you will face trouble in the end game contents, because unlike melee characters CC is very much DC and spell penetration dependent, even 1-2 less DC or spell penetration means a lot here.

    However to get the most out of a CC focused AM, you need to concentrate on two schools. First school is obviously enchantment but you also need to focus on conjuration because "Web" is one of the most important CC spells available in the game. So, if you can get that "Conjuration II – Web" SLA, you will be able to save a lot of sp while using Quicken+Heighten metamagics. After getting that SLA you can ignore all other conjuration SLAs. You are free to take all five SLAs of enchantment schools but make sure you are not too low in sp because the more SLA you get the more sp you lose. Personally I would only take "Enchantment II - Otto's Resistible Dance" and ignore all other SLAs in that school.

    Now, how to play an AM at end games: first thing you have to remember is to always keep your Heighten meta-magic feat on. When you approach a bunch of enemies cast Web OR Otto's Sphere of Dancing OR Hold Monster, Mass. If more and more enemies are coming to attack your group cast mind fog and keep up the discoball. Enemies that will save themselves from your discoball use your SLA Otto's Resistible Dance on them. You can also cast Solid Fog and Web to trap them for a long time. Since Solid fog has no saving throw and Web SLA is very cheap, that means a lot of profit. Sometimes you need to charm a lot of enemies to become successful e.g. elite weapon shipments, to perfectly launch your mass charming spells, cast Crushing Despair just before casting your charming spells. That will charm a lot of monsters easily, those that will still make save cast your cheap Otto's Resistible Dance SLA and they will be helpless. That's more or less how CC is done in DDO.

  3. #3
    Community Member ristretto93's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by akash View Post
    Yes, you can definitely focus on CC and make your wizard around it....(a lot of good info)... That's more or less how CC is done in DDO.
    Thank you for the reply, and all of that information. I'm looking forward to giving this a try
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  4. #4
    Community Member gphysalis's Avatar
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    Yes

    Use mass hold monster
    if you are CCing, that is your primary spell.

    Be wary of using charm spells, that annoys people really fast (though not quite as much as grease)

    Thirdly, use web
    web is a nice low level spell, that, when heightened, is good at CCing mobs
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  5. #5
    Community Member Kinerd's Avatar
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    The trouble with CC is that so many people conflate it with the Enchantment school, when in point of fact almost every monster that can be Enchanted can also be Necromanced, and a dead monster is a far superior state to a controlled monster in almost every encounter. Compounding this trouble is that the helpless state (including Holds) increases melee damage by 50%, so melee tend to prefer Mass Hold (an Enchantment) over other (superior) CC options.

    For that reason and others, Web is really your #1 CC spell: it works on so many targets that can be neither danced nor killed, you get a super cheap version via AM, it targets an unusual save for CC spells in Reflex.

    akash's advice is in general excellent; however, rather than Crushing Despair, I find it pays to use your SLA Hypnotism for a much cheaper and faster irresistible Will save debuff (albeit one that doesn't carry an additional resistible debuff). This also saves you from blowing a level 4 slot, as it turns out level 4 spells have a lot of competition even for a non-PM. Also a general point: you have excellent self-healing as a WF AM. Sometimes the best CC is just to take as much aggro as you can, turtle up, and Reconstruct indefinitely in a Cloudkill or Ice Storm or whatever. It's not CC in the traditional sense, but you're saving healer mana, and that's the real point.

  6. #6
    Community Member gphysalis's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kinerd View Post
    almost every monster that can be Enchanted can also be Necromanced
    While this may be true for most monsters, there are a significant number of monsters that can be held, that can't be instakilled.

    1. Any monster with death ward (which includes a lot of cleric type enemies)
    2. Epic Hard+ orange named monsters

    In addition, many monsters have lower will saves than fort saves, making them easier to CC than to instakill


    CC used to be far more important when Epic ward was a blanket instakill immunity.
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  7. #7
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    From our observations (myself and guildies) in Epic Elites CC is more useful than insta-kills - but it's not really and either/or. You can be good at both.
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  8. #8
    Community Member HastyPudding's Avatar
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    I vastly enjoyed my CC-focused AM life on my caster. I took the hold monster SLA, in addition to the first two, for the simple fact that spamming a 'hold' spell for only 6 SP and a decently short cooldown is a lot of fun. Sure, it's not as 'efficient' as instant-killing but I got a great satisfaction out of running face first into a room, spamming my SLA's and mass hold then watching as the melee rushed in and gleefully bashed everything to pieces, enjoying their increased damage from the holds. I learned that clerics in my parties either got bored quickly or happily brought out their longswords and maces and beat things senseless.

    I also never ran out of SP the way PMs and necromancy-focused wizards often do. Relying on 1, 3, and 6 SP CC spells, the occasional mass hold for large groups, and my handy-dandy arcane bolt, I was ready for anything. It left plenty of SP for buffing, self-healing, and having fun with polar ray.

    So yes, CC-focused archmages are very useful and viable. People will argue that instant kills are superior, but I say it's just two means to the same end. Some people have fun killing things while others, like me, have fun disabling them and watching their party enjoy their pointy sticks and toys. It's more of a support role, but I enjoy that sort of thing more than casting death spells.

  9. #9
    The Hatchery Scraap's Avatar
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    Largely good advice all around. I will add purely for the enchantment school, if you're taking point, and want to add a bit of style, finesse, (and yes, downright evil cruelty), nab the casters first if you can, and single-target turn em before anything agros on you. After all, if they're enough of a threat for everyone else to prioritize first, might as well make it the mobs' problem.
    Last edited by Scraap; 11-04-2012 at 10:53 PM.

  10. #10
    Community Member akash's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by HastyPudding View Post
    Some people have fun killing things while others, like me, have fun disabling them and watching their party enjoy their pointy sticks and toys. It's more of a support role, but I enjoy that sort of thing more than casting death spells.
    That's exactly why party members (specially melees) love a dedicated non-instakiller CC. When I'm at my Barbarian nothing makes me more happy when I see a bunch of hold monsters waiting to be slaughtered by my axe. It's like a surprise birthday present. On the other hand most of the melees hate those instakillers who run past the party to next room and clear it before anyone even reach there.

  11. #11
    Community Member buddabopp's Avatar
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    Something that i haven't see any votes for is a cc based (all cha and con with maby a little str sprinkled in) bard. pump your enchantment and spell pen for mass holds and disco balls then with bard songs even dumping str you should be able to hit fairly well with 2 handed melee weps. So you have cc but also can melee with buffing and a little healing all wrapped up into one happy murder package. Remember a bard is only a buff-bot if you play him like one :P

  12. #12
    Community Member Deathdefy's Avatar
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    The cool thing about Archmage is that you can 'target the weak save' in a meaningful sense.

    Web SLA = reflex (and it's heightened for free so it's real CC)
    Hypno SLA = will (in addition to the debuff, you also get free heighten on this, so you're again looking at very high 40s / scraping 50 DC if you're geared with a Wiz PL)
    You die now spells = fort

    From a guy who haaaaated his Pale Master life I love Archmage to the extent that I'm thinking it will become my completionist's final life.
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  13. #13
    Community Member Jaid314's Avatar
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    just don't get confused into thinking that being a crowd control specialist means you shouldn't invest into nuking or instakills at all. you should still try to fit in at least maximise, and ideally both maximise and empower, after getting your main spell school DC increases and spell pen. you should still invest at least somewhat into one or two damage lines (as an archmage, one of those can be force without suffering much, and the other should probably either be cold or electric), with a possible tertiary very low investment in whichever of cold or electric you might not have chosen as your main school.

    and if you have any spare feats, throwing one or two spell focus feats into necromancy still lets you "crowd control" just fine. enchantment is great for targeting will, and web is great for targeting reflex, but there will be some mobs that are simply easier to instakill than they are to enchant or web. for those occasions (and for occasions where instakill is more desirable for other reasons, like needing to get rid of something as quickly as possible when nukes won't do that job), you will want to have at least a reasonable necromancy DC if you can fit it in.

    (and obviously, carry the gear to support all of those different areas; just because you're not specifically an instakill wizard doesn't mean you shouldn't have a +2 necromancy DC item).

  14. #14
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    Just adding some thoughts to the otherwise good advice given here.

    The trick to playing a good caster, I believe, is understanding the weakness of your targets. While crowd control is certainly worth building for, HOW you crowd control depends on your target.

    Will Saves: Generally melee and archers have lower will saves. Enchantment crowd control tends to work well here. Will saves are noteable for having "debuff" spells (crushing despair and hypnotism) that makes it easier and more effective.

    Reflex Saves: Generally Melee have lower reflex saves, while archers and rogue types have high ones. Web is great crowd control against targets with low reflex saves. Solid Fog is a notable spell that debuffs reflex saves. Note that if you use web, you will need to "control" the monsters that cast any fire spells that burn them away.

    Fortitude Saves: Generally archer types, rogue types, and caster types have lower fortitude saves. These are best controlled with insta-kills.

    High Spell Resistance Targets: If you can't get your Spell Pen high enough, your enchantment spells generally won't work or will be high inefficient. Consider Web (reflex save), Greater Shout (fort save), or Electric Loop (will save) which don't have spell resistance checks. They are all evocation spells.

    Other targets: Some targets are flat immune to certain spells. Undead and Golems come to mind, since you can't use any enchantment spells on them. Web is usually a good choice here.

    Kiting: In many raids and a variety of encounters in the game, you will be asked to "control" the trash, typically by kiting. Use Solid Fog/Ice Storm to slow down their movement (no save) and make sure you have Haste/Jump/Displacement on yourself and keep moving to take as little damage as possible. Self healing (either as warforged or palemaster or UMD scrolls if a sorc) is a must.

    So in the end, there are many ways to "crowd control." It is definitely worth specializing, but make sure you don't gimp your other options, because a single technique will not work in the great variety of situations that exist in DDO.
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  15. #15
    Community Member akash's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by aristarchus1000 View Post
    Consider Web (reflex save), Greater Shout (fort save), or Electric Loop (will save) which don't have spell resistance checks. They are all evocation spells.
    Web is from conjuration school.

  16. #16
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    My primary EQ toon was also an enchanter, I loved it and was sadly disappointed with the lack of any use of or need for tactics in DDO. That said my primary is a drow PM (current life), and I love it (it's not for everyone, I understand). I have a WF archmage and the CC DCs on my PM are just as high or higher in every school (I get 2 extra int from race and 2 more from lich form to make up the difference), and my necro DCs are higher. My experience as a dedicated CC archmage is that I could not solo as well as PM and in groups my CC was nearly useless for 19 levels, then useful only occasionally at 20+. The versatility of being able to CC just as well (sure, I have to use mana... so?), but kill, nuke, and solo extremely effectively made me prefer PM by a wide margin.

    As stated, the right spell for the right situation is key, and sometimes the right spell is an insta-kill (especially for enemy casters). Generally some good advice above.

  17. #17
    Community Member HastyPudding's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by buddabopp View Post
    Something that i haven't see any votes for is a cc based (all cha and con with maby a little str sprinkled in) bard. pump your enchantment and spell pen for mass holds and disco balls then with bard songs even dumping str you should be able to hit fairly well with 2 handed melee weps. So you have cc but also can melee with buffing and a little healing all wrapped up into one happy murder package. Remember a bard is only a buff-bot if you play him like one :P
    The problem with Spellsingers and casting-focused Virtuoso bards is they don't have the wizard's extra feats and DC-increasing enhancements. You NEED past lives to be truly useful in end-game content as a bard. That being said, a good player -- along with wise choices in epic destinies, feats, and past lives -- can be a phenomenal crowd controller. Thespellsing on Argo server is proof of this, he's arguably the best spellsinger on the server, and better than most wizards.

    Bards can be great CC, they just need to work harder than wizards to achieve it.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jaid314 View Post
    just don't get confused into thinking that being a crowd control specialist means you shouldn't invest into nuking or instakills at all. you should still try to fit in at least maximise, and ideally both maximise and empower, after getting your main spell school DC increases and spell pen. you should still invest at least somewhat into one or two damage lines (as an archmage, one of those can be force without suffering much, and the other should probably either be cold or electric), with a possible tertiary very low investment in whichever of cold or electric you might not have chosen as your main school.

    and if you have any spare feats, throwing one or two spell focus feats into necromancy still lets you "crowd control" just fine. enchantment is great for targeting will, and web is great for targeting reflex, but there will be some mobs that are simply easier to instakill than they are to enchant or web. for those occasions (and for occasions where instakill is more desirable for other reasons, like needing to get rid of something as quickly as possible when nukes won't do that job), you will want to have at least a reasonable necromancy DC if you can fit it in.

    (and obviously, carry the gear to support all of those different areas; just because you're not specifically an instakill wizard doesn't mean you shouldn't have a +2 necromancy DC item).
    Exactly. Even heavily focusing on enchantment and conjuration, wizards are still arcane casters. Don't neglect your damage spells. The force line of damage spells is well-suited to an archmage, as they have 2 SLA's that deal force damage; force also affects disintegrate and ice storm. An archmage specializing in ice/force can deal some respectable damage with disintegrate, polar ray, and force missiles, as well as pumping up your damage on ice storm.

    Gear, as well. A wizard that doesn't have at least one inventory bag filled with wands, scepters, scrolls, and various spell-focus items is not a good wizard.

  18. #18
    Community Member noinfo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by buddabopp View Post
    Something that i haven't see any votes for is a cc based (all cha and con with maby a little str sprinkled in) bard. pump your enchantment and spell pen for mass holds and disco balls then with bard songs even dumping str you should be able to hit fairly well with 2 handed melee weps. So you have cc but also can melee with buffing and a little healing all wrapped up into one happy murder package. Remember a bard is only a buff-bot if you play him like one :P
    Bards don't have mass holds though and this is probably their largest drawback. While they have a large number of CC based abilities most of them don't give the 50% extra damage from holds and many of the effects are broken on damage.
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  19. #19
    Community Member akash's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by noinfo View Post
    Bards don't have mass holds though and this is probably their largest drawback. While they have a large number of CC based abilities most of them don't give the 50% extra damage from holds and many of the effects are broken on damage.
    That's right but still some raids don't start until a bird joins the PUG. So IMHO, it's a very important class, and the only class which gets a free ticket of piking.

  20. #20
    Community Member Ultimaetus's Avatar
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    1) Throw CC

    2) Take a sip of whatever you drink

    3) Alt-tab to a youtube video or whatever

    4)???

    5) Return to game and Profit

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