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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!
    Originally from Thelanis, now on...
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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
    Originally from Thelanis, now on...
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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 hermespan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gphysalis View Post
    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
    Charm is fine. It's the people that don't un-charm that get annoying real fast.

  6. #6
    Community Member Jaid314's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by hermespan View Post
    Charm is fine. It's the people that don't un-charm that get annoying real fast.
    there are plenty of situations where little or nothing will be gained from killing the mobs. in such cases... i recommend that you stop caring, and move on. who cares if the mobs are charmed or not, when they've been dealt with in such a way as to remove aggro and negate dungeon alert anyways.

  7. #7
    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.

  8. #8
    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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  9. #9
    Community Member Kinerd's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gphysalis View Post
    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)
    True.
    2. Epic Hard+ orange named monsters
    Also true, but surely the weapon of choice here is negative leveling, and after a few of those any CC will work.
    Quote Originally Posted by Jaid314
    (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).
    The Adamantine Dragon Cloak from Eveningstar gives +2 to every school. It's a bit of a grind and uses ingredients that due to a hilariously stupid decision are BtC, but it's still ridiculously good for wizards.
    Quote Originally Posted by Inouk
    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.
    The thing is, a Necro/Conj AM has identical professional bonuses to Necro DC, and is at most 1 behind if the PM is a Drow. There's no difference at all in nuking. Difference in soloing is not clear cut: if I can cast Web and Ice Storm for the same SP that you can cast Web or Ice Storm with, surely I am better off, no?

    Taking AM 5 and getting a ton of SLAs would cost via opportunity in other areas, but you don't have to do that any more than you have to take Augment Summoning and all the pets in PM.

  10. #10
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    Default A different point of view

    My main toon is a CC caster always has been, always will be. I hardly use web at all, and I don't even have heighten. I am an AM but I don't use any SLAs, I never took any via the enhancments. I also have over 3,700 sp when I am on my main Epic Destiny.

    I have a spell pen of 50 and my mass hold DC is about 53 (again when I am on my main ED) That may change when I am done with all ED's not sure if my math is 100% correct but that is just about right. I cast 4 spells most frequently, Mass hold monster, mass hold person (only when it applies and MHM is on cool down) the level 5 hold monster spell and otto's irresistable. I will also drop a disco ball when I know it is needed.

    I know that this is probably very different from everything that you have probably read in these comments as it pretty much goes against what is considered conventional CC in DDO, but that is how I do it. I just wanted to say that there are different ways to do CC and it isn't cut and dry. Like everything else in DDO there are different ways to do similar things. To each his own. Just keep that in mind.

    On that note, you asked, "Is it worth it?" I cannot tell you how many times I get into a group and I hear somebody say, "Wow. Nice holds man, this is making this quest super easy." Yes I would say it is worth it. Just remember that when you get into a group with the FVS whos combat tatics are to drop blade barriers and jump around like a kangaroo, they will not like your holds as much as the barbarian will.
    Main toon Gromphia I have others but that is really the only one I play

  11. #11
    Community Member Kinerd's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sireric View Post
    My main toon is a CC caster always has been, always will be. I hardly use web at all, and I don't even have heighten.
    What the heck do you spend a feat on that isn't Heighten?

  12. #12
    Community Member akash's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sireric View Post
    I have a spell pen of 50 and my mass hold DC is about 53 (again when I am on my main ED) That may change when I am done with all ED's not sure if my math is 100% correct but that is just about right. I cast 4 spells most frequently, Mass hold monster, mass hold person (only when it applies and MHM is on cool down) the level 5 hold monster spell and otto's irresistable. I will also drop a disco ball when I know it is needed.
    You are good, I have played with you few times if I can remember it correctly but these numbers are impossible to get for a first lifer even with EDs.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kinerd View Post
    True.Also true, but surely the weapon of choice here is negative leveling, and after a few of those any CC will work.The Adamantine Dragon Cloak from Eveningstar gives +2 to every school. It's a bit of a grind and uses ingredients that due to a hilariously stupid decision are BtC, but it's still ridiculously good for wizards.The thing is, a Necro/Conj AM has identical professional bonuses to Necro DC, and is at most 1 behind if the PM is a Drow. There's no difference at all in nuking. Difference in soloing is not clear cut: if I can cast Web and Ice Storm for the same SP that you can cast Web or Ice Storm with, surely I am better off, no?

    Taking AM 5 and getting a ton of SLAs would cost via opportunity in other areas, but you don't have to do that any more than you have to take Augment Summoning and all the pets in PM.
    Actually, assuming all else is equal (gear, past lives, feats, etc) drow gets +1 for stat (+2int), and lich form gets another +1 from stat (+2int +4con), which means that drow PM is equal to a WF AM in his primary school, +1 in the AM secondary school, and +2 in all other schools for DCs. In theory PM should be another +1 ahead on necro DCs for lich form but this doesn't appear to be stacking/working properly (my enchant and necro DCs are the same in form). Mostly I just prefer the almost infinite, almost free healing of PM when you combine mabar robes, demon bracers, and death aura, and the fact that when it gets rough I don't have to choose between healing or killing since my healing is almost all passive. Because my PM can stand in and tank MUCH better than my WF AM I get a ton of SP back from torc and con-ops when soloing, so SP is never a problem. And yeah, my PM only invested in web (and grease since you need it to get to web) and hypno SLAs and my PM only has lich form, no summons.

    Bottom line both are very good, but the reasons above skew toward PM IMO (if you are geared, without robes/torc/bracers/con-ops I may change my mind).

  14. #14
    Community Member Kinerd's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Inouk View Post
    Actually, assuming all else is equal (gear, past lives, feats, etc) drow gets +1 for stat (+2int), and lich form gets another +1 from stat (+2int +4con), which means that drow PM is equal to a WF AM in his primary school, +1 in the AM secondary school, and +2 in all other schools for DCs. In theory PM should be another +1 ahead on necro DCs for lich form but this doesn't appear to be stacking/working properly (my enchant and necro DCs are the same in form). Mostly I just prefer the almost infinite, almost free healing of PM when you combine mabar robes, demon bracers, and death aura, and the fact that when it gets rough I don't have to choose between healing or killing since my healing is almost all passive. Because my PM can stand in and tank MUCH better than my WF AM I get a ton of SP back from torc and con-ops when soloing, so SP is never a problem. And yeah, my PM only invested in web (and grease since you need it to get to web) and hypno SLAs and my PM only has lich form, no summons.

    Bottom line both are very good, but the reasons above skew toward PM IMO (if you are geared, without robes/torc/bracers/con-ops I may change my mind).
    It's true that PMs have a lot of synergistic gear that brings in the HP, but AM has options there too, such as the Cannith Artificer Ring with its Reconstruct guard (and cheap Archmagi and augment slots to boot). And while no one can argue that casting Reconstruct has an opportunity cost, surely we always Quicken, so our costs are pretty minimal.

    We can certainly agree that both are (at least!) very good, though.

  15. #15
    Community Member JasonJi72's Avatar
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    I have a problem. I cannot get into playing warforged, and believe me, I have tried. It probably stems from being an old school dnd fan, but I just can't get into playing a robot/golem type character in a dnd setting. My other problem is that I really don't like playing a palemaster that much, and I really don't like how all the 'fleshy types' are pigeon-holed into playing palemasters by the community.

    My favorite wizard was a halfling before the fix/nerf to their dragonmark ability. They used to be able to use cure wands and heal scrolls if they had the dragonmarks. I never considered this an exploit, because it cost 3 feats and significant ap, and I thought it was nice to have a self healing option besides a robot. At that time necro's were considered borked, and epics had their 'blanket immunities'. I have tried several times to play him again, and I even respeced him into a palemaster, but I can't help but miss the way he used to play, and I always end up shelving him again. Currently, I am waiting for the enhancement changes to come out, so I can play him again.

    Since I really want to play a wizard again, and I think some of the problem is that it is harder to jump into playing an arcane that has been on the shelf, I started another wizard. I have played other casters in permadeath and on other servers, but never got one all the way up. I still miss the way my halfling used to play.

    Having played a lot of other characters, I understand how sometimes wizards can truly frustrate you. I was playing one of the druid challenges on an epic moncher, when my bard buddy kept charming everything right when I triggered manyshot or 10kstars. I kept trying to tell him that the charms would wear off, and I would have killed them in seconds anyway, but... oh well. The other thing that frustrates me is when necros waste their sp fingering the stunned mob that my monk only needed a strike or two to kill, and then not having sp later when we needed it.

    Using the right spell at the right time for the group is not always finger of death or charm.

    Since I want to make something 'outside the box' anyway, I chose to make an elven archmage. I also really like evasion, getting traps, and needed to add self healing to my unorthodox character, so I decided to splash 2 rogue. Yeah, yeah, I know; not epic elite worthy, but I am not building it for epic elite on a first life. I am building it to have fun, get my wizard past life, and run some epics before I TR it.

    Originally, I thought about going enchant and necro. That way I could switch to necromancer later if I felt I truly needed to. Currently, I am considering taking a secondary focus in conjuration instead. I have toyed with the idea of going with evoker archmage with a shiradi destiny, but that would probably be better as a warforged, and would require a lot of destiny grinding. Perhaps I would be better off as a PM in the end, but interestingly enough, it wasn't really the 'free' web that was making me consider this, it was all of the searing lights and divine punishment spells I have encountered fighting the drow that made me re-consider my plan.

    Since I will still have my 'free' LR, I thought I would try making an enchanter/webber first. Here is what I have so far, and what my plan is:

    Jynsyn. Elven 18wizard/2rogue first lifer, but with decent pass down gear since it is on my main server (Thelanis).

    Con 14
    Int 18 (all level ups here)
    Cha 14
    (nothing else really matters)

    1. R1 Toughness
    2. W1 Empower
    3. W2 SF UMD (swap later for Quicken)
    4. W3
    5. W4
    6. W5 Mental toughness, SF Enchantment
    7. W6
    8. W7 (My current level)
    9. R2 Insightful Relexes (evasion woo hoo!)
    10. W8
    11. W9
    12. W10 SF Conjuration, Heighten
    13. W11
    14. W12
    15. W13 Spell Penetration
    16. W14
    17. W15 G. Spell Penetration
    18. W16 GSF Enchantment
    19. W17
    20. W18

    Am I totally doomed? Will this work on a first life for what I have in mind? Suggestions?

    Regarding Druids: Yeah, I was playing my 'gimp' caster druid (who can heal quite well btw) in epics, and people were saying, "is that you doing all the crowd control?" I said, "yep, wolf howl and earthquake do actually work."
    Jyn... Kender... Thelanis

    *Insert clever comment here*

  16. #16
    Community Member Kinerd's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JasonJi72 View Post
    I have a problem. I cannot get into playing warforged, and believe me, I have tried. It probably stems from being an old school dnd fan, but I just can't get into playing a robot/golem type character in a dnd setting. My other problem is that I really don't like playing a palemaster that much, and I really don't like how all the 'fleshy types' are pigeon-holed into playing palemasters by the community.
    ...
    Am I totally doomed? Will this work on a first life for what I have in mind? Suggestions?
    With these initial conditions, I very strongly suggest you go helf. The UMD check for Heal scrolls is no joke even with full ranks, the caster level check is automatic (although still subject to Concentration checks and fumbling around with smelly old scrolls).
    Quote Originally Posted by Postumus
    An enchanted monster can be much more useful than a dead one if you want something else to take aggro.
    Okay, but a dead monster has no aggro. If you're talking about tanking a boss with a thrall, you would have to throttle your DPS (let alone the party's) to an absurd degree for that to work.
    A mass charm can distract an entire room full of critters while the caster slips by unnoticed.
    Okay, but there's always a chance one or more monsters aggros on you anyway. A room entirely empty of monsters gives you a 100% chance of being unnoticed, plus you can then retreat to or otherwise re-enter that room without concern.
    Enchanting casters or archers can actually increase your DPS output while decreasing the amount of aggro and damage you take yourself.
    Okay, but what happens when the charm breaks? You have to re-charm or otherwise kill the monster, and if you had just killed it in the beginning you could have spent that SP on moar DPS.

  17. #17

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    Quote Originally Posted by HastyPudding View Post
    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.
    If DC was the only thing to look at in the package the problem would be with wizards still chasing DC's at epic levels available to bards in their mid-teen levels. Bard song DC's squash wizard spell DC's.

    Immunities and specific reliance on enchantments compared to the wizard spell selection, and break-on-hit restrictions forcing a choice between AoE damage and CC tend to be much more impacting.

  18. #18
    Community Member HastyPudding's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Aashrym View Post
    If DC was the only thing to look at in the package the problem would be with wizards still chasing DC's at epic levels available to bards in their mid-teen levels. Bard song DC's squash wizard spell DC's.

    Immunities and specific reliance on enchantments compared to the wizard spell selection, and break-on-hit restrictions forcing a choice between AoE damage and CC tend to be much more impacting.
    Nobody likes a smartass.

    And wizards have mass hold spells, which increases the damage dealt to CC'd mobs by any dps in the party. Bards have fascinate, which can have very high DC's, but the fact is, it's not practical. Fascinated mobs can be awakened if they take damage, and with the amount of AoE's being cast about, it limits what other members of your party can do. A wizard can cast mass hold or web and walk away without a second glance, not worrying about their CC'd mobs getting hit. Bards only have a single target hold and have to work harder to get the DC's a wizard can achieve.

    Bards also lack web, having no reliable CC against undead unless you get music of the dead.

    Bards are by no means weak CC, but wizards can be much more versatile with spells than bards are with songs.

  19. #19
    Community Member Postumus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kinerd View Post
    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.
    I disagree. This is subjective and depends on your play style.

    An enchanted monster can be much more useful than a dead one if you want something else to take aggro.

    A mass charm can distract an entire room full of critters while the caster slips by unnoticed.

    Enchanting casters or archers can actually increase your DPS output while decreasing the amount of aggro and damage you take yourself.

  20. #20
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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.
    Personal d000m level: 83%

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