CC stands for crowd control and it is when you disable a mob or another player for an amount of time which takes them out of the fight. However this post will be mostly directed at PvE (Player vs Environment) content as people still use CC in PvP (Player vs Player) as they should to their advantage. Thus CC is meant to ease the burden of the tank by granting him less targets to hold threat on. Also it will ease the burden on the healer since fewer targets are hitting the tank thus taking less damage. Then finally CC allows the dps to better focus down mobs.
Crowd control works well and can be very effective if used properly. It can turn a difficult pull into a trivial one. However, it can slow down the pace of a group. I find that the time it takes to use CC is worth the extra time spent pre-pull compared to the time a chaotic pull takes, especially if there are deaths and revives. Not to mention for smoother trash pulls, as in when using CC, there is less downtime between pulls with people healing up. In swtor every class has a quick out of combat heal/regen ability which is awesome. No more people not bringing food and water expecting the healers to waste their resources to heal up their unprepared comrade. I have to say it is a pet peeve of mine that people, especially dps do not heal up in between pulls. Particularly since Bioware made it so easy to heal/regen between pulls. But that is a rant for a different time.
Anyways, with a group on voice chat or even just a group that is well in sync (Side Note: this tends to be people that run together often) then there is no need to mark. Each person knows who they have to CC and they do it EVERY pull that it is acceptable to use CC. It is better to over utilize CC than to under utilize CC.
The key to crowd control ultimately comes down to employing crowd control and then not breaking it accidentally. In general, I am running mostly with pick-up groups (PUGs), where the tank is usually bad or they don’t trust dps/healers to CC mobs. The bad tanks break CC with area of effect (AoE) abilities or the dps use AoE or dps intentionally break CC so they can dps/tank their own mob. This all makes it harder on the healer. I mean I like a challenge but when I am tanking three mobs via healer threat alone I do not find that fun or useful. When this happens the tank usually is tanking one mob and the dps are each tanking their own. There is no kill order, no strategy, just survival. That is not how pulls should happen. No one usually dies but still no one likes repairs bills when it does happen. Side Note: Being an operative healing is great because I have a great skill called cloaking screen. So when Sith hits the fan I drop out of combat and save myself the repair bill. Sorry group mates but you couldn’t have survived the onslaught.
Tanks shouldn’t need to use AoE to grab three mobs and in the case of swtor most mobs in a pull aren’t all strong/elite so some don’t even really need to be tanked. But that doesn’t mean tanks shouldn’t leave mobs to attack the healer either. The healer shouldn’t be pulling agro on heal threat alone. This is where CC alleviates the problem by breaking the fight down into smaller chunks of damage.
I remember back in Burning Crusade, (and I know I hate to use to many WoW referances in my swtor blog) when I was mostly tanking in five man heroics while raiding as an off-tank/dps. In the heroics I was running with a hunter, a rogue and either a mage or a warrior for dps. The mage could pretty easily CC anything. The rogue would do a sixty second CC pre-pull. The hunter would grab agro on a melee mob and trap it in an ice block. The hunter I have to give props to because he could CC pretty much anything I told him to. Which is impressive for a hunter given their abilities, but alas I digress. The warrior brought little to the table for CC. However, these guys made a five pull into a two or three pull providing easy to tank and easy to heal combat situations.
The more I play MMORPGs the less I see players utilize CC. In Rift I rarely remember the use of CC and when Wrath of the Lich King expansion came out CC pretty much died in WoW and AoE tanking reigned supreme. It seems like AoE tank every pull and AoE everything down was the new way, easier, faster, less strategy, skill and planning. I don’t buy into this though.
Bioware gave pretty much everyone but tanks CC so obviously they intended people to use it in more than just PvP. I mean I love to CC as a healer. I think it is so awesome and it gives me another job to do. CC is fun to use and as healer I feel I am doing more than just healing when I am also able to use my CC. Yet people don’t or don’t want to or don’t know how to use CC. This is why CC is a dying art. A skill that only old MMO veterans know and few still practice. As for the newer players it is a skill never learned and never requested. Here’s to the death of CC may it not stay long buried.
Do you use CC or do you just find it a waste? Give me your insight into this fine art.