Controlling the Crowd: A Broadened Look at Crowd Control

January 18, 2011

Community, Dungeon Guides

Sparked by the discussion on the weekly poll regarding tanking as a form of “crowd control” as well as by a nudge from Merric and Goldenstar, I’ve decided to cover, in painstaking detail, all the forms of what I will now call “Controlling the crowd” (“CtC”) rather than “Crowd Control” to more readily allow tanking as an acceptable methodology.  In covering all the various options for controlling the crowd I will also let you know the type of situations that you would likely use that methodology, what restrictions it has as well as the benefits and drawbacks to using it.


Methods of Controlling the Crowd:

The Four “Classic” Methods:

Mesmerize/Daze (“Mez”)- This method of CtC renders the target completely useless. They do not move, they do not attack, in fact they generally can’t even hold their own head up. Sometimes appropriately referred to as “Putting the mob asleep”. This state is broken by ANY damage (even damage to power, Loremasters don’t draw power from a mezzed mob if you want it to stay that way)

Stun- Stuns, like mezzes, render the target completely harmless, however a stun is NEVER broken by damage. Stuns are generally shorter than mezzes and upon expiring the monster that was stunned receives a 10 second immunity to further stuns (this immunity does NOT prevent mezzes)

Root- Roots immobilize foes, locking them in place. Targets under the effects of a root cannot move but can use attacks if eligible targets are within range. Roots are very effective against targets that operate primarily in melee. Roots can be broken by damage but the break chance is not 100%

Fear- Fears function very similar to mezzes in that the target of a fear cannot use any skills, however the target will be running slowly away from the original point of origin of the fear. Fears are always broken by damage except where a fear is cast after the application of damage-over-time. Pre-existing damage-over-time effects only have a small chance of breaking a fear.

Some other “Creative” methods

Slow and Kite- This method entails placing a movement speed slow on the target(s) and running them about in circles, squares or any shape you see fit. The key is that while slowed, the monsters will be unable to catch you and do harm. This method also includes cases with the player is able to increase their own speed in lieu of decreasing enemy speed.

Self-heal and Kite- The movement of this method is similar to above. The chief difference here is that the person running the mobs around (“doing the kiting”) is able to heal themselves on the move to make up for the occasional hit they will take. With enemies on the move, they will get less hits in than they would standing still and thus the basis for this method and why it can work.

Tank-Kite- Again, similar in terms of movement to other “Kite” methods, the difference here is that the person doing the kiting is responsible to maintaining enough “threat”/”aggro” on the kited targets to allow a healer to keep the tank alive without turning the ire of the monsters onto the healer or, in some cases, the tank keeps enough threat to allow his targets to be damage by other players without changing target.

Off-tanking- Off-tanking is executed by using a spare “tank” to separate a specific monster or group of monsters in order to make dealing with the other portion of the monsters a bit easier. Depending on class and situation, off-tank may or may not require healing beyond their own self preservation skills.

Debuffing- Through use of debuffs, it’s possible to significantly reduce the effectiveness of  a monster’s attacks, controlling it’s damage and the danger to you and your allies.

“Blow it up”- This method is based on the “Dead men tell no tales” philosophy. If there is a very dangerous monster giving you trouble, there’s little that’s more finally effective than throwing everything in the arsenal at it and making it dead fast.The “Blow it up” method is a concerted effort by everyone in the group to provide as much damage as possible in as short a time as possible, as such, I won’t highlite any specific skills by class for this methodology as everyone already knows what skills do the most damage. This method is endorsed by the Shing-Shing club


Class by Class CtC Aptitude

Burglar:

“Classic” Method Skills and Abilities:

Skill Name Effect Duration Gives Immunity? Sustainable Species Restrictions
Riddle Daze 30-40 secs No Yes Works on Intelligent* only.
Startling Twist Stun 8 secs Yes No NONE
Small Snag/quite a snag Root 15/30 secs No No/Yes NONE
Gamble Mezzes Daze 10-60secs No With luck NONE
Stun dust Stun 5 secs Yes No NONE
Exploit Opening FM Stun 5 secs Yes No NONE
Trip/Tanglefoot FM Stun 5 secs Yes No NONE
Exposed Throat FM Stun 6 secs Yes No NONE
Marbles FM Stun 6 secs Yes No NONE
Diversion Movement pause 10 secs No No NONE
Confound Daze 30 secs No No Works on Intelligent* Only

*intelligent refers to the following species: Orc-kind, Man, Elf, Dwarf, Hobbit, Dragon-kind, Ancient Evil, Unseen, and Dead.

  1. Riddle -  A Mez usable on dead, men, orcs, goblins, ancient evil and drakes. This is the bread and butter of a burglar’s “classic” control abilities. This can be improved, by the trait Perplexing Riddle, to include a 5 second stun at the start of the mez. Can also be lengthened by slotting at least 3 traits in The Mischief-maker traitline.
  2. Startling Twist- a long stun, useable every 45 secs, requires there to be a trick on the target.
  3. Small Snag/Quite a Snag- A single target root skill at the end of the burglar’s “crit chain”. Being at the end of the crit chain makes this root a bit trickier to access than other options.
  4. Gamble Mezzes from Mischievous Glee and Provoke- Mezzes of varying length depending upon luck, chance for a mez to happen is also not guaranteed at all times, depending on traits and other situational factors, odds and results vary. Mez from mischievous glee requires burglar to be slotted at least 4 traits deep into “the gambler” trait line. Provoke mez require the trait Leaf-walker and a stealth condition (either sneak or a stealth effect from Feint attack.) It is worth noting that these mezzes have no species restrictions the only immunity to these mezzes is absolute immunity.  Beasts, insects and creatures of nature are very restricted in terms of mezzability so these two mez options are handy for those species, when available.
  5. Stun Dust- A burglar-specific consumable on a 10 min cooldown that stuns the target for 5 seconds.
  6. Exploit Opening- This is the burglar’s main fellowship maneuver (aka “conjuction”) starting skill, not to be overlooked is the fact that it’s also a 5 second stun. Even if the target has fellowship manuever immunity, it can still receive the stun.
  7. Trip/Tanglefoot (improved Trip)- This is the burglar’s second go-to skill for starting a fellowship maneuver. Useable only from stealth or after using Improved Feint Attack. Just like exploit opening, this also carries a 5 second stun.
  8. Exposed Throat- This skill, at the end of the burglar’s crit chain has a 20% chance of opening a 6 second fellowship manuever and stun.
  9. Marbles- Another burglar class-consumable. Marbles cause a 6 second fellowship manuever and stun. Marbles have a 10 minute cooldown.
  10. Diversion- Diversion allows the burglar, while in stealth, to make a monster turn his back to the burglar for 10 seconds. This will also cause pathing monsters to stop moving (and this is why I listed it here). By stopping a pathing monster at an opportune location, it may be possible to separate it from other nearby monsters.
  11. Confound- confound will, after 10 secs daze 2 nearby targets for 30 seconds each. When improved by the trait, Confound the Fools it will daze for first stun for 5 secs then daze for 30 secs, it will also hit an additional 2 targets.

“Creative” Method skills and abilities:

  1. Dust in the eyes- this debuff applies 20% miss chance but more importantly, it also applies a 25% run speed slow for 30 secs. Dust only has a 5 second cooldown. Dust can be improved by the trait, Trickster, to hit up to 3 targets. Slowed monsters = kite-ability.
  2. Caltrops- A burglar class consumable that hits up to 5 targets, applying a 25% run speed slow and a bit of damage over time. This is another case of slowed monsters = kite-ability. Caltrops have a 10 minute cooldown.
  3. Touch and Go- This skill gives the burglar +50% to evade for 30 seconds. This level of evasion allows the burglar to do some relatively hefty tanking for a short time.  Burglar can also reset the cooldown on this skill by using Escape Clause or Ready and Able.
  4. Find Footing- After being stunned, dazed or knocked down, this skill restores some of the burglar’s morale and gives them an evade buff equal to that of Touch and go. This skill is also reset by Ready and Able and provides the potential for extended tankability on a burglar.
  5. Enrage- this debuff causes the monster to attack at random. This is an effective way to distribute damage incoming to the group that is getting too focused on one target. When improved by the trait, Blind Fury, enrage becomes even more powerful, rendering most ranged attacks unusable for the target.
  6. Disable- This debuff decreases the enemy’s attack speed as well as their melee damage, rendering them far less dangerous. Improved by Disabling Attack, disable will cause an even larger reduction in attack speed and melee damage.

Captain

“Classic” Method Skills and Abilities

Skill Name Effect Duration Gives Immunity? Sustainable Species Restrictions
Routing Cry Stun 3 secs Yes No None
Kick FM Stun 5 secs Yes No None
Coordinated Attack Stun 3 secs Yes No None
  1. Routing Cry-  When improved by the trait, Turn of the Tide, this captain defeat response becomes a 4 target stun.
  2. Kick- When slotted at least 3 traits deep into the Leader of Men traitline, this interrupt skill has a 10% chance to cause a Fellowship manuever and stun.
  3. Coordinated Attack- This pet skill (used on all 3 banner-bearing “Herald” pets, not used on the archer) has a chance to stun.

“Creative” Method Skills and Abilities

  1. Muster Courage- When improved by the trait, Strength from Within, this skill serves as a self-heal for the captain. This self heal can be used on run and therefore can help facilitate a “Kite and self-heal” method.
  2. Make Haste- this temporary, fellowship-wide run speed increase can help facilitate or at least make temporarily easier all of the various kiting methods.
  3. Last Stand- This skill allows the captain to become unkillable for a short time. It can help facilitate tanking and kiting methods.
  4. Pets- Just a general term for captain’s heralds and archers. In a pinch, a captain pet can make a good temporary tank. They won’t likely last much past 30-40 seconds, but sometimes that’s all you need.

Champion

“Classic” Method Skills and Abilities

Skill Name Effect Duration Gives Immunity? Sustainable Species Restrictions
Sound the Attack/Horn of Gondor Stun 3 secs Yes No None
Crafted Horns Stun up to 10secs Yes No None
  1. Sound the Attack/Horn of Gondor- Sound the attack is a 5 target, AoE stun. With the trait, Mighty Blast, it becomes, Horn of Gondor which hits an additional 3 targets and cannot be blocked, parried or evaded.
  2. Crafted Horns- Champions can get crafted, reusable horns made by a woodworker that give the champion the ability to stun up to 6 targets for a base length of 5 seconds (improveable to up to 10 seconds via legacy on rune). Crafted horns are on a 15 minute cooldown.

“Creative” Method Skills and Abilities

  1. Hamstring- A run speed slow. Excellent for facilitating kiting.
  2. Sprint- A temporary run speed boost, helpful to get some distance between self and a kited target.
  3. Dire Need- A potent self heal that consumes half the champion’s power, doubling that power into a morale heal. This skill can help in a pinch and give the champion more breathing room in an offtanking situation.
  4. Bracing Attack- A small self heal on a short cooldown. Very helpful for offtanking situations.
  5. Sudden Defence-  Greatly increases the champions ability to avoid attacks for a short time. Excellent for offtanking.
  6. Adamant- Reduces the amount of melee and ranged damage the champion takes for a short time. Great for offtanking.

Guardian

“Classic” Method Skills and Abilities

Skill Name Effect Duration Gives Immunity? Sustainable Species Restrictions
Bash Stun 3 secs Yes No None
Shield-smash Stun 3 secs Yes No None
To the King FM Stun 5 secs Yes No None
Turn the Tables FM Stun 5 secs Yes No None
Overwhelm Stun 3 secs Yes No None
  1. Bash-  This “block chain” skill will stun the enemy for 3 seconds.
  2. Shield-smash- This “block chain” skill follows a “Bash” and, like bash, stuns the enemy for 3 seconds.
  3. To the King- This “parry chain” skill will cause a fellowship manuever and stun on critical hits.
  4. Turn the Tables- Upon being stunned, knocked down or dazed the guardian can shake off the status and in turn apply a 5 second stun and fellowship manuever to the offending enemy.
  5. Overwhelm- This Overpower skill has a chance of applying a 3 second stun.

“Creative” Method Skills and abilites

***I’ve intentionally left off survival/tanking abilities for guardian as that is their normal class roll and they will be the one doing the main tanking with healing focused on them and therefore that skill set needn’t be highlighted here***

  1. Engage- Normally used for it’s aggro-grabbing property. This skill also applies a 25% slow to the target (and a 15% slow to the guardian, a 10% net speed advantage). Though the speed debuff is only 15 seconds and not sustainable, it will allow the guardian to get a  lead in a single-target kiting, scenario.
  2. Charge/Brutal Charge- a 50% speed boost for 7 seconds. Good enough to get a lead over anything being kited.
  3. Stagger- This overpower skill will allow the guardian to put a 25% slow on the target if the skill is used from behind -OR- lands a critical hit. This runspeed slow is potentially sustainable. This is excellent for aiding others in kiting and still an option when the guardian itself is kiting.

Hunter

“Classic” Method Skills and Abilities

Skill Name Effect Duration Gives Immunity? Sustainable Species Restrictions
Set Trap Root 30 secs No No None
Rain of Thorns Root 30 secs No No None
Crafted Traps Root Varies No No None
Bard’s Arrow Fear 15/20 secs No No Only works on Evil Alignment
Cry of the Predator Fear 10/15 secs No No Works only on Beasts
Distracting Shot Daze 10/30 secs No With Trait and Legacy None
Penetrating Shot (requires 4 trapper of foes traits) Root 10 secs No No None
Dazing Blow Daze 5 secs No No None
  1. Set Trap - A hunter can use this skill to lay a trap on the ground that will root the first enemy to walk through it.
  2. Rain of Thorns- This skill allows the hunter to root multiple targets in place for 30 seconds.
  3. Crafted Traps- There are several different types of traps, crafted by weaponsmiths, that hunters can use in and out of combat to root the foe(s) in place. A good hunter shouldn’t leave home without some.
  4. Bard’s Arrow- This shot will send the enemy running in fear for 15 seconds. Only works on things that are aligned with evil (example, Wargs are evil [they serve saruman/sauron], wolves aren’t evil, they’re just hungry). Common non-evil targets will be found in the beast, nature and insect categories. Can be improved by the trait Strong Intimidation to fear for an additional 5 seconds.
  5. Cry of the Predator- This shout will send an enemy BEAST running in fear for 10 seconds. Like Bard’s Arrow, may be improved by Strong Intimidation to fear for an additional 5 seconds.
  6. Distracting Shot- This shot will daze the enemy for a short time. Daze duration can be increased to 30 seconds using the legendary trait, Explosive Arrow.
  7. Penetrating Shot- When slotted at least 4 traits deep into the “Trapper of Foes” traitline, this normally high-damage skill becomes a root.
  8. Dazing Blow-  This Melee skill allows the hunter to apply a 5 second daze to the enemy.

“Creative” Method Skills and Abilities

  1. Quick Shot- When in strength stance, quick shot will apply a large, although short, run speed slow to the target, helping to facilitate kiting methodologies.
  2. Set Snare- A hunter can, while out of combat, set a snare that will slow the runspeed of the first enemy to pass through it, like every other slow, this helps facilitate kiting.
  3. Low Cut- This hunter melee skill will apply a 50% run speed slow to the target for 10 seconds, this is sustainable via a 5 second cooldown on the skill. This is an excellent option for slow and kite scenarios.
  4. Barbed Arrow- This hunter bleed skill has a 10% movement speed slow that can be easily maintained. A great option in assisted kiting scenarios especially when the person kiting can build threat on the move.

Loremaster

“Classic”Method Skills and Abilities

Skill Name Effect Duration Gives Immunity? Sustainable Species Restrictions
Blinding Flash Daze 30 secs No Yes Does not work on Nature and Dead
Light of the Rising Dawn Stun 3 secs Yes No None
Test of Will Stun 5 secs Yes No None
Bane Flare Daze 15 secs No No Works on Dead only
Storm Lore Stun 3 secs Yes No None
Ents go to War Stun 6 secs Yes No None
Herb Lore Root 30 secs No No None
Cracked Earth Root 30 secs No Yes None
Fan the Flames Fear 15 secs No No None
Bursting Root FM Stun 6 secs Yes No None
Bear Hug Stun 3 secs Yes No None
Throat Slash FM Stun 6 secs Yes No None
Staff Strike Stun 5 secs Yes No None
  1. Blinding Flash- This is the bread and butter mez not only for Loremasters but in LOTRO as a whole. It lasts for 30 seconds on only a 15 second cooldown. Easy to maintain. Does not work on Creatures of Nature and Dead.
  2. Light of the Rising Dawn- This damaging skill also applies a 3 second stun to the target.
  3. Test of Will- A 5 second stun on a 1 minute cooldown. Longer than most standard stuns, useful for making useless an enemy that is being damaged.
  4. Bane Flare-  A 15 second daze that works on Dead only. First 5 seconds of daze are unbreakable, after 5 seconds, breaks on any damage like a standard daze. 5 Targets.
  5. Storm Lore- Stuns up to 3 targets for 3 seconds. (can be improved to 8 targets with the trait, Deep Lore)
  6. Ents go to War-  This legendary skill deals massive damage and stuns up to 5 targets for a very cool 6 secs. One of the best overall stuns in the game. 5 minute cooldown. Cooldown may be reduced to 2 minutes by slotting at least 3 deep in the Master of Nature’s Fury traitline.
  7. Herb-lore-  Roots up to 3 targets (8 with Deep Lore) for 30 seconds.
  8. Cracked Earth- This skill places a debuff on up to 5 targets that will root them for 30 seconds when the debuff expires (expiration occurs after 5 or 10 seconds depending on traits).
  9. Fan the Flames- This eagle skill will put  15 second fear on a target under the effects of “Burning Embers
  10. Bursting Root- This bog-guardian skill has a 20% chance to apply a 6 second fellowship manuever and stun to the target.
  11. Bear Hug- This bear skill will cause a 3 second stun.
  12. Throat Slash- This Sabre-tooth skill has a chance to put a 6 second fellowship manuever stun on any target that is “Flanked!”
  13. Staff-strike- When improved by the Master of the Staff trait, any criticals from this skill will result in a 5 second stun on the target.

“Creative Method” Skills and Abilities

  1. Burning Embers-  this damage skill also applies a 30% run speed debuff which is excellent for facilitating all kiting methods. Slow is maintainable.
  2. Sticky Tar-  This allows the loremaster to leave a tar spot on the ground. When enemies try to move through the tar they are slowed by 50%. This tar can be kept down approximately two-thirds of the time. This is one of the best slows in the game and as such, is immensely helpful for kiting.
  3. Fire-lore / Wind-lore / Frost-lore- These “lore” skills debuff the target(s)’ Melee, ranged and tactical damage outputs respectively. Damage debuffs can be key in making off-tanking possible or at the very least, easier.
  4. Distraction-  This raven skill functions very similar to “Wind-lore” in that it significantly reduces the target’s ranged damage capabilities. When used in conjuction with “wind-lore” it will actually reduce the target’s ranged damage so low that it will become more likely to engage in melee combat.
  5. Pets- Just like the captain’s Herald’s and archers, Loremaster Pets are good temporary off-tanks (when traited properly the Loremaster’s pets can actually take a pretty good beating before running into trouble).
  6. Gust of Wind- this damage skill also increases the target(s)’ miss chance. More misses=easier tanking/off-tanking.
  7. Sign of Power: Command / Sign of Power:See All Ends-  These “signs of power” reduce the targets attack speed and critical chance respectively. These debuffs are a great survival aide for anyone tanking or off-tanking.

Minstrel

“Classic” Method Skills and Abilities

Skill Name Effect Duration Gives Immunity? Sustainable Species Restrictions
Cry of the Valar Fear 15 secs No No Works on Evil Aligned targets only
Song of the Dead Daze 30 secs No Yes (but not by default) works only on Dead
Song of Distraction Awareness Decrease Infinite as long as not in combat No No None
Piercing Cry Stun 5 secs Yes No None
  1. Cry of the Valar- This cry will fear the enemy for 15 seconds. Does not work on anything that is not aligned with evil (example, Wargs are evil [they serve saruman/sauron], wolves aren’t evil, they’re just hungry). Common non-evil targets will be found in the beast, nature and insect categories.
  2. Song of the Dead- This song will daze one of the “Dead” for 30 seconds. Good for DEAD ONLY. Can be sustainable with a legacy to reduce its cooldown.
  3. Song of Distraction- This song will make a monster harder to pull into initial combat. You can get much close to them and even pull other monsters who would nearly cause the affected monster to come also and the monster will remain there, unaffected. While this isn’t 100% a pure CC skill, it functions like a permanent daze if the proper cautions are exercised (don’t hug it and don’t hit it).
  4. Piercing Cry- When improved by the trait, Unrelenting, this high-damage shout will stun the enemy for 5 seconds upon a critical hit.

“Creative” Method Skills and Abilities

  1. Anthem of the Wizards- This anthem will slow the the run and attack speeds of up to 3 targets. Great for helping with either kiting or with off-tanking. Not at all sustainable though.

For more info on minstrel crowd control read: Goldenstar’s Minstrel Crowd Control post.


Rune-Keeper

“Classic” Method Skills and Abilities

Skill Name Effect Duration Gives Immunity? Sustainable Species Restrictions
Shocking Touch Daze 5-10 secs No No None
Vivid Imagery Daze 5-10 secs No No None
Armour of Storm Daze 5 secs No No None
Shocking Words Stun 5 secs Yes No None
Winter-storm Stun 5 secs Yes No None
  1. Shocking Touch- This skill allows the Rune-Keeper to mez the target for between 5-10 seconds. When improved by the trait, Confounding Principles, this daze will last 5 seconds longer, increasing it’s duration range to 10-15 seconds. Skill has a 20 second cooldown time.
  2. Vivid Imagery-  Similar to shokcing touch, except that it mezzes up to 3 targets at a cost of being on a longer Cooldown of 5 minutes. When improved by the legendary trait, Perfect Imagery, it increases the mezz duration by 5 seconds and drops the skill cooldown to 3 minutes.
  3. Armour of Storm- While this is active, anytime the Rune-keeper takings melee damage there is a 30% chance that the offending target will receive a 5 second daze.
  4. Shocking Words- This damage skill has a chance to apply a 5 second stun. The chance of application is 7% times the current damage attunement number.
  5. Winter-storm- This CLASS TRAIT gives all “fury of storm” skills a 5% chance to apply a 5 second stun to any enemy under the effects of writ of cold.

“Creative” Method Skills and Abilities

  1. Chilling Rhetoric- This skill will slow the enemy by 70% for 10 seconds. Slow is removed upon damage. Slowing, as always is great for enhancing kiting scenarios.
  2. Distracting Winds-  This will slow the enemy by 50% for 10 seconds. Unlike Chilling Rhetoric, this slow doesn’t end upon damage, however the skill has a 3 minute cooldown.
  3. Armour of Winter- Melee attackers have a chance to be slowed for 5 secs after attacking you when this skill is active.
  4. Word/Essay of Exaltation- These skills can reduce incoming damage by 40% for a short time. This can aide in tanking/offtanking in a  pinch. Short durations limit effective long-term use.
  5. Healing Skills- The Rune-keeper’s arsenal of Heal over Time skills that are useable on the move are a great tool for surviving while kiting.

Warden

“Classic” Method Skills and Abilities

Skill Name Effect Duration Gives Immunity Sustainable Species Restrictions
The Boot Daze 5 secs No with extreme luck only None
Ambush Stun 5 secs Yes No None
Boar’s Rush Daze 5 secs No with extreme luck only None
Desolation Fear 2 secs No No None
  1. The Boot- this fun interrupt gambit also has a 25% chance to apply a 5 second mez.
  2. Ambush- this fight starting javelin skill will stun the target for 5 seconds. Must be used outside of combat.
  3. Boar’s Rush- This 4-length gambit will daze for 5 seconds on critical hits.
  4. Desolation- This 5-length fist gambit has a 25% chance of fearing any monster under its’ influence (max 3 targets) for 2 seconds, chance reapplies every 4 seconds for a duration of 16 seconds. When improved by the legendary capstone, Way of the Fist, the chance is increased to 50% and the targets are increased to 6.

“Creative” Method Skills and Abilities

***I have included Warden Survival/tanking abilities since their specialty is self-sustained OFF-TANKING which is a slightly different flavor than main tanking, warden’s can still main tank but their skills are more conducive to off-tanking***

  1. Hampering Javelin- This Javelin Toss will put a 30% run speed slow on the target. Can be sustained with the combined effects of a hampering javelin duration legacy and the trait, Expert Hurler.
  2. Avoidance Gambits- Defensive gambits such as, Defensive Strike, Dance of War, Wall of Steel and Shield Mastery make the warden difficult to harm, giving them an edge in any sort of kiting/offtanking situation.
  3. Self-Healing Gambits- Warden’s have an amazing ability to heal themselves  over time with gambits like: Persevere, SafeguardCelebration of Skill and Restoration. Wardens may also steal morale from nearby foes with gambits such as: Fierce Resolve, Resolution, and Exultation of Battle. All these things combined make a warden a perfect, self sustaining off-tank (if self sustaining is at all possible with the target.). No other class can maintain self heals anywhere near as effectively as the warden (barring RK, but the RK doesn’t have the defensive advantages that the warden does either).
  4. Conviction- One of the most recognized gambits in all of Wardendom… this gambit steals threat from every member of the fellowship and places a considerably potent heal over time on them. This is a great tool for the warden to pick up loose monsters and to maintain aggro on them. A skilled warden will have learned how to use conviction on the move via use of the “masteries” (Master of the Fist, Master of the Shield, Master of the Spear). This is how wardens can kite many targets at once and still maintain their attention through damage and healing.
  5. Morale Leeches- Wardens have 3 Gambits that can steal morale from up to 10 targets each. The use of these gambits can help facilitate survival both in tanking/offtanking roles and in kiting (when built using masteries). These gambits are: Fierce Resolve, Resolution, and Exultation of Battle.

Wow! I Never Realized That There Are THAT Many Ways to “Control the Crowd”

Yeah. There is no lack of CC or ways to CtC in any group. The key is learning when and how to use each key skill in order to accomplish the end goal of rendering the enemy far less effective than they would be if left unchecked. Everyone can lend a hand in helping with the role that is classically known as “Crowd Control”… Now that being said, the above lists and charts are clear evidence of why Lore-masters, Burglars and properly traited Hunters are the ones usually called about to perform the bulk of this role, they simply have more tools.

How Can I Make Good Use of My  Crowd Control Skills?

One thing about stuns, dazes and fears that people often overlook or forget about is that even if the target of said effects is being hit (and therefore the effects, except stuns, will be broken very quickly) the effect(s) still serve to disrupt the combat sequence and cause the target to spend far more time recovering from effects than actually causing harm. Knowing this, I challenge you to use your stuns, fears and dazes more often, especially on targets that are being hit (assuming there isn’t a target being kept away that you’re supposed to help manage) so as to disrupt their skill cycle and give yourself a greater edge.

Dude!? Who’s Breaking My Mezzes!?

Ever wondered who keeps breaking your mezzes, fears and roots?  There is actually an option in “Combat options” that will tell you in your chat box who broke what type of combat status. Once you’ve figured out who’s breaking it you can help them understand that you don’t want them hitting that target right now. The option is called: “Display Combat State Break Notices in Chat Window”.

Closing Thoughts

Whether you’re a CC Purist or a CtC Visionary, there is one undeniable truth… There are a lot of ways to deal with numerous enemies and success can come down to creative use of little known and little used skills, tricks, abilities and tactics. Next time you think your group “doesn’t have any crowd control”, think again. If this post/guide/article (who knows what to call it at over 4500 words /shrug) was helpful or interesting to you, it might be worthwhile to check out a post I did last year called: Alternative Methods: Crowd Control.

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40 Responses to “Controlling the Crowd: A Broadened Look at Crowd Control”

  1. Capnhoppy Says:

    Instead of CtC, how about Mob Management?

    Reply

    • AsH Says:

      I like Mob Management better. Crowd can refer to hitable players (in PvP) on whom (grammar?) some methods won’t work.

      Reply

  2. Psallo Says:

    Great post, pure gold! A ton of critical information. One thing I wish was included in the charts was the level where the various skills are available. This way if I’m working in fellowship with a class I don’t play, I can know what they should be able to do, and can even give them ideas on how to use these skills.

    Thanks Elb, well done!

    Reply

  3. wickedpt Says:

    Excelent work.

    Just forgot to mention the traited staff strike will also produce a stun on crits. But that’s about it.

    Reply

  4. Avatar of Ketani
    Ketani Says:

    Nice work! Might want to note, however, that hunter’s Bard’s Arrow and Rain of Thorns are legendary traits.

    Reply

  5. darkeye Says:

    Couldn’t see it anywhere but you left out Confound for burglars, which I wish was ranged but still a great CC ability.

    Reply

  6. camenecium Says:

    Slowing skills like Chilling Rhetoric (or the hunter’s Quick Shot while in Strength Stance) are not just about kiting. When solo and facing multiple opponents, I will slow one of them and burn down the other(s) as they approach me. That up-to-ten seconds of no damage from the slowed opponent is very useful.

    It’s especially useful if the slowed opponent is going after a rune of restoration placed in a far-away, particularly inconvenient location. Such decoy or “wild weasel” techniques might fall under your broader definition of crowd control, too.

    Since you touch on some skills considered debuffs for other classes, it’s worth adding that runekeeper skills like Writ of Cold, Essence of Winter, and Frozen Epilogue are area effect skills that slow attacks and increase misses–among other things.

    Reply

  7. Urailas Says:

    Very well done post Elb!

    A couple of quick comments on the LM. Ents go to War cooldown can be reduced to 2 minutes if traited 3 deep in the red line (master of nature’s fury). There is one stun you left out – Improved staff strike (must have the trait Master of the Staff slotted) has a chance to stun an opponent on crits – I believe it’s a 3 second stun.

    Reply

  8. Rudyjarkon Says:

    Fantastic article! One stun was missing from the Guardian chart…’Overwhelm’ on the parry line. I have it enhanced with a LI legacy “+1808 Overwhelm rating”, which gives me a 50% chance for a 3sec. stun. If it misses then the “To The King” can still catch the mob in a 5 sec. stun with a 30% or 40% of the time. So I get a 90% chance of stunning something every few seconds while DPS tanking,(If I remember to keep switching targets).

    Reply

  9. Peksus Says:

    Best post (this year)!

    Reply

  10. Doyce (Geiri/Finn) Says:

    Awesome post. Just three notes on Hunters:

    Barbed Arrow has a 10% movement speed debuff built right into it. It’s not as big as slow as Strength-stanced Quick Shot, but Barbed Arrows doesn’t require any particular stance for the slow to work, and can be maintained indefinitely. Definitely a go-to skill for kiting.

    The limitation on Bard’s Arrow is not that is won’t work on Beasts, et cetera — it’s that it only affects Evil targets. You can, for example, use Bard’s Arrow on wargs, because they are evil, AS WELL as use Cry of the Predator on them, because they are also beasts. The same is not true of wolves, because they aren’t evil; just hungry.

    The hunter class trait Strong Intimidation adds 5 seconds to the Fear duration on both Bard’s Arrow and Cry of the Predator. Equipping this trait allows a hunter to keep an evil target ‘harmless’ almost constantly (since the target has to spend time running back into attack range once the fear fades), except for maybe one attack on the hunter every 30 seconds or so.

    Reply

  11. Tellen Says:

    Why force new terminology where there isn’t a need for any? Why thrust *everything*: Tanking, Debuffing, DPS, and CC all under one vague and confusing term? Can’t we just stick with the key terminology already in use by the vast majority of the MMO community?

    For example, under your four classic methods of Mez, Stun, Root and Fear, you should have also included Kiting, as Kiting has always been a viable and widely used form of CC.

    But then under “creative methods”, you essentially list Tanking, Debuffing, and DPS as “CtC” effects. Why can’t we just stick to the standardized and accepted terminology.

    CC: Limiting the number of mobs actively participating in the fight (to the point where they are not damaging anyone).
    Debuffing: Reducing a mob’s effectiveness in the fight.
    Tanking: Maintaining aggro on a mob, or several mobs, to direct damage onto yourself and away from the rest of the group.
    DPS: Damaging a mob.

    There’s no reason to keep diluting these terms other than that a few popular LOTRO bloggers have the, quite frankly asinine, stance that anything that controls a crowd to any extent is CC (which is literally *everything* in the game) and are too stubborn to admit that they are erroneous to say so.

    That said, this is an excellent post explaining what different classes can do to help the group with their CC and Debuffing abilities. Far too many players have tunnel vision regarding DPS and focus almost exclusively on doing the maximum amount of damage to the mob when, in many cases, it is far more effective (sometimes even necessary) to use your CC and Debuffing effects. This phenomenon begins to filter out once you get a bit beyond the F2P herd, but up until Fornost you will run into players who don’t understand or use most of their Debuffing and CC effects unless, of course, there is also a damage component involved.

    Reply

    • Dreadhed Says:

      @Tellen, I don’t see how describing class abilities is a dillution in term? Why are the terms or MMO jargon such sacred cows? Not to be touched? The only constant in the universe is change, yet it is what most people fear the most.

      I don’t see how it is “asinine” or “eroneous” to say that kiting a mob is crowd control. When I ran Ost Elendil last nite it sure was nice to have the guard kite the sisters while we did in the boss. Sure felt like they were being controlled to me. I have run it before with the LM mezzing 2 of the sisters. Seems more effective to have the guard take all 3 off our hands.

      I guess I just don’t understand the angst about calling kiting crowd control? Who cares? It is an effective means to use class skills to overcome an ingame problem. Why is the terminology sacrosanct? To accuse folks of being stubborn, asinine, and erroneoous is quite frankly just being rude, especially as you provide no counter argument as to why it should not be considered CC. All you do is say they are wrong. Not very convincing, sorry.

      Reply

      • Tellen Says:

        Comment reading fail.

        Dreadhed: “I don’t see how describing class abilities is a dillution in term?”

        Tellen: “That said, this is an excellent post explaining what different classes can do to help the group with their CC and Debuffing abilities.”

        Dreadhed: “I don’t see how it is “asinine” or “eroneous” to say that kiting a mob is crowd control.”

        Tellen: “For example, under your four classic methods of Mez, Stun, Root and Fear, you should have also included Kiting, as Kiting has always been a viable and widely used form of CC.”

        Dreadhed: “To accuse folks of being stubborn, asinine, and erroneoous is quite frankly just being rude, especially as you provide no counter argument as to why it should not be considered CC.”

        Tellen: “Why can’t we just stick to the standardized and accepted terminology.

        CC: Limiting the number of mobs actively participating in the fight (to the point where they are not damaging anyone).
        Debuffing: Reducing a mob’s effectiveness in the fight.
        Tanking: Maintaining aggro on a mob, or several mobs, to direct damage onto yourself and away from the rest of the group.
        DPS: Damaging a mob.”

        Perhaps you should actually read my response before being so quick to post a snide retort.

        1) I commended the author for being to attention the various class abilities that are useful in group play.
        2) I agreed that Kiting is a form of CC.
        3) I defined the terms used in MMO combat using their common usage definitions to show how each term applies to different mechanics. What I disagree with, and gave evidence to support my opinion on, is that Tanking, Debuffing, and DPS are not CC. And CtC is an unnecessary term that is too vague to be used as common lingo to describe combat situations as it apparently encompasses everything. This term has coined by the author mainly because of other MMO bloggers who recently started the conversation of what is CC and decided, amongst themselves, that they were going to rewrite the definition of the word to suit their own personal opinion – which is asinine and erroneous.

        Reply

  12. Jestro of Windfola Says:

    Great post. Also worth mentioning that hunters Distracting Shot can be treated to make a 30 second daze

    Reply

    • Avatar of Elborigorn
      Elborigorn Says:

      Will add a note about that, thank you. and thanks again to all who have mentioned the few things I’ve missed in a kind way. This was quite and effort to put together and I’d known I’d end up missing/forgetting a few things. I really appreciate the manner in which everyone is bringing it to my attention and not jumping down my throat. Thanks! :D

      Reply

  13. sean Says:

    a few warden-related points:

    1. Wardens are main tanks as well :)

    2. as well as Conviction, a Warden can build Dance of War – it’s an aggro leach and Evade buff: ideal for kiting.

    3. Morale Leeches – Wardens get 3: Fierce Resolve (8 targets, morale-over-time); Resolution (10 targets, instant) and Exultation of Battle (10 targets, morale *and* threat over time). All can be built on the run with Masteries (and indeed, with a bit of thought, all 3 can be built on the run, using Masteries, without using the same Mastery twice).

    4. Wages of Fear: Javelin attack with large Positional Damage bonus – which when you’re kiting, is available quite often.

    Wardens are, to my mind, *the* best kiting class: lots of ways to grab aggro, self-heal, morale leech, threat leech, ranged attacks and defensive buffs, all available on the run.

    Reply

    • Avatar of Elborigorn
      Elborigorn Says:

      Wardens are the best kiting class yes. I left off dance of war because conviction does so much more with the group-wide heal, I don’t see the sense in bother with DoW in a kiting situation.

      Morale leaches are great too yes, more of a “stand and survive” technique imo, but I do occasionally use them on the run, and crap.. I meant to include them! lol (Warden has actually been my main of late, I’m embarrased to have forgotten to include those)

      As for wages of fear.. i don’t see how when your kiting you’re goign to take advantage of a rear positional damage bonus… mobs should be on YOUR tail and facing you.

      anywho, thanks for reminding me that I forgot to include the leeches, I’ll be adding them

      Reply

  14. Dreadhed Says:

    GREAT POST ELB!

    Excellent overview of class skills, its good to know what other classes are capable, of. Heck with all the CC capacity a hunter has, they could almost be a CC class. I will get yelled at for saying that but its the truth…

    Reply

  15. Avatar of Elborigorn
    Elborigorn Says:

    Made lots of changes based on information in the above discussion.

    I will be adding the levels at which you get the skills at some point. for now, the lorebook entries that are linked do have that bit of information though

    Reply

  16. Rauil Says:

    I dont know if you got this because I got tired of reading all the responces, but when you said the target could attack if it is in range while rooted, you may want to note that if it is a ranged damage dealer, like an orc with a bow, roots dont really work because they’ll still attack with their bow, other than that excelllent guide, very informative and well written, keep it up elb.

    Reply

  17. Bob Says:

    Some burglar skills “knockdown” instead of “stun”. Normally there is no difference between the two effects, and a knocked down target will get stun immunity after recovering as well, but the main distinguishing factor is that knockdown works on targets, including bosses, that are immune to stun. These skills include Trip/Tanglefoot and Marbles, and possibly others (can’t remember them all). This difference is important to know, because a timely knockdown can often buy time for recovery and turn the tide in tight situations.

    Reply

    • Avatar of Elborigorn
      Elborigorn Says:

      some, in fact most, bosses are immune to knockdown as well although there is a bug that will cause the animation for knockdown to still play regardless of that fact, despite appearances, in these cases, the boss is still using his normal set of skills.

      that being said, you do make a good point, however.

      Reply

      • vr00mfondel Says:

        The Warden’s Ambush is also a knockdown if I’ve understood correctly. Not sure of the difference between stun and knockdown except the animation.

        Reply

        • Avatar of Elborigorn
          Elborigorn Says:

          it is a knockdown yes. I didn’t seperate knockdown from stun anywhere because most, if not all, diferences aside from the animation have been eliminated. there are a few (and it’s very few) exceptions where a knockdown will connect and a normal stun will not.

          Reply

  18. Isilwren Says:

    Also to add to the hunter’s CC skills are Weaponsmith made traps. I am not traited to any of the Trapper of Foe line as it is, imo, rubbish.
    I do carry about four different types of weaponsmith made traps with me for various situations.Triple Traps are my favorite.

    Reply

  19. Muz & Kath Says:

    This is a great post, we learned a great deal more than we thought we knew!. Thanks

    Reply

  20. Geldarion Says:

    Elb, great post, I was on the kiting-but-not-tanking-is-CC side of the discussion on the poll, so I am glad to see such a great and comprehensive list of options. It really makes the LM and burg look like the kings of crowd control, as they should be. The hunter doesn’t look too shabby either, which arguably it shouldn’t, as it’s yellow line is for CC (though it is less useful than it needs to be to warrant traiting it).

    Also, some of the skills you mentioned as “unsustainable” are in fact *almost* sustainable, such as the hunter’s Bard’s Arrow. Traited, it has a 25 second fear, and the cooldown is 30 seconds. Hit a melee mob with that, and they will do absolutely no damage, because by the time they run back to the group, they get feared again. Usually. :D Sometimes hunters forget to re-CC and they get caught up in DPS lol.

    Reply

    • Avatar of Elborigorn
      Elborigorn Says:

      a lot of the “unsustainables” come very very close :D. I’m hoping this breakdown of what’s available will help people rethink how they play their class and how they run groups in regards to dealing with many foes.

      And Thanks again to all for expressing appreciation of this guide, article, post…. thing.!

      Reply

  21. Flamesong Says:

    Elb – great post!

    you should copy this into the Lore Book as well – really good stuff and should encourage lateral thinking in the greater community

    cheers!

    Reply

  22. Avatar of Azz
    Azz Says:

    Great job Elb!

    Reply

  23. Reshwarokk Says:

    Thanks much for this. Very informative. But for the life of me, from a game mechanics standpoint, I don’t see why so many stuns are only 3 seconds. I mean, what good is that? It’s probably not enough time to escape combat, and unless you’re high DPS, how much damage are you going to do in that time?

    Reply

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