Crowd Control (WoW)  

Crowd Control refers to the action of taking mobs safely out of a fight for a period of time. This is a necessary ability because there are often pulls in instances that will result in more mobs than the group can easily handle. Even with a paladin tank, who are the kings of AoE tanking, it may be necessary to crowd control some mobs due to dangerous abilities that the mobs can use. For instance, it's often useful to keep mobs that fear or heal incapacitated if they can't be killed first.

Ideal crowd control is repeatable, predictable and shuts down the enemy completely. These generally are effects like Charm, Incapacitate and Sleep. There are other effects that are occasionally referred to as crowd control but are largely ineffective because of a short duration (and long cooldown) like some stuns, because they allow the mob to still perform actions (like Root effects), or because they are completely unpredictable and can result in adds (like Fear).

Note that off-tanking is not crowd control. Yes, it takes the mob out of the fight, but not safely; you are still taking damage from the mob, and (like Root) it allows the mob to use its abilities. (A possible exception is using a Warlock's Voidwalker or Felguard to tank the mob for a time, as these are much more expendable than a raid member. The effectiveness of this will vary greatly with the Warlock's talents.)

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Common Crowd Control Effects

  • Polymorph - The most common form of crowd control is the Mage's polymorph spell, also called Sheep. Can be used on beasts and humanoids only. Damage caused to the target will remove the effect. Note that a sheeped mob will regenerate health at a very fast rate.
  • Banish - Warlock spell that can be used on elementals and demons only. Damage caused will not remove the effect, bo no damage can be done to the target until the banish wears off. Banish can also not be reapplied until it wears off, which will lead to a (brief) period of time where the mob is active before it can be banished once again.
  • Freezing Trap - Hunter ability that can be used on any mob. Damage caused will break the effect. Can lead to severe complications later in the game, especially if the Hunter does not have the appropriate talents, if the trap is resisted as it will then often paste the Hunter (or, worse, the healer). Largely unuseable on caster mobs due to the requirement of getting the mob to stand on a certain point.
  • Hibernate - Druid spell that will put dragonkin and beasts to sleep. Damage caused will break the effect.
  • Shackle Undead - Priest spell usable on undead mobs only. Damaged caused will break the effect.
  • Mind Control - Priest spell usable on Humanoids only that allows them to take control of a Humanoid for a period of time. Use of this spell generates an extraordinarily high amount of threat, and if the mob survives the Mind Control (not likely if used to pull a group of mobs, as they will beat on their former compatriot) it will almost certainly need to be taunted off the Priest.
  • Sap - Rogue ability that can only be used on Humanoids which are not in combat. The target is unable to act for a long period, but only rarely can be resapped because they will join combat with the rest of their group. The rogue can only use this ability while in stealth.
  • Enslave Demon - Warlock spell allowing them to take control of a demon for a long period of time. Like Mind Control, this ability causes a great deal of threat and the demon would have to be taunted off the Warlock if it survives the Enslavement.
  • Seduction - Warlock spell that requires the use of the Succubus. Damage caused will break the effect, and it requires the continuous channeling of the Succubus so any effect that breaks her cast (stuns, etc) will also break the effect.

Quasi-Crowd Control Effects

  • Entangling Roots - Druid spell that roots a target in place. This can only be used outside and the mob will still be able to use abilities while rooted.
  • Cyclone - Druid spell that works similarly to banish. Incapacitates the target but also prevent damage to the target. However, unlike Banish, this has a very short duration and is effected by diminishing returns even on NPC targets.
  • Stuns - Several classes have the ability to stun the target, however most of these stuns have a short duration and a long cooldown and therefore cannot be reapplied very quickly. Additionally, stuns are on a diminishing returns timer even on NPCs. The exceptions to this rule include Kidney Shot, which is on its own diminishing returns timer, and random-effect stuns like Mace Specialization, which are linked but on a separate DR timer than triggered stuns.
  • Fears - Priests have a AoE fear spell and Warlocks have a variety of fears. These generally make poor crowd control because there is no way to control where the mobs will go. Often in instances, the areas to fight in are quite close to other mobs and a fear can easily bring unwanted adds; however, in a properly cleared area it can be very useful. Note that targets can be attacked while feared, but doing so will often break the effect.
  • Incapacitate Effects - Similar to stuns, most incapacitate effects are short duration, long cooldown abilities; unlike stuns, they break on damage. They are, however, extremely useful as a way to deal with a mob long enough for either a tank to taunt it or for it to be given a long-duration crowd control. Incapacitate effects include Gouge, Maim and even Blind.

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This page last modified 2008-06-28 11:17:41.