Thursday, August 12, 2010

The Dying Art of Crowd Control

Remember Karazhan? Remember how the trash before Attumen needed to be CCed, so it wouldn't run around killing stuff? Remember how on Moroes, 2 adds were often Shackled and a third either kept frozen or at least kited by a hunter? Remember how the end raids of the expansion (Black Temple, Sunwell and Tempest Keep to some degree) were never advertised for Pugs?

Now think to this Expansion that's coming to a close. Can you remember the last time you had to rely on CC to get a boss down? Faction Champs in ToC springs to mind, but other than that I'm drawing blank. And also isn't it interesting how every raid in this expansion is now Puggable?

In an attempt to open raids up to more people Blizzard have dropped the difficulty in raids and heroics considerably. And in many ways it was successful for them more players into endgame content means more money in their pockets. But the downside is, that with all these easier raids it is difficult to find good players.

On a recent post on OutDPS, Eidotrope discussed the relationship between hunters and tanks and healers, and he commented on what makes good hunters and bad hunters.

I also have healer and tank alts that I take into raids and heroics and in my time have seen a lot of players, and I am baffled by the large number of average to below average players I come across. But it got me thinking and its not really there fault.

In raids these days Crowd Control is something of an afterthought. Trash gets rounded up by the tanks and then AoEd down. And its got nothing to do with gear. When my guild entered Naxx in blues and crafted epics we rounded up adds and Aoed them. When we entered Ulduar in Naxx gear it was the same thing. Then in ToC we don't even get trash, but to be fair we got Faction Champs, the only WotLK raid boss that really required a heavy load of CC. And now to Icecrown, where CC is used sparingly on Saurfang (frost traps for beasts), the trash in the Crimson Wing and on the Lich King fight for the Val'kyrs, a place a lot of players don't even get to.

So looking at it it from that angle I am not surprised that hunters around the world don't manage their aggro well or use some smart Crowd Control. They simply don't know any better. How could they when during leveling and even gearing in heroics and early raids, those necessary skills are simply not required. In so many boss fights these days, even if it was designed to use some kind of CC, depending on the group make up you can get away with using none at all. If your tank is geared enough you don't have to tranq the Shambling Horrors on LK. If your DPS is high enough you don't even need to slow the Valkyrs.

In BC hunters needed to know how to kite. We needed to know how to trap things effectively and keep em trapped. And the same level of skill was required by the other classes. if they didn't it was wipefest after wipefest. In WotLK effective CC appears to be limited to PvP and Arena, but only a small percentage enjoy PvP.

With Cataclysm I hope Blizzard address this issue and bring some Skill Requirement back to raids and dungeons. it doesn't have to be on Boss fights, even just tricky trash will force all classes to re-learn the dying art of crowd control. But until then we are going to have to live with players not knowing how to use their CC abilities. We are going to have to live with having to tell people to use Misdirect or tricks, and we are going to have to live with the fact that its not really their fault. All we can do is accept this fact and do as I do, offer our knowledge to these players, and teach them the wonders of Crowd Control, so they may improve and prepare for the future.

keep on Hunting and save the art of crowd control,


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