crowd control

Ship of Heroes resurrects the crowd controller playstyle

Do you miss playing your Controller in City of Heroes? One of that game’s spiritual successors wants to resurrect the concept of a mez-happy superhero who throws down crowd control and status effects as a way to exert domination over a battlefield.

The Ship of Heroes team delved into crowd control powers in this week’s blog post, saying that mez abilities “make a game more complex and give players greater flexibility in how they defeat enemies.” The developers listed nine specific crowd control powers they are considering, with at least five of these being included for launch. These powers range from slows to sleeps, from confuse to terrify.

Even if mezzing isn’t your thing, there are always debuffs to toss onto enemies to make their defeat easier and buffs to share with allies to bolster your team. Fifteen examples of each type of debuff and buff powers were listed, which should be more than enough to spark your imagination as you think of what kind of hero you want to build when this game goes live.

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AdventureQuest 3D overhauls classes and combat

Not content with the current state of the world, AdventureQuest 3D pushed out a patch this week that overhauled its classes and combat — a change that bodes well for the future.

“In this update we wanted to make combat feel more fun and exciting,” the team said. “We also wanted to give each of the starter classes a distinctive play style which would prepare players for upcoming classes. These updates will also set the foundation for us to start creating new classes.”

Players who jump into combat with this new patch will discover that potions now have a 10-second cooldown, movement speed is standardized in all directions, the global cooldown is reduced to a single second, damage-over-time abilities are affected by armor, crowd control has diminishing returns, buff and debuff icons, and they can be stunned. All classes now have an ultimate ability, have their own resource, have passive abilities and effets, and share a new class panel. The team also added new animation and particle effects for many attacks. Whew.

Source: Patch notes

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Gigantic’s Corruption patch rolls out new champ Oru and ‘creature gestation’ mechanic

Gigantic is live with a new update today. Dubbed Corruption, the patch is being touted by PWE and Motiga as the game’s “first major release since launch” last month. The headlining feature of the update? A new playable champ called Oru. No, you.

“Oru, also known as ‘The Fortune Teller,’ is a mid-range damage dealer who excels in teamfights. His kit revolves around combining his skills to deal high damage and provide utility to the team in the form of crowd control.”

The update further includes 5v5 custom lobbies for premade groups, push-to-talk for voice chat, and a “creature gestation” mechanic, “which promotes greater strategy at higher levels of play by giving players a window to attack and counter enemy creatures while they are still vulnerable.” The Oru trailer tucked down below should cleanse your palate after “creature gestation” – enjoy!

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The Daily Grind: Which style of MMO combat do you enjoy the most?

MMOs are nothing if not deeply invested in combat as a core system, and as such, developers have come up with every fighting style under the sun to keep players engaged. It always fascinates me how many different styles there are in online games and how they appeal to various players.

Me? I generally enjoy ranged combat with faster rather than slower attacks (instant is always preferred). If I have a pet or pets under my command, so much the better, and I don’t mind being given the ability to mess with enemy AI with stuns, confusion, and other crowd control techniques.

Which style of MMO combat do you enjoy the most? Are you a brute force melee fighter? A sneaky thief? A sparkly mage? A dual pistol marksman? A shapeshifting slasher?

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SMITE adds Cu Chulainn to its roster and kicks off a Code of Chivalry event

This week’s newest member of the SMITE line-up is Cu Chulainn, the Hound of Ulster. Cu is a rough-and-tumble melee warrior who boasts high crowd control and area DPS. Like the Hulk, you don’t want to get Cu Chulainn mad, because when that happens he goes berserk and sees his stats and abilities improve.

Whether you play this new hero or not, all players can enjoy the Code of Chivalry event that’s currently running. “By choosing good quests, your morality progress bar will lean to the side of good, but choosing bad quests will sway it to the side of evil! After completing 5 quests, your progress bar will determine your remaining four quests and which Osiris skin you unlock first — Noble Knight or Black Knight.”

Finally, for Father’s Day weekend SMITE is selling its dad champions for 50% off (and, presumably, getting each of them a tie).

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Pantheon explains acclimation and recaps the Monk class in May’s newsletter

Indie MMO Pantheon’s latest newsletter recaps the past month, so if you’re paying plenty of attention to the game, you’ve already seen the featured Monk stream. But Visionary Realms has also put out a bit more information on both the new class and the acclimation system. The studio is damn proud of acclimation in particular:

“Acclimation is a method of dealing with the harsh environments you will find in the world of Terminus. By using various infusions on different parts of the body, characters can help mitigate the external forces that may impact them. These infusions are on a tier based system, with lower tiers being more common and the highest requiring more advanced gameplay to attain. As with most of the systems planned for Pantheon, a measure of player interaction will be present in the form of craftable infusions. Another level of complexity is achieved by allowing more than one environmental system to be active simultaneously. Players will be able to use multiple infusions at once to help counteract their effects.”

Pantheon’s Monk is also on display; old-school EverQuest players are going to feel right at home with the class, which designed “not as just a fantastic pulling class, but also as capable melee DPS, short term crowd control and as a suitable offtank.”

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Shadow Priest-esque hero Seris is live in Paladins’ open beta

Paladins’ open beta update #48 went live yesterday, and with it arrived the champion teased for the last week and change. Her name is Seris, Oracle of the Abyss; Hi-Rez says she “plays unlike any other champion currently in the game and she really speaks to the fantasy art style” the studio is pursuing. That’s because she’s a bit of a hybrid shadow priest, with shadow damage and heals as well as a stealthy shift-phase and a super annoying (for enemies) crowd control move.

There are also a few new skins for existing characters (Alley Cat Maeve! Bomb King in what appears to be a blinged-out pimp costume!), plus tweaks to the co-op Cops and Robbers map and a bunch of requisite balance adjustments for other toons. Check out Seris’ vid below!

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TERA previews the fluid combat of the Valkyrie class, launching April 11 with Honorbound

Excited for TERA’s next new class? She’s the Valkyrie, with a name voted on by you, and today En Masse has queued up a brand-new trailer showing off her badass moves.

“Valkyries are an ancient Castanic martial order who have returned from exile to help fight the Archdevan army. They originate in a culture that celebrates freedom and express that through a fluid combat style. Close-combat specialists with a dual-focus on crowd control and burst damage, a Valkyrie’s weapons, armor, and skill sets are designed to set up opponents for massive attacks. These attacks generate Runemarks, a new combat mechanic exclusive to the Valkyrie class, for them to exploit and explode. Combining fast movement with high damage, Valkyries will be a dominant factor in any battle.”

The Valkyrie launches in next week’s Honorbound update, landing April 11th. Until then, drool over the official website’s skill list and get ready for clickin’.

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Meet City of Titans’ six heroic archetypes

Thanks to some website spring cleaning, City of Titans made a previously hidden article visible to the masses. This particular page outlines the upcoming superhero MMO’s six archetypes, their mottos, and the general playstyle that each will offer.

City of Heroes veterans may be familiar with some of the archetypes here, although some offer slightly different twists. There is the Stalwart, a tank that can take large amounts of damage; the Enforcer, a melee DPS type; the Guardian, a tough paladin-like role; the Ranger, which deals out damage from a long way off; the Commander, which fiddles with crowd control and enemy manipulation; and the Operator, a pet-controlling mastermind.

Each archetype then branches out into three subtypes, such as the Centurion, the Warden, or the Ringleader. Simple math tells us that City of Titans is aiming for at least 18 different classes in its final product.

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Elder Scrolls Online previews Morrowind’s Foyada Quarry (pro tip: lava is hot)

ZeniMax has this morning released a deep-dive of one of the trio of battlegrounds due to launch in The Elder Scrolls Online when Morrowind arrives in June. The so-dubbed Foyada Quarry is quite different from the last battleground previewed, being wide-open with little cover.

“In this deserted granite quarry, you can view exactly where the action is right from the start. However, when navigating this map, you should watch your step; the entire site is now overflowing with lava, bathing the arena in a red glow and burning those unfortunate enough to fall in. Despite the environmental hazards provided by the looming Red Mountain, Foyada Quarry funnels the action right into the center of the map via a selection of granite pathways and seared wooden bridges. Because the majority of the map is so open, teams are able to quickly close and engage with each other, thrusting you into battle almost immediately upon leaving your base and making it an especially fast-paced Battleground.”

ZOS notes that crowd control will be particularly useful on the map as you knock enemies into lava and away from the capture point in the center of the map, at least in domination mode. Ouch.

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Paragon’s Aurora would trounce Frozen’s Elsa

With the weather that some of us are having, it seems appropriate that Paragon is introducing a winter-themed character to its roster. This week, Aurora joins the game as the 27th playable hero, bringing all manner of ice attacks and movement powers that leave her with no time for musical interludes about yearning and inner turmoil.

Aurora is a crowd control master, flinging down ice barriers at melee range with her sword, whipping up a frozen (and strangely functional) clone, and surfing on a pocket glacier that can be left behind for friends. This week’s patch also makes a change to its deathstreak mechanic, awarding fewer CP if a player has died an awful lot lately.

Get acquainted with Aurora in her announcement video below!

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Albion Online on buffing tanks and gear for gatherers

Albion Online Game Designer Michael Schwahn has a long-form dev recap out that should satisfy both the visual and auditory learners out there in our audience as it comes in both YouTube and blog flavors.

Schwahn focuses on combat specifically, explaining that while crafting and the economy feed back into the game’s combat core, gathering had been left in the dust. “To change this and give the gatherers the love they deserve, we are introducing new equipment that can only be unlocked purely by gathering,” he says. “Each resource type will have its own equipment set consisting of four pieces: helmet, armor, shoes and a backpack. That is a total of 20 new pieces gatherer gear!”

So there you go, combat gear for picking flowers. I can hear the wolf rage already.

There’s also a bit about gear from Royal Expeditionary Forces, dealing with overpowered zergs and crowd control, mobility mechanics, and class balance.

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DC Universe Online explains further changes in the new pass of the stat revamp

Power is important in DC Universe Online. You need power. But the fact of the matter is that power had kind of become a mess; providing power to yourself over time was a chore and didn’t provide much interesting gameplay, controllers wound up needing to spam power healing, and it was all around not a great scene. The latest iteration of the stat revamp has altered all of this significantly; power healing is an automatic passive for all characters now, and controllers in the controller role will automatically provide a passive power healing aura, thus allowing focused healing in specific situations while requiring less spam and loadout dedication.

Most ability cooldowns have also been reduced, while controllers in general have received more attention to offer crowd control that lasts longer and is harder to break. The result should be that controllers are more active and effective in battle, players can use powers more, and the necessary but not super-engaging power regeneration loop is no longer mandatory. Players can test out these changes on the test server and offer feedback about whether the changes are for the best or not.

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