WildStar Crowd Control Effects Guide by Steamhawke
Crowd Control (CC) effects are a time-honored component of MMO combat that allow a player to effectively limit the number of active participants in a battle. They typically compromise a target’s ability to move or act freely through the use of magical or physical effects, (such as stuns, immobilization, or freezing) but can appear in many shapes and forms that cause their victim to lose some degree of control of their character. Whether these effects are used to remove a number of NPCs in a large fight, slow or immobilize a target so they cannot effectively chase you, or disarm a foe, CC effects are a powerful way to enhance a combat system to make it more complex and dynamic.
Given that players are far more mobile and unpredictable than any given NPC you’ll encounter, the most efficient way of defeating them is generally to lock them down and pile on the damage without giving them the chance to react. This has been true in just about every MMORPG to date, and Wildstar is no different. Without CC effects, your opponents are free to run away, heal, or pop defensive cooldowns to mitigate your damage and therefore live to fight another day. As such, it becomes very important to understand what tools are available to use in securing a kill on another player, as well as how each form of crowd control affects your gameplay and the prescribed counters.
Crowd Control is just as important in PvE content, however, for its ability to interrupt and incapacitate targets. Often powerful foes will have dangerous spells or abilities that must be prevented from being cast or death is soon to follow, or you find yourself facing more enemies than you and your group can handle. CC is useful in both of these scenarios to help keep the players in control of an encounter so that they may eliminate foes effectively without suffering insurmountable losses. In Wildstar, it is important to understand the effects of each family of crowd control effects so you can best incapacitate foes, interrupt abilities, and even increase your own damage. By interrupting a NPC’s cast before it completes, players are rewarded with a Moment of Opportunity (MoO) that allows them to deal bonus damage for a short period of time, making mastery of CC essential to overcoming the difficult denizens of the planet Nexus.
But while CC’ing another player or NPC to line up your heavy-hitting skills is all fine and dandy, you can bet that you’ll be on the receiving end of CC, too. Losing control of your character tends to be a frustrating experience, as you helplessly watch your avatar succumb to the
pleasureshorrifying pain of being impaled, burned, electrocuted, or transformed into a Sweet Roll. In order to combat this relative helplessness induced by CC effects, the Wildstar developers have implemented a five-tiered approach to help minimize the time you’re disabled to better maximize the time spent kicking ass. This approach can be broken down into:
- Breakout Gameplay – Essentially a series of counters to each family of CC to give players something to do when they’ve been disabled, breakout gameplay is Wildstar’s biggest form of CC recovery. Most families of CC (stun, root, etc.) has a prescribed form of counter-play to engage the player when they would otherwise be unable to control their character.
- Interrupt Armor – Temporary stackable buffs that can be granted through the use of consumables, gadgets, special-condition AMPs, or a few select abilities, Interrupt Armor provides a temporary charge system for nullifying incoming CC effects. Each CC ability removes 1 interrupt armor naturally, though can usually be tiered up to remove 2 at a time, so there’s always a give and take between granting you or your teammates interrupt armor to prevent incoming CCs while still preserving your items and abilities to try and conserve this precious resource.
- Diminishing Returns – In its current state, players can only suffer from one instance of a CC family before gaining complete immunity for several seconds. This prevents players from chain stunning you or immobilizing you as your health drops from 100% down to nothing. Currently, there is roughly an 8 second window of family-specific CC immunity before you become vulnerable to the effect again. This means you’ll need to diversify your class compositions in group PvP to maximize the amount of ways you can control other players to line up kills. (NPCs are not affected by diminishing returns on CC effects.)
- Stunbreaks – Every class has access to some form of CC break ability, whether it be available through a base ability or through tiering an ability up. These abilities generally have a 20 – 35 second cooldown, and will instantly dispel any active CC effects on your character, and usually give some sort of temporary offensive or defensive bonus to boot.
- Resilience – A tertiary stat whose sole purpose is to reduce the duration of incoming CC passively, Resilience is available in small quantities on gear, through AMPs, or via temporary buffs granted by abilities. Don’t expect to stack 100% CC immunity, but through a combination of cooldowns, AMPs, and gear, you can substantially reduce the duration of incoming CC effects with this stat.
So we know the game has CC effects; we know there are ways of dealing with it; but what exactly are the families of crowd control effects and which classes have access to them? Below I’ll outline each CC mechanic and its associated counter-play (if it exists). All of these CC effects will be nullified by interrupt armor in sufficient quantities, but putting that aside for a moment, here’s what we have to work with:
A very straightforward effect that causes you to be unable to move, dodge, use abilities, or take any actions until the duration has ended. Countered by pressing and holding a randomly determined directional movement key to lessen the duration of the stun.
- Engineer: Zap. 2.5s base stun on a 30 second cooldown. 25m range.
- Medic: Paralytic Surge. 3s base stun on a 30 second cooldown. 15m range.
- Spellslinger: Gate. 3.25s base stun on a 25 second cooldown. 18m range.
- Stalker: Stagger. 2.5s base stun on a 25 second cooldown. 7m range.
Similar to stun, knockdowns prevent movement or the use of any ability. Countered by dashing in any direction.
- Esper: Crush. 4.0s base knockdown on a 35 second cooldown. 25m range.
- Stalker: False Retreat. 2s base knockdown on a 30 second cooldown. 10m range.
- Warrior: Kick. 3.0s base knockdown on a 20 second cooldown. 7m range.
A physical push that moves your character several meters away from the source of the knockback. Interrupts casting and renders your character useless during the knockback animation. No counter.
- Esper: Shockwave. 8m base knockback on a 30 second cooldown. 10m range.
- Warrior: Tremor. 2m knockback on an 12 second cooldown. (2 charges at tier 4.) 20m range.
A physical pull that moves your character several meters towards the source of the pull. Interrupts casting and renders your character useless during the pulling animation. No counter.
- Stalker: Collapse. 10m pull on up to 3 targets on a 30 second cooldown.
- Warrior: Grapple. 20m pull on up to 2 targets on a 13 second cooldown. (2 charges at tier 4.)
Immobilizes your character and renders them unable to move, turn, or dodge, but all abilities are still available for the duration of the root. Countered by cleansing/dispelling the debuff.
- Esper: Restraint. 3.0s base root on a 35 second cooldown. 25m range.
- Medic: Magnetic Lockdown. 3.0s base root on a 15 (10) second cooldown. 15m range.
- Spellslinger: Flash Freeze. 4.0s base root on a 30 (27) second cooldown. 25m range.
- Stalker: Collapse (Tier 4). 1.5 second root on a 35 second cooldown. 10m range. (***This ability does not invoke the diminishing return timer, and the root effect is broken upon the target receiving damage!***)
- Warrior: Grapple. 1.2s root on a 13 second cooldown. (2 charges at tier 4.) 20m range. (***This ability does not invoke the diminishing return timer, and the root effect is broken upon the target receiving damage!***)
Prevents your character from moving more than several meters away from a tether post. Dodging and abilities are still fully usable, but you are physically restrained from leaving the radius of the tether post until the effect expires or the post is destroyed. Countered by destroying the tether post doodad.
- Stalker: Tether Mine. 7.5s base tether on a 40 second cooldown. (2 charges).
- Warrior: Tether Bolt. 7.0s base tether on a 30 second cooldown.
Disarms your character and prevents them from taking any actions, but allows full range of movement. Disarmed weapons are thrown approximately 25m away from your character and glows blue. Countered by walking over your weapon on the ground to pick it up again.
- Esper: Incapacitate. 4s base disarm on a 40 second cooldown.
Randomly reassigns your forward, left, right, and backwards keybinds, making movement confusing and difficult to control. Countered by cleansing/dispelling the debuff.
- Spellslinger: Spatial Shift. 6.0s base disorient on a 35 second cooldown. 25m range.
Obfuscates your vision of the screen with a thick dark cloud and decreases your chance to hit for the duration of the blind. Over the course of the blind’s duration, clarity of vision is slowly restored, but hit chance remains fully modified. Countered by cleansing/dispelling the debuff.
- Engineer: Obstruct Vision. 5.0s base blind on a 30 second cooldown. 10m range.
- Esper: Incapacitate (Tier 8}. 4.8s blind on a 40 second cooldown if foe is casting. 30m range.
- Warrior: Flash Bang. 5.0s blind on a 35 second cooldown. 20m range.
So there’s the rundown on what you can expect to encounter in the world of Nexus. Each of these CC abilities is potent on its own, but when chaining them together or combining their effects, you’ll see dramatically increased performance than simply using them on their own. Any CC can be coupled with the effect of another family as they share different diminishing return immunity timers, but any player who uses a stunbreak ability will clear all active CC effects on them, so manage your and your opponent’s cooldowns with care. Some of the more potent CC combinations I’d like to point out are:
- Tether + Subdue: As it stands, the tether effect lasts *much* longer than the root family of CCs, but allows for a small degree of movement, and can be broken early by destroying the tether post with your attacks. Hit a tethered target with subdue and you’ve effectively locked them out from any actions for many many seconds on end as they can neither escape the tether to fetch their disarmed weapon nor break the tether post due to their weapon being flung across the room.
- Knockdown + Root: An incredibly potent combination that offers all of the benefits of a stun without allowing the player to break out early by holding down the randomly chosen movement key. Knockdowns prevent actions other than dashing, which will end the effect early. Roots prevent movement, including dashing. Couple the two together and a player can’t do anything as they lie on the ground being pummeled.
- Blind + Disorient: Remove a player’s ability to see the battlefield, then scramble up their movement keys so they have no clue where they’re going. This combination of CC does nothing to prevent the actions or movement of another player, but it wreaks havoc on their efficiency in combat. If you can’t hit what you can’t see, try doing it when you can’t walk in a straight line.
- Pull + Anything: While pulls are handy for yanking an escaping target back into your waiting arms, why leave it at that? Pulling a target then rooting, stunning, knocking down, or applying any additional form of CC leaves them helpless and at the perfect distance for filleting.
Hopefully this little introduction to crowd control effects leaves you a bit more prepared to handle the dangerous world of Nexus. Wildstar’s gameplay is based on movement, skill, and awareness, so this guide aims to help prepare you for the crowd control effects you’ll face in PvP and PvE. As always, player skill, gear, and any number of other factors can have an enormous impact on the outcome of a fight. But it never hurts to be prepared, and know thy enemy. Happy hunting!Other WildStar Articles
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