Learning to Control

Discussion in 'Oracle’s Database (Guides)' started by Tesseract Prime, Feb 15, 2013.

  1. Tesseract Prime Dedicated Player

    HOW TO USE THIS GUIDE: It's going to refer to T1 alerts, T2 alerts, Raids etc as levels of your progression. If you hit level 30 and immediately start running Themyscira, this DOES NOT mean you should skip the section on T1 alerts. This is more an idea of what is expected of controllers at these levels - by the game as well as by the community. If you're technically a T1-Alert level controller in Themyscira, you won't be doing your job properly. WITH THAT IN MIND, ON WITH THE SHOW.

    This is sort of spinning off from a thread in Gotham City. There are a lot of guides to controller power sets out there, and guides to controlling as well, but I've always found they dump a little too much info all at once - and perhaps don't adequately explain the difference between Tiers. So the aim of this guide is to slowly introduce the key points of controlling, at the points at which you'd need it.
    To that end, there will be some things the first post tells you to do that the second post will tell you was a big lie and that you shouldn't really do. It's just to get you into good habits. I still advise to read the whole thread first before focusing on the section you're at right now - that's more a minimum guide of what's necessary for controllers at those stages than it is a hard a fast rule for what you should be doing.
    I might come back later and add in some of the numbers for specific things, like Vita levels etc, but that's too much research right now.
    I'm going to start a new level 30 and work up to the more advanced levels. I would hope that experienced trollers won't be learning much from this, it really is aimed at new people. With that over, let's get started!

    Duos and Challenges
    In general, you are better not to run these in controller role. In solo and duo content, killing enemies will restore some of your power (little blue orbs). This, combined with the added damage from DPS stance, make it sort of pointless to be in controller role. However, if you find that it takes too long to kill enemies even in DPS role (either because you are in the T2/T3 duos or when going against bosses) it can be handy to have POT active (see later). Go with what you feel comfortable with. If your partner is in controller role however, you should probably go as DPS - there is very little point in two controllers.

    Stack Vitalisation first. The higher the Vita, the more power you give to others.
    Cunning can be found in the Bow, Martial Arts and Shield trees. It increases the amount that a critical Power regeneration will tick by. You usually want to take this after Vitalisation, however if you have CR 80 but only 40 skill points go for cunning first - your gear will compensate for the Vita.
    You need to have a certain level of Dominance for CC to have an effect on mobs - this is usually listed in the description of alerts and things. Once you hit that level of Dominance, forget about it until much much later. That is the point at which your crowd control is guaranteed to have an effect on mobs - any more only increases the damage they take before breaking out, and this doesn't scale well with the damage dps inflict. Dominance also increases the amount of dmage your shields will prevent, but again, the scaling isn't great.
    There is a great deal of debate as to exactly what order controllers should spend their skill points in beyond Vita and Cunning. Honestly, it's up to you and your playstyle. Here's some examples:
    Vita - Cunning - DPS Innates - Dominance - Health <---- Experienced controller looking to do damage and knows when to block.
    Vita - Cunning - Dominance - DPS Innates - Health <---- Experienced controller specialising in crowd control, likes to do damage and knows when to block.
    Vita - Cunning - Health - Dominance - DPS Innates <---- Controller specialising in crowd control.
    Vita - Cunning - Health - DPS Innates - Dominance <---- Controller looking to do damage, or interested in PVP.
    If you take one of the first two options and find you die a lot, respec into Health after cunning.
    I also HIGHLY recommend the various movement mode Masteries. I always spec into these pretty much immediately regardless of character (which may not be the best idea) but certainly for controllers, anything that lets you regain power is a must. Slot them in after Cunning.

    Stat Mods
    Make sure every mod has Vita in it.
    For yellows, you can take Vita or Vita/Power. There's been some discussion over which is more beneficial overall, but I haven't gotten around to properly running the numbers. Vita is probably better for the POT troller and Vita/Power for the Debuff troller, so if you're in a static you could mod for this. If in doubt, go straight Vita.
    For blues, your options are Vita/Health or Vita/Dom. Again this is a playstyle thing, go for Health if you feel you take a lot of damage/you're modding PVP gear, go for Dom if you like CC and better shields.
    For reds it's either Vita/Prec or Vita/Might. This varies again depending on playstyle but also on power type. I think I have one of each at the moment because I was indecisive.

    For white mods from Home Turf, scroll down.
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  2. Tesseract Prime Dedicated Player

    T2 Alerts and Batcave Raids
    Power Over Time Optimisation
    Remember that last post where I said never to let the power over time go off? That was a horrible lie. The way that the PoT currently works, it's ideal to let it go off and then immediately recast it. This is because it restores power in five second ticks. When you first cast it, it restores power on the initial tick, then five seconds later it restores power on another tick. If you recast PoT when the bolt is still active, it does not restore power on the initial tick but it does reset the five second count to the next one. I'll try to illustrate below what I mean.

    PoT, 1, 2, 3, 4, Tick, 6, 7, 8, 9, Tick
    PoT, 1, 2, 3, PoT(no power), 5, 6, 7, 8, Tick
    Your team just went 9 seconds without power instead of 5.

    However, the second the bolt disappears is also a tick. So you can get the last tick, the bolt disappears, and then you cast again - for another initial tick. In this way your group can get a double tick.
    What this means is you shouldn't spam your PoT move. It's okay to use it occasionally - sometimes they can be downright useful for the move themselves rather than as a PoT - but be aware of the potential power-starve, and if you must, cast it immediately after seeing a tick. I've found that the more you run casting PoT, the better your internal clock will be at telling you when to cast it.
    One other thing about PoT Optimisation - since the initial tick restore power, it's a good idea to use it as your second move in a fight, not the first. By that point, the others should have used power and they will gain something back from the initial tick. This is why you should Debuff first, then POT (aside from meaning other's first move will gain the bonus from the defence debuff).

    The damage that a controller does should be practically incidental. Avoid putting powers on your bar just because they do good damage. Gauss Grenade, for instance, does very nice damage but it is also a defence debuff. Neural Neutraliser does some damage, and is a usable whilst controlled shield. Unless your team is at full power, don't use it just for damage - however, if you're stunned and taking heavy damage, by all means, abuse that shield.
    You'll be hitting enemies with your POT and with your debuffs, not to mention building up weapon combos to get your own power back, so you will be doing damage.
    You can also set up power interactions for other roles to make use of, but I can't really write up anything for that because it's based entirely on your group and what moves they like to use. Again, read the tool tips.

    Crowd Control
    There are a number of boss fights in which it is at least helpful and occasionally absolutely necessary for controllers to be on the ball with crowd control.
    For instance, in Khandaq it can be very helpful for controllers to stun the Waterkeepers right before they attack the rock sealing the aquaduct. This will prevent the attack, and stun them for a number of seconds to give time for the DPS to kill them.
    One of the most important parts of Crowd Control to figure out is pulls. These are useful in a number of important fights: Zetta Drone in Inner Sanctum, Broodmother in FoS1, crystal carry in FoS2. If your power set does not give you access to a pull your movement mode will. Always make sure to spec into one, even if you don't use it 99% of the time.
    One of the neatest moves with pulls is the Jump-Pull. Most of the time, the enemy is pulled straight to you and then stops as it hits you. If you jump, it is pulled to you...but you're not there any more, because you're back on the ground. This will send it soaring over your head and miles in the other direction. Most handy for keeping those mobs away from where you don't want them to be. Fliers, of course, can just Fly-Pull to the same effect.

    Everything Else
    It's quite a generic title but it's quite a generic subject. Controllers are perhaps the best role to do all the random nonsense you occasionally have to do in the game, like pressing buttons or reviving allies. If the PoT is on then people are getting back power, and Instant power isn't usually as necessary as Instant Healing, so you're sort of free to do things like press the buttons in Khandaq. Before you do so, or before you attempt to rally someone, pop a shield. We all get them now, and some of them are even good!

    For Gadgets it's Distract (which is also an agro dump). Mental and HL have a couple of shield options, but some are team shield supercharges, which you may not want to waste just to hit a button. The Mental equivalent of Distract is Grandeur, and I would recommend this over the group shields. HL comepletely lacks a move that works like Distract or Grandeur unfortunately. For them...

    There is also an iconic shield called Hard Light Shield. It soaks damage equal to 100% Dominance + 100% Restoration. This is more than some of the power specific shields (Distract is 100% Dom + 50% Resto). Also remember that HLS is just a shield, whereas the other moves may do other things, like dump agro.

    The healers are also a good bet for Activating things - their shields are better than ours in that they apply to more than one person, and will likely absorb more damage, however they can't target who gets the shield. Whatever you do, don't fight over it.

    When you start raiding, it's a major shift of gears for controllers, because there's two of you now and I'm going to put this in nice big letters:

    Each cast of Power Over Time overwrites the last cast. The most recent is the one that will apply.

    Like with the optimisation, when we saw that spamming POT isn't a good idea, two controllers each using POT is also a bad idea. Only one of them can be in effect. In the interest of the team, it should be the one with the highest Vitalisation that cast PoT, because they are giving more power back.

    The first thing you should do upon grouping for a raid is to establish which controller has the highest Vitalisation. This controller does the PoT. The other controller does the debuffs. Both controllers use Instant Power moves.

    Don't be offended if you group up and the other controller asks for your Vita - be relieved. It means they know about overwriting.
    Ignore the "Power Out" part of the scoreboard at the end. Whoever is doing PoT should, will, must have a higher out than the other one unless they are failing utterly. It really doesn't matter. Ignore the "Damage Out" part too. You're a controller, not a dps!
  3. Tesseract Prime Dedicated Player

    Fortress Raids
    There's not much that's added in at this stage, and this is also where a lot of personal taste and style creeps in. Also, by this point, you really should be looking at guides for specific powersets rather than generic controller stuff.

    More debuffs!
    It's only really in the Fortress Raids and beyond that the other debuffs can be useful. The damage debuff can help if your healers are having difficulty keeping up with everything, or for preventing certain one-shot attacks. Beyond a certain point however (the point at which your healers are over geared and everyone has learned to block/dodge the one shots) it is no longer as important. The damage debuff shows up as a red set of cross-hairs.
    NEEDS FURTHER TESTING -> There is also a healing debuff, which can be used in Fortress 3 or in Prime Battleground. Again, this can be made moot with certain tactics or if your team develops to the point where it is largely unnecessary. It SHOULD apply a 25% reduction to healing recieved. It may apply a 50% reduction to the healing given. It looks like a red heart. <- NEEDS FURTHER TESTING

    When you're at this point, you should know your power out. You should be able to read your team, and the situation, and know when you've got power to spare. In those situations, feel free to take advantage of that unscaled damage we controllers get. Now that you know how to keep your team afloat, you can care (just a little) about that whole "Damage Out" scoreboard thing. Never let it get in the way of the Power though.

    Advanced Tips
    I decided to add in this section for the couple of little tricks that I would only recommend to seriously advanced controllers, but it's worthwhile mentioning them anyway.

    Line of Sight Defibing
    Before going into exactly what this is, let's first go over how Instant Power (hereafter referred to as 'defib' ) works. You spend 300 power, and give out more power to up to three other members of your party. The amount that you give out is divided evenly amongst the three, and is dependent on you Vita score. I'm going to take a nice round 1000 Vita as the example for the rest of this. Defibing with 1000 Vita will give out 600 power to the rest of your group. If this is only one person, they get all 600. If it is two people they get 300 each. If it is three people they get 200 each. If you are in a raid group, it is still only three people getting the power, so they still get 200 each.
    The power is divided like this regardless of how much power they currently have.
    This, unfortunately, means that you can have two teammates on full power, and one on empty, and your defib will still only give the empty one 200 power.
    Line of Sight defibing allows you to circumvent this in specific situations. When you defib, the power will only attempt to go to people in your line of sight - and that is the number it will divide by. So if you only have one teammate in LoS, when you use defib they will get all 600 power.
    The trick is if you have two teammates with full bars, and one who is empty, lose LoS on the ones with full power bars. This will allow you to significantly restore the power of that one person. Even dropping LoS on one of your teammates will increase the overall power gained.
    Please note, this can be difficult to pull off effectively in an alert and nigh impossible in a raid. When you lose line of sight on people, they lose line of sight on you. Healers almost always require line of sight to heal, so if you are dropping away from them, you are putting yourself in danger. Apart from that in raids its usually just too hard to find a spot to target your defibs to the right people.

    Specific Power Guides and Further Reading
    Here's some guides to the specific powersets that might be useful. I checked that most of them were up-to-date when I posted them, but I can't guarantee anything beyond that.

    Everything Gadgets by TheDark - general guide.
    Hard Light
    Controller - No Weapon Construct Guide of Hard Light by Battery - controller guide.
    A Mental Breakdown by Femto

    Other Controlling Guides
    How to Play Controller by Battery
  4. Tesseract Prime Dedicated Player

    Unlike the other sections, where you pretty much have to progress through the tiers roughly in order, you can start doing PVP whenever you want. I'm going to assume you've at least read what's written above though, and that you are fairly comfortable with PoT and with debuffs (so you've done at least a few T1s, maybe a T2 and/or a raid.
    I'm also going to be talking purely about controlling in PVP. This means I'm going to be missing out a lot of basic PVP stuff, like how in the rest of the thread I haven't talked about weapon attacks etc.

    The basics still apply: you will still be expected to provide power to your team mates, with power over time and with instant power. You will also be expected to debuff the enemy. Things get a lot more hectic in PVP though.

    Rock, Paper, Scissors: Controllers are Better than Healers
    In PVP, people in controller role get bonuses against people in healer role. When you attack them, you gain an attack buff which lets you do more damage. You can also debuff their ability to heal – this is important – not just with the healing debuff. Sure, the healing debuff will reduce their ability to heal...but the defence debuff will also do the same. So if I use Gauss Grenade, I give them a defence debuff and the healing debuff. Currently, the generic controller vs healer healing debuff reduces their healing by exactly the same amount as an actual healing debuff move.
    So as well as power restoration, it is considered the primary role of a controller in PVP to kill the healers. It is possibly even more important to kill the healers than it is to restore power.
    Your instant power move also acts as a wipe to cleanse debuffs from allied tanks. Unfortunately, you can't see what buffs/debuffs your allies, so you really have to wait for them to yell for it. That said, you should be using instant power every now and again anyway.

    Rock, Paper, Scissors: Tanks are Better than Controllers
    Tanks get similar bonuses against controllers that we do against healers: they get a damage buff when attacking you.
    They can also use certain powers (although not all of them) to remove your PoT.
    It is generally a good idea to avoid tanks as much as possible. Unfortunately, if they know what they're doing, they're going to be coming for you.

    Rock, Paper, Scissors: Healers are Better than Tanks
    Just touching on this briefly as it's only indirectly related to controllers. The final piece of the rock, paper, scissors is that healers are better than tanks; they gain a damage buff from attacking them, and can debuff them (this is the debuff you have to wipe with instant power moves).
    If an enemy tank is hassling you, run screaming to the healer and try to get them to help. If an enemy healer is hassling your tank, heroically save the day.

    Other PVP Guides
    I'll post links to general pvp/advanced controlling in pvp guides when I can find some.
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  5. Tesseract Prime Dedicated Player

    Fantastic Tips from Other People
    These are words of wisdom that people other than me have posted, in this thread or otherwise. Most of them you should be picking up around the Raiding/T2 Alert level.
    Scarlet wrote:
    A great habbit to get into is to always apply PoT just before the next cut scene of an instance. It will help to take a fair bit of pressure off you, ensuring that everyone is topped up with power before the next stage (this will come with experience).
    Another must that is often overlooked by controllers is to be aware of players that get KO'd. When a player goes down they lose PoT even though it is still running on the rest of the group. Keep your eye on KO'd players, when you see them get up, reapply power over time for them.
    Controllers also need to be aware of where everyone is at the time of reapplying PoT. If you are ever unsure if someone was in your line of sight you should always reapply to be sure. Sometimes you can tell if you have missed someone as you watch players' power ticking. If you are ever in doubt just reapply PoT.
    Sometimes things get a little hairy. When you can anticipate that your power pool isn't going to be enough to keep everyone's power up, pop a soder and your trinket to relieve some pressure (when using your trinket you need to make sure you reapply PoT AFTER trinket use to gain the higher ticks of power).
    You need to be smart with the way you use your power, never run youself dry just before you are due to apply PoT. If all is going well you will be balancing power dumps with debuffs and keeping in mind when the next PoT is due.
    Notes: just remember to always be aware of your ticks when you apply the PoT.

    Quetzhal wrote:

    Aaaand to actually get back on topic regarding trollers, I don't know if this is troller advice per se, but I usually check with the classes of the DPS in my group. If there's, say, a Mental DPS, I might use Bubble instead of Flames and encase mobs and coordinate it with him so that he can do the burst damage with Resonance. Granted if that isn't done right, you just hurt the DPS.*wince*

    Other things... hm. I honestly think you guys have pretty much gone through everything. Sometimes I note that I have rapid ticks of power going for somewhat lower than my PoT- The healer's Regeneration supercharge (or whatever it's called). You can take that opportunity to refresh your debuffs if you haven't had the power to keep them up. Or use the influx of power to assist the power regen by power dumping, if your team is using up enough power to beat the regen on the supercharge.

    Other Credits
    Other people that need thanks for helping out with this:
    My Leaguemates, specifically Funda for keeping me right on Mental and Electric Slim for his Hard Light knowledge.
    Deadpool5241, for the wealth of information in his guides.
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  6. Tesseract Prime Dedicated Player

  7. Tesseract Prime Dedicated Player

  8. Tesseract Prime Dedicated Player

  9. Tesseract Prime Dedicated Player

  10. Tesseract Prime Dedicated Player

  11. Tesseract Prime Dedicated Player

    I am in the process of updating the guide with info from the most recent GU/DLCs, but I've reserved all the posts I need.
  12. Blazing Marauder Active Player

    1 tip to include as far as new DLC is concerned the "weakening field" mod and the orbital strike both of which reduce control resistance, both useful and maybe funny if you do it right. E.g. turning Brainiac into a ghost in PBG. NUFF SAID
  13. Tesseract Prime Dedicated Player

    Aye, that is definitely getting a mention. It feels so weird CCing bosses after all this time.
  14. ObsidianChillSucks New Player

    This mod is only for PvP it only procs when enemy players are attacking you which in turn would reduce their control resistance. It doesn't work against npc mobs or bosses in PvE.
  15. ItsRem Well-Known Player

    That is false.


    Let me say this to give reasoning: The only times that it has happened that I have been able to turn bosses into ghosts, is when I have personally been hit by the BOSS. I am also assuming the only times they can be encased are under these same circumstances. Otherwise, it's exactly as it usually is, you get the debuff, but that's it.
  16. ObsidianChillSucks New Player

    That is false

    This is just your imagination. Orbital strikes are the only way to reduce resistance on pve mobs and besides the fact that if your being hit by the boss your tank is not doing his job correctly. All the wording also attests to this fact the wording will just be "enemies" or it will say "enemy players" its a fairly simple concept to differentiate between pve and pvp focused mobs.
  17. Tesseract Prime Dedicated Player

    Give him the benefit of the doubt Chill, since when were SOE reliable with how they describe their effects? Even if that's the way it's intended to work, it's always possible it's bugged. Worth testing out at least.
  18. Blazing Marauder Active Player

    well orbital strike was half of my comment, asides from that if weakening field dosnt apply to pve adds then it should and as such it is broken
  19. Blazing Marauder Active Player

    To add to this, this is trolling we're talking about if there is anything you MUST do is test, try and experiment
  20. Boxfit New Player

    The most intelligent thing I have read on this forum about POT since I got on here 6 months ago. I have read every guide there is on Controlling and this is the first that I have come across that actually talks about what I already know to be true. I have been using POT this way since I figured out how ridiculous it is to count to 20 and recast it. I can't tell you how many times people demanded the battle start with POT being casted even though the first tick is being wasted.

    Good job! I will endeavour to read the rest of your guide.