Crowd Control and Breakbars
Chances are, you’ve probably heard someone say “okay, break him” or “use cc!” or in some cases “hold your cc until the third bite!” Well, CC is shorthand for “crowd control,” which is used against a break bar on certain bosses. Read on for detailed descriptions of both.
What is Crowd Control/CC?
Crowd control skills, referred to hereafter as CC, are skills that interrupt or hinder your opponent in some way. There are what are known as “hard” cc’s, and “soft” cc’s. Hard cc’s are things like Knockback, Daze, or Fear. A Soft cc is something like Chill or Cripple.
Hard cc’s interrupt your opponent by moving them through space (Push, Pull, Float, Sink, Knockback/down, Launch), by affecting them mentally (Stun, Daze), or both (Fear, Taunt). Soft cc’s hinder your opponent by slowing their movement or actions.
Every class has access to CC skills. If you check your skills’ tooltips, you’ll see some of the effects listed here. It’s a good idea to get a grasp on skills you have that CC, and when and when not to use them. There will be more on this in the following section, and there is a whole wiki article on what skills are best against break bars.
When should I use CC?
CC is like chocolate sauce. In some cases, it’s perfect and makes everything better. In other circumstances, it’s inappropriate and downright painful. Don’t be the guy who puts chocolate sauce on brussels sprouts.
CC is fine to use in situations where you’re running solo, or (generally) if you’re fighting a boss with a breakbar (more on that later). But in a situation where you and other people are fighting the same non-boss enemy, it’s impolite to use knockbacks, pulls, or fears – because that generally moves the enemy out of the range of your allies’ attacks. If you’ve ever just used a long-cooldown AoE skill and had someone come by and knock the enemy out of it, you understand why.
In general, it is best to save your cc skills for when you need them. When you’re low on health and you need a second to recover, you want to have that daze or knockback ready. Or when the Wyvern Matriarch is about to take off, you want to have that Petrify ready to decimate her break bar and keep her from flying off.
What is a Defiance/breakbar?
A Defiance bar or breakbar is something that Champions and other boss monsters have below their hit point bar. Previous to this patch, many bosses were not cc-able, or had stacks of “defiance” – a buff that was removed stack by stack until the boss was vulnerable (to 1 cc skill) before all the stacks regenerated. The new system allows for players to work together to use their control effects on a boss to get a positive effect (usually).
How does it work? Well, when a break bar is blue, that means it can be damaged. Hard cc skills will cause direct damage to it, whereas soft cc skills will cause damage over time. When the break bar has been depleted, it will usually turn orange and begin to regenerate – but while it is doing that, the players enjoy a positive effect. In many cases, this is a few seconds of stun, a period of increased damage to the enemy, or an interrupt on potentially damaging skills (such as a wyvern takeoff, or a mordrem hammer smash).
While the breakbar is orange, cc effects won’t do anything. They will also be ineffective if the breakbar is “locked” – when it appears to be coated in steel plating.
When a breakbar is blue vs locked is dependent on the champions and the situation. Some enemies never have an active breakbar, and others can only be broken during a certain action (such as the Shatterer before he takes off, or the Mouth of Mordremoth when he is biting an island during a burn phase). Unfortunately, each fight must be learned separately. The wiki is a good resource, or you can ask for help in map chat (people are usually nice enough to explain).