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Crowd Control is an important element of combat. While not all classes are capable of exerting crowd control, those that are can use CC abilities to shift the balance of power during a battle to their favor by limiting the abilities of their foes in one way or another. CC can be used in PvE or PvP environments.
Crowd Control can take a number of forms:
One common form of CC is to limit the movement abilities of a foe. This is called a snare. There are two forms of snares: Slows will reduce the movement speed of an opponent (say, a 50% reduction in movement rate), while roots will completely restrict movement (total immobility). Both forms of Snares remain in effect for a set time. Note that these snares still allow an opponent to perform other actions (e.g., attacking). In some instances, snares may be broken by an action (damage dealt to the snare victim, or the victim performing a specific action themselves to break out of the snare). In other instances, the snare cannot be broken, and the victim must simply wait until the duration of the snare expires to resume full unrestricted movement.
Another common form of CC is to limit or alter the actions of a foe. This can take many forms, including CC effects which limit ability to attack, defend, play abilities and control their own movement. Some forms of CC even go so far as to affect control of a foe entirely, temporarily taking over complete control and forcing that foe to attack their allies, damage themselves, heal their enemies, run away, etc. As with snares, these forms of CC may in some cases be broken by an action.
The most severe form of CC is the lockdown. In this state, a foe is rendered completely inactive – frozen, as it were. No actions can be taken, and no movement can occur. These forms of CC usually cannot be broken by any action of the victim (save the rare special abilities of players), but are nearly always broken if damage is dealt to the victim.
Player Crowd Control
Players have access to lockdown abilities in PvE. These abilities work in PvP as well, but their effectiveness is limited due to their short duration when used against players. Note that Slice Droid is available to both advanced classes of Smuggler and Agent, while all other player CC is AC-specific. Also note that Guardians(Juggernauts) and Vanguards(Powertechs) lack a long term CC ability altogether.
- Sentinel(Marauder) / Smuggler(Agent) : Disable Droid / Slice Droid - Disables the target droid for 60 seconds. Usable in combat. Range: 30m. Duration: 60 seconds. No cooldown.
- Shadow(Assassin) / Scoundrel(Operative) : Mind Maze(Mind Trap) / Tranquilizer Dart(Sleep Dart) - Disorients the target for 60 seconds. Not usable on droids. Requires Stealth. Range: 10m. Duration: 60 seconds. No cooldown.
- Sage(Sorcerer) : Force Lift(Whirlwind) - Lifts(traps) the target for 60 seconds. Usable in combat. Range: 30m. Duration: 60 seconds. Cooldown: 60 seconds.
- Commando(Mercenary): Concussive Round(Concussion Missile) - Knocks out the target for 60 seconds. Usable in combat. Range: 30m. Duration: 60 seconds. Cooldown: 60 seconds.
Special Characteristics of Crowd Control
Most Crowd Control effects are subject to diminishing returns. That is, if a CC is applied to a foe shortly after that same foe has been subject to the same form of CC, the duration and/or effect of the second application is usually reduced. This is especially true of CC applied against other player characters in PvP situations. Note, however, that some forms of CC are not subject to this restriction in PvE scenarios (e.g., traps).
Oftentimes, Boss opponents are immune to CC (with a few rare exceptions). Some creatures (Boss or otherwise) will even have CC abilities of their own which they can use on players battling them.