This is where Guild Wars 2 makes the biggest break from the traditional MMO setup. Tanking is the most rudimentary form of the most important combat fundamental, CONTROL. Every game has it, yet it always seems to get a bad name. In Guild Wars there was Knockdown, Interrupt, Weakness, Blind, and Cripple, to name a few. We wanted to build upon what we think makes control such an important part of dynamic combat..
Control is the act of manipulating enemy actions, movement, damage, as well as many other game mechanics. Correct use of control is a way to turn the tide of the battle. It is one of the three main elements of the combat system, the others being damage and support.
There are many different types of control effects that range in power from a simple cripple to the powerful knockdown. These are balanced so more powerful control effects happen more infrequently and have a shorter duration. This means that control effects as powerful as knockdown last only a short amount of time and do not happen so often that a player doesn't have any time to react, whereas a cripple or weakness could potentially be applied quite often and have a long duration. Interrupting and disabling opponents via stuns or daze last only a second or a fraction of it.
Controlling can also happen in more devious ways and purposes instead of simply placing harmful effects on enemies to debilitate them: Luring enemies into range of harmful effects (such as traps or area of effect spells), into attack range of your allies, or misleading them so that your allies have time to renew their offense or defense.
Types of control
See also: Control effects
Conditions and other effects can be used to control enemies' movement. It is useful to prevent foes from reaching you or from avoiding your attacks.
- Crippled and chilled slow movement. Similar slowing effects are sometimes referred to as "snare".
- Immobile prevent movement.
- Sink and float cause a creature to rise or fall in water.
- Wards limit enemy movement beyond a line or circle.
- Area of effect skills will deter enemies from attacking or force them to move.
Kiting while holding the aggro of an NPC enemy (see section below) effectively puts you in control of all their movements. Kiting allows your character to avoid damage dealt by the enemy while forcing them to chase you, allowing your allies to survive and deal damage and perform other combat roles much more freely.
Supporting a team by using healing and defensive skills or preventing enemies from reaching them is not the only way to reduce the damage they take. By controlling a foe's attacks directly you can reduce the damage they can inflict.
- Blind, chilled, weakness and daze reduce the damage enemies can deal.
- Confusion and retaliation force opponents to decide between dealing damage and keeping their own health high.
- Skills like Shield of Absorption or Whirling Defense can block or reflect attacks, especially projectiles.
By controlling the enemies' line of sight (LOS) by the use of environment may cause some projectiles to become obstructed by the environment. You can also take the hit of or block projectiles that were meant for an ally as a form of damage control. Note that some projectiles home in on or pierce their targets and might not be easy (or possible) to intercept. Some bosses (notably in dungeons) might use attacks which ignore blocking and line of sight and obstruction entirely.
Some effects can outright disable an enemy for a short time, effectively preventing actions and movement alike.
- Fear causes enemies to run from you and prevents skill usage.
- Push, launch and pull force an enemy away from or to you and interrupt skills.
- Knockdown and other stuns prevent any movement or skill usage, except those which can break from stun.
- Allied creatures such as minions or turrets can potentially make for great control tool.
Controlling healing and active defense
- Poisoned reduces outgoing healing.
- Weakness reduces endurance regeneration, limiting enemies' ability to dodge.
- Some traits can be used to punish blocking.
Drawing enemy attacks, or tanking, can be a potentially useful tactic for controlling both damage received by allies and enemy positioning. High survivability builds can often tank a boss, pinning the boss in one area or forcing the boss to follow the tank especially with a healing build supporting. However, no profession or role is particularly durable against boss special attacks which you must block, dodge and interrupt and many bosses will require a switch out of the tank or kiting to allow cooldowns to recover. Lack of potent direct heals makes drawing enemy aggression a dangerous effort. Active defense abilities like blocking and dodging, and passive effects like boons and passive healing help surviving under constant attention of enemies longer, but one must always be prepared to remain on the move depending on the boss when necessary and continue to avoid special enemy attacks as much as possible to survive, while ensuring that other allies are able to continue perform their role unhindered. Some bosses have too much close range damage but can be range kited.