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Looking for help getting started with controllers.


duckman

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Never in almost 20 years now have I played a controller past 10th level.  (and admittedly, I have been a casual player with only one toon who ever hit 50.)

 

I'd like to start playing a more social role on Homecoming and group more and I thought I might as well do something that is really group focused at the same time.  I have no theme or idea in mind going into this but have not found any good summaries of tier rankings for controller powers.  Are there any clearly superior powersets or clearly deficient powersets that I should be aware of?  I'm not particularly concerned about ability to solo or do substantial damage...  I want to focus primarily on control and support/debuff for a group in this case.

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Well controllers can be one of the most powerful ATs in the game as they offer a team a huge amount of damage mitigation and buffs/debuffs. They are a true force multiplier.

 

Since you don't have a theme in mind I'll toss out a couple pairings that work well together in no particular order:

 

  1. Electric Control/Dark Affinity Controller. The idea of to work in melee range sapping targets endurance while heavily debuffing their tohit and also regen. Offers a lot of protection, but does mediocre damage itself.
  2. Illusion/Storm Summoning. Well built this can solo GMs. The idea is to build for high recharge for Perma PA and 3x Lightning Storms and multiple tornadoes. It can get a bit getting used to knowing when and when not to use Hurricane (but it's a great debuff in itself).
  3. Plant Control/Trick Arrow. Quite possibly my favorite controller combo, but it could just be my build but with all the procs, OSA, Carrier Creepers this thing can clear a room faster than a pug blaster.

Realistically you can't really go wrong with a controller they all end up doing a great job when you build them. That said pro controller tip, don't open with an AoE immobilize first, let them them clump up before doing so to maximize your AoE damage and debuffs and help your team out. There's too many pug controllers that open with AoE immobilize and it can actually slow a team down by not being able to maximize AoE DPS.

 

God speed.

Edited by SeraphimKensai
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59 minutes ago, SeraphimKensai said:

 

Realistically you can't really go wrong with a controller they all end up doing a great job when you build them. That said pro controller tip, don't open with an AoE immobilize first, let them them clump up before doing so to maximize your AoE damage and debuffs and help your team out. There's too many pug controllers that open with AoE immobilize and it can actually slow a team down by not being able to maximize AoE DPS.

 

God speed.

I wish this tip was plastered on the screen whenever someone makes a troller! Great advise!

 

The most trollery trollers for me are Earth Control and Plant Control and I like to pair them with a nice debuff set like Rad or Dark. You'll have amazing control over the battlefield and all the baddies either can't hit you to save their life or you turn their armor into tissue paper. At higher levels you'll have the ability to fully shut down at least 3 groups at once. I'm also quite fond of Ice control, it offers as much control as the other 2 but has less damage so I think it's fallen out of favor for the most part.

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SCRAPPER: Sir Kit Breaker-Elec/Shield *DumDum Pounder-WM/Shield *Snoglobe-Claws/Ice *Ice Flow Joe-Axe/Ice *TANK: Gamma Goon-Rad/Rad *Bernjamin Tanklin-fire/claws *Skullgrin Von Killjoy-Invul/SS *Frozen Snowshoo-Ice/Ice Quarry Goon-Stone/SS *BRUTE: Megahertz Donut-EM/Shield *Ohm Ahgerd Stone/Elec *Shadow Goon-Dark/Dark *Devilaint Le'Z-Rad/Fire *STALKER: Double OHM 7-EM/EA *Sir Kit Interupt-Elec/Shield *TROLLER: Chilly Lilly-Ice/Rad *Chlorophyllis Vance-Plant/Storm *Mechamoo-Elec/Cold *Johnny Burnsalot-Fire/Kin *Countess Gone-Ill/Dark *Lady Gone-Dark/Dark *Calpernia Tomik-Ill/Rad *Porkchop Scallywag-Fire/Nat *Gone Daddy-Plant/Dark *Merrie Melody-Symp/Dark *Toot Sweet-Fire/Dark *Lord Gone-Grav/Dark *Misty Burnsalot-Fire/Storm *Maddie Burnsalot-Fire/Rad *DOM: Scorched Eartha-Earth/Fire *Gazebo Malarkey-Dark/Psi *Clawsin Bloom-Plant/Savage *Diatomaceous Earl-Plant/Thorn *Permafrostasha-Plant/Ice *Corn Cob Earth/Earth *MM: Stupid Robot-Bot/Elec *Dark Leader-Demons/Dark *Silas Greenback-Thugs/Time *FENDER: *Dr. Gone-Dark/Dark *BAG3L-FF/Sonic *BLASTER: PinPointress-Arch/TA *Shimmy Burnsalot-Fire/TA *Lil Beefy-Ice/Fire *H0TT-fire/fire *CORRUPTOR: Shady Burnsalot-Fire/Dark *Kinetic Koala-Ice/Kin *Atmospheric Hazel-Water/Storm *Hami Dum-Seismic/Nature *SOA *Big Gravy-Crabbermind *Sentinel: NP Seymour-Elec/Regen

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I would recommend Earth/Nature. I've played just about all the control sets and for me Earth is the control king. Nature offers a mix of debuffs and ally buffs and is always welcomed on teams. 

Uunderdog - Rad/Rad Scrapper | Uundertaker - Rad/Dark Corruptor | Uun - MA/Inv Scrapper | Uunison - Grav/Storm Controller | Uuncola - Ice/Temp Blaster | Uundergrowth - Plant/Martial Dominator | Uunstable - SR/Staff Tank

Uunreal - Fire/Time Corruptor | Uunrest - Dark/TA Blaster | Uunseen - Ill/Poison Controller | Uuncool - Cold/Beam Defender | Uunderground - Earth/Earth Dominator | Uunknown - Mind/Psi Dominator | Uunplugged - Stone/Elec Brute

Uunfair - Archery/TA Corruptor | Uunsung - DP/Ninja Blaster | Uunflammable - Fire/Nature Controller | Uunflappable - WM/WP Brute | Uundead - Dark/Dark Tank | Uunfit - Water/Martial Blaster  | Uunwrapped - Dark/Dark Dominator

Uunchill - Ice/Kinetics Corruptor | Uunpleasant - En/En Stalker | Uunbrella - Rad/Rad Sentinel | Uunsafari - Beasts/Traps MM | Uungnome - Nature/Seismic Defender | Uunsavory - Poson/Sonic Defender

Uunicycle - BS/Shield Scrapper | Uuntouchable - Ill/Time Controller | Uunferno - Fire/Fire Tank | Uunthinkable - Psi/SR Scrapper | Uuncivil - Thugs/Elec MM | Uunnatural - Ice/Savage Dominator | Uunshockable - Elec/Bio Sentinel

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22 hours ago, duckman said:

clearly deficient powersets that I should be aware of? 

 

I don't think I'm going out on the limb to say that Sleeps aren't very useful in most group situations, especially if you are power-leveling to 50.

 

as a controller, use range and walls to your advantage.

Most of the time as a controller,  you should be staying at max range.

Walls have 100% resistance to damage. Stick close to corners or objects you can dive behind if you get to much agro when you AoE a group. It usually only takes a second or 2 to lose most of the agro you dish out with an AoE when you are in a group.

Always slot-up your single target holds with 2 accs, 1 recharge, and a hold as able. Once you get to 27, look at the lockdown set the Proc for the +2 mag on holds is a must from my point of view. Then throw in a couple others from the set to replace the recharge and hold enhances to get some set benefits.

If you character conception gets you an extra hold in your secondary, that is great for a controller.

 

... and, of course, understanding containment is a must ...

"Controllers are the masters at locking down and controlling their opponents. Few can escape their will. Controllers do extra damage to any target that is already Held, Immobilized, Slept, or Disoriented." - https://homecoming.wiki/wiki/Inherent_Powers#Containment

 

 

Edited by UltraAlt
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My favorite controller to date is Dark/Kin.

 

I don't think it's an inherently meta pairing, though there are slight synergies. But I've never seen anyone else run this and while mine is still in the mid-30's two years later, I think this sort of speaks to the viability of the pairing for a casual player. I've enjoyed slowly leveling this character in low and mid-level Redside groups when I see those pop up.

 

I could go on and on pointing out little synergies I've found, but I'll just leave an open invitation to DM me if you'd like a more thorough breakdown without clogging the thread with a swan song to this combo.

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Starting a Controller.  Welcome to being the most invisible (unless you pick Earth Control) but important role of any team.  Your powers will help keep MOBs in killing (err arresting) fields for AOE, debuff them or just salvage a bad pull and prevent a wipe.

 

My go to power set is Earth Control.  You have a great mix of soft control Quicksand (AOE Slow and -Def field), Earthquake (that one annoying power Ruin Mages use in Posi 1 to make you miss everything) and Stalgmites (AOE Stun).  To Hard Controls like Volcanic Gases (a pulsing AOE hold field), Stone Cages, and Fossilize. 

 

You also have one of the most tanky pet in game (outside Phantom Army) in Animate Stone (aka Mr. Poo aka Stoney).  Who can also do some nice damage especially depending on your secondary.

 

The trade off is that Earth Control is one of the lest damaging power sets in game.  So getting Arcane Bolt as early as you can helps a lot (especially when it crits and you use it on a CC'd mob for triple damage).  So pairing it up with a more damaging Secondary if you plan on soloing (like Storm, Traps).  Or if you plan on teaming mostly then you can use Dark, TA (that will give you obscene amounts of control), Rad, Poison, Nature.  Earth is so flexible you can pair it with almost anything.

 

For and Epic/Patron pool pick I'd go with either Stone (Seismic smash is your target power there, but all of them give you nice overlap with your primary) or Leviathan (Water Spout shreds everything and is on a decent timer).

 

Whatever you choose have fun with one of the most unique AT/classes in MMO's ever.

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On 3/18/2023 at 10:33 PM, Death2Tyrants said:

On the other end Mind/Emp will be fairly busy...

 

I was thinking of starting one of these, focusing on group play, but was dissuaded by a few things:

  1. I imagine early leveling without a group will be painful.
  2. Mind has a lot of Sleep, which isn't helpful in AOE-happy groups.
  3. I suspect the Mind/Emp combo isn't highly desired in endgame content compared to other Controller sets?

 

But I really want to play one for thematic reasons. Plus your comment of them being "busy" is a PLUS to me, since I'm looking for engaging play with this character.

 

Thoughts? Will I have trouble finding pickup groups? Maybe I should join a SG or something?

 

 

Edited by AlwaysGoofingOff
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Early solo Mind is a great set, as your tier 1-3 powers are your attack chain.  That being said, empathy as a secondary won't help you much.  Later in the game soloing will go a lot slower, but is still functional.

 

As for teaming, your main control is Terrify, which, as a fear, has limitations, but is decent at what it does.  Empathy brings a lot to a team with 4 key powers... Fortitude, the two RAs, and adrenaline boost.  Fortitude should be used on Squishies first and tanks last, unless your tank is the one dying... In which case your team has bigger problems.

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What this team needs is more Defenders

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On 3/26/2023 at 12:20 AM, AlwaysGoofingOff said:

 

I was thinking of starting one of these, focusing on group play, but was dissuaded by a few things:

  1. I imagine early leveling without a group will be painful.
  2. Mind has a lot of Sleep, which isn't helpful in AOE-happy groups.
  3. I suspect the Mind/Emp combo isn't highly desired in endgame content compared to other Controller sets?

 

But I really want to play one for thematic reasons. Plus your comment of them being "busy" is a PLUS to me, since I'm looking for engaging play with this character.

 

Thoughts? Will I have trouble finding pickup groups? Maybe I should join a SG or something?

 

 

 

My 1st lvl50 toon here (or ... ever, actually) was a Mind/Emp that was one of my favorites from live play and was basicallly driven by the theme. Meta had changed a lot in the meantime, so I wasn't aware that this was considered a "sub-par" combo nowadays. But I wouldn't have cared anyway, I liked playing this toon and enjoyed the ride. And you will, too, if you love your concept and just roll with it.

 

A few thoughts:

A) Mind Control

- Besides the ST high recharge Confuse, Mind gets a strong AoE, only Nature has a similar one IIRC. Use it.

- Fear, Holds and said Confuses makes it strong in lockdown. Add in the ST and AoE Sleeps on off-focus mobs or ambushers, it is Stop-Motion-Central.

- As mentioned, the 3 initial ST attacks make for a solid early level weapons arsenal.

- Stay away from the Repel power, as it is awfully endurance-inefficient. Although it can be fun to use for "repositioning angry mobs" 🙂

B) Empathy

- The buffs are what makes this thing click. Healing is just a by-product in case a teammate gets redbar frequently, keep an eye on them.

- Buffs are strong and will be appreciated by every team. But so will be Heals, even if the current meta is something along the lines of "every toon is self-sufficient and doesn't need to be healed. I have been on enough low, mid and high level teams where you see some of your mates getting their behinds kicked regularly (not everyone is driving 500Mil Purple Builds on every toon). Saving one that would otherwise been going down still feels very satisfying every time it happens.

 

That being said, this is most enjoyable when you team up. Going solo can be an enervating experience and is just naturally slow, even by Controller standards. So do it, take your 3 hours in the Character Creator, build your toon, spend another hour looking for a name that's cool but not taken, go out there, find a team and save the city. You will enjoy it. 

No reason to be afraid of Mind/Emp if that's what fits your concept best!

 

My toon is now Vet Level 63 with full incarnate powers and a ridiculous build that makes him feel just as ridicoulosly overpowered as every other toon I played to that level!

 

 

That incident involving a nuclear accelerator and a banana… You know… I REALLY don't wanna talk about it!

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On 4/3/2023 at 5:16 PM, Death2Tyrants said:

I would expect a fully kitted out build to do well but that may not comport with one's initial leveling experience if they are a new player.

 

I levelled up without any Set IOs, simply using standard DOs, SOs and later IOs. You should definitely slot enhancements whenever you can and keep them updated. Otherwise you will get slowed down even more and everything will take forever and a dime. It was still fun and felt like a nice progression.

 

But the full build only went in there at 50, and it was a very early attempt with lots of help from others. It kept this toon fun to play in harder endgame and incarnate content, and the occasional exemplaring in lower level teams.

 

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