Is Stunlocking Possible in Guild Wars 2?


In this video, I discuss the situations in which “stunlocking” is possible in GW2. For the purposes of this discussion, I use the term “stunlock” to mean any control-oriented CC that causes the target to lose the ability to take action – e.g. stuns, knockdowns, knockbacks, fear, etc.

In a nutshell, in order for Player A to chain CC Player B, the following things must be true:

  1. Player A must spec for multiple CCs and chain them together
  2. Player B doesn’t have the appropriate immunity (e.g. via Stability for control CCs) or relevant stun breaker available

Note that movement-related conditions such as snares (via cripple or chill) and roots can be removed via condition removal.

ArenaNet balanced CCs in this game with the following design decisions:

  1. Majority of CCs have a short duration (1-2 seconds)
  2. The cooldown on CC abilities tend to be significant (15+ seconds)
  3. The number of CC abilities is limited
  4. The weapon sets that have multiple CC abilities tend to deal below-average damage
  5. Players can opt to spec for Stability
  6. Players can opt to spec for stun breaker(s) and condition removal

The video footage was captured from the tail end of the Stress Test on August 10, and I was running my “Captain Hammer” Warrior build.

Let me know your questions and feedback!

For more Guild Wars 2 content, subscribe to my YouTube channel and follow me on Twitter.

Follow Me

Twitter: @taugrim
YouTube: http://youtube.com/taugrimtv
Facebook: http://facebook.com/taugrim

If you liked the Dubstep track, check out Jomekka’s channel and tell him Taugrim sent you:
http://soundcloud.com/jomekka

Advertisements
Posted in Game Design, Guild Wars 2, PVP, Video, Warrior
50 comments on “Is Stunlocking Possible in Guild Wars 2?
  1. Shadowmouse says:

    Nice video

    I think being able to dodge skills will help cut down on stunlocking too.

  2. Serialnerd says:

    As always you bring up good points to be away of. What about 1 “shots”? I have seen a few videos…not sure what patch they are from where Warrior will Bull Rush someone and kill them will 1000 Blades before they can do anything. I don’t have enough information to know if this is common or just a bunch of lucky hits.

    • Dreamwreck says:

      That only happens if the person that the warrior is bursting is also really squishy, there is a point in the vid where a warrior does that same combo to taugrim and it only brings him down to like 25%. Ive run the busrty greatsword build and its not that great. After you use berserking and charge you really dont have a lot left in the tank, and if somebody just breaks your cc you’ve just blown your whole load for nothing and your left wobbling after people.

      • Shadowmouse says:

        I also seen videos that countered the hundred blades pretty easy with blinds and well timed dodges.

        • Dreamwreck says:

          yea I found in the most recent stress test that people were way more aware of what I could do to them if they ignored me and were dodging and ccing me more. Getting the combo off is hard when some stupid guardian knocks you off the target!

        • taugrim says:

          Shadowmouse :

          I also seen videos that countered the hundred blades pretty easy with blinds and well timed dodges.

          Yep, 100 Blades hurts but it’s counterable.

          The main thing is it’s a self-root for the Warrior for the entire duration of the cast.

    • taugrim says:

      Serialnerd :

      As always you bring up good points to be away of. What about 1 “shots”? I have seen a few videos…not sure what patch they are from where Warrior will Bull Rush someone and kill them will 1000 Blades before they can do anything. I don’t have enough information to know if this is common or just a bunch of lucky hits.

      Check the publish date on the videos.

      Most of the problematic mechanics have been addressed.

      • Dreamwreck says:

        In the last stress test the frenzy, bull charge, hundred blades combo still worked, looks like that will be there for launch and i dont really have a problem with it.

        • Dreamwreck says:

          I guess I mean that I dont have a problem if somebody wants to go all out burst and forgo any defensive stats at all. In the warriors case its counterable by every class. Like you said it takes 2 to tango for the cc aspect, it also takes 2 to tango if your gonna get bursted down by a warrior in one shot. The target has to spec for 0 defense and 0 cc breakers for the warrior combo to actually kill them.

      • Serialnerd says:

        Good to know, thank you all.

  3. Hook58 says:

    Good issue to bring up in this video. I think the “stun-locking” that can happen in GW2 is a bit different than the stun-locking that became an issue in some other games. But you laid it out right and I totally agree with your take on this. If you don’t want to be stun-locked, spec so you have some counters. Again nice video keep them coming.

    • taugrim says:

      Hook58 :

      I think the “stun-locking” that can happen in GW2 is a bit different than the stun-locking that became an issue in some other games. But you laid it out right and I totally agree with your take on this. If you don’t want to be stun-locked, spec so you have some counters.

      Exactly.

      Being stunlocked in GW2 becomes a matter of allowing it to happen, because of the way you spec and how you use your abilities.

  4. Dreamwreck says:

    I think that most people are still in that noob state before they have their trinket equipped. In wow the trinket is all but mandatory, soon as people get around the learning curve all the good players will all have at least 1 spell that breaks stuns or grants stability if they are not inherently tanky. However we arnt rly to the point yet where we know how well warrior cc can synergize with necro cc. Things like that are what led to op class comps and stuff like that in wow(RMP in TBC says hello). I can see these sorts of balance issues EVENTUALLY cropping up in these little 5 man groups, I was rather suprized that they didnt make the groups a little bigger so that class balance wouldnt be so crucial.

  5. Edon/Jedon says:

    From the perspective of the thief, the short CCs are great for repositioning yourself behind the target for the positional procs.

    In general, though, I’ve been looking forward to the short CC length just because stunlocking is a horrible mechanic flaw IMO, and one that doesn’t promote skillfull gameplay. Stuns should just present a brief strategic edge; they shouldn’t turn your target into a punching bag for several seconds. SWTOR really opened my eyes to this, even if the resolve mechanic was a faurly decent measure against it.

    • Edon/Jedon says:

      Fairly*

    • taugrim says:

      Edon/Jedon :

      From the perspective of the thief, the short CCs are great for repositioning yourself behind the target for the positional procs.

      In general, though, I’ve been looking forward to the short CC length just because stunlocking is a horrible mechanic flaw IMO, and one that doesn’t promote skillfull gameplay. Stuns should just present a brief strategic edge; they shouldn’t turn your target into a punching bag for several seconds. SWTOR really opened my eyes to this, even if the resolve mechanic was a faurly decent measure against it.

      I agree 100%.

      The cool thing about the “Rogue” implementation of Thief in GW2 is that the short CC durations and short stealth durations make combat feel very tactical – you use those things to gain an advantage and it promotes skillful play.

      The Resolve mechanic was an elegant solution, however, with a system like GW2 where CCs are short in duration and a player can choose to spec counters against it, a mechanic like Resolve isn’t even needed.

  6. sgilder says:

    I feel like stuns in this game are meant to be used a bit more strategically than they have been in other mmos. It’s not as easy to stun lock someone in this game; rather a stun should generally be used to secure a kill (finish off that person who has waited until 25% life to heal) or prevent an ally from being executed. Another thing that has been pointed out is that a large number of stuns can be dodged, which really helps out with the prevention of being “stun-locked”

    • taugrim says:

      sgilder :

      I feel like stuns in this game are meant to be used a bit more strategically than they have been in other mmos. It’s not as easy to stun lock someone in this game; rather a stun should generally be used to secure a kill (finish off that person who has waited until 25% life to heal) or prevent an ally from being executed. Another thing that has been pointed out is that a large number of stuns can be dodged, which really helps out with the prevention of being “stun-locked”

      Yep.

      In other MMOs, if you are a stunlocker you can use your abilities in a pre-defined sequence (“rotation”) to achieve maximum effect. But by definition that’s cookie-cutter and fairly limiting.

      The Dodge mechanic rocks. Positioning and movement are incredibly relevant in this game :)

  7. I like how stun’s are in GW2, now in the other hand , I wish Immobilized where made the same way and not a Condi that stack on duration, They are imo stronger then Stun’s atm.
    As always great video Taugrim.

    • taugrim says:

      Emmanuel Gonzalez :

      I like how stun’s are in GW2, now in the other hand , I wish Immobilized where made the same way and not a Condi that stack on duration, They are imo stronger then Stun’s atm.
      As always great video Taugrim.

      Roots are very powerful and need to have short durations.

      Most roots in GW2 are very short in duration, as compared to snares (cripple).

  8. What is the build? …may not help much because they always change the traits… I checked my buid now and saw that they changed, then i did a new one

    http://www.gw2build.com/builds/simulator.php#1.2.11.5.0.16.8.8.0.8.29.32.34.35.50.2.2.34.80.82.86.91.0.0.106.115.0.0.0.0.0.0.0.30.15.25.0.0

    I start attacking with bull charge, and generate adrenaline fast to improves damage/heal and to use burst skill whenever possible. I never active the signets, just put to passive bonus…

    I’m a PVE player, just played PVP 4 fun, I did the build to play similarly to which I play on Guild Wars 1, generate adrenaline is important there, then i wanted it to be important on GW2 too…
    http://pvx.wikia.com/wiki/Build:W/any_PvE_Earth_Shaker#Usage
    http://pvx.wikia.com/wiki/Build:W/any_Earth_Shaker_Warrior#Usage

    with the weapon skills, Bull’s Charge, sigils and runes I have my CCs that make me happy… but the rest I dont know if it’s right, I even paid attention on damage that I give and if it is critical… if my Critical chance is good then I could use Mace as main and put Sundering Mace instead of Merciless Hammer… or not? :s

    my defense is good… i think

    sorry for my english and thanks for the tips

  9. EucridEucrow says:

    Except for Moa, not really possible to “lock” someone into incapacitates in this game for a significant time. Chain cc on the other hand? Yeah. Blind is a particular problem here. There are a few mechanics that will allow you to perma-blind someone for a goodly amount of “pvp” time which can devastating. Is it a problem? Not really. Blind doesn’t inhibit movement so you can escape, los, etc. But blind can combo with high damaging chains of attacks so I guess it is just something that can be problematic. I’m happy with the state of “hard” stun durations in this game though.

  10. Serialnerd says:

    Edmo Bernardes Monteiro :
    What is the build? …may not help much because they always change the traits… I checked my buid now and saw that they changed, then i did a new one
    http://www.gw2build.com/builds/simulator.php#1.2.11.5.0.16.8.8.0.8.29.32.34.35.50.2.2.34.80.82.86.91.0.0.106.115.0.0.0.0.0.0.0.30.15.25.0.0
    I start attacking with bull charge, and generate adrenaline fast to improves damage/heal and to use burst skill whenever possible. I never active the signets, just put to passive bonus…
    I’m a PVE player, just played PVP 4 fun, I did the build to play similarly to which I play on Guild Wars 1, generate adrenaline is important there, then i wanted it to be important on GW2 too…
    http://pvx.wikia.com/wiki/Build:W/any_PvE_Earth_Shaker#Usage
    http://pvx.wikia.com/wiki/Build:W/any_Earth_Shaker_Warrior#Usage
    with the weapon skills, Bull’s Charge, sigils and runes I have my CCs that make me happy… but the rest I dont know if it’s right, I even paid attention on damage that I give and if it is critical… if my Critical chance is good then I could use Mace as main and put Sundering Mace instead of Merciless Hammer… or not? :s
    my defense is good… i think
    sorry for my english and thanks for the tips

    Interesting build…but with only 1150 Toughness or so I think this is what most would call a “Glass Cannon” build, but I could be wrong But as you say you mainly PvE.

  11. Another great video. I like the variety in the types of CC. Since some still allow use of skills, others slow recharges, all in combination with movement limitations. When you factor in interrupts and other conditions like Blind and Daze to counter various CC, the number of interesting scenarios that will really test your skill level become astronomical.

  12. AceofSpadez says:

    Dreamwreck :
    O and then you have to fail at dodging too!!!

    I think this is part of what will make this game great in terms of variety of gameplay you can use and that you will encounter. As Taug mentions in the vid, everything in this game will be about trade-offs.

    If you want to spec for max dam/max crit and zero defense and depend on your “dodging skills”, have at it! Just know if that warrior catches you, your going down. :) In that case you might want to spec/equip stuff that will help with your endurance regen or some other way to ‘get out of dodge’ b/c you would def need to be a ‘stick and move’ kind of player.

  13. smakendahed says:

    On Buildcast (http://www.gamebreaker.tv/video-game-shows/killer-thief/) you commented something along the lines of, “As a group we try to pick out a particular player or class that doesn’t have a lot of escapes and focus them down first…” You listed some classes (Engineer being one) – do you have a follow up to that? Do you feel certain classes just don’t have the tools needed to survive like other classes do? Or is it a matter of people tend to not spec into options that give them these ‘outs’?

    • taugrim says:

      smakendahed :

      On Buildcast (http://www.gamebreaker.tv/video-game-shows/killer-thief/) you commented something along the lines of, “As a group we try to pick out a particular player or class that doesn’t have a lot of escapes and focus them down first…” You listed some classes (Engineer being one) – do you have a follow up to that? Do you feel certain classes just don’t have the tools needed to survive like other classes do? Or is it a matter of people tend to not spec into options that give them these ‘outs’?

      The 4 classes I would avoid focus firing, based on looking at the opposing comp in a 5v5:
      1. Necro: too many HP bars
      2. Guardian: too many emergency abilities
      3. Thief: too slippery
      4. Mesmer: some stealth capability and escapability

      The other 4? Fair game.

      • Edon/Jedon says:

        Interesting that you include the necro. When I examined the traits, it seemed as though you had to focus on enhancing the minions if you wanted them to be useful, and I’ve seen a few builds that kind of neglect them altogether.

        • Yamirashi says:

          Not talking about Minions, when they go into Shroud they have a second health bar, along with having the highest base health pool and incredible condition management they are very tanky in PvP.

  14. Serialnerd says:

    Edon/Jedon :
    Interesting that you include the necro. When I examined the traits, it seemed as though you had to focus on enhancing the minions if you wanted them to be useful, and I’ve seen a few builds that kind of neglect them altogether.

    A good Necro build can get 26k health, 2k Toughness and 1800+ Power, crit will be craptastic but add in 2-3 minions and you will have something that will be hard to kill.

    Most Necro builds I have seen go heavy in condition damage/Crit or life steal but the opposite end of the spectrum have potential as well.

    • Edon/Jedon says:

      Are the minions still effective without being buffed in the traits though?

      • Serialnerd says:

        In the build I’m thinking of they would have the +50% health trait bit not the +30% damage trait.

  15. SeveralKnapkins says:

    In line with stunlocking, how important do you think having a utility skill that provides stability is? I’ve seen a lot of self-ascribed top tier players, at least from a guardian perspective, say that all builds should have the utility skill “Stand Your Ground,” (either for fleeing, finishing stomps, ensuring revives, etc.) I’m not denying the efficacy of stability, but there seems to be other ways to deal with potential CC other than stability.

    • EucridEucrow says:

      I think stability is dead useful but I would consider, at least from an engineer perspective, recursive condition removal to be better. I’ve been playing a power rifle eng build this last bwe3 and stress tests and found myself getting owned hard by Mesmers. I would check the after action table and see that a lion’s share of the damage I took was from confusion. I basically killed myself. I would think that most builds would do well to consider some form of condition removal before stability.

  16. mittens says:

    Hi Taugrim :) Hey, sorry couldnt think of anywhere else to ask you this, could you let me know what class you’re going to start with and make guides for initially in GW2? I followed your MASH, then your Vanguard build with great success, I figure I’d just keep with the tradition. Sorry if you already posted it, i looked and didnt find it.

    Thank you!

    Mittens

    • Shadowmouse says:

      I believe he is going with warrior then mesmer or guardian. I don’t know what spec though.

  17. Serialnerd says:

    Shadowmouse :
    I believe he is going with warrior then mesmer or guardian. I don’t know what spec though.

    Personally I would like to see a Necro and Guarding spec.

  18. Edon/Jedon says:

    Any chance of having Top on as a permanent member of Buildcast? You could rename it BuildMavens :P.

  19. Shadowmouse says:

    Edon/Jedon :
    Any chance of having Top on as a permanent member of Buildcast? You could rename it BuildMavens .

    Top was great on buildcast. Tamgros = Math.

    Taug, do other Maven guildies have blogs or youtube channels?

  20. […] Taugrim’s MMO Blog — Is Stunlocking Possible in Guild Wars 2? “In this video, I discuss the situations in which “stunlocking” is possible in GW2. For the purposes of this discussion, I use the term “stunlock” to mean any control-oriented CC that causes the target to lose the ability to take action – e.g. stuns, knockdowns, knockbacks, fear, etc.” […]

  21. Edon/Jedon says:

    Anyone know what server taugrim and maven are on yet?

  22. I have to come back on this, since I thought it wouldn’t be possible to really stunlcok somebody.

    I did my first few sPvP battles last night and I’ve bumped into 3 different thieves in 3 different battles but all using sword/pistol. I’ve seen more then 10.000 damage done with a single pistol whip by 3 different thieves.

    I’m still experimenting with traits and stats but surely this is something that’s not working as intended… heh

    • taugrim says:

      Daniel Firing :

      I have to come back on this, since I thought it wouldn’t be possible to really stunlcok somebody.

      I did my first few sPvP battles last night and I’ve bumped into 3 different thieves in 3 different battles but all using sword/pistol. I’ve seen more then 10.000 damage done with a single pistol whip by 3 different thieves.

      I’m still experimenting with traits and stats but surely this is something that’s not working as intended… heh

      Pistol Whip is odd in that you can deal high damage with it *while* stunlocking your opponent. Most stuns in this game are not high damage per se. They’re about control. But PW is an exception.

      • When you pre-activate Devourer Venom and Haste while then stealing your way to your target you’ll be able to drop somebody from 100% health to 0% health with about 2-3 Pistol Whips which takes about 2-3 seconds total.

        If a target isn’t dead, you have panic strike to immobilize players for 4 seconds when they drop below 50% health.

        Sure, venom and haste will be on cooldowns so you can’t keep respamming it but I am curious on how this works with Improvisation which resets your cooldowns on stealing.

  23. omnomnomnivore says:

    well, good luck stunlocking my guardian.
    greatsword / mace+focus.

    i have sh*tloads of blinds, blocks, regen, retaliation, all of them up almost nonstop. It is impossible to stunlock me, since you can’t even hit me xD

Comments are closed.

Follow
Taugrim on Twitter Taugrim on YouTube Taugrim on Facebook Taugrim on RSS

Enter your email address to receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 692 other followers

© 2009-2017 taugrim.com
All rights reserved
Post Categories