Don’t Just Do Something! Stand There!

cov[City of Villains] To recover from that last point, let us talk about a time when you can usefully stand there doing nothing. Let us talk about Masterminds and some Defenders.

To put this in other-game terms: don’t you hate it when your healer is running around whacking things with his stick instead of getting back mana to heal you? Don’t you wish he would sit there and do nothing between times when he would be useful? On my DAoC Theurgist, I used to spend every few battles sitting down with my bladeturn chant going, so that I could keep that going, buff everyone, and cast one AE CC spell per pull. Same idea here, only more so.

In City of Heroes, I have a Force Field Defender parked on a server where some friend used to play. He was a wonderful buffer, but not great for much else (maybe now that I have more attack slots post-ED). His job was to keep everyone from getting hit. This involved keeping two buffs on everyone at all times plus running two AE defense toggles. When those buffs were about to expire, his priority was to stop attacking, keep those toggles going, and build up enough endurance to rebuff everyone before they start taking hits.

I got self-conscious about this, so I bound the point emote to a number key. If I am going to stand there, usefully doing nothing, I at least do not want to look like a leech.

Masterminds are an even stronger case, since not all of them have active attacks. Controlling your pets produces no animations, so a Mastermind intent on piloting his minions looks like he is standing there doing nothing. He may not have any attacks at all, actually: summon pets, upgrade pets, Fitness pool, movement power, maybe the Traps secondary which is more summons. Or better yet, why not run a lot of toggles while you are standing there? The Necromancy/Dark Miasma Mastermind summons and buffs all his zombies (six pets, two buffs each, plus two other summons), leads the fight with Tar Patch, then has Darkest Night, Shadow Fall, Maneuvers, Tactics, and Assault all running. He will probably also use Fearsome Stare, which has underwhelming visuals, and toss a heal occasionally that blends with his pets’ heals and everything else that is going.

His teammates see him standing there. He sees pets going wild on targets, several if he wants to split them up to tank; he needs to redirect them when targets drop and make sure they do not aggro nearby groups. Meanwhile, he in managing endurance, watching for any needed healing, resummoning and rebuffing pets that drop…

It can be hard to tell when you are in a group with a good Mastermind. You can often tell when you are with a bad one, but is this guy actually good or just waiting to screw up when things are not easy?

And for that question, I have no answer besides avoiding pick-up groups. But we still keep taking pick-up groups, so…

: Zubon

One thought on “Don’t Just Do Something! Stand There!”

  1. In the case of a Dark Miasmist? He’ll use Howling Twilight offensively.

    More generally? Watch the minions. If they’re moving in a more complex manner than just Attack one target, then Attack the next, then you’re pretty safe. If you see GoTo commands, then you’re in good shape.

    The best idea, I think, is to turn on allied pet chat. It’s spammish, so it takes some getting used to, but it’s worthwhile in knowing how many commands your ally is actually giving.

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