Author Topic: Ways to Mitigate Mez from NPCs  (Read 86 times)

wyldhaunt

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Ways to Mitigate Mez from NPCs
« on: September 01, 2022, 03:56:29 pm »
I'm actually surprised that we don't already have a guide for ways to mitigate mez from NPCs, since it is something that doesn't seem straight-forward for newer players. I'm not even pretending to be the all-knowing player on this subject, however I'm willing to share what my experiences and impressions are to-date in this guide.

To be clear, I'm not creating this thread to discuss changes to the game which could allow for other ways to mitigate mez from NPCs, nor even to chill those discussions, but rather to share/discuss what we already have available. Another thread could easily be started to discuss ideas for game changes to mitigating mez, however I'd rather keep this thread focused on current ways to mitigate mez from NPCs.

Like many situations in this game, I've seen player reaction to mez range from "it's part of the game" to "I hate it and it should go away." Personally, my opinion is "I hate it enough to figure out ways to avoid it as much as possible, but it is part of the game."

So what is "mez?" Our wiki defines mez as various status effects which restrict players/NPCs in various ways. Here's Rebirth's wiki page on this: https://wiki.cityofheroesrebirth.com/wiki/Status_Effect. One different between mez and debuff seems to be: debuff means it's harder to do something, while mez means it's impossible. One example is the difference between Slow and Immobilize.

That said, my personal impression is that mez which prevents my character from acting or interacting is a pain point in playing the game. When I can't act, I'm watching, not playing, the game. So in my view, Immobilize isn't as painful as Hold, Disorient, constant KB/KD/KU, nor Only Affect Self.

One other item to be aware of: excepting KB, mez powers have a magnitude (which can be protected against) and a duration (which can be shortened by mez resistance).

Alright, the game does give us various ways to mitigate mez from NPCs, however each has its limitations. Here they are:

1. AT/powerset powers affecting self. Certain ATs/powersets have powers which provide mez protection to self. The ATs which have these are Tankers, Brutes, Scrappers, Stalkers, Guardians, and Dominators. Except for Dominators, many of these powers are self-affecting toggles, so you turn on the toggle and mostly ignore the mez. Dominators instead have an AT power called "Domination" which provides mez protection for that power's duration. Still, not all of these powers are equal - it pays to read what each power protects against, and understand what it doesn't protect against. The limitation for this option is that one must play an AT/powerset which includes these powers.

2. Blaster AT. Blasters have a unique AT ability to cast some powers while mezzed. The details are at https://wiki.cityofheroesrebirth.com/wiki/Defiance. In addition, Blasters have access to an enhancement which can help with mez res; details at https://wiki.cityofheroesrebirth.com/wiki/Defiant_Barrage:_Recharge/Chance_for_%2BStatus_Protection. The limitation for this is being a Blaster.

3. Pool powers. There exist powers in pools available to mitigate mez. The ones I'm aware of are:
A. Rune of Protection. This is in the Sorcery power pool. Rune of Protection gives both mez protection and damage resistance, and is available to all ATs, so that is the good part. The limitations are: 1) you must pick two other powers in this pool before you can pick Rune of Protection, 2) Rune of Protection last 60s while having a 600s recharge (so it cannot be up all the time), 3) unlike inspirations, you cannot cast Rune of Protection while under the affect of mez which prohibits you from acting at all, and 4) there is at -25% End crash with a -100% Recovery debuff for 15 seconds once the power ends.
B. Indomitable Will. This is in the Psionic Mastery epic power pool available to Controllers and Dominators. Indomitable Will provides mez protection and Psi def. Limitations: this power's duration is 90s with a 360s recharge (so better than Rune of Protection for that, and no End crash), cannot be taken before level 35, and so cannot be used under level 30.
C. Combat Jumping. In addition to its jump bonus and defense boost, it provides Immoblize protection. No serious limitations for this one (for Immob prot).
D: Hover. Although Hover actually does not have mez prot/res in the power itself, KB doesn't impact characters as long when they're using Hover, as the total animation effect is far shorter than when not flying, so it functions like mez res. Other fly powers may have the same benefit; I haven't tried this.
E: Tactics. This power provides some mez prot/res against Confuse, and mez res against Fear.
   
4. Invention Origin Enhancements which provide Mez prot/res, including in set bonuses. Gonna break this down a bit:
A. KB prot: there are at least three IOs which provide KB prot. As there's one for Defense powers, one for Resist Damage powers, and one for Travel powers, there's really no limitation on these other than they're KB-only.
B. Mez resist IOs: there are at least two IOs which provide mez resistance, both for Resist Damage powers. Their limitations are that they can only be slotted in Resist Damage powers, and they only provide res, not prot.
C. Mez resist set bonuses: there are many IOs sets which provide mez resistance. You can search for "mez res" at https://wiki.cityofheroesrebirth.com/wiki/Enhancement_Sets to see most of them. The primary limitations here are that they only provide res, not prot.

5. Teammates' powers affecting allies. Many "support" powersets (such as Pain Domination's Enforced Morale) provide mez protection and/or resistance. The limitations for this option is that: 1) one must have a teammate with these powers, and 2) the teammate must cast these powers in a way which helps mitigate mez. The latter point is important to note, since many of these powers only affect one ally at a time, and keeping these going on all teammates, especially on a larger team, is somewhat of a task which can reduce the fun of the person playing the support teammate. A way to help with this is a macro or keybind to the effect of "I'm mezzed!" - hit that when affected by a mez, and if the teammate notices and can cast a mez-canceling power, they likely will. However, a further complication with this is that there are plenty of support sets which do not include any mez prot/res powers, and many players are not aware of the details regarding which sets do or don't include these powers. So, unless you regularly team with people who have these powers, I at least have found this option unreliable.

6. Inspirations. The "Resist Effects" type of inspirations (see https://wiki.cityofheroesrebirth.com/wiki/Inspirations) provides prot/res against mez. There are also versions of these inspirations which affect the nearby teammates. Except when playing a melee AT or a Guardian with a mez protection power, I consider it necessary to keep around 1/4 of my inspirations as this type. Even so, I don't rely solely on inspirations for mez mitigation, because there are circumstances in the later levels of the game where mez is so common and pervasive that I am not able to keep enough Resist Effects inspirations available (even after combining other inspirations).

7. Incapacitate mezzers. A central activity in this game is combat. Enemies will try to hit your character while you're trying to do the same to them. One way to prevent getting hit by mez is to disable the mezzer first. A few characters are able to one-shot at least one mezzer before they can do anything, however more-commonly this requires mezzing a mezzer first, which many ATs/powersets can do. Having targeting keybinds which focus on priority targets really helps with this. However, in instances with crowds of enemies in tight quarters, many times the mezzer may be out of line-of-sight and may get an opportunity to mez you first, or there may be multiple mezzers which cannot all be contained easily, so that is the primary limitation of this strategy.

8. Don't Get Hit. Many NPC mez powers still require a to-hit check, and if the power misses, so does the mez. For this reason, it is worthwhile to boost your defense. The limitation of this strategy is that enemies can still hit, and that some mez powers don't require a to-hit check. Also, especially when teaming, let the AT with mez self-prot/res take the alpha strike from enemies, and support them.

9. Clarion Destiny. I mention this last to help you see all of the other options first, although it seems many (including myself) have chosen Clarion as the "way to go." Once you have Clarion, it's easy to use and does its job well, which is why it seems that many use it. However, it does have its own limitations: 1) you can't get it until you're a level 50 incarnate, and then it takes gathering incarnate components and crafting the power; 2) you can't use it at less than level 45.

For each and every item listed above, especially the powers and IOs, you should review what mez prot/res is provided, and what isn't. Especially for mez prot powers, they don't always prot from every type of mez.

Personally, I find it helpful to combine the various strategies above (just like we often do with layered damage mitigation). Here are some examples, all of which are incarnate characters:

1. Gnawt, my Inv/Savage Tanker. The power Unyielding provides plenty of prot/rez against KB, Repel, Sleep, Hold, Disorient, and Immob, so that's all he needs for most situations. Still, he keeps three Resist Effect inspirations around, and for particularly challenging damage/mez points, Gnawt does have Rune of Protection (since Gnawt has Ageless Core, he's fine with the End crash). He also has SLFC def softcapped most everywhere when in melee with at least one opponent.

2. Blakkat, my Claws/Dark Brute. The power Obsidian Shield provides plenty of prot/rez against Disorient, Hold, Sleep and Fear. But notice that it provides nothing against KB nor Immob. Cloak of Darkness does provide prot against Immob. No Dark Armor power provides prot against KB, so Blakkat has a Blessing of the Zephyr: KB Reduction IO in her travel power. Blakkat carries no Resist Effect inspirations. She has Melee def softcapped. Blakkat also has Rune of Protection, however that's more for damage resistance than mez prot in Blakkat's build. Blakkat also has Combat Jumping providing Immob protection, however that's more for theme (cat jumping reflexes) in Blakkat's build.

3. Sesia, my Nature/Pollen (well, Fire) Defender. She has neither softcap def nor Clarion. She does have Rune of Protection (with Ageless Core Epiphany to help with recharge and end), the Aegis: Psi/Status Res IO, two Impervious Skin: Status Res IOs, and other set bonuses to help with mez res. She also has a Blessing of the Zephyr: KB Reduction IO in her travel power. She also keeps seven Resist Efffect inspirations available. As a Defender, Sesia tends to not jump in an take alphas, though she's been known to start some battles (using "Pollen" Ball with a Ragnarok: KB IO to provide some mitigation). Every once in a while Sesia will get mezzed, but it's rare enough not to be troublesome. Also, although neither Nature Affinity nor Fire Blast provide ally mez prot/rez powers, she picked up Injection from the Medicine pool specifically to be able to help mezzed teammates. Injection doesn't last long, so she only uses it reactively, either when a she notices a teammate mezzed, or when a teammate calls out that they are mezzed.

4. Fluixic, my Water/Time Controller. He uses Clarion, however that's because most of his time is spent in max-level content. He also has Blessing of the Zephyr: KB Reduction in his travel power. He has ranged def softcapped, and carries three Resist Effect inspirations. For content less than level 45, he relies most on the -KB prot and on active mitigation through his control powers, especially Turbulent Aura.

5. Blood in the Water, my Water/Storm Corruptor. He uses Clarion, after finding in iTrials at least that using Ageless and 7 Breakfrees he still got mezzed often enough that it irritated me. Swapping from Ageless to Clairon required changes to end management on his build, but that did work out well.

Again, this is not even an attempt at a be-all/end-all guide for mitigating mez from NPCs, but a sharing of what I've learned so far. If you have additional ways to mitigate mez, or questions on the above, fire away!

« Last Edit: September 01, 2022, 03:58:57 pm by wyldhaunt »