September 14, 2005

MO2 - Stun

stun (st n)
tr.v. stunned, stun•ning, stuns
1. To daze or render senseless, by or as if by a blow.
2. To overwhelm or daze with a loud noise.
3. To stupefy, as with the emotional impact of an experience; astound.
A blow or shock that stupefies.

Now that is how it is defined in the dictionary. How is it defined by an MMO gamer such as myself? A few words come to mind… gay… lame… retarded… and I probably could think of a lot more.

The essence of stun in any form in any MMO makes me sick to my stomach, but when it is thrown into a MMO’s Player vs. Player (PvP) system it makes me downright mad. Any ability designed to completely prevent you from playing your character is just bullshit. Slow, root, and other movement afflicting skills are great because you still have the option to fight back in some form or another.

It boggles me how any MMO developers building a game that is meant to be FUN can add a game mechanic that allows one player to completely prevent their enemy from fighting back. Where is the skill? There isn’t. Simple fact… if your enemy can’t fight back because you pressed the STUN button and killed them… you DON’T have skill.

Stun has been around since the beginning. Ultima Online had it in the form of paralyze. Everquest had it. Countless MUDs before both of them had it. Dark Ages of Camelot was the first “second generation” MMO to abuse it and every MMO up until now seems to be using it. World of Warcraft is the new flavor that seems to rejoice in letting a select few classes have mind boggling amounts of stun.

WoW being my current game… stuns have become a daily annoyance. Rogues, paladins, warriors, hunters, mages, Tauren, and any engineer have a form of stun. There is diminishing returns built into the system, but a stun is still a stun. The initial stuns last plenty long for a rogue to kill you and a paladins stun lasts long enough for the paladin’s friends to trounce you. Mage, hunter, warrior, and engineer stuns are short and uneventful.

However, they INTERUPT your current action. I can understand this being part of a classes abilities, but giving it to engineers and Taurens as a racial ability? WTF. It’s bad enough the most overplayed classes in WoW, rogues and paladins, spam stuns everywhere on the battlefield, but having engineering slowly become the must have trade skill profession for PvP… blah.

Stun when it is used as an interrupting ability and not a game stopping ability can work. WoW warriors intercept stun is an agreeable use of stun. It lasts for merely a split second and is as described… an intercept. WoW rogue stuns are unbearable and have driven me to log out more than once. Classes get some items that break stuns, but the stuns can be reapplied so quickly that it is worthless. Blizzard needs to realize diminishing returns are not working properly for stuns and fix them the same way they fixed slow effects such as frost shock and frost nova. The fix… after three stuns you become immune to stuns for approximately five minutes.

Stuns plain suck. They were reason for outcry in Dark Ages of Camelot and are creeping into the bullshit category in WoW. Let's hope the next generation gets a clue.