Since I’m working my way through Wizard powers, I thought it’d be a good time to refresh myself (and anyone who cares) on what I think a controller’s role is. The following links will be in reverse-chronological order, which may lead to some confusion — important points will be highlighted in summary.

August 3, 2013
Link: Controller Utility Quandary

I hit an interesting “wall” while working through utility powers, and the solution I arrived at proved better than I hoped. Controlling multiple pieces on the board is a leader’s schtick, but to help make sure that a player “gets” this, it’s good to have a few iterations of the idea sprinkled throughout the rules.

Now, controllers get conjurations and zones, which tend not to move — but they alter the battlefield in similar ways to pawns and cohorts as provided by leaders. Both concepts are similar but are utilized in different ways — having a lieutenant tag along will play differently from bowling over enemies with a ball of fire.

July 2013
Link: Another Look At Efficiency
Link: Character Role Efficiency

I wrote a series of posts spread out over about a month, trying to codify exactly what every controller should have. “Role efficiency” is what I called it — and it was about trying to make sure that a class performed “as advertised.” There’s no point calling a class a controller if they don’t do what the box claims they do.

June 2013
Link: Controllers in Denial
Link: Tier System for Roles

First of all, the aim of a controller is “denial,” though this is a pretty abstract concept and can be applied many different ways in the game. The most straightforward is probably “action denial” — through the application of the “Dazed” condition, which strips the target of all but one action per round.

May 13, 2013
Link: Maybe I Was Just Wrong

There’s a starting point for every class, which I’ve forgotten on occasion — “how does this character deal damage?” should be the first question asked. That’s what you build the character class for, and for no other reason. Now a controller tries to spread damage around (discussed below), but the question is still, “how?”

January 14, 2013
Link: Active, Passive, and Indirect

Surprisingly, much of what I wrote here still holds — while denial is central to the controller’s role, the leader’s ability to enable should outstrip a controller in a head-to-head fight. Though a well-timed Dazed attack will eliminate a lot of the leader’s functionality, the leader can straight-up outlast a controller.

February 24, 2012
Link: Roles and Magic Combat

“Controllers deal extra damage by spreading it around” is an important concept that I try to underline every time I make a class — controller or not. “Close/area” and “burst/blast” powers go to controllers, almost exclusively — and especially when it comes to dealing damage. (e.g. the new “Combat Challenge”)