Resolve, Crowd Control (CC) and You
Players first coming to SWTOR often complain that the “resolve” system doesn't work. In my opinion, it represents a unique solution to the problem of chain CC. For those who understand how it works, like my readers at the end of this guide, resolve offers a system in which good players will make good choices and thereby reap the benefits that lesser knowledgeable players will complain don't work.
First, what is crowd control (CC)?
Crowd control, or CC as it's abbreviated, was originally intended in MMO's as an ability used by certain low dps classes to make them worthwhile in a group. The abilities range from a short term stun that allows continued damage of the target, to a long term sleep used out of combat to make a mob no longer take actions until it receives damage. PvPers immediately saw the value in these abilities and adopted them for their own uses often to the scorn of those pvpers that didn't have them.
In SWTOR we have three types of CC:
Snares: an ability that slows the target by a percent up to 100%
Mezz: an ability which causes a target to no longer have the ability to take action for a period of time or until damage is taken (whichever comes first). Sometimes these abilities can only be used against certain types of targets (droid) or when a target is out of combat.
Stun: an ability of a short term duration that prevents a target from taking action regardless of the amount of damage taken
In PvP the three above categories have specific uses to consider. First, one will usually always keep one's target snared so that one can keep on top of them as a melee, or away from them as a ranged. Even in a ranged versus ranged fight, putting a snare on the enemy will help to unbalance his gameplay a bit and reduce the chance he can successfully use LOS (line of sight) to avoid one. Second, Mezz can be useful in a small engagement where AoE will unlikely occur. For example, in Voidstar the disarm bomb ability is much shorter in length than the time a Whirlwind will take a player out of action. Lastly, stuns work best either in a chain with another player to maximize the amount of time an enemy has to endure damage OR when the other player is in a hazardous situation (environmental damage area). Additionally, stuns can be used a cast interrupt against healers OR as an actual stun to kill a player that doesn't know what he's doing or perhaps burned his CC Breaker earlier.
Secondly, what is a CC Breaker?
In SWTOR, every character has a stun ability and a CC breaker. The CC breaker is an ability that BREAKS CC. Different classes have different names for this ability. Not all classes have the same cooldown between uses of this ability. Not much more to say about that other than learn when to use it. Although all characters get a CC breaker, not everyone knows when to use it properly (to be elaborated on).
Thirdly, what is Resolve?
Resolve is SWTOR's method of preventing chain CC. Generally, for those leveling up through the pvp bracket, Resolve seems to do nothing. I myself have played part to numerous occassions in which I've been stunned, broken the stun with my CC breaker, only to get immediately stunned again. While quite frustrating, I eventually came to realize I was not using my CC break at the right moment.
Resolve is a bar that fills up next to one's avatar and the avatar of one's enemy. When the bar fills up, the person gains immunity to further CC. The length of this immunity is almost long enough to run a huttball from the beginning of the ramps to the goal with a bit of luck. The problem is, most players find that the bar doesn't fill up until they're just about dead. Even when the bar does fill up, the immunity doesn't matter until the cc that filled one's bar wears off. This is where an experienced player knows why resolve is kinda cool.
Finally, how do I take advantage of this system?
An experienced player uses his damage mitigation abilities in preperation of an incoming CC. Then, while stunned and taking a beating, he doesn't take as much damage as the enemy is hoping to inflict. Thus the CC wears off and the player resumes his PvP having SAVED his CC breaker. Now, when the player gets CC'd again, he immediately uses his CC breaker (because two stuns will fill the bar) and gains immunity to all further CC for a good length of time. Getting this to work in Huttball while carrying the ball works wonders since most players have no idea their CC won't work when the target has a white bar of resolve.
Its very important to remember that CC does not work on a player who has a white bar of resolve. Its also important to realize that using CC on someone will give them immunity to further uses once the bar fills up HOWEVER, resolve does not affect snares. So when the resolve bar fills up, one can still snare the player even to the point of zero movement. Furthermore, snaring a player does not increase his resolve bar. So use snares as often as needed without any worry. For those warriors with the ability to cause a 100% snare, remember that it will ALWAYS cause this effect. There is no immunity against it.
Another simple strategy to use regarding CC is to test a player's knowledge. Instead of opening up with one's awesome 6 second stun, try using a garbage mezz on the player. If one has an addition stun like many melee classes do, try using that first. A less sophisticated player will automatically use their CC breaker, thus allowing one to immediately follow up with the long 6 second stun whenever it tactically suits one. I use this strategy all the time.
In reverse, its important to know what stuns to break and which to eat. Anytime someone stuns one's character in a manner that throws one on the ground, beware using the CC break. A stun that floors a player will only last between 2 and 3 seconds. Stealthers will often mezz a player before starting a fight, just to see if the player will try to break it. If the situation will allow it, save one's CC break. Additionally, don't use a CC break on a snare unless absolutely necessary since snares usually have VERY short cooldowns and can rapidly reapply.
Examples of CC not to break include, snares that result from getting pushed. Snipers and some Sorcerors have a 100% snare they do when they AoE push people away. Unless one is taking damage or really want to kill the pusher, consider eating this one. If one's character gets slept, don't break it. As mentioned twice above, abilities that cause a lose of control belonging to the "Mezz" class of CC breaks if one takes damage. So when tactically unnecessary for one to take action, just ride it out. There is only one objective in game that can be capped in the 8 seconds and that's the disarm bomb in voidstar.
So in retrospect, resolve may seem like a broken system, but actually has some interesting layers of complexity to it. Those players who know these tricks, will see that resolve not only does work, but can be gamed to work for one.