Diminishing Returns Explained (WoW)

Crowd Control (from now on referred to as CC) is always a difficult thing to balance correctly. If a game has too much CC then the gameplay feels sluggish and unresponsive because you cannot cast moves. However, if a game has too little CC then it can lead to a big balance problem surrounding mobility. In a low CC environment then high mobility characters reign supreme as they cannot be stopped. The trick is to find a balance between the two. WoW’s attempt at doing this is called “Diminishing Returns”. With the release of WoW’s most recent expansion then Crowd Control was simplified and many different CC categories were merged. Let’s look at how it works now.

What is diminishing returns?

When you are affected by a CC move then you gain an 18 second window. During this window of time then any further CC from the same category of CC will have reduced duration. The next CC will be -50% duration and the 3rd will only be 25% as effective. After the 3rd application then you will be immune to that type of CC until the 18 second window has expired.

What are the categories of crowd control and how do they differ?

There are 6 classes of CC

  • Knockback – Moves that reposition your character. The rules for knockbacks are a little different. Explained below.
  • Stun – Complete inability to control your character. Is not broken by damaged
  • Silence – Cannot cast spells. Physical abilities are still usable.
  • Disorient – Unable to move/use abilities. Often has an effect such as blind breaking on damage or cyclone making you immune to damage.
  • Incapacitate – Unable to move or use abilities. Generally breaks on damage but has a few exceptions.
  • Root – Unable to move but can still use abilities.


You cannot be affected by any of the following knockbacks more than once every 10 seconds (to prevent your character becoming a ping pong ball).


  • Gorefiend’s Grasp
  • Typhoon
  • Ursol’s Vortex
  • Explosive Trap (Glyphed)
  • Thunderstorm
  • Fellash (Shivarra)
  • Whiplash (Succubus)
  • Whiplash (Grimoire of Sacrifice)


This is why some arena compositions are so popular!

If you have a team comprised of classes that do not share many CC categories then you can CC someone for much longer. For example, RMP (rogue, mage and priest) has a lot of CC that is not affected by their other teammates CC abilities. This allows a good RMP team to keep someone in a CC train (extended CC) while focusing another target.

Hope this helps!

If you feel that this (admittedly small) guide was helpful, please follow @skillshotter on Twitter. Comment below if you have any questions.


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