What is a breakbar ?
This is a breakbar.
Certain enemies such as bosses have a blue bar below the usual healthbar. Such enemies are immune to debilitating effect from conditions and crowd control. The blue bar is called a defiance bar, or breakbar and depletes when the enemy is hit with CC skills.
Why should I care ?
Once broken a defiance bar will have an effect that can vary from enemy to enemy. Most of the time it will result in said enemy to be Stunned and Exposed for a few seconds, increasing the damage it will take.
Aside from a few exceptions like Cardinal sabir, you should always try to break an enemy's defiance as fast as possible.
How to break a breakbar
Breakbars act the same way healthbars do, except instead of power or condi damage you need to use CC skills to damage it.
There are two ways to damage a breakbar: first, inflicting conditions with control effects or use "hard CC" skills.
Conditions will drain the target's defiance at a fixed rate while hard cc skills such as Stun, Pull, etc will drain the defiance in one go when the skill hits.
Every controlling condition and control effect have a set defiance damage value. See conditions and boons guide for conditions, and hard cc's are as follow, depending on the duration of the effect:
- Stun : 100/sec
- Daze : 100/sec
- Knockdown : 100/sec
- Float : 100/sec
- Launch : 232/332 depending on the skill
- Pull : 150
- Knockback : 150
Other types exist but are less common.
Stability still works on defiant enemies, each stack will "block" the breakbar damage of one hard CC skill. Soft CC's are not affected by stability.
When to use your CC skills
Depending on the situation you might not want to completely screw up your rotation to CC an enemy. You need to think critically and recognize whether you have enough time to get a few skills off before swapping off of your weapon/interrupting a long channeling skill/destroying your rotation in some other way. Your dps is very important so try not to sacrifice too much of it for breakbar damage. That said, you should still aim to break it as fast as possible, wiping isn't a dps increase.
Raid examples of breakbar phases
In most raids, breakbar phases are tied with a specific mechanic, the outcome of which is determined by the success or failure of the squad in breaking the defiance bar.
On Gorseval it's tied with an attack that makes black circles appear all over dealing a good chunk of damage and applies Vivid Echo to Gorseval for the entire duration. Vivid Echo acts like retaliation used to, reflecting damage taken. The amount of damage dealt back to the attacker is fixed meaning you need to avoid using multihitting attacks if your class can't outheal it during that phase and focus on breaking it as fast as possible.
On Soulless Horror, every other "pizza slices" attack (not the alternating ones, the full ones), a breakbar phase will start. If the bar is not broken in time, Soulless Horror will fear every member of the squad and one shot them all one by one. Breaking that bar is obviously extremely important.
On Qadim the breakbar phase can usually be entirely skipped in normal mode with enough dps. If it's not been skipped you will need to either kill the stability providing pyre or have some sort of pulsing boon removal like , , or more commonly, a spellbreaker's . Qadim is invulnerable during the breakbar phase and will cast an explosion downing everyone if not broken in time. It's worth noting that this explosion doesn't have infinite range and can be avoided by standing far enough away from the boss, on the pyre platforms for example.
Qadim the Peerless
On Qadim the Peerless the breakbar phase is tied to Qadim attempting to reclaim one of the pylons for himself. During that phase the person kiting on that pylon loses the "good tether" it had with the pylon in question and gets a "bad tether". It's very important to break Qadim's defiance as fast as possible so your kiter can go back to having quickness and alacrity. If you fail to do so in time Qadim will claim the pylon he targeted and go invulnerable until it's been reclaimed by your team.
There are other breakbar phases in raids, these are just a few examples. In general it's always useful to break an enemy's defiance as soon as possible to avoid dealing with potential one shots/losing team members.
Life after the breakbar was broken
After breaking, the defiance bar will either slowly regenerate and change color to orange or lock up again. In both cases, the breakbar cannot be damaged until it turns blue again. You will be a happier person after the breakbar was broken. (insert happy person picture)