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Aggro

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  • A common question is: "How do I kill monsters safely?"
  • Or "How do I avoid getting attacked by Additional monsters (Adds)?"

When you first start playing, monsters happily ignore you until you attack them.

At around level ten you start to meet monsters which will attack you as soon as they see you.

And not long after that you start to meet monsters which ignore you at first, but turn on you in a group if you annoy just one of them.


Glossary[edit | edit source]

  • Aggro - "This means the monsters are mad at you and you've "activated" them to attack you. They are now in the motion of trying to reach and attack you." (by iknowmymom from "Commonly used abbreviations" topic). ^^
You can aggro an "unactivated" mob by attacking it but also if you just get too close. If you are a DD you can also steal aggro* from someone else and clerics may cause heal aggro*.
You can tell if you stole aggro as the mob will turn its attentions to you.
  • Aggro Radius - "The radius around the monsters where they will "wake up" and attack you." (by iknowmymom).
Typical aggro radius length for mobs in many dungeons is 10-15m.
  • Aggro Range - bigger than aggro radius; activates when you aggro mob - consider it as his 'sight' range. 100-150m in dungeons.
  • Aggro Area - area around monster where he will chase you if you aggro him. If you run far enough away from mob's spawn point then mob will 'reset' (yellow light around him).
However, in dungeons mobs will follow you outside of their aggro area. If you die outside of mob's aggro area, and if no one from squad uses any skill which cause aggro, the mob will reset (though, sometimes resetting of mob may be buggy, so always stay outside of his aggro radius).
But if you die in mob aggro range (often even 50m) mob will switch to closest party member.
  • Aggro Steal - "aggroed" monster will always switch to person who does most damage (or most DPS) or use aggro skills.
  • Heal Aggro - Cleric: if you heal someone too close from unactivated mob you will aggro that mob on yourself.
But also -for example- if archer attack one monster from a four mob group, they will all run after him. If you try to heal, then 3 from those mobs will aggro on you just after first spell. This applies to venos and their pets as well. Activated (but not hit) mobs will consider your heals like damage done to them. Mind that if you don't stop healing that archer and he hit a mob just once, the 4th mob will also aggro on you after some time.
  • Holding Aggro - making mob/mobs focus only on you = dealing most damage or using aggro skills.
  • Tank - the guy who really likes to be beaten by mobs; usually barbarian because of their massive hp and -which is more important- good aggro skills which help him to hold monster aggro* on himself.
Sometimes blademasters or venomancers with tank-pet like to play tank-role which may be bit more dangerous because pure Damage Dealers like to steal aggro*.
Blademasters will be able to hold aggro by DPS, while venos can do tanking job effectively only on dungeon bosses since pet's damage isn't reduced on them.
  • Damage Dealer - DD - archer, wizard, venomancer, blademaster and sometimes cleric; people that are supposed to do damage to a monster tanked by someone else. More damage they can do = better, but a better tank will be needed to hold aggro*.
  • Lurer - usually venomancer with pet; if the tank doesn't think that he will be able to survive being ganged up on, the veno can lure one mob from group (poke one with her pet and hide it).
  • Hate List - attacked mob will arrange hate list by aggro which every party member has contributed. Mobs attack people in this order - ie: after tank's death he will switch to the person who 'built' the most aggro. You increase your aggro by dealing damage and healing (buffs are 'neutral'). Special aggro skills like Flesh Ream will move you to top of mob's hate list, but not permanently - f.e. enough strong DDs will be able to steal aggro from you soon after FR.

How does aggro work?[edit | edit source]

  • Some monsters will attack if a player gets too close. These are identified by the "red crossed swords" icon on their status bar. Monsters that do not attack automatically have a "yellow shield" icon. They will have minimal aggro on the player that woke them up.
  • Some monsters will attack if you fight other monsters nearby. They will have minimal aggro on the player that started the fight.
  • Almost all monsters attack when they are damaged or hit by any debuff.
  • Almost all skills, including debuffs, cause some aggro.
  • Doing direct damage causes aggro. Damage from debuffs (damage over time effects) does not cause aggro, but the debuff itself will still cause minimal aggro.
  • Some skills build up a lot more aggro. In the description of these skills, it will read that they "increase your threat".
  • Healing someone who is being attacked by monsters causes the healer to get aggro from those monsters.
  • Barring special aggro skills that force enemies to target a specific player, NPCs will generally target whoever has dealt most damage to them. Some enemies and bosses will choose to reset their aggro at certain times however, and attack a random party member until aggro is reset.
  • Monsters will reset aggro if they cannot get in range of the player or NPC they want to attack (healing itself up with the yellow bubble of invulnerability).
  • Monsters will reset aggro if they chase a player for a few seconds, without being hit back. Monsters in instances will chase players considerably longer.
  • If a monster doesn't have aggro on anyone, it will rush back to its spawn point (healing itself up with the yellow bubble of invulnerability) and go back to wandering around.

Some typical dos and donts:

  • If as a tank you rush forward and wake up a number of enemies, use an area attack to damage them all so that more then minimal aggro is established on you. If you do not, then the enemies you have woken up, but not attacked, will go after the healer instead (who typically can't handle a large amount of enemies).
  • Likewise, as a healer, wait with healing the tank until he's done at least one AOE to firmly establish aggro. After that, typcially any amount of healing will not cause the healer to be targeted.
  • If you are a less resilient damagedealer (for instance, a wizard), be careful with casting a lot of AOE's successively unless you are certain that those will kill the majority of the enemies you are targeting. Doing too much damage can cause you to steal aggro from the tank, and causes enemies to come after you instead. If you're not certain, use single target skills instead.

Tank[edit | edit source]

A tank's job is to be at the top of every important monsters hate list, and thus take damage that weaker characters cannot handle. Barbarians are PWI's tank class, and they have high hitpoints and several skills to take and hold aggro to help with this role. Some enemies however are more easily tanked by a Wizard, Psychic, or other Arcane Armor wearer - mainly those who only have ranged magic skills. Since these classes deal high damage themselves, it is usually possible for those to hold aggro purely by doing a ton of damage.

Tanks should have a high defense and lots and lots of hitpoints. One useful trick is for the tank to already be regenerating health before the monster hits them. Ironheart Blessing and Falling Petals are heal-over-time skills that can do this.

Some classes have special Aggro skills:

Barbarian:

Flesh Ream - The main aggro skill of the Barbarian. It moves you to the top of the aggro list (forces the target to attack you), and adds a lot of bonus aggro.
Devour - Adds a some extra aggro and reduces the physical defense of your enemy.
Stomp of the King - Morai AEU skill. It adds a -lot- of aggro.
Roar - AOE. Resets aggro and moves you to the top. As an aggro reset skill, you should use this to quickly take aggro on enemies. It should not be used to maintain aggro on a boss once you are attacking it!

Blademaster:

Stream Strike - Adds some bonus aggro to your attack.
River Avalanche - Primal skill. Like Flesh Ream, it moves you to the top of the aggro list (forces the target to attack you) and adds a lot of bonus aggro. Also has a chance to stun the target.

Seeker:

Battousi - Adds some bonus aggro.
Bloodthirsty Blitz - AOE. Adds a lot of aggro, typically causes enemies to attack you.


As a tank, you should always keep one eye on your squadmembers. If an enemy goes after a squadmember, use aggro skills to get it's attention back on you unless you are certain your squadmember can handle it himself. Remember: Arcane armored players are weak versus melee or ranged physical enemies, and Light Armor/Heavy Armor players are generally weak versus Elemental damage dealing enemies.

Don't go too far ahead of your party. Healers are generally slow moving and don't have speed skills, while tank classes are usually much faster. If you go too far ahead, you may find yourself in the middle of a lot of enemies without a healer!

Flesh Ream (and River Avalance) force aggro on yourself, but remember to keep doing damage or your damage dealers will soon offset the bonus aggro with their higher damage output then you. Keep using high damage and aggro skills to keep the boss or enemies focused on you.

If you died on a boss but were revived, use an aggro reset skill like Roar or an aggro forcing skill like Flesh Ream/River Avalanche to get the boss focused on you again. After death, your aggro gets reset to 0, so getting on top of mob hate list by pure damage is very hard.

Keep the cleric on your six while tanking bosses (see image below). Correct your position if the boss moves. It's always safer if the cleric can heal from the maximum (possible) healing range. You should do this especially on AoE bosses, since, in many cases, cleric will be able to heal outside of AoE range.

Damage Dealer[edit | edit source]

The bulk of the party will consist of Damage Dealers (DD) or DD support. Primary damage dealers are the party members who will bring down the boss hitpoints, or kill the mobs. DD support supplies control skills or debuffs. Both classes can draw aggro while doing this, but the primary DD's are most at risk from stealing aggro from the tank.

On a boss fight you might want to give the tank a few seconds to firmly establish aggro before engaging the enemies yourself. If you find yourself stealing aggro, and unable to handle it, do not run from the tank. Run in circles around the tank until the tank can use an aggro skill to take the mobs/boss off of you.

Some damage dealer classes can work well as a secondary/backup tank (Blademasters, Seekers and stronger Assassins can do this well). If your main tank is busy and your healer has drawn some aggro (during a pull that went bad for instance), you can save your squad by pulling that aggro on you with an AOE and then head to your tank. Any DD should help guard the healer - if it goes down, usually the rest of the party will follow shortly after.

DDs should always spread around tanked boss/mob if it is possible and safe (but stay in heal range). It is easier for the tank and cleric to guess which one of you stole aggro, if that happens.

When 'zhening' (killing many monsters at same time while cleric use Blue Ball) you are supposed to 'catch' mobs with your AoE before they hit cleric (BB will aggro every mob in range). For example: Blademasters should stun physical mobs, and wizards and archers should position their AoE attacks carefully. Another very effective way to catch incoming monsters is to use the Alpha Male genie skill. It's a very strong aggro AoE which may by used by any class, although it does overwrite 'bramble'.

AoE buffs do not draw aggro from someone else on you.

Healer[edit | edit source]

A party healer is typically a Cleric or Mystic. Your main role is to heal the tank and keep rest of party alive, yourself included. Typically, healers are weak and need to avoid getting hit. You have several main ways to heal at your disposal:

Cleric

Wellspring Surge (and primal Soothing Pulse) - A fast but not very powerful heal. Use it on damage dealers who have drawn aggro to quickly heal them, then follow up with Iron Heart.
Iron Heart - A powerful heal-over-time that will stack. This skill should be spammed on a tank to keep it alive and cause it to regain hitpoints continuously while being attacked.
Stream of Rejuvination - A strong heal that restores a lot of hitpoints fast. Can be useful to quickly heal up a tank who has taken a lot of damage (if the cleric was stunned for a bit or busy reviving someone).
Chromatic Healing Beam - An AOE heal that takes a while to cast. Can be used to heal the party after an AOE.
Regenerative Aura (Blue Bubble) - A continuous AOE heal that halves damage taken and replenishes hitpoints. Typically used during bossfights or end points of pulls. Prevents you from taking other actions since you need to channel this skill.
Revive - Brings a dead ally back to life.

Mystic:

Break in the Clouds - A fast single target heal. Like Wellspring Surge, can be used on party members to quickly heal them up. Unlike the cleric's Wellspring, you'll be using this on your tank as well typically.
Falling Petals - A heal-over-time effect that triggers on the target receiving a hit. Cast it on your tank for the heal-over-time effect and recast as it ends. Cast it on party members who you expect to be taking damage soon, too, to have healing start automatically. Unlike Iron Heart, it does not stack.
Healing Herb - A plant that will restore some hitpoints every 2 seconds to everyone in range. Mainly useful if you get hit with some weak AOEs.
Vital Herb - A plant that will restore a lot of hitpoints, but lasts shorter then Healing Herb and requires a spark. Useful to cast before an AOE (but keep in mind that plants can get hit by the AOE as well).
Comforting Mists - A healing AOE like Chromatic Healing Beam, it heals everyone in range. Can be used after an AOE, but takes a while to cast.
Gaia's Blessing - An AOE heal centered on the caster that will heal everyone in range every few seconds. Can be used to offset a damage AOE.
Salvation - A summon that can shield someone. The shield should typically not be wasted on the tank - it will be lost too quickly. It can assist a less powerful player quite well.
Resurrect (& Mass Resurrect): Should be cast on an ally while still alive. Upon death, an ally can immediately revive with half hitpoints and mana. If you do not have a cleric in your party, make sure all your party members have this buff at all times (unless you are somewhere where you don't revive manually, like Flowsilver Palace).

Learn to predict who will get hit; the aggrod mob will try to get in range to hit their victim and also turn to face them.

Pre-heal tank with 2-3 IHs or Falling Petals, before the tank aggro's something. Once the tank has aggro'd, wait for it to have hit or AOE's every mob that the tank has drawn, then resume healing.

Healing too close to 'unactivated' mobs will wake them up and aggro on you. Healing a person that has just activated a mob (didn't hit it, just passed too close) will draw aggro on you immediately. Also remember, when a person aggros a group of mobs by hitting one, the rest of the mobs from this group will attack you if you start to use spells.

Healing a person who hit mob just once (and stopped) may cause aggro heal after some time too. Heals draw less aggro then dealing damage, but if a mob isn't being hit, it will eventualy go after the cleric.

Healing a luring Veno/Mystic/Stormbringer will also draw aggro on you from all monsters aggrod on the pet of the lurer. Do not heal someone who is in the process of luring until the intended target is separated from the adds. Also, tell the lurer to not be in your BB while luring - BB heal will cause this as well.

Be aware that Regeneration Aura (Blue Ball) and Heaven's Wrath (Red Ball) cause aggro too. Any monsters that have not been hit will eventually come after the defenseless cleric while in channel.

Purify and Falling Petals will cause small amounts of aggro. Seals also cause small amounts of aggro. If you freeze/sleep a monster going after a support party member, it will likely come after you next.

Casting single-target and AoE buffs won't re-draw aggro (even buffs that have secondary effects, such as Sage Celestial Guardian which heals 1200 hitpoints).

Wings of Protection does not cause aggro.

Using summon buffs such as the Salvations damage shield causes aggro, but on the summon instead of yourself. Heal plants also cause heal aggro to be drawn on themselves rather then the Mystic.

If your tank dies, the highest damage dealer is usually next in line for aggro. If you can't save the tank, prepare for that instead (by casting IH/Petals on that person).

If you aggroed mobs on you, get to your tank (or a DD) as soon as possible. A good party will shield their healer. Use Plume Shell, Wings of Protection, Guardian Light or similar skills to survive until someone pulls it off of you.

Revive doesn't draw aggro, but remember to wait until the mob/boss is far enough away that he won't aggro on the revived person, or that someone else has taken aggro on anything nearby.

A mystic should ensure that all party members have the Resurrect buff applied to them at all time. Mass resurrect has a long cooldown so cast it only when the entire party is assembled. Resurrect should be re-cast as soon as a party member has revived himself.

Puller[edit | edit source]

To pull a monster, you need to get aggro on that monster, and that monster alone. Then you step back, and it will run towards you out of its group, so that the rest of your group can safely pile in without attracting every monster in the area.

There are a few ways to do this - you can try and get close enough to annoy it, but far enough from its friends that they can't see.

You can try and hit it from a huge range so that its friends can't see you.

You can use a skill which doesn't draw aggro from the adds (Zeal genie skill: Earthflame, for example)

But most reliably, you have a venomancer attack with her pet. The monster, and all nearby monsters hate the pet, and will attack. Then she unsummons her pet. (Don't have it run back to you, but actually put it back in the bag.) This causes the monster to hate the venomancer - but all the other monsters just shrug and go back to work. The venomancer then hides behind someone big, who proceeds to beat the monster up. Job done; resummon the pet and fetch the next one.

See: Venomancer Luring for more information on how to lure with a venomancer's pet.

It is helpful to tell your team which monster you are pulling, or stick to some simple rule such as "The one on the right first" so that they can target it. This is especially helpful if the monster runs fast, or is small and hard to click on once it starts moving.

You should also use "Assist attack" (in the action panel, Alt-E, drag it to one of your shortcut bars). By targeting the lurer (click their name in the squad list) and then using this action you will copy their target. You do not auto-attack, despite the action's name.

Bramble just tanks. Bramble reflects damage, so if a squishy player is attacked bramble makes it harder for them to lose aggro. (There's a huge debate amongst players on who should be brambled and who shouldn't. Some clerics and arcanes in general love it and some hate it. The contribution to aggro that bramble adds is much less in comparison than any attacks made with the caliber of weapons people have these days. If you're ever in doubt, ask first.)

Casting bramble won't draw aggro on you.

Passing chi with Lending Hand doesn't draw aggro either.

Mind that in some instances where player damage is reduced (i.e. Twilight Temple) your pet hit with same strength, and may steal aggro from tank. Turning off skills like bash may prevent it (don't use roar either).

When you are luring inside BB range (15m) you may accidentally aggro more mobs.


Pulling Skills[edit | edit source]

There are a few skills that need to be treated specially.

  • Pet skill: Status effects. Status effects, such as slow, or defense reduction, are not, by themselves, enough to draw aggro. You have to do some damage as well. The monster may attack because you got close, but it won't follow afterwards.
  • Pet skill: Roar. Roar makes the monster hate nothing except the pet, and that only a little bit. It's great to quickly get a monster that really hates the cleric to attack the pet instead, but it can be really bad if someone hits the monster quickly afterwards, because it will switch. This is a good way to get your archer or wizard killed. Don't roar on the main monster!
  • Genie skill: Earthflame. This skill will draw aggro from the monster you use it on, but not on his friends.
  • Until recently, some other genie skills (notably extreme poison) allowed you to safely pull a single monster. This no longer works - you will pull all his friends too.

Genie skills and aggro[edit | edit source]

Alpha Male - works like barb's Roar skill: it reset aggro of all surrounding enemies and draw it on you. Also reflects physical damage for short period of time (overwrites bramble). Useful for catching mobs (instant cast) also helpful after loosing aggro. Quite common skill among barbs and blademasters.

Earthflame (default Zeal skill) - pulling skill that don't aggro any mobs around target. Cleric will draw aggro on himself if start to heal puller.

Skills that can be used on/or affect non-hostile units (i.e. Absolute Domain, Expel, Blazing Shield) don't draw aggro from them.

Interrupting skills like Light Chaser or Earthquake will cause aggro since they also deal some damage.

Debuffing/seal skills will aggro too.


Confidence[edit | edit source]

Higher level players do, sometimes, do things differently. Like "run into the middle of a huge group of monsters" differently.

You don't always have to pull. If you are sure that you can kill the monsters before they can kill you, you may try to tank them all. But do be sure that everyone can survive this, and the tanks and secondary tanks need to be ready to save the squishier classes.

If you don't pull one at a time, one trick is the use of area of effect (AoE) skills. These hit many monsters at once, and so work best when lots of monsters are hitting you. So pulling would be counter-productive here.

Similarly, reflect buffs (such as bramble guard) don't do much good if there's nothing to reflect.

Equally, you don't have to be a barbarian to tank, they just usually find it easier. Blademasters, Seekers, and Venomancer pets make good second choices, and some magic-using bosses are better tanked by psychics, wizards, or clerics.

Overconfidence[edit | edit source]

The end result of pulling too much aggro, is death.

Here are a few tips to avoid this:

  1. Pull one monster at a time, and don't pull a monster until everyone is ready for it.
  2. Don't join in until the tank has got in a few good whacks.
  3. Attack the monster the tank is attacking. Adds usually have less interest in the tank and may come after you.
  4. If a monster goes after the cleric, pounce on it quick. The cleric can bring you back to life, you can't bring the cleric back to life. (Obviously, this doesn't apply if you're the cleric)
  5. Extending this, it can be helpful to have a team member whose main job is to watch out for wandering monsters and protect the cleric.
    1. And anyone else who is particularly vulnerable - the 'tabber' in an FB is usually lower level than the monsters, and often needs protection.
  6. Instanced dungeons give out blessings items which increase your attack by 10%. Bear in mind that you'll be generating quite a lot more aggro than you are used to outside!
  7. The simplest way to lose aggro is to stop fighting back and let someone else get some. Even better is if you can just slow down your attacks before the monster starts attacking you.
  8. Archers and wizards, especially - your critical hits will often pull aggro even from a tank, if you aren't careful. Stand well back!
  9. One of the most popular venomancer tank pets, "Baby Hercules", draws most of its aggro from a reflect shield. You need to wait a moment longer before it's safe to join in the attack.

Class-specific tricks for aggro[edit | edit source]

  • Mystic

If you want to avoid taking aggro as a Mystic, you can use Absorb Soul a lot. Since Absorb Soul is applied as a DoT, and other Damage over Time effects don't generate much aggro, you can let the tank hold aggro easily without losing significant DPS. Mystic debuff plants cause enemies to aggro on them, but if the plant dies they will then not attack the mystic, but instead reset (Stinging Nettle being the exception). This can be handy if you want to distract specific enemies while you attack a single target. If you hit a single target with a pet and the pet dies, that single target will come after you, but anything else aggrod on your pet will reset. This tactic is called luring. Venos and Seekers can also do this.

  • Blademaster

The Primal skill River Avalance works much like Flesh Ream, temporarily forcing anything hit to aggro on you. This can be handy if your main tank is down and you need to take over tanking fast.

  • Cleric

Most healing/damage protection skills cause heal aggro. A few do not: Wings of Protection, Sage Vanguard Spirit, Sage Celestial Seal. Iron Heart works for 15 seconds but will only cause heal aggro when the effect starts - you can use it on a tank before he/she attacks to ensure the tank is healed while aggro is being taken.