Aggro is a component of mobs' AI. When a player "has aggro", it means that enemies can "see" the player and they will chase, attack, and use skills on him. Aggro is shared between each group of enemies, so for example when a player catches aggro of one foe, the whole group will attack the player.
There are three main ways to gain aggro:
- Entering a foe's Aggro Bubble. The size of the aggro bubble for most enemies is slightly smaller than cast range. This includes offensive binding rituals and Corpses (more below).
- Using a spell or directly damaging a foe. That this includes all spirits (more below).
- Using a skill with a cast time on an ally who has aggro.
Note that for all purposes, spirits and Summoning stones are to be considered an extension of their caster: as soon as the summoned creature gets aggro the caster will also have aggro.
The easiest way to break aggro is straightforward: dying.
The other option is a combination of three factors:
- Movement speed of the player(s) in aggro. It is important to note that with enough movement speed most mobs will stop chasing and return to their patrol point. This behavior is defined for some types of mobs in the tables below. Remember that using a speed-boost will not make the mob instantly break, they will just stop chasing. Only once the distance between the player and the mob is enough the aggro will be fully broken.
- Distance between the player(s) in aggro and the mob. The easiest way to create this distance is to use a long range shadow-step such as Recall or Shadow of Haste, but Heart of Shadow or Death's Charge across a wall can also work. Note that since breaking is a combination of distance and speed, players should keep moving after the shadow-step; otherwise mobs will often keep chasing, even across long distances.
- Distance between the mob and its original aggro point or patrol point. This applies to most but not all enemies; for example, Stygians in Domain of Anguish can follow a player indefinitely.
Breaking aggro can be achieved with a single factor or a combination of them; for example. with more movement speed. less distance will be required, and vice-versa.
Domain of Anguish
|Break at +33%||Margonites||break and group into a 1-dot. Faster with +50%.|
|Tormentors (except Spirits)||see "settled Tormentor casters" below|
|Stygian Underlord (Ranger)|
|Black beast of Arrgh|
|Break at +50%||Spirit Tormentors|
|Stygian Underlord (Dervish)||Unlike other Stygians, it can break at +33% with enough distance|
|Do not break at +50%||Stygians (except Hungers)||Break eventually with enough distance between player and mob|
|Greater Dream Riders|
|settled Tormentor casters||unless they spawned with a weapon|
|Break at +33%||Skeleton of Dhuum|
|Break at +50%||Four Horseman||Only on good aggro, otherwise break at +33%|
Fissure of Woe
|Break at +33%||Shadow Army||except Shadow Rangers and Abyssals|
|Break at +50%||Abyssal|
|Do not break at +50%||Snarling Driftwood|
Aggro is defined shared when more than one ally has aggro of a specific mob. Mobs will then try to move to attack all the players with aggro, regardless of distance (as long as they are in radar range).
Shared aggro is typically bad because it makes mob behave in unexpected ways; it makes it impossible for a tank to make a ball, and it will make enemies run to all the players with aggro, which can result in mobs running into the team and everyone having aggro. It is also bad on 6-0 for the opposite reason; mobs may take longer to pick their target, split, and ultimately break, resulting in a failed pull.
Shared aggro cannot be broken by distance; for example, if a spiker catches aggro of a group being tanked by a player, the spiker can run away and he will always have shared aggro. Running out of radar range of all foes of the group will make the foes stop considering the spiker as a target, but only temporarily. If the spiker comes back into radar range, he will still be in aggro and be considered as a target.
There are two ways to resolve shared aggro:
- Of all people with shared aggro, have all but one die. Death will break aggro, and only the remaining player will have aggro. This is common in Domain of Anguish when spikers catch aggro of mobs that a Tank is pulling away or balling.
- All people with shared aggro break the mob at the same time. This is common in Domain of Anguish when a tank catches aggro of the other tank's ball. Instead of dying, they can both recall out at the same time to break the aggro simultaneously, and the intended tank can then aggro again afterwards.
Spirits as source of Aggro
Offensive spirits are to be considered just like their casters. Being aggressive, they will aggro anything in their range and share aggro with their caster.
Passive spirits, meaning defensive Binding Rituals and Nature Rituals, are a bit different. Players can walk into range of those spirits without getting aggro. However, many actions will result in aggro:
- Dealing damage directly with auto-attack, spell, shout, both targeted and non-targeted (such as PBAoE spells) will result in aggro.
- Using a targeted spell will result in aggro, even if it does not do any damage, such as Heart of Shadow or Shatter Delusions.
- Non-targeted degeneration such as Burning Speed will not result in aggro. This is the easiest way to kill spirits without getting aggro.
- Using a non-damaging skill with no activation time on a spirit will not result in aggro, for example Shadow Walk or "Finish Him!" without the requirement.
Dead foes are to be considered exactly the same as alive foes for the purpose of aggro. The most common example is when part of a group is dead, moving inside the aggro bubble of the corpses will draw aggro of the rest of the group. Most corpses do disappear after some time, and at that point they will no longer cause aggro.
Corpses can also be source of chain aggro (below).
In some areas of the game, when you aggro a mob you will also catch aggro of all other mobs of the same species within 700 gwinches of the first one. Note that chain aggro applies to any way of gaining aggro, including corpse aggro, attacking spirits, etc, but not to chain aggro itself. It makes no difference if another player is already in aggro.
Good vs Bad Aggro
Some enemies can pull more or less depending on their behavior when you aggro them.
- Good Aggro is when you aggro mobs while they are patrolling from a place to another. With good aggro they will pull the furthest.
- Normal Aggro is when you aggro mobs while they are randomly wandering around.
- Bad Aggro is when you aggro mobs while they are in the act of grouping together, typically just before patrolling. Bad aggro will not pull very far at all, making balling hard if not impossible.