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Aggro Management and You

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Vienna
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Aggro Management and You

Now I understand aggro is a key factor no matter what you are playing, but when it comes to playing a tank the world of aggro is a whole new ball game. I remember after the 'aggro soft cap' as I called it was implemented in CoX I would strive to find ways to break this cap and manage larger and larger mobs. This involved such things like managing to pull 30+ enemies, but the catch was more came as the others died due to an overwhelmingly long taunt that was still applied.---Anyway that's not my reason here.

I am by my nature in games a tank player, I'm the one throwing myself in there to take it on the chin and grin while doing it because I know my buddy back there is about to get a clear shot at blasting you so hard you get sent through another dimension and back again. How aggro is managed, and how much skill it will take to master managing aggro as a player, are key interests for me. A lot of times in CoX it was as simple as taunting the crowd over there, and as much as I hated not being able to herd an entire mission into one tiny box I did feel a lot more involved when the aggro 'cap' was in place because I had to watch my squishies a lot more, make sure no one accidentally strayed to close to other mobs, there were no ambushes on the way before the current 16 peons trying to scratch my granite were burned to dea-I mean arrested with...blasts of fire.

Enough rambling from me though, I just wanna hear how other tankers want their aggro to be. Any ideas on quirks and fundamentals that should be considered for the system (Especially related to the tanking roles) If because we chose stalwart for our primary do we get a different kind of aggro or just bonus aggro. Personally I would love to see a system that gives me the aggro power, but not on a silver platter. Something that makes it so that it can be considered a 'skill' to aggro rather than sitting in the middle of a crowd yelling insults you could probably train a monkey to hand-sign at the mobs if you really wanted. But I'm picky and like to see tanking as more than just making sure you are buffed/armored enough for the correct damage types you are about to receive.

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Most certainly...,

Most certainly...,

- ...the aggro 'soft cap' required Tanks to think on their feet...gave the AT a little more active involvement other than just standing around taunting. If a Tank couldn't maintain aggro, it generally meant you had a lousy player trying to Tank... ^_^

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I understand that there will

I understand that there will be times when even a good Tank can lose aggro if there is a ton of DPS flying around. However I would like for there to be tools available to hold aggro if you know what you're doing. Some sort of Advantage or Upgrade to a power that makes it generate additional aggro instead of damage or reduced End cost or whatever. There should probably be a point where no amount of Taunt or whatever can hold aggro just because there is so much DPS close by but this should be the exception rather than the norm IMHO.

I remember when Star Wars was cool...a long, long time ago...

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Taunt aggro shouldn't be

Taunt aggro shouldn't be guaranteed...,

- ...let's face it, if you're facing off against Lord Arachnos and the Blaster is hanging back pouring on the damage, yeah...guess who he's going to go pound into the concrete. The Tank's an adequate distraction, but just because a Tank is present...doesn't mean the mob, boss or AV is going to remain focused on the Tank - especially if there's a Fire Blaster bringing the heat. This was a point of contention in another game, Dark Age of Camelot, where there wasn't even a Taunt ability...just a melee style attack that reduced the warrior's defense, did somewhat decent damage...but had a high aggro rating to it. It worked out rather well because it gave reason for the mob to continue fighting the warrior instead of ripping the caster to shreds because the warrior knew how to hit and make it hurt in order to maintain aggro. CoX started implementing this idea by allowing Tanks and Brutes to slot for aggro with their attacks...I'd like to see this idea carried over because Tanking should be a skill, not a toggle... ^_^

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Thunder-Puncher wrote:
Thunder-Puncher wrote:

Taunt aggro shouldn't be guaranteed...,
- ...let's face it, if you're facing off against Lord Arachnos and the Blaster is hanging back pouring on the damage, yeah...guess who he's going to go pound into the concrete. The Tank's an adequate distraction, but just because a Tank is present...doesn't mean the mob, boss or AV is going to remain focused on the Tank - especially if there's a Fire Blaster bringing the heat. This was a point of contention in another game, Dark Age of Camelot, where there wasn't even a Taunt ability...just a melee style attack that reduced the warrior's defense, did somewhat decent damage...but had a high aggro rating to it. It worked out rather well because it gave reason for the mob to continue fighting the warrior instead of ripping the caster to shreds because the warrior knew how to hit and make it hurt in order to maintain aggro. CoX started implementing this idea by allowing Tanks and Brutes to slot for aggro with their attacks...I'd like to see this idea carried over because Tanking should be a skill, not a toggle... ^_^

Generally, I agree. I don't know if it's realistically possible technically, but at some point, shouldn't the AV take a shot or two at the toon casting the buffs on the toon that's punching it, instead of only the toon that's punching it...? No matter how good the aggro control may be?

(Currently developing the Sapphire 7 Initiative)

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In The Secret World buffing

In The Secret World buffing also generates threat.
When my fiance` and I team together I can be putting (from range) a small heal with barrier shield on her as she runs into attack and the mobs charge past her to attack me even though she started combat.
If I dont apply any heals/barriers to her as she charges in they ignore me until I start attacking.

Im sure CoT will have formula for Threat generation beyond 'Taunt' and amount of damage to include buff/debuff/controls.

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Catherine America wrote:
Catherine America wrote:

Generally, I agree. I don't know if it's realistically possible technically, but at some point, shouldn't the AV take a shot or two at the toon casting the buffs on the toon that's punching it, instead of only the toon that's punching it...? No matter how good the aggro control may be?

I was just thinking about that this morning...,

- ...and while I'm certain the aggro management calculation is probably a daunting programming task...I was wondering what would incur aggro? Clearly damage would be one such aspect, healing would be another including buffing where the amount of increase would be factored as 'damage' for aggro purposes (...note: that would be buffing -AND- debuffing during the fight...before the fight, such buffing would not incur additional aggro...). Controlling powers would also factor and probably fairly high since if said CC powers were able to be stacked, then the target wouldn't be doing much of anything besides being a target dummy.

- I would surmise the aggro list would go as follows: Control - Buff/DeBuff (<- I include Heals and Damage as they are essentially nothing more than a health buff/debuff...).

- Controls are any power that inflicts some kind of status effect that prevents a mob from moving, attacking or both which includes Immobs, Fears, Knocks, Stuns, Repels, Holds and Captures. Confuse does not generate aggro while Placate merely reduces the aggro to the point where the mob is no longer aggressive to the character.

- Buffs/DeBuffs are essentially everything else...from Attack Speed DeBuffs and Recharge Buffs, Movement Buffs and Slows, Accuracy Buffs and DeBuffs, Defense Buffs and DeBuffs, Resistance Buffs and DeBuffs, Damage Buffs and Debuffs, Recovery Buffs and DeBuffs, Endurance Drains and Recoveries, Regeneration Buffs and DeBuffs, Health Buffs and Heals.

- ...and Damage.

- Now, why is Damage the lowest aggro generator?...technically, it isn't. If you take into effect how drastic some DeBuffs affect mobs like minions and lieutenants - the DeBuff isn't as extreme as the Damage some characters dish out overall. Even if aggro is built per second of DeBuff being in effect...the likelihood of a minion or lieutenant being conscious long enough to have enough aggro built to seek out the one causing the DeBuff isn't likely. Bosses, and especially Elite Bosses and Arch-Villains are an entirely different story altogether - they're a rather sturdy bunch and will suffer a far greater reduction from DeBuffs, and since they don't go down as quick as minions or lieutenants...they're eventually going to have enough aggro built up to overlook Damage to take out the one making their life difficult. Buffing during a fight, including Healing, is another major aggro builder...

- Why are hard Control status effects highest? The last thing desired is being unable to move or engage in any kind of action...being denied this ability is a -MAJOR- aggro builder, depending on the extremity of the status effect. Immobs and Fears tend to generate the least as the opponent can still attack to some degree; Stuns and Knocks tend to generate a little more as the ability to attack is inhibited entirely; Repels and Holds deny the subject the ability to move on their own volition or attack altogether; and Capture being the highest aggro builder as not only has the subject been denied the ability to move or attack - the subject has to sit and watch all their buddies get wiped (...i.e. - whoever Captured the target is most likely going to be in a world of hurt. when the effect ends..).

- Now, in the face of all this...what does a Tank, Brute or Scrapper have to do in order to keep the bad guys from aggroing the Defender, Controller, Dominator or Corrupter? (...we'll ignore Stalkers in this example because they tend to snuff aggro, not build it; and Masterminds generally have their pets dole out the harm, so their safe as long as they don't join in the fight too exuberantly, and their pets soak damage in case they do...) Well, they can Taunt...but that's a quick fix and a rather poorly implemented one at that. They could do Damage and status effects, which they do for the most part, but not as much as other AT's who specialize in that field. They could learn techniques and methods of doling out punishment that's guaranteed to get their subjects attention (...i.e. - slot for Taunt...).

- This, to me, would be the most effective method of dealing with Boss mobs and higher as Taunt alone shouldn't be enough to keep their attention...a Tank, Brute or Scrapper would have to constantly be in the Boss's face, delivering punishing blows in the most painful way he knows how, making derogatory commentary along the way, keeping their opponent distracted and focusing on them. Eventually, though, even a high level Boss is going to get irate for all the punishment he dealt to the obnoxious hero in his face is either eliminated as if he'd done nothing at all...or the annoying brute's force field disperses, only to be renewed. How many comics have we read where the supporting heroes get the crap knocked out of them even though their timely interference gave the other character enough time to put the bad guy down for the count?

- Hell, I've seen that in CoX... ^_^

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cybermitheral wrote:
cybermitheral wrote:

In The Secret World buffing also generates threat.
When my fiance` and I team together I can be putting (from range) a small heal with barrier shield on her as she runs into attack and the mobs charge past her to attack me even though she started combat.
If I dont apply any heals/barriers to her as she charges in they ignore me until I start attacking.
Im sure CoT will have formula for Threat generation beyond 'Taunt' and amount of damage to include buff/debuff/controls.

That's encouraging! I think it goes a goodways toward NPC AI 2.0. And if the mechanic proves to be unbalanced/too challenging to be applied to all mob AI, only apply it to EBs and AVs. Just increasing NPC attributes numerically to make a tougher challenge is cheap IMO. Make them smarter and more combat savvy.

(Currently developing the Sapphire 7 Initiative)

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Catherine America wrote:
Catherine America wrote:

Just increasing NPC attributes numerically to make a tougher challenge is cheap IMO. Make them smarter and more combat savvy.

Agreed...,

- ...grinding against a witless mound of hit points and resistances is for fighting Giant Monsters, not Elite Bosses and AV's (...even Bosses if you want to make things interesting...) - you don't make them overly tough, just smarter than the average mob and you'll have Super Battles worth remembering...

"Hey, Psi...remember that time Doc boosted his Flash spell, holding Wet-Works off just long enough for Gee-Gee to get his attention, so Doc could give you that alkaloid potion?" inquired Renegade.

"No, Ren, I think I was seeing stars during that time, but thanks for reminding me..." Psi replied with a sigh.

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Only problem the way TSW does

Only problem the way TSW does it is once I have aggro from buffing it doesnt matter what my fiance` does from a damage standpoint it is difficult for her to take the aggro off me.
So it seems (to me) that they need to change the duration the Healing aggro causes so once healing stops it doesnt count as aggro for the next 10 seconds.

Example:
Usually she runs in to a group of 4 with a barrier from me.
All 4 attack me even though they only became 'active' when she got into range. This makes it look like my Buff has an aggro "aura".
She attacks them but they still focus on me. I have stopped buffing to also attack (my buff is a very minor part of my build). I ST mainly so the others not being attacked continue to attack me even if she has used an AoE.

Annoying as my build reduced my survivability as she was meant to be 'the tank'.

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cybermitheral wrote:
cybermitheral wrote:

Only problem the way TSW does it is once I have aggro from buffing it doesnt matter what my fiance` does from a damage standpoint it is difficult for her to take the aggro off me.

Have her heal you during the fight...,

- ...that ought to get their attention...you did say she was a 'tank', right? Hope she can take the aggro... ^_^

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Purely buffing/healing your

Purely buffing/healing your teammates/allied NPCs should most definitely not cause any aggro whatsoever. Now a combination buff/debuff sure, no problems there.

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syntaxerror37 wrote:
syntaxerror37 wrote:

Purely buffing/healing your teammates/allied NPCs should most definitely not cause any aggro whatsoever.

Well...,

- ...I'm hoping you provide a good reason besides you're not liking the idea. I mean, no offense...but Bosses, Elite Bosses and AV's kind of lose any kind or sense of credibility when they can't even figure out that the guy in the back is the reason why the guy up front isn't going down. If that's the case...why not go after the guy in the back since the guy up front isn't going down? It would give reason for Tanks and Scrappers to slot for Taunt (...or to even have Taunt to begin with..) - to keep the attention of the opponent who would otherwise pound the squishies in back just because they were annoying... ^_^

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syntaxerror37 wrote:
syntaxerror37 wrote:

Purely buffing/healing your teammates/allied NPCs should most definitely not cause any aggro whatsoever. Now a combination buff/debuff sure, no problems there.

So maybe all buffers, during battle, within a certain range, but having NOT attacked the AV/EB, get a free ride initially.

However, after that, if you are in "combat range" and you put a buff on the most immediate aggro generator then I think the AV/EB should take that into account and pop you one.

Conversely, if you are in "combat range" and buff your other defender buddies, for example (whether they are in "combat range" themselves or not, AND assuming that none of your buddies are the prime source of aggro at that very moment), then you should not draw any aggro at all.

Note: buff = heal

(Currently developing the Sapphire 7 Initiative)

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Catherine America wrote:
Catherine America wrote:

So maybe all buffers, during battle, within a certain range, but having NOT attacked the AV/EB, get a free ride initially.

I still don't understand the reasoning why...,

- I mean, come on...let's set the stage, shall we? You got a Meleer ripping into a Boss like there's no tomorrow, but he's not looking too well when all of a sudden the Buffer behind the Meleer raises his hand and a) surrounds the Scrapper with a luminescent glow restoring him almost entirely, or b) surrounds the Meleer with a transparent field making him practically impossible to hit! What would you do?...what would any semi-intelligent person do? It doesn't matter if the Buffer did any damage or not, the Buffer is clearly a threat...especially if the Melee character was nearly defeated...

- Of course, this really depends on how much damage the Meleer did to the Boss...if said Meleer did a great deal of harm (...or hit with a lot of attacks designed to inflict as much pain, hence, Taunt/Aggro...), it may take a few Buffs/Heals before the Boss builds enough Aggro to see through the Damage/Aggro being done, but to say that if a Buffer doesn't do any offensive action at all (...either by not doing any Damage or DeBuffing...) can Buff/Heal without recourse is just being silly. Buffing with heedless abandon makes everyone else a threat...and the Buffer is the cause of that threat.

- Again, I cite another game that handled this issue rather well...Dark Age of Camelot, where Healing and Buffing was just as dangerous as dealing Damage. Healers and Casters didn't spam Heals/Buffs/Damage even if they had a Tank because they would draw aggro if they did, forcing the Tank to resort to Taunt attacks. Now a Tank could simply spam Taunt attacks, at the expense of more damaging/debilitating maneuvers (...and defense...), which would require the Healer to work harder keeping the Tank alive - though it would leave room for the Caster to unload with Damage...

- This, of course, is the 'Trinity' model discussed in other threads which some hope to avoid...but unless you have a character that has exceptional Buffs, Defense and Damage - in some form and fashion, the 'Trinity' model is going to end up surfacing. This is where the Scrappers became the most common solo character...because they had decent Defense, Damage and Buffs - though facing off against Elite Bosses or AV's was still a challenge because they didn't exactly excel in any particular area, whereas a Tanker, Defender and Blaster would have an easier time at it...

- Now, there has been discussion about there being a 'Stealth Mastery' Tertiary Power Pool...which would encompass the abilities of a Stalker (...note: only alluded to...not set in stone...), and the Placate ability I see in demand for those who enjoy leaving Healing Aura on Auto (...you know who you are...). That should buy those who like Buffing/Healing in excess without sense or regard of the consequences of Aggro...or you can understand that such actions -DO- draw Aggro and be a more intelligent Buffer (...i.e. - Buff before combat, Buff only those in need in combat, taking Healing Aura off Auto, etc...).

- Let me put it this way...if Blasters can learn to wait for a Tank to gain Aggro, then a Buffer can learn not to spam Buffs/Heals... ^_^

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Thunder-Puncher wrote:
Thunder-Puncher wrote:

- Of course, this really depends on how much damage the Meleer did to the Boss...if said Meleer did a great deal of harm (...or hit with a lot of attacks designed to inflict as much pain, hence, Taunt/Aggro...), it may take a few Buffs/Heals before the Boss builds enough Aggro to see through the Damage/Aggro being done, but to say that if a Buffer doesn't do any offensive action at all (...either by not doing any Damage or DeBuffing...) can Buff/Heal without recourse is just being silly. Buffing with heedless abandon makes everyone else a threat...and the Buffer is the cause of that threat.

In a game like CoT this needn't be catastrophic, so long as the buffers have enough staying power to survive having aggro for a while (as opposed to most other 'trinity' oriented games, in which the healer getting aggro is usually synonymous with the healer going splat). If buffing/healing oneself generates little or no aggro it would not make it inordinately difficult for others to grab aggro back.

Also, as opposed to the typical "yo momma" type of taunts, some tank ATs could have taunts with the theme of not allowing the enemy to simply walk past them. "Oh, you want to get at my friend back there? How about I distract you with this lovingly executed body check, instead?"

All in all it would make for a reason for buffers to prefer having a tanker along, since they will be able to hold more aggro while requiring less buffing than most.

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Thunder-Puncher wrote:
Thunder-Puncher wrote:

Catherine America wrote:
So maybe all buffers, during battle, within a certain range, but having NOT attacked the AV/EB, get a free ride initially.

I still don't understand the reasoning why...,

Game play experience and enjoyment.

I would like smarter AV/EBs...and one new school lesson that they should master is targeting buffers by interpreting their buffs as threats...just like high magnitude attacks. Alpha buffs are for the most part necessary as you enter "big battles". However, I don't want Alpha buffers to be immediately wiped out by these smarter AV/EBs. If the buffs precede any attack (by anyone), or if the buffs are not being applied to any attacker then I want the buffers to earn a freebie even if they are in combat range, which for AV/EBs can be pretty far.

Even though, I mostly play melee toons, I'd like a change, but the change would need to be balanced a bit too.

(Currently developing the Sapphire 7 Initiative)

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Darth Fez wrote:
Darth Fez wrote:

Also, as opposed to the typical "yo momma" type of taunts, some tank ATs could have taunts with the theme of not allowing the enemy to simply walk past them. "Oh, you want to get at my friend back there? How about I distract you with this lovingly executed body check, instead?".

I like the 'Body Check' idea...,

- ...which is something I alluded to in other posts about slotting attacks for Taunt as they are more obstructive attacks designed to distract and impede the opponent from getting to the 'squishies' behind the Stalwart (Tank). Of course, it would be nice to be able to actual -STOP- an opponent from actually moving instead of relying upon particular power sets in general or requiring the assistance of a Commander (Controller). My solution came to me a few years ago which would enable not just Stalwarts, but any AT actually engage in the act of Immobilizing or Holding an opponent in Melee Range...a 'Wresting Power Pool'... ^_^

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Catherine America wrote:
Catherine America wrote:

I don't want Alpha buffers to be immediately wiped out by these smarter AV/EBs. If the buffs precede any attack (by anyone)...

If the Buffs preceded any attack...,

- ...then it wouldn't even be a question of aggro as no one would be buffed in aggro range, sure...I can agree with that. Buffing while in aggro range...well, prepare to be targeted unless you got someone in the face of the opponent giving them a reason not to pound you flat like a pancake. I think that's way more than fair...if Auto-Spamming Healing Aura is annoying to players, imagine how annoying it would be for an EB/AV... ^_^

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Thunder-Puncher wrote:
Thunder-Puncher wrote:

Catherine America wrote:
I don't want Alpha buffers to be immediately wiped out by these smarter AV/EBs. If the buffs precede any attack (by anyone)...

If the Buffs preceded any attack...,
- ...then it wouldn't even be a question of aggro as no one would be buffed in aggro range, sure...I can agree with that. Buffing while in aggro range...well, prepare to be targeted unless you got someone in the face of the opponent giving them a reason not to pound you flat like a pancake. I think that's way more than fair...if Auto-Spamming Healing Aura is annoying to players, imagine how annoying it would be for an EB/AV... ^_^

haha...exactly!

I think closing range (i.e., moving in) on an AV while in combat range should trigger some aggro too.
Think about a scrapper or 2nd tank that was tp'd, rez'd, and buffed out of combat range rushing back into the fight with a mouth full of red inspirations.

AV logic: Hhhhhmm...that guy there. Moving in on me at 80 feet per second. I'm pretty sure he's not coming over here just to shake hands. I'll greet him with an energy bolt or two.

(Currently developing the Sapphire 7 Initiative)

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Thunder-Puncher wrote:
Thunder-Puncher wrote:

syntaxerror37 wrote:
Purely buffing/healing your teammates/allied NPCs should most definitely not cause any aggro whatsoever.

Well...,
- ...I'm hoping you provide a good reason besides you're not liking the idea. I mean, no offense...but Bosses, Elite Bosses and AV's kind of lose any kind or sense of credibility when they can't even figure out that the guy in the back is the reason why the guy up front isn't going down. If that's the case...why not go after the guy in the back since the guy up front isn't going down? It would give reason for Tanks and Scrappers to slot for Taunt (...or to even have Taunt to begin with..) - to keep the attention of the opponent who would otherwise pound the squishies in back just because they were annoying... ^_^

Well, for starters I have found that games (MMOs or otherwise) that ignore the face punching guys for the healer are annoying and frustrating. I am desperately hoping CoT does have a taunt mechanic built into it, but if it doesn't I would rather have the aggro decided by amount of incoming damage and debuffs . There are just certain tactics you don't want to let enemies use because they are too sound and just annoy the players.

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syntaxerror37 wrote:
syntaxerror37 wrote:

Thunder-Puncher wrote:
syntaxerror37 wrote:
Purely buffing/healing your teammates/allied NPCs should most definitely not cause any aggro whatsoever.

Well...,
- ...I'm hoping you provide a good reason besides you're not liking the idea. I mean, no offense...but Bosses, Elite Bosses and AV's kind of lose any kind or sense of credibility when they can't even figure out that the guy in the back is the reason why the guy up front isn't going down. If that's the case...why not go after the guy in the back since the guy up front isn't going down? It would give reason for Tanks and Scrappers to slot for Taunt (...or to even have Taunt to begin with..) - to keep the attention of the opponent who would otherwise pound the squishies in back just because they were annoying... ^_^

Well, for starters I have found that games (MMOs or otherwise) that ignore the face punching guys for the healer are annoying and frustrating. I am desperately hoping CoT does have a taunt mechanic built into it, but if it doesn't I would rather have the aggro decided by amount of incoming damage and debuffs . There are just certain tactics you don't want to let enemies use because they are too sound and just annoy the players.

So maybe not "ignore", but even if so the duration of the ignore might be very, very short.

But how those buffs being linked to an "under the covers 'Fury bar'" that is essentially a part of the AVs personal aggro/warning system.

Buff an attacking toon five times over 15 seconds, for example, and you are okay.
Buff him/her that sixth time though and...incoming!!!
Twelve seconds later and you buff him/her a seventh time and...nothing happens b/c your internal buff bar has decayed since your previous buff, and at that instant, the AV doesn't recognize you as a threat

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Catherine America wrote:
Catherine America wrote:

Hhhhhmm...that guy there. Moving in on me at 80 feet per second. I'm pretty sure he's not coming over here just to shake hands. I'll greet him with an energy bolt or two.

Yeah...,

- ...I'd like to see a more significant aggro range for AV's so they don't seem to always end up starting fights by being pounced on by a group of Heroes who were literally just hanging back a few yards away...

"Aha!" shouted Blue-Flamer, "I see Echelon!"

**ZZZAP!!!**

Galaxy-Gal sighed and muttered into her comlink, "Where's Doc?...we just lost our Flaming Hunter..."

Comicsluvr
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One of the things we have to

One of the things we have to remember is that Aggro is a game mechanic that helps the bad guys not be total idiots. We can tweak it any way we want within coding restrictions but it's still just a mechanic.

We also have to remember that even though CoT is touted as a spiritual successor to City of Heroes it will not, and should not, be the exact same game. The support and ranged damage classes don't HAVE to be 'squishies' any more. I like to imagine a true comic book fight in all its glory with tactics, both sides rising and falling.

I like some of the ideas suggested above. I don't think that Aggro should be determined by the number of buffs/hits though but by the amount. Say a Ranger is standing back dealing moderate damage from across the room. Say a brawler is up close, dealing moderate damage as well. The closer target, all else being equal, will likely be the more likely target. Now throw a buffer into the mix. If they're throwing around lightweight buffs and doing lightweight damage, they're not the biggest threat. However that same buffer throws the OMG ZOWIE MEGAHEAL and NOW they're number one on the enemy's Hit Parade. It should all be based on the amount the character is contributing to the fight IMHO.

Now toons designed to hold aggro should have a Taunt mechanic built in because that's their job. But I can see a whole enemy team turning on the buffer/debuffer who rushes into the middle of the fight and drops their Tier 9 Debuff Bomb.

Most players are NOT stupid, evidence to the contrary. As long as the intro material and tutorial inform them that everything they do has consequences, they'll figure out the DOs and DON'Ts of combat pretty fast.

By the way, all of this assumes an average difficulty level. On Easy, the Taunt mechanic should be dialed up which will reinforce the Trinity style that some players prefer. Hey, it's their game too...why not let them play it their way? Harder Diff means the foes get smarter = Taunt is less effective and EVERYONE has to be aware of what's going on around them.

I remember when Star Wars was cool...a long, long time ago...

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Comicsluvr wrote:
Comicsluvr wrote:

The support and ranged damage classes don't HAVE to be 'squishies' any more.

Precisely.

Since everyone is meant to be able to solo effectively it stands to reason that every character will be able to stand and take a few hits without the "be a tank" requirement. Imagine if a defender could have used Fortitude on themselves. Still not a combination best suited to tanking an AV, but at least it means getting aggro does not default to punching a one-way ticket into next week and thus it gives the team a chance to recover.

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Darth Fez wrote:
Darth Fez wrote:

Comicsluvr wrote:
The support and ranged damage classes don't HAVE to be 'squishies' any more.
Precisely.
Since everyone is meant to be able to solo effectively it stands to reason that every character will be able to stand and take a few hits without the "be a tank" requirement. Imagine if a defender could have used Fortitude on themselves. Still not a combination best suited to tanking an AV, but at least it means getting aggro does not default to punching a one-way ticket into next week and thus it gives the team a chance to recover.

Or maybe a Defender could get crits or Scourge for the cost of a 25% less effective Fortitude, Adrenaline Boost, etc.

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The ideas of aggro seemed to

The ideas of aggro seemed to change as play styles changed in CoH. I'm not too sure how this game should have on this subject. With smarter AI you could achieve almost a realism like not thought of before.

When tanks got nerfed with ED and the def nerf of 60% it made it harder to pull mobs without dying so they made the taunt cap lower. I think by the end of it taunt was not even part of my power pool after a while. I just put a taunt or two in pots.

I think the question becomes of magnitude and how powers overall effect combat. If blaster comes up with a snipe and does say 150 damage that should carry a certain aggro with it. I think the wrong direction is 'healing' agro. That being said the question of aggro is an age old question that really can't be answered well. There's too many schools of thought. I'm from the camp where mobs, instances, raids, or whatever we are doing needs to be a challenge. If I'm spamming 2 powers as a tank and all I'm doing is rinse repeat on a 'taunt' power I can click every 10 or so seconds. I'll get bored if the cap is 5 like is was in CoH.

I'd like them to try different aggro models with the new AI tech they have and see what they come up with cause if they do make it like CoH I will complain. It was boring as hell at the end of it when a scrapper could do what a tank could do and dish out way more damage.

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What if the Melee DPS

What if the Melee DPS Secondaries didnt have the aggro-aura that Tank Primaries had?
Maybe still the powers themselves with the buff/debuff but no Taunt effect (apart from whatever Taunt the buff/debuff might apply?

They could still have the Confront power for a ST Taunt but there is no AoE Taunt except from AoE Attacks.
So a Melee DPS can still 'Tank' but only a very small number foes will be drawn to attack them meaning AoE heavy Ranged attackers are more likely to get aggro.

This give Tanks the Large Aggro focus that melee DPS just cant get making them more valuable on a team.
It also doesnt make Tanks "NEEDED" as a few Melee DPS can handle the 'majority' of aggro.

"ITF Forming. Need 3 more. No Tank but 3x M_DPS" - this lets you know you need to be a bit careful about your combat tactics.

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cybermitheral wrote:
cybermitheral wrote:

What if the Melee DPS Secondaries didnt have the aggro-aura that Tank Primaries had?
Maybe still the powers themselves with the buff/debuff but no Taunt effect (apart from whatever Taunt the buff/debuff might apply?
They could still have the Confront power for a ST Taunt but there is no AoE Taunt except from AoE Attacks.
So a Melee DPS can still 'Tank' but only a very small number foes will be drawn to attack them meaning AoE heavy Ranged attackers are more likely to get aggro.
This give Tanks the Large Aggro focus that melee DPS just cant get making them more valuable on a team.
It also doesnt make Tanks "NEEDED" as a few Melee DPS can handle the 'majority' of aggro.
"ITF Forming. Need 3 more. No Tank but 3x M_DPS" - this lets you know you need to be a bit careful about your combat tactics.

Confront sucked. In all my playing, I never took Confront, nor knew of anyone that did take Confront, save as a vessel for IO set bonuses.

I always considered "key" powers that are basically required for an AT's build stuffed into their powerset to be a waste. Taunt/Confront, Hide, and Assassin's _blargh_ took up spots. If there was an identical version (or nearly so) in every single set, then I felt that instead of having it stuffed into the power list, that it ought to be granted automatically as a part of the AT.

If Tanks are supposed to take Taunt, give them Taunt at the start. Give them the tools up front that they need to do their job. Give Stalkers Hide/Placate/Assassin's Strike. Give everybody their equivalent of Aim and Build Up.

Considering that CoT is going with 8 powers instead of 9, they might already be doing this.

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Smarter AI can be fun and it

Smarter AI can be fun and it can be unfun.

Look at how pvp usually goes. Now, if AI mob was smarter they would go for the buffer/debuffer controller first. Like in PvP when fighting, they may be engaged with the tank but if some defender comes along and defuff them, they usually disengage the tank and go after the buffer/debuffer like no tomorrow. Translated into AI, that would be like buffs debuffs and heals creating a large amount of aggro that the tank is all but helpless against getting back. Which would make since since a debuff could be definition be theg reatest threat of the healer could be the greatest threat. Like even how PVE players go into missions usually the players kill the healer/buffer/debuffer of the enemy mob group regardless of the big hunk of fortifide hpo standing among the enemy. Even with AV fights lots of the time the team go after the mob even if it's a squishy minion level mob, they are considered more a bigger threat than the AV at the time if the minion can heal debuff or buff the AV.

While doing AI like that would make them smarter, I'm not quite sure if it would be praised at first until eventually a new tactic is found and players are playing like nothing happened and it becomes the norm to them.

And yeah, Von, since it wasnt inherant power, I figure it probably was one of those powers contrary to popular belief, wasnt "needed". Come to find out, many tanks without taunt held aggro better than some with taunt. Some tank powers have a built in taunt mechanism into it. Of course it took more than simply pressing one button, hide behind the corner, blaster obliterates, repeat process mish after mish. Plus at that time I was growing weary of set stone roles. I.E. "Tanks are supposed to do this and this and not supposed to do that and that." What's the point of designing a hero if the expected play is inflexible? If there is only one way each AT is expected to play (roles), then it didnt matter whether I was playing some toon I made or another Hulk among thousands of Hulks. To me.

Thus after a while I started to explore different ways and some unorthodox ways of playing ATs. Some tanks were the classic tanks, others were more aggresive. And some didnt "lower themselves to petty childish taunting" depending on the toon actual storyline personality. Of course for team understanding if picked up, there is always fair warning given "this toon does not taunt" if someone shoot a blind invite to one that doesnt have taunt. Some were designed to hit harder others were designed to more stand their ground, and some were merely brutes with extra hp. Of course still found to be bound by the inherant AT. Thus for me freeform was a god send although I understand it aint for everyone. And some prefer ATs with set roles although I see it as some ancient game mechanic left over from the Everquest days. "You're an elf, you're supposed to do this and that and let the barbarian do the fighting." Although AT and set roles have it's places. It save time on figuring out what each person is going to do or the capability. But the most funniest thing or rather laughable thing I seen though in COX was defnders getting barked at for using their attacks and tanks being barked at for doing anything besides taunt. Apparently some people thought attacking is the solely the scrapper and blaster's job. And controllers getting barked at for not spamming aoe holds, (some didnt pick it up *a few were new other simply old players trying new things*)

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Control ... Buff/Debuff ...

Control ... Buff/Debuff ... Damage all ADD threat.
Range ... MULTIPLIES threat, with "closer" given a larger multiplier factor than "farther" is given.

Taunt, for the purposes of the Threat System is considered a Control.
In a great many situations, the Range to the Tanker (in a CoH sense) tends to be "close" rather than "far" meaning that Taunt will tend to be the strongest means available to ADD threat.

NPC AI will target highest Threat, but in order for the AI to switch targets, requires either current target's Threat x1.1 if new target is at melee range or current target's Threat x1.2 if new target is beyond melee range.

All of this adds up to being a system where "pulling aggro" requires exceeding the current aggro holder's level of Threat by a sufficient margin to reduce "yo-yo indecision" stupidities in behavior, and is one that structurally favors melee range Tanker Taunting as the most effective and efficient means available. It also means that for safety reasons, it would be wise when initiating combat for all other parties to "hold fire" for a few seconds after the Aggro Magnet "grabs" Threat so that they can build up a "reserve" of Threat before everyone else joins in and starts blasting away, raising their Threat levels. Doing things that way makes it operationally easier for the designated Aggro Magnet to both get and maintain hold of aggro.


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Personally, I'd like to see

Personally, I'd like to see more aggro management options in other archetypes. These kinds of heroic stories often have instances of the little guy-- with very little chance of survival- calling the enemy to himself so that others can get away or regroup. While CoH had the "taunt" pool powers, they lacked sufficient impact to really make much of a difference when a tank had the full-on-aggro pull he was capable of.

Aggro management could then be a team effort- less about being ultra-invulnerable and aggro-worthy and more about pulling the attention away from an injured foe long enough for them to recover and hopefully someone doing the same for you. To me, that'd be much more exciting gameplay than just a "grab the aggro and hold it" kind of play.

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chase wrote:
chase wrote:

Personally, I'd like to see more aggro management options in other archetypes. These kinds of heroic stories often have instances of the little guy-- with very little chance of survival- calling the enemy to himself so that others can get away or regroup. While CoH had the "taunt" pool powers, they lacked sufficient impact to really make much of a difference when a tank had the full-on-aggro pull he was capable of.
Aggro management could then be a team effort- less about being ultra-invulnerable and aggro-worthy and more about pulling the attention away from an injured foe long enough for them to recover and hopefully someone doing the same for you. To me, that'd be much more exciting gameplay than just a "grab the aggro and hold it" kind of play.

Exactly.

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"I wanna get beat on!"

"I wanna get beat on!"
"No, *I* wanna get beat on!"
"No, I'm gonna be the one who gets beat on!"
{AoE Nuke Attack}
"... if none of you shut up, I'll just have to kill you all at the same time ..."


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Redlynne wrote:
Redlynne wrote:

"I wanna get beat on!"
"No, *I* wanna get beat on!"
"No, I'm gonna be the one who gets beat on!"
{AoE Nuke Attack}"... if none of you shut up, I'll just have to kill you all at the same time ..."

lmao. Sounds like a round of tanker Tuesday with one blaster on the team.

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chase wrote:
chase wrote:

Personally, I'd like to see more aggro management options in other archetypes. These kinds of heroic stories often have instances of the little guy-- with very little chance of survival- calling the enemy to himself so that others can get away or regroup. While CoH had the "taunt" pool powers, they lacked sufficient impact to really make much of a difference when a tank had the full-on-aggro pull he was capable of.

In the Keyes Reactor Trial, my Dark Defender or Mastermind would throw Darkest Night on AntiMatter and then SuperSpeed around the reactors and walls keeping him on a wild goose chase. :)

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Zombie Man wrote:
Zombie Man wrote:

chase wrote:
Personally, I'd like to see more aggro management options in other archetypes. These kinds of heroic stories often have instances of the little guy-- with very little chance of survival- calling the enemy to himself so that others can get away or regroup. While CoH had the "taunt" pool powers, they lacked sufficient impact to really make much of a difference when a tank had the full-on-aggro pull he was capable of.

In the Keyes Reactor Trial, my Dark Defender or Mastermind would throw Darkest Night on AntiMatter and then SuperSpeed around the reactors and walls keeping him on a wild goose chase. :)

My Zombie/Dark MM was an excellent tank. The debuff toggle made the enemies MAD lol

I remember when Star Wars was cool...a long, long time ago...

chase
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Zombie Man wrote:
Zombie Man wrote:

chase wrote:
Personally, I'd like to see more aggro management options in other archetypes. These kinds of heroic stories often have instances of the little guy-- with very little chance of survival- calling the enemy to himself so that others can get away or regroup. While CoH had the "taunt" pool powers, they lacked sufficient impact to really make much of a difference when a tank had the full-on-aggro pull he was capable of.

In the Keyes Reactor Trial, my Dark Defender or Mastermind would throw Darkest Night on AntiMatter and then SuperSpeed around the reactors and walls keeping him on a wild goose chase. :)

Sadly, I missed Keyes.

In some of the incarnate trials, they added various mechanics that really helped make multi-tank (and archetypes that can function as tanks) tactics a reality, but I never explored them as much as I'd wanted. My wife & I maintain 2 gaming PC's, and the trials were hell on the weaker ones, so they were rather infrequently done. Since we'd rather alt anyway, I never went beyond Baf and Lambda.

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I would love a threat

I would love a threat mechanic where Tanks were valuable in PvP as they are in PvE.

In many "Team" PvP matches the tank class is ignored so they players can pick off the weak players (Crowd Controllers, Healers, Ranged DPS mostly). With relatively low DPS and high Mitigation.. tanks need a more valuable role in PvP.

My proposal?
I would LOVE if taunts, when used in PvP, would remove the target from enemy attackers (assuming we use tab targeting) unless they are already targeting the Tank who used the taunt. Note that this doesn't automatically force the PvPer to Target the Tank, it just removes their intended target until they re-target. This makes taunts valuable to Tanks but very NOT valuable to Pet-Masters, Controllers and others who wish not to be targeted.

Any Thoughts?

Crowd Control Enthusiast

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PvP Taunt = Select Caster as

PvP Taunt = Select Caster as Target if Selected Target is Not the Taunt Caster every (random number generator) seconds while Taunt Status remains in effect

That way, the PvP Taunt works kind of like a "specialized" Confuse that keeps drawing the Target Selection back onto the Taunt Caster at random intervals. Taunt Enhancements could increase the Duration time on this, so the effect lasts longer, and influence the random number generator so that the "must select Taunter as Target" function happens more frequently during that time. So if you WANT to hit something other than the one who Taunted you, in PvP, you CAN ... but you're going to have to WORK AT IT in order to keep doing it.


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I think WAR had something to

I think WAR had something to the effect that if a tank taunted a player, that player did 20% (or thereabouts) less damage to anyone except the tank. In SWTOR tanks have a defensive ability that allows them to protect one player, so long as they remain in range of each other, that transfers 50% of the damage done to the protected player to the tank.

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@Von Krieger - Taunt was

@Von Krieger - Taunt was useful on a scrapper if you were willing to think outside the box. On STF, I would pull off one of the AV bosses, if we double-pulled on them, using Taunt/Confront and kiting. You could also tank LR with a flying Scrapper that had max range IOs slotted.

@Redlynne - The taunt idea for PvP is not bad but an easy way around it is to stack AoEs; that would have to be given some thought.

@all
With respect to aggro, heal aggro should definitely exist as buff aggro, but under no circumstances should pre-buffing/healing create aggro. That's just annoying. In terms of managing that kind of aggro vs damage, you could create a ratio of how much damage or healing your team translates into damage dealt to the boss and work it on the same table as the damage -based aggro.

Same thing for tanks; translate the damage mitigation they have / their taunting into damage dealt to the boss and track their aggro on that basis. If you stack your taunts too much, the damage mitigated (and therefore virtual damage dealt) would be less than if you timed it for when the blaster lets loose with a boosted snipe.

I'd need to spend more than 10 minutes thinking about it to come with how you could do that without making it overly complex but it shouldn't be too hard.

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Just my opinion, but I think

Just my opinion, but I think tanks enjoy being attention hogs, lol. Turning them into "Debuffers" or "Crowd Controllers" in PvP is not the same as tanking. I want to see PvP Tanks be good at what they do, but I don't believe in taking away other players choices in combat.

De-targeting on Taunt (which usually has a relatively low cooldown for tanks) means that if you DON'T pay attantion to the Tank, you're going to have a hard time paying attention to what you want, but it in no way prevents you from re-focusing. And again, if you're already facing the taunter you are unaffected. Making it smart (if you want to be effective in team PvP) to spend the amount of energy it will take to go after a Tank player.

You see a player getting low on health? Can't heal them but you CAN intercede on their behalf. For me (as a weak crowd controller) that split second may be all I need to turn it around. Maybe it's just my past experience but tanks tend to be lazy (I should say they're big picture thinkers) and not actually concerned about using the threat mechanics as they pertain to watching their teammates. Healers watch their teams HP. Controllers watch everything. Tanks (again from my personal experience) tend to just run in there and say "everyone .. attack me" to PASSIVELY help their team, but seldom do tanks take ACTION to help a teammate. This lack of team mechanic is what makes them ignorable in PvP, and something I hope to see remedied so tanks have as much interest in their teammates as other classes.

**side note.. DPS has some of the same problems, but hurting the hell out of an enemy is not a passive action in the same way as tanking

Crowd Control Enthusiast

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@JayBezz - and THAT is why I

@JayBezz - and THAT is why I found Taunt so usefull apart from IO Set bonuses.
If as Tank I saw someone away from the main group getting to much aggro I would Range Taunt the enemy so they would focus on me. Now while I could have jumped over to them and attacked to grab their aggro (Gauntlet and AoE taunt aura) that means leaving the current mob so they run away from any location AoE effects, there is now a chance for the DPS to grab the aggro I have stopped applying, etc.

Plus I often tried to put the Zinger(?) Chance for Psi Damage proc so even when Taunting I had a chance to do damage.

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I kind of thought that the

I kind of thought that the ranged taunt power was under used in CoH and though it should have had a larger role

Unfortunately since tanks had gauntlet and the taunt auras, it wasn't really needed

Itd be nice to see that power (or something similar to it) have to be used a little bit more

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Green Myst wrote:
Green Myst wrote:

I kind of thought that the ranged taunt power was under used in CoH and though it should have had a larger role
Unfortunately since tanks had gauntlet and the taunt auras, it wasn't really needed
Itd be nice to see that power (or something similar to it) have to be used a little bit more

I used the taunt as part of my attack rotation. I think I had an enhancement that added a debuff or some other effect to it.

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Taunt was one of the few

Taunt was one of the few ranged AoE abilities in a tank's arsenal, which made it quite useful for grabbing strays, keeping enemies well-clustered, and range-debuffing monsters and AVs who might otherwise not cooperate with attempts to position them to the team's advantage. It was, admittedly, less useful to those tanks with exceptionally-strong gauntlet effects built into their damage/debuff PBAoE aura, such as ice and stone armor. The IO procs were a nice bonus as well.

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Also useful if some teammates

Also useful if some teammates accidentally agroed another spawn across the room. I used taunt for just such a purpose many times. I also used it in the "rooms of death" to pull spawns one by one to the door for a controlled beat down, whether on a team or solo.

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