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#1 Vanpry

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Posted 02 February 2009 - 06:36 PM

Does anyone else think agro has gotten a bit out of hand?

When I started with UO every mob had a set aggro range. It just made sense you get to close to anything aggressive and it will beat on you.

It then morphed into a formula based on your level vs the mob level. Mobs have developed a pansy sixth sense. "*sniff sniff* I smell pansy 5 miles away over the mountain and through the woods. Err ok doesn't make a lot of sense but what ever.

Now it seams it has gone even further. I have noticed with my minstrel that mobs will come right for me even before I do anything. Example was in a 3 man instance I stand pretty far behind the champion and lore master. So the champ runs into a group of mobs to do what he does and before I do anything. Well maybe I took a couple steps closer 2 of the mobs that have been hit by AoE charge right after me. Healer classes have now become beacons of hatred apparently.

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#2 Syndic

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Posted 02 February 2009 - 07:43 PM

I don't really have a problem with agro in WoW or EQ2. I like the level difference agro range as long as mobs are not 100m away yet still see you as a target and come running.

I haven't noticed the run for the healer agro you mention, maybe it's just the game differences or maybe a really bad player. I know healers can come across this problem in EQ2, but it is controllable and in the realm of the tank to do his job right.
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#3 Vanpry

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Posted 02 February 2009 - 08:37 PM

Might be a LOTRO thing, but this has happened several times. I can stand there at the beginning of the battle not do a thing and somehow mobs run right at me.

#4 Dificeman

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Posted 03 February 2009 - 06:05 AM

Agro does seem to have gotten a bit screwy so to speak in many MMO's.

#5 Berek

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Posted 03 February 2009 - 10:53 AM

Back in the EverQuest 1 early days I could remember knowing right down to the inch where I had to maneuver around mobs to get through higher level areas. I can't seem to do that as often anymore. Is this is a good or bad trend?

#6 Vanpry

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Posted 03 February 2009 - 11:02 AM

Back in the EverQuest 1 early days I could remember knowing right down to the inch where I had to maneuver around mobs to get through higher level areas. I can't seem to do that as often anymore. Is this is a good or bad trend?

I'd say a bad one. I preferred it when mobs had a set aggro range non of the pansy spider sense. Plus having a set aggro range like you experienced in EQ allows crafters to weasel their way around mobs to get to resources.

Edit: Plus as a adventurer if you needed mob X but mob A thru W were in the way maybe you could work around some of them.

#7 Grimmway

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Posted 03 February 2009 - 11:04 AM

Back in the EverQuest 1 early days I could remember knowing right down to the inch where I had to maneuver around mobs to get through higher level areas. I can't seem to do that as often anymore. Is this is a good or bad trend?


Depends if you view this as 'strategy' or an exploit.

IMHO, knowing where aggro ranges end is part of strategy.

IMHO, having the MOBs attack the healers first sounds like an oversimplified combat script designed to challenge a group. (Note that I never said it was a good script....)

Grimmway

P.S. I'm not AWOL. Instead, my laptop decided to be part of the bad NVidia GPU issue. A few weeks more...

#8 Vanpry

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Posted 03 February 2009 - 01:25 PM

Grimmway

P.S. I'm not AWOL. Instead, my laptop decided to be part of the bad NVidia GPU issue. A few weeks more...


I feel your pain. Wife's laptop took a crap after a year and a half. Now we have a $1500 paper weight.

#9 DeLang

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Posted 03 February 2009 - 05:18 PM

....Now we have a $1500 paper weight.


Free Geek is a great place to send your undesired hardware. They do a ton of recycling, train kids and adults how to build and tweak computers and offer many other services. Maybe there's a similar program in your home town?


I enjoy the challenge of learning the aggro distance of each type of mob, particularly when the aggro distance is modified according to the mob's location. For example a Harpy in an overland solo area would have a different aggro distance than an Uber Raiding Harpy within the Harpy Fortress of Neverending Wails.

That in some games the aggro distance changes relative to your character's level I also find appealing.

If you're at max level, then why be hampered by mice nibbling at your feet just because you stepped within three meters of them? When running across zones which are underconned to your character, it's fun-breaking to have to stop and deal with no-challenge pesky aggro mobs. If anything, those mobs should scurry away in fear!

If you're green behind the ears, an Elder Zombie would perceive you as a quick and easy snack to quench it's thirst for flesh. It would be it's nature to run to you as soon as you entered its line of sight from a long distance.

I imagine it's quite a challenge to balance aggro dynamics. You'd want to appeal to experienced gamers by providing enough challenge to keep the game fun and interesting, yet also make the game accessible and rewarding for those new to gaming or those who prefer to complete content which requires a more casual skill-set.

#10 Jergis

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Posted 04 February 2009 - 07:07 AM

-Line of sight and algorithms based on proximity, movement, size, etc make sense for aggro. I also enjoyed the experience in EQ wherein i could learn the ranges of mobs as i gained player time in-game. Made some corpse runs easier as time went on.

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#11 Syndic

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Posted 04 February 2009 - 04:17 PM

I like the set aggro range that was around in EQ1 & 2. Also enough the fact that that agro range got smaller as you levelled and eventually when the mob was too trivial it stopped attacking you altogether. Even the cringe animation in EQ2 is cool to see as your walking past them.
I get really annoyed when a mob that is like 50 level below you still thinks he can take you on.
I'm one of those that also loves scouting around mobs to get to where I want.
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#12 Vanpry

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Posted 05 February 2009 - 09:20 AM

Yeah I agree with syndic a set aggro range and then once you get so many levels higher then X mob it should not bother you at all. If if coward that would be pretty sweet.

#13 mercero

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Posted 20 February 2009 - 10:42 PM

I noticed that the subject of linked or chain aggro from similar, mutually sympathetic mobs was not brought up... any thoughts on that?

Personally I have always liked the "X mob calls for help" ability that certain (thankfully few) mobs get that allows them to grab the attention of a normally out-of-range mob that then aggros you.

Immersion and realism checks always slap me in the face when I am assaulting a castle or dungeon or stronghold where 50-60 guards stand between me and my goal. MMO bosses in need of guards must outsource to mall security companies or something because these guys are the epitome of see-no-evil hear-no-evil.

"Oh dear! Corporal Thorok over there looks like he is getting attacked. Well MY JOB is to guard the MIDDLE of the hallway, not the END. Best of luck to you Corporal!"

Do all MMO guards harbor a secret hatred for one another? Is promotion potential in the employ of an evil warlord really that bad? Are they paid by company and not by individual? Has the aura of overwhelming dread that eminates from the sweat of high-level adventuring parties put them into a catatonic stupor filled with apathy and ennui?

Sigh.

Instead of making raid bosses or tough quest-targets into increasingly larger sacks of hit points, why not program their guards to launch one or more harrowing waves of attacks? Some creative design and thought could go a long way here. Certain world mobs could be the programmed same way, to the limits of common sense and availability.

Imagine the innovative teamwork necessary to assault a heavily-fortified place. Combine with collision-detection and proper 'tanking' and you have a real fight!


As far as aggro being scaled to level and threat, I think that most MMOs do well with the tools they have on that score. Set aggro ranges are fine for some mobs, while variable ranges are a must for others. Perhaps creatures of a certain type could gain a temporary boost to their aggro range at night, or during inclement weather? Or a large boost whenever a certain number of its neighbors have been slain, to make it interesting for mob-farmers?

What about increased aggro range when you are not the follower of the local deity?

#14 Jergis

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Posted 21 February 2009 - 07:57 AM

-I think calling for reinforcements makes sense. And i further am behind the idea to make boss fights as much about tactics as about damage output. Make sure you hit those support mobs, cover that door, disarm that trap or else the combo will be deadly to a group.

Weather-based modifiers in games is often overlooked, but to have the weather affect not only sight but aggro, movement, and other areas of interaction? Yes, please!

Jergis

#15 Syndic

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Posted 21 February 2009 - 08:41 AM

I have the same thoughts too. If you go and attack the guards at the drawbridge to a castle, shouldn't the whole castle (or at least those outside) come running at you to lay waste to the intruders. It would certainly feel a little more realistic, plus it adds in more of the whole stealth aspect and "pulling" these mobs so that they DON'T call the whole castle down on you.
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Family - Mitthrawnurodo (Talrok)

#16 Herrium

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Posted 21 February 2009 - 04:36 PM

Games from back in the late 90's/early 2000's like EQ, Asheron's Call and DAoC had better explained aggro systems. Like in AC, the monsters would see you but when they aggro they won't follow you half-way across the map... well... AC didn't really have set maps in terms of outside world maps.

#17 Eric

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Posted 21 February 2009 - 04:50 PM

I feel rather strongly that 'gray con' mobs should never aggro you. Sometimes I want to pound my fist into my keyboard in WoW when I get dazed/dismounted from some stupid level 20 mob when im running thru a zone to go help my friend.

Seriously, gray mobs pose no challenge or XP whatsoever, so attacking me is just pure annoyance and as far as I'm concerned should never occur.

I do like the idea of set aggro distance based on level, and I also agree mobs should not chase you for 1/2 a mile before giving up.

#18 kaimyrrh

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Posted 21 February 2009 - 06:08 PM

I agree on the grey con stuff not attacking, its pointles and annoying

my runekeeper gets the same issue in lotro (healing or dps) maybe its an armor class related thing or just healers are tagged, but my captain does not

set aggro radius is nice, it allows for skillful navagation thru mobs and those sweaty palm moments.

#19 Akshobhya

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Posted 21 February 2009 - 08:13 PM

Back in the EverQuest 1 early days I could remember knowing right down to the inch where I had to maneuver around mobs to get through higher level areas. I can't seem to do that as often anymore. Is this is a good or bad trend?


I think its a good trend, being able to tell with certainty when mobs will aggro makes the game too predictable and easy. Granted, there is an element of strategy to it, but there is some excitement lost when you eliminate all non-determinism. More importantly though, I think there should be more variability to the aggro systems. In most MMOs every aggro mob behaves the same. They run right at you (or stand still and use ranged attacks) once you come within a certain range. The only variability is whether they aggro or not and whether they are social or not and how big the radius is. That's getting kind of dull...

I would prefer that mobs had variable degrees of perception. Older or sick mobs might have a smaller aggro radius.

I would like aggro to vary depending on environmental effects, such as weather (sunny days, they see farther, rainy days they can't). Allow large groups of a certain type of spellcaster to have a group ritual that changes the weather for the area (for everyone) so the community can try to manipulate aggro by changing the weather.

Another example of an environmental effect: have alarms that can be triggered by certain mobs (or PCs who accidentally click on the alarm; just to add some additional "fun" for players who like to click on everything). Perhaps there could be scout-type mobs that RUN AWAY when players enter aggro radius instead of attacking the players. If the scout gets to the alarm (which might be a gong, magic artifact, or whatever) and triggers it, all mobs in the area have heightened aggro radius for a while.

I would like for there to be multiple forms of aggro. Sight aggro triggers from a cone shaped area in front of the mob. Mobs could aggro from hearing (a circular radius around them). Some mobs should aggro based on smell (perhaps players leave a "trail" behind them which a mob could detect if they encounter it soon after; the trail would decay over time and also doesn't occur in water). Some mobs have better hearing then sight, and vice versa. Items and spells in game might allow players to manipulate their visibility (to reduce likelihood of triggering sight aggro), move silently (to reduce likelihood of triggering sound aggro), or to deodorize (temporarily stop leaving a smell aggro trail behind them, and also memwipe any creatures that aggroed based on smell but nothing else).

I'd like some mobs to aggro based on triggers. Final Fantasy XI had some mobs that only aggroed if you used magic around them. Others only aggroed only if you were bloodied (damaged) nearby. Steal those ideas. Then make up more. Perhaps some mobs turn aggro only if you are carrying certain items (such as stealing something from them).

I'd like some mobs that had reverse aggro: they just run away. This would particularly make sense for wild life. You might have to hunt them for resources, but some mobs, like deer, just shouldn't put up a fight. They should avoid it.

And I'd like different mobs of the same species to behave differently. Think about it: some people are cowardly (they would run away). Some might be blind (sound aggro but no sight aggro). Some might be scouts (very high aggro radius, run away and trigger alarm that heightens aggro radius for OTHER mobs in the area if they get away). Some might be drunk (low aggro radius, too distracted). Others might be more perceptive (heigher aggro radius). If you are going into a mine where its very loud, maybe mobs there have lower hearing aggro. But the same mobs right outside hear just fine.

Why should every mob behave exactly like every other one of the same so-called type?

#20 Jergis

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Posted 22 February 2009 - 08:28 AM

-Welcome, Akshobhya, and thanks for that well-thought-out reply. As above, i agree that there would be much rejoicing if they put thought into aggro as we have here in this discussion. Sick mobs being easier to pick off, weather affecting ideas, etc. Can't wait to see what beta testers get to see and if there is an iteration of these ideas in-game.

Jergis




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