Aggro

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Aggro is jargon or slang for "aggravate" or "aggression". In MMO terms it is often used to denote when someone has angered a mob to such an extent it is attacking them. For example, if a mage throws a few too many fireballs around, he or she might be heard screaming, "I've got aggro!"

As a matter of a fact, this term is solely used in PvE when used literally, as it only concerns mobs and their targeting system (see below).

It may be used however to point out to another party member that you're under attack from another player: "This darn Void Knight aggro'd me !"


Key Concepts[edit | edit source]

Threat[edit | edit source]

In mechanical terms, "aggro" is determined by the level of "threat" a player has against an enemy. It is the very basis of mobs' automated targeting system.

The more you damage the enemy, or heal your allies, the more threatening you are to the enemy, and the more likely they are to attack you. The purpose of a tank is to interject himself between a healer or damage dealer and the target enemy, and utilize a variety of maneuvers or spells that make it difficult for the enemy to ignore him or her.


Aggro Status[edit | edit source]

Monsters creatures and Non-Player Character follow a three colors code easily visible on the User Interface:

  • Green names: this unit is friendly and can not and will not attack you. You can not attack it either.
  • Yellow names: this unit is neutral at the time, but by attacking it or using a specific item or spell, it may become aggressive towards you.
  • Red names: this unit will attack you on sight, depending on a specific aggro range.


Pull[edit | edit source]

Pulling is the action by which a player decides to aggro a mob (or a pack of mobs) in order to single it out from a larger group. It is an essential part of instances' strategy, as the elite mobs they host may be deadly for the whole party (or the whole raid) if not taken down one by one.

In some case, pulling can be a pretty tricky manoeuvre, and knowing when and who to pull is somewhat considered as an art by some players. Reasonably evaluating your party's skill, how the monster will react, other monsters' awareness, and knowing patrolling paths are one of the keys to perform a successful pull.

  • The classic pull is performed via a ranged attack (as every player can use a ranged weapon in Rift) or a ranged skill.
  • Some tank players like to pull a mob with their taunting ability (see 2.2.4) because of the safety it brings in term of aggro.
  • Body pulling is pulling a mob straightly with a character rather than with an attack. Even if most of the body pulls are unintentional (see next part, Add), it is sometimes used because some monsters tend to have a larger "damage awareness" radius than their actual aggro radius. In other words, doing damage to the target may be detected by the whole pack while pulling the target by aggro radius will single it out nicely.
  • When pulling a pack, it is sometimes safer for the tank to keep his distance with his teammates: if the pull fail, only the tank will die and thus will be back on his feet in time for another try.
  • One of the main complexity of pulling is to succesfully pull ranged monsters, as they will most likely try to hit you from where you've tried to aggro you, without moving closer to your party. Using corners and hiding places of the environment can be a sweet way to draw these mobs to you, as they will simply move to where they can attack you, most likely at melee range.


Add[edit | edit source]

An add is a creature that enters an already existing battle. It may happen while you were trying to pull only one mob and another just felt like coming too, or it may just be the case when a mob appears by respawning next to you while you're already in combat.

It is also used when speaking of additional mobs that stick with a Boss, as they are most likely to all join the fight once you've started it.

Dealing with adds is explained in part 2.1 of the present article.


Reset[edit | edit source]

A reset is when you attempt to drop aggro from you or your entire party. This may be achieved by using threat-redirection abilities (see below) or by running a specified distance from the mob's usual patrol pattern. Running away from a mob to reset aggro is not an option in instances.


Unusual aggro mechanism[edit | edit source]

Sometimes, most likely during an instance, a mob's IA will be scripted to automatically target another player that the one generating the most threat. Some bosses for example may choose to randomly attack one party member, or to randomly attack the second in their hatred list, or to charge healers, etc. These exceptions have to be taken into account so as to successfully defeat instances' bosses, as for the greater part it is therefore a matter of knowledge.


Aggro-control[edit | edit source]

Basics in controlling aggro in a party[edit | edit source]

Aggro-control is not only the tanks' responsibility, and thus has to be fully understood and mastered by any player in the party. In order to do so, players must always be on the look out for potential adds and hypothetic threat peaks due to burst skills, and make a worthful use of their "threat-altering abilities" (fully listed below).

Even if tanks usually have built-in abilities that force aggro and can therefore, in appearence, fix any threat-related problem, these skills do not generate an infinite amount of threat. It is best, sometimes, to take advantage of this "new aggro" situation by stopping any attack or heal, waiting for the tank to build a sufficient amount of threat. Plus, these abilities have cooldowns too, so it is best to keep them for extraordinary cases!


Additionally, when it comes to Adds and independent of your role in the party, it is well-advised to stay immobile and ask for your tank to aggro the mob back. Even if it is against your deepest instincts and may be a stressful moment, running around will only increase your chance to aggro more adds, or prevent your allies to act helpfully. Even if you may die, your allies will be most likely to bring you back to life if they do not have to deal with your numerous adds.
Don't give up hope because of your main healer's death, and remember that Rift's main PvE tanking soul is Paladin, who possesses a Resurrection spell (Life's Grace).

Aggro-controlling abilities[edit | edit source]

Abilities diverting threat[edit | edit source]

Diverting threat is the main concept in threat management, as the role of a tank in PvE is to generate a large amount of threat to compensate for damages and healings of his or her allies and to keep the mob focused on him or her. However, there are only three Classes which have a direct diverting threat mechanism.

Beastmaster[edit | edit source]

Root: Protective Companion: Increases the Rogue's pet threat.

Ranger[edit | edit source]

Root: Divert Rage: All threat generated is transferred to the Rogue's pet for 10 seconds.

Saboteur[edit | edit source]

Root: Incriminate: When activated, all threat generated is transferred to the target party or raid member for 6 seconds. Does not trigger global cooldown.

Abilities lowering threat[edit | edit source]

Cabalist[edit | edit source]

Branch: Explosive Energies: reduces the threat generation of your damaging spells by 2/4/6/8/10%.

Dominator[edit | edit source]

Root: Memory Wipe: Reduces threat with the enemy by 80%.

Inquisitor[edit | edit source]

Root: Divine Pardon: Absolves the Cleric of guilt, reducing their current threat by 90%.

Justicar[edit | edit source]

Root: Mien of Honor: Gives the Cleric an honorable bearing, reducing the Cleric's threat generation with damaging abilities by 50% while active.

Riftblade[edit | edit source]

Branch: Elemental Caress: Reduces threat generated by elemental damage effects by 25/50%.

Riftstalker[edit | edit source]

Root: Stalker Phase: Reduces threat generation by 50% for 10 seconds after using Shadow Stalk or Shadow Assault.

Warlord[edit | edit source]

Branch: Calls to Arms/Focus Fire/Aid: Reduces threat generated by party and raid members for 12 seconds.
Root: Commander's Order: Reduces threat generated by allies in range for 15 seconds.


Abilities raising threat[edit | edit source]

Justicar[edit | edit source]

Branch: Precept of Valiance: Increases threat generated by next damaging abilities.
Root: Mien of Leadership: Doubles the Cleric's threat generation while active.

Paladin[edit | edit source]

Branch: Aggressive Guardian: Increases threat generated by 10/20%.
Branch: Light's Hammer: Single-target damaging ability generating additional threat.
Branch: Paladin's Reprisal: AoE damaging ability generating additional threat. Not on GCD.
Root: Aggressive Block/Pacifying Strike/Shield Charge: Single-target damaging ability generating additional threat.
Root: Retaliation/Disarming Counterblow: Single-target damaging ability generating additional threat. Not on GCD.
Root: Light's Decree: AoE damaging ability generating additional threat.

Reaver[edit | edit source]

Branch: Sinister Bindings: Attacks that hit you while a Binding is active will generate threat.
Branch: Creeping Death: AoE damaging ability generating additional threat.
Root: Ravaging Strike/Necrotic Wounds/Infestation: Single-target damaging ability generating additional threat.
Root: Weakening Essence: AoE ability generating additional threat.
Root: Explosive Infestation: AoE damaging ability generating additional threat.

Riftstalker[edit | edit source]

Branch: Phantom Blow: Single-target damaging ability generating additional threat.
Root: Planar Strike: Single-target damaging ability generating additional threat.
Root: Rift Disturbance/Shadow Blitz: AoE damaging ability generating additional threat.
Root: Guardian Phase: Doubles the Rogue's threat generation while active.

Void Knight[edit | edit source]

Branch: Rift Tap: Single-target damaging ability generating additional threat.
Branch: Rift Summon: Pulls the target to the Warrior and generates additional threat.
Root: Reckless Strike/Devouring Blow/Discharge: Single-target damaging ability generating additional threat.
Root: Ragestorm/Tempest: AoE damaging ability generating additional threat.

Warlord[edit | edit source]

Branch: Imposing: Melee attacks made by the Warrior generate additional threat and incoming attacks generate threat against the attacker.
Root: Leader's Mark: Single-target damaging ability generating additional threat.
Root: Promise of Steel/Killing Field: AoE damaging ability generating additional threat.


Abilities forcing aggro[edit | edit source]

Justicar[edit | edit source]

Root: Bolt of Radiance: When under Mein of Leadership, this damaging ability forces the target to attack the Cleric for 3 seconds.

Paladin[edit | edit source]

Root: Shield Throw: Single-target damaging ability forcing the enemy to attack the Warrior for 3 seconds.
Root: Judgement: AoE damaging ability forcing up to 10 enemies to attack the Warrior for 3 seconds.

Reaver[edit | edit source]

Root: Grim Lure: Single-target ability forcing the enemy to attack the Warrior for 3 seconds.
Root: Concussion: AoE damaging ability forcing up to 10 enemies to attack the Warrior for 3 seconds.
Root: Incite: AoE damaging ability forcing up to 10 enemies to attack the Warrior for 3 seconds.

Riftstalker[edit | edit source]

Root: Instigate: Instigates the enemy to attack the Rogue for 3 seconds.

Void Knight[edit | edit source]

Root: Airbust: AoE damaging ability forcing up to 10 enemies to attack the Warrior for 3 seconds.

Warlord[edit | edit source]

Root: Sergeant's Command: Single-target ability forcing the enemy to attack the Warrior for 3 seconds.
Root: Cracking Skulls: AoE damaging ability forcing up to 10 enemies to attack the Warrior for 3 seconds.

Abilities generating no threat[edit | edit source]

Purifier[edit | edit source]

Root: Divine Cascade: AoE damaging ability that generates no threat whatsoever.

Saboteur[edit | edit source]

Branch: Silent Setup: 33/66/100% chance of not adding threat to the enemy when attaching charges.