Aggro control is important to understand for anyone who plays an massively multiplayer online game such as World of Warcraft. The mechanics of most of these games are fairly simple and the for the sake of convenience rather than accuracy, the groups have been broken down to tanks, casters/DPS, and healers.
The concept of the hate list is central to understanding aggro control. The person on the top of a monster’s hate list will be attacked by the monster. Actions taken by the player can either move his name on the hate list or lower it.
Tank Aggro Control
Tanks, want to get and keep aggro. Rather than controlling aggro, they deliberately seek it out. Most online role playing games give tanks one or more taunting abilities. Taunting, along with using weapons that cast spells and high damage abilities help keep the tank at the top of a monster’s hate lists. Tank classes do less damage by design to make the task of the tank more challenging and to make the caster and DPS classes learn to keep their name off the hate list.
Taunt abilities can be implemented in two ways. Taunt either moves the player’s name to the top of the monster’s list or taunt generates a set amount of hate. Normally, this will keep a monster’s attention focused on the tank, but it is not necessary to hit taunt all the time. Most taunting abilities have a cool down period before they can be used again. It is best to start out with a taunt and save it until it is needed.
Caster/DPS Aggro Control
Casters are often fill a damage per second rule, but the same rules for agro control apply to casters, rogues and ranged combat classes . The last thing caster and DPS characters want is the attention of the monster. Keeping a monster’s attention on the warrior is easy. Wait for the warrior to build up hate before attacking. It is not necessary to use high damage ability every time it becomes available.
When a caster or DPS character gains agro, he should stop attacking Running to get away from a monster is not a good idea as this makes it harder for the warrior to taunt the attacking creature, and has a chance of causing more monsters to join in the fray.
Healer Aggro Control
Healers should also avoid a monster’s attention, but regardless of how good a healer is at agro control, there are times in all mmorpgs when a healer simply must gain aggro to do his job. Giving heals only when needed can help reduce the chance of the healer being attacked. If the character has access to an ability that lowers his position on a monster’s hate list, it should be used as soon as the healer gains agro, if not before to keep the healer off the monster’s hate list
Learning Aggro Control
“Basics of a Warrior Talent Tree ” covers much of what tanks in any game need to know about agro control, although its focus is on World of Warcraft. More useful to most players however is the advice from other players in their guild and their guild message boards. Whether a character plays World of Warcraft, Everquest, Dark Age of Camelot, Star Wars Galaxies, City of Heroes or virtually any mmorpg, the basics of aggro control are the same.