Aggro is a measurement of aggression towards the characters by an enemy. When choosing a target, the enemy attacks the character with the highest aggro. A Bodyguard using their aggro skills will increase the aggro against them, in an attempt to get a boss to focus on them.
An "aggro table" is basically a list that each enemy checks to determine whom they should attack. The list contains every character that they've noticed in the engagement. As it watches the characters actions, it adds or removes aggro points from each character based on several factors.
The known factors are noted below, though they hold different values for different enemies, so no "established rank of importance" is possible:
- Bodyguards have skills specifically designed to add aggro points to their character. Usually, these are a LOT of aggro points, but they do fade over time.
- If a character (usually a Doctor) heals another character, they gain aggro.
- If a character is the first enemy noticed by the enemy, they gain aggro.
- If a character is the first to attack the enemy, they gain aggro.
- if a character using skills enhanced skill (usually a Hunter ) like smooth moves or spiking people to regain their energy.
- The character causing the most damage, also gains aggro.
- The lower the level of the character, the more they gain aggro. This is most often seen when a lower level enters a high level danger zone.
- If the character is a mercenary, they gain aggro.
- If a mercenary dies, the aggro of the mercenary is passed to the owner of the mercenary.
- If a character no longer attacks the enemy, and/or moves away, they may sometimes lose aggro entirely. In some cases, this may be the only way for a bodyguard to regain aggro when a boss has decided to chase someone else.
- If a character dies and respawns, they start over in terms of their aggro amount.
- Some enemies/bosses will lose interest in a character that moves beyond a certain distance from the spot the enemy was first encountered.
Note: If an enemy loses interest in a character, and there's no one else on their aggro table, that enemy will jog back to it's last starting position, regaining any lost health very quickly. This is known as an enemy reset.
There are several exceptions to the general behavior pattern of the boss focusing on a high aggro target. Although most enemies will attack the top aggro holder, there are some (usually mini-bosses and/or bosses) that, typically, if they stun or knock back that character, will take the break in the action to launch an attack at another aggro holder, instead of continuing to concentrate their fire.
Some bosses are designed to go after the number two player. Typically, (though not always) the second player to attract their attention becomes the one that the boss goes after. If you happen to have two BG's in the group, be sure that the 2nd BG is the second person to get close-to, and/or attack these bosses.
Some bosses only change aggro at certain points. These bosses will select a target and stay with it until a certain point. In many cases, evidence of this can be seen when a "chasing" boss get's within range to deliver a melee blow, and then immediately selects another target. Almost as if the Boss received satisfaction from delivering that blow. A lot of times, this type of boss will fixate on the target of it's aggro up until it actually hits them.
Some will automatically "reset" the aggro table and re-select a target. Some bosses will absolutely refuse to change targets unless someone else's aggro rises to a specific point, and/or their target no longer tries to fight back.
Final Hit MentalityEdit
When a Bodyguard uses aggro against a boss (or any enemy) there's a pretty good chance that the target will not stop attacking the original character right away. Some bosses have a tendency to go hit the original target once more (sometimes twice) before actually switching to the new target.
It seems like most bosses have an aggro table that "cools down" over time. So if a bodyguard doesn't regularly taunt or otherwise use aggro moves against the boss, the boss will eventually lose interest in them and select someone else from their aggro list.
This is beneficial for a doctor. When a doctor pulls the boss from healing too often, they need to drop their aggro quickly. By discontinuing any attacks or heals, the doctor may free themselves of the boss' attention.