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Aggro

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Aggro, also known as Aggression, is how a particular monster recognizes players. Most basic Skills are for one-on-one combat; the monster AI has to provide a rule that a player can use combat skills without the frustration of fighting all surrounding monsters at once with one-on-one skills. However, it also has to offer certain challenges to give the players incentive to build their characters.

In places where enemies flourish such as Dungeons, there could be many mobs at a time in a room but only few of them will recognize players and try to attack them while other mobs pretend as if they didn't see them at all. Those mobs are under the Control of Aggro rule.

Aggro is most important in single player combat. Multi-Aggro mobs may switch targets if there are multiple players (including Pets) in their aggro range. Predicting all the monster's Aggro State before they Aggro is the key to mastering the game.

Aggro State

There are 5 states of monster aggro:

  • No Aggro - The monster ignores the player. They usually wander around idly and may randomly charge magic skills or Rest.
  • Detect - The monster displays a ! over its head and targets and/or follows the player. In this state, most monsters will occasionally load defensive skills or charge magic skills. Certain monsters (most notably Gargoyles) will randomly attack the player a single time without fully aggroing.
  • Stunned - This is the same as Detect with the exception that monsters will switch to Aggro as soon as the current enemy in Aggro dies.
  • Aggro - The monster displays a {!!} over its head and executes its attack AI. This state is where they will aggressively attack players.
  • Retreat - The monster tries to walk back to its original position after it looses active aggro lock on a player target. This is triggered when the monster's target is no longer within their zone of control (which is much larger than their aggro range).

When a player is within a monster's aggro range:

The monster may switch from No Aggro to Aggro after a set amount of time.
The monster may switch from No Aggro to Detect after a set amount of time.
The monster may stay in No Aggro forever.

If you directly attack a particular monster, that monster will switch to Aggro regardless of which state it was previously in.

If you indirectly attack a monster, that monster will switch to Stunned, and potentially switch to Aggro depending on their AI.

A monster in Detect may load skills, such as Defense and Counterattack, but will cancel them upon switching to Aggro. This gives a brief window when the monster is guaranteed to have no skills active at all. They may also load magic attacks, but except for a few monsters like Gargoyles they will not use them.

When dealing with single or double aggro enemies, a new enemy currently in Detect will switch to Aggro a few seconds after the current enemy in Aggro dies.

A monster in Retreat will not switch to Aggro unless you attack it. However, it is not recommended to open with a melee attack (especially not Smash), as the monster may immediately retaliate. This should not be confused with Instinctive Reaction.

Many monsters aggro slowly enough the they will not notice a player who runs right past without stopping.

If Taunt or Act 6: Crisis is used, it immediately provokes every nearby monster into Aggro, violating the other aggro principles.

Aggro Type

Each type of mob has particular aggro type expressed in ratios. In general, they are categorized into two types.

  • M:1

M is the number of mobs from the same type that can aggro one player simultaneously. 2 players can be aggroed by 2M mobs (and so on), and M mobs can also all aggro each pet present. M can be set to very high number to make it look like all of the mobs will attack you when they see you. If M is 1 then the monster is called Single-Aggro. If M is more than 2 then the monster is called Multi-Aggro. A monster with 0:1 aggro will ignore you completely.

Ex. Goblins have a 1:1 aggro type so only one will recognize and attack you at a time. Goblin Archers have 2:1 aggro type so only two of them will attack you at a time.

  • M+N:1

M is the number of mobs from the same type that would Aggro you while there would be N Detect mobs.

Ex. White Spiders in Tir Chonaill Graveyard have 0+2:1 aggro type. When you are surrounded by White Spiders in Tir Chonaill Graveyard, only two of them will follow you, and none will enter Aggro by themselves. If you attack one of them, one will switch to Aggro and another White Spider in No Aggro nearby will switch into the Detect.

If there are multiple types of mobs, each type will have their separate Aggro chain. If you directly attack a particular mob, that mob will switch to Aggro regardless of which aggro type it has. Other monsters may drop aggro as a result of this.

Since each type has its own aggro chain, if two or more species are in one room it is advisable to quickly weed them out type by type.

Area Attack and Stun

If you use a skill that attacks multiple mobs of same type with No Aggro at once, only one of them switches into Aggro. All other surviving mobs will go into Stunned.

For M:1 aggro type mobs, it is not obvious. However, for M+N:1 aggro type mobs, Stunned mobs will follow you. This can be useful for training AoE attacks when used on high-N mobs like Laghodessas, since it conveniently bunches all the Stunned monsters together.

Example of Area Attack skills:

Special Skill:

Temporarily Blocking Aggro with Area Attack

Area attacks can be grouped into two. Ones that need a target (Ex. Rank 5+ Magnum Shot) and ones that do not need a target (Ex. Windmill).

If you kill a mob with an area attack with no target, the mob will continue to keep the previous aggro state until its dead body disappears. This means that only M-1 mobs will attack you from mobs with M:1 Aggro Type.

For mobs with 1:1 aggro type like Skeletons, you can kill a mob with windmill and keep the rest of the mobs in No Aggro till the dead body disappears.

Usually a dead body disappears after 15 seconds. You can extend this time to a full 1 minute by making a single player party and change party option to "Finish to Anyone." The downside of this is the inconvenience of having to finish all mobs manually. (another hit is needed to finish after they get killed)

There are dungeon rooms that spawn mobs 3 times. Once you clear such room, new mobs appear. For a short time (around 2-3 seconds) after new mobs get spawned, the game AI does not choose which mob will switch to Aggro. If you attack a mob in that period, the game AI might choose another one to switch into Aggro, causing double-aggro.

Blocking Aggro of M+N:1

Detect mobs will not switch to Aggro until you kill the same type of mob with Aggro thus making the number of mobs in Aggro to M-1.

The game AI counts both the mobs in Aggro as Aggro and mobs in Stunned as Aggro if there are any Detect mobs. This means that if there are M Stunned mobs and N Detect mobs from mobs with M+N:1 aggro type, no further mobs will switch into Aggro.

Since those M Stunned mobs and N Detect mobs are passively following you in most cases, you take advantage of the situation. (Ex. Laghodessa, Spider)

Mobs with different aggro types gets inhibited from switching Aggro from No Aggro to Aggro once you meet above condition for just one type of mob. This inhibition breaks when you kill Stunned mobs or when they Aggro another player/pet, then you will get Aggro from almost all the surrounding mobs (if Multi-Aggro). This inhibition of aggro state switching may also be known as "Aggro Dam".

References

  1. Aggro in Mabinogi - http://crea.webice.kr/?mid=info_tip&page=3&document_srl=119