All expacs : NEW PET AGGRO RULES

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Adonhiram
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All expacs : NEW PET AGGRO RULES

Thu Oct 26, 2017 2:46 am

The December 9 / 2015 patch changed a fundamental hate/aggro rule every mage was used to since the early XXth century... Don't get close to the fighting pet or you (or any player character) will get hit because every NPC will apply the PC > NPC (pet) proximity aggro rule. This is not true anymore and it applies to all servers for the proxy aggro part :

- Adjusted how NPCs choose a melee target in relation to player pets:
- - It is now possible for a pet to be the target of an NPC's melee attacks if it has the highest aggro with other players in range.
- - This behavior can be adjusted on a per NPC basis and will currently be disabled for all current and previous raid difficulty NPCs.
- - It is additionally possible for some NPCs to ignore the hatred generated by pets and instead attribute a portion of that hatred toward the owner. This behavior will be in play on raid targets on progression servers.
- Adjusted how NPCs choose a melee target when they are rooted: NPCs will now choose to hit the target that they hate the most that is within melee range. Previously NPCs would simply hit the nearest hated target.

What this means in your mage everyday life :

  • On normal mobs (which can include raid mobs but not all of them), the hate towards a pet works the same than the hate towards a player character : whoever is highest will be the target, even if a player character is within melee range of the mob. This is the fundamental change which will surprise the most a returning mage, and it applies to all servers and all expansions.
  • Whereas it could be penalizing at lower levels (you cannot step into melee range to take a few hits and save a dying pet anymore), it is globally a HUGE improvement to mage gameplay : makes things so easier when pet is tanking (like grouping with bards and rogues, not a problem anymore) ! Allows for much easier aggro snapping to protect a chanter or a cleric (see this post) ! New creative ways of shared tanking (and therefore shared incoming dps, meaning less mana for healing used), Pet Stop tanking while other players hit the mob and ping pong aggro with the pet (see this post) ! Offtanking with pet or swarm pet without yelling to your local ranger "MOVE WTF !"... et caetera...
  • However, there is a downside to it regarding raidbosses. As you can notice, the patch message also says on raidbosses a fraction of the pet aggro is transfered to the pet owner. No more is the pet aggro systematically protecting you. The more your pet has aggro, the more you will too, for a part of it. Many mages (including poor Adon) died in Velious and Luclin era on Ragefire and Lockjaw as the new system was still in a tweaking phase : a later patch reduced the aggro portion as it became obvious mages got mass murdered on raids. But still nowadays, you need to be careful on raidbosses. Do not use epic pet (Kunark to Luclin era), be sure to toggle taunt off (it didn't really matter in the old days), save your dps AAs for the second half of the fight (you do not want to add rocket nuke aggro AND portion of pet aggro early in a fight), do NOT nuke at will unlike the good ole times.
  • Specifically on MotM mobs/bosses (see this post), the new aggro rule also implies the mob CANNOT target a pet and WILL target YOU if your pet is first on hate list. MotM is lifted in LDoN ; Adon can confirm trash raid mobs behave normally (pet can have aggro), but there is not yet evidence on how non MotM bosses behave. [Need input from mages on Phinny who are in later expansions] My guess would be that bosses cannot target pets, MotM or not, but requires proof.
  • Last but not least, root aggro has been adjusted. A rooted mob now targets whats the most hated within melee range (before, it was only the closest in melee range, which messed up aggro), which allows for a more flexible use of the earth pet.
  • Ah, I forgot, I also need to be the Voice of Aelivaa (the ubah austrian Shadowknight from <Darkwind>) and the Ambassador of Tanks United : professional tanks will get pissed at you if you keep taunt on all the time. Do yourself (and the mage's class image) a favor, hotkey your /pet taunt, and know when to toggle on (Ubah Aelivaa busy, add incoming and rushing cleric or chanter), and when to toggle off (Ubah Aelivaa gliding into mage-kos-mode because he has to compete with your pet to keep aggro on a single mob). Listen to all Aelivaas in the world and people will think you are ubah at controlling your pet, and tanks will be your allies...
NOTA : Later expansions from OoW onwards will offer AAs or items (epics 1.5/2.0, Silent Casting, etc.) with additional hate reduction. We need input from progression mages in OoW+ eras to evaluate if these help with the pet aggro transfer problem
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