Author Topic: A Guide to Threat  (Read 2644 times)

Offline Ciderhelm

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A Guide to Threat
« on: January 22, 2008, 01:09:49 AM »
The following is a feature from TabulaSpot. The original post can be found here.


Why This Is Important

Understanding the Threat mechanics of MMOs is generally not important during the leveling process. However, as games progress, roles and needs are more clear-cut and difficult endgame content is released. Understanding Threat in these situations is important.

What Is Threat? What Is Aggro?
Threat is the amount of hatred a creature has developed towards you during combat. Threat is the determining factor in who the creature is attacking. Threat is an invisible number similar to Damage and, like Damage, can be influenced or created by non-player factors. The term Hate is synonymous with Threat, but for the purposes of clarity we will only use Threat.

Aggro is the current focus of the creature. This is initially determined by which player has the most Threat on their target.

What This Guide Is Not
This guide is not designed for every interaction involved in a pull. It does not describe how to pull enemies away from their group. It does not describe Caretaker or non-combatant interactions. While it will describe additional functions such as Engineer turret or Ally behavior in the future, the current push is determining aggro thresholds and Innate Threat values.

Tabula Rasa Threat Mechanics

Listed Damage as Threat
Listed Damage is the amount of damage listed on any given weapon. Under normal circumstances, a player will deal precisely this much damage when using this weapon.

Let's say that 1 Listed Damage is equivalent to 1 Threat. Factors that increase or decrease damage other than Resistances, Immunity, and Avoidance affect this damage.

Resistances, Immunity, Avoidance, and Weapon Damage
The reason we use Listed Damage is because actual damage dealt does not determine Threat. Partial resists and full immunity to most weapons will still deal full Threat.

This means that there are certain group situations with high-damage creatures or mechanical units where a Guardian or Commando is best served by using weapons the target is immune to in order to gain Threat.

Electromagnic Weapons are the exception to this rule. Creatures that do not have Armor are completely unaffected. You cannot gain Threat with ineffective EMP. (View Embedded Video)

This bears itself out in NPCs as well. For instance, when Hunters are killed, Howlers lose their faction and can begin attacking nearby Bane. Though Howlers are immune to sonic damage, they will often lock onto other Howlers when inadvertently hit by the sonic wave of another Howler.

Avoided damage -- that is, damage that is Deflected, Parried, or Missed -- appears to deal Threat with weapon damage but not with Logos ability damage. I was able to successfully pull an enemy when I Missed with my staff; however, when Vortex Misses a target that target does not attack you. This may also be a combat log issue, where the physical immunity of Vortex is simply displayed the same as normal Avoidance.

Innate Logos Ability Threat
Logos abilities have separate Threat values from normal damage. They do not directly convert their damage into Threat. For instance, level 27 Shrapnel deals between 900 and 1,000 Innate Threat, but can deal almost 1,600 damage.

Logos Abilities also deal their Threat if the target is immune. For instance, many creatures immune to Physical will still be affected by Shrapnel, Scourge, Rushing Blow, and Shredder Ammo. Vortex will not award Threat if the target is immune to Physical damage.

The next focus of this guide will be creating a comprehensive list of Innate Threat from Logos abilities.

Perceived Threat Bonuses
Weapon bonuses which alter Perceived Threat are reducing the amount of Threat gained from Listed Damage. This is extremely potent for weapon-heavy combat. Perceived Threat bonuses do not, however, affect Logos ability Threat.

Threat From Repairs & Threat From Healing
Threat does not appear to be produced from repairs and healing. This holds true in player-to-player interactions as well as player-to-NPC interactions. Repairing Control Point turrets and mortars also does not generate Threat. Threat is not generated even if the healer has previously attacked the creatures involved.

Reflection & Reflective Armor
Both Reflection and Reflective Armor build Threat equal to their damage returns.

Proximity Aggro
Proximity aggro -- that is, moving within a certain distance of a target and having it aggro you as a result -- has no special qualities and does not generate Threat. Under normal circumstances and without any weapons or abilities used, a single point of Threat will pull aggro.

Threat Window & Aggro

The 30-Second Threat Window
Aggro is based on developed Threat during a 30-second window of time. All Threat produced in the last 30 seconds of combat will be counted, whereas all previous Threat is erased. Threat does not accumulate over the course of the fight, and all creatures appear to have short-term memories.

What does this mean? Most importantly it means that power conservation is essential for Guardians. Extended combat while holding aggro means keeping your power in a relatively stable state.

Please bear in mind that Threat and Aggro are not interchangeable. Simply dropping Threat does not mean you will lose Aggro. (View Embedded Video)

The 200% Threshold (Pulling Aggro)
Pulling aggro, or having the target focus it's aggression on you, occurs when you have dealt greater than 200% Threat of the target the creature is currently attacking. This is not altered by level, distance, or weapon type. (View Testing Process)

Additionally, you must use your weapon or use an ability once you have crossed this threshold. This effectively acts as a reminder to the server to check your status on the Threat list.

All enemies have a set area they will not go past when chasing you. For many creatures this is a radius from their pre-set spawn location; however, there are situations -- especially inside instances -- where the distance enemies will chase you is determined by sub-zone or is infinite.

The distance at which an enemy decides to stop pursuit is based on the player's location, not the enemy. If the player crosses it's threshold it will immediately turn around and head to it's origin. All Threat is reset at this point. (View Embedded Video)

Social Threat & Control Points

Social Threat Accumulation
While 'social aggro' refers to attacking a single creature and having other creatures get involved, Tabula Rasa also has social Threat accumulation. What this means is that certain packs of enemies are programmed to fire on a single target and will not act independent of the group. Aggro in these groups is determined by the most Threat on a single target. The difference between individual and social Threat can easily be seen in Atta colonies, where some Atta will act socially to protect their own, while other Atta will act autonomously. Finally, the Threat accumulated on a single Atta did not disappear from the rest of the Atta when it was killed. (View Embedded Video)

Control Points
Control Points and large bases have a specific set of rules regarding aggro. Enemy groups and mortars are tied to force fields and control point beacons and will immediately prioritize if either of these are tapped. Not all groups or mortars will be tied to all points. In situations where a group is assigned both to a force field and the main beacon, the group will prioritize their action to stop a player who has tapped the beacon. (View Embedded Video)

What's Next?

Determinations & Testing

The next major goals are determining exact Threat values and exactly what factors are involved in pulling aggro. Specifically, we must determine the aggro thresholds before we can determine the Threat values on Logos abilities.

To do this, volunteers from Pegasus server are welcome, preferably high level. Please contact me (Atrian) in-game or via Private Message here.

Think Something Is Wrong?
Post it. There's always the possibility of something we've overlooked or misinterpreted. However, please back it up with a detailed reason and a detailed way of verifying it.