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Thread: Threat/agro establishment and Tanking

  1. #1
    Soulwalker
    Join Date
    May 2011
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    Default Threat/agro establishment and Tanking

    1.)Just wondering if threat adds up in this game? In the last game I played people often used the term "establish agro" as in: That DPSer deserved to die because he did not wait for the tank to establish enough agro". People with epic weps knew to wiat a couple seconds to start nuking.

    I ask because in that game I was a DPS character and if I pulled agro from the tank it was my fault for not managing my agro properly, not the tanks. This is my first experience playing as a tank and I'm looking for a better understanding of how it works (ie. I don't want to sound like a jerk for chastising someone if it was actually my fault).

    2.) I would like tips on establishing agro properly as a riftstalker (rouge tank).
    -On trash pulls do I need to be cycling through mobs, hitting each one with my agro combo builder or is Rift Disturbance enough?
    -Once or twice it seems someone peeled a mob from me after using rift disturbance. My fault or his for not focusing on my target?
    -Should I be spamming Rift Disturbanace on cool down or is once at the begining enough?

    I'm only 21 so have just started tanking. Just looking to be the best tank I can be.

  2. #2
    Ascendant
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    Rift follows a pretty standard threat model. "Establishing Threat", or Aggro, or Hate, just means putting enough threat into mobs that people can attack without pulling them.

    Think of it as an invisible number that goes up every time you hit a mob. It also goes up in other circumstances, but for purposes of explanation, this'll do for the moment. Mobs remember who has what threat on them, and (usually) attack whoever has the highest threat.

    If you open up on a mob with an attack that causes "50 threat", and someone else then hits it with an attack that causes "100 threat", then the mob will attack them instead of you. If they then stop hitting it (no more threat), and you hit the mob with an attack that causes "60 threat", you are now at "110 threat" and the mob runs back over to attack you instead.

    So threat management is twofold. It is the tank's job to output as much threat as they can on all mobs in the pull (or the primary target if you're single-targeting). It is simultaneously the DPS' job to manage their threat and not pull off of the tank. Keep in mind that a DPS is fully in control of how much threat they produce -- if necessary, they can stop attacking and produce ZERO threat for a period of time. Not saying that you should rely on this, because you want things to die quickly. But if a DPS pulls aggro, it is now your job to get the aggro back, and their job to help you do that by reducing their threat however possible.

    As for Riftstalker: You should use Rift Disturbance on cooldown when tanking more than one mob, and once every 14 seconds when tanking a single mob (to maintain the Rift Disturbance debuff). Generally speaking, you should do fine opening with Shadow Blitz->Rift Disturbance, and then cycling mobs; build combo points and do a finisher on one mob, then target another one, build and finish, target another one, etc.

  3. #3
    Shadowlander
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
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    I agree with the above sentiments, however I would also like to chime in. I am in a small guild, with 4-10 people on a night. Ive been running warrior since beta, and unless I'm doing PvP (which is infrequent) I run tank for my guild.

    Now that were running T2s nightly, there are times when we must PUG a 5th man for a run or two. I look at threat management as a two way street. It's my job to build as much threat as possible, and to this end I've respecced many times, tried various soul combinations, and purchased extra roles so that I can have multiple specs for specific situations (admittedly, that was more for when we were learning the experts, now I am able to tank with one spec). I also spend time almost every day skimming the forums, trying to stay on top of current issues and bugs in the dungeons, as well as keeping up with the current trends in the warrior class.

    In return, my guild mates do the same for me; each taking the time to learn and improve on their respective roles (DPS, Support, and Heal). Each tries to minimize their own threat generation, DPS gives me a three count to stack some threat on fresh pulls, healers dump aggro when they can, our Mage Feigns if he pours it on too hard, etc., etc.

    However, I do run into issues when we have to PUG a 5th. Most folks have a vested interest in a good run and most folks try to learn their class. Still, there are circumstances where DPS pours it on too hard, too soon in a fight.

    I feel it my job to try to educate folks on the needs of the tank. So, when that happens, I burn a cooldown and pull the mob back onto me. After the fight I ask DPS to give me a 3 count before laying on the hate.

    If it happens again, I burn a cooldown and pull the mob back onto me. After the fight, I explain how my build in particular works, how my dots or aoes need a couple of cycles to really cement the threat onto my tank, and how after that its quite difficult to pull any mobs off me; which gives DPS carte blanche to lay out the damage. I again ask for DPS to give me a 3 count before laying on the hate.

    After the second circumstance, I send my healer a tell and inform them not to heal the DPS if they pull aggro.

    And if it happens a third time... I let them eat it.
    Last edited by Faide; 05-23-2011 at 09:42 AM.

  4. #4
    Soulwalker
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    The more threads I read about this in various games, the more I begin to think that I'm the oddball.

    I play a tank. My focus is survivability and aggro. If I can't hold aggro it's my own fault, not the dpsers.

    I do feel like there are some stipulations, but very very few. For example, if someone is nuking before the mob is set, I have no pity for them. If someone pulls a random mob or encounter that we're not currently engaged in, I have no pity for them. If someone is hitting the mob that I'm not on in a pack of 4, I have no pity for them. But that's about it...

    If a mob is set, my dps should know they can go 100% immediately unless I specifically ask them otherwise due to a particular combat situation. This game has so many tools for aggro management and forced targeting it's insane. If a tank loses a set mob, it's their fault. Anyone that says otherwise should consider respeccing and/or specifically mentioning to the group before a dungeon that they have threat issues with dpsers that hit x dps. Otherwise, I just don't feel like you're doing your job as a tank.

  5. #5
    Plane Walker
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    Quote Originally Posted by ChuMann View Post
    If a mob is set, my dps should know they can go 100% immediately unless I specifically ask them otherwise due to a particular combat situation. This game has so many tools for aggro management and forced targeting it's insane. If a tank loses a set mob, it's their fault. Anyone that says otherwise should consider respeccing and/or specifically mentioning to the group before a dungeon that they have threat issues with dpsers that hit x dps. Otherwise, I just don't feel like you're doing your job as a tank.
    I think thats what most of us are saying about this. If I have the mob and i've gotten my first round of taunts on it go nuts as long as your on my mob. If they still cant keep aggro then its a tank problem or a broken ability.

  6. #6
    Shadowlander
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    I agree, if I cant hold aggro after I have "set" a mob, I will examine my spec to see if I have made an error. My comments are specifically focused at folks that come on too hard, too quickly in a pull.

  7. #7
    Rift Disciple
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    as a rogue tank, your single target threat is MORE than enough to keep one mob on you as long as the single target dps hit same mob as you. problems can arise in a group with heavy AOE dps'ers (Stormcallers the first to come to mind here, but SC's on other hand at least have a ver usefull tool for helping you should it happen, that is electrocute that knock the target back (that would be back to you if used properly)), in which case it is a good idea to ask the AoE'es to sometime give you a few seconds to establish aggro and cycle your targets (keep in mind if you ahve a mix of aoe and single target dps cyclyng your target means less threat on the individual target which could if you not careful lead to single target dps taking aggro off you.

    as for who to blame generally speaking if tank looses aggro in start of fight it is usually the DPS's fault, where if you loose tank well into a fight it is usually the tank to blame (an exception being a Single target dps hitting different mob than tank)
    Quote Originally Posted by Iansanity View Post
    It was even funnier in certain other games; where a leather clad cow (heh heh) then shapeshifts into a completely unarmoured bear-tank... but no one really minded that... because it's maaaagic (whereas a mage isn't?!).

  8. #8
    Champion
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    After the buff to RS tanking I've found keeping AoE agro easy as hell now.

  9. #9
    Shadowlander Vudujoose's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheWeirdOne View Post
    After the buff to RS tanking I've found keeping AoE agro easy as hell now.
    ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

    Rift disturbance on CD in AoE situations and watch the storm callers try to pull off you....
    50 Mathosian Rogue - Atrophinius

  10. #10
    Telaran
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    Before the patch Rogues did have some issues with AOE threat because they are required to focus a mob for several GCDs. Rift Disturbance on cooldown usually corrects this issue.

    Even on single target, Rift Disturbance does more threat that anything else you can use.

    Additionally Tanks work differently. Once a Cleric has everything in position, usually DPS can start goin crazy because we have no buildup time. Rogue and warriors on the other hand have to get their buffs rolling which may not be the highest threat they can do, therefore DPS may have to wait a few sec.

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