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Thread: Xibit and Kalenyo's Theories on Tanking, Agro and Threat generation.

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    Xibit and Kalenyo's Theories on Tanking, Agro and Threat generation.

    Hi everyone,

    If anyone decides to use this information in a video, please pass along some credit to Xibit and Kalenyo. Thanks

    I'm Xibit and I guess I've been playing for about 6 months now. My brother and his kids got me and my wife into the game. My first game addiction was Everquest. The game mechanics specifically. Here's an observation that my wife and I recently made. It helps to have someone to bounce ideas around with. I searched around and haven't seen anyone else publish these ideas as I'm about to.

    Lets start with a couple terms that some are not familiar with...

    Agro - The amount of threat a character has built up with a particular mob. Player with the most agro will effectively be tanking, whether they want to or not.

    Taunt - Ability that is used to create agro and get a mobs attention.

    Proc - When an ability activates automatically.

    DoT - Damage over time abilities.


    Like most ideas, this all started with a problem. The problem was that my wifes Draco wasn't obtaining or holding agro like it used to when she was tanking in dungeons. My candy barbarian was now able to pull the mobs away with little effort. We assumed it was a hidden change in the recent patch and she shifted her main from the Draco to another class. I felt bad for her, because she really likes playing the Draco. A couple weeks later, mid week so no patch, my candy barbarian suddenly wasn't holding agro as it was before and I no longer could tank in ST as I had before without using his swirly ability nearly all the time. It was annoying.
    We both started talking about how there must be a way to hold agro. It seems rediculous that this game only intended for there to be 1 tank (rev). What about all the people that wanted to play other classes and tank? We discussed what else could be causing agro. Damage? No, cause then the gunslingers and fae tricksters would be tanking all the time. Some variable that's coded into each character seperately? Maybe, most likely at least to some extent. I mean, the shield bash the revenant does creates a lot of taunt for example. Mobs near instantaneously will turn to the revenant after using that ability. What about hits per second (or any other amount of time). That got us thinking because the rev's sheild bash has a DoT component. Many abilities in the game with seemingly limited usefulness, suddenly given purpose. We thought that some characters hit very fast but don't necessarly get agro such as the Shadowhunter. Maybe they have a negative taunt built into their main attack.

    We needed to test our theory. First, gathering all the abilities in the game that increase the number of hits you perform on a mob per second or seconds.

    Stinging Curse - Hitting mobs can proc a DoT that causes a quick succession of hits on a mob. Useful in aquiring agro on a mob. Works on ST bosses

    Spirit Surge - Taking hits from mobs can proc a DoT that causes a quick succession of hits on a mob. Useful in keeping agro on a mob... after aquired. Works on ST bosses.

    SH/Draco subclass - Yes, this little DoT is useful in free healing for survivability when used in conjunction with the Prowling Shadow ally. When it procs, each hit of the DoT causes the Prowling Shadow to heal the player... so it heals a LOT! Works on ST bosses.


    So I loaded these items/subclass onto my candy barbarian for testing. I found that anytime I take damage, the Prowling Shadow procs from both the Stinging Curse and the Spirit Surge as well as the subclass... that's a LOT OF HEALING! and the result is that I never have a problem holding agro.

    There seems to be only 2 exceptions.

    1) Lower level players (under 30) generate more agro inherently, somehow. I guess the mobs like easy kills.

    2) A DPS is running the above gems / subclass. I was in ST and someone was pulling off me. I asked him to remove SH/Draco as subclass if he was using them. He never responded, but agro suddenly wasn't a problem. Hmm... yesss....

    I've also noticed that some abilities generate more agro than others. Particularly abilites that stun mobs. The Fae Trickster and Knight abilities for example. In the Fae Tricksters defense, it attacks slowly and thus, the agro is balanced out and it's usually a non-issue. The knight on the other hand, seem to get agro more easily than all except the revenant with that shield bash.

    I really think this was intended by the devs all along. It makes undesirable gems, desirable and gives a great utility to the SH/Draco subclass. Also, you could make most any class a tank class given that it has adequate hitpoints.

    I hope that you all find this useful. I also hope the devs don't ruin this because I really do think it will make the game more enjoyable and gives some items newfound usefullness. I spent the past couple weeks testing my theory and it's like playing Trove again for the first time. I'm loving it. Let me know if you get similar results and let me or Kalenyo know in the thread or in game if you've found this information helpful.

    Thanks,
    -Xibit

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    I don't have too much to add other than I appreciate you taking the time to figure this out + share the knowledge. Who knew the gem abilities (which apply dots) would increase aggro.

    Also, is it true that there is no armor class in trove? I guess then, yes, any class could theoretically tank.

    #EQLove

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    Senior Member Arctech's Avatar
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    I don't think it is that complicated. Enemies will attack the nearest target within range and stop attacking if you are too far away. This means you can tank anything by just standing next to it while a ranged class attacks it. A melee player can attack your target while being farther away from the target than you.

    In shadow towers, I think the first wave of enemies attacks whoever activated the cursed skulls, then the next wave will attack a random player within range. This means the tank needs to taunt the 2nd wave of enemies or everyone needs to reposition themselves so the tank is the closest one to the enemies.
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    Yeah, except I tested all of that. Ranged characters do seem to have less agro, but melee on the other hand is another story. We tested using UM SW, WP and PIN to see what characters could pull agro in what situations. The consistent thread in the testing is that characters using the gems/subclass held agro and didn't when they were not.

    Like I said, test it. Discovery isn't made on guessing alone. I'm building a 20k NN tank atm for testing and laughs.

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    Senior Member Arctech's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Xibit View Post
    Yeah, except I tested all of that. Ranged characters do seem to have less agro, but melee on the other hand is another story. We tested using UM SW, WP and PIN to see what characters could pull agro in what situations. The consistent thread in the testing is that characters using the gems/subclass held agro and didn't when they were not.

    Like I said, test it. Discovery isn't made on guessing alone. I'm building a 20k NN tank atm for testing and laughs.
    That's funny because I just tested it right now and I wasn't even attacking the target. Another player attacked the target from a distance and I never lost "agro".
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    Provide details if you want to participate.

    Your class?
    The ranged class?
    Did you have any DoT effects?
    Did they have any DoT effects?
    Which boss/fight?
    Duration you spent aquiring agro?
    Duration spent not attacking while ranged attacked?

    Did you test it with 8/8 in ST?

    These are the data points I collected before I made my hypothesis over the course of two weeks and probably around 100 scenarios.

    Just now, I tested your theory on keeping agro if you're in melee range versus others at ranged on UM DOTM. With everyone ranged and me as the only melee (CB). Holding agro at the start and for the first 15s, when I stopped attacking, it took 5s for me to lose agro and DOTM to go running away. Once re-engaged, it took approx 3s for me to regain agro.

    You say you doubt it's so complicated, but hits/sec is about the simplest system I can imagine for coding agro. Nothing complex about it.

    Thanks,
    Xibit

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    Senior Member Arctech's Avatar
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    When I say "I don't think it is that complicated", I mean it is more simple than coding additional values for calculating threat for each player and pet then performing comparisons for each of those values. Make sure none of the other people in your group are using the rev subclass and no tanking pets that can taunt. Also, keep in mind if the boss launches you up, you might end up farther away from the boss compared to someone else. I've already tested speedruns with 8 GS where 1 of them tanks by jumping over DotM and the others keep a farther distance. In all of my experience, I have never been the target of the boss when the tank was closer to the boss.

    So I did several more tests where it was just me and another person. I use my 24487 pr GS to try to pull the boss off a 10k pr NN that is just standing next to DotM and not attacking. I wasn't able to get the boss to attack me while attacking from a farther distance. I'm also using Stinging Curse.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Arctech View Post
    Make sure none of the other people in your group are using the rev subclass and no tanking pets that can taunt.
    Rev Sub class does not work in ST.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Arctech View Post
    So I did several more tests where it was just me and another person. I use my 24487 pr GS to try to pull the boss off a 10k pr NN that is just standing next to DotM and not attacking. I wasn't able to get the boss to attack me while attacking from a farther distance. I'm also using Stinging Curse.
    You didn't answer most of the questioned I asked. Also, that doesn't take into account if the group has 2 or more melee characters. Who gets agro then? You think it's random? Have you tested it?

    Also, I mentioned in my OP that it's possible that SH (and others) might have a negative taunt effect or decreased agro natively. Your test have done nothing to disprove my theory.

    Xibit

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    Senior Member Spirare's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Xibit View Post
    Rev Sub class does not work in ST.
    I am pretty sure it does, seeing as I can gain aggro much more consistently when using it (as a dracolyte) and often bosses seem to start targeting me instead of any other non-taunting melee players at random while I have it on (but conveniently keep poking the others when I don't, unless I claimed aggro at the start of the fight before they did).

    That, and I'm pretty sure the developers aren't so ignorant to the mechanics of their own game as to disable it in the one single place where it might be useful. Tell me, what reason would there be to claim aggro in other areas? Leechers that actually bother entering the boss room and attacking are incredibly rare; two properly-leveled players will kill any enemies in seconds; most people can kill the enemies in moments alone anyway. Shadow towers are the only place where aggro is even remotely relevant, and the developers almost certainly know that.

    I'm guessing you'll ask me to test that, though, which is a bit difficult seeing as practically nobody plays melee in UM shadow towers anyway unless they're a revenant/CB tank...
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