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Dev Discussion #47 - Tanking: Threat Mitigation

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  • For people who prefer to play the tanking role, do you enjoy holding threat as a prevalent part of combat?

    In tanking, it's of course annoying when one loses aggro - but it does feel as though that SHOULD be part of the challenge, of tanking. The downside comes when a boss/mob has it built into their fight-mechanics to dump all the aggro and go afresh; This requires a tank to focus more upon pre-knowing a fight's "scheduled" mechanics, versus being able to focus upon being in-the-moment - as it should be.


    Would you prefer threat mechanics to be a part of combat initiation, or throughout the entire duration of combat?

    Certainly throughout. A tank should be able to start a battle and weather whatever storm a boss/mob-fight unleashes in the start of combat - but not be guaranteed a "FIRST COME, FIRST SERVE" benefit; Keeping aggro of a boss/mob, being able to offer some damage mitigation to specific party-members throughout the fight, and managing their own tank-resources (cooldowns, aggro calls, temporary party-member shielding/damage mitigation, etc) are all hallmarks of the tank-role.

    If we're to enjoy the trinity of combat roles, the tank's role should be VERY narrowly-defined, as such; Keeping aggro should certainly be part of a tank's struggle.



  • Id like to see tanks get abilities that generate threat, in PvP these moves would lock target to the tank for X amount of time depending on skill level of tank and other factors.

    Along with that tanks should get a self buff that boosts a modifier on all threat generation they put out, in the form of proximity or attacks.
  • Ace1234Ace1234 Member
    edited January 24
    Implications of "threat" systems

    Gameplay wise, threat management at its core shifts the type of coordination neccessary at a team level. Instead of having to strategically assess who the enemy is prioritizing, and coordinating your group's positioning to counter that- it instead eliminates the need to do that at a group level in favor of a resource management style of group coordination.


    Based on this, rather than choosing either or, I think that it would be best to implement the best aspects of both, for dynamic situational tanking tools that can add depth and variety to tanking strategies.


    I think it is extemely important to keep the organic nature of the combat where choices are being made and countered between combatants. If you take that choice away, through something like "threat", of which affects something so basic, such as who is being targeted, this will have a ripple effect on every aspects of combat- by reducing depth and making every aspect of combat less interesting than it could be.


    Traditional "threat" essentially becomes a super powerful form of cc due to limiting the combatant who it is applied too (by affecting who they can viably target, thus where they can viably position themsleves, etc.) - so if you want to maximize player agency and allow for more interesting and dynamic interactions where more choices are being made and countered, then I would limit implementations of a hard limiter on targeting through a "threat" system.


    Potential solution

    Instead, I would add "threat" as a tool that can "incentivize" rather than force actions. This way all combatants have full control on who they can target, but there could still be a way to strategize around and manipulate those decisions being made. This could also allow for that resource management style of play that could be unique to the tank, and if this is used as a situational tool, it could also be used to supplement other more organic ways of prioritizing targets, such as positioning and coordination/tactics of the group. So if anything, I would have "threat" take a backseat to more organic ways of prioritizing targets, but still allow for that organic gameplay to be supplemented by a resource management that can incentivize changes to target priority. I think layering the gameplay in this way would be way better than stripping away that organic method of prioritizing threats in favor of a hard cc style of managing threats, through traditional "threat management". I think this is the best way in which a system like this could actually add to the gameplay rather than detract from it.


    Pvp vs pve

    It is essential that tank gameplay is consistent, interesting, and viable between pve and pvp.

    The other benefit of the presented solution is that it translates between pve and pvp- because real players understand incentive for taking certain actions. They would have the freedom to make the choice on who they target, but have to account for any incentives/manage "threat" to prioritize specific targets, while still having to position themselves and coordinate with each other correctly.


    Just like a real player- If "threat" is more of an incentive based approach, the AI shouldn't automatically prioritize specific targets as soon as "threat" is introduced, like they would traditionally- It is supposed to be an incentive rather than a "hard cc" type of management, so it is pointless to make it an incentive if the AI becomes very easily manipulated and predictable as soon as "threat" is used. They have to be intelligent enough to make complex decisions and weigh multiple factors/pros and cons to determine which target to prioritize situationally. This would be harder to pull off from the developer perspective, but it would align with what Ashes is going for, through having more interesting and tough enemy AI, dynamic combat, and player agency.


    Other "target priority" related mechanics

    If we follow this thought process of empowering combatants to affect positioning, coordinate with each other, and incentivize decision making for target priority- instead of trying to force combatants to act a specific way- this could lead to some other interesting avenues of empowering players to manage threats and counter the enemy.


    Things such as
    1. teleport abilities where the tank can teleport to a squishy teammate he is trying to save,
    2. Position swapping abilities
    3. decoys to distract/confuse enemies.
    4. etc.

    Anything that enhances/emphasizes the group's ability to use skillfull positioning or manipulate themselves in relation to who the enemy is trying to prioritize, could make for some really interesting tank gameplay, especially whem combined with resource based incentives that can be managed, which could make for some very interesting gameplay.
  • ZiefZief Member
    So I have been Playing MMO's for the last 18 years or so and It is very played out where Tanks are DPS in heavy armor and threat doesn't really exist and you have aoe taunts and ST taunts. Personally, I am a big advocator of every role that should shine on its own, and tanking is no different. I would love to see a Dynamic tank rotation that focuses on threat and less on dmg. There are many ways this can be done. For instance, you could have a system where if the tank does a rotation correctly then the threat is maintained and maybe it gives the party some sort of weak point bonus. I also think that interrupting casts should be a portion of threat generation as well as interrupting would make the Mob angrier at the person stopping the cast. I am not saying tanks should not do dmg but it should not be anywhere near the dmg a dps can do. There could also be a system or move there the tank has to press a button at the right time to generate a threat. I also think that maybe there should be a system that makes threat harder and harder to hold so that makes the tank have to figure out what to do the generate more threat as fights go on.

    Thank you!
  • Id like to see tanks get abilities that generate threat, in PvP these moves would lock target to the tank for X amount of time depending on skill level of tank and other factors.

    Along with that tanks should get a self buff that boosts a modifier on all threat generation they put out, in the form of proximity or attacks.

    This!
  • JustVineJustVine Member, Alpha One, Adventurer
    edited January 5
    For people who prefer to play the tanking role, do you enjoy holding threat as a prevalent part of combat?

    In tanking, it's of course annoying when one loses aggro - but it does feel as though that SHOULD be part of the challenge, of tanking. The downside comes when a boss/mob has it built into their fight-mechanics to dump all the aggro and go afresh; This requires a tank to focus more upon pre-knowing a fight's "scheduled" mechanics, versus being able to focus upon being in-the-moment - as it should be.


    Would you prefer threat mechanics to be a part of combat initiation, or throughout the entire duration of combat?

    Certainly throughout. A tank should be able to start a battle and weather whatever storm a boss/mob-fight unleashes in the start of combat - but not be guaranteed a "FIRST COME, FIRST SERVE" benefit; Keeping aggro of a boss/mob, being able to offer some damage mitigation to specific party-members throughout the fight, and managing their own tank-resources (cooldowns, aggro calls, temporary party-member shielding/damage mitigation, etc) are all hallmarks of the tank-role.

    If we're to enjoy the trinity of combat roles, the tank's role should be VERY narrowly-defined, as such; Keeping aggro should certainly be part of a tank's struggle.




    I'll note that hate shedding mechanics like you describe are why in some games traditional tanks aren't always the best and we have specialist or off tanks for those. So I personally like those occasionally in a boss. I don't want it on every boss, but it creates an extra challenge. Especially in FFXI when the ability can be tied to tp rather than just a timer. Sure you can time a hate pulling move for such moments but there are other ways to deal with it like the summoner tank using some burst damage via their summon to retake the enemies focus and the team quiet down a bit to rebalance the over all hate flow.
    Just dAndy.
  • StreviStrevi Member
    I hope the stream which shows the tank class, will show also some PvP battles.
    September 12. 2022: Being naked can also be used to bring a skilled artisan to different freeholds... Don't summon family!
  • Before answering the questions, lets go over some of the philosophies relevant for tanking/threat mitigation:

    A tank should be able to keep the threat at all times.
    A tank shouldn't be played perfectly to keep threat (aka everyone makes mistakes). However,
    A tank shouldn't be played badly (aka spamming skills) and get rewarded for it (like any other class).
    A tank "trades" his offensive capability for defensive capability and their skills should reflect this (more/stronger cc, better defense, less damage)
    Blocking should generate more threat (it should frustrate your enemy)
    Damage should accumulate threat but shouldn't allow a tank to fully lose control over the situation (unless you play poorly)

    With all that said, lets go over the questions:
    Q: For people who prefer to play the tanking role, do you enjoy holding threat as a prevalent part of combat?
    A: As a tank player, I indeed enjoy holding/managing threat. It's the main reason you play a tank. You're a supportive class that prevents your teammates from getting killed/focused by drawing the attention towards yourself. This however doesn't mean you're immortal or can do this at all times. This mechanic should also be applied to pvp.
    An example of this could be by adding enough threat (frustration) to an target, that causes his screen to become black/red with only you (the cause of the threat) visable for 2-5 seconds (requires testing/balancing). This is called "blinded rage" or "tunnel vision" which are normal things that also happen in real life, adding more immersion to the game.
    Another example would be the equivalent (fitting more to this games design) of the "charm" ability from League of Legends champion Ahri. I would love to see something like this for the Siren (Bard+Tank) which only last for 0.5-2 second (requires testing/balancing).

    Q: Would you prefer threat mechanics to be a part of combat initiation, or throughout the entire duration of combat?
    A: This can be both depending on personal playstyle. The more offensive capability you sacrifice for defensive capabilties, the more it swings towards a hard yes. This is also true for pvp which most games don't implement because they're too scared for overbalance. For that reason, this does require a good amount of testing as this could swing out of control (tanks becoming too OP instead of underpowered). In the end, controlling the fight and putting yourself as the center of attention is what tanking is all about. This doesn't mean you're immportal and just like with any class, personal skill level adds to the succes of your team.
    People only believe in the beautiful view behind the tunnel, if they walk into the light at the end of the tunnel to see it for themselves.
  • Azherae wrote: »
    I view threat management as a group coordination thing, therefore, and it requires at least some effort from everyone.

    this

    For me the importan thing is, that there is some complexity to a tank. Not in the sort of 'improve your rotation to the max' but rather in a way that there are strategic decissions you can make not only before combat but also IN combat. Multiple ways you can go where there is not always the 'right' and the 'wrong' way and that may require indepth knowledge about the environment (is there enought space/corners for kiting?), your target (does it have range attacks? how fast can it run? can it be immobilized?), your groupmembers (how much threat do they usually generate? do they have skills to reset/decrease threat? how fast can they run, when boss chases them?)
    Examples:
    • Choosing (based on cooldown, limited resource or whatever works) between active skills that improve your mitigation/avoidance and active skills that improve your threat generation
    • Choosing between standing in place and taking the damage and kiting the enemy around (which would maybe lower your groups potential to deal damage because you move him out of area effects or smth like that)

  • For people who prefer to play the tanking role, do you enjoy holding threat as a prevalent part of combat?
    Enjoy it yes, when you have the abilities to do it and requires a bit of skill.

    Threat mechanics both at the start and during the fight- an ability to generate a large amount at the beginning and then interesting mechanics to keep a hold of it. Since we are not getting DPS meters some warnings when loosing would be a must.
  • I think it is necessary to divide aggro skills into "with aggro effect" and direct skill by targeting, which would work in both pvp and pve.
    In pve, make gameplay about 50/50 between extending aggro and taking damage/dealing damage.
    In pvp, skills with the effect of aggro do not hang the aggro on the target, but the direct skill works like a charm, forcing the enemy to run towards the tank (if it is melee) or attack from a range (yeah - like in Lineage 2)). A little bit of magic with the balance - the debuff time on the target and the cooldown of the skill itself and we have a tank that will be interesting to play
  • Baldi_BoandlBaldi_Boandl Member
    edited January 5
    Maybe a situation to consider:
    A tank plays pve and gets involved in pvp with a dd who also has some mobs on his tale.
    In this situation, as a tank, i want to lose my threat and not wanna take on more mobs. Especally not the enemy ones.

    My opinion:
    I do agree with Mr. Lashing in his thoughts of the tank abilities. In my mind a tank`s job is to build walls; use illusions; cc's and the use of group pulls to shield his group from enemies. No threat required.
    Therefore a tank is very strong in pvp as well. Also, one tank might not do the job in pve alone.
    I do prefer action combat over click target on melee classes which might not going to work so well with single target threat skills in a hugh crowd.

    However, since I do not have the big picture, this is maybe something to think about.

    I'm looking forward to read much more opinions/ thoughts
  • Threat also means other classes will need to deal with threat. So maybe large shield bearers gain 25% more threat. You also might handle this with armor as well. FULL plate armor gives you 100% threat as a set bonus. While maybe FULL cloth armor gives you negative 50% threat as a set bonus.
  • I find active threat management throughout the combat more enjoyable than just one big burst in the beginning (and then forgetting about it for the rest of the combat). It would be cool however to see threat as more of a group mechanics rather than something that solely lies on tank's shoulders. Characters with tank skill augments (or even without) should have a way to influence aggro in one way or another, feeding into party dynamics.
  • psym3xpsym3x Member
    What about trying reactive prompts? Let's say you have aggro on the boss but it is about to attack another party member. Right before it lost aggro on you a " ! " appeared above it head for a split second. If you timed your shield bash just right you get a ton of aggro without using taunt. If you mistimed the shield bash then you have to use your taunt and you still have to work harder to gain the aggro you lost. What this would do is make the tank have to pay attention to the boss for those prompts and also gives them a reason to understand their party's skills to an extent. "Oh! Here comes the mages meteor. Let me hit my shield bash...now!" This is my idea of making tanking not to difficult but also rewarding when executed properly.
  • I prefer using threat generating abilities throughout the fight. It makes tanks much easier to balance, and also prevents them from being DPS with better armor. A tank should be a protective/defensive role.
  • EmberstoneEmberstone Member, Alpha One, Adventurer
    edited January 5
    Q) Do you enjoy holding threat as a prevalent part of combat? Would you prefer threat mechanics to be a part of combat initiation, or throughout the entire duration of combat?
    A) A mix would be nice imo:
    - I'd like a small bonus to threat when landing the first hit for pulling a mob so you don't have to blow a lot of cooldowns for trash mobs or adds. It also means that you have to step up if your mage is pulling a mob he thought he could kill but is doing a little bit more damage to him than he'd like. Having to deal with the mechanic will provide some variety through having to make a choice.

    - Aside from that, i'd love for the threat to be generated throughout the fight. But i feel like the threat generation can be more pro-active.

    What if you had a "recoil system" where you could have like a tank aura that reduces and absorbes X amount of dmg for anyone inside and apply it as dmg to yourself.
    Or a formation skill that blocks dmg for anyone within the formation.
    A single target protective spell on an ally that reduces dmg for them and u take it instead.
    Just actively blocking hits with your shield.

    All this absorbed dmg will fill up a "recoil dmg pool" and can be released by the tank to dmg the boss and in turn generate threat with the amount of dmg dealt. Ofcourse you'd still have a nice handful of taunt skills to get you started. But it would also make it a viable system for PvP to deal dmg as a tank since threat skills are useless there. Reward the tank for absorbing dmg left right and center. Total amount of dmg that can be done should be capped to prevent weird burst builds.

    And it doesn't even have to replace the core system, it could be an additive system as a reward for tanking better.
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  • NerrorNerror Member, Alpha One, Adventurer
    I prefer having to generate threat throughout combat, with various ways to pull threat away from my group members. For XP grinding for example, having a ranged DPS be the designated puller, running all the mobs to the tank so they can grab them, is a great system IMO.

    I really don't think Intrepid have to reinvent the tanking wheel for PvE here. Copying good systems from other games is more than fine. The real trick is to find the right balance for PvP, without them being gimps or OP. I think that's where most of the effort needs to be put.
  • ShoddySlayerShoddySlayer Member
    edited January 5
    Everything in this post are personal opinions or suggestions.

    I think holding threat is essential to the role, but not necessarily where all the enjoyment comes into play. Generating threat is important but I'd hate to see it become this thing we have to constantly spam and get locked into and don't get to enjoy other things as part of the tanking experience.

    Personally, I prefer having an AOE taunt to grab threat for minor ads. I don't think it's beneficial to anyone's experience to try and quickly cycle through all the ads one by one and quickly hit each one with a single target taunt. However, it could be interesting to experiment to try with the AOE taunt not working on enemies you already control (no refresh while active). For major and boss ads, I don't mind having to use a single target taunt because these classes of enemies should require special attention. This roughly captures my opinion the start of combat, specialized taunts depending on the enemy class. I think depending on the situation (what type of enemies the tank is dealing with), the tank should be able to act differently and have different experiences. Let's be honest, in an open world it's unlikely a tank won't be able to easily take on trash packs because there needs to be some level of balance for other classes to stay alive in most places. A party without a tank might struggle but will probably still be able to make progress across the world. It would only be in high level content where a tank really needs to focus on defense for dealing with trash packs. To that end for most of the cases, a tank should be able to grab aggro and then do other things that are exciting and also still fit the tank play style. One example of this might be to look for an enemy that has a momentary weakness that only a tank can identify. The tank can exploit that weakness with a shield bash and allow party members to deal extra damage temporarily and stagger. I'm giving this example, but it still needs to feel fun and matter/make a real difference to the group whether or not I do this.

    In terms of maintaining aggro, for trash it could be interesting to have some element of randomness plus or minus 2 seconds (this may need to be tuned). Or maybe a 2% chance for a minor enemy to break aggro randomly. But the more formulaic things are, the less interesting sometimes. So then how should I react when each of the ads I am holding are losing focus one by one and it might not be the right choice to use my AOE taunt while still holding a couple of them. Tanking is like a conversation and to keep it fresh and compelling, it can't just be the same thing on repeat for a fight's duration.

    Appendix:
    Thought it would be worth mentioning that in dealing with major ads or endgame content I believe a tank should be busy focusing a lot more on defense rather than ways to exploit for bonus damage or whatever. Also that I believe that aggro should wear out after a period of time and need to be reacquired during combat in case that wasn't clear.
    Best regards,
    ShoddySlayer
  • I don't think that a full dps class should be able to blast at full throttle without risk of pulling aggro. I do believe that threat management, both as a tank and other class, are interesting and fun mechanics.

    A good tank should be able to hold aggro and let the dps blast, whereas a bad tank would not be as effective at holding threat. There should be ways for tanks to generate snap threat, and some ways for certain DPS class to have a threat drop/mitigation which can be used to increase the maximum uptime of their damage.

    A tanks job should first and foremost be "don't let the party die" and a secondary job is "pull more threat so we can blast." If you can do A, great. If you can do B while also doing A, even better.
  • kryzqlkryzql Member
    Since you showed us the grab spell that augments your aggro rating, it would be nice to have an aoe upgrade to it, so that tanks can make packs easily
    from Paris with love
  • myrcmyrc Member, Intrepid Pack

    "For people who prefer to play the tanking role, do you enjoy holding threat as a prevalent part of combat? Would you prefer threat mechanics to be a part of combat initiation, or throughout the entire duration of combat?"


    The short answer is: Tank threat generation should be extremely simple, unbeatable, and a part of their ordinary playstyle. Threat management and mitigation mid-battle is tedious and detracts from potentially fun boss mechanics. I also worry that, from a casual perspective, it's an added layer of tasks and complexity for Tanks who already have the most to do.

    To me it comes down to "Find the fun part, and let people do it as much as possible, with as much Quality-of-Life as possible"

    That's my tl;dr, at the top here. I will elaborate below for people to see my thought process if they care to. Feel free to skip if you don't.

    For Tanks Mental Health
    As a tank-secondary (Healer primary), I've always found threat management to be the most tedious part of tanking. It's, at the most harmless, mundane gameplay that feels unnecessary. At it's worst, it's the source of aggression that is frequently levied against tanks. Healers and DPS are quick to find reasons to be frustrated with tanks. "You're taking too much damage", "you're not dealing enough damage", "what are you doing? Tank it over there!", "Pull faster!", "Pull slower!". The last thing you want to do is add another layer of complexity to that "Bad tank can't even keep aggro!" The toxicity of the MMO community often blasts tanks the hardest, and this is an easy way to keep that at bay.

    Balancing the complexity of gameplay across the Holy Trinity
    In PvE combat, all roles and classes need to respond to the same environmental mechanics. Simply put: "don't stand in the fire!". Tanks, Healers and DPS - everyone does it. The question is: In addition to that as a mechanic of the gameplay, what are the classes doing when they aren't doing that?
    DPS:
    From a casual perspective: DPS just need to DPS. Usually just one target, sometimes several.
    From a Hardcore perspective: They add on management of DPS cooldowns and potential utility.
    Healers:
    From the casual perspective: Healers need to heal. Usually multiple targets, sometimes just one (or none). They also need to manage emergency cooldowns in anticipation or reaction to unavoidable damage mechanics or other players failing avoidable damage mechanics.
    From a hardcore perspective: They need to do above, and also potentially damage during downtime and potentially manage utility.
    Tanks???
    Even at a casual level they need to:
    Utilize the DPS toolkit to do damage. Utilize their survivability cooldown either in anticipation of, or reaction to, incoming damage. They need to make sure the enemies/bosses are in the correct location. They need to Focus on whether there are adds.
    That's baseline. They need to do those things even at a casual level because if they don't, encounters fail. Adding in Hardcore hardly changes the expectation of their role.

    From my perspective, looking at that list, the tanks already have the most to do. Adding "don't forget your threat might drop to a better geared DPS at any moment or a Healer who has no choice but to heal targets taking damage" is just another (unfun) layer of tasks of which the tanks are already commanding too many. Just one more thing the tank MUST get right, otherwise the encounter fails.

    Let people do the fun part / Quality of Life
    The fun part of healing is healing. Keeping people alive. Don't make healers NOT heal just because they might pull threat.

    The fun part of DPS is damage. Big numbers. Don't make DPS NOT deal damage just because they might pull threat.

    When mechanics of the game make people worry about doing their favorite part ("stop DPS! You're pulling threat!") it means forcing people out of what they enjoy.

    When should threat matter?
    You can still design the Tank role in a way that includes the importance of managing threat, without making it a constant juggling chore. Here's some examples:
    1) Telegraphed attacks that the tank can redirect.
    ex. This giant lizard swordsman has a telegraphed leap ability where it will smash into the ground at a random location, potentially hitting healers and DPS. The tank can taunt the Lizard Swordsman and redirect the leap so it is coming towards her or him instead. The attack is not associated with a threat table, but rather an attention mechanic that Taunting can redirect.
    2) Scripted Attention-changing/focus scenarios
    ex. The boss might have a sound bite about "hating fire!" and if a DPS hits the boss with a fire attack, he enrages and targets them. The DPS could halt use of fire attacks, sure. But a Tank would have the opportunity for optimal play by allowing the DPS to continue to use fire if they taunt the boss back.
    3) Adds
    This probably should have been the first example, but if adds are coming, tanks picking those up mid-combat is a form of threat mitigation and control mid-combat. Grabbing them shouldn't require more than normal rotation, but it's still fun to make tanks focus on it.


    Those are my thoughts. Don't add more on the tanks plate. They already do the most. The MMO community is very toxic against tanks, and the majority of the population is DPS players who typically have the most straightforward role. If the Tank archetype is too complex, has too many things to manage or do, and is at risk of negative-feedback the moment they mess up any of those tasks, it will seriously harm interest in the tank community.

    Make aggro easy. Make survival and encounter control fun and interactive. Make the tank feel powerful. If you accomplish those things, the role will be fun and desirable.
  • TotiToti Member
    If threat needs to be managed throughout the entire duration of combat there has to be an indication of how high your threat is or an indication if the tank i about to lose aggro do you can react. Wiping to a mechanic that gives the player no feedback is not fun.
  • SolvrynSolvryn Member, Alpha One, Adventurer
    For people who prefer to play the tanking role, do you enjoy holding threat as a prevalent part of combat?
    Controlling the encounter is a prevalent part of combat for a tank


    Would you prefer threat mechanics to be a part of combat initiation, or throughout the entire duration of combat?


    I think if a tank can just turn the mobs back to the dps and burn it that would make for an awfully boring encounter. Likewise, I think that constantly achieving threat and communicating with your group should also be apart of the encounter.

  • What do you think about limiting the time, a tank can generate high amounts of Threat to a mob? Some kind of Threat-DiminishingReturn or a limited Resource (like mana usually is).

    This could add a dynamic aspect, where you usually cannot just let your tank go full Patchwork. You would have to have a tank rotation or time frames where someone has to kite or smth like that.
  • MissionCreepMissionCreep Member, Braver of Worlds, Kickstarter, Alpha One
    edited January 5
    Tanks aside, one thing I don't like about threat is "meta" threat.

    How does some wolf (or troll or whoever) know that someone is being healed and who or which Cleric is responsible for it?
    Same applies to buffs and whatever.

    Now if you're actively debuffing mobs, then of course, they'd sense that because it's being done TO THEM and whether or not it's obvious ("Where did this poison gas cloud come from?" versus shooting ice out of your hands) I don't mind that the mobs know where that threat is coming from.

    To me it just makes no sense (in general) that they can detect what we are doing to each other within the party and then assign threat based on that.

    Of course, this game is incorporating a lot of visual and physical elements to all aspects of gameplay, so sure, it might be obvious who is healing whom.

    Still very odd for a wolf to care about that, though...

    Edit: If some of these systems are in place to make sure that you can't Powerlevel a character or something like that (buffing/healing at no risk to the PC) I'm sure another method could be used.
    And I get that if you want XP you better have risk (ie Threat).
  • DezmerizingDezmerizing Member
    edited February 1
    From a DPS main perspective: please give us tools to actively help the tank do their job.

    For the initial phase: to just hear "do not press buttons for the first 10 seconds of combat while tank is generation threat" is INCREDIBLY stale and boring. Having abilities that allow us to either transfer or faint our own threat generation helps tanks do their job while not forcing DPSers to just stand idle at the start of every single encounter.

    While in combat: being able to help the tank stay alive with CC, buffs (for the tank) and/or debuffs (for the mobs) is also fun and engaging. Preferably not the "click and forget" kinda deal too, but rather have more impactful abilities that lasts for a short duration.

    (EDIT: 1st Feb, copy/pasted from my comment made in a similar topic - it is going to be a bit repetitive, so sorry in advance for that.)

    My addition to the pile (sorry if this was mentioned, I read most comments before replying but not all c: ):

    Managing threat can be fun IF it does not all come down to the tank's skill level.

    AoC wants to encourage people to play together. And difficulty is often not an issue when you play with people you know. But imagine puging group content as a healer or DPS if the tank skill floor is high. It will be extremely boring (even more so than usual) for above average DPSers and healers to play with below average tanks since they... well, quite literally can't play at their fullest potential due to the tank not being able to handle it. Thus it will just make the bed for even more segregation between player base and discourage good DPSers primarily from helping out pug groups every now and then.

    How can one solve this then? My suggestion would be to give all base classes some form of way to deal with threat. A rogue or ranger would perhaps faint their presence with some kind of "hide" action (in TT terms) or "faint" (in common MMORPG terms). A cleric or bard would perhaps put something on the tank to make them "extra shiny" (and thus more threatening) to distract foes and increase the tanks threat gained. A mage would use something similar to "fade" (MMORPG term) or mirror image (TT term) to decrease their threat generation. These are just general suggestions, but you get where I am going. Have the abilities have short durations and slightly longer cooldowns to increase the skill requirement while avoiding the mentality to "spam this on CD".
  • VoeltzVoeltz Member
    edited January 12
    Vaknar wrote: »


    Dev Discussion - Tanking: Threat Mitigation
    For people who prefer to play the tanking role, do you enjoy holding threat as a prevalent part of combat? Would you prefer threat mechanics to be a part of combat initiation, or throughout the entire duration of combat?

    Yes, it is the main purpose of the role and if someone doesn't enjoy it they're playing the wrong class. Threat mechanics should certainly play a role throughout the entire fight.

    Many MMOs past and current have gotten it wrong because they make things too easy. Use your taunts, mash your buttons and that's it, tank and spank. The boss/mobs stick to you like bugs on a bright light. It makes for very boring and uninteresting gameplay. The AI needs to be smarter than that. Threat management needs to be far more engaging and here are my suggestions to achieve this.

    1. Give mobs a line of sight or field of view that determines what they attack in combination with threat. This will force tanks to actively tank and position themselves in between their allies to defend them and make it harder to maintain agro.

    2. Maintaining agro should lose it's effectiveness the further away the tank is from the target. This prevents cheesing bosses to a degree and prevents tanks from walking to the other side of a room and taunting enemies away from allies. I think it's silly you can do that in most other games. Instead, tanks should have to get in front of the boss and taunt or generate threat to gain it's attention/agro, and then slowly redirect them if necessary. It will also make it beneficial to run multiple tanks in instances where there are many mobs/ads to deal with since controlling large groups of enemies would be much harder

    3. All types of abilities should generate threat including damage, crowd control, debuffs, buffs and heals. That way any class type could be attacked depending on the circumstances. Tanks should have access to taunts and increased threat generating abilities.

    4. Different kinds of Mobs/bosses should have a hate list of certain class types and/or races that they will target and generate additional threat for them. This would help keep things fresh by making every encounter different. Some fights the boss/mobs attack whatever is closest and other times they go out of their way to target healers or mages. This could tie into character backstory as well.

    5. Mobs and Bosses especially should have powerful abilities that endanger players other than the tank. This includes switching targets, resetting agro, or directing abilities to the back lines. So for example, large swings that cleave in a radius around them, a Leaping ground slam that deals high damage and knocks players down, a Dragon breathing fire in a long range frontal cone.

    6. Threat generators and taunts should have a 2nd effect in PvP. Warhammer Online did this very well. Taunts reduced the target's damage, and threat generating abilities had varying effects including damage reduction, debuffs, and crowd control such as silences, knock backs and more. Intrepid would be wise to incorporate this system, as it eliminates the need of having a separate PvE and PvP build. Same thing with having PvE gear and PvP gear, it's unnecessary when you can just have one that works for everything.

    The possibility for diverse, unique AI behaviors and boss encounters are endless. I'm hoping threat generation in fights effects everyone involved, not only tanks. This would translate to a fun and engaging experience unlike other MMOs.
  • TheWolfofGarTheWolfofGar Member
    edited January 6
    For people who prefer to play the tanking role, do you enjoy holding threat as a prevalent part of combat?

    Yes, personally I think threat and defensive supports ought to be the tanks primary role in combat. With dealing direct damage being a more secondary goal. I think threat should degen pretty quickly so that you need to be consistent in maintaining it least your dps surpass you in a burst window.

    Would you prefer threat mechanics to be a part of combat initiation, or throughout the entire duration of combat?

    Throughout, additionally I think there ought to be times where threat is stripped from the tank and given to a party member (perhaps healer or top dps) and the tank must reactively shield or otherwise intercept the boss to save the party member from the given attack. Could label it a "threat check", the boss will tankbuster the healer if you don't generate x amount of threat in a given time frame.

    also to reiterate some of my feedback from dev discussion 44,
    - Tanking and maintaining aggro should be more involved than simply turning on a stance or hitting the mob/boss once in a while. Tanks should need to dynamically and preemptively respond to mechanics and the flow of battle.
    -Tanks should ideally have skills that steal the hate generated from a given party member, as well as a skill to pass your hate to another. For tank swaps, however I don't think a generic provoke/taunt insta top of aggro type ability is compelling. I'd like to see this iterated upon and perhaps worked into more dynamic and varied abilities.
    -Tanks ought to have more utility in party wide damage mitigation, as well as single target damage mitigation. So that larger encounters can more frequently involve mitigating and actively protecting your party members, Eating a tank buster is cool but if the buster was actually aimed at your healer and you step in and eat that damage for them I believe that leans more into the class fantasy. (threat check idea)

    PVP Threat gen
    -With the there being several large scale pvp options I think one skill I'd like to see the devs play with would be giving tanks the ability to force the attention of pvp combatants, as a type of cc where skills such as aoe taunts/aggro gen make you the "Focused target" for your opponents. ie. Hard lock for tab, or camera lock and direction lock for action (you'll always slash/attack in the direction of the tank)
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  • ghostxxghostxx Member, Founder, Kickstarter

    Vaknar wrote: »

    Dev Discussion - Tanking: Threat Mitigation
    For people who prefer to play the tanking role, do you enjoy holding threat as a prevalent part of combat? Would you prefer threat mechanics to be a part of combat initiation, or throughout the entire duration of combat?

    Keep an eye out for our next Dev Discussion topic regarding Training!


    I'll say this until I'm blue in the face. Tanks are a supporting class and need to be given abilities to support their party. Tanks, imo, need to be given far more options to control an encounter though crowd control and debuffs. I really don't like the idea that once a tank has a mob engaged, that mob will rarely engage another party member unless the tank dies or they forget to put their tank stance on. Enemies aren't dumb. They should know what the major threats of our party makeup is. They should be somewhat aware of what will make our combat effectiveness dwindle.

    The idea of giving tanks cc and debuffs abilities should allow tanks to control the flow of battle just as well as the standard 'threat' system without the unrealistic combat behaviors. Skilled tanks will still be able to self-sustain (assuming its in their kit), control an encounter (pvp or pve) and stay engaged in combat instead of avoiding standing in fire and clicking their damage mitigation buttons on CD.

    This also gives room for more classes to fit the role of an 'off-tank' better by using cc smartly even if they can't take the same amount of damage that a regular tank could. Obviously an off-tank would need to be aware of who they are engaging with, if they're not a tank class. For example, it wouldn't make sense for a ranger to try and off-tank a mage enemy but a ranger with the ability to kite and cc a melee target would work very well.

    Again, give tanks the requirement and ability to debuff and CC enemies INSTEAD of a threat system and the combat will feel far more engaging and dangerous. And yes, provoke could very well be a timed debuff for those wondering how this would work against more dangerous bosses.
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