Ravenloft: Prisoners of the Mist

Public (OOC) => Setting and Lore Discussion => Topic started by: WingsOfStardust on January 22, 2019, 03:29:20 AM

Title: Mob aggression and targeting
Post by: WingsOfStardust on January 22, 2019, 03:29:20 AM
For quite some time now, I have been noticing that the script that handles how mobs prioritize targets can become quite faulty. Namely, if a ranged attack towards it is made (and distance doesn't matter) a mob may disengage from several melee characters around it to chase this single target. The mob may even sustain up to 100+ damage and still be locked onto that single ranged character. Only if you manage to body-block the mob, or if the mob has a chance to engage the ranged character properly in melee do they stop. Though the latter doesn't always work.

I have seen this be a common issue for custom script that handle priority of targets and aggression for mobs. Not just on Ravenloft, but pretty much any server that uses them. ANd I have to point out that the way the current one works could stand to be tweaked a little more. Because what happens is someone from the backline will make that ranged attack against mobs and cue Benny Hill music because that mob isn't going to stop running after them and stop or anything until it is made impossible for them to follow.

I feel that this hurts Archers the most, because especially within high-end dungeons if you have a mob disengage to run straight into everybody else or around you are liable to get everyone killed and it's hardly fair nor logical that the mob would be so tenacious in the chase that they ignore even greater threats just to do that.

TL;DR: Mobs are easily drawn to ranged characters and run through anything to attack them. What I'm pointing out the flaw is how Tenacious they are in doing so. That's where I think the system is faulty. Not in that they DO chase, but in that they don't STOP for anything.
Title: Re: Mob aggression and targeting
Post by: Edward on January 22, 2019, 04:59:27 AM
They attack the archers shooting them because they have lower AC than Melee characters. I don’t know if that’s hard coded or not but I thought it was an all around NWN thing.
Title: Re: Mob aggression and targeting
Post by: BraveSirRobin on January 22, 2019, 05:15:22 AM
They attack the archers shooting them because they have lower AC than Melee characters. I donít know if thatís hard coded or not but I thought it was an all around NWN thing.

Can confirm, mobs smell the lowest AC in the party when they attack. This has plagued archers in NWN across many, many servers.
Title: Re: Mob aggression and targeting
Post by: WingsOfStardust on January 22, 2019, 06:10:58 AM
That's not my point that I am suggesting to be changed however. It's not that mobs change targets, it's how tenaciously they pursue the new one despite greater threats cropping up around it.


Let's give an example:
#1 3 Meleers are attacking 5 trolls.
#2 A ranged character (archer, caster, whatever) shoots one that is past his allies, ergo they are bodyblocking.
#3 Troll runs through the vanguard getting multiple attacks of opportunities for the ranged character.
#4 2 meleers disengage to chase the troll, landing multiple blows and getting more attacks of opportunity.
#5 Troll continues to chase the ranged character that is no longer engaging them at all.
#6 Troll only stops when its pathfinding is made impossible or is knocked down (even then they may get up and continued hasing).

I'm pointing out the flaw in #5 and 6, not #3.

This behavior is consistent and the only other way to stop the mob from chasing is if the ranged character engages the troll in melee, THEN disengages. Which makes me believe it has something to do with how the targeting script works. That it hard-locks onto the target they switched to until the requirement of attacking them is made, or it is made entirely impossible for them to pursue their new target.
Title: Re: Mob aggression and targeting
Post by: Sinful Mystic on January 22, 2019, 07:12:15 AM
I always loved that an evil villain or great beast would kill farmers first and ignore knights charging them.


Mage killer AI is no fun.
Title: Re: Mob aggression and targeting
Post by: SardineTheAncestor on January 22, 2019, 10:19:18 AM
Although I am new, I'm trying to quickly learn to play, and I have considered that it is a very static behaviour for the AI enemies to always target the lowest AC. Like chokepoints such as two-tile doors, this leads to repetitive, static gameplay.

I would rather see the AI discern whether or not they can effectively path to all of the enemies they can detect. If not, try some more special abilities. What if they attempted more knockdowns, what if those knockdowns disabled collision for the victim so they could pass if they really wanted to, instead of provoking a ton of Attacks of Opportunity for the honour of chasing someone who already has distance on them? edit: This tactic of disabling the foes controlling them makes a lot more sense, whether we want to go down the "hunt the mage" route or not for enemies.

Hand-to-hand combat is a very mobile thing in real life, especially when it breaks down into a melee. People are running for their lives, trying to get out of sight and re-engage, maneuvering, flanking, and trying every dirty trick in the book to survive. But when the gameplay is basically, "get enough people to block the door with a magic character's unstoppable buffs," I think the enemy needs some more alternatives, otherwise it's a staring contest until one side runs out of health points. They could run away sooner and bait players into the open, no? Throw weapons and grenadelikes, place traps after detecting intruders?

Another point on knockdowns: The shock value of seeing people get bowled over frequently for attempting to completely block an enemy's advance off would cause pandemonium as people are not always going to immediately be sure whether or not that player was just incapacitated. This confusion can be a good thing, and exploiting it to create a more realistic atmosphere in combat can help prevent groups from getting overzealous and greedy against enemies that are, from time to time, fatalistically unresponsive.

I have no idea what it would take to properly script all of this, but I would love to see combat become a bit more unpredictable and dynamic. Some of my favourite enemies on the server, ironically enough for a fantasy setting, are the bandits. They make extensive use of ranged weapons, switching when able, and try to get angles to shoot you oftentimes. They spam disarms to try and turn the tables on you. There are also a couple different types with different moves it seems, and that's great too. That kobold hut right out of spawn with the chieftain, his shaman, thugs and whatnot, has an excellent variety of enemies, but they're all packed into a newb-trap closet, and even more unsatisfyingly, it seems a lot of the dungeon areas around Barovia lack the same variety...

Compared to werewolves, who just have a bunch of health, seem to attack really quickly sometimes, but don't actually run faster than you, can't knock you down despite pouncing being a very typical predator-monster tactic... I think the only really big one I've noticed is they stealth, and that's only sometimes. That's more likely to kill a confused new player than it is to present a challenge to properly equipped adventurers who need to be reminded of the danger of an intelligent, incredibly agile, monstrously strong hulk of a wolf on two legs.
Title: Re: Mob aggression and targeting
Post by: Bpretty on January 22, 2019, 11:46:23 AM
Having played a high level archer that has gone through all of the high level content,
I can confirm this behavior is crippling, I usually end up switching back and forth between my melee weapons and my bow as enemies charge me down, even with a melee to get in between us.
I really wish I knew how the script worked, but I don't and won't pretend to, if it is at all possible to change I would implore you to do so, even if it's just so much as they get bored of chasing after a few minutes.

Currently the strategy I employ for dealing with things chasing me as an archer without drawing my melee weapon, is dipping around a piece of terrain or a corner and hitting stealth, which causes the enemies to run at the next closest person they can see, sometimes. This isn't enjoyable, and makes archers feel mostly worthless in an area where the enemies can't be bottlenecked.
Title: Re: Mob aggression and targeting
Post by: WingsOfStardust on January 22, 2019, 12:55:14 PM
Having played a high level archer that has gone through all of the high level content,
I can confirm this behavior is crippling, I usually end up switching back and forth between my melee weapons and my bow as enemies charge me down, even with a melee to get in between us.
I really wish I knew how the script worked, but I don't and won't pretend to, if it is at all possible to change I would implore you to do so, even if it's just so much as they get bored of chasing after a few minutes.

Currently the strategy I employ for dealing with things chasing me as an archer without drawing my melee weapon, is dipping around a piece of terrain or a corner and hitting stealth, which causes the enemies to run at the next closest person they can see, sometimes. This isn't enjoyable, and makes archers feel mostly worthless in an area where the enemies can't be bottlenecked.

This is exactly what I'm talking about. Personally I never allow archers to use bows in high-level dungeons like Sithicus. It is just liable to get everyone killed.
Title: Re: Mob aggression and targeting
Post by: LivingWasteland on January 23, 2019, 03:30:34 AM
It's NWN AI to go for lower AC characters, yes. However, it's a custom script specifically on PotM regarding how high that aggression gets. This is the only server I've played on where a mob will go complete Terminator and whatever archer is designates as John Conner and not stop until it, or the archer is dead.

Standard NWN, initial aggro is gauged by the AC. It is then shifted depending on who or what is doing the most damage. I have had my bard arch. I stopped quickly. I recall one instance I was being completely ignored, and the melee had fully engaged. I fired a single arrow at a spawn, and not only did everything we were fighting disengage the melee to charge me, the spawns in adjacent rooms that had not been pulled yet came running to kill me.

There is a serious problem somewhere in the script.
Title: Re: Mob aggression and targeting
Post by: goldenelvensorceress on January 23, 2019, 12:26:48 PM
I have seen this with EE on multiple servers.

Mobs go completely MENTAL over an Archer and will chase them down ignoring anything else.

Compare this to the guns in the game. You can shoot a gun at something and they are like Meh whatevah. They might come at you but they usually stay locked on whatever they are fighting with.

Ever a firebrand from a sorceress will not always cause them to re-target, yeah sometimes they will, but sometimes not. Even if they are fighting that dagger spawn, it usually takes a couple spells to get them to chase the mage. The missile storms the mages are fairly safe using, the low damage per hit usually just means the mobs ignore the caster.

Curse song from a bard? The mobs ignore it mostly.
Title: Re: Mob aggression and targeting
Post by: zDark Shadowz on January 23, 2019, 05:52:04 PM
Not really a way to fix this, it'd be great if NWN had that Sentinel feat to drop movement speed of creatures to 0 temporarily when an attack of opportunity is landed but the combat stuff is all hardcoded, no way to tie that into anything.

Anyone here read the default AI combat scripts to see what the triggers are for them shifting attention?
Title: Re: Mob aggression and targeting
Post by: WingsOfStardust on January 25, 2019, 01:21:38 PM
I'd be nice if a Dev could comment on the thing. I'm not letting this thread just die.
Title: Re: Mob aggression and targeting
Post by: MAB77 on January 25, 2019, 01:36:04 PM
The Thing is an incredible comic book character

As to AI behavior, we still can't change what is hard coded.
Title: Re: Mob aggression and targeting
Post by: WingsOfStardust on January 25, 2019, 01:41:48 PM
The Thing is an incredible comic book character

As to AI behavior, we still can't change what is hard coded.

However, this has been resolved on other servers on both 1.69 and EE. I am 99% sure that PotM doesn't use vanilla AI at that.
I think it'd be nicer if it was just a honest; we don't want to do this. Rather than saying it can't be done.
Title: Re: Mob aggression and targeting
Post by: Philos on January 25, 2019, 02:08:07 PM
Going to echo the complaints made here about ranged combat.

 I remember we had a small group fighting the bebilith in ghastria and our Archer (Daewyn played by EmptyAnima) was well and far away down the long corridor shooting into the main room. We had two PCs body blocking the only exit and the giantic demon spider teleport behind, through the doorway, two shotted Daewyn, before teleporting back in front of those in melee to resume the fight. This mightvbe an anecdote, it it's a common one many players share.

If we can't change AI behavior could we look into someways to improve the AC of ranged PCs? Something to make them a value to a group as opposed to an ooc mechanical liability.
Title: Re: Mob aggression and targeting
Post by: Silas Rotleaf on January 25, 2019, 03:12:56 PM
Maybe there could be some tweaks to the archery feats like you could take rapid reload and point blank shot a step further and have it so that characters with the improved feat could defend themselves when rushed at by a melee combatant a % of the time? An extra attack per turn for when enemies are close to you could possibly make being a ranged combatant less stinky.

If that’s too imbalanced maybe it would work okay as a combat mode if there is also a tradeoff? For names I was thinking something like “suppressive fire”.
Title: Re: Mob aggression and targeting
Post by: MAB77 on January 25, 2019, 03:27:02 PM
Or you could also learn to factor this behavior of the AI into your strategies? The mechanical liability you speak of works both way. Not all your opponents can teleport, more often than not you get your allies to have attacks of opportunites on the foe breaking the engagement to seek you out.

Even if the hard-coding on the battle system was removed and that we could change the AI, (something way beyond my meager skills anyway), I suspect a degree of complexity that would only trade one flawed behavior for another that would have its own pros and cons.

I am not saying the AI is good. I wholeheartedly agree it would be good if it could be improved. But deep down I don't see it as a bad thing that a creature seeks out the guy that tries to safely kill it from afar either.

As for the AC on ranged PCs it is quite possible to reach a decent AC rating with multiple range builts. Though of course a character can't just have it all, choices must be made and assumed.
Title: Re: Mob aggression and targeting
Post by: emptyanima on January 25, 2019, 03:44:03 PM
When he said teleport, he didnít mean in a way that was clearly intentional. He meant that the enemy glitched through the people in front, killed my character, then glitched back. Thatís not something you can Ďstrategiseí for. Theyíd already blocked the entrance to the room so that my pc wasnít in line of sight.
Title: Re: Mob aggression and targeting
Post by: FinalHeaven on January 25, 2019, 04:10:39 PM
There are ways to modify the creature AI fairly in depth, they've existed since pre-EE.  I also don't think the intention here is to trash-talk potm's methods but simply to call attention to the fact that it could be improved.  Whether or not that's something the development team actually wants to look in to is their prerogative but the behavior that's being addressed here is fairly telling and I genuinely can't think of any other servers I've played on recently that have the same issue.
Title: Re: Mob aggression and targeting
Post by: Arawn on January 25, 2019, 04:20:41 PM
There are ways to modify the creature AI fairly in depth, they've existed since pre-EE.  I also don't think the intention here is to trash-talk potm's methods but simply to call attention to the fact that it could be improved.  Whether or not that's something the development team actually wants to look in to is their prerogative but the behavior that's being addressed here is fairly telling and I genuinely can't think of any other servers I've played on recently that have the same issue.

Every AI script on the server, including the core includes of the AI system itself, have been rewritten entirely by Soren.
Title: Re: Mob aggression and targeting
Post by: Mailbox-2100 on January 25, 2019, 05:14:21 PM
 Oh, man.. making archers viable for more people would be great. An experienced player can -mostly- compensate with proper AC wards like anyone else, and some quick fingers to switch away from their bow. I don't notice MOBs chase archers 100% of the time.. but sometimes.. it feels like 100% of the time! If their AI could be tweaked to make their chasing still possible, but less likely, more the exception then the grim reality- archers could make a resurgence! (Which is a GOOD thing, as it lets you feel accomplishment and a part of the team without becoming a liability in dangerous areas. I regularly see people demand there be no archers and such in certain locations. And more, I understand why, and even agree depending on the skill and preparation of the individual at hand.)

(http://www.quickmeme.com/img/31/31a2223297fa3a3043ee50a045ea25adc0398a668379cce86fbb54011ec8d8ec.jpg)


 I know good archers exist, and walk the planes- but they are rare, and definitely have a learning curve.
Title: Re: Mob aggression and targeting
Post by: Philos on January 25, 2019, 06:01:54 PM
Or you could also learn to factor this behavior of the AI into your strategies? The mechanical liability you speak of works both way. Not all your opponents can teleport, more often than not you get your allies to have attacks of opportunities on the foe breaking the engagement to seek you out.

Or you could also learn the basic abilities that creatures have and realize when something is not functioning as intended. What enemy on this server "teleports"? How about one that becomes inexplicably insubstantial and able to pass through characters, creatures alike with the mere introduction of a ranged attack? This behavior is not normal.
 
More often than not you get your allies to have attacks of opportunities on the foe breaking the engagement to seek you out.

Attacks of opportunities are not beneficial. They force your to change targets increasing time to kill and wasting other attacks in the round. You're far better off focusing on one target than spreading attacks around.

I am not saying the AI is good. I wholeheartedly agree it would be good if it could be improved. But deep down I don't see it as a bad thing that a creature seeks out the guy that tries to safely kill it from afar either.


It is a bad thing when this aberrant behavior excludes entire character archetypes. Its unfun for the ranged character who can't utilize his weapon of choice but once before fighting face to face and unfun for the rest of the party who's melee fighters are scrambling to save the suddenly attacked party member, drawing the entire encounter onto the party.

As for the AC on ranged PCs it is quite possible to reach a decent AC rating with multiple range builts. Though of course a character can't just have it all, choices must be made and assumed.

With respect MAB, I think if you do a little exploring you'll find otherwise. Make a couple of builds and post them here. I'm curious what you think decent ac for a ranged character is and how it compares to their melee counter parts.
Title: Re: Mob aggression and targeting
Post by: Edward on January 25, 2019, 06:20:04 PM
I've died to this spider aswell, due to it's glitching, namely through doors- Although that isn't relevant I think it gives a point that the game came out many years ago and the AI isn't exactly perfect.
Title: Re: Mob aggression and targeting
Post by: Iridni Ren on January 25, 2019, 06:33:55 PM
Even with EE, most of the functioning of this game is still old, and what can be done with it seems to require some wizardry. It at least requires Devs willing to devote time both learning and programming an archaic toolset. For no monetary reward.

I argue with them a lot and have my own strong opinions about many Dev decisions, but I don't doubt they would rather the AI be more sophisticated than it is. I don't doubt they would like for the game to be more challenging and clever in its behavior, but given the constraints of what they have to work with--and all the demands on their time--I hope players are also mindful that (as with DMs) being too demanding and unappreciative of Devs can be counter-productive by destroying any incentive they have to respond to our requests.
Title: Re: Mob aggression and targeting
Post by: Sidhel on January 26, 2019, 12:55:26 PM

As for the AC on ranged PCs it is quite possible to reach a decent AC rating with multiple range builts. Though of course a character can't just have it all, choices must be made and assumed.

With respect MAB, I think if you do a little exploring you'll find otherwise. Make a couple of builds and post them here. I'm curious what you think decent ac for a ranged character is and how it compares to their melee counter parts.

I've played an archer tank in the 11-12 range without enchanted gear and reliably hit the 40-44AC mark with buffs, which is good enough for everything within the character's level range and slightly higher. I tanked every dungeon with the character shy of Ghastria and Sithicus content.

It does seem a little overzealous in parts, but I think target-priority on low AC, high damage targets is no different than how an intelligent being would respond. Archery can be the highest/most reliable damage on the server.
Title: Re: Mob aggression and targeting
Post by: Silas Rotleaf on January 26, 2019, 05:46:06 PM
Hey I’m all for taking a crack at learning the nwn toolset and scripting to eventually be able to directly assist the devs but it’s gonna take some time and I don’t have a whole lot for leisure stuff these days...

As for the mob targeting behavior... yeah hardcoded bits you can’t really change but there is some stuff you as the player can. I’m talking tactics. As in glaring holes in a shield wall of meat tanks in your front row is a very real thing that happens and expecting your dedicated ranged support to be able to up close defend itself in melee as well while you just sort of sit there blinking wondering why the monsters bypass you to go after the lower AC casters and archers... is not very productive. Guys gotta work on your coordination and cooperation (I know, crazy right? A team/party actually helping each other out instead of it being mostly every man for himself).

Maybe have a fighter or barb or paladin in that back row next to your ranged guy to defend him or her? Just a tactical thought and temporary fix for until people work out some way to tweak the mob aggro.
Title: Re: Mob aggression and targeting
Post by: Mailbox-2100 on January 26, 2019, 06:19:26 PM
Having a guy by the backrow isn't a bad idea-  :|   but otherwise some MOBS are way too fast for the front line to even be able to respond to. But nice idea (which for some reason I've never seen utilized... ((OR THOUGHT OF MYSELF)))
Title: Re: Mob aggression and targeting
Post by: LivingWasteland on January 26, 2019, 06:22:01 PM
MAB says it's unmodified, hard-coded, and can't be changed.

Arawn says every single AI script has indeed been rewritten by Soren.



I see a large discrepancy in what two members of what the team is telling us.
Title: Re: Mob aggression and targeting
Post by: Arawn on January 26, 2019, 06:33:46 PM
Iím not sure what you meant to imply there, Wasteland, but fortunately itís quite easy to discover for yourself exactly how this works. While a Google search will indeed give you all you require to understand the limitations of the NWN AI, here is a brief explanation.

The AI in NWN is a series of scripts which execute on certain events and at certain intervals, including during and after the combat round, which is itself hardcoded. I have rewritten some of these scripts myself in previous projects and on other PWs. Anyone who wants to see what they look like can just open a new module in the toolset and look at both the defaults and the core AI script. Bear in mind that AI scripts are responsible for a massive portion of server overhead, so they have to be as lean and mean as possible. Itís not as simple as merely adding complexity.

As an aside, the teleportation is not a function of the AI script but rather of the way that the engine handles movement.
Title: Re: Mob aggression and targeting
Post by: LivingWasteland on January 26, 2019, 07:21:12 PM
The Thing is an incredible comic book character

As to AI behavior, we still can't change what is hard coded.


Every AI script on the server, including the core includes of the AI system itself, have been rewritten entirely by Soren.

I'm not implying anything. Perhaps I'm alone in this, but these two statements do not seem to share the same message.
Title: Re: Mob aggression and targeting
Post by: Iridni Ren on January 26, 2019, 07:32:04 PM
I think it's worth noting that a Dev's input was asked for:

I'd be nice if a Dev could comment on the thing. I'm not letting this thread just die.

And so MAB took a stab at it. He may have been mistaken in what he said, or it may be that both statements you find contradictory are in fact true, LW:

Quote
The AI in NWN is a series of scripts which execute on certain events and at certain intervals, including during and after the combat round, which is itself hardcoded.

MAB said only that which is hardcoded can't be changed. So the events, intervals, and the combat round might all be hardcoded and not able to be modified. But the scripts (as Arawn said) are not.

I don't know. But I took it as MAB was trying to respond to a request for Dev input and not that his answer was meant to mislead.
Title: Re: Mob aggression and targeting
Post by: Hatsune on January 27, 2019, 12:21:55 PM
I don't know why people have such a hard time with this. I play an archer/support, and have so very little issue. You just have to have an understanding of what to target and when. I only see most mobs breaking off tanks when they de-aggro for some reason, and then are shot (I.E. they get knocked down, and an archer shoots them, so the archer because the target when he gets back up, because the mob de-aggros and then selects from its attackers.

The other common occurrence is if multiple mobs are on one tank target, and the archer targets a mob that isn't actively being attacked by a line member, this will often draw aggro.

I typically run a 13 or 15ac, so not like I a high AC to not pull as people are suggesting.
Title: Re: Mob aggression and targeting
Post by: Little Lotte on January 27, 2019, 12:40:16 PM
I don't know why people have such a hard time with this. I play an archer/support, and have so very little issue. You just have to have an understanding of what to target and when. I only see most mobs breaking off tanks when they de-aggro for some reason, and then are shot (I.E. they get knocked down, and an archer shoots them, so the archer because the target when he gets back up, because the mob de-aggros and then selects from its attackers.

The other common occurrence is if multiple mobs are on one tank target, and the archer targets a mob that isn't actively being attacked by a line member, this will often draw aggro.

I typically run a 13 or 15ac, so not like I a high AC to not pull as people are suggesting.

In the same boat, sometimes I even run 11 AC and so long as there are combatants in front of me, I do not draw aggro.
Title: Re: Mob aggression and targeting
Post by: immasturgeon on January 27, 2019, 02:00:01 PM

In the same boat, sometimes I even run 11 AC and so long as there are combatants in front of me, I do not draw aggro.

Double ditto. I have adventure to very dangerous (relative to level) areas with people who have outstripped me in every way. I had abysmal AC and did nothing but shoot arrows at things. And I died only rarely, despite being 6-8 levels below the group. I avoided shooting any enemy that wasn't already attacking a tank. I also frequently cancelled combat when an enemy was killed so that I could specifically target an emeny one of the melee characters was attacking.

It kept me alive in places I had no business being. So it can be done. Except when 4 vamp rogues drop around you...well then it's dead time.
Title: Re: Mob aggression and targeting
Post by: WingsOfStardust on January 28, 2019, 01:57:38 AM

In the same boat, sometimes I even run 11 AC and so long as there are combatants in front of me, I do not draw aggro.

Double ditto. I have adventure to very dangerous (relative to level) areas with people who have outstripped me in every way. I had abysmal AC and did nothing but shoot arrows at things. And I died only rarely, despite being 6-8 levels below the group. I avoided shooting any enemy that wasn't already attacking a tank. I also frequently cancelled combat when an enemy was killed so that I could specifically target an emeny one of the melee characters was attacking.

It kept me alive in places I had no business being. So it can be done. Except when 4 vamp rogues drop around you...well then it's dead time.

It may work on lower levels, but I was making the reference to high end dungeons where the values are quite different. For instance, at higher levels archers AB will be much higher and thus generates a lot more aggro from what you're shooting at. Also the discrepancies in AC are on a whole other level. Archery is viable up to around level 10 if you play it careful, sure. But once you reach those much tougher dungeons the formula changes considerably.
Title: Re: Mob aggression and targeting
Post by: Hatsune on January 28, 2019, 10:45:29 AM

In the same boat, sometimes I even run 11 AC and so long as there are combatants in front of me, I do not draw aggro.

Double ditto. I have adventure to very dangerous (relative to level) areas with people who have outstripped me in every way. I had abysmal AC and did nothing but shoot arrows at things. And I died only rarely, despite being 6-8 levels below the group. I avoided shooting any enemy that wasn't already attacking a tank. I also frequently cancelled combat when an enemy was killed so that I could specifically target an emeny one of the melee characters was attacking.

It kept me alive in places I had no business being. So it can be done. Except when 4 vamp rogues drop around you...well then it's dead time.

It may work on lower levels, but I was making the reference to high end dungeons where the values are quite different. For instance, at higher levels archers AB will be much higher and thus generates a lot more aggro from what you're shooting at. Also the discrepancies in AC are on a whole other level. Archery is viable up to around level 10 if you play it careful, sure. But once you reach those much tougher dungeons the formula changes considerably.

Are you refering to Sithicus? If so, I'd wager its more likely an issue of the archers targeting poorly (not hitting the right ones cause they stack on each other).

I do agree if/once you pull aggro it can be hard to fix, since a melee combatant won't be in full attack when moving to chase the mob (and thus not showing as an active attacker at the end of the last flurry of the round), so that can be an issue.

I've done high level content, and have seen little to no variation in AI. They all follow the same scripts.
Title: Re: Mob aggression and targeting
Post by: lucid on January 28, 2019, 11:27:42 AM
I watch this behavior from the Tank side all the time. I even get yelled at like there was something I could have done to stop it. Particularly annoying is when the ranged char manages to pull the exact one I'm currently fighting, and I run after them when they go, breaking the defensive line and drawing a half dozen attacks of opportunity in the first step.

Taunt should probably draw aggro but it does not. Knockdown can work, but often they'll get up and keep chasing their squirrel. About 10%-20% of the time, getting in their way and forcing them to reconsider their walk path will cause them to focus on you, but otherwise they just go around.

I've made an art form of snagging aggro off squishy people by provoking attacks of opportunity from the monsters as they run by. They stay on you once you get their attention. Note again, this is not you doing AoO on them...it's giving them a free swing at you. Harder than it looks when you're trying, it's so very easy when you're not. Alas that Spring Attack has removed my ability to do this. I haven't tried provocatively drinking potions in their face yet, but I'm sure it'll come up again soon enough.
Title: Re: Mob aggression and targeting
Post by: Ercvadasz on January 31, 2019, 12:25:16 PM
I for the most part in these past few years have been playing non tanks. (Have a char that was able to act as a semitank but not anymore, still thinking how to make that available to him:)  :shock:.)
My ranger uses mainly the bow.
He has not yet been to Sithicus, and have only some exp with him regarding Harakir, Ghastria, Vestibule and Mists.
What I have noticed that he gets aggor usually if he is the first to shoot his target. Second if for some reason the enemy gets flat-footed or deaggrod it is very easy for him to get aggro. (rapid shot)
Thirdly natural 20 will get you an aggro if it is a successfull crit. Because of the x3 multiplier.
The way to counter or mitigate this is usually to restrict the opponent in some way, or be able to hold your own until rescue can come.
Called shot because of the movement restriction is quite useful in this regard.

This aggroing does not just apply for ranged chars though.
My cleric is a healbot, if he uses DPS/Buff spells or special feat/talent that the opponent can see and the tank has not yet engaged blows with him, he will get targetted.
Turn undead, warding gesture, flamestrike, hammer of the gods, BUT EVEN BATTLETIDE works this way. Anything that targets the opponent also, i am not yet 100% sure if mass party enhancing or healing is in the same regard, as sometimes using those also trigger an aggro shift to my char.