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View Full Version : What's "Aggro" Mean in Computer Game Contexts?


Frylock
11-29-2006, 01:03 AM
I see people talking about "aggro" alot while discussing computer role playing games.

I gather the term has something to do with either monsters' or PC's choice as to which enemy to attack. But I'm not sure which, and I'm not sure exactly what the term means in either case.

Googling "aggro definition" gave me several references to 'aggro' as an adjective meaning either "aggressive" or "aggravating," but I didn't find any definitions for the term as a noun. I'm pretty sure I'm seeing it used as a noun in the context I'm referring to.

So... what's aggro?

-FrL-

Snooooopy
11-29-2006, 01:05 AM
It's a farming term.

Aggro soybeans and aggro corn.

Zabali_Clawbane
11-29-2006, 01:09 AM
The best explanation I found is from a Guild Wars referance site, GuildWiki (http://gw.gamewikis.org/wiki/Aggro).

Aggro is a slang term meaning "to cause hostile NPC mobs to attack by attacking or getting too close to them." Short for "aggravate" (or for "aggregation", because all enemies aggregate around you).

For comparison, here (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aggro) is Wikipedia's long winded article on the topic. As a squishy caster type (And a healer no less!) I stay out of aggro range when possible during sessions of Guild Wars.

Argent Towers
11-29-2006, 01:11 AM
It's the name of Wander's horse in Shadow of the Collossus.

Zabali_Clawbane
11-29-2006, 01:18 AM
Um, he's asking about computer game slang, you do realize that, right? Or, am I being whooshed? :confused:

Oakminster
11-29-2006, 01:31 AM
Simply put, aggro means who the monster is attacking. In solo play, it doesn't matter--the mob will be attacking you. In group play, it matters quite a bit. Players have to cooperate to make sure the mob is attacking somebody that can take the hits, and not attacking those who can't. As a general rule, you want the Tank to have aggro. The Tank is gonna be somebody in heavy armor, with a lot of hit points. His job is to hold the mob's attention so the rest of the group can do their jobs...like healing the tank, doing damage to the mob, or dealing with any "extra" mobs that join the fight. If you get in a group where the tank is unable to hold aggro, you are going to die.

Max the Immortal
11-29-2006, 01:48 AM
At least in Final Fantasy XI: If a mob (game slang for monster) aggroes, it means that it will initiate combat with a player character who gets close enough (unless the character is at least a few levels higher than the mob). Not all mobs aggro; many will not initate combat, and will only fight back if you attack them first. Some mobs aggro on sight, sound, smell, or other factors; an orc (who aggroes sight) won't attack you if you're invisible or if you walk around behind it, but if you're trying to steak past a bat (who aggroes on sound if it aggroes at all), invible won't help you (you need sneak to evade a mob that aggroes on sound).

It's also used in the sense of "I got aggroed", meaning "I got to close to a mob that I didn't want to fight and it attacked me.". You usually get aggroed at the worst possible time.

When a party is fighting a mob, the term aggro isn't used in FFXI. Instead the term hate is used, as in: The paladin's job is to hold hate so that the mob doesn't attack mages. If the black mage over-nukes (casts his attack spells faster than he should), he will pull hate and the mob will tear him to shreds.

Geek Mecha
11-29-2006, 01:51 AM
What Zabali's link said. Some usage: Standing within an aggressive monster's detection range will cause it to aggro you. Some monsters in a game I play aggro spellcasting; others aggro sound. Leroy Jenkins ran into the room full of monsters, causing them all to aggro him and killing his entire party.

A related term is hate. You have a monster's hate when it makes you its target of attack. A good tank class is designed to both withstand the monster's hits and hold its attention so that the damage-dealing classes can do their thing without pulling hate off the tank. Monsters have hate priorities, meaning they evaluate which players have done the most to piss it off and attack in an order corresponding to that ranking.

The difference is aggro is a verb; hate is a state.

On preview, hi Max. BLM 74. ^^

Knorf
11-29-2006, 01:55 AM
But many (probably most) players use "aggro" as interchangeable with "hate."

Foldup Rabbit
11-29-2006, 02:26 AM
In the games I played (mostly online text-based MUDs - super dork), aggro referred to the monster's aggressiveness. If a monster was aggro, he would attack you without your doing anything to provoke him. If a monster was not aggro, you would have to attack him for him to start fighting you.

Sage Rat
11-29-2006, 04:49 AM
Aggro doesn't just mean "who the monster is attacking." Every character has a set amount of "hate", indicating how much the monster hates you. Whoever the monster hates the most, it will attack. Getting aggro means not just that the monster is attacking you, but specifically that you aren't (unless you're a tank) managing your hate level appropriately. Often aggro is used instead of hate since essentially they are equal. If you have the most hate (aggro) then the monster attacks you.

Jurph
11-29-2006, 08:25 AM
The classic problem of hate/aggro is that doing damage creates hate, and usually the lightweight spellcaster classes (typically wearing cloth armor) are gifted with the ability to do huge amounts of damage. Healing party members also causes hate -- if the healer is too liberal with his healing spells and/or bandages, then the monster can appear to "catch on" to the fact that the tank won't die until the healer is dead. The monster will then aggro on the healer instead. Within World of Warcraft, you can generate hate by

- causing damage to a monster
- causing a detrimental effect ("debuff") to hit a monster, even if you didn't mean to
- casting a beneficial spell ("buff") on the whole party during combat (e.g. mark of the wild)
- interrupting a creature's spellcasting or special attack (e.g. dragon breath)
- using attacks that are designed to generate hate (e.g. distracting shot or taunt)

You can aggro a monster by getting inside its "aggro radius", and when the monster aggros, it has a bare-minimum amount of hate -- usually the first person to counterattack it gets more hate than the first person it sees. In WoW, the aggro radius varies based on the difference in levels between you and the monster. Something five levels higher than you will see you 20 yards away and come over to play; equal levels may buy you five or ten yards of safety; a monster five or more levels below your level may pretend you're not there, even at very close ranges.

ShibbOleth
11-29-2006, 08:41 AM
WoW seems to prefer the term "threat" to "hate". They use "Hate" as one of the opposities of "Friendly", with their being degrees: Hate/Unfriendly/Neutral/Friendly/Honored on a sort of scale (probably off on one of these) to see how you stand with groups, not individuals or mobs. Attacks/actions/spells generate threat with individual monsters or mobs, in the WoW vernacular.

Aggro means what is said above, but also can mean to pull in mobs that are otherwise way outside of normal aggro radius.

Revenant Threshold
11-29-2006, 08:45 AM
Most character classes (in WoW anyway) have particular moves that will reduce or increase threat level/hate. Warriors (a tank class) have a good few moves that keep a mob's (not mob as in group; I think it stand for mobile enemy, but that might be wrong. Anyway, a "mob" is just a single enemy) attention on them, while the physically weaker but higher damage dealers like Mages and Rogues have some good moves for reducing threat.

Jayn_Newell
11-29-2006, 09:47 AM
...while the physically weaker but higher damage dealers like Mages and Rogues have some good moves for reducing threat.

Ahem? Mages don't have any agro dump. Actually, none of the cloth classes can permanently drop agro that I'm aware of--priests have fade which drops a bit for a period of time, mages can (but don't always) have ice block, which doesn't drop agro at all but makes you impervious to everything for up to 10 seconds--if anyone else has any agro the mob will ignore you for that period of time, but it's not an agro dump. Warlocks have nothing that I'm aware of. There are a couple talents that will reduce the amount of threat you generate, but it still comes down to not generating too much as far as agro management goes for those classes.

On the other hand, rogues, hunters, and to a certain extent druids all have agro dumps. Rogues have feint, which drops some, druids have something similar in cat-form, though unless you're already in cat form it's not very useful, while hunters have feign death which drops all agro (why does the highest-armour DPS class get the best agro dump?)

By the way, threat is the term Blizzard uses--every player I know uses the term agro instead.

Zabali_Clawbane
11-29-2006, 12:37 PM
Ahem? Mages don't have any agro dump. Actually, none of the cloth classes can permanently drop agro that I'm aware of--priests have fade which drops a bit for a period of time, mages can (but don't always) have ice block, which doesn't drop agro at all but makes you impervious to everything for up to 10 seconds--if anyone else has any agro the mob will ignore you for that period of time, but it's not an agro dump.

Everquest wizards do have a memwipe that dumps aggro. ;) I think, that since they also mentioned rogues, they might have been thinking of Everquest. Rogues can use an Evade macro after backstabbing to dump aggro.

Oakminster
11-29-2006, 02:21 PM
EQ2 had some aggro reduction abilities as well. My two "main" characters were near max level, paladin and warlock. The warlock got a spell that could be cast between nukes, and it would reduce the aggro generated by the mext spell after the aggro-reducer. The pally had something much cooler, especially for a Tank. He had an aggro transfer ability that could be cast on another party member, and transfer part of that character's aggro to my pally. Freakin awesome aggro. Slap that puppy on a warlock, wizard, or ranger, and it was almost impossible to pull aggro from me. The dps guys loved it because they could go full burndown on most fights. As a tank, I loved it because aggro is an ego thing for a tank. We want all aggro all the time. It's our entire raison d'etre. With that ability, I was able to go from being a good tank, able to hold aggro by working my ass off, to an Ubertank that wasn't gonna lose aggro to any but the most incredibly foolish dps types...think that ability got nerfed some after I left the game.

Skywatcher
11-29-2006, 02:30 PM
If you get in a group where the tank is unable to hold aggro, you are going to die.You're also going to die if you get in a group and go after targets that the tank can't even see because he's doing his job with an entirely different group of targets. If everyone in the group is going after other targets, the tank that's doing his job by being mobbed is going to die, too.

Oakminster
11-29-2006, 02:38 PM
You're also going to die if you get in a group and go after targets that the tank can't even see because he's doing his job with an entirely different group of targets. If everyone in the group is going after other targets, the tank that's doing his job by being mobbed is going to die, too.

This is why Karana gave us the /assist command and the boot key. Yeah verily thou shalt /assist, or thy tank mayest boot thine ass the hell out of his group :)

Geek Mecha
11-29-2006, 03:31 PM
But many (probably most) players use "aggro" as interchangeable with "hate."
The usage of these terms depends on the MMO. In FFXI, they are certainly not interchangeable terms. In WoW, I have heard the terms used to mean the opposite as what I described, and as ShibbOleth said, WoW uses the term "threat" instead.

DSYoungEsq
11-29-2006, 03:31 PM
Originally, aggro was the term used to identify that mobs would attack you without you doing anything to them to provoke an attack, i.e., mere propinquity was all that was needed. If you were in an area with mosters that aggro you, and you started running, you could obtain one hell of a spectacular "train;" similarly, if you stood still, and the mobs were wandering around, they would slowly aggregate around you as they got close enough to you to trigger their attack function. Sure way to die if you were in the wrong area.

If you are in a party of people, it is now common in most games to conflate the concept with the "hate" concept, that is, the factor that causes a mob to focus its energy of attack upon a particular member of the party. Thus, if you are attacking a group of mobs, and they all are drawn to a particular member of the party, that member of the party will be said to have aggro. As is often the case with the computer era, terminology undergoes relatively swift change in meaning.

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