Posts Tagged ‘Aggro’

The Aggro Table and You.

So, I’m sitting in the lighthouse, yelling again, for the fouth time, for Captain Grayson to leave Jaffa alone, when it occurs to me that a blog on aggro is long overdue. And if those two ever stop fighting I’ll write it…




Ok, now that that’s taken care of…where was I?

Oh right.

What is aggro?

Davlin’s Aggro Definition: Aggro is a ranking system that measures threat generated from a target to determine who to kill first.

An enemy, for demonstration purposes we’ll refer to him as Nexultor, a level 80 Death Knight, has a ranking system for deciding who he’ll destroy. This ranking system is based off of threat. Threat is generated through damage done, healing done, how close you are to “Nexultor,” and by abilities that specifically generate threat.

Let’s throw out an example. Mustafah (fury warrior), Dezaras (prot warrior), Zaralin (resto druid), and myself (buttkickin’ BM hunter of DOOM!!) as well as Jaffa (Blood Thirsty Wind Serpent) all run at Nexultor.

Dezaras is our tank, so he gets there first and immediately uses damage and special abilities to build up a high threat (A tank’s job is to hold threat, through everything, so that no one else gets hurt. Thank you Mr. Meat Shield). Next Mustafah runs in and starts hitting the baddy. Because Stafah is doing high damage and is really close to Nexultor, he’s building up a nice size of threat too.  Jaffa rushes in next, throwing out lightning breath and doing damage as well. Being a good hunter, I’ve turned off his Growl (threat generation ability of pets) ability as to make it ahrder for Jaffa to steal threat.

In the distance is Zaralin, throwing out heals, building up threat with her heals, but not very much because of her range and me, shooting like mad from next to Zaralin, building up some rather nice Damage Based Threat. At this moment, Nexultor’s threat table looks like this:

Dezaras:Highest threat

Mustafah: High Threat

Jaffa: Moderate Threat

Davlin: Moderate Threat

Zaralin: Low Threat

This means that if Dezaras dies or loses aggro for some reason, Stafah is the next choice for the baddy to attack. If Stafah loses aggro or dies, Jaffa is next, and so on. Jaffa is ahead of Davlin, only because of range. Jaffa being closer gives him more reason to be attacked than Davlin.

The aggro table (that’s what the threat chart is usually called) is fluid though. If I start putting out too much DPS (damage per second) than the tank can put out TPS (threat per second) then the table will shift to this:

Davlin: Highest threat

Zaralin: High Threat

Dezaras: Moderate Threat

Mustafah: Moderate Threat

Jaffa: Moderate Threat

Whoa! Davlin, wait a second. You said you pulled threat from Dezaras, why’s Zaralin second on the list?!?!?! That’s because threat is range based as well as damage based. I’m standing next the healer like a good hunter, prepared to yank aggro off of her if a bunch of adds see her. If I go and pull threat, then the current enemy, Nexultor, will run at me, and now, because I’m so close to Zaralin, and thus she’s close to Nexultor, she’s second on the list. If I lose aggro, through feigning death or actually dying, then Zaralin, our healer, becomes the highest threat, gets squashed like the little squishy she is, and we all wipe. This is a classic poor threat management wipe scenario.

How does someone counter this? Well, before WOTLK came out, you’d have to go out and get Omen, or some other threat meter and watchyour aggro build up and then stop shooting, swinging, or stabbing before you stole threat. Since WOTLK though, you can instead watch the colors change around your avatar (cartoon representation of yourself. If you look at the Blog’s Intro Image, you can see Davlin with Full Aggro because of the RED AROUND HIS AVATAR) up in the left corner of your screen.

If it turns yellow, than you’re starting to build up a nice size of threat. If it turns orange than you’re about to pull threat (DANGER DANGER DANGER). If it turns red, thenyou have 100% threat from some mob. The proper thing to do is to slow down or stop your attacks or do some threat diminishing ability until your color changes, allowing for the tank to build up some more aggro, then resume your attacks. This is called “riding the aggro wave.”

As you level, and find yourself running higher instances, you’ll find that there are some badguys that have no aggro table. They usually switch targets faster than politicians change opinions, and a well practiced tank will know how to deal with this. If you’d like a tutorial on threat building for tanks, please request it here and I’ll force Dezaras to write it up.

Hope that helps.



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Psst….come here….

Um…have you seen Jaffa?

No? Good!

Have you seen the new acid spit ability on worm pets? Its a stacking Sunder ability that has a DOT. STACKING SUNDER!!! It has a 7 second cooldown, so every seven seconds you can hit it again and just keep removing armor from your enemy…

Still no Jaffa? Well, tough, I want him to hear this next part.


Hey there Jaffa buddy, Check this out!! I just saw a really cool video that showed me something I already had a hunch about. Wind Serpents are pets from the Cunning Talent tree (duh!), but because the higher my RAP (Ranged attack power) the mightier the Lightning blast that you can do bud, it means that you also hold aggro really well. Not only that, but with your armor almost double mine, and the awesome healing buffs from the Beast Mastery talent I can throw great heals at you!!


So revelation that I already knew? Jaffa, you’re a great DPS tank.

I knew it, you knew it, now we’re affirmed.


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