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Aggro is how a particular mob recognizes you. Most basic Mabinogi combat/range skills are for one to one combat. The game AI has to provide a rule that a player can use combat skills without the frustration of fighting all surrounding mobs at once with one to one skills. However, it also has to provide certain challenges to give the players incentive to build their characters.
When you do a dungeon, you will notice that there could be many mobs at a time in a room but only few of them recognize you and try to attack you while other mobs pretend as if they didn't see you at all. Those mobs are under the Control of Aggro rule. Aggro is most important in single player combat. Multi-Aggro mobs may switch targets if there are multiple players (including your own Pets) in their aggro range.
Predicting all the monster's Aggro State before they Aggro is the key to mastering the game.
Visually, there are 4 states of monster aggro.
- No Aggro - The monster ignores the player.
- Detect - The monster displays a red ! over its head and follows the player.
- Stunned - The monster displays a red ! over its head after being hit by a splash attack. Sometimes followed by Detect status; the appearance of the two states is identical.
- Aggro - The monster displays a !! over its head and executes its attack AI.
When you are within a monster's aggro range:
- Monster may switch from No Aggro state to Aggro state automatically.
- Monster may switch from No Aggro state to Detect state automatically.
- Monster may stay in No Aggro state forever.
If you directly attack a particular monster, that monster will switch to Aggro state regardless of which state it was previously in.
A monster in detect state may load skills such as Defense and Counterattack, but will cancel them upon switching to aggro state. This gives a brief window when the monster is guaranteed to have no skills active at all. They may also load magic attacks, but except for a few monsters like Grumbills they won't use them.
A monster walking back to its turf after it gives up chasing you won't aggro unless you attack it. However, it is worth noting that when they are doing so they have Instinctive Reaction, so assaults at this stage should not open with a melee attack.
Each type of mob has particular aggro type expressed in ratios. In general, they are categorized into two types.
M is the number of mobs from the same type recognize you. M can be set to very high number to make it look like all of the mobs will attack you when they see you. If M is 1 then the monster is called Single-Aggro. If M is more than 2 then the monster is called Multi-Aggro.
M is the number of mobs from the same type that would Aggro you while there would be N Detect mobs.
(Ex. White Spiders in Tir Chonaill Graveyard have 1+2:1 aggro type. When you are surrounded by White Spiders in Tir Chonaill Graveyard, only two of them will follow you. If you attack one of them, one will switch to Aggro state and another White Spider in No Aggro state nearby will switch into the Detect mode.)
If there are multiple types of mobs, each type will have their separate Aggro chain. If you directly attack a particular mob, that mob will switch to Aggro state regardless of which aggro type it has.
Since each type has its own aggro chain, if two or more species are in one room it is advisable to quickly weed them out type by type.
Area Attack and Stun
If you use a skill that attacks multiple mobs of same type with No Aggro at once, only one of them switches into Aggro state. All other surviving mobs will go into Stunned state.
For M:1 aggro type mobs, it is not obvious. However, for M+N:1 aggro type mobs, Stunned mobs will follow you.
Example of Area Attack skills:
- Windmill (Very important skill to acquire)
- Normal melee attack with weapon splash effect.
- Multi-charged Lightning Bolt.
- High Rank (5 or higher) Smash attack.
- High Rank (5 or higher) Magnum Shot.
- Other skills like Elf Mirage Missile and Giant's Stomp.
- All advanced magic (Thunder, Fireball, and Ice Spear)
- All advanced magic attracts Aggro from every enemy upon impact.
- Thunder immediately attracts Aggro from all mobs upon usage of the skill.
- Fireball draws Aggro only from surviving enemies.
- Ice Spear draws Aggro only from surviving enemies.
- More often than not an advanced magic attack against an enemy that is Aggroing someone else will cause it to attack the caster, but from the caster's point of view, the enemy may not show Aggro at all (rushing at the caster without the double exclamation marks (!!) over its head).
- All advanced magic attracts Aggro from every enemy upon impact.
- Taunt (Giants Only) puts all surrounding mobs into Aggro state.
Temporarily Blocking Aggro with Area Attack
Area attacks can be grouped into two. Ones that need a target (Ex. Rank 5+ Magnum Shot) and ones that do not need a target (Ex. Windmill).
If you kill a mob with an area attack with no target, the mob will continue to keep the previous aggro state until its dead body disappears. This means that only M-1 mobs will attack you from mobs with M:1 Aggro Type.
For mobs with 1:1 aggro type like Skeletons, you can kill a mob with windmill and keep the rest of the mobs in No Aggro state till the dead body disappears.
Usually a dead body disappears after 15 seconds. You can extend this time to almost full 1 minute by making a single player party and change party option to "Finish to Anyone". The downside of this is the inconvenience of having to finish all mobs manually. (another hit is needed to finish after they get killed)
There are dungeon rooms that spawn mobs 3 times. Once you clear such room, new mobs appear. For a short time (around 2-3 seconds) after new mobs get spawned, the game AI does not choose which mob will switch to Aggro state. If you attack a mob in that period, the game AI might choose another one to switch into aggro state.
Blocking Aggro of M+N:1
Stunned mobs will not switch to aggro state until you kill the same type of mob with Aggro state thus making the number of mobs in Aggro state to M-1.
The game AI counts both the mobs in Aggro state as Aggro state and also mobs in Stunned state as Aggro state if there are any Detect mobs. This means that if there are M Stunned mobs and N Detect mobs from mobs with M+N:1 aggro type, no further mobs will switch into Aggro state.
Mobs with different aggro types gets inhibited from switching Aggro state from No Aggro to Aggro once you meet above condition for just one type of mob. This inhibition breaks when you kill Stunned mobs or when they Aggro another player/pet, then you will get Aggro from almost all of the surrounding mobs (if Multi-Aggro). This inhibition of aggro state switching is sometimes called "Aggro Dam" by some players.
- Aggro in Mabinogi - http://crea.webice.kr/?mid=info_tip&page=3&document_srl=119