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What causes healer aggro?

STAR WARS: The Old Republic > English > Classes
What causes healer aggro?

cfcstl's Avatar


cfcstl
10.02.2012 , 12:01 PM | #1
I have noticed lately that during HM flashpoints I seem to attract an unusual amount of aggro from mobs during fights. I was wondering what game mechanics would draw aggro to the healer?
I have noticed lately I have more health that most in my group, does high hp play a part?
does dropping an area heal with the mobs range increase aggro?
does single healing create aggro from mobs?

I have starting using the reduced threat action but it doesn't seem to do much? Does it need to be activated before the threat or is it intended to drop the threat chance?

Kitru's Avatar


Kitru
10.02.2012 , 01:04 PM | #2
Quote:
I have noticed lately I have more health that most in my group, does high hp play a part?
Not explicitly, but higher health, especially on healers and DPS that aren't supposed to focus on their hit points, generally means that you're geared better than the other members of your party. This means that you will generate more threat because your abilities are more powerful than those of your party members on a proportionate level. If you're vastly overgeared party members, threat becomes a delicate balancing act wherein you have to hold back and not heal redundantly or else yank threat from other people.

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does dropping an area heal with the mobs range increase aggro?
No. The only thing that matters is whether the target is in combat or not. If an enemy is in combat, you generate healing threat on it. If it is not, it doesn't. It doesn't matter how far away it is from the heal or whether it's standing in your AoE heal. The only thing that matters is whether it is in combat with you or not.

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does single healing create aggro from mobs?
Yes. All healing done generates threat for every enemy that you're in combat with. So, if you're in a fight with 4 enemies and you drop a heal on the tank, you will generate threat on all 4 of those targets with that single heal on the tank. If you drop an AoE heal and it hits the entire party of 4, you'll generate threat for all of the healing you did to each target of the AoE heal for each of those 4 enemies you're in combat with.

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I have starting using the reduced threat action but it doesn't seem to do much? Does it need to be activated before the threat or is it intended to drop the threat chance?
Threat reduction mechanisms are used to reduce your current level of threat. As such, you have to use them after generating threat and then have it reduce your threat. Threat is reduced on a percent scale, so, if you have 10000 threat and use your threat drop (which is a 25% drop, I believe), you'll end up with 7500 threat.

Now that I've answered your questions, here's a basic primer on how threat in TOR works. Everything that causes an increase or decrease in someone or something's hp bar generates threat. There are some attacks that don't do or heal any damage that generate threat (Harpoon, Force Pull, etc.), but those are the exception, not the rule. The basic amount of threat generated by an ability is the amount of damage healed or dealt, so an attack that deals 1000 damage has a baseline contribution of 1000 threat. If there are no threat modifiers to the attack, then it will generate 1000 threat. As you can probably tell, there are also threat modifiers to deal with. Tanks, for example, generate 100% more threat with their attacks thanks to their stances. In addition, they also have some attacks that are labeled as "high threat", which causes the attack to generate 50% more threat (so a tank using a high threat attack actually generates 300% of the listed damage as threat). Heals generate 50% less threat than an attack that deals the same amount of damage (so a healer that heals someone for 1000 damage only generates 500 threat with that heal), though, unlike attacks, heals generate threat on *every enemy in combat* as opposed to just the target that takes the damage.

Now, beyond the basics of threat generation, it's important to understand how threat affects the aggro of the target (re: who an enemy decides to attack). Initially, an NPC attacks the person that initiates combat with it (by either running within it's aggro radius or attacking it). After that initial aggro, threat meters are factored in. An enemy will switch its target to someone other than its current target if that target reaches a certain threshold of threat compared to the current target depending on the range of the new potential target. If the new potential target is in melee range (within ~2.5m of the target so even most melee fighters tend to be outside of this range unless they're literally inside their target's model), the enemy switches over when the new potential target attains 110% of the current target's threat (so, if there is a tank and a DPS and the tank starts the fight with a 500 damage attack that generates 1000 threat, if the melee DPS immediately deals 1100 or more damage to the target, it will gain threat; later on in the fight, let's say that the tank has 30000 threat, the mDPS would need to have 33000 threat on the target to pull threat). In order for a person outside of that melee range to pull threat, they need to have 130% of the current target's threat (so, using the same examples as before, the required amounts of threat are 13000 and 39000 threat).

It is important to note that some bosses have mechanics that cause a target hit by the attack to lose all threat (the Annihilator Droid in EV has a regular knockback that it uses that does precisely this; the cyborg boss in Maelstrom Prison does this with his eye beams if he hits someone with them) while other bosses have attacks that choose a random target rather than relying on aggro to determine who to target (or even some attacks that target the #2 or #3 person on the threat meter). These are special cases however and should be dealt with by the group (after a threat drop, the tank immediately taunts to reestablish threat; group simply deals with the damage to a random target by throwing heals on them, etc).

As a healer, since threat generation from heals is so much smaller (native -50% threat modifier), it's really hard to actually get threat. In general, the only targets you'll have threat against are those that have either been completely ignored or hit only once or twice over the course of a fight. On trash packs, this means that healers often get beat on rather viciously when the tank doesn't know to switch targets and attack those that are not currently attacking him/her or when the DPS is too busy focusing on elites/champions to bother attacking the standards and strongs that the tank is likely to ignore (since they'll die to fast to make them worthwhile if the DPS actually focuses on them).

In general, if the healer is getting threat, it's because the tank is bad as its job. All it takes is a couple love taps to prevent the healer from taking it to the face for pretty much the entire fight.
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Cleet_Xia's Avatar


Cleet_Xia
10.02.2012 , 05:43 PM | #3
1) In multitarget fights with packs of elites, it is very easy for healers to generate enough threat to out threat the tank if the tank and dps focus on only 1 target. PUGs that go stright for the elite everytime are notoriously hard to heal, for this reason alone.

2) Healers automatically have threat on any mob that spawns after the pull, unless someone else attacks them quickly.

3) Because of the lower threat generated by healing & the range from which healers normaly do their thing, It should be impossible for a healer to out threat a similarly geared tank after the opening of a single target boss fight. But it can, and will happen if a healer overheals. It's annecdotal, but the threat generated by overheal appears to not benefit from part, or maybe even all, of the native threat reduction for heals. I base this conclusion on my observation of what happens when I make one of the following big mistakes:

BIG Mistake 1 ~ failure to change target from a nearly topped up tank to a damaged dps, and landing a big overheal on the healthy tank.

BIG Mistake 2 ~ bumping my [TAB] key just before trying to cast a big heal, and thus casting a big overheal on myself instead of my intended target.

BIG Mistake 3 ~ mixing up my actions and accidentally changing targets just after I begin a cast, instead of before. This makes it appear that I am casting on the correct target ~ eventhough I am not.

When I make one of these mistakes, it's not unusual for me to gain threat from multiple targets simultaneously. If this happens when I'm grouped with 3 undergeared players, I might take threat from every mob we are fighting. I can't remember ever gaining that much threat with one big heal, that didn't overheal.

None of these things happen frequently, most of the time I catch it, cancel the cast, and get myself on the right target. But it's possible to overlook that the mistake is happening, because I try to plan ahead during the longer casts. Having two party members with the same portrait increases the chance that one of these mistakes will occur. And it's happened enough to convince me that threat from overheal is somehow different.
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zorroazul's Avatar


zorroazul
10.03.2012 , 09:07 AM | #4
I'm really grateful for all these tips! Just recently started my second consular as a sage, and I was having quite a hard time with all the aggro while fighting. These hints would really come in handy.

Thanks again, pals!

Androgena's Avatar


Androgena
10.12.2012 , 12:12 PM | #5
if your generating enough threat to pull the mobs off he tanks , AND those mobs are leaving the tanks and attacking you , AND the tanks can't get the mobs back , well , then you need to find better tanks
Just sayin

Ognajd's Avatar


Ognajd
10.27.2012 , 03:02 PM | #6
How about pre-hotting the tank... does this affect threat? Pre = before any aggro. One mmo it was fine, the next game it wasn't. About the only constant was no penalty for bubbles.

Zenithan's Avatar


Zenithan
10.27.2012 , 07:17 PM | #7
I'm fairly sure overhealing doesn't actually cause any aggro, otherwise an 8-man raid standing in a healer's Salvation would cause her to instantly rip aggro from the tanks.

Hiniba's Avatar


Hiniba
10.27.2012 , 07:27 PM | #8
Basically you can think of actual agro as being generate from 3 sources.
1. Basic damage: If you damage a mob you generate an amount of hate proportional to the damage done. Note: certain abilities increase or decrease the threat generated (such as Soresu form for Guardians for Combat Technique for Shadows).
2. Healing: Any time you heal someone who has been damaged by a mob you generate threat on that mob, again proportional to the healing itself. (This does not mean that 1000 damage generates the same amount of threat at 1000 healing, generally speaking before you get the talent tree ability equal numbers healing generates more threat).
3. Artificial threat: This is created by high threat abilities (such as Force Breach) and taunts. Some, like taunts automatically put the user on top of the agro "ladder" some just generate a lot of threat compared to the amount of damage (if any) they do. Note: threats from taunt force the user to the "top" of the "agro ladder" but it does not actually generate threat (so if the boss only has agro on you, taunting him will not create additional threat just ensure he will attack you for 6 seconds)

The reason healers get agro usually at the start is because by default mobs will attack the first player who initiates combat; despite this that player has no actual threat generated by default they are just in combat. So when they attack him and the healer heals him (either because of AOE heal, active healing or a heal over time) they now have some threat generated with you and will attack you. Generally speaking healing, especially with the talent to reduce threat generation, should not pull agro (frequently) if the tank is on the target or if a DPS is on the target. Sometimes you will especially if the mob has weird threat mechanics but generally speaking healers usually pull from mobs that haven't been tagged or barely damaged rather than from enemies you are actively fighting.
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Kitru's Avatar


Kitru
10.27.2012 , 10:24 PM | #9
Quote: Originally Posted by Hiniba View Post
2. Healing: Any time you heal someone who has been damaged by a mob you generate threat on that mob, again proportional to the healing itself. (This does not mean that 1000 damage generates the same amount of threat at 1000 healing, generally speaking before you get the talent tree ability equal numbers healing generates more threat).
This is explicitly wrong. Healing generates 50% of the threat that would be caused with a similar amount of damage, and it applies that threat to *all* enemies that you're in combat with, whether they dealt the relevant damage or not. We know this outright because the developers have outright told us and that's what is supported with the combat logger.

Quote:
3. Artificial threat: This is created by high threat abilities (such as Force Breach) and taunts. Some, like taunts automatically put the user on top of the agro "ladder" some just generate a lot of threat compared to the amount of damage (if any) they do. Note: threats from taunt force the user to the "top" of the "agro ladder" but it does not actually generate threat (so if the boss only has agro on you, taunting him will not create additional threat just ensure he will attack you for 6 seconds)
This is *also* explicitly wrong. Taunts *do* explicitly generate threat. They set your threat to either 110% or 130% of the current highest threat the target has at the moment of activation. If you use a taunt when the target has 0 threat on them, you'll end up with 0 threat, because, guess what, 0 * 1.3 is still zero. However, when you're at 300k threat towards in an ops boss fight, you're gonna get tossed up to 390k (which is why Taunt is your single greatest threat generation tool and the #1 reason why threat is a joke in TOR).
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Vultana's Avatar


Vultana
11.01.2012 , 01:31 PM | #10
Wow, this thread has helped me both as a Tank and a healer.

Thanks!
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