Aggro or Aggravation is when an enemy targets your character
and begins attacking them. In V&H all enemies 5 levels below you and up
will Aggro you. In-Game terminology usually classifies them as "Red
Monsters". There are exceptions to this rule, for example all Elder and
Venerable bosses will Aggro you regardless of your level disparity.
Threat: Before you understand Aggro, you must learn about threat. Threat is a specific value your player has that is stored in the enemy code. Sounds confusing? Imagine yourself in the enemies position, there is a Warrior and priest attacking you. Chances are the Warrior is dealing the most damage to you, therefore they are the biggest threat to you so in result you will target them. We as players actually do the same thing albeit mentally. When you notice a group of monsters in Pyrron for example, and you view an archer who you know will steadily build up damage over time you will focus your attacks on that archer first as opposed to the lesser monsters. It's the same concept! Threat has a 1:1 correlation to damage. So if you deal 500 damage to an enemy, you now have 500 points of threat according to them. There are ways to influence threat so that you deal less or more depending on your class and preference. Below is an example table. This is what the monster sees when deciding who to target:
Please note that the table above is a very simplified representation of an enemy Aggro / Threat table. Threat is constantly updating throughout the duration of the fight, and this changes who the monster has as their number 1 targeting priority. There are a lot of different factors that can affect targeting priority, which we will go over below.
On-Sight Aggro: Now that you understand the basic concept behind threat, we will go over a few of the more intricate aspects. On-Sight Aggro is what happens when a player strays too close to a "Red Monster". The monster will immediately run towards you and begin attacking you. On-Sight Aggro has a threat value of 1, so it can easily be overpowered by another player with a simple hit. This is why it is NOT a good idea to run around in circles when an enemy is attacking you, instead head towards your nearest priest or tank so they can hit the enemy (applying threat) to take Aggro off of you. All enemies have a line of sight, picture this as a circle around the enemy. If you step into the circle they will see you, no matter what direction they're facing. Different zones have different Aggro radii. For example enemies in the Pyrron dungeons have a very limited Aggro radius, while enemies in the Blighted Isles have a much larger one. This means you can get closer to enemies in Pyrron without them noticing you as compared to in the Blighted Isles. So most people ask the question, "How can you tell how large or small the Aggro radius is?" Well you simply can't from first glance, there is some trial and error involved. Remember that most realms have set the same Aggro radius values, so if you notice a small Aggro radius in Pyrron Bastion you can bet it'll be the same size in Pyrron Ramparts. Simply walk towards an enemy and inch closer and closer until they notice you. Once you've got the hang of it you'll be able to avoid many enemy confrontations and save yourself time fighting your way through each monster. This is usually called "Hugging walls" or "Cutting corners". The further you are from an enemy the less chance you have of stepping into their Aggro circle!
Generation: One of the main functions of a Defender warrior or
"tank" is to keep enemies from attacking their more vulnerable
allies. Tanks have specific abilities that help achieve this, for example
Challenge, Thunderous Call, Defiant Stand and Pummel. What you may not know is
that what these abilities are actually doing is applying threat to the enemy.
Remember that an enemy's targeting priority is based on threat, and threat is a
1:1 correlation to damage applied. Well how would a tank deal enough damage to
keep the enemy's attention away from his heavy hitting hunter ally? The answer
is by using the feats mentioned above, or in other words by using
"Taunts". Warrior's also have specific armor that adds an additional
layer of threat to each of their attacks. This process of using taunts is known
as Threat Generation. Essentially the warrior has to generate enough threat to
overpower the damage of their allies in order to keep an enemy focused on them.
How to Avoid Aggro in Combat: If you're a glass cannon that last thing you want is the opponent targeting you! But how can you avoid that when you deal so much damage? Well the main course of action is ensuring there is a warrior in the party who understands threat generation mechanics and has enough taunts to keep attention off of you. Before every fight you must give the tank time to engage their taunts though! On-Sight Aggro can be finicky, and when multiple players are within the Aggro circle there is no telling which player the monster decides to attack. Recall that On-Sight Aggro has a threat value of 1, so if all players within the circle have the same value, then it becomes random probability who the monster charges at. Let the tank take the lead, and let them use their taunts or stuns before unleashing your heavy hitting attacks. Some players purposely avoid using high damage feats but this sort of play-style is not recommended and can lead to unnecessarily long fight duration. It is better to figure out a different solution. Perhaps the priest focuses heals and shields on whoever is tanking or wizards attempt to stun-lock the boss.
How to Solo as a Warrior
Group Enemies: Higher level content such as Pyrron and the Blighted Isles incorporate group enemy tactics. Meaning if you attract the attention of 1 monster, then 3 or 4 of their nearby allies will converge upon you as well. Even during lower level content this scenario can happen often, as plenty of zones feature monsters in close proximity so it's common to agro multiple enemies. Whenever this happens it is important to back-track a few steps into the area you had just cleared. If you dive headfirst into a group of opponents then chances are you will also be spotted by other nearby groups. Once the group is upon you, you'll have to immediately take out the largest threat. In most cases these are magic casters or elemental type monsters. Warrior tanks can have many physical damage based enemies on them at once without taking much damage, but magic/elemental opponents can bypass much of a warrior's defenses. Important abilities include dragon strike - this will stun all foes in the vicinity for a few seconds, buying you enough time to pinpoint which monster to kill first or replenish some health with a phoenix. Another great attack is whirlwind, this will strike all nearby enemies once again dealing damage as well as a chance to inflict bleeding. It can get dizzying when so many are attacking you at once, but it's best to keep calm and go at them one by one, the most dangerous ones first. As a tank you can last longer during these fights than most other classes, however if it becomes too prolonged then the penalty will be spirit depletion, which can cripple even the mightiest of defenses.
Group Enemies: Fighting two or 3 enemies at once isn't much of a challenge for Swift warriors. Once the number reaches 4 or 5 though they can pose a real threat. Swift warriors need to rely on their damage and speed in order to quickly and effectively defeat their enemies, Before diving in click the enemies one by one and analyze them. Which of them seem the most dangerous? Once this is accounted for it's time to begin the fight. When rushing into a group it is highly recommended to lead off with a charge + Dragon strike combination after buffing yourself with Huzzah. This will ensure you make it into the group before enemies have time to react and then proceed to stun the monsters on the playing field. Whirlwind is another key ability which will weaken the surrounding foes considerably, making it that much easier to dispatch the group. Physical and elemental enemies alike pose a threat for Swift warriors, but ranged magic users are probably more damage due to their attack speed. While the enemies are stunned now is your chance to use sword storm and knock out the key heavy hitters among the enemies. It's a good idea to kill those that have the least health first before engaging enemies with a vast quantity of armor and health. Use stuns such as dragon strike and charge as often as possible and while certain enemies are stunned attack those that aren't stunned. If you notice a group of enemies composed of very deadly enemies then use the challenge ability to draw out one or two of the more powerful enemies. This can be done for almost every enemy and while it is a viable tactic it will result in taking much longer to complete a zone.
How to Party as a Warrior
Group Enemies: Holding the attention of a large group of enemies is difficult when your allies are heavy hitting fire wizards and poison hunters but it isn't impossible. To achieve proper group performance every tank needs to understand how threat and agro work. When you notice an enemy on the map with a red name and that enemy sees you as well and begins to rush towards you, this is called on-sight agro. You have a very low threat rating for this enemy which can easily be broken when another player deals damage. Tanks have certain abilities (pummel, challenge, thunderous call, defiant stand) which increase their threat generation or apply threat directly. Damage also acts as threat in a 1:1 ratio. So say you attack an enemy as a tank and deal your average 200 damage you also just applied 200 threat + however much threat bonus is added by your defender gear. Now say a hunter then out-damages you and hits the enemy for 500 damage (also 500 threat). That enemy will now 'agro' or attack the hunter instead of you. As a tank, you do NOT want this to happen. When fighting a group of enemies it's best to start off with thunderous call. This is an Area of Effect ability that will apply threat to all nearby enemies, forcing them to swarm you. Now this is a great first step, but it is not enough. A quick combo from your fire wizard ally and all of those enemies will switch targets. Thus, once thunderous call is used and all the monsters are surrounding you, use whirlwind to deal damage + defender gear boosted threat onto those enemies. Now your allies can freely deal as much damage as they want with no fear of being swarmed. If you notice an enemy that has resisted your thunderous call, then that is the enemy you should focus your attacks on. Also, if there is enemy with an exceptionally large amount of health, chances are that one of your allies will eventually deal enough damage to out-threat you for that specific enemy. A quick pummel or challenge can fix this. If you're especially worried about a certain group of monsters then use defiant stand before charging in. This will increase your health reserves but more importantly your threat generation, meaning it will take a considerable amount of damage for anyone to be able to agro a monster away from you. Likely that will never happen considering the short duration of most fights.
Group Enemies: It is of utmost importance to allow the tank to engage a group of enemies and build up threat before charging in. In a group situation it can be difficult to ascertain who is attacking who, and if a Swift warrior gets agro from a powerful enemy monster then they can be wiped out before they have time to react and figure out which enemy is targeting them. Once the leader has established agro over the group, Swift warriors should charge in after/while buffing allies with huzzah. The priority of attack for a Swift warrior varies depending on the situation. If the Tank failed to get enough agro over a few monsters, and those monsters begin to rush towards ranged allies, then those should be top priority. Otherwise it should be enemies such as archers or drakes - the longer they're left alive the more powerful they become. Dragon strike is an important ability to use whenever your health falls too low. It will stun all enemies in the vicinity and give you an opportunity to use phoenix and replenish health. It's also advised not to attack the same enemies as your team (unless they need help). If you notice an enemy archer raining down fire unopposed while the rest of your team is only focusing on a couple of monsters then it is your job to engage and defeat the archer. If everyone attacked a single monster out of a group it would waste time, and spirit. Swift warriors should use a bouncing technique when fighting large groups - charge from one monster to the next, dealing quick damage with sword storm and then moving on to the next enemy. It's ideal to finish off an enemy before changing targets however it may not matter, as most groups have wizards and hunters who can deal AoE damage finish off any weakened enemies. It's also extremely important which enemy a Swift warrior chooses to use phoenix from. If you're desperate on gaining health and you are out of options then go for the nearest enemy, but if you have a few moments to pick a target then choose the correct one. Never use phoenix on enemies with large armor ratings and resistances, this will yield the lowest amount of health gained. In Pyrron dungeons the best enemy for a warrior to use phoenix on are sluggers/bruisiers. They have a large amount of health but little to no armor. This means Swift warriors can regain a considerable amount of health per phoenix.