Query about aggro in dungeons

I am just learning dungeons and trying to get my head around the aggro concept. Any clarifications would be appreciated.

The way I understand it, the tank’s function is to draw the boss’s and others’ aggro, and the healer tries to keep the tank and dps’s health up. Positionally this means the tank tends to get in front of the boss and the dps’s behind it, with the healer in different positions depending on the situation.

I gather also that healing tends to draw aggro, so the healer has to either stay close to the tank and/or the tank has to strongly draw the aggro of the boss and others.

Early on, I made what I was told was an error of bringing a healing ability – AR’s Unveil Essence – into a dungeon and, as I understand it, using that got me attacked, because the way it works, health has to come from the healer while the dps’s, besides ideally using high damage abilities and passives, are somewhat protected by their heals coming from outside. Is that right?

Additionally, besides healing abilities and passives, there are some gadgets and talismans that heal, for example the Boincan Flask, which turns incoming attacks into heals, and the occult Ankh, which heals when an adversary is damaged. Do these heals also draw boss and other aggro? I know that all gear for a dps should be concentrated on damage, but that is a separate question, and I’m interested in whether these gadget/talisman heals will also draw aggro, as a guide to what I should do as I level up BiS gear – which thanks to not asking these questions earlier on, I didn’t start with.


The thing is, aggro from damage only applies to the target that got hit. Aggro from healing applies to every target that can “see” the heal happen. (I believe it gets 1/2 the aggro of damage on a number by number basis and overhealing is further reduced but not zero)

Majority of tank moves are melee range, the only way they get aggro on extra mobs is by casting self-heals at the appropriate time or by the healer being close enough to the tank for their melee-range moves to hit the mobs

In specific mobs start with 10k aggro against everyone in the room and 11k against their preferred target (not super clear how they pick a preference, maybe distance) and whoever exceeds that number by 10% now has aggro. So if you do 2000 damage to a mob before the tank attacks it you’ll get aggro. If you do 4000 healing you’ll get aggro. Unless someone else in the group is doing more.

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Just adding on, yes, all heals draw aggro. Everything anyone does draws aggro to greater or lesser degrees.

Most of the time, you need to be aware of heal aggro on adds and critters outside a tank’s melee range. However, a number of tank skills generate quite a bit of heal aggro themselves, so it’s important to pay attention to what the adds are doing and what the tank is doing about them. Just as a for instance, I frequently use Thick Skin’s passive shield to grab add attention because it’s a lot of heal aggro. Unveil Essence is unlikely to overcome that, but Convalescence might!

Unveil Essence might get you add attantion if the tank hasn’t done anything to get it. Bring adds to the tank is a good rule of thumb.

This might help or confused, but there are two terms used, which are a bit different. Hate and Aggro. You build hate with everything you do, dmg or healing. Those numbers are counting up in the background, and who ever have the highest Hate, gets Aggro. To switch the Aggro, someone must reach a Hate number that is a 110% of the number, the current Aggro holder has.

So healing or doing damage before the tank hits, makes it hard for tank to catch it back in time. Many add spawns are fairly random in timing, so often they latch onto healer, or a dps using AoE. Some are very predictable, and here you can stop the healing momentarily to let tank catch them.

Also bear in mind that some moments with some bosses are aggro resets, where the boss will effectively wipe all hate back to 0. One example is in the final boss of The Ankh, when Melothat does his sit-down-and-have-a-rest thing. When he gets back up, everything resets, so if anyone does anything (e.g. healer restoring some health) before the tank has a chance to draw aggro, Melothat will head for that person. Usually in this fight, the tank can quickly draw it back, but there are other instances where it can be a real headache. As always, the best option is to hold off doing anything until you’re sure the tank definitely has the aggro.

I believe full list of aggro resets in dungeons is
Polaris 3: every time the Varangian dives
Polaris 5: every ‘real’ Psychic Death Zone (e5+ has fake ones with the exact same cast name unfortunately)
Polaris 6: every blue phase and wave

Darkness War 3: may not be a full reset but when he forces the players to the outside circle the tank definitely has high odds of losing aggro if players keep attacking the boss
Darkness War 6: Concuss sets top priority aggro to someone other than the tank (this needs a taunt used, not just tank attacking first)

Ankh 6: Every time Melothat stands up

Hell Eternal 2: Every time he runs away

Polaris 1: Mjoilner or however you spell it, also resets aggro (e5+)
Polaris 3: Same as above

These two along with Darkness War 6 is not a reset of the Hate table. Rather it ignores the Tank (or whoever was at the top when the ability was cast) and goes for number two. At least that is the case in DW 6. It is very possible to predict who the victim of concuss will be if it isn’t stopped.

As for adds you can lessen heal aggro on
Polaris 5: When real shield go up, stop healing and only heal if somebody other than tank start taking damage. They shouldn’t if they let the tank gather the adds instead of being overly trigger happy on the adds.
Darkness Wars 4: When the Ak’ab dives underground, if adds are not already munching on you, there is a chance they soon will. Tank doesn’t need heals until the Boss comes up again.

That aside, standing in the tank AoE, or otherwise get the Tank between you and where the adds come from, can be a really good way to make life easier. Alternatively DPS AoE is not a bad place to be either. Worst you can do is hightail it away from your group.