View Full Version : Pulling in the Underworld. "Corner Blocking"
I've been going to Underworld more and more lately and I've noticed that most groups now lean towards 3 warrior walls. For those who do not know what this is, it's essentailly lining up three warriors in a narrow passage to block monsters from passing. Someone else pulls and runs through the three warriors and the monsters will stop and attack any of three blocking warriors, generally the one that is in their path. It is indeed an effective method, but I'm going to suggest a better method. A few months ago I played with a warrior in the Underworld by the name of Toushirou Hitsugaya (who has been MIA for the last few weeks) and he began to notice an odd behavior of attacking monsters. They tended to bunch up at the corners when being pulled around them, but only sometimes. Later on I figured out why. When monsters argo a party they always seem to run to the casters the weaker characters, the casters. Also they always try to take the shortest path to any character, hence running directly agaisnt a corner! Using this knowledge it is easy to direct the flow of any charging monsters now. Let me start by showing you a horrible picture made with Paint.
Okay, let me explain what you're looking at here. The black areas represent walls in the game of GuildWars. The blue dot represents our warrior that is used to blocking and tanking dmg. The red box is the area at which casters should stand and the grey dots represent monsters. This picture essentially shows you the proper setup. The casters hug the wall to direct flow of the monsters to that area. The warrior in blue stands directly in the path of the monsters and uses the corner to as a barrier as well. What does this mean to your underworld group?
1) Monsters will generally always attack 1 person making it easier to predict dmg and healing. Take a protection monk and a healing monk and you're done with healing.
2) Monsters will now be packed in a dense spot at the warrior making all of them very susceptable to AOE attacks.
3) Instead of taking 3 warriors, you only really need 1 warrior to block. A second one is advisable, both can block at the corner or one can pick up a lose monster if it manages to get by or the first warrior dies.This allows you to bring more dmg based classes. Or having a blinder (Ranger Dirt for example) negate their dmg completely for a certian amount of time.
The next picture I am going to show you is port-in of the Underworld. Sorry for the lack of people or even monsters, but I thikn it'll help people visualize the concept better.
In the picture there is some glitering dust circled in red behind the ghost. That is where casters should be standing (argo radius permitting of course). The blue dot represents where the warrior should be standing to block incoming monsters. For those who are familiar with the Underworld, the gray block reprents to the two static spawns Aaxte in that general area. Of course there is a patrol, you can take all three on if you're confident or you can wait for the patrol to leave. The warrior runs up and argo the aaxte and then returns to the blue circle to block. They should try to run past him tot he casters, but will stop when they cannot and attack him. The broken grey line represents the path at which they wish to go, but cannot. In the photo, there is a monk standing on the platform. That's pretty far out there. Any more to the left and the monsters will almost definitely get by. To avoid any problems at all, he should be standing near the red circle.
Lastly, I leave you with a few words of advise. Try to always use corners. The action of monsters having to turn the corner makes it work every time. I've sucessfully used or seen it used in much of underworld...especially the smites, darknesses and the mindbreakers (i forget their names already, the interrupters). It does not work very well with casters, but it can be used to an extent. Play around with some corners and see which ones you can and cannot use. I assure you, using this properly with make things much more efficent and enjoyable. Down with 3 warior walls! Use corner blocking!
I've been using corner-blocking right through the game with henchmen. It's a great way to get all the aggro on the warriors, even with the limited control you have with henchmen. With the way AI path-finding works, corners act as choke points, and there are corners everywhere.
good post. it doesnt always work though.
ill try to explain.
im typically the only warrior in the uw groups i play with. im specced pretty weirdly too - im W/Me with 12 illusion as my highest attribute and i make liberal use of distortion. our protection monk casts protective bond on me and heal seed and between that and distortion im practically immune to damage.
creatures in underworld have a really weird aggro which works a bit like how you explained. they definitely have a target priority though as if you are bunched up in a group with your warriors slightly in front, its common for underworld creatures to charge straight through the warriors and go for the casters. i think you are right in saying that they ignore line of sight - as evidenced by the fact you can aggro creatures through walls and arround corners. the aggro circle always applies.
therefore most of the pulling and grouping we do via the radar. as im the only warrior in the group all casters stay out of my aggro circle behind me. they need at least this distance. as mentioned before with healing seed and protective bond i take hardly any damage at all. i can pull a small mob of creatures towards me, tank it and spam evasion. the point is that the mob is fully aquired and i take all the aggro *before* everyone else moves into my aggro radius (if the enemy is on top of me at melee range then this is also pretty much the enemy aggro radius too). then and only then can casters move into my aggro circle and start attacking.
in most cases the creatures continue to attack me. the only time they break off is if they cannot reach me. if for example i pull 2 aatxes and 1 is stuck slightly behind the other. it will try to target me. fail to do so. then target the next highest priority target within its aggro radius. the important thing is for your warrior to take full aggro before moving in otherwise the AI spazzes out on you and things get messy.
i should note that sometimes i notice creatures require new targets after getting knocked down so i think knock down forces a creature to reaquire.
all creatures in game seem to have a target priority. i noticed this in nebo terrace when fighting ettins in pairs. 2 things in particular.
if your pair consists of a warrior and a caster, the ettins will automatically target the caster and beat on him unless you can block their path to the target. whereby they will aquire the next hostile target within range. that would be the warrior.
i also noticed that creatures are sensitive to the enchantments and stances that the player is using.
for example, go to nebo terrace again. you need 2 warriors for this. 1 must be a warrior monk. have the warrior monk cast mending on himself. now, as a pair aggro some ettins. the ettins always attack the player without mending. unless again, you can block their path to the target and thus force them to reaquire. you can prove this by casting mending on yourself and doing this test. then casting it on your partner and repeating it. the ettins always attack whoever doesnt have mending within range.
now. you can get teh other warrior to body block some of the ettins and force them to reaquire him. but theres an easier way. to force all of the ettins to attack the player with mending you need to screw with the AI a little bit. the other warrior needs to stay out of the aggro circle of the w/mo with mending. w/mo with mending should be well ahead when he aggros the ettins. he waits for the ettins to fully start attacking him. this forces the ettins to start attacking the only target within their aggro radius. once they are locked on, then the warrior without mending can move up and start attacking.
loosely this works in underworld although its difficult to predict what targets underworld creatures will target when they lose targetting owing to the fact that in our underworld parties at least, most, if not all of us at some point are wearing enchantments or using stances of some kind. some of us wear multiple enchantments. therefore its hard to tell who will get attacked when creatures are forced to reaquire targets.
this method of pulling however has worked consistantly for me in underworld. you only need 1 warrior. 1 healer and 1 protection monk really. since only 1 target ever gets hit, and that target has damage reduction on it. it makes it easier on the healer - who only has to heal 1 player (which is made even easier by the fact that spike damage is limited by protective spirit/protective bond). it makes it easier on the casters who can rain AoE down on a tight cluster of enemies. it makes everyone's life easier actually. this is how my groups typically clear all the shrines in underworld.
Without a doubt your method would work as well! I can remember a few times in places other than underworld that I've used what you've described as allowing the tank to run in first and firmly establish argo before the casters even come inside the range of the monsters. The objective of my post was to get away from 3 warrior walling and move to a more advanced method of crowd control. But your post is slighty confusing to me. Are you saying that it won't work because of different target priority due to enchantments etc? This corner-blocking is powered by that itself. It wants to run to the casters instead of the warrior, but we're forcing it (due to a warrior blocking path and a wall it has to run around) to attack the warrior instead. Even in a situation where the monster cannot attack the tank because it's stuck behind another monster, it'll just stand there until there is room and try to run at the casters again. But the warrior is still standing there and it will just resume attacking the warrior. Very rarely do monsters get by. Generally the only times that one will get by are if a caster is out of position or it gets "bumped" by another monster.
I hate to say it, but corner blocking is just a more advanced version of 3 warrior walls. They essentially use a warrior to block the path to a caster. In that situation it doesn't matter who has what enchants or who's the highest priority target. The monster is forced into a situation in which it has only 1 person to attack. The game mechanics do not allow for a monster to decide to side step over and go around this piece of meat that it can't hurt. Give it a try the next time you're down in the Underworld. As long as the monsters are approaching from the proper angle (If you're using a corner to your left, monsters have to come from the left and vice versa) very rarely will anything get by. It is important to stand there as well. The second you move, you open the flood gates to hell. ;)
the method i described works differently to yours in only 1 sense. whereas yours has a caster in aggro range and (rightly) assumes the creature will attack it. you use a warrior to block the path to the target.
the method i describe removes the caster from the picture. it removes all party members from the picture by keeping them well out of aggro range. so with my method, the warrior doesnt block anything - the warrior is the only target available to be attacked.
if your party is spread out behind you however, using either method its sometimes difficult to predict which one the creature will attack. i mention this because its the most common situation that happens. even telling people to put some distance between the warriors often falls on deaf ears ^^
the creatures in my observation do not necessarily always attack the closest target though.
the mending example i hope was clear. they always attack the player without mending. now ive never done a test for this, but what would happen if 1 had mending and the other had mark of protection? what would happen if instead of just 2 people, you had all 8, most of which are running different enchants? at this point i havent done enough testing to know what sets them off. what enchants they prioritise.
your method absolutely works in underworld - ive used it but ive also seen the underworld creature AI spazz out and ive seen some aatxes (i call em bullies ^^) just veer off and attack a random caster. its difficult to predict whats sets them off. even with the method ive described ive had creatures become stuck or require targets once you take all the agro and they just go nuts and veer off and attack someone else.
the AI of the creatures in underworld is quite perculier.
i definitely agree though. moving off from the 3 man warrior wall is a good idea. for starters, some of the later missions require you to use your character selection very very wisely. im thinking specifically of the ice wastes shrine mission (where you have to protect the ice king) and the chaos planes mission (the four horsemen). for those missions its absolutely a waste having 3 warriors. for the ice king id rather have another 2 ranger spreading choking gas and stopping those crazy meteor swarms. you only need 1 warrior for your method and 1 for mine. and thats all you really need. excellent OP by the way - loved the illustrated examples. ill see if i can illustrate the method ive described. a video showing some of the crazy aggro might help too ^^
I think that's the reason more advance tactics aren't popular in GW at all. Many of the characters do not want to put in the extra effort into setting up for a pull or even being patient enough for someone in your method to charge ahead first. Most groups are very hypocritical of my strategy. Casters like to stand where every they please and when you tell them not to stand somewhere...they'll stand there. But then again, that's what makes the best the best. That little extra effort in planning and execution.
Finally more people are starting to understand that 1 tank is enough and 2 is usually one too many lol.
I am an adherent of (if Im tanking) stay the h#ck out of my aggro bubble....give it some extra space...now step back again. Why? Because many mobs take a good few steps past me to "look" for softer targets to pound. When they dont see any then they all come back and beat on me. Then I call a target to signal any not on TS/Vent that its time to kill but this is the important part..DO NOT ATTACK THAT TARGET. Hit the "c" button. If you target the closest (and I usually take a guildy Echo nuker buddy and tell everyone to only attack his targets) then no one ever even enters aggro range. Seriously ever. Unless you have eles bringin lava font and phoenix everything is castable from longbow range and rangers f the shortbow its much better to be hitting and not seen than shooting 1/3 sec faster.
The whole corner blocking thing well...where possible Im all about nuking thru walls etc but if you just follow my advice on targeting you can be in the middle of nowhere wide open and still only have the tank doing the tanking. Your monks will thank you and I always say if it gets bad or a monk runs out of energy let me die. Run and rebirth me later. Plus with only one tank you have 5 damage characters after the prot and heal monks. Necros and Mezzies should be involved and no necros are not blood pets. Smart necros can decimate mobs with AoE damage and curses..often both and for some areas minionmancers are quit helpful. Just my 2c.
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