Warrior/Ritualists. They're the wave of the future.
When GW:F is released, they will be the new keg/gear/torch/book tanks, and they don't even need a keg/gear/torch/book to be waiting for them to pick up! Not when they can cast any of the Ritualist "ashes" spells and create their own aggro magnet at will!
I was hoping... hoping against hope... that they would remove the "If someone is holding an item, direct all attacks at them and ignore everyone else" bits from the enemy AI when Factions comes out. I mean, Ritualists have 60 AL ARMOR -- some of these "Ashes" spells are pretty cool! A ritualist may want to carry the "Attuned" ashes around for as long as he can, for instance, as it is an amazing energy management elite. But wait, if you carry those "Attuned" ashes... EVERY monster who touches your aggro bubble will ignore everyone and head DIRECTLY towards you! EEK!!
Well, this isn't so bad if you're a Warrior! No, these fearless exploiters of poorly designed AI have been using this particular gimmick for many months now. Sorrow's Furnace, The Fissure of Woe, Thunderhead Keep... they all have items that you can pick up and hold onto to use as "aggro magnets". Warriors plan for this and adjust their builds to not depend on weapons and shields; stances, signets, shouts, etc... you've got your cookie cutter gear stance tank and you're set.
And now, with the introduction of aggro magnets that you can CONJURE YOURSELF, you can pull this trick off in ANY instance. UW! Thirsty River! Hell's Precipice! In every mission and every outpost all across the Guild Wars world, W/Ri will be the tank of choice.
This is sure to:
1. Dumb down the PvE experience to the point of absurdity
2. Create endless spam in every PvE outpost of "GLF ASH TANK"
3. Create endless "UR NOT ASH TANK? NOOB!!" remarks from group leaders to every self-advertised tank that isn't a W/Ri
and, most importantly,
4. Make every single "Ashes" skill unusable and, for all intents and purposes, suidcidal in the hands of a Ritualist primary.
Unless, of course, ANet decides to un-code this bit of nonsense AI from the game. I believe that this is the best course of action... completely eliminate the "book trick" or the "gear trick" or what will soon be known as the "ashes trick" from the game. It's absurd... no wait, let me bold that word for emphasis, it's absurd that enemies would mindlessly attack someone who is holding onto a freaking gear and completely ignore the foes that are dealing damage and healing. It always has been, and it always will be.
Before now, the main line of logic as to why the book trick should be left in was "well if you don't like it, don't use it, and it won't affect you at all". This argument no longer works when it makes a primary Ritualist see the need to completely ignore an entire line of skills, because to use them would be tantamount to seppuku. The book trick now affects everyone.
I imagine that the new argument from the gear tank apologists will be "If you don't like it, just don't use the 'ashes' skills" or even worse, "If you don't like it, don't play a Ritualist". That is, for lack of a better adjective, a pathetic response to a request to fix what is obviously a moronic AI choice.
Look guys, I know if they take it out, you won't be able to farm SF for greens as easily anymore. But try and see the big picture here. See how this AI choice wrecks an entire line of what would otherwise be pretty sweet skills.
Remember the AoE update? The reasoning behind that? "To make monster AI make decisions that were closer to the decisions that humans would make." I hope that ANet applies that reasoning to this case as well, and eliminates the "held item trick" before Factions is released.
I implore them to do so, with the utmost haste.