Rat Ogres are too focused on downed players

Had a very short game earlier. A rat ogre spawned early in the level and immediately crumped our WHC bot. The bots used to be godlike at dodge dancing bosses but they seem to have lost that ability somewhere along the way. Anyhow he dropped and the rat ogre immediately slammed 2 more times and killed him before anyone else could do much. A little while later our mercenary (the host) goes down, I was right beside him at the time and tried several times to get aggro so the slayer could pick him up. We were unable to get the rat ogre’s attention and he then kills the merc and I start kiting the boss around in circles. At that point the host booted me from the game. I’m guessing he was butthurt that I didn’t pick him up because me and the slayer were handling the ogre just fine at that point and the horde was all dead.

I’m replaying the scenario in my head and I’m not sure what could be done differently. I think there was a very small window where I could have picked him up. If I stood just outside the splash radius for the 2-hand smash and started picking him up as soon as he fell I would have had enough time to get him standing again. But I think in that scenario I would have picked him up just in time to be killed by another smash, because the rat ogre is still locked onto him.

This is a problem I’ve encountered many times since the game launched. Rat ogres do not switch aggro after downing a player with an overhand attack, they will just sit there and pound them to death. The only way to break this pattern seems to be some form of knockback like a grenade or ult. Regular weapon attacks, even crits to the head seem to be ignored in this state. The other two melee bosses don’t seem to have this problem, chaos spawn in particular will switch aggro at the drop of a hat.

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I’ve had this happen, too. Chaos Spawn seem particularly prone to this sort of thing.

Part of the reason is - I think - that aggro is largely based on proximity, not just damage. You seem to have to do a lot of damage to pull a monster’s aggro, and due to the fact that players often go down right in front of a boss, they keep the aggro.

I’ve noticed, too, that bots seem really good at dodge-dancing sometimes, and other times just flub it. It’s almost like they have a randomized chance to mess up and eat a hit or two . . . or maybe it got caught on some geometry, lol.

I’ve heard that proximity is the biggest factor, which is why they always switch after knocking a player back. If the proximity multiplier has too much weight and the downed player is right in front/underneath the boss that could definitely explain the problem.

I’m not entirely sure how much of this is the bots just being stupid, and how much the “Improved” bot AI is affecting things. People are suspecting that the mod doesn’t work as well as it should and I have noticed a definite drop in performance since I first installed the mod.

Back at launch bots were pretty much godlike or immediately failed with not much in between. I remember my IB bot just utterly stonewalling the rat ogre on Bell. He would dodge dance in and out at the perfect rhythm to never get hit. In another instance my Pyro bot got backed into a wall and continued to dodge dance side to side and never got hit either.

I’ve noticed weird stuff, too. Just yesterday my Kruberbot wouldn’t stop chugging healing pots. He’d only be down like 30 HP and use them as soon as he got them. :S If a bot has Natural Bond on, it will NEVER heal itself.

At the same time that this is frustrating… I think it’s good game design! If a boss downs a player and is threatening to then kill that player, it creates great urgency to intervene. If intervening were easy (i.e. do some damage to the boss) the drama would go away. As it stands either type of bomb and many ults will interrupt the boss. If you’re fast you can even use a dash hero to get in a dash-revive between hits (i’m pretty sure, not something I’ve personally tried).

To me this is similar to the Chaos Spawn grab. It’s something that demands your attention and specific, limited responses (e.g. a strong stagger ult or a bomb) in order to avoid a serious setback (the boss recovers a big chunk of health and, potentially, your ally gets tossed into a downed/cliff-hang state in a tricky location).

TL;DR I think these limits on what a hero can accomplish just with standard, always-accessible-to-everyone moves are good for the game.


There’s no real research behind this, but it has seemed to me that actual damage done is maybe third thing that’s considered for Boss aggro. Proximity has a higher priority, it seems, but its handling seems to be kinda rough, so anyone within a certain “range band” has a chance to be aggroed. Another thing that has a higher priority than pure damage, is stagger. Thus, IB, FK, Merc and several others who have a Career Skill capable of staggering bosses can draw their attention pretty well. On the other hand, only a few Careers or setups (mainly HS, Shade or Hagbane-elf) can do a big enough burst of damage for that alone to steal aggro. And of course, no weapon has enough stagger that they can actually do anything to Bosses, so the rest are a lot slower in aggro control. That’s why a Slayer or Zealot can keep chopping the Ogre’s back for half their health when someone else keeps dancing (and still attacking).

It’s true that the situations OP described are frustrating (especially when the host/target is easily bored or just a bad loser, as the story seems to imply). But if the Bosses’ aggro were even more easily controlled than it is now (and to be honest, it already is pretty easy when at least two players know what they’re doing) they would be even less threatening than they now are. Beating up a downed character is nasty, but it’s one of the few mechanics that (to some of us) still make the Bosses feel threatening, and still i have far more experience of the situations where any Boss immediately after beating someone down switches their attention to another player, leaving the downed one bleeding dry.

Just to possibly help in the future: There are ways to control boss aggro. Disregarding Oi! Wazzok!, you can use any Career skill that can stagger a Boss visibly to increase your chances of aggroing them a lot. Damage bursts can also help, and in that situation the boss’s movements are predictable, so time for those headshots. And for proximity, go close and beat up on a high constant damage output setup (such as the aforementioned Zealot or Slayer) to combine it with damage.

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Careers with a dash/leap ult can usually get in in time to start the revive and dash away. So yes, it can work for this scenario.
I agree, kinda like this how it is. Makes sense to me that a rat ogre in a fit of berserk killing rage will just keep smashing the downed player.
Of course nades, knockback ults, leap/dash ults can all get the downed player up.

From V1 and it seems to be working like this for every monster in V2.

Code Basis

Rat ogres determine their target based on two factors:

  • Damage: Damage taken from an individual hero. Additive effect and increases by dealing damage to the ogre (duh).

  • Proximity: This factor is based on the shortest possible path to an individual hero. It’s not a straight line between the ogre and the hero and instead follows allowed paths/routes.

These two factors are the basis for calculating the final aggro score for each player. This score is held in an “aggro_table” for each individual rat ogre and has a value between 0 and 100.

Rat ogres appear to check this table for their target every second and choose the hero with the highest score on this list as their target.

There are several ways to reduce the aggro score:

  • Since proximity has a big impact, gaining distance to the ogre will decrease the aggro score of a hero - especially if the ogre has to take a longer route to reach the player.

  • Aggro decays over time. At the time of writing this, it is believed that the aggro score decreases by 1 per second if the ogre isn’t attacked, meaning a hero should lose aggro after 100 seconds if another hero is closer to the ogre.

  • Aggro is also decreased by 10 points (on all ogres) if a special focuses the player. It’s not clear if this effect is cumulative with additional specials but it’s very likely.

  • Ogres pushing heroes away will also reduce the aggro score by applying a target_catapulted * multiplier to the player. This will reduce the aggro on all ogres and can only trigger every 5 seconds.

*The status target_catapulted is applied when an attack pushes the player and temporarily hides his weapons from the screen. It’s the source of the commonly heard ogre attack sound as well.

Additional Notes:

Initially, ogres choose their target solely based on proximity since no damage has been dealt to them.

The aggro_table of a rat ogre will only clear/reset when it dies.

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the bots are only godlike at dodgedancing ratorgre if the terrain and their surroundings allows it
anything, ( like an object behind them that doesnt allow them to dodge or even a single normal mob)
that prevents that will ruin the bots abilty to handle the ogre without getting trashed

on the note of what you described: why bother thinking about it, a bad player went down to a boss he then kicked you cuz he couldnt handle being bad. move on, it doesnt happen often enough to be a problem

to get a downed player up that has boss aggro, you allready descibed the methods that do the trick, ulti and bomb(either to knock the boss back or use the ulti while rezzing) i dont see what more methods we need to handle a situation that is allready to easy

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