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Hate is the calculation of how much damage you've dealt to an NPC. In more recent updates, this is often referred to as Threat.
The player having dealt the most damage to that NPC will be the target of his attacks and spells. At first, the NPC attacks are directed to the first one he saw, but as soon as he has been dealt damage by a player, the NPC may redirect his attack to the one at the top of his hate list.
Each NPC has its own hate list of each known enemy, paired with the degree to which it hates that character. The list is constantly sorted by hate, and whoever is at the top of the list is chased and attacked. Any character who drops below 1 HP is removed from the list.
The ability to generate and retain hate of an enemy (whether you want the attention or not) is often known as "aggro".
Types of Hate
There are three distinctly different channels of hate: Melee, Missile (aka "Ranged"), and Magic*.
- (* Magic attacks that are made from a distance are still "Magic", not "Ranged")
If something that alters hate generation specifies one or two of those but not the third it should be assumed to specifically not affect all three. If something generically states that it "Increases/Decreases Hate generation", then it should be assumed to affect all three (unless there is a bug either with the text or the actual effect). (ref)
When two players are attacking the same NPC, with no other factors in play, the one dealing the most damage will be the target of its attacks. However, the character dealing the most damage is often not best equipped to withstand these attacks. For this reason, enhancements exist to allow characters with high health and low damage to draw more attention from monsters, and more fragile players to draw less. These factors stack additively - your exact bonus can be seen in the Melee Combat tab of the character tab. A negative score indicates you attract less hate than usual; a positive score, more.
A few enhancements have been introduced to either increase the hate you do per damage dealt or to reduce the hate per damage dealt. Characters that are better suited to withstand attacks and/or spells may be attracted to those which increase the hate. Characters less suited for it, mostly for low hit points or low Armor Class reasons, may be attracted to those which reduce hate.
- Dragonborn enhancements: Dragonborn Brutal Fighting - Increases hate by 25/50/75% per melee hit, when active.
- Dragonborn enhancements: Dragonborn Brutal Spellcasting - Increases hate by 25/50/75% per melee hit, when active.
- Half-Orc enhancements: Half-Orc Brutal Fighting - Increases hate by 25/50/75% per melee hit, when active.
- Half-Orc enhancements: Half-Orc Brutal Spellcasting - Increases hate by 25/50/75% per melee hit, when active.
- Warforged enhancements: Brute Fighting - Increases hate by 25/50/75% per melee hit, when active.
- Sacred Defense/Stalwart Defense: Provides 150% bonus to melee threat generation when active.
- Sacred Defender enhancements: Divine Righteousness - Increases hate by 200% per hit, temporarily. (1 minute duration per use).
- Bug: Only provides +100% threat to ranged combat and spellcasting; offers no threat increase to melee combat.
- Sacred Defender enhancements: Commanding Presence gives 50/100/150% bonus to melee threat generation.
- Sacred Defender enhancements: Inciting Defense gives 150/300/450% bonus to melee threat generation.
- Stalwart Defender enhancements: Threatening Countenance Increases hate by 60/120/180% per melee hit.
- Stalwart Defender enhancements: Inciting Defense gives 150/300/450% bonus to melee threat generation.
- Monk stances: The four Mountain Stances increase threat by 50%, 100%, 150% and 200%, respectively.
- Ki Shout: This Shintao Monk ability uses the Concentration skill for an Intimidate effect.
- Assassin enhancements: Shiv - Reduces the threat of all your attacks by 5/10/15%.
- Thief Acrobat enhancements: Sly Flourish - Reduces the threat of all your attacks by 5/10/15%.
- Thief Acrobat enhancements: Subtlety - Reduces the threat of all your melee attacks by 20%/30%/40%.
- Archmage enhancements: Subtle Spellcasting - Your damaging spells generate 10%/20%/30% less hate than they normally would.
- Shadowdancer: Cover of Darkness - +10/20/30% less threat from all sources.
- Fatesinger: The Rhythm to Reign - You generate 15/25/35% less threat from all sources.
- Incite items
- Vulkoor's Might and Greater Vulkoor's Might Set Bonus do 10% and 20% more Melee Threat, respectively.
- Levik's Defender Set Bonus : 20% or 30%, depending on if the Set is Two-Piece, or Three-Piece.
- Stalwart Defender Set Bonus does 15% extra melee threat.
- Defender of Siberys Set Bonus does 15% extra melee threat.
- Purple Dragon Knight Set Bonus does 10% extra threat.
- Dragontouched Crafting has incite 10%, 15%, and 20% on Eldritch, Tempest, and Sovereign Runes, respectively.
- Anathema has a hidden effect of 25% increased spell-based threat.
- Ring of Lies has a similar hidden effect as Anathema, but only 15%
- Diversion items for Melee Weapons
- Mystic Diversion items for Spells
- Distant Diversion items for Ranged Weapons
- Stealth Strike for both Spells and Ranged Weapons, 15% non-scaling
- Category:Occultation items for all threat - does not stack with any kind of Diversion item
In addition, skills can temporarily override the hate sorting:
- A successful Intimidate check on a monster will bring you to the top of the hate list.
- A successful Diplomacy check will bring you to the bottom of the hate list.
- A character with a Subtle Target item also gains -100% threat reduction for 60 seconds after a successful diplomacy roll.
- A successful Bluff check will reduce hate generated and opens the target for sneak damage.
Although most monsters use the hate system as described, there are some exceptions:
- The Warforged Titan's hate is either partly or completely randomized.[ ]
- The Stormreaver clears his hate list each time he casts Reverse Gravity.
- Flesh Golems are chaotic and have randomized hate. They do not consider the damage dealt; they simply attack anyone in sight and change the target very often.
- Rust monsters prefer to attack Warforged.
- Maruts have special hate for level 20 Rogues with the Cheat Death capstone (Which currently doesn't exist in game)
- Bearded Devils, Horned Devils, and Orthons seem to have random hate when there is a lack of Intimidate, especially Named monsters.
- Monsters that can Teleport (e.g. Orthons), Burrow (e.g. Scorpions) or otherwise become briefly intangible (e.g. Ogre Magi) tend to reset aggro when they arrive. This can be especially problematic when said opponent is a raid boss such as Suulomades - be careful hitting these enemies with Damage over Time effects, as when they arrive back, they often take all of this damage at once, putting you straight at the top of the list.
- Raid bosses have unique detection scripting to prevent indefinite hiding.