All Good Tanks are Cheaters and Should Be Banned

| Friday, March 16, 2012
I bet you don't even realize you're cheating anymore. Maybe you don't do it because you've geared out of the need for it. But I bet you've done it before. You probably had someone explain it to you, this little trick of many tanks.

It's a pretty common one. I'm sure everyone has done it. It's not as if it is complex, just a simple little exploit of the pathing and casting AI. Messing with the two, using the simple interaction of the two mechanics to avoid damage and manipulate pulls.

Obviously I'm referring to the use of Line of Sight breaks to draw casters and ranged enemies closer. It's not a 'tactic' or 'creative use of game mechanics'; it's an exploit and it's about time Blizzard cracked down on it.

Don't believe me? Think about a similar situation. If you're flying and you aggro a mob, what happens when you fly away? It resets. It recognizes that you are no longer a possible target and resets. It doesn't run around madly trying to get range that it cannot, running headfirst into your waiting allies. Can you imagine the speed of the ban if someone flew around to aggro a zone, without getting hit, and then led the whole pack into a few frost mages? And yet, that's more or less what you do with every LoS pull.

Ever seen a mob "evade"? It sometimes happens when you pull and then go to somewhere they cannot hit you, such as a higher or lower level with no paths. Just like an LoS pull.

I don't think a blanket ban of all players who have engaged in this behavior is the solution. Certainly a few should be made an example of, but much of the fault lies with Blizzard for allowing this AI bug to remain unfixed for so long. It's high time they acknowledged the problem and dealt with it.


Forreststump said...


ShawndraKai said...

Clever post but really, if a mage in real life was pissed off at a warrior and they couldn't see them to fire off their magic missile, they'd have to move into line of sight to shoot at them.

It's just logical. And, if the warrior was smart (yeah they score really high on the intellect, but we'll pretend, ok?), she would duck behind a rock or a column or a broken wall segment to break the mage's line of sight, therefore causing the mage to have to get into melee range so the warrior could hit him.

So, we're not exploiting game mechanics. We're role playing. :D

Tesh said...

I'd read that the other way. Enough with the overworld Evade nonsense. If I can get myself on a hill where a baddie can't touch me but I can shoot him, he shouldn't get magical "terrain hax" help.

Klepsacovic said...

@Shawndra: If I knew my enemy was hanging out just around the corner, I'd not run straight into the next room. I'd drop a flamestrike right near the edge so the AoE would hit him.

@Tesh: It's the magical "terrain hax" that makes it so somehow it cannot get to you.

Ben Sanders said...

You might as well say that tanks are exploiting the sucky AI by using abilities that generate disproportionate threat compared with how threatening the tank actually is (compared to, say, the dps and the healers).

Klepsacovic said...

No, that is clearly "working as intended" and is consistent with Blizzard's statements regarding threat as well as their listed changes to how threat is generated.

"shrugswhoknows" said...

very curious, use terrain to ones advantage...hmmm must be an exploit, I mean why would Bliz put structures conveniently in range of boss's, guess they are just that dim... I could be wrong and blizz missed this for uhhh since errr the start of WoW.

sam said...

so is this a sarcastic post about punishing players for commonsense or is it a really stupid belief that no none should ever try to beat a video game by being not completely stupid?

Klepsacovic said...

@shrug: Those are clearly intended for AoE blocking, not for pull exploitation.

@sam: i dont no i think you should figure out urself

Tesh said...

I'm talking about simple tactical considerations, not exploiting weird computer simulation glitches. Snipers firing from cover in a combat theater, for instance. It's just smart tactics to get to a place where you can attack but the opponent can't hit back. Heck, that's the MO of the Hunter class and kiting. Those are cheating too?

Klepsacovic said...

@Tesh: Unless they're in a plane, no sniper is in a truly inaccessible location. They may be covering the paths, but the paths exist. That is the contrast with the terrain glitch.

Kiting is clearly not considered an exploit given that there are many encounters designed to require kiting, such as Rotface.

Anonymous said...

Then by your logic the game its self is also benefiting from LoS as well, I am sure never has a tank met with an untimely demise due to the same mechanic "aka" LoS of the healer. Wait we kite a mob around a corner, even though if we are not properly geared and prepared the pull will still end in death. If Blizzard has build it into the game and used it as a mechanic "aka" Rotface, then that in it self indicates they have acknowledged as a acceptable game play.They also place tethers on mobs that they do not want kited.

Saif said...

LoSing isn't a clever use of game mechanics, it's how most tanks got through tanking heroics in TBC or doing the massive trash pulls in those raids.

It would have been practically impossible to do some of the H:SH, H:SL or H:MagT for bear tanks without LoSing as we had no way to silence at range to pull adds to us and we couldn't engage the enemy where they stood without chain-agroing an entire courtyard full of people.

That said, I can't remember the last time I had to LoS a pull... though I do tank on my paladin now, with a ranged silence, which makes it unnecessary.

Klepsacovic said...

Line of sight breaking is not the exploit. It is the combination of the line of sight break with the pathing AI which creates the exploit.

I don't know why people keep mixing up Blizzard-endorsed practices such as kiting with this specific exploitation of the AI. Maybe repeating it would help: the problem is the exploitation of the pathing AI, not the act of breaking line of sight or kiting. Both of those are perfectly legitimate actions which have been endorsed and encouraged by Blizzard. Aggro should not be equated with AI exploits because it is also a specifically implemented design goal.

Video Game Philosopher said...

I remember when LOS pulling was almost mandatory because of dungeon with everyone so overgeared relative the content, its a joke.

Thanks for the nostalgia though

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