A brief note to my fellow tanks about enemy AI.
There seems to have been a minor change to how enemy AI responds to the movements of the highest threat target.
It’s hard to see on one mob consistently, but if you grab groups of 3 or more, you should be able to see it clearly.
Previously, the mobs would tend to stay in front of you, and spread themselves out in a semi-circle. If you pulled them to you but remained moving forward for a moment, differences in lag would sometimes cause the mobs to overshoot your position, and you would have to do the bear butt waddle, stepping backward to gather them up once more in a semi-circle to your front. Once there, they would stay there.
Additionally, if you did a Feral Charge to a mob just after they had seen YOU, they would start moving in your direction while you overshot them… and depending again on lag, sometimes you would be facing away from them, and sometimes you would actually flip to face back the way you came, staying facing the mob and having them happily be facing you, away from the rest of the party.
Well, recently the enemy AI has changed a little. It’s very subtle, but what seems to have changed is the speed of their responsiveness.
The mobs will tend to move on you, getting behind you, and a simple backstep waddle will not always be a fast solution. They may do a variation on what we used to see with our Hunter Pets in BC, when Pet AI was first implemented to get the pet behind the mob, and you’d see your pet and the mob dance for a bit as each tried to get behind the other.
This may be intended, or it may be a bug, but I just wanted to bring it to your attention so that if you see the mobs getting behind you, you are prepared to move.
Don’t ever forget, having a 50% Dodge doesn’t do you a damn bit of good when the target is behind you. Targets behind you are unaffected by Dodge.
Oh, and FYI, that’s why those pseudo-rogues in the 10 waves of trash in Halls of Reflection suck so bad. Back attacks.
Have a happy!
Update: Veyska brings to attention a Blue post she linked to in the comments that the devs are aware of this, that it is a bug from 3.3, it’s not intended, and they’ll be working on it.
So, thank you very much, Veyska, for your help!