A foe is any creature that can be the target of an attack or an offensive skill. Often called hostile NPCs, they appear red on the compass and almost always react aggressively when party members come within their aggro range.
- Players can only target foes with attacks and offensive skills and only foes can likewise target the party or its allies.
- PvE foes typically appear as red dots in the compass; when selected, their names appear in red text.
- Foes can be hostile to each other.
- In PvE, there is no way to determine which foes are on whose side outside of observing their behavior.
- PvP foes from each side appear with appropriate colors for their names, compass dots, and target display frame backgrounds.
- Hostile foes do not appear on the compass unless they are selectable, e.g. wurms cannot be selected until they popup.
- Other mechanics
- By default, you can select the nearest foe by pressing
Cand cycle through all foes within compass range by pressing
- Any creature that is not a foe is treated by the game as an ally.
- The hostility of a foe can change, for example:
- Minions can be turned into allies (e.g. using Verata's Aura) or become hostile (e.g. if the owner dies).
- Various events will change the status, e.g. when encountered outside the Temple of the Ages, Greves the Overbearing is not hostile until he completes his dialogue.
- The event quest-specific skill The Mad King's Influence is the only skill available to players that allows to turn hostile foes into temporary allies.
A passive foe is any seemingly neutral creature that can be the target of an attack or offensive skill. They do not aggro unless they take damage or the party attacks or uses an offensive skill on them, which cause them to become hostile.
Passive charmable animals are a special case. Their names will appear green when selected as if they were allies and they will not appear in the compass unless they become hostile. From all targeted skills, only those that can target foes will consider them valid targets, but among untargeted skills, not only offensive ones will affect them, some that affect allies may affect them too. Some game mechanics also behave this way too (e.g select nearest ally will target them while they are passive). The mechanics that decide whether they are considered allies or foes by untargeted skills are currently unknown.
Another unique case are Water Buffalos. They cannot be targeted, so they can only be damaged with some point blank area of effect skills. They will never appear in the compass and won't retaliate when attacked, they will just try to run away.
Henchmen and heroes will only attack and/or use offensive skills on a non-charmable animal passive foe if any party member calls it as a target or the foe becomes hostile. Summoned creatures and summoning stone creatures will attack a non-charmable animal passive foe once they aggro it.
- Most charmable animals.
- Many level 0...2 hostile NPCs in tutorial areas.
- During certain quests, some NPCs will be passive until triggered by an event or an offensive action.
Most monsters obey the same AI. A few of the principles are:
- They wander back and forth, either in a small area or over a patrol range.
- If you get within the danger zone, they become aggressive and attack you.
- Passive monsters (usually levels 0-2 in explorable areas) won't attack your party unless an offensive action is taken upon them first.
- When fighting, they have two priorities of who to target: weakest foes (by health and armor rating) and closest foes.
- They only overpower each other at extremes; for example, they will target the characters with lowest armor rating but a tank can draw focus by body blocking them.
- They each have a set of skills to which they are limited. The way they use these skills is embedded into the skill itself, so monsters with the same skills use them the same way.
- Some monsters (such as Chromatic Drakes and Graven Monoliths) can change their set of skills. When that happens, their behavior also changes to match the skills (i.e., getting close to use point blank area of effect skills).
Monsters with non-standard AI
There are some specifically-coded exceptions.
- Some Monk and Ritualist monsters may kite attackers.
- Some monsters (such as Siege Wurms) are completely stationary, but some are only stationary under certain situations:
- Many "sprout" Plants are typically stationary, but they sometimes move, particularly when taking area damage over time. This is also true of Brooding Thorns and some Scarab Nest Builders.
- Burrowing Wurms are stationary while out of the ground, but they move while burrowing. They burrow after being out of the ground for a while, and will also burrow if no targets are within range.
- Special boss-like foes (such as Glint, Kuunavang, Shiro Tagachi, and the Undead Lich) have special AI that determines unique skill usage or movement patterns.
- AI will only cast skills that trigger on spell casting (such as Backfire) on targets wielding a spellcasting weapon, so characters with spells on their skill bar and wielding a martial weapon will cause AI to not cast Backfire on them.
- Some skills that inflict Blind are used differently in Normal mode and Hard mode:
- In Normal mode, AI will only use skills that inflict Blind (such as Blinding Flash and Throw Dirt) on a foe wielding a martial weapon. A spellcaster wielding a martial weapon (e.g. caster weapon) can cause AI to waste time to activate a Blind-inflicting skill on them (e.g. causing a ranger to stop attacking and move into touch range to use Throw Dirt, which would relieve pressure on your party).
- In Hard mode, AI will only use some skills that inflict Blind (such as the aforementioned skills) on a martial primary profession foe wielding a martial weapon.
- AI will only use some skills that inflict Blind (such as Eruption) on a foe wielding a martial weapon, regardless of it being Normal or Hard mode.
- AI will use skills that have no other effect other than inflicting a condition (such as Blinding Powder, Hunter's Shot, and Sever Artery) on spirits, even though they are immune to all conditions except burning.