Pulling singles in CoH...




I was reading some threads and saw information about pulling, stated as fact, which I know is wrong. So I thought I’d write my experiences down, and pass them on. These are how things seem to work for me. They may be wrong. They may be outdated. So take it with a grain of salt. Just trying to pass on what I think I’ve learned about pulling in this game.

Some Definitions:

Aggro Radius - The distance between you and the foe required for it to initially “sense” you. Radius varies by from foe-to-foe and by Line of Sight.

Attack Range - The maximum distance at which a foe can attack you.

Broadcast Radius - The range one foe can broadcast an alert to another foe.

Line of Sight - The forward angle in which a typical foe can "see".

Roleplaying Linkage - Some foes are linked by the “encounter” they are in, which can affect how they react to players.

OK, now that some definitions are out of the way, let’s look at how a foe can become aware of your presence.

1 ) You get close enough that it can “see” you if it’s facing you, or “sense” you if it’s facing away from you. Example: You run up to a foe. You usually have more room to work with, if you run up behind it.

2 ) You perform an action against the foe. Example: You shoot it or taunt it.

3 ) A second foe broadcasts an alert to it, because that second foe has been attacked. Example: You shoot the foe closest to you, and it squawks to its buddies that it is “in combat”.

4 ) A second foe broadcasts an alert to it, because that second foe is attacking you. Example: A foe draws its pistol and shoots at you, and warns all his nearby buddies that he is “in combat”.

Numbers 3 and 4 seem to have different radius, with 4 being noticeably larger. You can sometimes get away with pulls violating 3, if they don't violate 4.

5 ) A leader/spotter foe broadcasts an alert to it, because the leader/spotter “senses” or “sees” you. Example: A boss senses you and says something like “Ice that sucker!”, and before you are even “in combat”, he warns all the minions around him that a hero is nearby.

So what does this mean about pulling?

A ) Know your enemy. Are the minions smart (Reapers) or dumb (zombies)? Do the leaders broadcast alerts when they “sense” you, or only when “in combat”. Are the foes linked for roleplay reason?

B ) Most Lts and Bosses send out alerts even if they are not “in combat”. It is very difficult to pull single Lts or Bosses away from their minions for this reason. It is usually easier to pull minions away from other minions (or minions away from leaders, if the leaders aren't looking).

C ) It is considerably easier to pull a foe away from the herd, if the rest of the herd is facing away from your target. In other words, get the guy at the back of the group. If they’re tightly packed and facing in all directions, your chance of success is very slim.

D ) It is very difficult to pull singles from a tightly packed herd with an “attack”. See #3 above. There are however some exceptions. Sniper blasts are good at this. I think Taunt is good at this. Teleport Foe is NOT good at this.

E ) If you successfully get the attention of a single foe, you must make sure that it can NOT attack you until it is far enough away from its buddies. Otherwise, it will broadcast to them that it is attacking someone. See #4 above. This is a classic way that pulls go bad. You successfully sniper or taunt a foe, it runs 20 feet from its friends, then stops and whips out a gun and blows the pull.

There are a couple ways to deal with this situation: stay out of range, so the foe has to move completely away from his friends before he can use a ranged attack OR duck around an obstacle so that the foe has to come to you to attack.

Specific powers in relation to pulling:

Sniper: “Sniper” is a category of blast powers useable by Blasters and Defenders. It seems to have a significantly reduced chance of alerting nearby foes that their friend is “in combat”. When combined with good range, this often allows Blasters and Defenders to pull singles. It is very important to make sure that your target can not return fire while he is still anywhere near his buddies.

Taunt: See “Sniper. It seems to also have a reduced chance of notifying nearby foes, but correct me if I’m wrong, because I haven’t tested it much.

Teleport Foe: The AI seems to consider TP Foe an “attack”. Your target broadcasts a small-radius alert to all around him that he is under attack and “in combat” whenever you try to use this power. It can still be successful, if the herd is not too tightly packed. But under most circumstances, this will NOT pull singles from a tightly grouped herd.

So why do people consider this a good pulling tool (other than the obvious tactic of TP them to somewhere his friends can’t follow)? Because of #4 above. By immediately getting a foe away from his friends, his return fire can not warn his buddies. This means that this power is actually sort of handy if the foes are “near each other” but not “tightly packed”, like is often the case in warehouse missions. A short-range alert goes out when you try to use TP Foe, but the alert that goes out when it returns fire seems to be larger and more dangerous. TP Foe can eliminate that second alert by getting the foe far away from others, or around a corner.

Provoke: Is an area effect, and thus usually bad for trying to pull singles.

Stealth (and other stealth-like powers): Allows you to get closer and use terrain better. This basically allows you to pull with a non-ranged attack, IF you can avoid return fire until the foe is away from his buddies. This can often be achieved in missions, where you pop around a corner and smack a foe with a fast attack, then pop back around the corner and get some distance. If the foe can’t “return fire” until he’s put a wall between him and his friends, you can be successful.

Movement Powers: Many movement powers can help you in pulling by preventing return fire. SuperSpeed is the one I have the most experience with. It has a stealth component, so you can often get close enough to pull with an attack, but then get away fast enough to prevent return fire until the foe is separated from his buddies.

Summary: Pull minions. Pull the minion that no one is looking at. Pull with Taunt or Sniper, (as opposed to an attack, Teleport Foe, or Provoke). Make sure that the minion can’t attack you until it’s far enough away from his buddies.

If you don’t have Sniper or Taunt, you can pull by being “seen or sensed” by one foe, IF you make sure that he can’t attack you until he’s away from his buddies (e.g., play peek-a-boo around a corner/obstacle).

If you pull with an Attack or TP Foe (instead of Sniper or Taunt), then there needs to be more space between foes, to avoid the short-radius alert. However, this can still be handy, if you can avoid return fire until the foe is away from his buddies or has a wall between him and them.

Anyway, those are my thoughts on the matter. They may well be all wrong, but sopme of it should be correct and useful to those new to the game. Please post corrections, if I've messed up anything. In particular, I haven't used Taunt much.



Have been using TP Foe to successfully >50% to pull singles from groups. Always target the Lt or Boss first.

The senior ranks will always protect their minions, but does not work the same way. E.g. the zombies do go 'lifeless' if take out the Boss, Lt, Reapers, Morts.

Main aim is to pick off the edges of the groups, behind pillars, etc. IMHO line of sight has a greater impact - hence TP foe being used effectively from Max range AND round corners.

4 heros vs 1 Boss or Lt = a very quickly arrested mob. Even if the others are on their way - you have time to heal/recover somewhat.



A couple people have asked me to clarify how TP Foe acts, beause they're having better or worse results than they thought they would.

TP Foe is very hard to use on single pulls when things are tightly packed or linked into an encounter. In other words, street hunting.

If their are 4-5 gangers doing a drug deal on the street, they are often very close together. TP Foe acts as an attack, and your victim puts out a little short radius alert, and they all notice you.

Sometimes you'll notice a central core roleplaying group of foes (for instance two Hellions buying drugs from a third Hellion), but there are also some "extras" hanging out or patrolling on the fringes.

These extras can often be pulled, if they stray a little away from the others. Specially if the others aren't facing the target.

However, in missions things tend to be a little more spread out. And even though the foes tend to comes in lumps of ~3 minions per group memeber, they aren't necessarily standing right on top each other like they often do in the streets. However, with 8-person missions, there are often sooooo many foes, that they end up being tightly packed anyways.

But if we take a 3-person mission as an example, let's say you have a large warehouse room with 6-9 foes wandering around. If you were to go in and just fight one of them, the others may notice and gang up. When your target starts fighting back, the chances of being noticed go way up, specially if the extras are facing the fight.

TP Foe allows you to grab one of them and take him off behind a wall to beat on him. So, by the time he starts to fight back, he's too far away and doesn't have Line of Sight to notify all his friends that he's attacking a hero.

So the keys to TP Foe are:
-The target has to be a little separated from his buddies (a little more separated from his buddies if they are facing the target).
-The target has to be teleported a good distance (preferably with walls or other obstacles to block LoS), so that when he lands from the teleport and starts attacking heroes, he can't broadcast back to his friends.

A nice trick I should mention for TP Foe is using a teammate as a spotter. For instance, you target one wandering foe and hide off around a corner. The teammate spotter watches your target and his buddies, and tells you when to pull the trigger. Maybe the target has walked behind a big box so his friends can't see him, or maybe his friends have turned and are looking the other way. Sometimes this doesn't work if you pull the trigger too quickly, probably due to server latency, but it can increase your chances of success.

Again, just a disclaimer. This is how things seem to work for me as of 6/15/04. Your impressions may be different when you play with the powers yourself. The game's AI and the way powers interract with them can change at any time. I always suggest that people play around a little and test things themselves.



I've observed that there seems to be a 6th way that a mob can become aware of your presence that has not been mentioned: if you arrest a member of a crew (i.e. drop it to zero health), that mob sends out a big alert as it goes down.

I often pull single mobs away with my blaster using snipe, and when that mob is arrested, the rest of its crew snaps to attention whereas they were previously blissfully oblivious to my assault on their teammate up to that point (because they are out of the range of the single mob's "attack mode" broadcast).

If this is true--and my empirical evidence certainly suggests so--then the "arrest" broadcast has an even greater range than the attack mode broadcast.



"I've observed that there seems to be a 6th way that a mob can become aware of your presence that has not been mentioned: if you arrest a member of a crew (i.e. drop it to zero health), that mob sends out a big alert as it goes down."
Posted by SteveG

I've noticed this too. I had a kill "35 Sky Raiders" mission in Terra Volta. The groups in TV tend to be very tight and very large. I learned I could pull singles just fine if I turned on Super Speed and Cloaking device to achieve total invisibility and stood at my maximum snipe range. I could snipe one, even if he was in the middle of the group, without alerting the others. This was true even if they were all Lts. The one I sniped would run a short distance towards me, stop and fire a ranged attack. I ignored this attack and did not return fire. He would then charge the rest of the way towards me and as he got close, I fired again killing him.
However, if I hit aim first and then sniped, the target would die outright while still in the group and the whole group would aggro. It's better to leave them a sliver of health and let them run out of the group before killing them.



As a supplementary note, the powers that decrease enemy aggro range (notably Smoke Grenade and Smoke) seem to decrease either the range that an enemy can "squawk" to his companions or else decreases their response range to fellow companion's "squawks" even on the killing blow.

Using Smoke Grenade with Cloaking Device, I've been able to one-shot Snipe enemies in groups when they are no more than 8-10 feet away from each other. It works much easier when the target isn't being looked at by his friends and once I one-shotted a minion behind the back of his LT about 3 feet away. I was most likely at close to max Sniper range then though but it was still funny.



once I one-shotted a minion behind the back of his LT about 3 feet away. I was most likely at close to max Sniper range ....

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I've noticed this with my Defender, that being at the extreme edge of MY attack range (for ranged attacks) seems to increase the probability of single pulls. If I queue up my ranged power so that I get the "out of range" message, then step very slowly into MY farthest usable range, I can pull the closest single. It helps if I think about an "annoyance range" that extends to the edge of the attack range for the power I am using, and make sure only the foe I am targeting is in that annoyance range.



As a Dark Defender, I find twilight grasp to be a great pulling tool. I'm not sure why, but I can single pull tightly packed mobs with no problem.
Could it possibly be because it does no damage to the mob while drawing it's attention at the same time.

Take tonight for instance. Total team wipe on a mission. Healer takes a awaken tps me, rezes me. The mobs that wiped us are +2 Vazh (ugh!) and bunched at the top of the stairs. In order to use Howling Twilight I need at least 1 mob. So, I pile up the bodies with TP Friend and use Twilight Grasp to single pull. Drag him around the corner and pop HT and we proceed to single pull the rest at the top of the stairs, for an easy victory.

Twilight Grasp, It's not just for breakfast anymore.



I personally like turning on Invisibilty going in fairly close and using spectral wounds on some target.

As long as I do not attack again while something is facing me, and as long as I use an un-noticable power like spectral wounds or blind, then i can take any target i choose.

Some people like using sniper shots and things...and cant understand why everything sees the shot and goes after them.....well gee a big lightning bolt is noticable so is a huge shot of energy.(High level things are not fooled by those things)

Hate to say it...But.... some powers are lame for pulling.

Anywise...pulling tsomething requires that your group is not idiots and trying to run up or help shoot....but are the types who will wait for you to return.

Every bad pull i have ever had was due to some idiot tanker/scrapper/blaster/defender who wanted to try helping.

Or worse they try to pull as well....

I tell you some people cant pull worth beans.
They think they can..but make bad pulls alot.

And when someone like myself shows up...who can pull anything including that boss from the middle of a group to another area....these bad pullers go so far as to sabotage pulls.

Like the one player who must have been miffed becasue i could take any mob i wanted singly and bring it to the group. So what does he do...he follows me and attacks as well, or follows and gets in the way.

By the way....this is off topic...but here is a secret.....
You want to beat a sniper with invisibilty.....it does not take only one invisibilty for these bad boys....its takes two....in my case i use superior invisibility and Group invisibilty which can be used at the same time(Illusion controller powers).

Anywise, I am considered by alot of people as an incredible puller.

By like you post said all it takes is a little knowledge about the mobs and a bit of knowledge about you powers.

And for whats its worth:
What they say isnt imporatnt, as that just makes them turn, its what they see thats important i find.

I have run too many missions while invisible...and mobs litterally say things to me...but wont attack....they just turn towards me.

Oh and nother little thing off topic but useful for an elite puller.......
the only things that foil stealth, invisbility and intangibilty....I mean make it so the powers dont work....
There are two items...both are destroyable...and sometimes in a mission.
One is called a Ward the other is a Detector.
If one of these is in a mission, then those powers i listed even though you might have them going...wont work.

Never seen one...then you either where power leveled or you have not gotten to 25th level.



Another thing to note, which should be obvious is Knockback.

Snipe at max range and target takes damage but is not knocked back (or down) and I'd say about 90% of the time you have a single pull.

The only problem is if the mob has an attack of equal range and fires it off, at which point you have them all coming for ya.

Run Forest. Run!

If your snipe attack (or any other for that matter) knocks the Mob on it's [censored], then you will get aggro 100% of the time, unless there are mitigating effects such as smoke grenade.

So the basics are...

1. Pick a target that doesn't have an attack that can hit you, without it having to run towards you.

2. Aviod attacks with knockback for pulling.

3. Don't kill the critter outright with your attack....dying counts as a knock back for aggro

4. Smoke grenade or similar aggro range modifiers are very useful

Hope it helps but I'm sure most blasters have noticed these things already



A quick addendum to the guide: A recent patch has changed the chance TP Foe has to aggro the whole group; it's now quite a bit less. You don't have to do nearly as much planning to get singles, and it's an excellent way to go.

(Another way to use TP foe is to stand somewhere the enemies can't get to. I used to solo Lost in Terra Volta easily this way, by teleporting one onto the pipes where it'd take the others at least a few minutes to run up to)



Quick question...

Does LoS for TP Foe work the same as normal attacks, i.e. proper LoS with no obstacles in the way?
Or is it more like the TP travel power where you only need to be able to see and target the foe (e.g. by good use of camera angles)?



Another nice way to pull is if you have a Fire controller in the group (yep, that's me). We can basically blind the enemies with smoke. The even a martial arts scrapper (a good friend of mine) can pull singles, if they're not standing right by each other. It also works great on vahz. With smoke we can take out the morts/reaps/etc without the idiot minions noticing.