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So, I thought it was just an odd anomaly that happened because player-characters died close by and "aggro" shifted to the next living target, but I soon discovered that creatures in the game don't "leash" onto one particular target.
During "Heart Quest" events, players were pulling too many things, so they'd run them past me until some of the creatures shed themselves onto me. I thought, "fine, this is an event, and the creatures that spawn are going to go after everyone involved in the event." That was fine and I could accept that, BUT...
Realizing that I had completed various "Heart Quests" in the zone I was most appropriately leveled for, and not quite ready to make the jump to the next level zone, I thought I'd venture to some spot where I could grind some experience and maybe a better set of gear, and currency to pay for my repair bills and potential upgrades from the Trading House.
Well, apparently I had stumbled upon someone else's "camped" grinding spot, because they proceeded to pull massive amounts of mobs-- with attacks, NOT just running past them-- and then running through me to shed the mobs onto me.
At first, I figured I was safe, so I remained in one spot while these mobs chased them. Bad idea.
The mobs turned to me, the closest target, and proceeded to beat on me until I ran, died, or killed them off.
I "manned up". I took it in stride. I played EQ, I remember all too well the days of "TRAIN TO ZONE!" So, really I just took this as indicative of a shitty member of the community, and figured I'd just move somewhere else, but I had to ask myself, "SERIOUSLY?! That guy attacked those mobs, their threat should be entirely focused on HIM! WTF?!"
When I figured I had a decent set of gear to accept the next "Skill Challenge", I moved on to a new zone where the "Skill Challenge" resided. It was an area surrounded by aggressive mobs, some of them caster types, some of them brutal "Guardian" types with broadswords and nasty spin attacks. Duly noted, be careful of AOE and "splash damage" from nearby players... Well, that didn't work.
The "Skill Challenge" target was an aggressive Norn residing on a mountain, set back in a corraled area with a few henchmen. Someone decided to dive into the area and pull everything, including the "Skill Challenge" boss, then either realizing their mistake, or intentionally being pricks, they pulled the entire train on top of me while my back was turned further down the road, fighting my own pack of mobs. Needless to say, my character died.
I don't see regressions in mechanics such as this as anything "innovative". If I was playing EQ, and I was playing "safe" and sticking close to a zone border to avoid the inevitable "TRAIN TO ZONE" that regularly occurred, then I might find this somewhat acceptable. However, in this day and age of almost ALL other MMOs alleviating the concern for "trained aggro" with a "leashing" mechanic, I was unpleasantly surprised to find this lacking in GW2.