Note, however, that my previous post was, I believe, primarily clarifying Tallima's, and adding a point against OneFiercePuppy's post, which indicated that "aggro" involved the AI "attacking the strongest/most vulnerable target" (and went on to say (emphasis mine) "Be the threat, make your enemy turn its focus on you, and then have your buddy stab him right in the back")--which is not necessarily the case with "taunt" abilities (as my example illustrated).
Right, but that's exactly the point of the taunt ability: to divert an enemy's attention away from actual threats and vulnerable allies. It's silly in your example only because a particular spell was somewhat poorly designed.
True--but again, my post was more in answer to OneFiercePuppy, who answered a post that seemed to be about "taunting" with an answer about aggression accruing to the most damaging target.
That a given mechanic can be patched or modded out, or that a given strategy is optional, does not invalidate criticism of the design of that mechanic or strategy.
Agreed, but my point was that the issue is limited to the way one specific spell interacts with the system and not a problem with the system itself.
That's fair enough, although I do think that it's a good example of how a taunt mechanic can go wrong: you don't need the spell interaction to get an effect similar to that, just that "taunt" be overpowered. Of course, as you say, this doesn't indict the entire mechanic--just, as I said, indicate how it can go wrong. It may not have been the best example, but it's the one that came to mind.
Again, I'm not saying that "taunting" is an unusable, inherently flawed mechanic, only that it's something that I think calls for rather careful balancing.
The far greater problem in DA:O is that Scattershot doesn't cause friendly fire and thus more-or-less breaks the entire combat system when fighting groups with archers. ;)
Honestly, I don't recall to what degree I actually used archers in Dragon Age: I'm very much a mage player myself, and my party tended to include my own mage character, Morrigan and Alistair. I forget how many companions one could take (it's been a while since last I played), but I recall taking along Wynn and Sten at times. On top of that, Zevran was one the characters that I least enjoyed, so I tended to leave him behind...
(Were there ever enemy archers with that ability? I forget...)
Of course, if you want "overpowered" there's also the mages (especially two mages working together), but I don't intend to complain about that because it was so very, very fun... ;P
(Consider, for example, my tactic of using dual staggered Cons of Cold to stun-lock revenants while a warrior slowly whittled them down.)