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A Monster, also known as a mob (short for 'mobile object'), is a NPC that a player can engage in combat. A special type of monster is called a Boss. Monsters come in two basic varieties: Passive and Aggressive and will dynamically attack other types of monsters on the battlefield.
Passive vs. Aggressive
Aggressive monsters will attack a player as soon as he or she enters their field of view or otherwise gets their attention. Generally this is a large distance in front of the monster as well as a small radius all the way around it. Some monsters will also attack if another nearby companion is attacked - even if the player is outside their detection range. This range can be reduced via the perceived threat modifier and/or the use of Stealth Armor.
Aggressive monsters will appear red on the player's radar.
Passive monsters will not attack a player unless the player attacks them. Some passive monsters (Swamp Grubbers) will aid one another if attacked, but most do not. They appear white on the player's radar.
Monster vs. Monster Interactions
Monsters also have a somewhat complex set of aggressions toward one another. For example, Mox and Swamp Grubbers will not attack one another, and both will attack a Maw. Swamp Grubbers will not attack Bane forces, but both the Mox and Maw will. Mox, Maw, and the Bane will attack a player or other AFS forces, but Swamp Grubbers will not.