Is tab-targeting really the best solution to the targeting problems in Albion Online?
First off, I don't buy any of that malarkey that making the user interface less wonky and inconsistent makes the game less hardcore. Anyone who believes that is either truly genuinely ignorant, or they are arguing against tab-targeting because they want an unfair advantage over others.
But if I were the lead designer or UI designer on Albion Online, I'd try some of these things first:
Mob Health Bars -
A real problem in Albion Online is seeing exactly where the enemy mobs are, and sometimes, even that they are there at all. Obviously, having health bars over every mob in the game might be a bit much, I can't think of any reason that once a mob is damaged, that it's health bar shouldn't pop up over its head for everyone to see. This would make targeting mobs, especially for CC or for tanks trying to maintain agro, much easier than it is now.
Resource Toggle -
Another huge problem is the inability to see your character and the stuff around you when it's hidden behind dense trees and other stuff. While there are many possible elegant solutions, such as limited translucency and such, there's also a very quick and dirty solution that could serve as proof of concept. Give players a command that let's them toggle all resources so they appear fully depleted. This would solve the issue of players being attacked and killed by mobs they can neither see nor target due to dense tree foliage.
Aggro Icons -
One helpful way to help find the right mob to attack in PvE is for a tank to use the AE stun ability, which puts a stun icon over all of the mob heads, making them easier to pick out from the mass of players and other stuff packed into the screen. Another simple solution would be to put a small red arrow or pip over the head of any mob that is agro on you or a member of your group.
Red Circles -
Currently, we have a red circle around the mob you have targeted and a yellow circle around boss mobs. Red circles should be placed under all mobs that have been aggroed on anyone (not just you or your group) and the mob you currently have targeted should be designated with a filled red circle. This will make it much easier for players to look for and click on the red circle when trying to select a mob, and the circle becoming filled with red will let them know when their click was successful.
Add an option that allows players to turn on auto-target, which will make them automatically target (but not start attacking) any mob or player that attacks them, when they have no other target selected. This will be hugely advantageous when you're being attacked by a hidden boar behind a wall of pines. Once a target has been selected, you can begin auto-attacking by hitting the space bar.
Clear Target -
Add a key to the controls menu that will allow us to instantly clear our target. This will be very effective when used in conjunction with auto target, in both pvp and pve, especially for healers or others who need to target through a scrum of players/mobs to target whatever/whomever is attacking them.
I'm sure there's lots of other ways to improve the existing interface to improve it. Tab-targeting will definitely solve many problems, but these other solutions should be considered as well/instead of.
There is nothing at all wrong with auto targeting. In fact, auto-targeting would be a great way to separate those who are paying attention from those who aren't, since your tank could just hit an AE ability and pop up as the target for everyone who doesn't already have one. If they really want to attack your tank instead of your healer or mage, let them.
Aggro icons? Did you even read the post? It's not about telling who has agro, it's about helping players identify the mobs when there is a pile of players, mobs, dead mobs, bags, coins, and other stuff cluttering the screen. What does this have to do with using your brain a little? A cluttered noisy screen that makes it impossible to discern what you should be clicking does not separate the skilled from the unskilled. The only thing this makes easier is being able to see what the hell is going on. Why do you not want people to see what's going on? By your reasoning, maybe we should black out the screen every other second to create some kind of strobe light effect to make it even more difficult for people to follow the action. Is that what hardcore means to you?
Why do I even bother playing the game that is hardcore? Because it's a fun and challenging game, where I want to compete against the environment and other players, not the lackluster interface. The game has everything I want, just a wonky interface and control scheme that needs a lot of work. Your ignorance on what makes a game challenging or hardcore isn't my problem, it's your problem.
Maybe you should go play some ASCII games if that's the type of challenge you want in game. I want to play a game where it's clear what's going on and I can easily and consistently execute the attacks, movements, and targeting that I want while letting player skill, strategy, and quick-thinking ability decide who is better and who is worse, not who can madly spam click the screen a thousand times to find the exact right pixel that allows you to target the mob or player you know you want to attack, but are unable to.