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Old 07-02-2012, 01:27 PM
easy_lee easy_lee is offline
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Default Bard AoE Kiting: How To

Edit: I'll be updating this guide every now and then as I learn new tricks

AoE kiting: Using an AoE song in tandem with increased movespeed to kill enemies without getting hit. This is NOT swarm kiting, which involves gathering mobs then charming one so the others will attack it, then killing it with ranged damage when it’s low. Most commonly, a bard runs around in a circle so that mobs clump up, then tries to keep them just within AoE range but out of melee range while channeling a dot song.

This is one of those nostalgic things bards like to remember about EQ. I didn't AoE kite on live, so all of my experience with it has been on p99.

Before even getting into technique, all kiters need to know three things about AoE kiting:

1. It is HARD. It is REALLY REALLY HARD. AoE kiting is not for short tempered people, because you WILL die often while trying to learn it.
2. Even if you are nearly perfect at AOE kiting, there are two problems that can kill you
- Past level 10, nearly everything you can kite (non casters) knows bash. If anything gets close, and you get bashed, you're most likely going to die
- Even if you're 100% perfect, there's a bug where mobs can hit things in front of them from large distances. Bearing this in mind, it's very, very important to always circle or zig zag when mobs are close to you.
3. Kiting doesn't raise your melee skills (defense, offense, piercing, slashing, etc). It's best to mix kiting with grouping and normal soloing so that you don't have to grind skills later.

For the rest of the post, I'll talk about two techniques. The first can be done starting at level 2. I call it Carping.


Method 1 – Carping


When moving forward and strafing right or left at the same time, your movement speed at an angle is higher than your movement speed just running. Since you're moving at an angle, this also makes it difficult for mobs to hit you. So you can channel your AoE song and stay slightly ahead of mobs while running in a circle.

There are two problems with this method.
1. You can't keyboard-turn while strafing, EQ will give whichever button was clicked last priority, so you'll lose your speed if you keyboard-turn and get hit. This leads to the second problem.
2. You have to turn with the mouse, by holding right click and moving to the side, while holding down both forward and a strafe key. This by itself causes three more problems:
- It's difficult to keep a decent circle, so you're more likely to get hit
- You have to keep the camera in the standard "driving" mode, meaning you can't zoom out far enough to see obstacles and mobs will be just barely visible in the bottom right/left if they're at the correct distance.
c. It causes carpel tunnel, arthritis, and cramps (hence the name carping) to swing the mouse perpetually while holding down two keys. This is more straining on your wrist than playing an fps.

As such, this method is great for getting 2-5, but I wouldn't recommend it past 5 if you care about your health.

Edit: Some people say this method can be improved by locking forward and strafe (so you don't have to hold them down) and only using a mouse turn every 9 seconds or so just to reapply the dot. Methods of locking the forward and strafe keys down vary, but I haven't found any I like yet. If you prefer this method, have at it.


Method 2 – Tapping


This is the usual method I’ve seen the most on this forum. The idea is to use a movespeed enhancer, like selos, and then tap left or right in rhythm to maintain a consistent circle. Here’s how I do it:

1. Put on selos and a drum, then gather the mobs however you like (I use ranged weapons until I get bruscos)
2. Once you have all of them, find a wide, open, FLAT area. The mobs already can be finicky about when they can and can’t hit you, you don’t want to give them even more variables like height to mess with
3. Hit F9 three times. This will zoom the camera way out and let you watch yourself from a distant third person perspective as you turn circles
4. Turn on autorun
5. Start the circle very large to gather everything. Circling causes mobs to clump, so you should end up with all of them on top of each other
6. If you’re past 8, switch to your best instrument for your strongest AoE song. You can drag inventory slots with weapons and your weapon slots down to your bar (hold down click on an inventory slot to drag it, like a button) to switch instruments more quickly
7. If you switched off a drum, you just slowed down, so be very mindful of your speed as you circle
8. Twist your AoE song and selos together, so that the mobs are all hit by AoE every six seconds
9. You may be tempted to hit f10 so you can watch the pack better. Don’t do it, because you might miss a note, slow down and die.
10. If a mob you don’t want to hit, such as Holly Windstalker, wanders too close, just stop twisting your AoE for a while until she leaves
11. If you get hit and you don’t die, either run to a zone or, alternatively, break your circle, run around twisting your heal song with selos until full again, then recreate your circle and resume

I skipped a step, which is explaining how you make the circle: tapping. I want to talk a lot about tapping.


How to Tap


This is the most important part of the tapping method. How fast you tap, and how long you hold down the key each tap, determines how fast you turn. Depending on your current level (selos speeds up as you level) and the mobs chasing you, you need to tap at different rates.

Tapping means you’re tapping the left or right key. If you just held it down, the circle would be too small and you’d get hit. The game won’t let you edit your turn speed, so instead tap the left or right key in rhythm.

The key here is rhythm. Different mobs, different zones, and different levels will require different rhythms. However, there are a few tips that will help you:

1. Start SLOW. Don’t try to go straight into your final rhythm, especially if it’s a new set. Start off tapping slow, with a much bigger circle than you need, and slowly bring it in until you start hitting the mobs
2. Whenever you connect with your AoE, make a conscious effort to slow down your tapping. As pressure builds, you’ll speed up naturally. This problem happens to all musicians, they tend to perform their songs faster live than they do when practicing. We’re playing musicians, so may as well act like them. So, when you hit with the AoE slow down. Worst case scenario if you do is you have to speed up again a little to hit the mobs again. Worst case if you don’t is you get stunned and die.
3. Use music to help you maintain a beat. I like to listen to Slam Jam remixes when I’m tapping.
4. The rhythm you need to maintain is probably a lot slower than you think. People starting off tend to jam on the key really fast, but that won’t help because you aren’t holding it down very long each time. Instead tap slow. For example, the perfect rhythm for bandits in WK is about 2 taps per second for me, not very fast at all.
5. Practice, practice, practice

So putting it all together, we gather our mobs, round em up, switch instruments, tap out a pattern to form a circle, and twist AoE and selos.

*I’d like to note here that some people recommend getting Jboots so that you don’t have to twist songs and your speed remains the same at all levels. I don’t recommend it because that’s a waste of 5k plat or a lot of time, and you’re still gonna get hit if you screw up anyway.


In and Out


When kiting, I usually use an in and out strategy to avoid getting hit. Basically, I keep the mobs just outside of the range of my aoe (your aoe has a range of 30, melee range is 15 I think for most mobs). When my aoe is about to resolve, I'll move a little closer to hit the mobs with it, then go back out of range. I often alternate as well, hitting them with one pass and not hitting them the next, just to make sure I don't get too close. Following this strategy reduces the likelihood of a mistake or some stupid lag killing you.


What Mobs to Kite


You can kite melee mobs up to 3-4 levels higher than you. I don’t recommend trying for anything higher. For one thing, you can’t hit mobs over a certain level, they’ll resist every time. For another, you’re increasing the chances that a single mistake will kill you. Sometimes only one mob out of a pack will hit you, and won’t stun you. Bandits are great for this reason, because they often backstab rather than bashing, which hurts but doesn’t kill you if just one does it. I also would avoid lightblue and green mobs, since they’re not worth the effort.

After the early levels, a single mistake is going to kill you nearly every time. At this point, there's really no reason why not to kite 10+ mobs at once. Especially after you get bruscos, safely picking up a 12-pack or case becomes fairly easy if enough mobs are around. However, the more mobs you have, the more likely some lag is going to happen and one of them will hit you, and it also becomes increasingly likely that you'll pick up something you don't want, so find a balance.

As a general rule, I do NOT recommend kiting any of these things:

1. Casters
2. Really large mobs (often they hit you from further away)
3. Mobs with root
4. Mobs of different types, like bears and wolves for example, because they’ll run away at different times and may survive, run back and bash you, rather than just the last mob alive running away
5. Other players

Some good places for kiting:

Level 8-12: steamfont mountains in the northeastern area near minotaur caves, there is a rediculously large number of skeletons. They don't bash, they don't run, and they don't hit hard. These are perfect and you can easily get over a yellow with a single pack all the way up to 12.
12-15: Bandits in west karana are good for this range, or even as early as 8, because they sometimes drop bronze and drop sashes that can be turned in for bronze in qeynos (check the wiki). There's an area east of the farm where there's enough room to kite them and nothing hostile will path by. The ones in most of the camps are rogue-warrior hybrids (have both backstab and bash) but there are casters who wander about a few areas, so be careful. It's fairly easy to pick up two or three camps of bandits.
15-20: Wolves in east karana. Gnolls are slower and they despawn at night to be replaced by undead reavers, so I'd stick to wolves. Make sure to only pick up one type of wolf, because the different types aren't social and will run at different times, only to come back and bash you if you don't kill them. A 12 pack of gorge hounds will grant over a yellow all the way up to 18, and you can fairly easily get up to 20 off of them.
20+: it's personal preference at this point. There are a lot of mobs in OT but there are plenty of areas where aoe kiting is possible.


Stripping Tactic - Lull


Often, your perfect camp (or one of them) will have a caster in it. No worries! At level 8, you gain access to your first lull spell (sold in Kelethin, Kelin's Lugubrious Lament). Lull the caster right before hitting one of the mobs in the camp to pull only the melees. Make sure to reapply selo's immediately after so you don't get caught. Tested on orcs in faydark and works just fine, so bards on Faydwer can gather orcs around orc hill then drag them to the bandit camp (open area) for kiting safely starting at 8.

The last thing I want to say is that kiting is not everything. You can kite all the way to 50 if you want to, but there are some severe penalties. For one, all of your skills will be low except singing, percussion, and string. So offense, weapon skills, defense, dodge, dual wield, etc will all be low. More importantly, kiting is only one small part of what bards are capable of. Most of the full potential of the class is only shown in groups. Mez, three to four song twisting, when to switch instruments, when to run, how to use lul, when to use charm, haste vs overhaste, etc are just some of the things you'll learn grouping but won't learn kiting. Make sure to mix grouping with kiting as you level so that you get the full package.

I hope this guide helps some people. Have fun kiting!
Last edited by easy_lee; 07-15-2012 at 03:45 PM..
  #2  
Old 07-02-2012, 03:58 PM
Woobi Woobi is offline
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I've recently got the hang of this by reading other guides. However, I must say that this is by far the best AoE guide I have read thus far.
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  #3  
Old 07-02-2012, 07:08 PM
easy_lee easy_lee is offline
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Originally Posted by Woobi View Post
I've recently got the hang of this by reading other guides. However, I must say that this is by far the best AoE guide I have read thus far.
Thank you =)
  #4  
Old 07-03-2012, 12:55 AM
Lazortag Lazortag is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by easy_lee View Post

Method 1 Carping

When moving forward and strafing right or left at the same time, your movement speed at an angle is higher than your movement speed just running. Since you're moving at an angle, this also makes it difficult for mobs to hit you. So you can channel your AoE song and stay slightly ahead of mobs while running in a circle.

There are two problems with this method.
1. You can't keyboard-turn while strafing, EQ will give whichever button was clicked last priority, so you'll lose your speed if you keyboard-turn and get hit. This leads to the second problem.
2. You have to turn with the mouse, by holding right click and moving to the side, while holding down both forward and a strafe key. This by itself causes three more problems:
- It's difficult to keep a decent circle, so you're more likely to get hit
- You have to keep the camera in the standard "driving" mode, meaning you can't zoom out far enough to see obstacles and mobs will be just barely visible in the bottom right/left if they're at the correct distance.
c. It causes carpel tunnel, arthritis, and cramps (hence the name carping) to swing the mouse perpetually while holding down two keys. This is more straining on your wrist than playing an fps.
Dude, just use auto-run. While you're holding down the up and right keys and right-clicking, press enter twice. That way you can use one hand for steering with your mouse, and the other hand for hotkeys (or anything, really, since hotkeys aren't necessary).
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  #5  
Old 07-03-2012, 01:54 AM
easy_lee easy_lee is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lazortag View Post
Dude, just use auto-run. While you're holding down the up and right keys and right-clicking, press enter twice. That way you can use one hand for steering with your mouse, and the other hand for hotkeys (or anything, really, since hotkeys aren't necessary).
That's an idea, but you still have to steer with the mouse, which is stressful on your wrist. In addition, I believe it's still harder to form consistent circles without getting hit via this method, meaning more deaths.
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Old 07-03-2012, 09:19 AM
Lazortag Lazortag is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by easy_lee View Post
That's an idea, but you still have to steer with the mouse, which is stressful on your wrist. In addition, I believe it's still harder to form consistent circles without getting hit via this method, meaning more deaths.
You don't have to constantly steer with your mouse or go in a circle. You just turn slightly whenever you're about to land the dot. It's easy and causes almost no strain at all on your wrist. I did it for about 22 consecutive levels (8-30) on red99 before getting tired of it.
Apart from that, your guide looks good.
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Giegue Nessithurtsithurts, 60 Bard <Divinity>
Starman Deluxe, 24 Enchanter
Lardna Minch, 18 Warrior

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[50 (sometimes 49) Bard] Wolfram Alpha (Half Elf) ZONE: oasis
  #7  
Old 07-03-2012, 06:10 PM
easy_lee easy_lee is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lazortag View Post
You don't have to constantly steer with your mouse or go in a circle. You just turn slightly whenever you're about to land the dot. It's easy and causes almost no strain at all on your wrist. I did it for about 22 consecutive levels (8-30) on red99 before getting tired of it.
Apart from that, your guide looks good.
Good to know, thanks for the input
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