View Full Forums : Quad Kiting: How to Do It


Scirocco
07-02-2001, 07:00 AM
Quad Kiting, or multi-kiting, is simply using an AoE spell to kill multiple mobs at one time. In general, the idea is to get the mobs in question closely grouped together, then cast an AoE at maximum range. Run ahead, rinse and repeat. DD-kiting with multiple mobs.

SPELL CHOICE:

There are two types of spells you typically will be casting. First, you will be ensnaring each of the mobs in your "pack." Ensnare lasts long enough to allow you to collect and corral your pack, then kill it. With the shorter duration of snare, you are likely to have some (or all) of the mobs lose the snare mid-kite.

Second, you need a distance AoE. Our PBAEs (point-blank area effect spells) require the mobs to be in melee range of you to be hit, and our Rain AoEs will only hit 3 targets at a time. That leaves our third class of AoEs, which can hit up to 4 closely grouped mobs at a distance. These spells are:

Level 5: Invoke Lightning - 32 mana, 21-25 pts
Level 34: Lightning Strike - 149 mana, 172-184 pts
Level 49: Lightning Blast - 234 mana, 477 pts
Level 58: Fist of Karana - 357 mana, 812 pts

Practically speaking, quad kiting with Invoke Lightning is problematic. Level 5 druids don't have spirit of wolf or ensnare, and get better results using melee or other techniques to kill mobs. And by the time druids do get spirit of wolf, the damage from Invoke Lighting is fairly small in comparison to the hps of the mobs.

Quad-kiting thus really starts at 34, when the druid has SoW or wolfform, ensnare, and Lightning Strike.


EQUIPMENT:

In general, you want to maximize your mana. This typically means maximizing your wisdom and +mana items. Although you are getting more cumulative damage from hitting 4 mobs at once with one spell, the fact is that you still effectively are using a relatively low efficiency DD spell for each particular mob. If you cannot DD-kite a SINGLE mob with your AoE spell, then you have no hope of doing four mobs with it, correct? Especially considering the fact that several of your pack WILL resist your AoE during the kite.

You can make up for a slight lack of mana through medding techniques during the kite, but you want to avoid this if you can. In addition, the AoEs used are Evocation spells, so you can gain a significant mana advantage if you have specialized in Evocation (at max skill, you will save about 15% per cast).

Many quad-kiters use the Luminescent Staff, which has a right-clickable Lightning Strike. However, the casting time on this weapon is a few seconds longer than any of the spells, and some mobs with larger melee ranges can reach and hit you before the spell goes off, even if you click it just as they move into casting range. It is mana-free killing, though, and can be extremely helpful when you are running low on mana.

Similarly, the ES Vambraces or the Velious quest bracers, with Drones of Doom, can be very helpful in finishing off a pack.

CHOICE OF MOBS:

A few pointers on mob selection. In general, you want 4 mobs of the same speed (got to maintain that grouping), non-casting (you lose the grouping when they stop to cast), and of the same approximate level (you don't want to go LOM or OOM and still have one or two stragglers with significant HP). They also should be fairly close together, so you can get them grouped within a minute or two.

You also need a good kiting area nearby. This does NOT need to be a huge space, but one where you can back off in 3rd person view and see relatively clearly. Ideally, it should be free of roamers (or alternatively, you should have all the roamers in your "pack"), or the roamers should be non-aggro.

When you start, the highest HP of the mobs should be no more than 70-80% of your potential max damage (i.e., blowing down your mana with your AoE). You will have resists, partial and total, just due to the number of casts and targets. As you get more experienced, you can up the HP percentage to 90% or 100%, with the expectation of sit-medding during the process.

The Spirocs are a perfect example of this. A good range of levels for LB-casting druids (49-53): lightfoots, watchers, and provens. A city with a large number of spawn spots and good respawns, only a few roamers, and several areas nearby to run them. They even have decent loot (up to 4 or 5 pp).

See the post on Quad Kiting locations for other suggested mobs.

You can quad-kite casting mobs, but they need to be very slow and you need to be able to get your AoE off before they get into casting range. The problem is that one or two might stop to start casting on you, and thus your pack might break up.

You can have more than 4 mobs in your pack, whether on purpose or by accident. Your AoE will only hit 4 at a time, however. As one or two get killed, subsequent AoEs will then take in the extras. This is particularly effective when kiting mobs with greatly varying HPs.

It may be obvious, but it can't be stated often enough. If you cannot kite ONE of mob X with your AoE spell, you cannot kite FOUR of them. Thus, if you have any doubts about a particular type of mob, try to DD kite it ALONE with your AoE once.


TECHNIQUE:

Here is my (Scirocco's) technique, in general.

I start out in first person for the first ensnare, then quickly swap to 3rd person (which I have pre-set for the right angle--perpendicular to my main kiting path--at maximum distance) to grab the next three. In between, I hit esc to lose the last target, because targetting is sometimes tricky and you don't want to ensnare the same mob twice.

For now, don't worry about which order you grab them in as you can corral them afterwards. After you get good, however, you can grab your 4 mobs in the best order so that they are all relatively close together when the last one is ensnared. This is heavily dependant on their placement, of course.

Alternatively, in some areas with widely separated mobs, you just may want to aggro the mobs first with some minor spell first, then snare them after you get the pack together.

So now you have 4 mobs trailing after you. Most likely, the first two snared are fairly close together, and one may be further away from the rest. Run off perpendicular to a line drawn between the one furthest away and the main grouping (2 or 3). If all 4 are evenly spaced, then the line is drawn between all 4 as best possible. Run off for a 5 or 6 count and sit for about an 8 count. Medding gives you a little mana back from the ensnaring, and the mobs all gradually converge on you. From third person view, you can see them as they come in, and your back is to them for a quick getaway.

When they are fairly close, get up and run. It may take some practice to judge distances when in third person view. You may need to shift your view around slightly (or preset your second 3rd person view to be at 90 degrees to the first, also at max distance). Don't let them hit you...you may get stunned and lose 3 bubbles in a matter of seconds with even 2 or 3 of the mobs whacking at you (and they hit for max damage when you are sitting, so the first hit really hurts).

If the mobs are still too far apart when you have to get up and run, circle around one end (or run between them, if you are brave/suicidal and well armored...running between them brings them together more quickly than an end run), and run out the perpendicular again and sit. Twice should be enough.

Now you can start circling. Depending on the grouping, it may only take one 360 degree circle, or perhaps two to make sure the group is tight. Make sure you have enough distance from the mobs...not too far, not too close. This requires experience with judging distances in the 3d view (if you're an experienced kiter, then this shouldn't be too difficult).

You should now be in your 3rd person view that is perpendicular to your kiting line. When I quad kite, I usually run between two endpoints (hence, the kiting line). I don't have to switch between viewpoints this way, and it minimizes the chances of contacting other mobs. Also, if you're doing mobs like raptors with a limited kiting area (e.g., a beach), you pretty much are forced to do this. If you have more area (like the spirocs), you can kite in a circle or oval if you like.

Then it's simply a matter of blasting the mobs. I usually run to the endpoint, sit and med, get up after an appropriate count (when you know your kiting line and distances, you know when to get up even when the mobs aren't visible) and start casting. With LB, for example, I need to start casting when the mobs are offscreen...if they get onscreen, they will reach me before it goes off. I could slant my viewpoint to see them, but then it becomes harder to judge distances. Easier to keep a simple count in my head. Also, I have found that moving your viewpoint around too much is a good way to end up dead when the inevitable UI error occurs.

Which mob I target depends. Usually, I try to pick a mob that looks to be in the middle of the grouping. If you target one of the outliers, you often get incomplete coverage (i.e., only 3 mobs get hit with the AoE). With a tight grouping, this doesn't matter, but the grouping WILL become "looser" as you run them around. If you are using a slow casting spell, like LS from the Lum Staff, however, you probably will want to target the mob at the front of the pack, in order to give yourself a chance to get the spell off.

If you get a 3-hitter (or, gods forfend, a mere double), then you need to re-group them. Usually a simple circle around the group will do this. With experience, you can judge whether the grouping is too loose by eye, and do the circling then. I have aborted LBs mid-cast when I didn't like the spacing of the group as they came on screen. Better to take the extra 20 seconds to get all four than to miss one of the mobs with the AoE (assuming that mana is tight).

Try not to let the mobs hit you. There is a limit on the number of mobs that will engage you in combat at one time (3), and if the group catches up to you, I find that 3 whack you, while the fourth moves off a little ways. Aside from the danger of taking damage (being stunned while 3 raptors are hitting you is not fun), this breaks up the group and you will have to take the time to re-circle them.

If one of the mobs has more HP than the others (e.g., one Proven and three Watchers), I target that one for my casting. I can then judge and adjust my mana usage based on the mob most likely to be the last of the group. The other mobs should pretty much all be killed along the way, and it's this last one that I need to make sure of.

If there is a single remaining mob, it almost always stops on its own (mobs usually won't go into flee mode until there is only one left). If it doesn't, I hit it with root. It dies or is stopped. I then cast an appropriate DoT (this is where the DoD from the ES vambraces comes in handy)) and sit and med. Usually, the mob dies quickly after that, although in some cases a second application of the DoT is required.

Scirocco
07-02-2001, 09:44 AM
When your lightning hits less than 4 mobs, its a waste of mana (the other classes may kill us druids just for saying that :) So putting 6 or 8 mobs (never tried more than 8) in your pack (provided you have the mana to kill'em all, I dont like med kiting...) can insure you you'll always have 4 mobs hit by the AOE, even when one or more die.

It sure is impressive, but not riskier as a casual quad-kite, as only 3 mobs can hit you at once (thats why when it happens, one of the 4 mobs will run away and you'll have to group them again) And if you run OOM before theyre all dead, just outrun them with your wolfform :)

-Jarinya

Scirocco
09-11-2001, 05:16 AM
For an interesting program that allows you to play with grouping four ants into a pack, try the following:

www.pawuk.net/quadkite/quadkite.htm (http://www.pawuk.net/quadkite/quadkite.htm)