Druid swarming

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Mallorn
Posts: 65
Joined: Tue Oct 16, 2012 8:48 am

Druid swarming

Post by Mallorn » Tue Apr 02, 2013 9:05 am

Druid swarming, who would have thought? Well, I have been pulling it off and wanted to share. For those of you that are not privy to swarming, it is the act of pulling a large group of light blue creatures on yourself. Basically it is making a large train, but instead of running you take them on. This technique is most common with Shadowknights, who have the ability to stack several lifetap abilities at a time to heal themselves as fast as they are being hit. They are the masters of swarming; below is my druid variant of it all.

For us druids, I started off with "merc swarming" viewtopic.php?f=17&t=721 which is basically loading up a merc with damage shields and Hp/AC buffs and healing them as they swarm. Since our heals are much more efficient than damage spells, it works out in our favor.

Now, the downside of the merc is after so many enemies (10-12) they freak and run off. This isn't all bad, since they seem to just go a certain distance and still get pummeled by their swarm, but some of their enemies turn back on us and it gets complicated. By my late 70's I was not able to pull as many enemies as I wanted to to keep up the fast past, and at lvl 81 I decided to try swarming without the merc.

Perks with dropping the merc:
-not giving 40% exp of every kill to the merc
-no limit on number of creatures to pull; can go way above 10-12 range
-If you like excitement in your gaming, this is it :) Skip a few seconds of healing and your are in trouble

Requirements:
-High DS
-High AC/Hp, etc.
-Big, fast healing of yourself(AA's, focus items, Tribute, etc.)


I have around 15 combat stability, which mitigates incoming damage. I unfortunately have about the same in combat agility which has me dodging attacks, and I have 1% chance to block with my shield. Oh well. If I was to make a character to do this (which I would not), I woud want lots of weak hits. Just like merc swarming I load myself up with all of the guild buffs I can get; I believe I have around 38K hps and 4500 displayed AC. I have a high AC shield. For both DS and survivability I absolutely love convergence of the spirits and spirit of the wood. With either of those, highest mage DS, ranger DS and our self-only DS I have a DS of around 580's. When the AA drops it is in the 450-490 range, which is great. I'm pretty sure I could find a way to creep that up a bit, but I don't expect to be doing this long before I level out of range. Protection of the dire is a great AA, as well as the veteran rewards; I used steadfast servant, intensity of the (seven?), etc. when I was getting in over my head. AA Evac I would say is ESSENTIAL; it can get hairy fast and the one time I used it I would have been dead before I could fire off egress.

Technique:
So what the heck do I do? I have ran the merc swarming technique a billion times; I've at least gotten 5 levels doing it, and several hundred AA's, so I just drop down and start grabbing all of the mobs I can get in my regular merc swarming runs. I started slow, about 10 at a time, and got up to around 20-30. I haven't done it too many times yet but the key for me is when I am getting to about 80% health I run for a corner and stick my butt in it to prevent being stunned and start healing. The routine that seemed to work for me is to grab a big swarm and whittle them all down at once, as opposed to merc swarming where I am always trying to keep 8-10 going at once. Once I get ahead of myself with heals I'll fire off a techtonic quake, AE DD that hits everything for some extra speed in killing power. When down to six or less I start looting, takes a bit, and I either nuke off the last couple or grab another swarm.

Experience:
The first time I did a lessons burn with this technique I got somewhere in the low 40's AA's at lvl 81 (I have around 1350 AA's). This was not optimal, though I did port out halfway through lessons to regen mana. It wouldn't shock me if you could push it to 60 AA's in one lesson burn if you really had it all timed well.

Bottom line: it is definitely more efficient than merc swarming, but very situational. Infected paw will maybe give me experience at lvl 82, which isn't far off. I don't have a lot of AA's I even want, at least more so than levels. The only thing I have found in my research that might work is the open sea instanced zones, which have mobs listed as lvl 73-76 which would be for when I am 82+. Problem there it is instanced and I haven't even scouted it yet, so they might hit too hard to make it worth it. I expect that since we are soft casters in leather and not tanks made of stone that the tougher creatures of higher levels will make this a short-lived experience powerhouse for the well outfitted and well-AA'ed druid. :)

Follow up:
This guide is written for lvl 81, will probably work for lvl 82. Checking swarming locations of SK's I found this link, which might bridge the gap at lvl 83+ http://www.evilgamer.net/forums/showthread.php?t=8577. I'll definitely try it out for curiousity's sake, though I would be content with finding a good merc swarming spot as well. Other spots for when I'm around lvl 83 referenced here http://www.evilgamer.net/forums/showthread.php?t=8216

Mopdragon
Posts: 2
Joined: Mon Apr 22, 2013 3:33 pm

Re: Druid swarming

Post by Mopdragon » Mon Apr 22, 2013 3:38 pm

At what level did you drop the Merc. Im 73 atm and have been using the anti-summoned DD in Infected Paw to run through mobs but it sounds like this is much faster. Is the only drawback for this strat having to shout for buffs all the time?

Mallorn
Posts: 65
Joined: Tue Oct 16, 2012 8:48 am

Re: Druid swarming

Post by Mallorn » Mon Apr 22, 2013 4:52 pm

I dropped the merc at lvl 81. You could probably easily do it at lvl 80 with appropriate gear, the jump in hp and ac is nuts on equipment.

All else is speculation but I would assume you could do it as low as lvl 73, the limiting factors are how good is your ac and how fast can you heal, so the better your AA's are the better. I always used all of the guild lobby buffs for merc swarming so getting more buffs never really was a problem. I actually hate asking for buffs and was one of the countless souls that just sit afk with merc on passive to pick up the ones I need.

Bottom line, if I were you I would drop the merc and see how many mobs you can handle, and after you get a feel for how many you can handle compare the exp drop to using a merc. I kind of doubt it will be as effective at lower levels and might not be any more efficient that merc swarming. Try it out and share your results, that is the only way we'll find out. :)

Iila
Posts: 9
Joined: Wed Feb 08, 2012 10:54 pm

Re: Druid swarming

Post by Iila » Tue Apr 23, 2013 4:17 am

Interesting, never thought of this as a druid. You obliviously can't swarm NEARLY as well as SKs, but once you get 80 and can fill out in HoT T1 armor you have a large number of zones with lb mobs that should be trivial with the HP/AC from HoT armor. PoFire and Paw being the main ones. You want to find the oldest expansion mobs that are still lb to you, because they will have the lowest hps and hit for the least. Checking out the Luclin and PoP zones would be your best bets. RSS is the next swarm spot for SKs and I don't seen druids being able to pull that off very well.

You definitely want the best shield and shield AC you can find if you're doing this. Shield AC (counting the aug) is worth about 5x as much as AC in any other slot. So ALWAYS put the highest ac aug you can in your shield, and always use a shield. (This is the #1 check of 'do you understand EQ' that people do when they look at your gear/magelo.)

The Reptile line helps by giving you a defensive heal proc, but it's limited on number of charges and overall kind of sucks. If you can somehow drag a cleric along to cast their highest Shining Armor line buff on you, that provides an unlimited number of defensive heal procs, plus -10% melee damage.

Mopdragon
Posts: 2
Joined: Mon Apr 22, 2013 3:33 pm

Re: Druid swarming

Post by Mopdragon » Wed Apr 24, 2013 5:56 pm

Druid Swarming at lvl 73 Report:
Zone: Infected Paw
Guild Hall Buffs:

Spiritual Edification 2
Brells Steadfast Bulwark 3
Circle of Flameskin 2 (mage DS)
Voice of Prescience 2
Shared Cloak of Spurs 2 (ranger DS)
Blessing of Fervor 2
Certitude 2
Insistent Focusing 2
Spirit of Dauntlessness 2
Viridicoat and Fernspur (druid ds)

Didn't Have Foresight which will make a huge difference.

Pulled 3 at a time avoiding the wavecrashers (the only mob that self heals), and had no problems; four got a little hairy but was manageable and 5 was too much. Could kill up to 6 in a row before having to med. With blessing of the devoted popped I managed + 30 AA's in the 30min period which is the best I've experienced. The DS was hitting for around 453 without fernspur and 980 with fernspur, sometimes for 1k. With foresight I wouldnt be medding as much which will increase your kill per minute ration substantially. Each of the elementals was granting about .9 AA per kill.

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