Thursday, June 3, 2010

Advanced AOE Party Guide - Fatal's Version

most people know the basics of an AOE (area of effect) party, the type of group dynamic that pulls many mobs to a central location and bombards them into bits of Exp and loot... well anyway, i've now gone through these parties with all four classes (10x Warlock, 9x Ranger, 9x Paladin, 9x Warrior) and am comfortable carrying all roles, i think i'm fairly skilled any way... i posted this on the OutSpark forums a while ago as an addition to another forum-goer's principles of basic AOE'ing... this was back in February of 2010, but the information is still relevant.

here was the original posting:

thug.. u should spend some time in KKP when u get back (if u have access to a character around that lvl), u'll see all ranges of fail within all classes.

fighters that don't tank and don't consistently kick to maintain aggro.
fighters that don't bother with or understand mob control.
fighters that don't bother with or understand chain stuns.
mages that happily pull all the mob aggro, aren't +9ed, aren't scrolled, then blame the cleric for their death.
archers that kite way past their parties' cleric's healing range, then blame the cleric for their death.
clerics that chat too much at the most critical times.
clerics that think spam healing is 'doing their job'.
clerics that are unaware their party buffs expired.
clerics that insist on tanking KKP, getting killed, and wiping out their entire party.
clerics that don't anticipate when the damage to their party is coming, and who it's directed towards. (added)

all classes that get too close to Ghost Slime when they can't take his AOE damage (first time in KQ, fine.. but if u keep doing it over and over... *sigh*
all classes that don't pull the KKP-spawned Mara and Marlone off of the clerics.
and of course.... leechers.

and on and on and on....

whatever u decide to be, don't be so arrogant to think that u already know everything about your class. we all can learn something new or a way to do things better from time to time.
i dunno.. having now played to atleast lvl 76 on each of the four classes, i think that really opens your eyes and gives u a better appreciation of each class and also educates you on how your chosen class and the actions u take affects the other people in your party. not playing through on each class somewhat blinds a lot of people and leads to a lot of misunderstanding and bickering.

for example:
playing through as a cleric, u get a better understanding of aggro and how your heals pull it on u. this in turn makes you a better fighter, archer, mage as u realize that when the cleric comes under fire, to divert your attention to getting that mob off of them as quickly as possible. oftentimes, depending on the situation, if the cleric goes down, the entire party falls apart.

playing through as a fighter, u learn mob control, keeping your eye not just on the targets in front of u, but also those spawning near your weaker defensed party members and those that wandered away towards your party. u learn that keeping a large bunch of mobs aggroed for an extended amount of time is difficult especially when the DDs take a bit longer to wipe them all out. your mock is used up and on CD, you have to resort to kicks and tabbing through the mobs and using raw damage to pull them back on u. fully understanding how aggro works helps u with all classes.

etc, etc, etc.... =)

and again, reaching a milestone lvl doesn't necessarily graduate anyone from "nub" status.... i see 9x and 10x nubs from time to time.
it's a great introductory guide so far, but there are MANY not really "advanced", but secondary techniques the classes can do or be aware of during AOE parties... most of them revolve around not being lazy and being hyperaware of the other classes' responsibilities in the party and the threats that they face.

for example:

Fighters should always keep an eye on the cleric during the AOE session.. nothing kills an AOE pt faster than a squishy cleric. After mocking, a fighter should have KICK ready in case some of the mobs target the cleric, this can also be done to protect the mages somewhat as well. Healing draws quite a bit of aggro so the fighters need to be aware. Don't think it's just Mock, Deva, and you're done. use kick to protect your party members. many fighters put away kick once mock is learned, and to be honest, in a high lvl, high risk AOE party, the fighter actually will use kick more often than mock if the mobs don't all die after the initial two AOEs (nova and inferno) are dropped. and don't forget that demoralizing hit can work as a mini-mock, this is especially beneficial at pulling in some of those stray, wandering off mobs without committing too early in casting mock.

Mages, typically being the squishiest of all party members need to be aware of their own health and take steps to ensure that they stay alive as well. A standing mage, or lazy-mage as i call it is probably one of the most common sights you'll see. The lazy-mage thinks that 'oh i'll just drop nova and inferno and wait for the cleric to heal me...'... wrong. oftentimes, dead wrong. a mage needs to be a mobile character when aoe'ing. with Magic Blast able to be casted while running, a mage should run in circles around the aoe while tabbing to target single targets and hammering them with Blast... running around the aoe helps ease the damage the mage takes (and provides more relief to a cleric as well) since the mobs chasing you are slowed. standing there stationary is probably the dumbest thing u can do for your own safety and that of your parties. Mages also need to be aware of the cleric's threats as well as the fighter's. mages need to pay close attention to what kinds of mobs are attacking the fighter and wipe out the biggest threats first (for a fighter this would be magic dmg type mobs). for example, in Trumpy Remains, if you're pulling the room that has spade trumpies and heart (mage) trumpies, don't just aoe the spot and sit there and wait, or hammer the spades, the heart trumpies pose the biggest threat to the fighter and they're typically out of range for him. take care of these threats first after dropping your AOEs. but like the fighter, always keep an eye on the cleric, if the cleric is taking damage, immediately focus on the mob attacking him/her and take them out. better you sacrifice yourself for the benefit of the team than the cleric does, afterall who's going to res the now dead cleric?

Spam healing is not the answer. Just pounding away on your #3 (or whatever key u use to heal) is not the right thing to do, and believe it or not, does not prove that you're "doing your job". utilizing all of the cleric's skills is necessary in large-scale AOEs and knowing the timing and aniticipating when aggro will be drawn and to what party member is key. this is not something that u learn quickly, it takes quite a bit of practice and experience. it helps to get an idea of how strong defensively and offensively each party member is so u can plan ahead. if the mage draws huge aggro, be prepared by adding in a restore just before he AOEs, same with the fighter gathering, cast a restore on him just before he leaves to pull to ease his HP burden. know when the right timing is to cast Rejuv and also when to take the time to rez those party members that have fallen. time your invinc as well.. clerics also need to be aware of their own threats and take measures to protect themselves without losing focus on healing the tank or the mage. if, as a cleric, u draw aggro because of your heal, don't just stand on the outside continuing to take damage, why not run that mob back into the aoe so it can be more easily killed or atleast have the aggro taken off of you again. a cleric's job is not as easy as most non-clerics think, and it's actually a lot harder and sophisticated than most clerics themselves realize. people i've partied with say that i'm a good cleric, but to be honest, i haven't even scratched the surface of what the best clerics out there are capable of.

Archers in an AOE pt are to me the secondary protectors behind the fighter. Archers again need to be that watchdog looking for mobs that pose huge threats to the fighter and cleric. All things being equal, an archer is an unbelievable single-target killer and needs to keep this in mind when fighting targets at range.

if i think of more, i'll post again.


Originally Posted by char_family
  Mage: I think mages have it hardest when in an AOE party if the rest of the party doesn't do their part. They are also one of the most needed classes in one. At level 60, mages obtain the skill 'Frost Nova' which effects all monsters within the attack's range, and at level 67, a skill called 'Inferno' which also effects all monsters within the attack's range. They also get a skill called 'Magic Burst' at lv20, which isn't used much. A mistake that mages do is they get out of the "AOE circle". That is the area that the AOE effects the monsters. If you are getting attacked, don't panic. Unless your cleric isn't healing or your fighter isn't trying to get aggro or deva. If thats the case feel free to get the heck out of there! Just drop the party and find a new one and check back later.

After re-reading this, i have some objection to that section i highlighted in red. This again goes back to the lazy-mage scenario i described. The Mage should actually position themselves just outside the aoe-circle. being square in the middle prevents the fighter from properly kicking threats away from the mage, whereas if the mage is slightly outside the general aoe-circle, the fighter can more easily identify and kick-back those threats.

and magic burst is still pretty commonly used, but it's a HUGE aggro suck, so mages need to be aware of that and play accordingly.

what i posted might well be considered advanced techniques afterall, but it's something that the budding-aoe pt member should be aware of and work toward achieving somewhere down the line.

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