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Ranger Kiting Guide

This guide was created by Kirua of the Ranger Forums. All credit for this guide goes to him. To see the original posting of this guide click here.

Hi, I made this guide because I was seeing quite a lot of threads asking about kiting, and hopefully this would be useful enough for people who would like to clarify their questions.

Work in progress so far, please do tell if I missed anything or got anything wrong.

1. Movement
2. Movement Modifiers

3. Kiting Basics
3.1 Normal Attacks
3.2 Skills (instant cast)
3.3 Skills (non-instant cast)
4. Kiting Methods
4.1 Normal Kiting
4.2 Circling
5. Tips and Tricks
5.1 Jump Shot (bug)
5.2 Auto Attack Weaving
5.3 Game Options
5.4 Using Terrain
5.5 Risky Stuff
5.6 Transform!

1. Movement
In Aion there's 3 ways in which we can move, the first is by pressing the forward key on the keyboard (default W also), next would be to click-to-move with the mouse, and finally to press down both mouse buttons (forward movement only, you turn by moving your mouse left or right).

While it is possible to kite using the keyboard for movement and mouse to click for skills, I'm rather unused to it, and I find it quite difficult. Also, I don't think you can kite effectively with only the click-to-move, so therefore I'll be using the last method to explain kiting.

2. Movement Modifiers
The next thing you'd like to know about Aion, is that movement does affect your combat. You may have already noticed some arrows appearing on the middle of your screen during combat, and these are the movement modifiers. These movement modifiers don't appear immediately, you need to keep moving in a certain direction for a while.

Below are the values of the modifiers, but if you note the damage and movement speed, you'll notice that there can be a huge difference that is worth taking advantage of.

+10% Physical Damage
+10% Magic Damage
-20% Physical Defense
-20% Magic Damage

+500% to Parry
+500% to Block
-70% Physical Damage
-40% Movement Speed

Left/Right Strafe:
+300% to Evasion
-70% Physical Damage
-20% Movement Speed

3. Ranger Kiting Basics

Whichever your definition of kiting, it involves doing damage to a mob while trying to maintain a distance as it comes towards you. If you can kite a mob perfectly (very doable in Aion), you'd be able to kill a mob without being hit at all.

The first thing you need to know is that along with the normal attack, there's basically only two types of skills that'll make a difference when you kite. Just note that you'll always be moving forwards kiting, and there's never a need to face your target manually to activate your skills.

3.1 Normal Attacks
Normal attacks can be done on the move and in jumps. However in order to initiate a normal attack, you'll need to face your target for a split second, and there's two ways in which this can be done.

Method 1:
When you're running (forward) away from your target, just release your movement buttons (either one or both mouse button will do), and press the normal attack key. You can then immediately move again. This can also be done during a jump.

Because of Auto Facing, your character will just fire arrow backwards (there's an animation too), and if you're fast enough on the ground, or do this in a jump, your character practically doesn't stop running at all.

Method 2:
When auto-attack is already activated (note that there was a bug that turns it off sometimes), when you're running (forward) away from your target, jump, swivel to face your target, land and continue moving whichever direction you like.

You don't even have to release or press any other buttons, and your character will fire an arrow.

For both methods you need to be in range of the target, and your normal attack must have already "cooled down".

3.2 Skills (instant cast)
Entangling Shot I would be your first such skill and these are simple enough to use while kiting.

All you have to do is to press a button while you're moving, and the skill will activate without making you pause. If you do while it jumping (and don't release the mouse movement buttons), the skill animation is also canceled.

3.3 Skills (non-instant cast)
These skills have an animation to them, and you're forced to stay still until the animation ends. The first such skill is Swift Shot I.

Without using the Jump Shot bug, there's no way you can avoid the animation, and this is where your target can close up the distance.

The best way to go about it is using the Jump Shot bug, but if you can't do it consistently enough, still try using these skills in a forward jump (the same result as a failed Jump Shot). You'll fire off your arrow when you land. It's a poor alternative, but you gain a bit of distance and you keep the forward movement modifier.

4. Kiting Methods

4.1 Normal Kiting
Pretty much just a mix of the techniques above, do note however that we are never required to move backwards to kite. In order to maintain your distance with a mob, what you'll want to do is to have your character move forward with your back facing your target. That way you'll have the forward movement modifier all the while.

4.2 Circling
This is what I usually do PvE, especially if there isn't a lot of space to run.
Basically with Entangling Shot I, mob speeds are lowered enough that you can actually kite around a mob and still have it out of melee range.

All you have to do after you initiate combat and the mob gets near, is to move forward perpendicular to the direction the mob is coming in, and maintain a slight left or right turn. Essentially moving sideways in a circle.

It isn't difficult to do at all, but you need to get a feel of how small a circle you can move in, without the mob catching up to you.

5. Tips and Tricks
5.1 Jump Shot (bug)

The reason I felt I had to include the (bug) tag although it is neither a bug nor exploit is because it is easily confused with just activating a skill in the middle of a jump.

To do a Jump Shot, all you have to do is to jump (it can be in any direction or on the spot), release all movement buttons, use your skill after the highest point in the jump, and finally wait till you land before pressing any movement buttons to move again.

In a successful Jump Shot, there will be no bow-draw animation, and you'll just see an arrow flying out from your character. The advantage for the Jump Shot is that since the animation is cancelled, you can start using your next skill, or move almost immediately after you land.

In a failed Jump Shot, you'll see your character start to draw the bow in mid-jump, land, continue the bow-draw/arrow firing animation, and you'll be stuck in position for a second or so.

The Jump Shot is therefore only good for those non-instant cast skills, but it does help quite a bit to improve your kiting and burst DPS. The timing for the Jump Shot also depends a lot on your latency, we have players who cannot do Jump Shots in C-Aion do it easily on our servers, and players like me who can't get it out consistantly (I blame me lag not me skillz).

Have a look at this video from Takyn

The second and fourth skills are great examples of a Jump Shot, and the sixth skill is a failed Jump Shot (at about 0:17).

Finally, we'd still be able to do Jump Shots in the version 1.5 that we're starting with, it's just that we supposedly lost the ability to fire off multiple skills in a single jump from previous versions (never tried that, sounds overpowered eh?). Check Jumpshot (now that the 1.5 beta event is here) though.

5.2 Auto Attack Weaving
Interestingly enough, in Aion there is no such thing as a global skill cooldown (wow~) but animation instead is used to control the speed in which you can use your skills.

In fact this is the same for auto attacks, and if you compare your combat log with the on-screen action, you'll notice that the damage is already done before the animation (and the on screen damage numbers) even starts. We can take advantage of this fact by cancelling the auto attack animation with any skill.

Most of us (like me before I knew this) probably just used some skill rotation, i.e spammed our skills once their cooldowns are over. However (till level 30 at least), it appears to me that our damage from skills isn't very much above what we do with auto attacks, and in my opinion it would be advantageous to tag an additional auto attack damage before every skill.

The easiest way to learn to weave is to stare at your combat log, shoot a normal arrow, and press any skill once you see a new (damage) line pop up.

What I do for myself (and this may change depending on latency), is to just tap auto attack a moment before hitting any of my skills. Sometimes I'll see a small arrow in front of my "skill's arrow", and sometimes I don't see anything else at all, but the extra auto attack damage is done.

Video demonstration at level 10:

For an example I would now start battles with Attack > Swift Shot I > Attack > Arrow Strike I (chain).

Fitting in the two attacks makes me about half a second slower than someone who would just go Swift Shot I > Arrow Strike I, but I think the extra damage is worth it (and think it increases dps).

Later, if you're looking to fire a skill like Entangling Shot I, as you are moving, try jumping, releasing the movement button, tap auto attack followed by the skill swiftly, and hold the movement buttons back down before landing. You'll probably only see your character fire off the Entangling Shot, but if you check your log, an extra round of auto attack damage has been added.

This is especially useful for classes with very slow attack weapons (thus long attack animations).

Original video here:

The video is very well explained, although if it weren't for lag, the auto-attack animation can be cut even further. Do check out the original thread in the Gladiator forums (link below).

5.3 Game Options
There are actually quite a few game options that you can change to make your life in Aion easier, and there are some of them that would help rangers.

First is "Show Distance to Target". Enabling this option allows you to see your distance to your target in the status bar, which along with the radar, is a good way to determine if the target is still within range of your skills.

The next option which you might like to modify is "Max Camera Distance". The biggest problem when kiting is the risk of running into another aggressive mob, and with the camera distance set to maximum, you'd be able to zoom out to get a wider view that gives you better a understanding of whats around you.

The other options I'd change for myself would be to tick "Display Monster Name", untick "Disable Click to Move" (that means it's enabled), untick "Left Click to Rotate Camera".

5.4 Using Terrain
In some areas you might find a slope leading to higher grounds. If you stand there and shoot at a mob at a level below you, especially if the slope is transverse-able, the mob would actually take the indirect path and climb the slope to get to you. And if before the mob reaches you, you jump down to the lower level, the mob will then again take the longer path down the slope (they won't jump down after you).

This works the same for those watch/guard towers you find scattered around in certain areas. If you start shooting at a mob from the top of one of those, the mob will climb the spiral path up to you, and if you jump down before it reaches you, it'd take the spiral path down again. Similarly, you can make use of this when fleeing a mob by running up a tower and jumping (gliding) down.

Doesn't work for ranged mobs.

5.5 Risky Stuff
I'm not sure if this is a bug, but if you are shooting at a target with your auto attack, and use the tab key to change targets, you will shoot arrows at the new target. Seems rather dangerous if you're in an instance, so do take care.

5.6 Transform!
You can use a Karnif's Soul or Worg Soul, which are vendored items, to transform into a Karnif or Worg respectively and get a 10 minute speed boost. These (pricey) items would probably be used just for reducing the time it takes to travel between places, but there's something else you can actually do with them.

Although all skills are locked after you transform, if you have a bow equipped, you'll still be able to "shoot arrows" (bark animation!?) and deal auto attack damage. Considering that a level 3 Soul gives a 40% speed increase, you'd be running more than a circle or two around your enemies.

Alas, auto attack damage is quite low, so this would sadly be one of the few things you do on a lonely Saturday night (high wtf factor!).

Just a small list else it'll include everyone in the forum.
Takyn - Ranger FAQ (must read)
Kapla - [Video] How to weave auto-attacks with specials
Asa - Open Beta Jump Shot testing
Clog - Correcting the Movement Modifiers.
IDarko - Adding Distance to Target and Max Camera Distance





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