[ Disclaimer, --- , ]
Cribanox Bard AoE Kiting
I've read a lot about how it's impossible to swarm, or AoE kite here as a bard. It's true, it's hard. The hit boxes, or hit reach, whatever you want to call it, is wierd here.
First off, I played a Bard on live, until luclin. I knew how to do all kinds of soloing, from regular DoTing and running, to charm kiting huge crowds of mobs, and fear kiting. I've actually never heard, read, or seen anything before on AoE kiting (I didn't read forums or guides much back then).
I've read here on P99 that the conclusion is, if you want to AoE kite, you have to eat hits everytime you DoT. Well, it's not totally true, even though I do get hit, I barely have any downtime.
You have to understand the way the hit reach works with mobs here. For some reason, if you run in a straight line away from a mob in any direction, their reach is really long. Note, I said in a straight line.
In order to not get hit while trying to kite multiple mobs, is not to run in a straight line, ever. Here is how I am doing it right now. I will get Selo's on, go gather up about 5 blue con mobs, and then slowly circle around in a large area to get them all in a bunch (tightly fit together, you can't have your mobs spread apart).
Next, I make sure I have Regen, and my current DoTs and DD's memmed (Right now, at 19, that's the lvl 2 and lvl 18 dots and the bruscos DD).
So after I make sure they are tightly wound, I start circling tighter. You have to be close to the mobs, but not close enough to get hit, and keep going in your circle. I use a "tapping" method. I basically zoom out as far as I can from myself in 3rd person camera, and tap my left-turn or right-turn keys faster to make the circle tighter, once you have your circle, keep tapping your turn key in order to maintain that circle size (being not close enough to get hit, but close enough to DoT / DD).
So, once Im able to DoT, I swap in my lute for one dot, cast selos, swap in the horn for the second dot, cast selos', and then I can either keep my tight circle (dangerous) or make my circle much bigger to give myself some breathing room (little less dangerous). Or, I can run away and let the DoTs do their work, then swing back in again to re-dot.
The thing about running away, and not keeping your small circle, is you have to kind of use a "swirl" movement and run away, never run in a straight line away from them, they can hit you from really far away that way. You can kind of run in a "zig zag" (tapping left and right while moveing forward) and they cant hit you.
You will learn the timing and pacing of tapping your left or right key so that the mobs cant hit you. I can succesfully kite down 5+ mobs without being hit.
Keep in mind, I've noticed some mobs don't group well with others. Some can hit you from farther, due to their size or mob type. For example, I stay the hell away from the Crag Spiders in EK because for some reason I get hit all the time, and then they poison me.
Keep in mind to have your regen song memmed at all times, you can quickly regen your HP back up in case you mess up, and then continue dotting after words.
Practice with lower level'd, like-kinded mobs (like all gnolls, or all wolves). Right now in EK I usually grab the entire gnoll hill and kite them down, seems to work best, even though it's way more mobs at once than I am comfortable with.
Good luck, don't hesitate to ask any questions.
EDIT: Crag spiders are doable by Kiting. In addition to tapping to make smaller circles and get closer to the mobs, I will diagonally strafe away from them. This ensures that my hit box is not fully exposed, and yet the center of my model and theirs are close enough to land the DoTs. This requires PATIENCE!! I can go an entire kite without getting hit - the secret is to wait until Selo's ticks before playing your DoT ("Your feet move faster"), so as to have the full timer in case you have a few missed notes. After each DoT, refresh Selo's. You will miss some DoTs. Either they won't land or you weren't close enough. This is okay - regroup yourself and try again after Selo's is refreshed. The exp and silk from level 18-22 is worth the hundreds of circles.