[ Disclaimer, --- , ]
Deajay's AoE Bard Leveling Location Guide
Original source http://www.project1999.com/forums/showpost.php?p=248109&postcount=8.
Note: This guide started out as Deajay's personal experience kiting with his bard, but it has since been modified with other people's suggestions (with his consent).
Starting at level 2, you can kite effectively by strafe-running. The area in Butcherblock Mountains near Kaladim is ideal for this because it has an enormous density of level 1 monsters with the occasional 2-5 monster. Make a few loops through this area and grab up as many monsters as you can (the way to do this pre-Selo's is to just have Chords of Dissonance on auto-loop and strafe-run through the area, using your mouse to slowly turn when necessary). Once you have a good amount, take them to a quiet, relatively flat area to DoT them down - a nice place can be found if you face Kaladim, then follow the wall to the right (i.e. go East), past the merchants. You can afford to get hit a little because the monsters don't have bash yet.
Kiting gets slow from level 4 or 5 until level 8 because monster HP gets quite high relative to the 3 damage your Chords of Dissonance does without a stringed instrument - at this point, maybe do some single-target meleeing or group up. Once you hit 8, kiting becomes viable again.
My bank bot did East Freeport newbie area strafe kiting from L1-5. At L1, try to avoid orcs and beetles, but by L3 you can gather pretty much everything in the newbie yard. Since Selo's is not until L5, I got hit a fair bit, so when my HPs got down to ~10%, I'd just take a death to reset the HP bar instead of sitting to regen after kites (pretty sure exp penalty from deaths does not occur until L5). This should work in virtually all bard city newbie yards.
The bandit sister camp in Greater Faydark (location #3)
The orcs in Lesser Faydark (locations #6 & 11).
From 8 through 11, North Karana is a goldmine of EXP. Get grizzly bears, willowisps, and silvermist wolves. Avoid getting animals from near the druid rings, because the druids there like to SoW them. Also avoid lions, since their run speed is a little faster than other animals', and beetles, because they are a little slower. An added bonus is that you can hand in greater lightstones to the gypsy camp for added EXP and some platinum.
NOTE: I've been in NK for the last 4 levels (8 through 12) and have a few notations. I'd advise NOT pulling the silvermist wolves as they run faster than than the bears and willowisps. Also, I've pulled countless times from near the druid rings and none of the bears nor willowisps had SOW on - ALTHOUGH - if your swarm pats through the druid rings, it will aggro the druids. A good place to pull to is just south of the bridge to EK - between the bridge and the farm on the river bank. -Cekia, P99 Blue
PS: The beetles in NK are great experience up through 17, many in zone and if you zoom out from regular view, you just need to keep their pincers on screen and nothing else and it's easy to safely land dots (and if you mess up it's easy to reset because they are slow). The only complication is that you have to keep an eye when building your swarm. They will lose aggro if too far away. An added bonus to them being slow: if you get an unwanted mob in your swarm, it will be way in front of the beetles so you can get the guards to kill it before circling. - Soong, P99 Blue
The derv and orc camps in Southern Ro, lulling the casters and taking them out solo afterward. I usually also went in the desert and grabbed some extra roaming undead/dervs. (locations #3, 5, 6, & 10; although more locations in the southern portion are orc camps. I just found those listed to have fewer/no casters.)
NOTE: Be wary of the orc camps that have Oracles in them. Yes, you can lull the Oracle and pull the warriors, but the Oracles are shamans and cast SOW on orcs in it's immediate area. Not fun. Also, pay extra attention to avoid running into a puma. Sometimes they ambush you when you run over a dune. They're usually green or light blue, but they run faster than the other mobs. -Cekia, P99 Blue
From 12 through 17, East Karana is a great option. Avoid lions, but go for the various wolves, snakes, and gnolls (the gnolls can be found in the southern part of the zone).
NOTE: I did 14 through 17 in North Karana on the beetles. They're slow mobs, so I advise you turn Selo's off and just strafe-run. At level 16 I was still getting over a yellow per pull (if I managed to grab most of the zone's beetles.) -Cekia, P99 Blue
From 12 through 19, Field of Bone is also a great option. You can start off with burynai in the pit, then move to the various monsters on the east side of the zone.
Lake of Ill Omen fields. (I did 17 off the skellies/lower level sarnaks between locations #4, 5, 7 & 9. I did 16-20 off the non-caster wanderers between locations #9 and 13)
I did this portion between the Iksar outcast camps in Warsliks Wood and the lower level field portion of The Overthere. (WW locations #B, 9, 10, 11 and OT field between locations #5, 6, 9, 10). OT is off-the-charts exp at this level range. If you can gather up the whole area, you are looking at ~45min/level during this range.
The EXP really started to slow down in OT, so I headed back to WW and continued on the iksar outcast camps there. Was slower, but I didn't have to spend half my kite gathering up LB mobs.
I am doing this portion on the Drolvargs in Firiona Vie. I have to admit, this range is by far the most dangerous I've done so far. The drolvargs are larger than most MOBs I've kited so far, and therefore have a larger hitbox, while I still have to be within 35 measurement units to hit them with my 18 dot. I have really perfected my distance/selo's speed, while also dieing much more than I would have liked in this level range. I gather up yellow/blue drolvargs while avoiding froglocks (especially casters) and other red dogs. It's actually not that hard to do. On this map of FV, I gather drolvargs from the area surrounded by points #3, 4, 5, 6, 8, 9, and A on the map, and then I take them back towards the NorthEastern Swamp of No Hope zone line as there are no wanderers back there. I'd recommend only pulling a few until you perfect your skills, as I have gotten stunned and 1-rounded (or even not stunned and one-rounded) more often than I'd like to admit. These dogs can take me to probably 35 or so, but I think I may try to find some MOBs to kite that aren't quite so deadly. The good news is I can sell/bank without zoning.
NOTE: In my experience this is the best zone for bard swarm kiting in the game and carried me to level 45 very easily. If you can become consistent with kiting such a difficult enemy it is well worth staying until you no longer gain experience here. -Diniun, P99 Blue
31-46 (maybe 47)
I went back to OT and started kiting the Western/Southern areas of the zone. Basically any blue-red mob (besides dragoons) between the Outpost, SF, FM, the center valley and location #10 on this map of Overthere is fair game. I do recommend you pull only cockatrices, tigers, and cacti. They all move at the same speed. Rhinos move faster, but selos is much faster and a rhino-only kite would certainly work. Some Sarnaks cast, and I'm moving way too fast to check names to see if I'm about to pull a caster or not. This post shows some kites where I had probably 50+ mobs in my kite (figuring 1-2%/kill, and I know I made 100% of a level for each of those 2 kites). You can make some pretty awesome pulls. I've pulled so many that the dot spam insta-crashed EQ to desktop (creating a crappy CR).
NOTE: The tigers are faster than the cacti, Sarnaks, and cockatrices. It's good to avoid them unless you're doing a tiger-only pull. Also, some Sarnaks will come with SOW as the caster Sarnaks (Enthusiasts and Partisans) will buff them. You can either play a snare song to remove the buff and then let the snare wear off -OR- charm the SOW'd Sarnak and send it into your swarm. I find sending charmed mobs into the cockatrices works best as they are social and will one-round kill the charmed mob. This same technique works if you accidentally pull a tiger or rhino. Also, avoid the Dragoons. They're patrolling Dark Elves and are not fun. If you pull one, it's best to zone out. -Cekia, P99 Blue
The Burning Woods. Once you've found where the devs have located it this week, find all the gorillas, skeletons, and hornets you can gather and kite em down. Avoid sarnaks as a lot of them are casters, the wyrms have much larger hit-boxes than everyone else, and also keep an eye out (read: avoid) for the ape "Gullerback" (he summons). Note that I have not AE kited here, but have heard reports from many-a-bard that this is the next step in AE kiting.
Do note that I've pretty much done all of these camps AE kiting. I'd love to group more, but soloing is retarded exp, good money, and I don't have to wait for the rest of the "holy trinity" to decide to show up. And yes, it does get MUCH easier at 18 when you get a new AE that isn't teeny-tiny range, but that doesn't mean that it's bad exp prior to 18.
As far as HOW to AoE kite, I suggest reading the amazing guides by Hmotzart and Cribanox and then just trying it out and figuring out what works for you: