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Skill Feign Death
This skill/spell grants you the ability to pretend to be dead. If successful all enemies that are currently engaged with you will lose interest. If you keep feigning death long enough the enemies will completely forget about you. This ability can be used for an indefinite amount of time to keep oneself safe from enemies.
There are three classes in the game which can use the feign death ability. Monks, Necromancers and Shadow Knights. Monks have feign death as an actual skill, whereas Necromancers and Shadow Knights must use a spell. Necromancers receive the spell at Level 16 and Shadow Knights at 30. It is arguably the most useful ability in the game, not only saving valuable experience from dying, but also a way of separating groups of monsters when fighting.
Feign death is the ability to fool mobs into believing that you are dead when you are actually still alive. This is very useful when close to death and aren't near a zone. You can feign death and the mobs will forget you. It is not fool proof and feign death has two ways of failing.
The most typical way is when you receive the message '<player1> has fallen to the ground'. This signifies that you have not feigned successfully, and the mob(s) will treat you as an alive enemy and carry on attacking.
The other cause of feign death failing was originally thought of as a bug but turned out to be Verant's way of showing 'nothing is certain'. What happens is just before you go to feign death the mob launches an attack, whether through casting or melee, and as you feign the mob registers that you are dead, but it does not pull back on its swing or stop casting. The result of which is that it still hits you on the floor. Upon learning that even though are "dead" you do in fact take damage, they are smart enough to realize you are still alive and they will restart their attack. The only way around this is timing, you have to try time your feign just after the mobs finishes its attack. There is no skill you can raise which can affect this.
There is also in the case of Shadow Knights and Necromancers the fact that you may not be able to cast the spell. This may be due to attacks interrupting your spell or through fizzling. This is not a feign death fail as such, as you haven't actually fallen. To avoid this from happening try to make sure that your magical skills are maxed out at all levels.
In the case of Monks the higher your feign death skill the more likely you are to be successful in your attempt to fool them. For Necromancers and Shadow Knights your Abjuration and Channeling skills are the determining factor.
Other Techniques for Success
Monks in general will find that once they are maxed in skill they will have few problems pulling off a feign, unless they are being bombarded by spells which will still hit you when on the floor. The best idea in this case is to try and distance yourself out of their casting range before feigning, or to time your feign after the last spell and before the casting begins on the next one. Once the casting has started you will be hit unless someone manages to interrupt the monster.
Shadow Knights and Necromancers will often need much more space to pull off a feign as they have to wait for casting time and the possibility of interruption. You can also use the monsters themselves as a 'brake' by running into them. This solves the common mistake of casting before you come to a stand still and being interrupted before even being hit.
Once you are feigned mobs will stop attacking you and react in various ways. If they are also aggro on another player, they will immediately resume their attack or chase on them. If they were only aggro on you they will stop and wait over you until they eventually return back to their spawn points or carry on their roaming pattern. The amount of time they will wait above you is random and will change with every NPC you encounter.
In the past people have often been worried about healing someone who is feigned as they thought it might bring a train of mobs down upon them. This is not a problem as the only time the mob will aggro on the healer is if the feign fails in any of the ways mentioned above. If you have feigned successfully the mobs will not aggro on other people no matter what spells are cast on you while you are feigning death.
When you stand up after a feign death, if the previously aggro'd mobs were below Level 35 there will be no repercussions as the mob will have no recollection of you and carry on as normal. Mobs above Level 35 however have a chance to re-aggro on you. If they do, they will go directly to you as if you were still an enemy. If you have stayed down long enough for the mob to return to its spawn point, then there is a 90% chance it wont aggro on you again. However, if it is still roaming there is an 80% chance that it will aggro on you again. Don't be too worried though, you have the chance to re-feign and each subsequent feign reduces the chances of re-aggro by roughly 20%.
This rule is not universal however. Certain factors can influence it and different mobs will react in different ways. Distances from the mob when you stand up can affect its chance of re-aggroing, and some mobs will forget every time but will remember if you get close in the future. A way around this is to /quit while feigning death. This causes you to go 'link dead' but keeps you feigned, after three minutes you will time out as if you had camped and will lose all mob aggro. However, before you do this you should make sure you are in an area with no mobs around as you will log back in standing.
Also remember you will lose any temporary items and lose your group spot. Monks should never be group leaders when feign death pulling because the party will have to be reformed if going 'link dead' is necessary.
Status While Feigned
While you are feigning death there are certain restrictions applied to your character. Your health and mana regeneration rates are reduced to 1/3 of their normal rate, you cannot move, cast spells, trade or camp. You can however pan out into different views which can be useful if trying to see which mobs are close, and in monks case you can use mend to regain health.
As your regenerations are reduced buffs such as chloroplast, clarity etc. are very useful to someone who is going to be using feign death a lot. If pulling you will also want to have all possible Agility and Armour Class buffs to reduce being hit and if an Enchanter is in your party Berserker or Rune spells provide a nice little extra damage absorption.
The general application for all three classes with this skill is to avoid dying when in trouble. However the skill has to be used differently by each class, and can have further uses as one becomes a more experienced player. Keep in mind also that a Necromancer or Shadow Knight skeleton pet will suicide after two minutes of feigning death, a charmed pet will be instantly released. Here is a summary below of some of the extra uses for feigning death:
As a Necromancer you will often be doing massive amounts of damage to mobs from your powerful spells. This can cause the mob to aggro on you very quickly. Feigning death in this instance is very useful to lose the mobs aggro so it goes back on party tanks or if soloing, your pet.
Also, Necromancers who find themselves deep in an area with no way out and a train of mobs, instead of trying to squeeze in an uninterrupted gate, can feign death and /quit. Then once they log back in they can attempt to gate when they have more time. This is due to the difference in casting time between gate and feign. Feign requires only 1.5 seconds, Gate on the other hand requires 5.0 seconds.
Monk and Shadow Knight
Although Monks and Shadow Knights use different techniques to feign they have the same applications. Feign death can be very useful while tanking to give the Cleric that extra second to heal you. This is because it will divert the mobs attention from you to another player. It is also very useful for scouting out areas and avoiding aggro. However, the primary application of the feign death skill for Monks and Shadow Knights is "feign and tag" pulling, an in depth description is below.
"Feign & Tag" Pulling
Feign pulling is used to pull single mobs from large groupings of mobs, usually when the group is especially dangerous or beyond the group(s) ability to kill. Previously feign pulling was much easier than it is now, this is due to changes that were implemented modifying how a mob reacts when you stand up. The current sub-35 feign pulling tactic is same as it used to be for all monsters. The sub-35 tactic is to pull a group of mobs to a predetermined area and feigning death, then wait until most mobs have left except one and stand up to aggro that singular mob. This can prove difficult at times as the mobs will often leave in groups and you may have to settle for bringing two mobs or repeating the process until you get one alone.
Since the modifications implemented last year, feign pulling in higher-level areas evolved into tag pulling. The problem found was that when you stood up to bring in the single mob left, all the others would come back after you. So to get round this you have to get someone else come "tag" the single mob off you. Tagging normally involves hitting the monster with a ranged weapon such as a bow or a thrown dagger. Having a Magician with you to summon these items is always a good idea. "Feign & Tag" pulling requires good coordination between the tagger and puller so the mob does not get away.
After the mob is tagged you then have two options. You can either wait until the mob is dead and then stand up and repeat the process as the aggrod mobs come back at you, or alternatively you can risk standing up and joining in with the fight. you should only take this risk if you think the mobs have returned to their spawn points and have forgotten you.
Monks will find this much easier to pull off, but Shadow Knights are more likely to reach the feign point on long pulls due to their better tanking abilities. When tag pulling, having two people in the group who can feign makes it much easier, one of them can go feign before in the area which the puller will feign at, and will be able to tell himself when he can safely tag and not have to rely on the puller telling him. If you don't have two feign pullers it is best to make sure that the person who is tagging knows not to tag until you tell them to do so or they will potentially pull a large train.
The use of feign death is complex and diverse. It takes time to learn to use the ability correctly. Remember, not only must you master the skill yourself if you wish to 'feign and tag' pull, but you must also develop good relationships with taggers and healers to maximize its use. Once you try feign pulling you will see how fun it is and how lucky those classes are who have the skill.