[ Disclaimer, --- , ]
Zentile's P99 Monk Pulling Guide
The power in this guide is identifying what is possible. The next step is practicing until this becomes second nature. Once you have it down cold, the final step is selecting the right tool(s) to use in the given situation. In the past, monks had one all powerful tool that trivialized pulling. Those days are long gone and being a monk has become a skill game again.
I cannot take the credit for this as it's assembled from a variety of old Monkly Business pulling guides. I hope you find it helpful given the changes to aggro and monk sneak. I ask that you please update this wiki with your experiences or any additional techniques other monks would find helpful.
Pulling is all about one goal: to bring mobs without wiping out your group or raid. The complete wipeout of a group or raid is the greatest failure of any puller. It is better to die than wipe out your group or raid. Expect to die. Expect to die a lot while learning. I think it is very important for other people to realize that pulling is indeed an art form now following the changes.
Hitting a mob with a spell or melee/range attack to aggro it.
The distance around a mob before it will notice you and become hostile. This radius is NOT static and varies from zone-to-zone and mob-to-mob. Also, at the outer ranges of the aggro radius, aggro delay is not a set time. So you will find at the furthest reach of an aggro range, mobs will have highly variable aggro times. You can prove this by slowly inching up on a mob, stopping, and waiting for 5 or 10 seconds.
Social Aggro Radius
The distance around a mob that it will pass aggro to other mobs. You could refer to this as a "call for help" radius. This radius is also NOT static and varies from zone-to-zone and mob-to-mob. For example, Treah in Plane of Growth has a zone wide call for help radius. Some NPCs will have a small aggro radius but a very large social aggro radius, and some are the opposite.
Sit Aggro Radius
Some of you have probably noticed that when you sit or are heavily wounded mobs will aggro you at far greater distances than when you're healthy or standing. When you are critically injured or sitting, the game actually considers you to be level 1 instead of your current level, thus your aggro range increases dramatically. This can be used to your advantage.
Line of Sight (LoS)
When a mob can directly see you in it's radius of vision. For something to aggro onto you unprovoked within its aggro radius, it will require some form of line of sight. Keep in mind that some walls, objects and doors will not break line of sight on an NPC.
The hate list shows who the NPC hates and how much they hate them. Other than the obvious debuffs, healing and damage, here are other things that influence hate. Faction, level (sitting makes you appear to be a level 1 character), and who made the initial pull. Aggro works different on each expansion, as the hate list given to the puller is much greater in Velious than it was in Kunark or Classic.
Level Based Aggro
Aggro radius is not finite. It decreases in relation to the difference in level between the mob and yourself. This is why greens will often not aggro until you stand right on top of them. It's also why a level 60 monk can pull a mob from in between 2 blues and aggro only one, while a level 52 monk will aggro all 3 every time. This is why a level 60 of any class is sometimes a better puller than a level 52 monk.
When you first enter a mobs aggro range, there is a random delay before a mob aggros you. This is supposed to represent the mob debating whether to eat you or not. During this time you do not have aggro, and explains why sometimes you can run through a mob with SoW without aggroing, but always aggro it whenever you run through it at normal speed.
Aggro Passing Delay
This is a variant of aggro delay. When an aggro mob passes another non-aggro mob, it may pass the Hate list. This seems to be zone-by-zone or even mob-by-mob but only applies to high greens/blues or mobs that would normally aggro you. When a mob wishes to pass the hate list, the second mob also experiences an aggro delay of up to 1 or 2 seconds before it actually aggros.
This is when you are still on the hate list, but the NPC no longer wishes to chase you. Different NPCs have different lazy aggro ranges. In Kunark and Velious, if you are beyond a certain distance from a mob, it will lose interest and no longer pursue you, although the NPC will still maintain you on the hate list. This is also called leashing.
Once FD, you need to stand up and FD again to further reduce your aggro. You can't just press the FD button when it recycles if you are already lying on the ground. You can stand up and FD almost simultaneously (faster than a critter could pass aggro to friends) to dump aggro.
These spawns spawn on one place, and after being aggroed, they will return to their spawn point once aggro is dropped. Aggro on stationary spawns almost always clears once the NPC has reset back to its spawn point.
These spawns have a set path or cycle that they follow. These paths are usually on timers and hold locations for a set amount of time before continuing. Once you gain aggro on one or more of these kinds of NPCs, you won’t drop from the hate list easily until the NPC finishes its cycle and gets to its original spawn point. These NPCs are the leading cause of trains during raid pulls. When raid pulling, it is important to try and take out these NPCs first especially when mixed with a room full of statics, or FD and /q your aggro.
Tag a mob, run a distance, FD and wait for most or all but one mob to return to a spawn spot.
Inch closer to a mob and stop for 5-10 seconds until you enter its aggro radius. Sometimes it will not pass the hate to other nearby mobs and the mob will come single. When you gain aggro in this fashion, the social aggro radius will be centered upon the puller (not always the case, but often). If you cast a spell or throw a weapon, the social aggro radius will be centered on the NPC you attacked rather then you. Also known as Warrior pulling.
Have a druid cast harmony on the mobs and pull single.
Tag Pulling (Requires 2 Pullers)
This simple technique involves pulling a group of mobs, FDing and having another player tag the remaining mob(s). This is extremely useful when you have wandering mobs that will reaggro on standing or when their bind points are far away. Though any class can do this, it's best done with a second FD class should they accidentally aggro too many mobs. To minimize the chance of FD failure, have the second monk FD at the designated tagging spot. Then, pull the mobs, FD, and when ready to tag, the second monk or SK simply stands up and tags the last mob, waits for a moment to check that they don't aggro extras, then pulls to group. The first monk is then free to check aggro through standing up and seeing if remaining mobs return, FDing again as needed to clear remaining aggro, then return to the fight.
Tag & Sit Pulling (Requires 2 Pullers)
This is an adaptation of Tag Pulling above. The first monk pulls the bunch and kites them off a little bit while the second monk javs one and sits. After attacking and sitting, that one mob should break off and follow the second monk.
Line of Sight (LoS) Pulling
Once a mob begins casting a spell, get out of line of sight. Before they can cast on you again, they need to run towards you and reacquire LoS. If you toggle view to 3rd person and look around the corner, you can FD just before the caster reacquires LoS but is out of sight of his friends for an easy single for a tagger. Perfecting LoS pulling takes time but is incredibly powerful for indoor zones with favourable geography. You can also toss a jav and run out of LoS while the jav is in the air, then toggle 3rd person as described above to split.
In some areas there is not sufficient room to FD and separate a mob easily. One solution is instead of waiting for mobs to return to bind point, is to pull mobs PAST a group and have them rip the last one into the camp. Then FD and let the other mobs return to bind point. This can be used also to tag the tail end of trains. This only works if your camp is Outside of the aggro range of the returning mob path.
In many zones pathing is horrendous. Aggroed mobs will take LONG detours through the zone instead of the short distance between you and the party. However, if you remain in melee range with the mob while backing away it will follow you step for step. This will allow you to circumvent bad pathing. You will take a beating if you need to pull like this, so backing away from a mob is generally better than turning your back to them as at least you can dodge and riposte this way.
Monks with Wooly Spider Silk Net (3 charges of Ensnaring Roots, rechargeable, insta-click, 200 range, drops in Permafrost) aggros a few mobs, runs a bit away from the spawn points and FDs. When all but one of the mobs has started returning for home, the monk pops up and roots the remaining one, then FDs again. With any luck, all the other mobs will return to their spawn points and reset, while the target mob remains rooted out of social aggro range. Once root drops, you can bring the single.
Snare Pulling (Requires 2 Pullers)
Monk aggros a few mobs, runs them a bit away from their spawn point and FDs. A SK or second monk with Ball of Burlap Yarn (4 charges of Snare, 5 second cast from inventory, 200 range, quest in Stonebrunt Mountains) pops up and snares the target mob in the group and FDs. When all but the snared mob has returned home to their spawnpoint, the first monk pops up and pulls the snared mob to camp. This can be done solo, but the very long cast time on the snare usually leads to interupts.
When you FD, some mobs will return sooner than others. If you stand, some or all will reaggro. Each time you pop-n-drop successfully it increases the chance of a mem wipe on the creatures you pulled. If you repeat this a few times you may be able to separate the mobs should some mem wipe, or they decide to return staggered enough you can tag the last one without any social aggro. This is also very useful if you get a good split with one mob standing over you and their friends already walking back. In this instance you can (pop-n-drop one last time) to reset the memory of the mob standing over you and create some extra distance between the mobs.
When three mobs are in a line with each other, they may be in aggro range with each other, but the ones on each end may not be in aggro range of each other. If you can pull out the center mob successfully, you may be able to pull out the mobs on each end safely.
Eye Pulling (Elder Bead Pulling)
Get yourself Holgresh Elder Beads (unlimited charges of Eye of Zomm, 4 second cast from inventory). Cast the eye and roam around the zone looking for mobs. Once they aggro, they will kill the eye and then come for you. This leash radius on P99 is farther than you can run the eye in 30 seconds before it despawns, so there are never any worries about being too far away.
Sit Aggro Pulling
You can manipulate the differences between level 1 aggro radius/social aggro radius, and current level aggro radius/social aggro radius for your advantage. You can stand outside of normal aggro radius, then sit to wide your aggro radius grabbing an NPC and then stand immediately to shrink your social aggro radius to original size. If you are lucky, you will aggro the nearest mob but when you stand and shrink the social aggro radius you will be outside of the range of other mobs.
Pathing or Obstacle Pulling
Any observant monk realizes that mobs have return paths that they follow when they return to bind point. However, what many monks don't realize is that there are multiple return paths depending on where a mob is when it loses aggro. If you can get one mob on one side of certain points in the zone and another on the other side, they will take different paths back to the bind point. Then, just tag as usual as they will be far away from each other. This can also be used with obstacles such as rocks, fountains, staircases which act to block a mobs LoS, thus allowing you to pull one out of sight of the other.
Persistent Aggro Pulling (Requires 2 Pullers)
We know that roamers often don't forget you. This can be a good thing. You can aggro a bunch of mobs and have a tagger grab one from the back. Then FD and watch them all leave. After the group finishes, stand up again and wait to see what other mobs have been aggroed and split off a bunch more. Repeat as needed until either all aggro mobs are dead or your group/raid needs a rest. This allows you to pull without going deep into the zone on every pull. This is also known as juggling or fishing.
Reverse Yo-Yo Pulling
With standard yo-yo pulling, your goal is to pull the last mob that leaves. With reverse yo-yo pulling, your goal is to pull the first mob that resets on his spawn point. Once the first mob has reset and the others are back in social aggro range but have not reset themselves, the monk stands up. The late returning mobs are still aggroed so they instantly whirl around and come running back. In the process, they re-aggro the first mob who was mem wiped at his home point. Once all three reach the monk, FD again. The mob that was on his spawn point has been newly aggroed and will stand around whereas the others will walk back immediately. Once the others are out of social aggro range, pull the single back to your group.
The trick is to get the NPC caught on a wall or object. If an NPC is running in a spot for long enough in the same spot it will warp to the location of the puller. This will not happen all at the same time, as one may get stuck a few seconds before the others. If you FD at the exact moment it warps to you, you will have one mob near you, and the rest far away out of aggro range. You can then chain tag the single or couple safely.
Reverse Warp Pulling
When a mob gets stuck returning to it's bind point, it will warp back to bind point. This may not happen at the same time. If you time it right, you can tag the one or two mobs at the exact moment that the others have warped back to bind point without aggroing the others.
Level Based Aggro Pulling
Mobs often have different levels, thus different aggro ranges relative to you. Pulling a low level mob next to a higher level mob may aggro both every time, but pulling the higher level mob may not aggro the lower level mob as it's aggro range is smaller. It is helpful to know the level of the mobs in question and their relative ranges should you wish to pull this way. Have higher mid and lower level players con the mob to get an accurate gauge. First, attack the low level mob, then bring it close to the group you wish to split. Slowly bring it closer and closer to the mob you want to pull. The mob nearest to you will eventually aggro (larger aggro radius than if you didn't have something else attacking you) and come alone. The mob you are pulling is actually assisting the lower level mob you already have attacking you, while you are too far away for the others to assist. This works best of the low level mob is below lvl 30 and will always mem wipe after a FD.
Split Pulling (Requires 3+ Pullers)
This very effective raid strategy to split multiple mobs that will not separate will require one more monk than there are mobs. For example, with two mobs you need two monks to aggro a different mob and pull them out of aggro range of each other. Then both monks FD and a third monk tags the desired target. Since the third monk only aggros one and they are far apart, he only appears on the hate list of the target and can bring a single to the raid.
Caster Buff Pulling
If one or more mobs in a group is a caster, they will periodically buff themselves and the other mobs nearby. Wait until you see "a mob begins to cast a spell..." and then aggro one of the melee mobs. When his buff lands, FD. If timed right, the one casting the spell will not aggro because he was too busy buffing and the others will come alone. You can pull the melee mobs that came with you who are now out of the aggro range of the caster, or you can also wait for the near mobs to separate should you need to whittle numbers down more.
Caster Debuff Pulling
Target a caster in a group of mobs and dispel the caster using Crystallized Pumice (5 charges of Nullify Magic, 2 second cast time, removes top 2 buffs, store-bought). When the mobs reach you FD. The surrounding mobs will go back home and the targeted caster will stay behind to rebuff itself. This is also useful if an entire pack of mobs is SoW'd as you need to let the slowest one reach you before FD, but he should walk back much slower and be an easier pull.
FD Eye Pulling (FD Elder Bead Pulling)
Get yourself Holgresh Elder Beads (unlimited charges of Eye of Zomm, 4 second cast from inventory). Cast the eye and FD immediately. Then take the eye into aggro radius and quickly turn around and run the eye near where you FD'd. Under this approach the mobs do not have aggro on you, and if you're lucky enough to get a good break, you can stand up and single pull them back to camp.
Invis Eye Pulling (Invis Elder Bead Pulling)
Get yourself Holgresh Elder Beads (unlimited charges of Eye of Zomm, 4 second cast from inventory). Cast the eye, target it by hitting F1 twice and click your Larrikan's Mask to invis the eye. Now you can run the eye past mobs that don't see invis to pull mobs that do, (like Nexona in VP). This will give you a bit of a head start running these difficult targets back to camp where others are waiting to rip them from your train.
Blindness Pulling (Bio Orb Pulling)
Get yourself a Bioluminescent Orb (unlimited charges of Blinding Luminance, 5 second cast from inventory, 200 range). Cast on one mob in the pack and immediately FD. As the pack returns to their bind spot, the blind mob will wander. Once the blind mob is out of social aggro range, you can babysit pull by running into melee range and walk the mob back to the group. Once all mobs have returned except your target, stand and wait for blindness to wear off. You have to be careful with this technique because the blind pathing may be unexpected. This is ideal for (single pulling the King) without clearing all the trash first.