The act of kiting, is a combat tactic of a player character keeping a mob or another player at a certain distance, usually out of melee distance but within ranged attack, and luring the pursuer toward their direction while dealing damage at the same time. This is a tactic best suited for classes who deal most of their damage from range and are weak in melee range. Mages and hunters are probably the classes who rely on this technique the most.
Kiting is mostly used to allow the player to defeat the enemy without allowing them to get close enough for the player to take melee damage. In this form it is only useful against targets that are at least primarily melee types; ranged types can often still deal a substantial amount of damage while being kited, especially if the player and their target's maximum range is the same. Since kiting usually reduces a player's damage output, it is only useful for this purpose when the enemy's damage output is reduced by an even larger amount. Since many ranged attacks can only be used while stationary, snares can be extremely useful for this type of kiting.
Kiting can also be used for the purpose of moving a target to a more desirable location. This can be because of incoming additional enemies; the desire to move the enemy to where allies can assist you in defeating them; or more specific positional requirements of many PvE boss encounters. For high-health targets such as outdoor bosses, kiting can often be used to lead the mob significant distances. One popular example of this is the drawing of a world boss to a crowded location such as Stormwind or Orgrimmar, where other players are often encouraged to join in attacking it. This can be used to enable the kiting player to defeat the target, or simply for the purpose of wreaking large amounts of havoc. World of Warcraft has a history of players kiting bosses in this way.
Kiting relies on a target's desire to remain within a certain range of the player; if the player removes themselves beyond this range, the target will usually attempt to follow. Mobs will only continue to follow the player for a few seconds after the player last dealt damage to them; the player must therefore regularly deal damage to the mob in order to prevent it from resetting, and running back to its previous position. Some, such as rare mobs, may have specific boundaries to prevent them from being kited beyond certain areas. Kiting a player requires merely that the attention of the target is kept focused on the kiting player.
The term comes from the fact that the player character is pulling along a trailing mob in the same manner a person flies a kite.
- Snare or root the mob from range
- Attack mob from range until mob enters your melee range (or range you feel comfortable with)
- Use snare or root (generally melee range snare/root)
- Run back to range
- Warlocks who are specced for can also use this technique to kite mobs, provided that the target is not immune to slowing effects. It is difficult, but not impossible, to kill certain mobs this way if they are immune to Fear (a tactic that can work against enemy officers in Alterac Valley; but is no longer possible.)
- Launch a at the mob from range
- Attack mob from range (generally with ) until mob enters melee range
- Use frost nova to root the mob
- Use to get out of the mob's melee range
- the mob from range
- Run from the mob until Arcane Shot refreshes, staying at range distance
- Jump, turn a half-circle in the air, use Arcane Shot, turn back and continue running.
- Alternately, you can complete a full rotation rather than turning back.
Note: This is quite challenging technique, so it takes some time before you can perform it smoothly.
Much easier is to simply run sideways ... that way the mob will remain "in front" of you, even though you are running away from them. This is because "in front" is defined as a full 180° arc.
- the mob from range
- Run sideways from the mob until Arcane Shot refreshes, staying at range distance
- So long as they are just within the 180° arc facing forwards you can hit them with Arcane Shot and continue running
- Every now and then you might need to take a few steps forward, turn 180°, and run the "other way" (which is in the same geographical direction, if that makes sense)
- Keep running
Additionally, the hunter can drop a or a Frost Trap if the mob looks to be gaining ground.
Kiting in instance
Some instances have mobs that cannot be crowd controlled. It is better if the tank can double tank the mobs or if the group has an off-tank to handle one. However, if both options are not feasible, a skillful hunter (sometimes mage) is the best at kiting one of the mobs. Nevertheless, given the limited space inside instances, as well as the important of keeping aggro of the kited mob so that it will not turn to your healer, kiting in instance is much harder than in open area.
- Put down a Frost Trap under your feet.
- Cast / when the tank is pulling, immediately followed by a to ensure maximum initial threat on you.
- Cast to slow down the mob.
- Start running away from the kited mob, but be careful not to run into another group of mobs!
- Cast and whenever their cooldown ends to maintain consistent threat gain, otherwise your healer may pull aggro by healing the tank. Cast them using the jumping technique or run sideways technique mentioned above.
- Similarly, repeat whenever you can.
- When the mob triggers your Frost Trap, setup a new one.
- Use of here depends on your playstyle. Although it lets you run faster, if you get one hit, you will be dazed and this probably means death in heroic or raid instances.
- Sometimes mobs that cannot be CC'ed with other means can still be stunned. Therefore, when the mob get close, a Beast Mastery hunter can order his pet to intimidate the mob, followed with an immediate wing clip, so that he will have time to get into range again.
- When the group finished the other mobs and is ready to pick up your kited target, you can lure it back to your group, or simply feign death if you are sure the tank can pick it up quickly.
- Snaring spells are useful for this tactic since they keep the pursuer at a certain distance. Although rooting abilities fill this requirement, the slowing movement effect from snaring spells last longer than rooting spells. Moreover, snare effects do not risk the chance of breaking if the target get any damage unlike most rooting spells.
- This tactic requires room to run. If you don't have the room due to adds or environmental restrictions (i.e. you are indoors) then you will not be able to kite since you will be unable to gain the range you need.
- Since you will be running around a lot, be careful of adds.
- In World of Warcraft, mobs will run back to their spawn area if they are kited too far without taking damage. They also regenerate to full health and mana once they return. So when kiting you will want to damage them consistently in order to maintain the mob's interest.
- A video exists which apparently shows a group pulling a Devilsaur from Un'Goro Crater to Crossroads in The Barrens by way of a complex kite.
- There is also a video of Lord Kazzak being kited to Stormwind,in order to wreak havoc on the city. Unfortunately, Kazzak is no longer kitable, being chained (one can also say that he can't be kited because he now resides in Outland; though, of course, his replacement is highly likely to be chained as well). Another example of raid kiting is Azuregos kited to Orgrimmar here.
- Note that kiting (raid) bosses to heavily populated areas such as faction capitals, most likely resulting in a large number of characters being unwillingly involved (in an encounter), and may be concidered rude, and most annoying to those unsuspecting - nonetheless fun for everyone else...