Hunter basics: Kiting (a guide!)

Here is the second half of my post on kiting, some actual tips and advice on how to do it! It's a fundamental hunter skill and definitely worth developing, even if other lowbies may complain that you are "running away like a little girl" like Sven encountered. ;)

Hunter Basics: Kiting Part 1

Kiting is shooting an enemy and running away to maintain your distance while continuing to shoot it. A successful kiter kills things without ever getting struck in melee. Hunters can't run straight away from enemies or they won't be able to shoot them (more on this later), so instead what we can do is run sideways and strafe-run.

For the following video, I turned off all my addons and made a baby Tauren hunter, and did nothing but basic autoshots and strafe-running in semi-circles. I press Q or E a few times to slightly adjust my angle, to make sure I still have a shooting line at the mob. It's important to notice that you only have to be somewhat pointed in the mob's direction to shoot them - you don't need to be facing them straight on. Basically, if your character can see the mob out of the corner of his eye, you can shoot them.

This method isn't perfect, as eventually the monster will catch up. Sometimes, like in the above video, you can kill them before they reach you, but at higher levels you won't be able to finish them off before they close the gap. Regardless, this method is nice and easy, and does teach the basic idea behind kiting. It also doesn't require any special coordination or dexterity.

Hunter Basics: Kiting Part 2

The next step to kiting is learning how to use your mouse. Some camera basics: most players will know that you can turn your character by holding the right mouse button and moving the camera. When you hold the right mouse button and move the mouse right, your character will also turn to the right. The farther you move it, the farther your character turns. Finally, while you are holding the right button down, holding the left button down as well makes your character run in whatever direction you are facing. Simple, right?

Why not just use W to run? You'll need that hand for other things later. Use the mouse, it's faster and more responsive for movement.

By combining mouse-running with autoshooting, your character can kite foes much more effectively than strafe-kiting. In the video below, I shoot a mob, then turn myself and start running using only the mouse, by holding both left & right buttons down. The rest of the video is simply releasing the left button to stop moving, spinning the camera to face my pursuer and autoshot him, turn the camera back in my original direction, and holding down the left button to start running again.

In comparison, here's the exact same method on my level 80 hunter, using no shots other than autoshots. (I do cast Hunter's Mark at the beginning though.)

Hunter Basics: Kiting Part 3

You're almost done! The last step in becoming a successful kiter is throwing in jump shots. Remember last time, when we ran, stopped & turned, autoshot, turned back, and ran again? This time we run, jump, turn in mid-air and shoot our foe, then turn back and keep running. It sounds complicated but it's really just using what we've practiced thus far, and adding in a single jump & button press.

One note: your instant-cast shots (Arcane Shot, Serpent Sting, Concussion Shot, etc.) need to be keybound to keys that you can press with your left hand, like 1-2-3-4 or F1-F2-F3-F4, etc. They must be keybound - you won't be able to click the buttons on the bars.

One of the main differences in this step is that we never stop running forward, so your right hand will be holding down both left & right mouse buttons the entire time. When you want to turn and shoot someone simply jump in the air, swing the mouse to point the camera at our target, hit our instant shot key with our left hand, then swing the mouse back in our original direction. Then you land, still running, and repeat as necessary.

Remember, the turning mouse movement is exactly the same as before, only this time you do it in mid-air, and a bit faster. It takes some practice to get the speed down - it will feel almost like a twitch when done quickly enough. Also recall that you only have to be somewhat facing the target to shoot them.

Once you have the jump shot down, congratulations - you're a kiter! Anything that helps you stay out of reach is your friend - Concussive Shot, Aspect of the Cheetah, and Frost Trap all do the job nicely.

Finally, if you want to squeeze the maximum DPS out of your kiting, stop occasionally and semi-turn to fire off an autoshot if you have the room (sometimes the enemy will be fast enough that you can't afford to stop at all) and if all your instant shots are on cooldown.

Here's a final video showing kiting with jumpshots with some autoshots mixed in for extra DPS.

Hopefully this guide is useful to new hunters wondering what kiting is, or to people thinking of making a hunter! Don't be sucked into the lazy playstyle of the melee huntard. Our specialty is raining death from afar and avoiding injury, not muck about in melee and eat cleaves like common grunts and rogues. ;)