Is simply kill faster. Play with strong players and that is the tactic. Being tripped stunnef held or just being hit by spells can easily kill you regardless of ac so kill your foes quickly
My technique appears to not be all that common, but it's super effective while leveling.
I craft up a dedicated blocking shield that isn't equipped. Then I run around to gather up a bunch of mobs, cast an area of effect damage over time spell like firewall or ice storm, and then switch to my shield and block in the center of it. Your damage boosting is locked in when you cast the spell so you don't need to hold onto a spell power item for the whole duration. At later levels this same technique works great for dotting bosses, especially mariliths.
I normally keep spearblock equipped all the time with either ring of the mire or bramble-casters. I craft axeblock onto the shield, and I crafted up a hammerblock dagger to go in the mainhand of my shield blocking weaponset. The combination of spearblock, axeblock and hammerblock gives me a passive DR 5/-.
Shield blocking is active dr, which stacks with passive dr. Shield dr is the base blocking amount of the shield plus the enhancement bonus. And since I never cast spells while holding the shield, arcane spell failure is a non-issue, allowing me to craft up the best blocking shields possible. These end up being:
+3 Battle Shield of Axeblock (ML9)
+5 Magecraft Shield of Axeblock (ML13)
+5 Mountain Shield of Axeblock (ML16)
These are very cheap and easy to have someone craft for you, and if you combine them with spearblock, axeblock, and hammerblock (also cheap and easy) as described above you end up with:
Level 9: DR 13/-
Level 13: DR 16/-
Level 16: DR 17/-
That's some serious defense. Even better is if you use shields with guild augment slots and slot in shielding, which adds in a little extra stacking fortification to the mix. If you cap this off with a passive aura healing, like say pale master aura, then you're pretty close to unkillable.
In addition to what was mentioned, craft or buy an invulnerability item. DR 5/magic works a treat to at least level 10.
Play tactics have already been listed above, I often cast a CC + AoE damage combo, for example web + firewall or discoball + ice storm. Then (with jump and featherfall) kite/jump over to draw the mobs into it. If the damage is not too bad, I can just sit inside the firewall/discoball and shieldblock + self heal.
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