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Ganak
08-31-2007, 02:52 PM
I'm planning a 32 pt halfling bard. For those that have played Bards, what do I need to know?

What do you know now that you wish you knew when you first rolled your bard? Thx!

Freeman
08-31-2007, 11:19 PM
Rule #1: Try on every piece of armor you find, whether you are proficient in it or not. You never know when you'll find that drop-dead sexy armor you can wear around town, even if it is half-plate ;)

Other than that, it really is up to you how you build your bard. To me, your strongest points are buffing, crowd-control, and songs. It doesn't take much to do those, so you are generally free to customize a bard any way you want. Take a look at some of the builds floating around and see what else you'd like to do. Bards are probably the most versatile single class in the game, so you have a lot of options.

One thing I would recommend is to start with at least a 12 or 14 strength. Otherwise, as a halfling you probably won't be able to even carry all you gear without being burdened.(I learned that on my rogue though)

geezee
09-01-2007, 02:53 PM
One thing you might like to know is that it is generally accepted that humans, dwarves, drow, and WF make better bards than halflings. Which isn't to say you can't play brilliantly as a little one.

If youre new to bards, maybe it would be helpful for you to know that I would recommend against building a halfling, unless you have a specific build and playstyle in mind which calls for halfling.

geezee
09-01-2007, 03:04 PM
What do you need to know about bards?

Bards are by far the most versatile class. A bard is 3/4 fighter, 3/4 caster but with songs and the best buffs in the game. There are many different types of bards, and they play completely differently.

The first question you need to ask when thinking about rolling a bard is what type of character it's going to be. A bard can do pretty much anything in the game if you design the character that way. I see from your sig you have a lot of experience playing all kinds of different classes. So if you want more specific advice, I would have to know why you are making a bard?

hannika
09-01-2007, 03:35 PM
i have 6 bards. i love them. i think i'm pretty good at making them. but like others have mentioned a bard is really versitle so know what kind of bard you'd like to make and then ask advice, or ask advice on what kind of bard to make i guess. i'd love to share ideas with you if you'd like, hit me up with a PM

hazur
09-01-2007, 08:12 PM
Greetings,

Here is a list of things you need to know about bards:

1.) Most people have no idea what a bard does.

2.) Most people see the primary functions of the bard as follows: play songs, haste, break boxes.

3.) Most people will not want you in their group, despite the fact that you could fill any job that they needed (healer, buffer, crowd control, even dps if you build that way.)

4.) Most people think all bards are built the same.

5.) Most people think bard spells are not as powerful as other casters.

6.) Most people think bards cannot be healers.

7.) Generally people will allow you along as a sixth wheel, but if anything goes wrong its your fault.

8.) If you run ahead and fascinate everything perfectly 99 times out of a hundred, and yet one time you manage to die doing it, that's when they will flip out at you and say, "THIS IS WHY YOU DON'T RUN AHEAD!"

9.) People may yell at you for charming things.

10.) There is really no best way to build a bard, only a best way to play one.


Anyway, teasing aside, bards are the most complex, versatile and some may say powerful class in the game - in the right hands. Unfortunately bards are rather difficult to pull off well. There are more and more people playing bards, and less and less of them are really -good- at it. I have often grouped with them on my very few non-bard characters and I am confused. Why is their SP bar always full? Why are they not bothering to fascinate anything? Where is my inspire courage? Why did he just run by me while I'm bleeding on the floor?

I think the best way to play a bard is to basically be the glue that holds the group together. If you see a job that needs to be done, do it. You are the handy man. People need a haste and the wizard is too busy throwing fireballs (or you don't have a wizard)? Run into the fight and throw some haste! Cleric go AFK and the group just rushed into a mess? Get out those heal scrolls. No matter how you BUILD your bard, there is a fundamental play-style that myself and many others I have played with feel bards should follow. Are you a front-line DPSing bard? That's fine, but you still need to keep an eye on things.

Personally, for your first bard, I would go with what you know. If you've predominantly played fighters, go for a combat oriented bard. Slowly phase yourself into the other bard duties while maintaining your element. If you're used to playing casters already, go for a crowd control oriented bard, this will make you feel most at home. Played clerics mostly? Make a healing bard. Heck, you can even make a rogue/bard hybrid. So basically you can take any class that you've played before and incorporate some of it's characteristics into your new bard to make you feel more comfortable with it until you get the hang of all of your wonderful bard powers.

Once you are comfortable and well versed in the powers of your bard, you can experiment and eventually form your play-style. It is wonderful that bards can do basically any job they put their minds to, but it is often hard to choose where to put your focus and when.

If you need help with a build, let me know, otherwise, good luck with your bard!

Regards,
Booser

Freeman
09-01-2007, 09:50 PM
Mostly true, Hazur, unfortunately. Still, I wouldn't say that most players don't want bards in their parties. From my experience, I think the ones who don't are in the minority now. That's just my perception though.

As for saying bards can't be healers, that is very funny. While getting a Reaver raid together at one point, someone said we really needed a cleric. Several people laughed and pointed out that we had three bards in the party. Healing was not going to be an issue at all. I'm all for bringing a cleric so I don't have to heal as much(I'm definitely not specced for healing), but they definitely aren't necessary.

geezee
09-01-2007, 10:49 PM
Hazur is 100% right in the above post in everything he said. The only thing I would add to that is that all people really expect from a bard most of the time is some nice buffs. Any bard can buff well. After you throw the buffs on, most people dont really care or pay attention to what you do.

So it's up to you what you want to do with the rest of your time. In the case of a well-played bard, this is whatever the group is lacking the most, as Hazur stated. In some obvious cases where a group is lacking a healer, tank, or caster, it will be clear what you are supposed to do. Most of the time people will love you if you just throw down buffs, haste, and an occasional heal.

As sure as bard is the most versatile class, it also requires the most skill to play well.

Quartzite
09-02-2007, 12:15 AM
I don't know what server you guys are on, but I haven't had any problems at all getting into a group with my WF Battlebard. People let me do whatever the hell I want, and I let them know in advance that I CAN primary heal if needed, but prefer not to. Often people have "Fighter, Barb, Pally" in their LFM, and I talk them into letting me come as an off-tank. Bards are exceptional, everyone I've grouped with has appreciated me as a good source of DPS and buffs. They've appreciated my wand healing. But maybe Sarlona is just a Bard-friendly server.

hazur
09-02-2007, 06:49 AM
Greetings,

I hope you know I was being sarcastic Freeman. :) Every group I join (EVERY SINGLE GROUP) always has some yahoo who goes "man we need a healer". Often one of my bard advocates will pipe up for me: "Indeed, Booser is a healer!" But other times, especially on my alts where no one knows me, it is an argument I have to make.

The amount of bard hate you face can depend on a number of factors, server being one of them. Argonnessen seems to be a hotbed for a good lot of bard hate. People will often say "Well gosh darn I love bards!" Then they turn around and post their group: LFM: Hey we could use crowd control or a healer!; Wizard, Sorcerer, Cleric...

I send them a tell and they giggle, "A bard? Well well, I love your songs and buffs but, you can't really heal or CC like the classes I want, sorry buddy."

You can't tell me bard hate doesn't exist - I see it every day, 99% of my play time is comprised of playing bards. However, I love to be underestimated, it makes me look that much better when I do my primary job: Saving bad parties from themselves.

Regards,
Booser

twix
09-02-2007, 07:06 AM
My main groups are healer=bard, me= melee, and three casters fun times.Theres nothin you cant do when you have bard buffs.Even if the bard isnt specced for healing Your so buffed you hardly get hit.

Ganak
09-02-2007, 09:37 AM
Wow, great advice from everyone. Thank you.

Quick question: Do shields with a spell failure % affect bards when equipped?

Freeman
09-02-2007, 09:55 AM
Wow, great advice from everyone. Thank you.

Quick question: Do shields with a spell failure % affect bards when equipped?

Yes, bard are like any other arcane casting class when it comes to shield spell failure. However, light shields and bucklers normally only have 5% spell failure normally. If you can find a mithral shield, then it will reduce the spell failure to 0%. Most bard run around with light mithral shields(If they use shields).

And yes, I knew you were being sarcastic, Hazur. Still, every bard is going to run into the opinions you expressed at some point or another. I've had to make the same argument before on a bard being a healer. Those are probably the same people who won't bring a rogue unless they have traps to get past.

Schmackdown
09-02-2007, 10:25 AM
3.) Most people will not want you in their group
9.) People may yell at you for charming things.

I dunno. I think #3 can easily be a result of #9. As an example: a crew ready to wreck shop in Trial by Fire. The bard states "hey, why fight anything? I'm the greatest bard there is" and zergs to the second general before everyone is finished zoning in, gets killed, then sits there while everyone else assembles at the start. He uses the time to talk about how many bards he's created, how the one he's running now is the greatest bard ever, and how bards are the most misunderstood and complex classes in the game. Party sans buffs catches up to this uber bard, and upon getting a rez his first act is to co-opt the second general, then innocently comment "aw come on, you don't like charms?" as if this is supposed to impress rather than annoy.

You'd party with this bard again? I know I sure as hell won't. And you wonder why Argo bards have crummy reps? IME they're either clueless, so insecure that they can't shut the fsck up about how great they are, or the rare 2% that know what they're doing and just go do it.

Ganak- I'm thinking you're not in a guild with a ton of good bards, or else you'd have gone to them before us with this general query. My suggestion would be to send in-game mail to bards on Argo that you've enjoyed partying with, tell them what aspects of gameplay you enjoy most, and solicit tips on how you could incorporate them into a bard build. I don't think you'll be out of luck from jump going the halfling route- it's just a shame the Companion line is so limp, even after its "love" from the devs, or else that'd be a great buff to add to your arsenal.

Zenako
09-02-2007, 12:57 PM
Yah, must be the server demographics, cause pretty much all I ever saw on Sarlona was warm and fuzzy bard love....aaawww:) :)

That being said, just like "Fighting Cleric hate", Bards could be the subject of aprehension if the players have not seen a well played one. In the hands of someone who even has half a clue about what they can do, a good bard can turn an otherwise challengeing quest into a cakewalk. It is easy for a bard to keep everyone healed if they are always buffed and displaced. The mobs don't hurt what they can't hit. Fascinated or Dancing mobs are helpless and easy pickings.

Some quests like Threnal East 3 become almost easy with a good bard. Three manning quests like Co6 with Bard, Ranger/rogue and Fighter with no deaths for example. The mobs never had a chance.

As for building a Bard, give some thought to which of the three specialty type of Bard you want to build: Spellsinger, Warchanter, etc. It will affect which feats and enhancements you need to choose. I personally am quite happy with the effects of the Spellsinger variant, it fit in well with the character concept and existing feats and enhancements at the time.

Quartzite
09-02-2007, 05:49 PM
So the consensus is if you want to make a Bard:
Sarlona= good.
Argo= bunch of jerks.

I wonder if that applies to out of spec builds in general? My Sorc with 2 levels of Pally was never rejected from a group, either...

EinarMal
09-03-2007, 07:18 AM
So the consensus is if you want to make a Bard:
Sarlona= good.
Argo= bunch of jerks.

I wonder if that applies to out of spec builds in general? My Sorc with 2 levels of Pally was never rejected from a group, either...

I have had very little problems with my Bards on Argo since switching servers about 1-2 months ago. Perhaps some people aren't as well thought of as they think of themselves. I play two non-traditional Bards, a rogue and a very combat heavy battle bard. I have had no problem in groups with either. The rogue/bard gets asked if he can do traps, which I answer yes and that is about it.

Rickpa
09-03-2007, 01:20 PM
One thing you might like to know is that it is generally accepted that humans, dwarves, drow, and WF make better bards than halflings. Which isn't to say you can't play brilliantly as a little one.

If youre new to bards, maybe it would be helpful for you to know that I would recommend against building a halfling, unless you have a specific build and playstyle in mind which calls for halfling.

Interesting point of view, especially since dwarfs and warforged are limited on charisma.

Halfling bard is a popular build. Not as popular as drow or human, but they come in a strong 3rd. Halflings have the edge when it comes to saves, especially when Halfling Luck is somewhat un-nerfed after Module 5. Halflings get dex bonuses, +1 AC, +1 to hit, and pluses to hide and move silently. If you want a bard that can get up and fascinate before he gets detected and whacked, a halfling is your likely candidate!


If you're not hell-bent on having the highest charisma possible, halfling is the best choice for a build that can deal damage and get away with it.

PurdueDave
09-03-2007, 09:15 PM
7.) Generally people will allow you along as a sixth wheel, but if anything goes wrong its your fault.

8.) If you run ahead and fascinate everything perfectly 99 times out of a hundred, and yet one time you manage to die doing it, that's when they will flip out at you and say, "THIS IS WHY YOU DON'T RUN AHEAD!"

lol

hazur
09-03-2007, 10:18 PM
Greetings,

Once people begin to know you as a good bard, you will get parties more easily. I am speaking from experiences with my alts when people do not know who I am. Also depends on what time you play I imagine (I play late at night EST generally, so not as many groups.) Also, the observations are tongue and cheek and do not apply to everyone/every server. I am also not referring to leveling groups (As they will often take what they can get.) People take me way more seriously than they should lol.

Regards,
Booser

Yvonne_Blacksword
09-04-2007, 09:46 AM
From the mouth of a DIVA!

* Its all about the charisma, baby!--Lending ease in enthralling your fans and keeping them that way, being able to convince others to treat you like the diva you are, and convincing inanimate objects to be your fans too...(SP, haggle,&UMD)

* Next Int and dex--Knowledge is a weapon...and being able to dodge the affections of over the top fans is a must!(skills, ac)

* Never get to close to the "little people"--I mean MOB's...nobodies...It only encourages them and then they want to be around you all the time and sometimes they get violent when you tell them NO means NO!

* Fashion sense is a must!--For your "on stage" performances...only mithril and the finest leather will do...unless you find a spectacular robe that has you written all over it! Remember...What your fans see you in matters... Us divas are on stage all the time!

* Never get too attached to a piece of your work...Never live in the past!--You may find as your career progresses that you are clinging to the show stoppers of your past...This is a mistake! Always look for the new and exciting "ZOWZERS!" routine that you can throw into your performance to wow (sorry...the word is just to good here) your audience...You need fans...You need to impress the mindless masses...The plodding and disheartened need you to pick them up and remind them what they are fighting for! Sure, your very pressence, and a song or two, will make life easier for everyone around you...but you need something that really "POPS" to keep getting those encores!..(swap out spells and enhancements as necessary...and it will be)

* Network and encourage hookups!--That perform 10 neclace RR WF? That +5 shocking burst pure good RR dwarf/good/lawful? Honey. these are yours! Gear that no one else can use you finnagle and work it to your best advantage...(use your other characters unusable, RR items to your advantage) Never turn down stylish wonderous items just because they are hand me downs or no one else wants them...Hon? Hand me down is just another word for VINTAGE!...(This comment is not to encourage greedy grabbing but to encourage you to think twice when on another of your character and selling unusable items...
Also, if someone else pulls a spectacular item they cannot use, it is always better to offer a similar trade...that they can use.)

~~SeQuEsTrIa~~

BTW...Have a wonderful time with your fabulous self and new wonderful career:D ...and stop stealing my light!:mad:
I need a nonfat vanillia latte...CAN SOMEONE PLEEEEEASE GET ME AN NON FAT VANILLA LATTE?!@!!!!!!!:mad: :mad: :mad: :mad: :mad: :mad: :mad: :mad: :mad: :mad:
:p :rolleyes: :p :rolleyes: :p :rolleyes: :eek:

Ganak
09-04-2007, 12:19 PM
Great advice SeQuEsTrIa!

I promise I won't steal any of your spotlight, my bard just wants a little bit of Argo.:)

Vehemoth
09-04-2007, 10:38 PM
My advice would be to make two bards. One melee focused, one CC focused who can backup heal. I tend to believe mixing both focuses into one is less effective, and you will be in demand with either one. There are plenty of builds for each kind on the forums.

But to echo what another person wrote, the most important and often in demand attribute seems to be song buffs. Although obviously people are free to create their own builds, I don't understand why someone would not take the enhancements for attack and damage as well as lingering song.

Anyway, I'm sure you'll enjoy playing a bard.

Rameses
09-05-2007, 09:42 AM
I'm planning a 32 pt halfling bard. For those that have played Bards, what do I need to know?

What do you know now that you wish you knew when you first rolled your bard? Thx!

DON'T ROLL ONE... that is all.

I am, Rameses!

DasLurch
09-06-2007, 09:41 AM
Things to keep in mind...

What is your playstyle? If you are a person that likes to melee alot, take as many buff type spells as you can. Your key stats fall in to your Cha, Str, and Con then. If you like playing caster types, focus as much as you can into your Cha again, Dex, Con, and your casting skills (perform and concentrate.) As far as spells go. the cure spells are one of the things bards are known for, haste is also the other. Blur is always useful, and even though it is short, Displacement is great too. Otherwise it's how it suits you. If you like passing out pink party hats, grab the charm type spells. If you like to make quick work of things, grab the hold spells. And as always try to max out your songs as much as you can.

Stats:

A Bard is a generalist, so a maxed out Cha isn't absolutely a must. I was able to start with a 16 and still get my Cha up to a 30 (3 level ups, +3 enhancements, +6 Cha item, and +2 raid tome) with some great drops. 28 is not a problem for anyone starting at 16 Cha. Any lowwer of a Cha will make your casting at high level elite content pretty weak though.

Int is nice for skill points, but with a start of 10-12, you will mostlikely have enough to give yourself all the skill points you need.

Str is IMO more important than the other stats (except Cha) for bards. If you have a decent Str, you can carry more, jump higher, and hit better and more forcefully. With your songs and spells a 12-14 str will serve you very nicely.

Dex is the other stat that really needs a touch now and again. It nice to have, but if you depend on blur/displacement or fearsome armor, it becomes a little less neccasary. I'd say aim for a 14, better if you can get there. With the right item, a 20-22 is really all you will need unless you multi into Rogue.

Con is always a blessing to a bard. We have low Fort saves, and only a d6 for our HP, so any extra is always welcome. 12 is really as low as I'd sugguest for a 32 point build. 14 is much better to start at.

Wis is you dump stat. top it off to 10 or ignore it. You won't really notice or care.

Hope that helps some. My 14 bard is a 1/2ling too, and he works great :) I hope you like yours too.

Mousey
09-08-2007, 04:25 AM
You can fix the bard hate by always being party leader! Or just pwn them in pvp with a well-timed Hold Person and a curse-spewing weapon.

Anyways, the people above me have given you great information about being a bard, so listen to them. You could take a look at the bard specializations and see if there's something there you'd like to aspire to. Also...always keep your UMD maxed! This will give you even more versatility since bards aren't destructive spell casters, per se. A wand of fireball or burning hands or even a cure wand will be indispensable when you're facing down a bunch of undead. (Cure wand worked wonders when I couldn't catch that farking vampire so I could beat on him) Yes, undead will be the bane of your existence, at least until you take Music of the Dead, and that'll be a while. There are ways around it...wands, undead bane weapons. Just be creative.

Another thing to remember is cooperation and communicating with your party. Since a lot of your best crowd control (hypnotize, fascinate) is broken on attack, you need to communicate what you're doing. It's not fun to hypnotize an entire mob...only to have your cleric cast flamestrike on the entire crowd and suddenly they want your blood.

spifflove
09-10-2007, 07:16 PM
DON'T ROLL ONE... that is all.

I am, Rameses!

Actually its only a matter of time before the halfling medic build comes out.