View Full Version : Advice on my first bard build

09-08-2007, 09:30 PM
When I get my new slots with the next upgrade I am planning on building a bard. Since this will be my first bard, I thought I would get some advice.

I wanted a toon who would go through quests primarily shooting a repeating crossbow. I choose bard because I wanted to try one, also so that if I get aggro, I could use Otto’s or hypno on charging melee mobs. The buffs and healing would be nice, too.

I was planning drow and for stats was thinking:

Str – 8
Int – 14
Wis – 8
Con – 10
Dex - 18
Cha - 18

I don’t know bard feat progression too well, but my first couple would be:
Proficiency – repeater
Meta – extend
Comb expertise
Rapid reload
Point blank shot

A few questions…

* What are the pros and cons of heavy vs. light repeaters?
* Should I add a level of rogue to get sneak attack?
* What other advice and input do you have?

09-08-2007, 10:15 PM
* What are the pros and cons of heavy vs. light repeaters? Heavy Repeaters are better damage by 1 point per hit. This makes them more popular than light repeaters. However, that means that heavy repeaters are harder to find (in general). I can't suggest either because I personally think Repeaters are a bit gimp in the end game and I build for end-game.

* Should I add a level of rogue to get sneak attack? Standard repeater tactics involve standing far enough away from the monsters that they can't hit you. This will also, most probably, negate your chances to sneak attack. However, enough rogue levels for you to disable traps well would be a nice addition (and nice use of your 14 intelligence, which is otherwise somewhat underwhelmingly taken advantage of).

* What other advice and input do you have? I would cut the repeater altogether and go with a shortbow and weapon finesse. This will make you a much more versatile character and perhaps a more effective one. Also, I've heard that rapid reload does not actually speed up the reloading of a repeating crossbow (http://forums.ddo.com/showpost.php?p=1312554&postcount=3) (a bug that has not been addressed), but rapid shot does increase the attack speed (and therefore allows you to get more shots off altogether).

All in all, I'd say this is a decent build idea with decent selections of ability points and decent feats. I don't think combat expertise is a good idea (and therefore you could drop your intelligence to 10 and boost con to 13), but the rest of it seems solid (although you should in any case swap rapid reload for rapid shot since rapid reload is bugged).

09-09-2007, 01:32 AM
The above advice is very good imho.

Don't take Combat Expertise, it works very badly with casting characters (it turns off whenever you cast a spell, takes a second to turn on, and you can't cast any spells for 20 seconds after you use it.

Rapid reload doesn't help with repeaters. Really all you need to use them well is the proficiency. Its a good weapon for a bard since bards are one of the best classes to take advantage of the weapon and it requires little investment to use it.

09-09-2007, 07:28 AM
I am by no means a Bard expert, having only recently rolled up a lowbie myself (and having another pre-drow Elf Bard that got retired as soon as Drow were released and gimpified him horribly).

But, with that said, looking at your stats and the previous well received advice...

The Weapon Finesse, pure Bard build stats I went with were (are):

Str: 10
Int: 10
Con: 12
Dex: 18
Cha: 18

So - same Wis, Dex, and Cha as you, so putting those aside.

Int: You => 14, Me => 10

As stated, you don't really need that much Int. You get plenty of skill points with a base 10 and you don't have any key Int based stats. You should either:
(a) take a level of Rogue and work on your trapsmithing skills, or
(b) drop the Int and use those points for...

Con: You => 10, Me => 12

Bards are weak in Hit points and Fortitude Saves. The 2 points by no means changes that, but it does address it to a small extent.

Str: You => 8, Me => 10

I am planning on wielding a Rapier or Shortsword in Melee when necessary. That will give me a shade more damage and a bit more carrying capacity.

09-09-2007, 10:37 AM
All very helpful input. I will take the advice of dropping rapid relaod and combat expertise and lowering INT to increas STR and CON. Very helpful all.

09-09-2007, 01:35 PM
My only advice when building a bard is don't lock yourself in to a certain style of play too early.

Bards can be one of the most versitle classes in the game so a build that directs them down one path while effectively shutting them out of another is a bit of a mistake. Really the only thing that is uncorrectable is stat points. Feats, spells, enhancements, and playstyle can all be refined and corrected during the course of play.

I say this because when I rolled up my bard I concentrated on buffs, healing and a bit of combat and not so much CC. As I leveled I was pretty good at what I was trying to do but at higher level I found that I was concentrating more and more on buffs and cc with less and less healing and melee combat. A very well built bard can do well in melee at high levels, but it's not very easy to do. I'd rebuild my bard to correct a couple of mistakes (10 con, 14 str, 12 int) but I like him far too much to do so.

As for skills make sure you max out concentration, perform, and umd. Other than that it is up to personal preferance. I like to max out haggle cause I don't have another really high haggle character but again that is personal preferance.

Feats are again up to the individual. I like taking Mental Toughness for bards cause you need all the spell points you can get. Weapon finnesse is also a really good one for a higher dex bard. I'm not sure about many other combat type feats and I wouldn't rule out metamagic feats like extend or heighten when the metamagic system changes as well.