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geezee
09-10-2007, 04:31 PM
Ive been rolling and rerolling bards and bard hybrids for a while now. Here's the build of my favorite one. It does require a DEX tome for this version, although a new player could swap out ITWF for mental toughness and take ITWF at level 15 when the level cap is raised. Nothing fancy here, just a simple and very potent build, really:

Drow level 14 Bard (Warchanter)
STR 16 DEX 16 CON 12 INT 10 WIS 8 CHA 16
All level ups into STR.

feats: TWF, power attack, WF: pierce, ITWF, IC: pierce

As a STR-based TWF warchanter, this guy does a lot of melee damage. The drow melee enhancements and maxed buff songs allow him to keep power attack on all the time. The warchant is slightly more devastating on TWF than THF because the entire damage bonus is added to each attack. I have found the melee power of this character to be comparable to my other TWF and THF battle bards and bard hybrids. Missing the extra off-hand attack from GTWF, but that's the tradeoff with this character. If they ever raise the cap, I can take it at level 15.

But this character has some advantages over most battle bard builds. By staying pure, at level 14 his songs give +9/+8 attack/damage to the party. Pop a haste and watch your front line turn into a cuisinart. Although his CON is lower than the dwarf and barbarian versions, the +5 DR song helps a bit. Unlike dwarven battlebards, his CHA is high enough to get a respectable mana pool (the downfall of many battle bards) and have acceptable DCs on his offensive spells. Offensive spells are a big difference between this guy and most battle bards. Hold monster is very usable on this toon when a mob gives him trouble. Disco ball is effective too. Staying pure helps get around SR as well.

Staying pure also eliminates the need for extend, which is a feat I havent bothered taking on my last several rerolls. I know some people love extend, but I'm no longer in that camp. Another beauty of staying pure is the extra songs. This is so helpful for a warchanter.

His UMD is high enough that he doesnt need a feat to boost it. He can always switch to range when the going gets tough. The high STR and DEX makes it hard to knock or keep this guy down. And he can switch to shield and a 1-hander for high AC bosses, while keeping power attack on. Should actually have a decent AC too. I dont really use it because I'm used to playing without armor as I do with all my battle bards.

Although I have made bards who were very marginally better in melee, this guy is more well-rounded. He's future proof in case they make the next bard levels any good or if they ever make the perform skill useful. Great for soloing, obviously. And have fun in groups with this guy as people are amazed and want to know what kind of bard you've made. The icy kind!

Aeneas
09-10-2007, 05:00 PM
Not really one for hijacking a thread, but extend isn't dead yet, it's still great for persistent cloud/sphere spells that generally only last 30 seconds or so in the first place. Turning it off for many buffs however is generally a good idea.

sigtrent
09-10-2007, 07:01 PM
Looks very solid!

I've got a dwarven battle bard warchanter hybrid thingamabob. It's definatly janky but there is a certain joy in seeing 114 pop up above a monsters head at level 8 even if you know a TWF version might out dps you in the long haul. And comments like "What are you useing, is that a vorpal?" and you can say, "no, it's just a +1 acid good great axe" are moments of pride and joy to be savored.

But all around a build like the one you posted are much more well rounded and versatile. Looks quite nice. I'm with you on extend. Its nice, but ultimately it dosn't have a big impact on power unless you are buffing the whole party with short term spells or its a very slow crawl through the dungeon.

A_Sheep
09-10-2007, 07:01 PM
Very Solid build.

I made this (http://www.afterlifeguild.org/Thott/ddo/analyze.php?1label=Taalisyn&1bab=11&1atktype=dw&1spm=90&1phd=1d8%2B5%2B5%2B7&1phed=%2B2d6&1phth=%2B7&1phthreat=19-20%2Fx3&1phxcrit=&1phfocus=on&1phcrit=on&1ohd=1d8%2B5%2B5%2B7&1ohed=%2B2d6&1ohth=%2B7&1ohthreat=19-20%2Fx3&1ohxcrit=&1ohfocus=on&1ohcrit=on&1str=32&1dex=17&12wpn=on&1imp2wpn=on&1gtr2wpn=on&1sneakpct=0&1sneakd=1d6&1cleavepct=0&2label=Icy&2bab=10&2atktype=dw&2spm=90&2phd=1d6%2B5%2B5%2B8%2B2&2phed=%2B2d6&2phth=%2B9&2phthreat=18-20%2Fx2&2phxcrit=&2phfocus=on&2phcrit=on&2ohd=1d6%2B5%2B5%2B8%2B2&2ohed=%2B2d6&2ohth=%2B9&2ohthreat=18-20%2Fx2&2ohxcrit=&2ohfocus=on&2ohcrit=on&2str=29&2dex=17&22wpn=on&2imp2wpn=on&2sneakpct=&2sneakd=&2cleavepct=&report=on&minac=10&maxac=50). I even put yours in blue for ice!

With the 1 extra damage your song does compared to Taal's, you might push the party DPS higher than Taal does in a melee-rich party in addition to possible crowd control.

Schmackdown
09-10-2007, 07:16 PM
Unlike dwarven battlebards, his CHA is high enough to get a respectable mana pool (the downfall of many battle bards) and have acceptable DCs on his offensive spells.
With a drow base and no fighter levels, I'd take CHA over CON as well, but I don't think the difference is anything to write home about- ~45SP doesn't do it for me, and IME +2 to DCs doesn't mean much consistently at the current cap.

Very good point about Extend becoming less and less necessary with increased bard levels- on a Warchanter build eliminating any feats you deem unnecessary is obviously critical.

Nice build, especially given its simplicity. I don't think it would be as effective overall as a TWF robed dwarf with a fighter splash and nod towards tactics, but for a straight bard, it should have fighters asking you why you're so **** sweet.

geezee
09-11-2007, 04:36 AM
Very nice chart and graph, a sheep. The comparison to the fighter hybrid, "Taal", is pretty good. 3 factors to keep that comparison in perspective:

1) When the cap is raised, "Geezer" will get another off-hand attack with GTWF at level 15. This is a large part of the difference in damage.

2) Another part of the difference is that Geezer is using piercing vs Taal's slash weapons. Although the slash weapons do slightly more DPS, wounding puncturing weapons kill very fast, and this doesn't show up in a DPS comparison. Assuming I can ever get my hands on a couple of them.

3) For high-end content, where both builds taper off quickly in DPS, a pure fighter or barbarian becomes the real DPS star of the party. At this point, the bard's job is to keep everyone buffed first, and help DPS second. It's ever so slightly better to be pure at this stage.

In spite of these and other small differences, the 2 characters are very similar in function and playstyle. Differences in gear and skill of the player will be much greater than differences between the builds. Neither toon will have trouble finding groups.

A_Sheep
09-11-2007, 07:01 AM
3) For high-end content, where both builds taper off quickly in DPS, a pure fighter or barbarian becomes the real DPS star of the party.


I agree with your other points.

But I disagree with this one.

Maldini versus Taal. (http://www.afterlifeguild.org/Thott/ddo/analyze.php?1label=Taal&1bab=11&1atktype=dw&1spm=90&1phd=1d8%2B5%2B5%2B7&1phed=%2B2d6&1phth=%2B7&1phthreat=19-20%2Fx3&1phxcrit=&1phfocus=on&1phcrit=on&1ohd=1d8%2B5%2B5%2B7&1ohed=%2B2d6&1ohth=%2B7&1ohthreat=19-20%2Fx3&1ohxcrit=&1ohfocus=on&1ohcrit=on&1str=32&1dex=17&12wpn=on&1imp2wpn=on&1gtr2wpn=on&1sneakpct=0&1sneakd=1d6&1cleavepct=0&2label=Maldini+Build&2bab=14&2atktype=2h&2spm=90&2phd=1d12%2B5%2B10&2phed=%2B2d6&2phth=%2B0&2phthreat=17-20%2Fx3&2phxcrit=&2ohd=&2ohed=&2ohth=&2ohthreat=&2ohxcrit=&2str=42&2dex=&2sneakpct=&2sneakd=&2cleavepct=&report=on&minac=10&maxac=50)

And when the AC gets to high Taal switches off Power Attack (http://www.afterlifeguild.org/Thott/ddo/analyze.php?1label=Taal&1bab=11&1atktype=dw&1spm=90&1phd=1d8%2B5%2B7&1phed=%2B2d6&1phth=%2B12&1phthreat=19-20%2Fx3&1phxcrit=&1phfocus=on&1phcrit=on&1ohd=1d8%2B5%2B7&1ohed=%2B2d6&1ohth=%2B12&1ohthreat=19-20%2Fx3&1ohxcrit=&1ohfocus=on&1ohcrit=on&1str=32&1dex=17&12wpn=on&1imp2wpn=on&1gtr2wpn=on&1sneakpct=0&1sneakd=1d6&1cleavepct=0&2label=Maldini+Build&2bab=14&2atktype=2h&2spm=90&2phd=1d12%2B5%2B10&2phed=%2B2d6&2phth=%2B0&2phthreat=17-20%2Fx3&2phxcrit=&2ohd=&2ohed=&2ohth=&2ohthreat=&2ohxcrit=&2str=42&2dex=&2sneakpct=&2sneakd=&2cleavepct=&report=on&minac=10&maxac=50).

That's a somewhat well-known DPS Barbarian build with the buffs Greater Heroism and rage versus Taal with Divine Power clicky (He only carries one 5/day for high AC baddies, so if there were consistent numbers of high AC mobs, Taal would lose 3 to-hit) and his Song-buffs (both with +5, +2d6 damage versions of desired weapons). The crossing point if I leave PA on is ~38 AC any added buffs (or AC debuffs on the enemy), like focusing chant, haste, destruction, and recitation/divine power move that AC threshhold higher. Potentially to 46. On the other hand, moving and any debuffs to our to-hit reduces that threshold as well. In any case, there are currently few mobs that have an AC above 35.

Again, giving the barbarian a Sword of Shadows (http://www.afterlifeguild.org/Thott/ddo/analyze.php?1label=Taal&1bab=14&1atktype=dw&1spm=90&1phd=1d8%2B5%2B5%2B7&1phed=%2B2d6&1phth=%2B6&1phthreat=19-20%2Fx3&1phxcrit=&1phfocus=on&1phcrit=on&1ohd=1d8%2B5%2B5%2B7&1ohed=%2B2d6&1ohth=%2B6&1ohthreat=19-20%2Fx3&1ohxcrit=&1ohfocus=on&1ohcrit=on&1str=32&1dex=17&12wpn=on&1imp2wpn=on&1gtr2wpn=on&1sneakpct=0&1sneakd=1d6&1cleavepct=0&2label=Maldini+Build&2bab=14&2atktype=2h&2spm=90&2phd=2d6%2B5%2B10&2phed=&2phth=%2B4&2phthreat=13-20%2Fx3&2phxcrit=&2ohd=&2ohed=&2ohth=&2ohthreat=&2ohxcrit=&2str=42&2dex=&2sneakpct=&2sneakd=&2cleavepct=&report=on&minac=10&maxac=50). (curse that weapon! :-P)

Even if the Barbarian had Icy's maxed Bard buffs (http://www.afterlifeguild.org/Thott/ddo/analyze.php?1label=Taal&1bab=14&1atktype=dw&1spm=90&1phd=1d8%2B5%2B7%2B5&1phed=%2B2d6&1phth=%2B7&1phthreat=19-20%2Fx3&1phxcrit=&1phfocus=on&1phcrit=on&1ohd=1d8%2B5%2B7%2B5&1ohed=%2B2d6&1ohth=%2B7&1ohthreat=19-20%2Fx3&1ohxcrit=&1ohfocus=on&1ohcrit=on&1str=32&1dex=17&12wpn=on&1imp2wpn=on&1gtr2wpn=on&1sneakpct=0&1sneakd=1d6&1cleavepct=0&2label=Maldini+Build&2bab=14&2atktype=2h&2spm=90&2phd=1d12%2B5%2B10%2B8&2phed=%2B2d6&2phth=%2B9&2phthreat=17-20%2Fx3&2phxcrit=&2ohd=&2ohed=&2ohth=&2ohthreat=&2ohxcrit=&2str=42&2dex=&2sneakpct=&2sneakd=&2cleavepct=&report=on&minac=10&maxac=50). (without the SoS, and with the SoS (http://www.afterlifeguild.org/Thott/ddo/analyze.php?1label=Taal&1bab=14&1atktype=dw&1spm=90&1phd=1d8%2B5%2B7%2B5&1phed=%2B2d6&1phth=%2B7&1phthreat=19-20%2Fx3&1phxcrit=&1phfocus=on&1phcrit=on&1ohd=1d8%2B5%2B7%2B5&1ohed=%2B2d6&1ohth=%2B7&1ohthreat=19-20%2Fx3&1ohxcrit=&1ohfocus=on&1ohcrit=on&1str=32&1dex=17&12wpn=on&1imp2wpn=on&1gtr2wpn=on&1sneakpct=0&1sneakd=1d6&1cleavepct=0&2label=Maldini+Build&2bab=14&2atktype=2h&2spm=90&2phd=2d6%2B5%2B10%2B8&2phed=&2phth=%2B9&2phthreat=13-20%2Fx3&2phxcrit=&2ohd=&2ohed=&2ohth=&2ohthreat=&2ohxcrit=&2str=42&2dex=&2sneakpct=&2sneakd=&2cleavepct=&report=on&minac=10&maxac=50).)

Now, that doesn't include Glancing blows, which is a pretty hefty boost, so Maldini may be beating Taalisyn in actual DPS, but I think battle bards are the true DPS kings! I wish I could add more lines to one graph, so I could put Icy in there as well (Just imagine him in @ the 100 DPS line).

The biggest thing a multiclassed Bard like Taal will bemoan after the cap increase is lacking Inspire Heroics (http://www.d20srd.org/srd/classes/bard.htm#inspireHeroics) at Bard 15 :(. Which is a pretty rocking buff to your intimitank. He will, however, get back the difference in inspire courage at the 16 cap (assuming enhancements continue their current level progressions (Inspired Damage increase @ lvl 17 and Inspired Attack increase @ lvl 18). It often makes me wonder if any of these guys will be around after the cap goes up to 18. All the characters I had back when the cap was 10 have been deleted or retired.

And yeah, wounding of puncturing rapiers, dual-wielded, would rock the socks off Taal, especially versus top end mobs with high HD.

And there went 45 minutes of my life, I hope you're all happy.

P.S. I hope I didn't screw any of those graphs up... :\

geezee
09-11-2007, 12:36 PM
Sheep, I love your charts and graphs. Makes things very clear. However it's important to compare apples to apples when youre doing these types of analyses. There are a few different issues here: THF vs TWF, barbarian vs bard vs hybrid, and pierce vs slash. Each of these by itself is complicated, but when you combine them it's easy to get lost.

You compare your build to a Maldini barbarian, which is a very popular build. Theres another thread on the barbarian board about an elven TWF barbarian who's taking all challengers. There's no way you or I are going to outkill a fully buffed, well equipped, and similarly built barbarian. With rage, their strength is about 15 points higher, and with critical rage, we have no way to match that damage. But we can have a lot of fun trying.

Even the comparison to the Maldini build is not as simple as it seems. I hear a lot of barbs saying that they do more damage than the numbers say they are supposed to. THF has an AOE splash effect. That's a lot of collateral damage too that gets missed by the calculator. And with their hit points and damage reduction, barbs are built better for absorbing additional agro.

Of course, you me, and the barbarian can all turn off power attack at some point. It would be interesting to see at what AC that becomes optimal. Maybe you could superimpose a graph of DPS with and without power attack. I bet for you and me that happens around AC 40 somewhere. Because of the barbarian's superior attack roll, he can leave power attack on against higher AC's, increasing the gap between him and us vs. high-end content. Then there's the barb enhancement which let's the barb do more damage with power attack.

And that's a good point about these guys probably being obselete pretty soon. Sad but true. When the half-orc comes, everyone is gonna reroll, but I bet these TWF builds will still be relevant. The half-orc may or may not be able to match the drow stat-wise for a TWF bard build.

A_Sheep
09-11-2007, 02:01 PM
Preface with the conditions of my graphs: All weapons are +5, +2d6 versions with maximum self-buffage. Buffs for the Bards: Divine Power, Divine Favor, Recitation, focusing chant, rage (spell), haste (but only the attack bonus, speed bonus not factored in), Inspire Courage, and Inspire Greatness.

For Maldini: Haste, Rage (Spell), Divine Favor, Greater Heroism, Barbarian Rage.

Here's PA graphs:

Taalisyn. (http://www.afterlifeguild.org/Thott/ddo/analyze.php?1label=Taal+PA&1bab=14&1atktype=dw&1spm=90&1phd=1d8%2B5%2B7%2B5%2B1&1phed=%2B2d6&1phth=%2B11&1phthreat=19-20%2Fx3&1phxcrit=&1phfocus=on&1phcrit=on&1ohd=1d8%2B5%2B7%2B5%2B1&1ohed=%2B2d6&1ohth=%2B11&1ohthreat=19-20%2Fx3&1ohxcrit=&1ohfocus=on&1ohcrit=on&1str=32&1dex=20&12wpn=on&1imp2wpn=on&1gtr2wpn=on&1sneakpct=0&1sneakd=1d6&1cleavepct=0&2label=Taal+No+PA&2bab=14&2atktype=dw&2spm=90&2phd=1d8%2B5%2B7%2B1&2phed=%2B2d6&2phth=%2B16&2phthreat=19-20%2Fx3&2phxcrit=&2phfocus=on&2phcrit=on&2ohd=1d8%2B5%2B7%2B1&2ohed=%2B2d6&2ohth=%2B16&2ohthreat=19-20%2Fx3&2ohxcrit=&2ohfocus=on&2ohcrit=on&2str=32&2dex=20&22wpn=on&2imp2wpn=on&2gtr2wpn=on&2sneakpct=&2sneakd=&2cleavepct=&report=on&minac=20&maxac=60) Instersection point - AC 41

Icy. (http://www.afterlifeguild.org/Thott/ddo/analyze.php?1label=Icy+PA&1bab=14&1atktype=dw&1spm=90&1phd=1d6%2B5%2B7%2B5%2B1&1phed=%2B2d6&1phth=%2B13&1phthreat=18-20%2Fx2&1phxcrit=&1phfocus=on&1phcrit=on&1ohd=1d6%2B5%2B7%2B5%2B1&1ohed=%2B2d6&1ohth=%2B13&1ohthreat=18-20%2Fx2&1ohxcrit=&1ohfocus=on&1ohcrit=on&1str=27&1dex=20&12wpn=on&1imp2wpn=on&1sneakpct=0&1sneakd=1d6&1cleavepct=0&2label=Icy+No+PA&2bab=14&2atktype=dw&2spm=90&2phd=1d6%2B5%2B7%2B1&2phed=%2B2d6&2phth=%2B18&2phthreat=18-20%2Fx2&2phxcrit=&2phfocus=on&2phcrit=on&2ohd=1d6%2B5%2B7%2B1&2ohed=%2B2d6&2ohth=%2B18&2ohthreat=18-20%2Fx2&2ohxcrit=&2ohfocus=on&2ohcrit=on&2str=27&2dex=20&22wpn=on&2imp2wpn=on&2sneakpct=&2sneakd=&2cleavepct=&report=on&minac=20&maxac=60) Intersrction point - AC 39

Maldini. (http://www.afterlifeguild.org/Thott/ddo/analyze.php?1label=Maldini+PA&1bab=14&1atktype=2h&1spm=90&1phd=1d12%2B5%2B10%2B1&1phed=%2B2d6&1phth=%2B6&1phthreat=17-20%2Fx3&1phxcrit=&1ohd=1d6%2B5%2B7%2B5%2B1&1ohed=%2B2d6&1ohth=%2B13&1ohthreat=18-20%2Fx2&1ohxcrit=&1ohfocus=on&1ohcrit=on&1str=42&1dex=20&1sneakpct=0&1sneakd=1d6&1cleavepct=0&2label=Maldini+No+PA&2bab=14&2atktype=2h&2spm=90&2phd=1d12%2B5%2B1&2phed=%2B2d6&2phth=%2B11&2phthreat=17-20%2Fx3&2phxcrit=&2ohd=1d6%2B5%2B7%2B1&2ohed=%2B2d6&2ohth=%2B18&2ohthreat=18-20%2Fx2&2ohxcrit=&2ohfocus=on&2ohcrit=on&2str=42&2dex=20&2sneakpct=&2sneakd=&2cleavepct=&report=on&minac=20&maxac=60) Intersection Point - 46

These all shift up or down depending on buffs and whether someone destructs/sunders or not. It seems the intersection point is affected by both your to-hit bonus and how much critical hits matter to you compared to how much base damage you do. Maldini and Taal get 17-20/x3 crits, and while Icy has a higher to-hit than Taal (or madlini for that matter), his intersection point is lower, because his criticals are 'only' 15-20/x2, making the PA damage proportionally less important compared to the base damage he deals. If I drop the 2d6 extra damage off the weapons:

Icy without +2d6. (http://www.afterlifeguild.org/Thott/ddo/analyze.php?1label=Icy+PA&1bab=14&1atktype=dw&1spm=90&1phd=1d6%2B5%2B7%2B5%2B1&1phed=&1phth=%2B13&1phthreat=18-20%2Fx2&1phxcrit=&1phfocus=on&1phcrit=on&1ohd=1d6%2B5%2B7%2B5%2B1&1ohed=&1ohth=%2B13&1ohthreat=18-20%2Fx2&1ohxcrit=&1ohfocus=on&1ohcrit=on&1str=27&1dex=20&12wpn=on&1imp2wpn=on&1sneakpct=0&1sneakd=1d6&1cleavepct=0&2label=Icy+No+PA&2bab=14&2atktype=dw&2spm=90&2phd=1d6%2B5%2B7%2B1&2phed=&2phth=%2B18&2phthreat=18-20%2Fx2&2phxcrit=&2phfocus=on&2phcrit=on&2ohd=1d6%2B5%2B7%2B1&2ohed=&2ohth=%2B18&2ohthreat=18-20%2Fx2&2ohxcrit=&2ohfocus=on&2ohcrit=on&2str=27&2dex=20&22wpn=on&2imp2wpn=on&2sneakpct=&2sneakd=&2cleavepct=&report=on&minac=20&maxac=60)

...the intersection point moves up to 41 AC.

As for the splash damage: oh yeah, there's alot of that, but it's actually not too difficult to account for, although it's true worth is difficult to measure. 50% of the base damage of a Greater THF weapon is dealt in a glancing blow hit to all targets within the swinging arc on the 1st and 4th attacks of the combat chain. The glancing blow attacks are made with a +5 to hit over the normal attack roll (This is not official information, but just what some dude put on the DDOwiki sometime in the past saying it used to be on the turbine website (during beta or something)). This damage cannot critical. Considering only single target DPS and standing still, this roughly comes out to be 25% of the base DPS (without critical hits or weapon effects).

Base. (http://www.afterlifeguild.org/Thott/ddo/analyze.php?1label=Maldini+PA+-+Base&1bab=14&1atktype=2h&1spm=90&1phd=1d12%2B5%2B10%2B1&1phed=0&1phth=%2B6&1phthreat=17-20%2Fx1&1phxcrit=&1ohd=1d6%2B5%2B7%2B5%2B1&1ohed=%2B2d6&1ohth=%2B13&1ohthreat=18-20%2Fx2&1ohxcrit=&1ohfocus=on&1ohcrit=on&1str=42&1dex=20&1sneakpct=0&1sneakd=1d6&1cleavepct=0&2label=Maldini+No+PA+-+Base&2bab=14&2atktype=2h&2spm=90&2phd=1d12%2B5%2B1&2phed=&2phth=%2B11&2phthreat=17-20%2Fx1&2phxcrit=&2ohd=1d6%2B5%2B7%2B1&2ohed=%2B2d6&2ohth=%2B18&2ohthreat=18-20%2Fx2&2ohxcrit=&2ohfocus=on&2ohcrit=on&2str=42&2dex=20&2sneakpct=&2sneakd=&2cleavepct=&report=on&minac=20&maxac=60)

It'd take too much time to account for the glancing blows on the 4th attack having a better chance of hitting by hand, so if you assume you're hitting all the time except 1's, it comes out to ~16.5 DPS (per target in swing arc, which is more than 180 degrees with a Greataxe/Maul, but less than 180 with a Greatsword/Falchion) with PA on and ~13 DPS without PA. That really is a lot, considering that the non-bardified Maldini was only 20 points of DPS behind the Self-Bardified Taalisyn (against AC 0). Most of the time, you're only hitting one target, but in a crowd, the glancing blows would easily stifle any TWF attempt to keep up DPS-wise.

The things that I have terrible trouble trying to account for are:
1) THF Weapons have a longer reach than TWF or SWF.
2) Swing rates for different weapons/styles vary, but server speed is so inconsistent that I can't get any good data. (i.e. We know that greatswords take longer to swing than Greataxes, but we can't find out how much)
3) GTWF gets two attacks while moving and GTHF gets glancing blows while moving (both potential DPS increases).

I do fondly remember one time when I killed both the dragon and the giant in the black dragon room in Tor with the glancing blows of one swing of Bellfore (my barbarian)'s Greataxe.

I've just compared a Block of Mozzarella (Icy) to a Slice of Pepperoni (Maldini) to a Block of Pepperjack (Taalisyn). The Mozzarella and the Pepperoni will make a better Pizza, but the Pepperjack Cheese stands alone (sorta stretching it a bit there for the reference...).

I thought of a very interesting purely DPS comparison (leave my 200 hit points and +20 will save out of this!): Maldini + Icy vs. 2 x Taal. I'm fairly certain Maldini + Icy would come out ahead. Can't do it with the Thottbot, so I'll type it up sometime... maybe... depending on how late my girlfriend has to work tonight...

EinarMal
09-11-2007, 02:15 PM
I thought of a very interesting purely DPS comparison (leave my 200 hit points and +20 will save out of this!): Maldini + Icy vs. 2 x Taal. I'm fairly certain Maldini + Icy would come out ahead. Can't do it with the Thottbot, so I'll type it up sometime... maybe... depending on how late my girlfriend has to work tonight...

The Barb, if you give them the buffs for being in the group with the Bard combo will definitely come out ahead. I've had several arguements with people about this over the months when showing how good Bard DPS can be. They always point out, that the fighter/barb in the group also gets the buffs so they will still come out ahead (they will). On the other hand I always say that is comparing two characters to 1 and it is.

The bottom line is IF you are in a group with a DPS fighter or Barb that is well built they will do more damage than you period. Both classes have many advantages and feats that give them more damage and the song just "moves the lines up" for everyone.

That said of course battle bards rock and kill things very quickly and make groups even better. Just because you cannot match the Barbarian (buffed with your buffs) things still die more quickly because of the DPS that the Bard brings on their own.

There are just too many other things besides DPS that you also have to consider on judging how powerful the two builds are. Neither have stunning blow which is a shame because I am really coming around to that feat with TWF and a weighted offhand weapon.

geezee
09-11-2007, 03:21 PM
That's a very slick program you have there, Sheep. One more question I have for you is if it's better to turn off power attack, or to switch to a sword and board against high AC mobs. Also, I couldnt tell from your chart whether or not you gave me 2 ranks of Drow melee attack, which I can see I'm going to need.

I have also wondered about the question you posed with a pure barb and bard vs 2 hybrids. I'm pretty sure the pure team will win. Not because of the slightly better buffs, but because of the massive damage done by the Barb.

As Einer Mal said, there are too many other things besides DPS to consider with these kind of builds. The fact that you can even have a DPS comparison between them and pure barbarians is a testament to the awesome power of these characters.

A_Sheep
09-11-2007, 03:25 PM
===Same buffs assumed as in previous post except added Taal's inspire courage and greatness everyone===

Disclaimer: I stress that this is only comparing straight DPS and not other related and important aspects such as being able to successfully cast a spell with a save and the like.



The bottom line is IF you are in a group with a DPS fighter or Barb that is well built they will do more damage than you period.

This is only barely (1/4?) untrue. Using the Maldini Two-handed Fighter (Maxed strength Human w/+3 str tome, gave him a falchion because it's better than a Greataxe for him) and the Maldini Barbarian both with bard buffs versus Taalisyn...

Barb vs. Taalisyn. (http://www.afterlifeguild.org/Thott/ddo/analyze.php?1label=Taal&1bab=14&1atktype=dw&1spm=90&1phd=1d8%2B5%2B7%2B5%2B1&1phed=%2B2d6&1phth=%2B11&1phthreat=19-20%2Fx3&1phxcrit=&1phfocus=on&1phcrit=on&1ohd=1d8%2B5%2B7%2B5%2B1&1ohed=%2B2d6&1ohth=%2B11&1ohthreat=19-20%2Fx3&1ohxcrit=&1ohfocus=on&1ohcrit=on&1str=32&1dex=17&12wpn=on&1imp2wpn=on&1gtr2wpn=on&1sneakpct=0&1sneakd=1d6&1cleavepct=0&2label=Maldini+Build&2bab=14&2atktype=2h&2spm=90&2phd=1d12%2B5%2B10%2B7%2B1&2phed=%2B2d6&2phth=%2B9&2phthreat=17-20%2Fx3&2phxcrit=&2ohd=&2ohed=&2ohth=&2ohthreat=&2ohxcrit=&2str=42&2dex=&2sneakpct=&2sneakd=&2cleavepct=&report=on&minac=20&maxac=60) Give Barb + 20 DPS for glancing blows, Barbarian wins by ~10 DPS!

Fighter vs. Taalisyn. (http://www.afterlifeguild.org/Thott/ddo/analyze.php?1label=Taal&1bab=14&1atktype=dw&1spm=90&1phd=1d8%2B5%2B7%2B5%2B1&1phed=%2B2d6&1phth=%2B11&1phthreat=19-20%2Fx3&1phxcrit=&1phfocus=on&1phcrit=on&1ohd=1d8%2B5%2B7%2B5%2B1&1ohed=%2B2d6&1ohth=%2B11&1ohthreat=19-20%2Fx3&1ohxcrit=&1ohfocus=on&1ohcrit=on&1str=32&1dex=17&12wpn=on&1imp2wpn=on&1gtr2wpn=on&1sneakpct=0&1sneakd=1d6&1cleavepct=0&2label=Maldini+Fighter+glancing+base&2bab=14&2atktype=2h&2spm=90&2phd=2d4%2B5%2B10%2B7%2B1&2phed=%2B2d6&2phth=%2B9&2phthreat=18-20%2Fx2&2phxcrit=&2phfocus=on&2phefocus=on&2phspec=on&2phespec=on&2phcrit=on&2ohd=&2ohed=&2ohth=&2ohthreat=&2ohxcrit=&2str=36&2dex=&2sneakpct=&2sneakd=&2cleavepct=&report=on&minac=20&maxac=60) Give the Fighter + 18 DPS for glancing blows and Taalisyn still wins (by ~3 DPS which is somewhat meaningless...)

I came up with the glancing blow numbers by giving +30% of the base damage (no crits, no special effects). That is at best a rough estimate and would vary from situation to situation with +25% being standing still attacking a single mob and +200% being always moving and hitting 4 mobs at once with every swing.

If comparing a TWF fighter or barb build or if you give the THFers the Sword of Shadows, then that observation is correct. A THFer or a SingleHFer would very much be in close range of the Bard's damage.

The leverage of the Khopesh being overpowered and the song damage multiplying on each hand puts a dual khopesh-wielding Bard ahead of the Fighter, even when the Bard is sharing his buffs.

hazur
09-11-2007, 05:24 PM
Greetings,

If the barbarian or fighter gets your buffs, sure they will out DPS you, but the extra DPS they do should be attributed to you anyway. :) This build looks amazing for a party with a lot of melee power. The +8 to damage over 4 characters or so really heats things up. I agree that it is tough to squeeze in Extend with all the TWF feats but it is still very potent. Its a bit more efficient with spellsinger though, so foregoing it with warchanter is definitely an option. Nice build.

Regards,
Booser

EinarMal
09-11-2007, 06:56 PM
===Same buffs assumed as in previous post except added Taal's inspire courage and greatness everyone===

Disclaimer: I stress that this is only comparing straight DPS and not other related and important aspects such as being able to successfully cast a spell with a save and the like.



This is only barely (1/4?) untrue. Using the Maldini Two-handed Fighter (Maxed strength Human w/+3 str tome, gave him a falchion because it's better than a Greataxe for him) and the Maldini Barbarian both with bard buffs versus Taalisyn...

Barb vs. Taalisyn. (http://www.afterlifeguild.org/Thott/ddo/analyze.php?1label=Taal&1bab=14&1atktype=dw&1spm=90&1phd=1d8%2B5%2B7%2B5%2B1&1phed=%2B2d6&1phth=%2B11&1phthreat=19-20%2Fx3&1phxcrit=&1phfocus=on&1phcrit=on&1ohd=1d8%2B5%2B7%2B5%2B1&1ohed=%2B2d6&1ohth=%2B11&1ohthreat=19-20%2Fx3&1ohxcrit=&1ohfocus=on&1ohcrit=on&1str=32&1dex=17&12wpn=on&1imp2wpn=on&1gtr2wpn=on&1sneakpct=0&1sneakd=1d6&1cleavepct=0&2label=Maldini+Build&2bab=14&2atktype=2h&2spm=90&2phd=1d12%2B5%2B10%2B7%2B1&2phed=%2B2d6&2phth=%2B9&2phthreat=17-20%2Fx3&2phxcrit=&2ohd=&2ohed=&2ohth=&2ohthreat=&2ohxcrit=&2str=42&2dex=&2sneakpct=&2sneakd=&2cleavepct=&report=on&minac=20&maxac=60) Give Barb + 20 DPS for glancing blows, Barbarian wins by ~10 DPS!

Fighter vs. Taalisyn. (http://www.afterlifeguild.org/Thott/ddo/analyze.php?1label=Taal&1bab=14&1atktype=dw&1spm=90&1phd=1d8%2B5%2B7%2B5%2B1&1phed=%2B2d6&1phth=%2B11&1phthreat=19-20%2Fx3&1phxcrit=&1phfocus=on&1phcrit=on&1ohd=1d8%2B5%2B7%2B5%2B1&1ohed=%2B2d6&1ohth=%2B11&1ohthreat=19-20%2Fx3&1ohxcrit=&1ohfocus=on&1ohcrit=on&1str=32&1dex=17&12wpn=on&1imp2wpn=on&1gtr2wpn=on&1sneakpct=0&1sneakd=1d6&1cleavepct=0&2label=Maldini+Fighter+glancing+base&2bab=14&2atktype=2h&2spm=90&2phd=2d4%2B5%2B10%2B7%2B1&2phed=%2B2d6&2phth=%2B9&2phthreat=18-20%2Fx2&2phxcrit=&2phfocus=on&2phefocus=on&2phspec=on&2phespec=on&2phcrit=on&2ohd=&2ohed=&2ohth=&2ohthreat=&2ohxcrit=&2str=36&2dex=&2sneakpct=&2sneakd=&2cleavepct=&report=on&minac=20&maxac=60) Give the Fighter + 18 DPS for glancing blows and Taalisyn still wins (by ~3 DPS which is somewhat meaningless...)

I came up with the glancing blow numbers by giving +30% of the base damage (no crits, no special effects). That is at best a rough estimate and would vary from situation to situation with +25% being standing still attacking a single mob and +200% being always moving and hitting 4 mobs at once with every swing.

If comparing a TWF fighter or barb build or if you give the THFers the Sword of Shadows, then that observation is correct. A THFer or a SingleHFer would very much be in close range of the Bard's damage.

The leverage of the Khopesh being overpowered and the song damage multiplying on each hand puts a dual khopesh-wielding Bard ahead of the Fighter, even when the Bard is sharing his buffs.

There are a lot of things you are ignoring, but I don't feel like arguing about it. You don't actually get as many extra swings as you should when TWF. There are also factors like DR (which 2 handers overcome more easily), weapon reach, things like fighter haste boost, the fact that you have to hit clickies all the time to maintain close to the same to hit, Barbarians move faster which translates into more damage over time...yada yada.

If a fighter dual wields kopeshs, a two hander has a SOS, or a Ranger against favored enemies etc...they would all outdamge you. Again it's a nice build don't get me wrong I've posted and played several very much like it. To say that you outdamage everyone is a stretch. Again it is not ahead of every fighter, and you are ignoring several things that do make a difference.

Again its a nice build, going 12/2 with GTWF and warchanter is very powerful. You would do even more damage personally if you went 10/4 and picked up weapon spec. So that is a build that would outdamge you as well!

EinarMal
09-11-2007, 06:57 PM
Greetings,

If the barbarian or fighter gets your buffs, sure they will out DPS you, but the extra DPS they do should be attributed to you anyway. :) This build looks amazing for a party with a lot of melee power. The +8 to damage over 4 characters or so really heats things up. I agree that it is tough to squeeze in Extend with all the TWF feats but it is still very potent. Its a bit more efficient with spellsinger though, so foregoing it with warchanter is definitely an option. Nice build.

Regards,
Booser

Wow that is a pretty big shift from your comments on other TWF builds that are very similiar. From what I can tell you seem very anti multi-class which is a shame, because generally in 3.5 D&D that is the best min/max way to go.

hazur
09-11-2007, 07:14 PM
Greetings,

I have no problem with TWF bards, I have made many of them. You criticized my builds, so I criticized yours. I am not anti-multiclass, I have multiclassed many characters including bards. In fact my new builds are multiclassed bard/cleric. But I also have pure bards. Its always best to keep at least one pure class. And its not always best for min/maxing to splash classes. Plus, pen and paper does not have class level dependent ENHANCEMENTS. Anyway, I'm not going to argue with you again, so don't bother replying to my comments.

Regards,
Booser

EinarMal
09-11-2007, 07:38 PM
Greetings,

I have no problem with TWF bards, I have made many of them. You criticized my builds, so I criticized yours. I am not anti-multiclass, I have multiclassed many characters including bards. In fact my new builds are multiclassed bard/cleric. But I also have pure bards. Its always best to keep at least one pure class. And its not always best for min/maxing to splash classes. Plus, pen and paper does not have class level dependent ENHANCEMENTS. Anyway, I'm not going to argue with you again, so don't bother replying to my comments.

Regards,
Booser

Ah but see I can do whatever I wish lol....when you get the word moderator next to your name then tell me when/how to post.

A_Sheep
09-12-2007, 12:11 AM
There are a lot of things you are ignoring

Very true. Very true.


You don't actually get as many extra swings as you should when TWF. There are also factors like DR (which 2 handers overcome more easily), weapon reach, things like fighter haste boost, the fact that you have to hit clickies all the time to maintain close to the same to hit, Barbarians move faster which translates into more damage over time...yada yada.

Very true. Very true, however, you don't need to maintain the same to-hit all the time. It is fairly rare (I hope I'm right about this :-P) to meet non-named mobs that have more than 35 AC.



If a fighter dual wields kopeshs, a two hander has a SOS, or a Ranger against favored enemies etc...they would all outdamge you. Again it's a nice build don't get me wrong I've posted and played several very much like it. To say that you outdamage everyone is a stretch.

Definitely, I wasn't trying to imply that. Just that I outdamage 2-handed fighters without SoS. Properly used Haste Boost might push the fighter ahead of me. I wonder if there's a way to take that into account... Nah, not without defining the length of total combat time in the quest (to get a % time haste boosted)



Again its a nice build, going 12/2 with GTWF and warchanter is very powerful. You would do even more damage personally if you went 10/4 and picked up weapon spec. So that is a build that would outdamge you as well!

You can't get weapon spec on a 10/4 bard and GTWF as well. The final fighter bonus feat being used for GTWF and also meeting the 4th level requirement for weapon spec prevents this. I think I proposed that in my original Taal thread as an option I was considering and then we realized that it can't be done. The 10/4 would be 1 damage behind the 12/2 in bard songs (and gain an extra feat for... Power Critical? That increases Damage as well as to-hit confirmation for critical hits, right? or toughness).

I'm really not trying to toot my uber horn (although I am uberz XD, my guild leader told me so). Dual-wielding str-based rouges can probably outdamage Taalisyn even without his buffs. I'm just trying to keep the notion at bay that a bard can't be the primary damage dealer of a party. The difference between a dual-wielding bard and a THF DPS-er (both with the bard's buffs) is really very very small (when the sword which shall not be named is not involved, which a TWF bard could catch up to with greater banes or with the Chaosblade).

=====The Thott DDO melee damage calculator==== (http://www.afterlifeguild.org/Thott/ddo/)

It is not my creation. Thott played DDO a while back (don't think he's active now). It hasn't been updated in a while, so you have to apply things like barbarian critical rage by hand. The built-in Power Attack feature has always been broken in the regard that Power Attack bonus damage does not get multiplied on critical hits like it ought to.

I did include your damage II on the very first graph, however, I think I may have forgotten the melee attack II >:| It's hard to keep all these numbers straight.

As for Geezee's request for a comparison between 2 Taalisyns : 1 Icy and Maldini Barb, I will gladly do my best, but I can't give you a pretty graph.

I can instead give you two pretty graphs and one narrative compositing them!

Same assumptions as in the post we made assumptions in + Icy's buffs on barbarian.

Icy vs. Taalisyn. (http://www.afterlifeguild.org/Thott/ddo/analyze.php?1label=Taalisyn&1bab=14&1atktype=dw&1spm=90&1phd=1d8%2B5%2B5%2B7%2B1&1phed=%2B2d6&1phth=%2B11&1phthreat=19-20%2Fx3&1phxcrit=&1phfocus=on&1phcrit=on&1ohd=1d8%2B5%2B5%2B7%2B1&1ohed=%2B2d6&1ohth=%2B11&1ohthreat=19-20%2Fx3&1ohxcrit=&1ohfocus=on&1ohcrit=on&1str=32&1dex=17&12wpn=on&1imp2wpn=on&1gtr2wpn=on&1sneakpct=0&1sneakd=1d6&1cleavepct=0&2label=Icy&2bab=14&2atktype=dw&2spm=90&2phd=1d6%2B5%2B5%2B8%2B2%2B1&2phed=%2B2d6&2phth=%2B15&2phthreat=18-20%2Fx2&2phxcrit=&2phfocus=on&2phcrit=on&2ohd=1d6%2B5%2B5%2B8%2B2%2B1&2ohed=%2B2d6&2ohth=%2B15&2ohthreat=18-20%2Fx2&2ohxcrit=&2ohfocus=on&2ohcrit=on&2str=28&2dex=17&22wpn=on&2imp2wpn=on&2sneakpct=&2sneakd=&2cleavepct=&report=on&minac=20&maxac=60) Icy : 102::Taalisyn:126 (DPS vs. AC 1)

+

Maldini vs. Taalisyn. (http://www.afterlifeguild.org/Thott/ddo/analyze.php?1label=Taal&1bab=14&1atktype=dw&1spm=90&1phd=1d8%2B5%2B7%2B5%2B1&1phed=%2B2d6&1phth=%2B11&1phthreat=19-20%2Fx3&1phxcrit=&1phfocus=on&1phcrit=on&1ohd=1d8%2B5%2B7%2B5%2B1&1ohed=%2B2d6&1ohth=%2B11&1ohthreat=19-20%2Fx3&1ohxcrit=&1ohfocus=on&1ohcrit=on&1str=32&1dex=17&12wpn=on&1imp2wpn=on&1gtr2wpn=on&1sneakpct=0&1sneakd=1d6&1cleavepct=0&2label=Maldini+Build&2bab=14&2atktype=2h&2spm=90&2phd=1d12%2B5%2B10%2B8%2B1&2phed=%2B2d6&2phth=%2B11&2phthreat=17-20%2Fx3&2phxcrit=&2ohd=&2ohed=&2ohth=&2ohthreat=&2ohxcrit=&2str=42&2dex=&2sneakpct=&2sneakd=&2cleavepct=&report=on&minac=20&maxac=60) Maldini : 119::Taalisyn : 126 (DPS vs. AC 1-34)

==

Team Pizza : 221 :: Team Cheese : 252

However, this has not included Glancing blows or AC!

With glancing blows (but still vs. AC 1-34):

Maldini build (using 30% of the base damage method) gets +23.7 DPS from glancing blows, giving team Pizza a total of 244.7 versus team cheese's 252.

So, Team Cheese takes the cake (cheesecake?) for AC 1-31 and is also ahead until 34 when divine power is used. (divine power being a +3 to-hit bonus for Taalisyn)

Adding the AC factor makes the situation much much more complicated.

Simplified rules for my comparison: I will take the DPS values at certain AC points (at which each build starts to decrease in damage).

@ AC 36, the Icy build begins to decrease in damage.

Team Pizza: 119 Mal + 23.7 GB + 102 Icy = 244.7
Team Cheese: 120 Taal x 2 = 240

Team Pizza pulls ahead!

@ AC 43, Maldini's DPS begins to decrease.

Team Pizza: 119 Mal + 23.7 GB + 84 Icy = 226.7

Team Cheese: 94 Taal x2 = 188

=====I will make further additions at a time in the future. I want to add a graph of Icy and Taal without Power Attack on (since we know their 'break-even' points from a previous post, which I will have to update with Drow melee attack for Icy. However, the above values will be very close to the non-PA values. Girlfriend just got done with work *sigh* hehe...======

EinarMal
09-12-2007, 06:42 AM
Definitely, I wasn't trying to imply that. Just that I outdamage 2-handed fighters without SoS. Properly used Haste Boost might push the fighter ahead of me. I wonder if there's a way to take that into account... Nah, not without defining the length of total combat time in the quest (to get a % time haste boosted)



You can't get weapon spec on a 10/4 bard and GTWF as well. The final fighter bonus feat being used for GTWF and also meeting the 4th level requirement for weapon spec prevents this. I think I proposed that in my original Taal thread as an option I was considering and then we realized that it can't be done. The 10/4 would be 1 damage behind the 12/2 in bard songs (and gain an extra feat for... Power Critical? That increases Damage as well as to-hit confirmation for critical hits, right? or toughness).



Yeah good point on the GTWF and weapon spec, you wouldn't outdamge yourself until level 15, I had forgotten about that part of it it has been awhile since I looked at the 10/4 build! Not saying it is better overall either but eventually you would do slightly more damage that way with 4 levels of fighter.

TWF Bard builds are very strong not really arguing at all about that. It is a top notch DPS build no doubt about it. I think that weapon calculators can get you into trouble though when you start comparing across styles.

They are very helpful within a build to determine what weapon set to use. They also would let you look within TWF builds to compare them quite easily. For example how would Taal fair as a Drow with weapon enhancements and a rapier versus a human with a khopesh. Or how does a TWF DPS fighter build compare, which is a little tougher because of some improved enhancements like critical accuracy, haste boost, etc...

Once you start going across styles though lots and lots of other things start to make the results more dubious to real game conditions. That was my only point. For example fighters get tons of feats, might take stunning blow, cleave, great cleave, and those are almost impossbile to really calculate.

P.S. I don't think it was in your calculations but a bloodstone would absolutely be awesome for your dual khopesh build.

skraus1
09-13-2007, 03:57 PM
As a build it produces good DPS. However, with your low hp (with all the gear and argo favor, you've got 200hp) and the smaller importance of AC, my only question is how survivable it is, because you literally have like 2/3rds to half the hp of a dwarven DPS bard like my Zhaffy build.

With your DPS, you will definitally be drawing aggro unless you're off tanking a DPS toon.

geezee
09-13-2007, 09:43 PM
Skrauss1, you made a few good points in your short post. It is said that every great character has a flaw. This character has 2 flaws. Dunno if that means he's doubly great.

The first flaw is the low h.p. (The other is the lack of being able to cast elemental resists.) Compared to other dwarven battle bards I have rolled, the difference is noticable. However, with displacement, iron skin, and self-healing, the downside is acceptable. There are times when this character simply dies from lack of hit points, and there isn't much that can be done about it. Although I'm still leveling up the character and he's yet to be tested in gianthold, I can say that the number of times is pretty low that I just get one or two shotted before I have a chance to react.

Which brings me to your next good point, about off-tanking. Off-tanking is the name of the game with this guy. He is certainly not meant to be a main tank, and because of his elven (relative) frailty, he plays much better when he doesn't have any agro. With the decreasing importance of AC, as you mentioned, displacement plays a greater role. There are some circumstances in which I would just as soon have agro, as long as I'm not in danger of being chain critted back to the cornfields.

At the low and medium levels he seems to survive best by killing fast. But to answer your question, when fighting bosses and tough melee mobs on elite, the combat style is more akin to a backstabbing rogue, who waits til a real fighter has agro before he sneaks up and gets his licks in. Against lesser opponents I prefer going for kill counts by simply getting after them.

All in all it's a very potent and enjoyable build. I have to say it's the best character I've rolled yet, and I can't count the number of rerolls Ive made so far. I suppose I could have traded 4 points of CHA for 2 points of CON, but meh. Your CHA can also never be high enough on this character. If I were gonna reroll this guy I wouldn't change anything. Are the hit points a bit low? Yes, but in the case of a great character, you take the bad with the good and make the most out of it.

EinarMal
09-14-2007, 06:05 AM
I agree, TWF battle Bards are certainly no tanks, although against normal mobs they do fine. They play much more like combat rogues than a Barbarian/Fighter. What you have to consider is all the other things they bring to the group. They provide DPS, song buffs to up group DPS by a considerable amount, keep the group hasted and can even blur the other tank. Depending on the build they might also be good CC casters.

Rarely is the TWF battle Bard the only melee oriented player in a group. Most groups are not looking to the Bard to tank everything. What you provide is good off-tank DPS, CC via fascinate if needed, and buffs plus possibly CC casting like geezee's build.

Low-Mid levels are actually tougher than later levels because of fortification. Criticals are really bad for marginal hit point builds. Once you can eliminate those via equipment it is much better. The ideal "armor" for a TWF battle Bard in my opinion is a fearsome robe of heavy fort.

With fearsome, stoneskin or DR song, heavy fort, and displacement the effective hit points compared to say a low AC DPS fighter/barbarian is higher than it looks. They are getting hit less and with stoneskin take less of the damage although the Barb if they take the DR boost can also have "stoneskin".

That said it does require some twitch skills and agro management. If you have played a rogue before again it is much like that. You have to know when to back off etc... I also maxed out diplomacy on my build for another way to shed agro if you gain too much.

I read your THF battle Bard, which from the sound of it plays a lot like a fighter/barbarian. The OP's build, anyway, and it varies by each build, is more balanced and does also provide some CC casting like Otto's sphere along with the standard Bard stuff. You can also build TWF battle Bards with more hit points more along the lines of your build being very combat focused with no save spells, something like a 10/4 Bard/Fighter TWF can get ~275 hit points as a drow. It really just depends on your playstyle and what you like doing.

Ultimately, as far as survivability goes, I would again compare it to your typical combat rogue for a build like the OPs. You have to know how to off-tank and manage agro and not bite off too much. There are various ways to do this like fearsome, diplomacy, flanking etc...

skraus1
09-14-2007, 06:35 PM
Yeah that is kind of what I was imagining after I thought about it for a bit, but I wasn't getting that from my first impression which was something like mowing grass. It is a good build that appears somewhat balanced as you said. It is a dps off-tank build.

However, as my guild melee consists primarily of batmans and defensive tanks, I have a hard time not getting aggro on my dps toons and was wondering about Icy's survivability as a result. With this guild make up, I've almost given up even trying to shed aggro on Zhaffy, because it's just not going to happen. So yeah, I made Zhaffy to survive and act as a fighter/barb, with displacement, 325-370 hp, evasion, good saves, and good dps.

Gotta love that displacement!

A_Sheep
09-18-2007, 02:17 AM
I haven't had any survivability issues with Taalisyn (12brd/2ftr with ~230 HP). But, there's really not any content that's a challenge for me anyways. I kinda wish I didn't have my uber loot...

But only kinda ;)

geezee
09-18-2007, 11:42 AM
I haven't had any survivability issues with Taalisyn (12brd/2ftr with ~230 HP). But, there's really not any content that's a challenge for me anyways. I kinda wish I didn't have my uber loot...

But only kinda ;)

I agree. The character keeps increasing in power with each level. Usually, the only time I seem to die is when I dont rebuff.

Artemis
09-19-2007, 11:34 AM
Wouldn't high backstabbing weapons be awesome for this build? I have a similar build that i have up to lvl 5, and have started to get some nice backstabbing weapons for him at later levels. As an off-tank, let the tank go first then wade in...the + to hit and the + to damage, plus songs, buffs etc., the damage goes off the charts, i would think.

I haven't run this thru any calculators so, it just seems to make sense. Let me know what you think.

I was going to run this guy (10bard/2fight) at endgame with a +5 seeker(+2) rapier of puncturing and a +2 shocking burst adamantine SS of backstabbing +8 (+8 to hit, +10 dmg, i think if flanking or from behind)

Let me know if this setup works out number wise.

Thanks

geezee
09-19-2007, 12:47 PM
Personally, I'm not a big fan of backstabbing. It's nice for that first big hit, but then you lose the bonus when the mob gets ****ed. Which means you should switch weapons. By the time I do all that, the guy would have been dead if Im using another good weapon. Besides everything else he brings to the table, this guy is a legitimate frontline killer. I run mostly elite quests.

The character is currently level 8. His song gives +5/+6 attack/damage, and will keep getting better. He's leveling slowly due to constraints on my schedule. But after about 50 rerolls, I can honestly say that I have finally found the bard build that I have been looking for. Ive posted some other very good builds on this board also. I have a dwarf bard/fighter/barb and a drow twf bard/fighter/rogue who are also mid level. They are pretty good, but they're slightly gimped compared to this guy. This guy doesnt have the durability of other builds I have posted like dwarven hybrids with toughness, or rogue hybrids with evasion. But considering the upside, I really dont miss it at level 8. Although I'm sure there will be times when I get whupped when I wish I had evasion.

Even when the half-orc arrives, I don't think I will make another bard. I seriously doubt that a half-orc will make a better battle bard than this guy. Ya he will hit a little harder, but look what he will give up. The drow is tailor made to be a twf bard. I suppose I could roll a pure haggle bard, but if I wanted to do all that, I would go on ebay and make some real money instead. I prefer to make my plat from fighting.

A_Sheep
09-19-2007, 01:20 PM
I was going to run this guy (10bard/2fight) at endgame with a +5 seeker(+2) rapier of puncturing and a +2 shocking burst adamantine SS of backstabbing +8 (+8 to hit, +10 dmg, i think if flanking or from behind)


+8 backstabbing doesn't exist does it?

I know that treason is backstabbing +3 (+5 to damage). At any rate, the +8 bonus would destroy the chances of having any other bonuses on that weapon.

Backstabbing is a good DPS choice for dual-wielders (although not for single weapon). Seeker is not as much so.

Here's (http://www.afterlifeguild.org/Thott/ddo/analyze.php?1label=Taal+with+%2B5+Holy&1bab=%2B11&1atktype=dw&1spm=90&1phd=1d8%2B5%2B7%2B5&1phed=%2B2d6&1phth=%2B7&1phthreat=19-20%2Fx3&1phxcrit=&1phfocus=on&1phcrit=on&1ohd=1d8%2B5%2B7%2B5&1ohed=%2B2d6&1ohth=%2B7&1ohthreat=19-20%2Fx3&1ohxcrit=&1ohfocus=on&1ohcrit=on&1str=32&1dex=20&12wpn=on&1imp2wpn=on&1gtr2wpn=on&1sneakpct=0&1sneakd=1d6&1cleavepct=0&2label=With+%2B2+Holy+of+backstab+%2B3&2bab=11&2atktype=dw&2spm=90&2phd=1d8%2B5%2B7%2B5&2phed=%2B2d6&2phth=%2B10&2phthreat=19-20%2Fx3&2phxcrit=&2phfocus=on&2phcrit=on&2ohd=1d8%2B2%2B7%2B5&2ohed=%2B2d6&2ohth=%2B7&2ohthreat=19-20%2Fx3&2ohxcrit=&2ohfocus=on&2ohcrit=on&2str=32&2dex=20&22wpn=on&2imp2wpn=on&2gtr2wpn=on&2sneakpct=80&2sneakd=%2B5&2cleavepct=&report=on&minac=20&maxac=60) a graph of Taalisyn with two +5 holy khopeshes versus him with a +5 Holy Khopesh in the main hand and a +2 holy khopesh of backstabbing +3 in the off-hand. This is with 80% sneak attacks. Obviously, the % could be less than that depending on tactics and other party members.

skraus1
09-19-2007, 01:46 PM
+8 backstabbing doesn't exist does it?

I know that treason is backstabbing +3 (+5 to damage). At any rate, the +8 bonus would destroy the chances of having any other bonuses on that weapon.

Backstabbing is a good DPS choice for dual-wielders (although not for single weapon). Seeker is not as much so.


No it doesn't exist. He is referring to backstabbing +5, which gives +8 to damage.

Generally I avoid backstabing weapons because they turn off when you have the aggro, which is when you want to kill things the fastest. They also don't do much more damage than a traditional weapons of the same level even when you're backstabbing.

I do use backstabbing gloves however for a little extra umph, and they don't stack with backstabbing mods on weapons. That way I can use my +5 element GA of rigtheousness and also use the backstabbing property. I believe they help on bosses and raids where I might not have the aggro....everything else after 1 hit they will turn on me in most parties.

geezee
09-19-2007, 02:37 PM
Never seen those gloves. They sound pretty slick though. Where do you get em?

Schmackdown
09-19-2007, 02:56 PM
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v294/CJGMURPG/DDOitems/BackstabbersGloves.jpg

Drops in Crucible. I wear them on my TWF bard.

Lifespawn
09-19-2007, 04:25 PM
i made a human thf warchanter bard 13 bard/1barb

Has a standing str of 30 32 with rage spell 36 with rage ability and 38 with madstone boots.
692 sp 24 cha 260 unbuffed hp's 315 with buffs standing umd of 36 34 to hit with ps on run those numbers sheep if you would.

Maldini
09-21-2007, 12:37 PM
Sheep, I love your charts and graphs. Makes things very clear. However it's important to compare apples to apples when youre doing these types of analyses. There are a few different issues here: THF vs TWF, barbarian vs bard vs hybrid, and pierce vs slash. Each of these by itself is complicated, but when you combine them it's easy to get lost.

You compare your build to a Maldini barbarian, which is a very popular build. Theres another thread on the barbarian board about an elven TWF barbarian who's taking all challengers. There's no way you or I are going to outkill a fully buffed, well equipped, and similarly built barbarian. With rage, their strength is about 15 points higher, and with critical rage, we have no way to match that damage. But we can have a lot of fun trying.

Even the comparison to the Maldini build is not as simple as it seems. I hear a lot of barbs saying that they do more damage than the numbers say they are supposed to. THF has an AOE splash effect. That's a lot of collateral damage too that gets missed by the calculator. And with their hit points and damage reduction, barbs are built better for absorbing additional agro.

Of course, you me, and the barbarian can all turn off power attack at some point. It would be interesting to see at what AC that becomes optimal. Maybe you could superimpose a graph of DPS with and without power attack. I bet for you and me that happens around AC 40 somewhere. Because of the barbarian's superior attack roll, he can leave power attack on against higher AC's, increasing the gap between him and us vs. high-end content. Then there's the barb enhancement which let's the barb do more damage with power attack.

And that's a good point about these guys probably being obselete pretty soon. Sad but true. When the half-orc comes, everyone is gonna reroll, but I bet these TWF builds will still be relevant. The half-orc may or may not be able to match the drow stat-wise for a TWF bard build.


That TWF barb uses Wounding or Puncturing. I don't consider him a true barb :)

Maldini
09-21-2007, 12:44 PM
First of all, the barb will have a 10% increase in crit range on all weapons over the bard. That's big. You're getting 17 - 20 x3 on a normal Greataxe. You're getting 13 - 20 x3 on the SoS. You're getting 17 - 20 x4 on a Heavy Pick.

On top of having a 50 Damage Score, you're critting for huge numbers because your base damage is high on a barb. On top of that you're critting much more often on a barb than a bard.

A bard will never compare to a barb in terms of DPS. That's just how the game works.

Also, like a Paladin's Aura, the barb gets the same benefits of the Bard's songs unless the bard runs off and is selfish. So if you count the songs for the bard you have to count them for the barb if they're in the same team. So that's +9 Attack and +8 Damage on a Warchanter.

Also the Barb is going to have a +6 Damage bonus over the Bard because of the Barbarian Power Attack line on a two-handed weapon.

A_Sheep
09-21-2007, 01:12 PM
A bard will never compare to a barb in terms of DPS. That's just how the game works.


If the bard has his buffs and the barb doesn't he does :-P.

But yeah, my graphs tend to agree with you when the Barb has his bard's buffs.

Also, check out the weapon deathnip, which is a new heavy pick possibly arriving with Mod 5 (if they choose to keep it around). It's a Heavy pick with 19-20 crit range, seeker +8, and Maiming. I think you can dual-wield them, too, but you might only be able to get one per character (it's an end reward for an item turn-in). Even so, it might convince Taalisyn to drop khopesh (for something else) in favor of piercing spec.

trock
09-22-2007, 12:18 PM
Since I am the original creator of this build (with help from numerous telephone conversations with Geezer) I figure it is time to chime in. Haggard is now level 14 (2 APs away from the cap). This build rocks, and if I had to reroll a bard I would not change anything. This is my last bard. I have rerolled bards so many times it is not even funny. The other two bards that I actually kept are now hagglebots .. Yoakam (bard 13, Cha based, CC, and finesse) and Jcash (bard 11/rogue 2/ranger 1, str based, low cha, THF with 22 base reflex saves for the evasion, pretty good with bows too).

I love bards, but I don't see any way to improve this build.
Also, you have to realize a few things:

(1) If I turn around and just buff myself, I will compare favorably to a barbarian that doesn't get my buffs.
(2) CSW with Greater Devotion IV item makes up for the HP differences between fighters and bards in most cases. You just cast CSW (it is pretty fast) and you heal yourself for around 70.
(3) Barbarians don't get UMD.
(4) Barbarians can't dish out FoM, GH, and Blur.

That said. My next set of rolls and rerolls will be dwarven barbarians (once I get the 1750 favor), mainly because I just can't improve on Haggard :)

Time to go look at those barbarian threads...

Maldini
09-23-2007, 12:53 AM
If the bard has his buffs and the barb doesn't he does :-P.

But yeah, my graphs tend to agree with you when the Barb has his bard's buffs.

Also, check out the weapon deathnip, which is a new heavy pick possibly arriving with Mod 5 (if they choose to keep it around). It's a Heavy pick with 19-20 crit range, seeker +8, and Maiming. I think you can dual-wield them, too, but you might only be able to get one per character (it's an end reward for an item turn-in). Even so, it might convince Taalisyn to drop khopesh (for something else) in favor of piercing spec.

Even with his buffs it doesn't matter. A warchanter gets +8 Damage from songs. A barb gets +6 more from Power Attack with a two-handed weapon.

A barb has 10 Strength over the bard from Rage which is +5 to Damage or +7.5 with a two-hander.

That bard buffs really don't even the playing field. Plus the Barb still crits 10% more on EVERY weapon, blunt, pierce, slashing, etc.

EinarMal
09-23-2007, 07:37 AM
Even with his buffs it doesn't matter. A warchanter gets +8 Damage from songs. A barb gets +6 more from Power Attack with a two-handed weapon.

A barb has 10 Strength over the bard from Rage which is +5 to Damage or +7.5 with a two-hander.

That bard buffs really don't even the playing field. Plus the Barb still crits 10% more on EVERY weapon, blunt, pierce, slashing, etc.

What A_Sheep was showing is how good Bard buffs are for a well built TWF Bard. Since they are not halved on the off hand it is actually +16 (not quite 2x attacks so about +12) damage from songs and that is when you can actually get a Bard with buffs doing more damage than a two handed barbarian without them. TWF is perfect for maximizing song buffs since you don't get any kind of penalty on the off hand. It is pretty easy to put it into a damage calculator and see for yourself. Now that isn't the same as the game, etc... but it does show how powerful a melee character they can be.

It's a silly arguement regardless as they are two totally different characters. The barbarian has about 200 more hit points, run speed, while the Bard can buff himself and others as well as fascinate for CC.

Seriously if you run any damage calculator a strength based TWF Bard with buffs will come out ahead of a THF Barb without any buffs. All that shows is how much DPS a good Bard can put out nothing more but it is on par with a THF Barbarian including only self buffs. A_Sheep showed the charts and listed the assumptions, if you find any flaws point them out otherwise the numbers pretty much speak for themselves. As always it is only an aproximation of the relative DPS to in game conditions but I personally didn't see any glaring omissions when comparing the Barbarian to the Bard with only self buffs.

geezee
09-23-2007, 03:18 PM
I thought we already established that barbarians are gimped...

Still level 8. Last night I ran Grey Moon elite with all guildies (Tinted Faces). The group had 4 pure melees, a WF melee wizard, and me. I did outkill them on 2 parts, which is damned hard to do with these guys. These are some of the elite players in the game, and I certainly am not. In fact, this is the first toon I had who ever lead a kill count with a pure TF group. Not that kill counts mean a whole lot, but it may be an indicator of something.

Maldini, I'm sorry you must have been partying with some weak bards, if you think they cant compare to a barbarian in DPS.

geezee
09-30-2007, 10:56 PM
I was just kidding in the part about barbarians being gimped, of course. I guess Maldini didnt bother reading the thread when he started talking about how barbarians are the DPS kings of DDO. Although I still wonder which character does more DPS solo. The bard does more damage with each hit, but the barb gets more crits. Prolly pretty close, but I'm thinking the bard comes out ahead if no one uses clickies or pots.

Geezer is level 10 now and what is frightening is that he seems to be getting more powerful with each level. At level 10 he got fear, hold monster, and disco ball. Combined with TWF cursespewing/para/smiting, fascinate, healing, buffs, and pure DPS it doesnt seem fair...

skraus1
10-01-2007, 06:31 PM
What A_Sheep was showing is how good Bard buffs are for a well built TWF Bard. Since they are not halved on the off hand it is actually +16 (not quite 2x attacks so about +12) damage from songs and that is when you can actually get a Bard with buffs doing more damage than a two handed barbarian without them. TWF is perfect for maximizing song buffs since you don't get any kind of penalty on the off hand. It is pretty easy to put it into a damage calculator and see for yourself. Now that isn't the same as the game, etc... but it does show how powerful a melee character they can be.

Yes, the twf get a little less than 2x the song bonus and up to 3 extra attacks, which are great for special weapon effects like vorpals, wounding, etc.

However, the THF gets +2 to hit relative to a twf, 2x the benefit of power attack, the same str bonus (1.5x) and a weapon that probably will do 2x the base damage, along with glancing blows. THF also are free to max str and con, while TWF have to get some dex as well.

They both are very strong weapon styles. They just are strong for different reasons, and will frequently excel at different times.

EinarMal
10-01-2007, 06:54 PM
Yes, the twf get a little less than 2x the song bonus and up to 3 extra attacks, which are great for special weapon effects like vorpals, wounding, etc.

However, the THF gets +2 to hit relative to a twf, 2x the benefit of power attack, the same str bonus (1.5x) and a weapon that probably will do 2x the base damage, along with glancing blows. THF also are free to max str and con, while TWF have to get some dex as well.

They both are very strong weapon styles. They just are strong for different reasons, and will frequently excel at different times.

Yeah wasn't saying fighting with a 2-hander is a bad idea, was just pointing out the graphs that A_Sheep was making and how the Bard was outdamaging the Barbarian when each was self buff only.

Having extensively looked at both for Bards the TWF version does come out ahead with single target DPS, getting double credit for the Bard buffs makes the difference. However, there are other factors like splash damage and overcoming DR, weapon reach etc... that you also have to consider. The bottom line is both make mobs dead quick and that is all that matters!

The choice to me is more playstyle than DPS. If you like more straight ahead barbarian style then 2-handers fit the bill. If you prefer flanking and more off tank fighting then TWF works better (it is also easier with CC spells and not hitting more than 1 target)

A_Sheep
10-01-2007, 06:57 PM
However, the THF gets +2 to hit relative to a twf, 2x the benefit of power attack,

Not twice the benefit, but ~+10% (4 attacks @ +10 versus 7-8 attacks @ +5). But your points are definitely very good.

To be fair to barbarians, I didn't include babarian power attack III in my previous calculations. This was because Maldini's posted build lists Barb Power Attack I only (and my barbarian only uses Barb power attack I as well). I did the following calculation with barb power attack I and then with PA III.

We know that comparing khopesh versus greataxe, Taal has the advantage (mostly being that khopeshes are overpowered weapons), so I decided to go out on a limb and give Taal a Deathnip (will respec into pierce when he gets two).

I gave both builds the rage spell and haste to keep it realistic. I gave Taal Bard song and focusing chant. This graph does not take into account the benefit of seeker to confirming criticals, only the bonus to damage.

Taal with Deathnip vs. Maldini with SoS (PA I) (http://www.afterlifeguild.org/Thott/ddo/analyze.php?1label=Taal&1bab=11&1atktype=dw&1spm=90&1phd=1d6%2B5%2B5%2B7&1phed=0&1phth=%2B9&1phthreat=19-20%2Fx4&1phxcrit=%2B3d6%2B32&1phfocus=on&1phcrit=on&1ohd=1d6%2B5%2B5%2B7&1ohed=0&1ohth=%2B7&1ohthreat=19-20%2Fx4&1ohxcrit=%2B3d6%2B8&1ohfocus=on&1ohcrit=on&1str=32&1dex=20&12wpn=on&1imp2wpn=on&1gtr2wpn=on&1sneakpct=0&1sneakd=1d6&1cleavepct=0&2label=Maldini+PA+I&2bab=14&2atktype=2h&2spm=90&2phd=2d6%2B5%2B12&2phed=&2phth=&2phthreat=13-20%2Fx3&2phxcrit=&2ohd=&2ohed=&2ohth=&2ohthreat=&2ohxcrit=&2str=42&2dex=12&2sneakpct=&2sneakd=&2cleavepct=&report=on&minac=20&maxac=60) -> Taal with slight advantage, which Maldini would easily make up with glancing blows.

Taal with Deathnip vs. Maldini with SoS (PA III) (http://www.afterlifeguild.org/Thott/ddo/analyze.php?1label=Taal&1bab=11&1atktype=dw&1spm=90&1phd=1d6%2B5%2B5%2B7&1phed=0&1phth=%2B9&1phthreat=19-20%2Fx4&1phxcrit=%2B3d6%2B32&1phfocus=on&1phcrit=on&1ohd=1d6%2B5%2B5%2B7&1ohed=0&1ohth=%2B7&1ohthreat=19-20%2Fx4&1ohxcrit=%2B3d6%2B8&1ohfocus=on&1ohcrit=on&1str=32&1dex=20&12wpn=on&1imp2wpn=on&1gtr2wpn=on&1sneakpct=0&1sneakd=1d6&1cleavepct=0&2label=Maldini+PA+III&2bab=14&2atktype=2h&2spm=90&2phd=2d6%2B5%2B16&2phed=&2phth=-2&2phthreat=13-20%2Fx3&2phxcrit=&2ohd=&2ohed=&2ohth=&2ohthreat=&2ohxcrit=&2str=42&2dex=12&2sneakpct=&2sneakd=&2cleavepct=&report=on&minac=20&maxac=60) -> Maldini with slight advantage, which Maldini would easily widen with glancing blows.

I'm going to work on making my own pretty graphs using my own excel sheet to make even more complex comparisons (like including seeker's bonus to hit on conrimation roles). I just can't rival Thott's calc's ease of use :!

EinarMal
10-01-2007, 07:02 PM
Same benefit for power attack, but your points are definitely very good.


To be fair to barbarians, I didn't include babarian power attack III in my previous calculations. This was because your posted build lists Barb Power Attack I only. I did the following calculation with barb power attack I and then with PA III

I gave both builds the rage spell and haste to keep it realistic. I gave Taal Bard song and focusing chant. This graph does not take into account the benefit of seeker to confirming criticals, only the bonus to damage.

Taal with Deathnip vs. Maldini with SoS (PA I) (http://www.afterlifeguild.org/Thott/ddo/analyze.php?1label=Taal&1bab=11&1atktype=dw&1spm=90&1phd=1d6%2B5%2B5%2B7&1phed=0&1phth=%2B9&1phthreat=19-20%2Fx4&1phxcrit=%2B3d6%2B32&1phfocus=on&1phcrit=on&1ohd=1d6%2B5%2B5%2B7&1ohed=0&1ohth=%2B7&1ohthreat=19-20%2Fx4&1ohxcrit=%2B3d6%2B8&1ohfocus=on&1ohcrit=on&1str=32&1dex=20&12wpn=on&1imp2wpn=on&1gtr2wpn=on&1sneakpct=0&1sneakd=1d6&1cleavepct=0&2label=Maldini+PA+I&2bab=14&2atktype=2h&2spm=90&2phd=2d6%2B5%2B12&2phed=&2phth=&2phthreat=13-20%2Fx3&2phxcrit=&2ohd=&2ohed=&2ohth=&2ohthreat=&2ohxcrit=&2str=42&2dex=12&2sneakpct=&2sneakd=&2cleavepct=&report=on&minac=20&maxac=60) -> Taal with slight advantage, which Maldini would easily make up with glancing blows.

Taal with Deathnip vs. Maldini with SoS (PA III) (http://www.afterlifeguild.org/Thott/ddo/analyze.php?1label=Taal&1bab=11&1atktype=dw&1spm=90&1phd=1d6%2B5%2B5%2B7&1phed=0&1phth=%2B9&1phthreat=19-20%2Fx4&1phxcrit=%2B3d6%2B32&1phfocus=on&1phcrit=on&1ohd=1d6%2B5%2B5%2B7&1ohed=0&1ohth=%2B7&1ohthreat=19-20%2Fx4&1ohxcrit=%2B3d6%2B8&1ohfocus=on&1ohcrit=on&1str=32&1dex=20&12wpn=on&1imp2wpn=on&1gtr2wpn=on&1sneakpct=0&1sneakd=1d6&1cleavepct=0&2label=Maldini+PA+III&2bab=14&2atktype=2h&2spm=90&2phd=2d6%2B5%2B16&2phed=&2phth=-2&2phthreat=13-20%2Fx3&2phxcrit=&2ohd=&2ohed=&2ohth=&2ohthreat=&2ohxcrit=&2str=42&2dex=12&2sneakpct=&2sneakd=&2cleavepct=&report=on&minac=20&maxac=60) -> Maldini with slight advantage, which Maldini would easily widen with glancing blows.

I'm going to work on making my own pretty graphs using my own excel sheet to make even more complex comparisons. I just can't rival Thott's calc's ease of use :!

Regardless it is very close which to me just shows how good Bard DPS can be. If you can even get close to a raging Barbarian with a SOS that is good enough period!

skraus1
10-02-2007, 03:14 PM
Not twice the benefit, but ~+10% (4 attacks @ +10 versus 7-8 attacks @ +5). But your points are definitely very good.


If you're adding in haste it would be 5 attacks at +10 versus 7-8 attacks at +5. If you're not adding in haste, it would be 4 attacks at +10 versus 6-7 at +5, because the main hand gets one more attack than the off hand or 2 extra if you're hasted.

I keep looking at your damage charts and I can't figure out how you're calculating the base damage as
1d6+5+5+7

Ar you including power attack in there already instead of using the power attack button? Power attack frequently leads to LESS damage done rather than more.

A_Sheep
10-06-2007, 09:41 AM
If you're adding in haste it would be 5 attacks at +10 versus 7-8 attacks at +5. If you're not adding in haste, it would be 4 attacks at +10 versus 6-7 at +5, because the main hand gets one more attack than the off hand or 2 extra if you're hasted.

I keep looking at your damage charts and I can't figure out how you're calculating the base damage as
1d6+5+5+7

Ar you including power attack in there already instead of using the power attack button? Power attack frequently leads to LESS damage done rather than more.

RE: Base Damage.

The Power Attack check-box on Thott's calc is broken :(, so I have to add it in manually and subtract that from to-hit. 1d6 (base damage on Heavy Pick) + 5 (weapon bonus on Deathnip) + 5 (Power Attack) + 7 (Bard Songs)

RE: Number of Attacks in a 'Round'

I am being a little loose to talk about 'rounds' in DDO, so I will clarify that to be an animation sequence. An attack sequence for a BAB 10 character is 4 distinct animations of swings. For a TWF-er with Greater TWF and standing still, this is 7 attacks (1 on the first animation and 2 on each of the final 3 animations). Thott's calculator holds it there. With GTWF, you cannot end up with fewer than 7 attacks in an animation sequence. You can, however, end up with more because while you are moving, you get 2 attacks (hey, blame turbine for their silly rules, not me! :-P). If you move (swing), then stop moving (swing, swing, swing), then you get 8 attacks (4 main-hand and 4 off-hand) in one 'animation sequence'. You do sacrifice 4 to-hit on that first attack, though.

With haste added in, the animation sequences are the same, but they happen faster. That being said, it is possible that the TWF style does have a slower attack animation than the THF style. I did a few very non-conclusive tests a while back and found a Greataxe/maul to swing at about the same rate as dual rapiers on a Drow, but a Greatsword/Falchion/Greatclub swung more slowly. It was a very **** test repeatability-wise, though, so I don't calculate on this.

RE: Power Attack

Yeah, it often does lead to less damage. Earlier in the thread we took a look at that (Post #9). The 'intersection points' when fully buffed were around 40 AC. Bump that up another 4 if you swap in a destruction weapon for a short while (only really worth it for high HP bosses). The calculator I'm working on will be a bit better than Thott's on providing information on when PA will deal less, etc, because my power attack function will be shinier, but his User Interface will have mine outclassed for a while. I'm working in excel and want to get the excel sheet done first and then figure out how to input the data from a file. After that, I can tackle how to generate an input file using a user-friendly program/html page/whatnot.

zedboy
10-14-2007, 02:53 PM
I noticed that all the level-up ability points are going into STR for this build. Would it help at all if it were put into CHA instead, or does that defeat the purpose of the whole build?

I love it, to be honest. I'm anxious to make a Bard with these specifications. I'm just curious if more charisma would hamper the DPS of the build.

geezee
10-14-2007, 04:05 PM
Ive tried making bards that were DEX-based, STR based, and CHA based. This one is definitely STR based. You have to put the levelups into STR. It doesnt seem like many points, or much of a difference, but it really is. Every little bit counts on this guy. The buffs are uber, of course, but when you start missing 5 or 10% more you can really notice the difference.

Because his hit points are a bit low, it becomes more crucial to kill quickly and efficiently.

You can make a bard who is CHA-based, and start almost the same. But this would be a totally different character.

The idea of this warchanter is a bard with max buffs, excellent DPS, who can almost substitute for a barbarian in a pinch, self-heal, and still have pretty good cc and CHA for skills like haggle and UMD. Although you really only will have enough mana to cast offensively on occasion. Most of the time you will be too busy killing melee style. Also, the DEX is good enough that you can actually turtle up for some AC when you want.

Have fun with your new bard. This is the bard which has been the most fun for me to play, out of all my rerolls and iterations. The downside is that most other characters will seem boring.

zedboy
10-14-2007, 08:05 PM
Thank you, geeze! It makes more sense now that STR is the way to go! :D

I'm very excited! I had a CC bard with max CHA with the usual CC feats, but then I used to get sad because I would never be able to get up there and fight effectively (I went with a low, low STR). I guess coming from a Ranger character, the itch to kill something with a weapon just got the best of me. I loved the CC, but to me, I felt left out sitting back while watching the melee types chew the mobs up in the front.

One last question:
Where would you recommend putting the +2 favor tome? STR as well?

Thanks!

geezee
10-14-2007, 11:16 PM
That would depend on how much raiding you plan to do. The +3 tome would be great until they raise the level cap. At level 16 you can take the 22nd STR point, so a +2 tome would be fine. If youre not planning to spend much time chasing +3 tomes then definitely take the +2 STR tome. If you think you can swing a +3 STR tome, then CON is the 2nd most useful stat for a favor tome, and CHA 3rd. If they ever implement superior twf, you will likelyl need a +3 DEX tome or put a level up point into DEX.

EinarMal
10-15-2007, 06:42 AM
If they ever implement superior twf, you will likelyl need a +3 DEX tome or put a level up point into DEX.

If they did you could not stay pure Bard and take it. It would most likely require BAB 16 which would require some fighter levels to take it.

A_Sheep
10-22-2007, 08:41 PM
I was looking at the Codog thread in the General Discussion. Codog mentioned Superior TWF as still being in the plan for DDO. I was kind of hoping that they would stop the madness of increasing chains of attacks with higher BAB now, but it seems that BAB 15 may well have another animation.

EinarMal
10-23-2007, 06:30 AM
Yeah 16/4 Bard/Fighter looks like the TWF DPS build of the future to hit BAB +16. You would lose probably -2 hit/dmg from inspire courage but gain the extra attack.

Or you could just skip it and be content with GTWF and stay pure Bard. Seems like those would be the best two options. If you are going to splash might as well splash 4 for superior two weapon.

A_Sheep
10-23-2007, 01:05 PM
Yeah 16/4 Bard/Fighter looks like the TWF DPS build of the future to hit BAB +16. You would lose probably -2 hit/dmg from inspire courage but gain the extra attack.

Or you could just skip it and be content with GTWF and stay pure Bard. Seems like those would be the best two options. If you are going to splash might as well splash 4 for superior two weapon.

Yeah... I'm a little torn. *shrug*

Schmackdown
10-23-2007, 01:22 PM
I built my current 10/4 to go to 16/4 sTWF or no, as I didn't anticipate being able to easily hit a native 19 DEX, if that's what the feat will require. I wanted the extra feat and the bits at fighter 4. I figured I might want level 6 spells, though none look attractive right now, and I wouldn't want to allocate the AP's for IA/ID 4 at bard 17/18 anyway.

The real question in my mind is whether or not there will even be an IA/ID 4. It'd be 8 AP for the former, though only 4 for the latter(as an aside, I've always thought ID was ridiculously cheap for the payoff), and I thought I read some dev post that they aren't planning on 8-AP enhancement choices. If that's the case I'm guessing they'll somehow merge that into the next tier of Warchanter, so it could be that what we're all eyeballing at that point is the minimum number of bard levels for WC II. 12? 14? 16?

EinarMal
10-23-2007, 01:58 PM
I built my current 10/4 to go to 16/4 sTWF or no, as I didn't anticipate being able to easily hit a native 19 DEX, if that's what the feat will require. I wanted the extra feat and the bits at fighter 4. I figured I might want level 6 spells, though none look attractive right now, and I wouldn't want to allocate the AP's for IA/ID 4 at bard 17/18 anyway.

The real question in my mind is whether or not there will even be an IA/ID 4. It'd be 8 AP for the former, though only 4 for the latter(as an aside, I've always thought ID was ridiculously cheap for the payoff), and I thought I read some dev post that they aren't planning on 8-AP enhancement choices. If that's the case I'm guessing they'll somehow merge that into the next tier of Warchanter, so it could be that what we're all eyeballing at that point is the minimum number of bard levels for WC II. 12? 14? 16?

Yeah 19 dex is high, I started with 16 and ate a +1 tome, in theory +3 tomes should be attainable by level 20 which is when you would actually be able to take the feat. One can only assume that +3 tomes would be dropping from chests at that point. As far as level 6 spells Ottos IRRESISTABLE Dance would be a good one as it would allow CC with no save for the occasional caster/hard hitting single target mob.

As far as inspire courage and warchanter II I have no idea at this point when/if those will advance.

I guess it is all just speculation at this point. Personally though if you already went 2 levels of fighter and you can reasonably assume a +3 tome by level 20 then I can't see not going for STWF.

A_Sheep
11-03-2007, 09:57 AM
I really hope your build doesn't fall off the first page.

zedboy
11-18-2007, 12:31 PM
Hello!

This build is ... in one word: awesome. I've been having a lot of fun with my Bard. The damage is nice and the CC has been working out quite well. But the main thing is the damage! With all the buffs you can cast on yourself, you turn you and your party members into harmonies of destruction.

Thank you!

geezee
11-30-2007, 09:10 AM
No problem. Glad to see folks are enjoying the build. Makes all the time spent posting worthwhile.

Twiggetz
12-18-2007, 02:00 AM
First, I wanna say I love this build. This is my first "build" toon (my main is still only lvl 11), so I haven't really developed the understanding or the discipline to know what skills are most needed by the endgame.

Do you remember how you spent your action points for each level? My bard is level 6, and I'm hoping I haven't "messed up" the build in a way that cannot be fixed.

If you could list those for me, I would greatly appreaciate it.

Thanks in advance.

twig
(11 rogue of kyber)

geezee
12-18-2007, 08:39 AM
Glad you enjoy the build. Level 6 is a great time to reroll, as he can pretty much tear through the low levels solo or in groups. The later levels will be tough if you screwed up the skills. So I would recommend rerolling while you're level 6 if you are lacking anything at all.

Since it sounds like you dont play a whole lot, I would recommend sticking to the starting stats. For a player who's going to raid a lot, you could take a point of CON and put it into INT, but 12 CON is a safer bet if you dont have time to raid endlessly.

With 10 INT, you'll get to max 6 class skills as a pure bard. The 5 which I consider crucial on this character are UMD, perform, jump, balance, and concentration. As a 6th skill I took haggle, which I highly recommend if you aren't maxing it on your rogue. More money is crucial to advance this and future characters. I wouldnt recommend diplo on this guy because it could end up getting your casters killed when you can generally handle the agro a little better. If you play smart you shouldnt be getting most of the agro when you play in groups. You carve them up one at a time.

As far as enhancements go, the good thing is you can easily swap them around. Of course you need to take warchanter and all of it's prereqs as soon as possible. Any time you get a chance to enhance your song attack and damage buffs, that's the highest priority. At low levels, I took an extra song or 2, and swapped out at about level 11. I still have 1 point of healing wands, 2 points of healing spells, 1 point of mana, CHA all the way up (staying on even numbers), 2 levels of lingering song (mandatory), and always max drow melee attack and damage. I think I still have a point of haggle, so you may reach a point where that's all there is to take.

(Edit) Just respecd out of haggle so you shouldnt really need it.

Enjoy!

geezee
01-18-2008, 11:29 AM
This post is in response to some questions on a separate thread. The first question is about the strength of bard songs. At level 14, the bard's Inspire Competence gives +3/+3. Warchanter gives another +1/+2. Enhancements to the songs give another +3/+3. Inspire Greatness gives another +2 to attack. The total is +9 attack, +8 damage, plus some other nice bonuses like hit points and saves.

The other question was about the viability of power attack on this build. Of course, power attack is a prereq for warchanter. But how much does Geezer, my "Icy Kind" bard, actually use it? What I have found is that with this character, it really depends on the group he's in. Some groups will benefit more from paralyzing and/or cursespewing. Sometimes I use wounding/puncturing or such weapons. With these weapons, I never use power attack.

But when I'm going for DPS, I keep power attack on about 80% of the time for end game content, and 100% for lower level or non-elite quests. I actually carry a Divine Power clicky, and I use it on bosses sometimes when I can remember to. But Divine Power is not a requirement for this build. Since this character has close to the highest self-buffed attack roll in the game, he can use power attack against all but the highest AC opponents. I usually keep power attack on or off through a whole quest depending how tough it is. A bard has too many things to do besides playing around with stances during a quest.

Hope this helps.

skraus1
01-18-2008, 03:27 PM
A combat bard's to hit is typically around the same or a little higher than a fighter's. A unbuffed bard 14 will have a to hit of 5 to 9 lower than a DPS fighter due to lower stats, greater weapon focus and lower BAB. However, Bard song gives +5 to hit over greater heroism, which alone largely makes up for the difference in attack bonus. Add in the spell rage, the spell focusing chant, neither of which a fighter can count on, and you will be even better. Then to make things even better, you can benefit from divine power clickies, which give a bard 14 +4 BAB.

A fully buffed bard will have the same or even higher to hit than a normally buffed fighter. However, the fighter in group with the bard will have a higher to hit than the bard because they get the bard song as well. Such is the life of a bard.

BigDog68
01-18-2008, 04:08 PM
Thanx for the replies all, I now have a better understanding of bard buffs and how they work. I have started this build but I'm only level three right now, but so far it's looking like a fun charater to play. ;)

aldan
01-24-2008, 10:27 AM
Not really one for hijacking a thread, but extend isn't dead yet, it's still great for persistent cloud/sphere spells that generally only last 30 seconds or so in the first place. Turning it off for many buffs however is generally a good idea.


Reaver and extended dancing balls, nuff said.

geezee
01-25-2008, 11:23 PM
Reaver and extended dancing balls, nuff said.

First of all, this comment is totally irrelevant to the thread. Extend is not an option for the icy kind of bard. Each of the feats used much more useful to this build than extend .

Second of all, the comment is completely wrong. While there are legitimate reasons for taking extend, extended dancing balls have no use in the Reaver. I chain cast unextended dancing balls in there and I never run out of mana. IMO anyone who thinks a bard needs extend for the Reaver doesnt know what theyre talking about.

Thanks for hijacking the thread with this idiotic comment.

jkm
01-26-2008, 10:05 AM
i rolled an icy as a test bed for a 2wf build i was contemplating. i got it up to 11 to see exactly how much dps the TWF would give you with racial bonuses over not going the racial route.

this is a very solid build with plenty of raw dps. the spell resistance at lower levels overcomes most of the non direct damage spells thrown at you. i always suggest to those who roll drow to take the SR enhancements at low levels and respec out of them later. SR 13 against level 3's shamans is pretty awesome. so this build pretty much dominates every quest through level 7. then we get haste and displacement and things start to get weird without extend. you just don't have the mana pool to constantly haste and displace and do any kind of crowd control. so you have to make sure there is a different haster in the group to save mana or you have to let others grab aggro or you have to limp to the shrine for a refill. so from 7-11 you get to really learn how to play the game :D. its just the price you pay for having a ton of dps...

Twiggetz
01-29-2008, 08:10 PM
Still having fun with this build. There are times when the build seems weak, however once you hit 7 and you have to negotiate dps use/mana conservation/group necessity, the build proves solid from my view.

Looking ahead, what would you consider for lvls 15-16. Perhaps we need to see what is available before making any judgement, but I'd love to hear your opinion on how to further progress the build once Mod 6 is put in place.

Peace,

Twiggetz

geezee
01-29-2008, 08:49 PM
To JKM: levels 10-11 are the toughest for this build. Mana management becomes an issue. Depending on the group, you have to decide between haste and dancing ball. Usually there's a caster with extended haste, so I do whatever. I like to keep myself raged and displaced, and save some mana for emergency heals too.

What about mod 6? Good question. There are a number of directions one could go with this build. The temptation to take a level of fighter is there, for the extra feat. But what I have decided to do is to stay true to the original purpose of the build. This was to maximize melee buffs first and DPS/cc second.

Having decided to stay pure bard, I have another decision as to whether to take GTWF @ 15, or force of personality. At this stage I am leaning towards FOP because one of the biggest issues this character has is inventory management. I think the battle bard requires more equipment slots than any other character. Although my Will save is pretty decent as it is, and I rarely fail Will saves, FOP will boost my Will save to the point where I will fail only on a 1 most of the time. And even more importantly, FOP will completely eliminate the need to carry a WIS item.

I could easily see taking a level of fighter and oversized TWF to dual wield deathnips on this character too. With the uber melee buffs this should be a devastating combination. This would cost the next level of spells of course. And the difference between this character and most battle bards is that this character's offensive spells are actually useful.

For that matter, it would be very potent to take 2 levels of fighter at 15 and 16 as well. FOP, GTWF amd oversized TWF would make this character lethal.

I guess it boils down to playstyle and what aspect of the character you enjoy the most. I would be curious to see what different people have done with this build post-level 14 and how these characters turned out.

EinarMal
01-30-2008, 07:11 AM
Having decided to stay pure bard, I have another decision as to whether to take GTWF @ 15, or force of personality. At this stage I am leaning towards FOP because one of the biggest issues this character has is inventory management. I think the battle bard requires more equipment slots than any other character. Although my Will save is pretty decent as it is, and I rarely fail Will saves, FOP will boost my Will save to the point where I will fail only on a 1 most of the time. And even more importantly, FOP will completely eliminate the need to carry a WIS item.



I really can't see not taking GTWF at level 15 to be honest. In Mod6 that will give you 2 extra off hand attacks in your swing sequence. They are adding an attack on the first swing, and the normal one on the last swing. That is a huge boost in DPS, I agree FOP is nice, especially for getting rid of any wisdom items, but I think you should first try GTWF as it really will add to your DPS and killing speed. Remember a dead caster can't cast :D

If you do not take GTWF on this build, then something like my TWF spellsinger build would outdamage you and out cast you and that wouldn't be good! To me this build is about pure bard Warchanter DPS first, without that I think there would be better combinations, like dropping warchanter to free up feats. If you care about pure Bard warchanter DPS, you have to take GTWF.

geezee
01-30-2008, 07:42 AM
Einer Mal, I almost mentioned your build in my last post. This is another option. Dont think I have the guts to change now though. If I knew I were going that route, I would have prolly put 4 STR into CHA (2 at creation and 2 levelups). For those who dont know, Einer Mals' build is basically a spellsinger version of the icy build. Very similar, and I'm guessing roughly as powerful, depending on the quest.

EinarMal
01-30-2008, 08:31 AM
Einer Mal, I almost mentioned your build in my last post. This is another option. Dont think I have the guts to change now though. If I knew I were going that route, I would have prolly put 4 STR into CHA (2 at creation and 2 levelups). For those who dont know, Einer Mals' build is basically a spellsinger version of the icy build. Very similar, and I'm guessing roughly as powerful, depending on the quest.

Yeah I think your build is very solid, I would personally just stay the course on the whole DPS pure Bard warchanter and see how it goes. You can always swap things around if you don't like GTWF. I would not take a fighter level yet, you can always do that later.

They are very similiar, except level ups into charisma so I will end up with something like 20 charisma and 17 strength base, rather than 16 charisma and 21 strength and spellsinger instead of warchanter. The nice thing is spellsinger gives you two feats to play with as I did not take weapon focus or power attack. So, I am taking force of personality and heighten with the extra two feats. Glitterdust should work quite well against demons, and grease as they don't require an SR check.

I could have taken power attack, but I don't know, in my experience given that you are moving around a lot trying to hit mobs I miss too much with it on to use it enough to justify it. Moving with TWF + Power Attack you end up with something like a total of -11 to-hit, which even with Bard buffs starts to hurt your DPS rather than help it.

quickgrif
06-25-2008, 01:43 AM
bump for a friend to find easier.

Maegin
06-25-2008, 03:16 AM
Ah but see I can do whatever I wish lol....when you get the word moderator next to your name then tell me when/how to post.

...Rude and unclassy.