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EinarMal
09-27-2007, 06:34 AM
Ok, so now that these Bard specialty enhancements have been out for awhile I was wondering what other peoples opinions are of them.

Spellsinger seems great for any general purpose or casting Bard. More spell points, UMD boost, +1 DC to spells, and 10% reduction in spell cost. The requirements are not that bad as most general purpose Bards have one of the feats already.

Warchanter requirements are steep. If you can fit in the feats it seems to fit in well with a battle Bard build. Power attack is always useful for fighting Bards but weapon focus is not ususally taken by many Bards. The song boost and DR song are very hand for battle Bards.

Virtuoso, I admit I do not think is that great but maybe I am missing something. More songs, a debuff song, and 10% longer duration on songs. Most pure Bards (at least for me anyway) have enough songs and they last long enough so the extra songs are of marginal value. The debuff song would be useful and it works even if someone breaks fascinate. The other thing it does is let you take song of the dead sooner which is nice.

So, am I the only one that thinks Virtuoso is weak compared to the other two? What am I missing with this enhancement that would make people choose this over spellsinger for a casting or balanced Bard?

Schmackdown
09-27-2007, 08:25 AM
Am I the only one that thinks Virtuoso is weak compared to the other two? What am I missing with this enhancement that would make people choose this over spellsinger for a casting or balanced Bard?
"Why would a THF barb take TWF defense?"

"Why would an 8-wis 8-int warforged fighter take SF: Listen?"

Ever considered that maybe Virtuoso isn't the best choice for "casting or balanced" bards, but would be a great fit for those tight on feats, leverage songs over spell CC on nearly every occasion, run with Enchantment-spec casters, or have more than two non-bard levels in their build? Evidently not. And if you had, what's the point of the post to begin with? It's pretty obvious that SS or even WC bring more to the party for a "typical" bard.

EinarMal
09-27-2007, 09:45 AM
"Why would a THF barb take TWF defense?"

"Why would an 8-wis 8-int warforged fighter take SF: Listen?"

Ever considered that maybe Virtuoso isn't the best choice for "casting or balanced" bards, but would be a great fit for those tight on feats, leverage songs over spell CC on nearly every occasion, run with Enchantment-spec casters, or have more than two non-bard levels in their build? Evidently not. And if you had, what's the point of the post to begin with? It's pretty obvious that SS or even WC bring more to the party for a "typical" bard.

Well I am trying to understand why anyone would take virtuoso what build exactly would this be better than spellsinger or warchanter. Tight on feats but the feat choices on spellsinger can be met by almost any build that is not heavily combated oriented (which might meet warchanter).

Running with enchanment casters I would still go spellsinger, still get +1 DC and you can cast better and have higher UMD.

Is running out of songs really an issue for many Bards? I don't typically, and I don't even bother with the extra song enhancements because I don't need them.

So, I guess if you are heavily multi-classed and want to use fascinate a lot and need the songs it makes sense. Is that pretty much it? Seems extremely narrow and underpowered to me.

What's the point, well it is a discussion forum and I am discussing Bard specialty enhancements no need for the attitude. If virtuoso is so limited and underpowered then something should be done to improve it. What is wrong with discussing the pros and cons of each?

<edit> I would revise my opinion if we had more song options that you could actually use 19 songs per shrine. Then you are a maxed out singing Bard which would be pretty cool if they added some additional songs to use them on. As it is now 14 is more than enough and most could get by on 10 per shrine in most quests.

EinarMal
09-27-2007, 10:03 AM
According to the SRD PnP D20 rules Bards get the following additional songs:

Inspire Heroics
A bard of 15th level or higher with 18 or more ranks in a Perform (http://www.d20srd.org/srd/skills/perform.htm) skill can use music or poetics to inspire tremendous heroism in himself or a single willing ally within 30 feet. For every three bard levels the character attains beyond 15th, he can inspire heroics in one additional creature. To inspire heroics, a bard must sing and an ally must hear the bard sing for a full round. A creature so inspired gains a +4 morale bonus (http://www.d20srd.org/srd/theBasics.htm#moraleModifier) on saving throws (http://www.d20srd.org/srd/combat/combatStatistics.htm#savingThrows) and a +4 dodge bonus (http://www.d20srd.org/srd/theBasics.htm#dodgeBonus) to AC. The effect lasts for as long as the ally hears the bard sing and for up to 5 rounds thereafter. Inspire heroics is a mind-affecting ability.

Mass Suggestion

This ability functions like suggestion, above, except that a bard of 18th level or higher with 21 or more ranks in a Perform (http://www.d20srd.org/srd/skills/perform.htm) skill can make the suggestion simultaneously to any number of creatures that he has already fascinated (http://www.d20srd.org/srd/classes/bard.htm#fascinate). Mass suggestion is an enchantment (compulsion), mind-affecting, language-dependent ability.

So maybe with those two additions you could leverage all those songs to buff even more and both do crowd control (fascinate) and charming (mass suggestion). Is that enough to make all those extra songs worth more than what spellsinger/warchanter might offer most Bards?

CSFurious
09-27-2007, 10:33 AM
right now, i have actually shelved my current bard because i want to see where the devs are going

actually, i tend to agree with you as to virtuso, but i do not think that either warchanters or spellsingers are that great of a boon to a party, i.e., a normal, good bard makes his party better, so having a bard/spellsinger or bard/warchanter in the party to me makes a minimal difference to the party's overall success, a good bard is simply a good bard IMO

as to schmacky, someone schmacked him in the head a long time ago & he cannot help being rude, i put him on ignore a long time ago, you should do the same

Schmackdown
09-27-2007, 11:04 AM
I don't have any room for MT on my 10/4 TWF dwarf build, much less PA or WF. Virtuoso requires no feats.

I use only song CC on that bard. I'm behind four songs as it is, so going from 12 to 17 was appreciated. That's what Virtuoso is all about, really- more songs. 10% to duration? Whatever. Enthrallment? Too few casters use spell CC anymore(I can count my bo-zillion Cabal/Feast runs with a wiz using Mass Hold on one hand), good melee won't care about the AC boost or it won't be applicable, and the duration is far too short. Diplomacy and Listen? Keep it. But it does virtually grant you MotD, as once you have ES IV you might as well spend the 2 to make the dead rock. I don't see many SS/WC's taking spending 9-12 AP's just to get MotD if they lament not needing all of those songs, so IMO MotD is a near-defacto feature of Virtuoso. That extends a bard's CC reach considerably. I wouldn't consider that narrow or underpowered for my build at all, as I consider Fascinate as one of its key five strengths.

I have Spellsinger on my enchantment-based bard. Frankly, I don't see what all the noise is about. You don't need the seven extra songs? I don't need the 100SP, the UMD boost, or the DC enhancement, and that's even keeping everyone displaced for fights. The duration is pathetic compared to IC/IG, and as of right now it can be dispelled. The rest of the casters in the party don't care about the 1 to DC AFAIK, just the 10% so they can nuke more and whine for DVs later in the zone. I took it b/c there's little else to take on a casting bard with >13STR. Actually, I find myself hitting shrines with half a mana bar on that build just b/c I need to recoup the 16 songs. And Warchanter is still overrated. I read the descriptions for all three enhancements when they were announced and was not impressed with any of them.

If you're hitting shrines with songs in your bag, I'd suggest that you are neither staging Fascinate wherever you could nor playing IG to refresh the HP buffer when possible/appropriate. I don't buy any of the "don't use Fascinate when the party doesn't need it" nonsense, either. It's a matter of being proactive or reactive and knowing how and where to use the effect. Which is pretty much all of the time.

Inspire Heroics. If fighters with 48 AC are getting pounded on elite GH quests now, what's +4 going to do for them by the time bards actually get the song? And as it reads, it's single-target. IG also reads that way, I believe, so maybe it'll be more like IC than Competence. Regardless, I don't see it as all that interesting at endgame for all but the most hardcore of AC junkies, of which there are few now that DPS is ruling the roost. It'd be nice if Turbine had a change of direction on that, though.

Mass Suggestion. I deplore charms in a group, but for soloing quests it may be interesting. Not that I'm going to get it on my melee bard anyway, but it could be compelling for straight bards with high CHA. I don't know why you'd peg this as a selling point for Virtuoso, though, if you're saying that you always have songs left over at shrines.

Here are some observations I've had about bards in DDO. Let me know what parts of the following you don't agree with.

90% of bards aren't built from the ground up to fight first, but rather not at all or part of a "jack of all trades" approach.

The 9% of bards that *are* built to fight first are probably new Warchanters.

The 1% of fight-first bard builds that remain either don't have the feats to spare, don't want to be pigeonholed into a THF/DPS build with a splash of barb, or just don't think WC is the holy grail everyone else does. These builds that don't leverage Fascinate won't find much use in Virtuoso, those that do, might.

I'm saying that SS/WC would be great for the 99%. Virtuoso *might* be a fit for the 1%. That's essentially what you were saying in your first post("Why would any bard take Virtuoso over Spellsinger?"), so kicking around a discussion about it doesn't make much sense to me. The general verdict is already in: SS for casters, WC for melee, Virtuoso for hardly anyone. IMO Turbine included it merely as a nod to RPers that wanted to focus their bards on songs.

If you would have phrased the OP "Would you Virtuoso users post something about why it works better than SS/WC/nothing at all for your build?", that would have been a different question, and the one I'm choosing to answer here. But for some reason you decided to drown SS in accolades, bag on Virtuoso, then ask why anyone would use it on a "typical" bard. Again, what's the point?

EinarMal
09-27-2007, 11:31 AM
If you would have phrased the OP "Would you Virtuoso users post something about why it works better than SS/WC/nothing at all for your build?", that would have been a different question, and the one I'm choosing to answer here. But for some reason you decided to drown SS in accolades, bag on Virtuoso, then ask why anyone would use it on a "typical" bard. Again, what's the point?

Well if it is true that virtuoso is really only good for 1% of Bards, and really because they can't qualify for the other two why not change it to give it a boost. I think you could just tweak the bonuses that it gives to make it compelling.

Current:
+2 to mostly useless skills (until they fix perform if ever)
+3 Extra songs
10% increase song duration
Enthrall (Fascinate + -2 Will Save Reduction)

New Version:
+2 to mostly useless skills
+5 Extra Songs
10% Increase song duration
Enthrall (Fascinate + -5 Will Save Reduction)

Now I think that makes it an interesting choice versus spellsinger for a lot of Bards. The -5 Will save would be tempting to many, like a half strength mind fog without the save. Casters in the group would absolutely love this Bard as many things are based of will saves.

Schmackdown
09-27-2007, 12:00 PM
IMO the ironic thing about Virtuoso is that it gives you a bunch of extra songs, but it's the only enhancement without a specialty song(DR/Trance) to spend them on. One of the reasons I run out of songs on my 14 bard is b/c I have to refresh the short Trance fairly often, and don't have anything more than ES II. But this oddity is only exacerbated by potentially upping that +10% duration to 25% or whatnot, as it means less IC/IG to have to cast.

Enthrall (Fascinate + -5 Will Save Reduction)

Now I think that makes it an interesting choice versus spellsinger for a lot of Bards. The -5 Will save would be tempting to many, like a half strength mind fog without the save. Casters in the group would absolutely love this Bard as many things are based of will saves.
I like this suggestion, both because it would add potency to the effect but also because it would hopefully have the twofold effect of encouraging more CC in the game as well as sowing some understanding about Fascinate/Enthrallment. I'd say that if they were going to do that, though, they should have a different graphic for Enthrallment than Fascinate. I've given up on new melodies in the game, as there hasn't been a new one since release(are you reading this, Turbine? That's now three song effects that should be unique yet all sound like Greatness or Courage. You didn't even take the time to recycle the tune for Competence at least once for some variety. That is *pathetic*), but I don't think a different color on the note-graphic would be too much to ask. It sounds like a little thing, but to me it would communicate to the rest of the group that I have an enhanced Fascinate and I'd like for everyone to leverage it if possible. Pipe dream? As of right now, sure. But casters are already clamoring for the Trance, the game could tilt towards looking for green notes rather than blue given a powerful enough effect. I'd like it if tidy CC like Mass Hold or Otto's took more prevalence over messy, knuckle-dragging I-must-post-my-FW-crit-damage-to-appease-my-e-peen approaches.

Enthrallment, IMO, should be double the length of Fascinate, which is already pretty long. You're a master of your craft, supposedly, you should be able to keep foes under for a lot longer. It certainly shouldn't be shorter than the standard effect.

One of the things I like about taking Virtuoso early is that you *can* suck it up and take a feat to pick it up by level 6, and grant yourself access to MotD by the time you're running Delera's. Not that I think it'd be a game-breaker in there, but it's an interesting idea, and I think Turbine hasn't embellished the early-access theme enough in these enhancements. Lingering Song should certainly be available earlier and cheaper for Virtuosos, as it fits with the theme. Maybe IA III would cost 5 points rather than 6, and/or be available to a level 11 or 12 Virtuoso rather than a 13 Warchanter.

I still think 10% to duration is a throwaway stat, really. IMO it should be at least 20% built in, even with the misgivings above.

Why not kick up those useless skills a bunch if they're still nigh-useless? If it gave +8 to Diplomacy/Perform/Listen, someone might find an interesting use for, uh, Diplomacy, I guess. Maybe Listen if they changed something about the effect. And Perform should get a bigger boost than Dip/Listen anyway- why would the enhancement suggest that the bard is focused on, well, Performing, yet not make that boost at least double what the other boosts are?

Things about it need to be fixed, like the fact that Suggestion Song doesn't work on it, and that the duration is oddly short. The former may be already done by now, I'm updating my client as I type this.

Enhancements of these types(V/SS/WC) should show up as an aspect of someone's examine piece if the player so chooses IMO. I'd like it away from the bio, something like a mini-prestige thing.

skraus1
09-27-2007, 12:32 PM
Warchanter requirements are steep. If you can fit in the feats it seems to fit in well with a battle Bard build. Power attack is always useful for fighting Bards but weapon focus is not ususally taken by many Bards. The song boost and DR song are very hand for battle Bards.


Yeah, warchanters are the kings of fighting songs. I just have a hard time seeing the requirments as steep. If there was a feat +2 damage and +1 to hit for the entire party, many bards would go crazy over it. As it is now, you need to spend 2 feats, which are very useful for fighting, and some action points to get the +2 to dam and +1 to hit, a great DR song, and an extra rage if you're part barb. If you like to fight on your bard, it's a no lose situation as far as I can tell.

EinarMal
09-27-2007, 12:46 PM
Yeah, warchanters are the kings of fighting songs. I just have a hard time seeing the requirments as steep. If there was a feat +2 damage and +1 to hit for the entire party, many bards would go crazy over it. As it is now, you need to spend 2 feats, which are very useful for fighting, and some action points to get the +2 to dam and +1 to hit, a great DR song, and an extra rage if you're part barb. If you like to fight on your bard, it's a no lose situation as far as I can tell.

Well I guess mainly they are steep for TWF builds which is the way I typically look at things. I would like it if some of those feats were in the list in addition to what is already there. Power Attack is useful, but it is hard to fit in weapon focus.

TWF
ITWF
IC Piercing
WF Piercing
Power Attack

You basically have no options for things like extend, stunning blow or any other feats. It is also the only enhancement that requires two feats versus only 1. Most Bards are pretty tight on feats as it is especially if you like to fight with two weapons.

I still took it on one of my TWF Bards but actually fit in spellsinger better on the other I just could not fit two more feats into that one.

Schmackdown
09-27-2007, 04:06 PM
I just have a hard time seeing the requirments as steep.
If your build is designed from the ground up to be a Warchanter, why would you? The point is you had to build it as THF and STR based to maximize the benefit from the enhancement, and even consider a level of barb. As EinarMal said, it doesn't fit a TWF build remotely as well. Both bards fight, one just doesn't fall into what Turbine conceptualized. If anything is regarded as narrow, I'd say that's it.

Yeah, warchanters are the kings of fighting songs.
Only if they stay pure bard. A level 20 Spellsinger will have an even IC damage mod and one better on the attack mod than a level 16 Warchanter with four levels of something else. Barring a future WC2 or whatnot. The DR song is nice b/c it(shouldn't) be dispelled like Stoneskin, and doesn't have the until-damage-absorbed caveat, just the timer. But it also blocks half the damage Stoneskin does, doesn't stack with it, eats up a song, and is a relatively short buff.

Yes, there are things that a multiclass WC build brings to a party that a full WC build would not. Those are the intangible parts of a character that work together to make an effective whole. But those are the same pieces that could/would make a multiclass TWF Spellsinger or Virtuoso a force as well. You can't measure the effectiveness of these pieces, but it's easy to see that +1/+2 to IC rocks, so that's what everyone leans on. I don't buy it. In my mind the only way you can say you're the King of War Rock is if you're a full bard Warchanter. Otherwise, you're saying that Warchanter just makes your multiclass build better. Well, I'd say that dropping feats from a TWF fighting bard build just to pick up that +1/+2 and DR song would make that build weaker, both solo and contributing to a party.

If you like to fight on your bard, it's a no lose situation as far as I can tell.
I like to fight on my bard. To me, fighting is a boatload of Tactics, the full line of TWF feats, and being able to swap to situational weaponry at the drop of a hat. Even with three bonus fighter feats, there's no room for either PA or WF on my build, and even if I had two extra feats to take, I wouldn't choose either of those. And I scroll up Stoneskin constantly. That's why Warchanter isn't worth the +1/+2 and song to me, and therefore why it's not remotely a no-lose situation. Weapon Focus is so woefully inappropriate for a self-buffing class short on feat options that it's almost punitive.

skraus1
10-01-2007, 03:05 PM
Well I guess mainly they are steep for TWF builds which is the way I typically look at things.

TWF
ITWF
IC Piercing
WF Piercing
Power Attack

You basically have no options for things like extend, stunning blow or any other feats. It is also the only enhancement that requires two feats versus only 1. Most Bards are pretty tight on feats as it is especially if you like to fight with two weapons.


Yeah I can definitally see why TWFing bards would classify it as steep. For a twfer, it pretty well requires 1 level of fighter to be able to get the virtually essential extend feat.

THFers, sword and board bards, and multiclass fighters, shouldn't have much of an issue with warchanter though. These are the types of bards the specialization was apparently intended for. TWFing for non-fighters is just too feat intensive to mix well with something that requires lots of feat, just like many melee prestige classes in PnP.

skraus1
10-01-2007, 03:27 PM
Only if they stay pure bard. A level 20 Spellsinger will have an even IC damage mod and one better on the attack mod than a level 16 Warchanter with four levels of something else. Barring a future WC2 or whatnot. The DR song is nice b/c it(shouldn't) be dispelled like Stoneskin, and doesn't have the until-damage-absorbed caveat, just the timer. But it also blocks half the damage Stoneskin does, doesn't stack with it, eats up a song, and is a relatively short buff.

We don't know about what enhancements are going to be like at level 20. A multiclass bard will obviously lose out on the +1 to hit and damage inspire courage bump at level 20. This is made up for, and surpassed by the warchanter +1 to hit and +2 to damage. Thus, unless there is a level 20 song buff enhancement, a warchanter 19/x 1 will have a slightly better song than a normal bard.

In addition, in my experience, many bards don't take all the song buff enhancements, for reasons I don't understand, and my Bard10/X4's inspire courage tends to replace theirs.



You can't measure the effectiveness of these pieces, but it's easy to see that +1/+2 to IC rocks, so that's what everyone leans on. I don't buy it.... Well, I'd say that dropping feats from a TWF fighting bard build just to pick up that +1/+2 and DR song would make that build weaker, both solo and contributing to a party.


I'm not sure why your examples are of level 20 when your complaining about current level 14 builds. You will get an additional feat at level 15 and 18, so warchanter will eventually be available for TWFing non-humans without them having to sacrifice their twfing feats.

Also, warchanter is not something for everyone, but if you have the feats and you fight a lot, it is a no lose choice in my view.

Another example,
You are forced to spend 2 useful feats for the warchanter feat to get the equivalent of 2 additional feats: greater weapon focus and weapon specialization for the WHOLE party. That is a steal, although it doesn't work with all builds.



In my mind the only way you can say you're the King of War Rock is if you're a full bard Warchanter. Otherwise, you're saying that Warchanter just makes your multiclass build better.

As I showed earlier, unless some new enhancements are added for bard 20s, the warchanter enhancement makes it so that even multiclass bards can have a inspire courage that is as good or better than a full bard's. Thus, the enhancement makes bards into the Kings of War Rock. Whether a certain warchanter build has a better song than other warchanter builds, it doesn't change the power the enhancement.

Schmackdown
10-11-2007, 02:04 PM
I think you could just tweak the bonuses that it gives to make it compelling.
After a few weeks in the Orchard, I can tell you that what would be compelling is if Enthrallment hit every mob type you were able to fascinate. So if I have MotD and Enthrall a bunch of golems, wights and humans, only the golems would be unaffected. If I had MoM as well, the whole crowd gets subdued. Then I'd actually be OK with Enthrallment's shorter duration, as it'd be a tradeoff for some serious power.

As it is, I still use Fascinate/Motd/MoM all the time, but I haven't used Enthrallment in months.