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Darkvx
11-30-2013, 04:07 AM
Many of use that play bards have a love/hate relationship with them.

I have always enjoyed bards from pnp to other games. In most games people would take a bad bard over more classes(FFXI for example) Not that I am/ways a bad bard.


We all know bards have issues and underpowered, they are the least played class after druid(which can only be unlocked with VIP or TP). Bards need love, versatility and a unique play style. Instruments are the answer.



The idea: Bards start with "Voice" Perform instrument and get to choose a new one every 5 levels. Instrument are added to songs like meta-magic feats(pick which songs you want what instrument on)

Voice(Oratory/sing): Shortest cast time, shortest range can be used with fighting and casting penalty to concentration.
Physical(dance/act/comedy): Same as voice slightly higher cast time bonus to dodge line of sight(blocked by walls).
Percussion(drum/Cowbell?): Largest AOE long play time unable to preform other actions while playing
Wind(Bagpipes/panflute): Longer range on single target spells like Song of Capering unable to preform other actions while playing
String(Harp/lute): Middle ground in all

Second part of the idea equip-ables(named instruments and device) goes in off hand or quiver slot.

Sheet music:Exp song of Lost hope Inspire Courage gives +1 negative energy damage per 6 bard levels
Tuning fork: Playing any song has a change to cast random sonic spell
Metronome: Helps keep the pace going extends the duration of haste +3% double strike stacks with Inspire Recklessness

Make them have a minimum bard level to use and treat Perform instrument as a weapon type so if a bard doesn't have string and they equip on they get a penalty.

AzB
11-30-2013, 01:57 PM
I think any kind of bard specific items would be helpful. There are currently only a few that I can think of, and most of them are below 12th level. There's nothing in motu or estar.

Teh_Ghoul
11-30-2013, 02:07 PM
Bards aren't in a bad place, they're just not pure casters.

Go warchanter, splash a little bit and don't dump cha

inspire courage is going to add as much average damage as deadly

excellent self healing

skills and saves bonuses

ability to cc even ee mobs on a first life toon without extreme gearing

almost barbarian levels of strength if you splash 1 fvs or cleric and don't dump cha

ability with a 2 fighter 1 fvs or cleric splash of getting a stunning blow dc that will work in ee

fom

d door

otto's irresistable dance

song that regens sp

song that increases other players dc's

If you can't build a strong bard you just can't build toons.

AzB
11-30-2013, 02:31 PM
Bards aren't in a bad place, they're just not pure casters.

If you can't build a decent bard you just can't build toons.

ftfy.

You can build an ok bard, but you can't build a strong bard. You can get ok dps, but you will have to give up some healing. Spell based cc at high levels is basically limited to ottos, but you need the spell pen to get it to land. Song based cc is largely broken, but it useless for most groups anyway as the room has been cleared by the shiradi sorcs and monks before you finish singing.

There aren't enough feats to do more than one thing reasonably well; ie melee and healing. You can't fit empower heals and quicken along with the melee feats needed to do more than paladin level damage. But you don't get the defenses or hp to melee well anyway.

If you go full heals/caster, you won't do any damage ever. So while you might be a great support toon, you won't be soloing... or doing much of anything at end game. The sp song is a great song, but the way the classes are laid out with powerful slas and the quests having shrines every 50 ft, it's rarely really needed. There are a couple quests, like coal chamber where the song is really helpful, but the vast majority of quests have tons of shrines, and the majority of casters have buckets of sp.

Warchanter is a joke, I can get far more dps from spell singer, a level of cleric, and 4ap.

I have one of the strongest endgame bards on my server, and he is completely eclipsed by any shiradi sorc and almost any monk. And either of those two toons are typically completely self sufficient and have no need for the support side. Most of the time, I just follow them around and watch them kill everything.

But at least he can solo stuff, even if it does take a bit longer, thanks to divine might.

Teh_Ghoul
11-30-2013, 02:47 PM
ftfy.


Warchanter is a joke, I can get far more dps from a level of cleric and 4ap.


Pick and choose your enhancement carefully. Yeah most of wc isn't great but skaldic rage is 1 ap for 4 str and con, and extra str from the enhancements. Yeah bards are a d6 class but since most of your hp comes from con, fl and vitality items etc etc you don't lose that much compared with other classes. You certainly have enough to be in melee arti's are d6 as well and how often did you see juggs?

Yes you get a lot of dps from warpriest and I highly recommend using a wp for divine might on a bard, but don't use cleric unless you don't have fvs yet.

as far as feats

lets go human
10 base feats, 1 human feat, 2 fighter feats in a 17/2/1 build.

1 Power Attack
2 Cleave
3 Great Cleave
4 Improved crit
5 quicken
6 empower healing
7 thf
8 ithf
9 gthf
10 stunning blow
11 toughness
12 oc
13 extend

Then ed feats
tactician
epic two weapon fighting

Can't think of anything you're missing feat wise, no you don't have many shot boo hoo.

voodoogroves
11-30-2013, 06:02 PM
I'm curious about what enhancements boost STR - aside from the crapstone.

Teh_Ghoul
11-30-2013, 06:06 PM
I'm curious about what enhancements boost STR - aside from the crapstone.

Just the regular str enhancements, I believe though I could be wrong that pre ep bards only got cha enhancements.

voodoogroves
11-30-2013, 06:13 PM
Just the regular str enhancements, I believe though I could be wrong that pre ep bards only got cha enhancements.

Ah yeah, well - nothing huge and only the one tree.

I think most actual melee bards are taking the T5 from Spellsinger because they are generally more useful.

Sadly, Bard is one of those classes similar to fighter, etc. where the answer is "you're better off multiclassing". I'd prefer it if there were some sort of decision / choice required - but there isn't really unless you're going pure DC-based.

Teh_Ghoul
11-30-2013, 06:21 PM
Ah yeah, well - nothing huge and only the one tree.

I think most actual melee bards are taking the T5 from Spellsinger because they are generally more useful.

Sadly, Bard is one of those classes similar to fighter, etc. where the answer is "you're better off multiclassing". I'd prefer it if there were some sort of decision / choice required - but there isn't really unless you're going pure DC-based.

Other than some casters is there a class where you're not better off multiclassing? Multi is a no brainer decision for 90% of toons imo.

voodoogroves
11-30-2013, 06:25 PM
Other than some casters is there a class where you're not better off multiclassing? Multi is a no brainer decision for 90% of toons imo.

Exactly, and that's a problem. No-brainer = bad. We should have choices to make with trade-offs to consider; but we certainly don't.

Teh_Ghoul
11-30-2013, 06:27 PM
Exactly, and that's a problem. No-brainer = bad. We should have choices to make with trade-offs to consider; but we certainly don't.

Well that's a carry over from pnp, even in pnp you are probably better off multi'd though there are more downsides with xp etc in pnp.

voodoogroves
11-30-2013, 06:32 PM
Well that's a carry over from pnp, even in pnp you are probably better off multi'd though there are more downsides with xp etc in pnp.

Thou shalt not lose caster levels. Prestiges from PNP were much stronger for bards (at least a few) - and you nearly always aimed for casting or some other world-shaping diplomancer/something base.

Melee in PNP should always multi/PRE if available. Casters should never lose CL.

Teh_Ghoul
11-30-2013, 06:37 PM
Thou shalt not lose caster levels. Prestiges from PNP were much stronger for bards (at least a few) - and you nearly always aimed for casting or some other world-shaping diplomancer/something base.

Melee in PNP should always multi/PRE if available. Casters should never lose CL.

True about never losing cl, and for the more caster classes in ddo (of which bard is not imo, just like pally and ranger are not) that was the case back with u14 and the spell pen needed for drow. However in the current endgame since highroad, most things don't have sr.

voodoogroves
11-30-2013, 08:14 PM
True about never losing cl, and for the more caster classes in ddo (of which bard is not imo, just like pally and ranger are not) that was the case back with u14 and the spell pen needed for drow. However in the current endgame since highroad, most things don't have sr.

In PNP it meant earlier access to baddassery spells; for bards it was freaking Sublime Chord and 9th level spells.

But, I digress.

katz
11-30-2013, 09:50 PM
to the OP: intriguing idea. not sure if it's really needed... but it would certainly add some interest.



as for the argument about building strong bards etc etc etc -


i did not LR Pointless when the enhancement pass came 'round. i fact i have never LRed her. ever. she is still the same 16/2/2 that i originally planned out over 2 years ago. i have swapped feats around... but no more.

in her enhancements, she is (and has been thru most of her existence)... first and foremost... a warchanter.


as i was leveling her up:
she consistently got all the traps in a quest unless another trapper in the group managed to beat her to it
she consistently had either the MOST HP in the group, or darn near to it up till 16-18 level, when some fighters and barbs finally started outstripping her... and sometimes even then (2nd highest HP in a shroud group... at 19th. (http://i.imgur.com/GQNI4M0.jpg).. highest HP in a forming shroud at 18th (http://i.imgur.com/1sCzYel.jpg))
she pretty consistently had either the most kills in the quest log, or darn near to it, up till around 18th level, and even then she didn't fall off that much.
before EDs and whatnot came out, she participated in Shade's DPS challenge (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2YIBOEAqMGI) (with somewhat mediocre gear. decent, but not the best, nor pupose-build)... and turned in a time that, while not great, was better than the bottom
she snuck, and did the traps in, eClaw before the epic change (https://www.ddo.com/forums/showthread.php/321686-R-O-G-U-E-Proving-Grounds-part-trois?p=4426952&viewfull=1#post4426952). no fascinate.


now... with a level cap of 28 and EDs and new enhancements and gear and etc etc etc... at 27th:
she STILL consistently gets all the traps, even on most EE quests (EE gianthold and higher still eludes me. perhaps with a search tome and more exceptional int... hmmmmm)
she STILL has darn good HP for a bard (varying between 600-800 +/- depending on ED and buffs) (2nd highest HP in a shroud at 23... in Shiradi! (http://i.imgur.com/fzLLjTB.jpg))
she soloed several of the EE quests she needed for her PDK favor, and duoed some others
she solo farmed the scroll and seal of the SoS in Von1. keep in mind orange and red mobs cannot be fascinated, and there are several self healing red-named shamans in that end fight, meaning she had to out DPS them healing themselves and each other
her fascinate stops EE mobs cold (http://i.imgur.com/ouQth1k.jpg)
she still turns in good kill numbers (top kills vs my monkcher friend (http://i.imgur.com/FWoyDbt.jpg) who usually has far-and-away the highest counts... notice the joking. same monkcher, different quest... i had half his kills (http://i.imgur.com/mpeQRKa.jpg), but more than the barb in the group... and yeah, the trap we're talking about is THAT trap...)
she's saved more quests and raids than i can even remember anymore, but here's a notable recent one (https://www.ddo.com/forums/showthread.php/428952-Bards-the-Rodney-Dangerfield-of-DDO?p=5147577&viewfull=1#post5147577)...

ok, yeah, trying to heal from my blue bar sucks. that's why i buy 2 and 3 hundred heal scrolls at a time.... for what i get in exchange i think i'll take that trade-off. please do not presume to tell me i cannot build a strong bard.

Steevye
11-30-2013, 10:49 PM
Pick and choose your enhancement carefully. Yeah most of wc isn't great but skaldic rage is 1 ap for 4 str and con, and extra str from the enhancements.

Simple correction, Skaldic does not boost con, only a +4 str and a -4 to AC (no big deal really there).

The only in-house con bumps a bard gets is the rage spell and inspire excellence, a total of +4. Sadly, one of those isn't attainable until level 21.

I prefer having bards specced for [some] melee and cc, healing is pretty easy to keep at a decent level for soloing (small party solo heals, support heals in raids) with items and what not. It is nice to have 500+ mass cure mods, but the practicality of those "needing" to be that high is moot [i.e., debatable]. Even without empower healing, my cure mods are hitting 300 or so hp a cast, and most toons only need 2 of those to complete the red bar from almost dead. The real problem with bard healing is sp, and metas never seem to help conserve sp well (extend can be argued as a buffbot, mathematically it does work out slightly in your favor).

Given, my main bard's melee is not good. She can kill things effectively quickly in EH stuff, but who can't really these days? Maybe I'm in the minority for just not giving two ****s about EE content, but the way bards are designed it just doesn't seem to be worthwhile to cookie cutter a bard melee build for it when I can basically have the same style of gameplay with the ever more effective and less tedious monk.

From experience, bard melee is pretty reliant on gear. Having good gear makes smacking things (whether THF or TWF) a lot more fun and tolerable, whereas lousy gear means you'll be playing pin the tail on the donkey for hours on end.

As for the SS vs. WC argument, that's a no brainer really. SS triumphs 9 in 10 times. I've seen a lot of old WC enthusiasts switch teams, simply because half the tree is bugged and the other half is underwhelming. When most of the build's dps is derived from feats, it begs the question as to why someone didn't just do the same thing with a fighter or monk splash, because aside from self heals, a bard just isn't going to be able to go toe to toe without a lot of work involved.

Bards are great fun, but I don't hold any delusions about the class at the moment. In comparison to the other trees released in U19, only the paladin really can be argued to be worse off, but even the pally is useful for a light splash...whereas a bard just isn't really useful without a lot more levels than that.

BoBoDaClown
12-01-2013, 03:42 AM
ftfy.

Spell based cc at high levels is basically limited to ottos, but you need the spell pen to get it to land.

I'm the first one to want improvements to bards, but you can spell CC at high levels, at least when the cap was 25. I haven't playing at cap since then.

Steevye
12-01-2013, 05:58 AM
I'm the first one to want improvements to bards, but you can spell CC at high levels, at least when the cap was 25. I haven't playing at cap since then.

Depends on EH vs. EE really. The DC increase from one to the other is pretty significant, as is the SR of the drow (looking at roughly +10 CR increase equally +10 needed to overcome the SR shield).

An enchantment DC is the mid to upper forties is a-ok on EH, whereas anything under 60 seems to be debatable. Seems a lot of DCers are shooting for the 70-80s these days, which seems like a lot of work. My bard is hitting something like a 57 or 58 and sometimes gets lucky, seems like it's more often than when the baddies roll a 1 but not much more lucky...soooo...this gimp sticks to EH where he feels like a demigod. Because I'm boring and lazy.

BoBoDaClown
12-01-2013, 06:05 AM
Depends on EH vs. EE really. The DC increase from one to the other is pretty significant, as is the SR of the drow (looking at roughly +10 CR increase equally +10 needed to overcome the SR shield).

An enchantment DC is the mid to upper forties is a-ok on EH, whereas anything under 60 seems to be debatable. Seems a lot of DCers are shooting for the 70-80s these days, which seems like a lot of work. My bard is hitting something like a 57 or 58 and sometimes gets lucky, seems like it's more often than when the baddies roll a 1 but not much more lucky...soooo...this gimp sticks to EH where he feels like a demigod. Because I'm boring and lazy.

My bard would be (running through a couple of pastlifes at the moment, but already has the fatepoints, twists, tomes and gear) mid 60s DC, and could get Spell Pen to around 59 (not both at that same time, would choose depending on content).

Only thinking of EEs, how you build for EH doesn't really matter.

Wipey
12-01-2013, 06:10 AM
Seems a lot of DCers are shooting for the 70-80s these days, which seems like a lot of work.
Whoa there, I bet there are less than ten casters with 70 DCs across all servers, and cleric, fvs, bard or sorc with 60 is as rare as snow leopard.

Teh_Ghoul
12-01-2013, 05:50 PM
Whoa there, I bet there are less than ten casters with 70 DCs across all servers, and cleric, fvs, bard or sorc with 60 is as rare as snow leopard.

bs

60 is easy for any max level caster that's actually trying to dc cast. Get your past lives, get your gear, and farm your ed's it's not brain surgery.

Steevye
12-01-2013, 10:57 PM
bs

60 is easy for any max level caster that's actually trying to dc cast. Get your past lives, get your gear, and farm your ed's it's not brain surgery.

Yeah I was going to say the same thing...I know of more than 10 arcanes with DCs well into the 60s and at least a handful of bards that claim they're right on par with the arcane classes. Even my bard can reach 60 with a feat exchange and a couple more points in charisma, so it's really not terribly difficult. Where it seems to start becoming difficult is getting well into the 70s with a bard, but I'm no expert.

Wipey
12-03-2013, 03:26 PM
Everybody on the forums have all past lives, 5 tomes, liberal use of store pots, including bard songs and debuffs in their " math " :)

That's not reality, very few have those DCs, at least that's my observation and current trends.
For every good DC cleric or wizzy there are 20 others not focused on DCs and 100 melee / ranged toons. I pulled this number out of my arse.