PDA

View Full Version : Making Bards Rock: some proposals on how to improve bards



BoBoDaClown
12-15-2013, 03:34 PM
I have always been happy with the place bards were in, until recently. With Epic Destinies and the enhancement pass, a class that was a little lacklustre in power is really falling behind the curve. For example, Inspire Courage really doesn't add that much damage as a % of a party's output like it used to.

I want bards to be able to CC, Heal, and DPS well, but not as well as a class dedicated to those attributes. I want bards to offer awesome buffing.

I would like people to be able to build jack of all trades bards, that can do all of the above somewhat effectively (hard to do at the moment).

I will also comment a bit on Fatesinger, since it is very bard orientated.

Please comment on my suggestions (note: I'm throwing ideas out here; I don't necessarily want all of these...)

HEALING
Fine. Bards are in a good place.

BUFFING
Firstly, everything needs to stack. BAM, you have a super valuable support character again.

1) Spellsong Trance, should stack with guild buffs

2) Song of Arcane Might should stack with Arcane Augmentation

3) Song of Heroism should stack with GH (perhaps make it +2, with that in mind)

4) Warmaster: Stupid competence bonus should be changed to something else. So it stacks with Deadly items.

5) Ironskin Chant: stack DR please

6) Inspire Recklessness: Stacking 6% double strike. Keep the fort penalty; people go beyond 100% anyway.

7) Rallying cry +1 save bonus should stack

These changes would make the Warchanter Tree very worthwhile, rather than rubbish it currently is.

8 ) I would change Inspire Courage to twice the damage (including Fatesinger bonuses)- maybe this could 'kick in' at epic levels.

9) Introduce new song, or Add to Trance/Might: Song of Heightening - raises bard spell levels to Level 9. This would make up +3 DC, putting bards slightly behind a Wizard, with less spell options. Then we could adrop the Heightening Feat, freeing up a feat on a very feat starved class.

10) Inspire Courage, should proc all the songs you want on the party. So you only have to sing once. Singing multiple songs is boring and time consuming. Allow inspire to have toggles like metamagics. Adjust duration of all songs to match. This is a quality of life change.

11) Spell Song Vigor: re-break it. Allow it to work on more than one person.

CC
1) Fix Fascinate Undead/Constructs so they work consistently.

2) Prodigy 3rd rank: All bard spells use enchantment for their DC

3) Bring in Mass Hold Monster, under Maestro of Life and Death

4) Or, to make bards more unique, make Bard sonics add 'helpless' like a hold, such as on soundburst and greater shout. These would be effective, since they would now use enchantment as their DC, instead of evocation. (I think I prefer this idea to Mass Hold)

5) Copied from 9 above: Introduce new song, or Add to Trance/Might: Song of Heightening - raises bard spell levels to Level 9. This would make up +3 DC, putting bards slightly behind a Wizard, with less spell options. They could also drop the Heightening Feat, freeing up a feat on a very feat starved class.

DPS
1) Charisma to hit and damage: All bards should be able to do a bit of damage. DPS bards will still go the strength route because of more strength raising options, overwhelming crit, etc

2) Sonic SLAS instead? So caster bards can do a bit of DPS.

3) Sonic dot. Not convinced on this, but caster bards should be able to do a bit of dps to bosses.

4) Fatesinger - Turn the Tide, should work on bosses. Ridiculous it doesn't.

5) Fatesinger - Allow Dirge to be affected by spell power.

6) Howl of the North-should stack with other crit multiplier. I haven't tested this, since Warchanter is so lame, but I heard that it currently doesn't (yay more non-stacking warchanter stuff!)

7) The cold damage enhancements are lame. Maybe allow a toggle which allows the bard to choose between cold and sonic. Sonic would play nice with Fatesinger's Harmonic Resonance.

Note, Wail of the Banshee will now be effective for killing, rather than just debuffing, since all Bard spells use enchantment for DC as per above. Still, I'd rather have some of my other ideas than have Wail of the Banshee at all.

At the moment Warchanter is full of useless fluff and too much flavour instead of practicality.

My priority would be to buff the buffing first -I want Bards to be highly desired for this aspect of their game.

They are my ideas.

Thoughts?

AzB
12-15-2013, 04:11 PM
I like almost every one of your ideas. Especially the caster level raise and all spells use enchantment ideas. Those would be awesome for any bard, but especially casters.

I would like to see more options for dps based bards as well. Right now the PDK has far better morale boosting enhancements as racial enhancements than bards do as a class enhancement. "For Cormyr" has the potential to add +20 to damage to everyone in the party at epic levels. Even more if cha is maxxed. This is light years ahead of anything and everything that the bard can give to the party at those levels.

But the real problem is that all the bard abilities are based on heroic levels, don't scale to epic levels, and Fatesinger is pretty lame overall. Turn the Tide is ok, but I agree it needs to affect red names. It's silly that it doesn't, especially considering that every bard ability except melee dps (which is currently abysmal) can't affect red names at all. This leaves bards with no weapons to use on red names except pathetic attempts at melee combat.

katz
12-15-2013, 04:24 PM
i like all these ideas... nothing seems OP or silly like some of the suggestions i've seen in the past.

definitely some solid stuff, here

unbongwah
12-15-2013, 04:29 PM
11) Spell Song Vigor: re-break it. Allow it to work on more than one person.
My suggestion would be to keep it single-target but change Inspiring Echoes (http://ddowiki.com/page/Inspiring_Echoes) to work w/SSV so it's consistent with other single-target buff songs. Besides, Turbine needs to find reasons to get people to run eSentinels more... ;)

BoBoDaClown
12-15-2013, 04:46 PM
But the real problem is that all the bard abilities are based on heroic levels, don't scale to epic levels, and Fatesinger is pretty lame overall.

Yes. Hopefully making 6% double-striking stack will help with scaling. Then I would double the effect of Inspire Courage once a bard hits Epic Levels; maybe even more - I'm don't know how the maths would work out for it to be effective and balanced.


i like all these ideas... nothing seems OP or silly like some of the suggestions i've seen in the past.

definitely some solid stuff, here

Cheers - Yeah, I don't actually want Bards to be OP. I want them to as individuals be a bit behind the other classes, but as a group member, highly valued.


My suggestion would be to keep it single-target but change Inspiring Echoes (http://ddowiki.com/page/Inspiring_Echoes) to work w/SSV so it's consistent with other single-target buff songs. Besides, Turbine needs to find reasons to get people to run eSentinels more... ;)

That would also work :)

Corgster
01-20-2014, 09:36 AM
I'm coming into this as a relative DDO newbie, but a long-time D&D 3.5 player. Bards were often a bit behind on the power curve, short of splashbook gimmicks like giving allies +8d6 fire damage on their attacks through the power of song. However, they were pretty much always defined by their bardic music, and how it helped the party. There existed a lot of ways to improve your bardic music to grant considerable buffs that greatly helped your team. A bard was often, if not optimal on its own, a very well liked addition to any party.

Here in DDO, I've only played my poor bard to 7, but it's painfully obvious that bardic music is the weakest ability I possess. My contribution to the team comes mainly from healing and spell-based crowd control, while music is left behind. Fascinate is too clunky and unreliable to be used in combat: sure, the DC is sky-high, but the music takes a lot of time to play and the range is inconsistent, possibly due to server latency and never quite knowing when it finishes. Inspire Courage? I just got Good Hopes, a level 3 spell that is stronger at my level, lasts just as long and doesn't consume my per-rest music uses. Oh right, that's another thing: limited uses of bardic music. This might seem more than enough at higher levels but at low levels, it is very frustrating to feel so limited in the use of my core class skill, especially when it does nothing a cleric of the same level doesn't do better when it comes to Inspire Courage.

So in a game like DDO, where pretty much everything is made considerably stronger than its pen-and-paper equivalent thanks to enhancements, bardic music is in a pretty terrible spot. And the fix is so painfully obvious I don't know why it hasn't been performed yet. You give us a plethora of different songs through enhancements that all provide very trivial bonuses that both have a short duration and will go unnoticed by all but the most min-maxing of teams. Who would want to wait for me to play 4 different songs in every buff phase? Why would I waste one of my 7 daily songs on a 42 seconds buff that increases spell DCs by 1? Just merge all of that under Inspire Courage. Give us one big buff song that is improved through enhancements. And give us a Spellsinger enhancements to boost the base morale bonus from Inspire Courage. So what if I could give everyone +6 morale bonus at level 7? We're talking about a game where my cleric crits for 180+ at that same level.

I picked Bard because I wanted to be an outstanding buffer for my guild. I found myself being a gimp healer, gimp DPS until I get some falcatas, and spammer of Hypnotism and Soundburst. My cleric is a million times better at buffing while also being the best tank, healer and DPS in the team.

Seikojin
01-20-2014, 11:37 AM
Honestly, the biggest fix for bards is to have their enhancements utilize perform to replace spell dc's and ability dc's.

That would make everyone play a bard. Even if it was halfskill boosting.

Outside of that, they need a lot of attention to their trees.

Spellsinger should have slas that use songs. Or enhanced sonic spell sla's. Or both. Or sonic spells getting a damage boost from spellcraft and perform.

They should have a third tree. Something that helps them be more of a bard and less of a mage or fighter. Something that adds more group boosting abilities.

Ailaesaedol
01-21-2014, 02:06 AM
SS capstone: Be able to heighten one spell school to level 9 (tied to Marigold Crown perhaps?). Pre-req: Heighten feat.

WC: Make 'Armorer' and 'Weapon Group Training' core auto grants.

Add 'Bellringer' (for want of a better place holder :P) to top tier: stunning blow-like tactic. Uses Perform + Bard lvls for DC, Fort save negates. Target is considered helpless for 3/6/9 seconds. Cool down 30/25/20 seconds.

Give Virts back their own tree. The SS/Virt tree is such a clustertruck and you'll never get it buffed correctly while the prestige is being pulled in different directions because theres literally no room anywhere in the tree to add anything cool.

Ailaesaedol
01-21-2014, 02:09 AM
They should have a third tree. Something that helps them be more of a bard and less of a mage or fighter. Something that adds more group boosting abilities.

And we shall call this tree: Virtuoso of the Sword!

Devoted to the sword and the art of song, these bards are able to extend the duration of their song effects and can enthrall multiple enemies at once, virtually paralyzing them.

katz
01-21-2014, 06:25 AM
yeah, except virtuoso, and it's related enthrall and song of capering etc etc, is now part of spellsinger.


personally... gimmie duelist! XD

or... dashing swordsman (http://www.dandwiki.com/wiki/Dashing_Swordsman_%283.5e_Prestige_Class%29)!

unbongwah
01-21-2014, 08:49 AM
I've actually got a CHA-based TWF bard which is loosely based on my "Elan" build (https://www.ddo.com/forums/showthread.php/290464-Help-me-Build-an-quot-Elan-quot-Bard-)?p=3463592&viewfull=1#post3463592) from three years ago. I just wish there were more weapons which used CHA for dmg besides eElyd and eFalcata.

Ailaesaedol
01-21-2014, 09:02 AM
yeah, except virtuoso, and it's related enthrall and song of capering etc etc, is now part of spellsinger.


personally... gimmie duelist! XD

or... dashing swordsman (http://www.dandwiki.com/wiki/Dashing_Swordsman_%283.5e_Prestige_Class%29)!

I always kinda thought that CHA to-hit and dmg will fit well thematically with Virtuoso. I pretty much played my Virts like your Dashing Swordsman link or a Duellist. Tumbling around mobs, caper that divine mod, OID the next guy, jump back with Fascinate and finish off with Mass Suggestion Song and see who's left standing...

Cant play my Spellsingers like that now. Not enough songs. And the regen of songs isnt enough to cover the loss of the extra songs Virt gave you. Dont get me wrong, SSs and WCs are fun, but Virts always felt like the "true" bard prestige for me. I liked the division between the prestiges before. You had Spellsingers with their spells, Warchanters with their brawn, and Virtuosos with their songs. Now its all muddled.

I really would have liked Spellsingers to have two distinct branches in their tree, one offering Sonic SLAs and bonuses to sonic spell power/crits and a percentage chance of increasing vulnerability to Sonic spells. The other offering higher enchantment DCs, throw in Mass Hold monster, that sort of thing. Not that it matters now, its not like they'll split it up again and try fit things in like Wall of Sound that they promised("subject to change" disclaimer of course) or try and buff bards to a respectable level.

When was the last time any Dev even looked at the Bard spell list? Warchanters should get Tenser's at a minimum.

Silken-Akira
01-21-2014, 10:22 AM
yeah, except virtuoso, and it's related enthrall and song of capering etc etc, is now part of spellsinger.


personally... gimmie duelist! XD

or... dashing swordsman (http://www.dandwiki.com/wiki/Dashing_Swordsman_%283.5e_Prestige_Class%29)!

I always think what would be an excellent place to bring a swashbuckler kind of character in and this could be it.
Only instead of int based it need to be cha based.