PDA

View Full Version : My suggestions to improve Bards



eecsman
03-28-2014, 01:46 AM
Here they are:

1) Allow 2 Tier 5 PREs
If a character has a majority of levels in the Bard class (12 or more), allow them to take Tier 5 enhancements in a Bard PRE and another PRE. Bards can't splash Monk or Paladin, so that removes a lot of the chances of it being overpowering. And with only 15 Bard levels, level 6 spells are unavailable. Also, this would require 62AP as a bare minimum (30 + 1 + 30 + 1), leaving few AP for racial or 3rd class trees.

2) Change Inspire Excellence level requirement
The only epic feats with a >12 class level requirement are Inspire Excellence and the Epic Spell Focus feats. The level requirement is irrelevant for the Epic Spell Focus feats; anyone who takes them on purpose is going to be splashing only a few levels, if any. Change the requirement for Inspire Excellence to 12 Bard levels.

3) Move Heal from L20 core to L18 core (maybe even L12 core)
Self-healing on a Bard can be done, using Cure Critical Wounds, but it requires feats, gear, healing amp, and lots of SP. Pre-U14, a Bard could just about manage being a party/raid healer, if they put in the work to acquire gear, and took the necessary feats (Quicken, Empower Healing, Maximize). With the inflation in HP, you might be able to heal others with Heal scrolls, but not from SP (or at least not for very long). On a L20 Bard, before feats or spell power or healing amp, Heal is 150HP for 40SP, CCW is 42HP (max) for 20SP. CCW can't compete with Heal or current character HP.

4) Add Efficient Metamagic enhancements
Bards get enhancements to help their DCs, but not to make their metamagics more efficient. Remove Flicker / Inspired Flicker from Spellsinger, and add 2x Efficient Metamagic (available: Quicken, Maximize, Empower, Empower Healing). If you're feeling really generous, remove Reviving Verse / Raucous Refrain, and add another Efficient Metamagic and Efficient Heightening. If anyone is taking these enhancements right now, it's just filler points to access Tier 4/5.

5) The new Swashbuckler PRE
First off, thanks! Thank you thank you THANK YOU! I haven't even seen it yet, but I like it just because it's some attention for Bards. However even sight unseen, my suggestion is to double any damage-related enhancements in the tree. Trust me, it will not be overpowered, and it will still be ignored by most people who currently don't play a Bard.

6) Double song effects for self
When applied to the Bard, double any song effects. Yes, all of them: Inspire Courage / Greatness / Heroics / Excellence, Spellsinger / Warchanter enhancements, Fatesinger stuff, all of it. This way if by some miracle there are 2 Bards in the same party, they both have an individual contribution to the group.


edited because I forgot to add:

7) Fatesinger Epic Moment
This should apply to all mobs, including Bosses. Also maybe lower the cooldown to 4 or 5 minutes, if you're feeling generous.



and a great suggestion from many others:

1) Change Inspire Courage to add a % to damage
Currently Inspire Courage adds a flat amount to damage (and attack), the damage portion of which is almost insignificant is the current epic environment. For every feat, enhancement and epic destiny that increases the damage of IC, change the increase from a flat amount to a % amount.

If I am adding everything up correctly, the maximum damage that can be given by IC is 9:
+4 - Level 20 Bard
+3 - L20 Warchanter
+2 - Fatesinger Epic Destiny (Echoes of the Ancestors: Martial/Primal, Fragment of the Song: Valor)

+9% damage would be desirable, but the trade-off is the character giving this has no evasion, and lower saves. My guess is that most Bards would probably be giving 4%-7% additional damage, which is nice but not overpowered.

BoBoDaClown
03-28-2014, 08:24 PM
Here they are:

1) Allow 2 Tier 5 PREs
Not sure there is anythin in WC you would want? Anyway certainly wouldn't make bards overpowered, but not sure it is a good idea to have one class that allows for double dipping on the tier 5s while excluding the others.

2) Change Inspire Excellence level requirement
Sure. Doesn't bother me. Since later levels of bard are a bit lackluster in terms of melee, this works around it a little.

3) Move Heal from L20 core to L18 core (maybe even L12 core)
Decent idea, if that add another incentive to stay pure. I think pure vs multi should be a tough choice; don't know if devs agree with that.

4) Add Efficient Metamagic enhancements
I never find SP a limiting factor. Might help new players. Certainly better than the junk enhancement there atm.

5) The new Swashbuckler PRE
First off, thanks! Yes exciting

6) Double song effects for self

Not so keen on this- I want bards to be masters of buffing; doubling the effects of the songs would be great, if it worked on other people.

7) Fatesinger Epic Moment
This should apply to all mobs, including Bosses. Also maybe lower the cooldown to 4 or 5 minutes, if you're feeling generous.
Yes. Super stooopid limitation


and a great suggestion from many others:

1) Change Inspire Courage to add a % to damage
Perhaps at epic levels? Since at heroic levels the bonus would be negligible. I would also make it only work on the first number of the damage.

I have posted my ideas below, in the off chance a dev reads the thread, rather than to hijack yours :)

BoBoDaClown
03-28-2014, 08:27 PM
The proposals:

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?

eecsman
04-02-2014, 03:02 AM
Thanks for the comments BoBoDaClown. I mostly agree with what you've said. I've never played a CC Bard (other than fascinate), so I can't comment on that. But I do think that Bard DPS, and especially healing capability, has really fallen by the wayside. The only thing unique about Bards is fascinate, which is rarely if ever needed, and typically wasted in the current cleave-heavy game.

Pre-U14 I had a L20 Bard that was able to raid-heal, using a combo of spells & scrolls, but just barely. Nowadays, without really good gear and a better player than me at the keyboard, I don't think a Bard could be a main healer using SP. And if you're using scrolls to heal, any Rogue splashed toon (or 39 UMD toon) could fill that role.

I've since TRed that toon into a 15 Bard / 5 Rogue Bladeforged build. He's really fun to play, but the stuff that makes him great isn't Bard stuff. Inspire Courage, Invisibility, Blur/Displacement, Haste/Rage: they're all nice, but it would not be difficult to argue that replacing those 15 Bard levels with something else wouldn't improve him.

Unless Bards have a role that they can relatively easily fill (DPS, CC or Heal), players will continue to want 0/1 of them in a party. That's why I posted my suggestions: almost all of them are relatively easy to add to the game, most of them being small tweaks to existing stuff. It would be great to get a CC/spell DPS oriented PRE, but with the Swashbuckler PRE coming next update, I don't expect Bards to get another PRE in the next few years, if ever.


And here's another suggestion I posted in another Bard thread a while back:

Allow songs to be made AOE for 1 extra song, and allow songs to be sung at the same time, similar to how metamagic feats are enabled on spells. So if you right-clicked on Inspire Courage on your hot-bar, you would see a list of all the other buff songs you have:

Inspire Competence
Inspire Greatness
Inspire Heroics
etc...

If you then click on Inspire Competence, you get this menu:

Inspire Competence
-> Off (+0 songs)
-> Sing to Target (+1 song)
-> Sing to All (+2 songs)

I don't know how easy/hard this would be to implement (easy I hope), but this would be a huge time-saver for Bards. These days, sometimes it can take minutes to sing all the individual buff songs to everyone. And this doesn't invalidate the Epic Elyd Edge either, it just makes not having it a more expensive way to sing songs.

unbongwah
04-02-2014, 09:56 AM
1) Allow 2 Tier 5 PREs
I would rather make the current tier-5s better, rather than breaking the Enhancement system's rules with this one exception.

2) Change Inspire Excellence level requirement
Right now Excellence is tied to Heroics; both are worthwhile songs for a mostly-bard to have (esp. if you make an eElyd (http://ddowiki.com/page/Epic_Elyd_Edge) to turn Heroics into an AoE buff), so I'm okay with this req staying the same.

3) Move Heal from L20 core to L18 core (maybe even L12 core)
I would definitely like to see Virtuoso (song regen) moved back down to bard 12. I'm not opposed to moving Heal down to 18, but what would you replace it with in the capstone?

4) Add Efficient Metamagic enhancements
Agreed: Heighten & Quicken at the very least!

5) The new Swashbuckler PRE
As much as I want a Dashing Swordsman-style bard to become viable, I must admit I'm not sure what we need is another melee-based PrE; I'd rather see WC get buffed.

7) Fatesinger Epic Moment
This should apply to all mobs, including Bosses. Also maybe lower the cooldown to 4 or 5 minutes, if you're feeling generous.
Agreed. That or nerf the other epic moments so they don't work with bosses either. :p

1) Change Inspire Courage to add a % to damage
Not sure % dmg is the best way, but I agree that Courage needs a buff in order to keep up with all the power inflation in DDO.

My main problem with your suggestions is you basically seem to be saying, "The bard PrEs suck, so lets push the good stuff down to lower levels and make MCing bards easier / more powerful." I'd rather see suggestions which say, "I like playing bards, esp. pure ones, so please help us keep up with the power inflation of other classes."

unbongwah
04-02-2014, 10:15 AM
BUFFING
Firstly, everything needs to stack. BAM, you have a super valuable support character again.
Definitely agreed: now that a lot of bard buffs can be replicated thru gear or ship buffs, there's much less incentive for bringing one along. Except:

3) Song of Heroism should stack with GH (perhaps make it +2, with that in mind)
Since SoH is the only mass Gtr Heroism buff in DDO, I'm fine with it not stacking, esp. since we can get it at bard lvl 6, before anybody can cast Gtr Heroism. Heck, that's earlier than you can use Planar Gird, which is ML:9. Why even bother taking Good Hope or Gtr Heroism on a bard anymore when we've got that song? What we need are more songs which are that useful!

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.
This would be a nice addition to either Tier-5 or SS capstone.

11) Spell Song Vigor: re-break it. Allow it to work on more than one person.
As I said elsewhere before, I'd like Inspiring Echoes to work with all single-target bard songs so they become AoEs. And yes, I'm including Song of Capering - how awesome would that be?! :eek:

2) Prodigy 3rd rank: All bard spells use enchantment for their DC
This one I disagree with: every other caster has to deal with multiple spell schools and decide which ones they're going to specialize in; I don't see why bards should be an exception.

1) Charisma to hit and damage: All bards should be able to do a bit of damage.
This should be in the SS tree somewhere, IMHO.

5) Fatesinger - Allow Dirge to be affected by spell power.
That would be great, though I wonder how they would implement it. But while they're at it, they should apply Pos Spellpower to Sustaining Song and fix it to be AoE again.

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.
I don't understand why it's cold rather than sonic, either; carryover from PnP PrC, perhaps?

Hilltrot
04-06-2014, 11:17 PM
In reply to the OP.

1) Allowing heroic level "twists" for bard might be interesting. I would love to twist sealed soul. . . .

2) No, the developers did that on purpose. The didn't want bards only 12 in to get that ability. This gives "more pure" bard the party buffing ability they should have as party buffers. Those only going 12 in are more likely to solo.

3) Once again, they did this on purpose. Evasion is an AWESOME ability. So is casting Heal and Wail of the Banshee. You have to pick one or the other, not get both. So, no, bad idea. You don't even come up a replacement 20? No, just no.

4) I agree that flicker and raucous refrain are currently lame and need to be redone or eliminated. However, the metamagic discounts you mention are lame in that they are boring. Very boring. Hopefully they can think up something more interesting.

5) hmm, we'll see.

6) I disagree. I think a duet could be allowed that increases the bonus for everyone. double just for yourself seems selfish for a bard.

7) And the purpose of fascinating a Boss is what exactly? Let you mana regenerate? Kill the trash mobs that you can't fascinate?

1) Programming and server overload prevents this. Remember just how many damage rolls there are in melee and ranged. 10-20 times more than spells? Game has problems as it is. Double strike was introduced because the game couldn't handle the computations for two-weapon fighting.

Multiplication takes far more processing than addition and subtraction does. Hence the + to damage. Spells can handle it because they are rarely cast in comparison.

In fact, I don't think there is anything that gives + percent damage for this reason.