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  1. #1
    Hatchery Founder Ganak's Avatar
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    Default What do I need to know about Bards?

    I'm planning a 32 pt halfling bard. For those that have played Bards, what do I need to know?

    What do you know now that you wish you knew when you first rolled your bard? Thx!
    The Nak Abides - Argo - Ascent
    Ganak Goblinjuicer ~ Xanak the Irregular

  2. #2
    Founder Freeman's Avatar
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    Rule #1: Try on every piece of armor you find, whether you are proficient in it or not. You never know when you'll find that drop-dead sexy armor you can wear around town, even if it is half-plate

    Other than that, it really is up to you how you build your bard. To me, your strongest points are buffing, crowd-control, and songs. It doesn't take much to do those, so you are generally free to customize a bard any way you want. Take a look at some of the builds floating around and see what else you'd like to do. Bards are probably the most versatile single class in the game, so you have a lot of options.

    One thing I would recommend is to start with at least a 12 or 14 strength. Otherwise, as a halfling you probably won't be able to even carry all you gear without being burdened.(I learned that on my rogue though)
    Freeman - Human Bard - Thelanis Fulfilling my duty to the ladies of Stormreach
    Yuvben(Halfling Rogue), Acana(Drow Sorcerer), Walket(Human Cleric), Mahoukami (WF Wizard), Knicapper(Horc Fighter), Pyetr(Human Bard), Mazinger (WF Barb), and Belcar(Halfling Ranger).

  3. #3
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    One thing you might like to know is that it is generally accepted that humans, dwarves, drow, and WF make better bards than halflings. Which isn't to say you can't play brilliantly as a little one.

    If youre new to bards, maybe it would be helpful for you to know that I would recommend against building a halfling, unless you have a specific build and playstyle in mind which calls for halfling.
    Last edited by geezee; 09-01-2007 at 02:57 PM.

  4. #4
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    What do you need to know about bards?

    Bards are by far the most versatile class. A bard is 3/4 fighter, 3/4 caster but with songs and the best buffs in the game. There are many different types of bards, and they play completely differently.

    The first question you need to ask when thinking about rolling a bard is what type of character it's going to be. A bard can do pretty much anything in the game if you design the character that way. I see from your sig you have a lot of experience playing all kinds of different classes. So if you want more specific advice, I would have to know why you are making a bard?

  5. #5
    Community Member hannika's Avatar
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    i have 6 bards. i love them. i think i'm pretty good at making them. but like others have mentioned a bard is really versitle so know what kind of bard you'd like to make and then ask advice, or ask advice on what kind of bard to make i guess. i'd love to share ideas with you if you'd like, hit me up with a PM

  6. #6
    Community Member hazur's Avatar
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    Default Things you need to know about bards.

    Greetings,

    Here is a list of things you need to know about bards:

    1.) Most people have no idea what a bard does.

    2.) Most people see the primary functions of the bard as follows: play songs, haste, break boxes.

    3.) Most people will not want you in their group, despite the fact that you could fill any job that they needed (healer, buffer, crowd control, even dps if you build that way.)

    4.) Most people think all bards are built the same.

    5.) Most people think bard spells are not as powerful as other casters.

    6.) Most people think bards cannot be healers.

    7.) Generally people will allow you along as a sixth wheel, but if anything goes wrong its your fault.

    8.) If you run ahead and fascinate everything perfectly 99 times out of a hundred, and yet one time you manage to die doing it, that's when they will flip out at you and say, "THIS IS WHY YOU DON'T RUN AHEAD!"

    9.) People may yell at you for charming things.

    10.) There is really no best way to build a bard, only a best way to play one.


    Anyway, teasing aside, bards are the most complex, versatile and some may say powerful class in the game - in the right hands. Unfortunately bards are rather difficult to pull off well. There are more and more people playing bards, and less and less of them are really -good- at it. I have often grouped with them on my very few non-bard characters and I am confused. Why is their SP bar always full? Why are they not bothering to fascinate anything? Where is my inspire courage? Why did he just run by me while I'm bleeding on the floor?

    I think the best way to play a bard is to basically be the glue that holds the group together. If you see a job that needs to be done, do it. You are the handy man. People need a haste and the wizard is too busy throwing fireballs (or you don't have a wizard)? Run into the fight and throw some haste! Cleric go AFK and the group just rushed into a mess? Get out those heal scrolls. No matter how you BUILD your bard, there is a fundamental play-style that myself and many others I have played with feel bards should follow. Are you a front-line DPSing bard? That's fine, but you still need to keep an eye on things.

    Personally, for your first bard, I would go with what you know. If you've predominantly played fighters, go for a combat oriented bard. Slowly phase yourself into the other bard duties while maintaining your element. If you're used to playing casters already, go for a crowd control oriented bard, this will make you feel most at home. Played clerics mostly? Make a healing bard. Heck, you can even make a rogue/bard hybrid. So basically you can take any class that you've played before and incorporate some of it's characteristics into your new bard to make you feel more comfortable with it until you get the hang of all of your wonderful bard powers.

    Once you are comfortable and well versed in the powers of your bard, you can experiment and eventually form your play-style. It is wonderful that bards can do basically any job they put their minds to, but it is often hard to choose where to put your focus and when.

    If you need help with a build, let me know, otherwise, good luck with your bard!

    Regards,
    Booser
    Booser McDrunk - 14 Bard

  7. #7
    Founder Freeman's Avatar
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    Mostly true, Hazur, unfortunately. Still, I wouldn't say that most players don't want bards in their parties. From my experience, I think the ones who don't are in the minority now. That's just my perception though.

    As for saying bards can't be healers, that is very funny. While getting a Reaver raid together at one point, someone said we really needed a cleric. Several people laughed and pointed out that we had three bards in the party. Healing was not going to be an issue at all. I'm all for bringing a cleric so I don't have to heal as much(I'm definitely not specced for healing), but they definitely aren't necessary.
    Freeman - Human Bard - Thelanis Fulfilling my duty to the ladies of Stormreach
    Yuvben(Halfling Rogue), Acana(Drow Sorcerer), Walket(Human Cleric), Mahoukami (WF Wizard), Knicapper(Horc Fighter), Pyetr(Human Bard), Mazinger (WF Barb), and Belcar(Halfling Ranger).

  8. #8
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    Hazur is 100% right in the above post in everything he said. The only thing I would add to that is that all people really expect from a bard most of the time is some nice buffs. Any bard can buff well. After you throw the buffs on, most people dont really care or pay attention to what you do.

    So it's up to you what you want to do with the rest of your time. In the case of a well-played bard, this is whatever the group is lacking the most, as Hazur stated. In some obvious cases where a group is lacking a healer, tank, or caster, it will be clear what you are supposed to do. Most of the time people will love you if you just throw down buffs, haste, and an occasional heal.

    As sure as bard is the most versatile class, it also requires the most skill to play well.

  9. #9
    Community Member Quartzite's Avatar
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    I don't know what server you guys are on, but I haven't had any problems at all getting into a group with my WF Battlebard. People let me do whatever the hell I want, and I let them know in advance that I CAN primary heal if needed, but prefer not to. Often people have "Fighter, Barb, Pally" in their LFM, and I talk them into letting me come as an off-tank. Bards are exceptional, everyone I've grouped with has appreciated me as a good source of DPS and buffs. They've appreciated my wand healing. But maybe Sarlona is just a Bard-friendly server.
    Khalzad - TWF Dwarf Barbarian
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    Malakyte - Mark of the Sentinel Human "True" Tank

  10. #10
    Community Member hazur's Avatar
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    Default Servers...playgroups...people...

    Greetings,

    I hope you know I was being sarcastic Freeman. Every group I join (EVERY SINGLE GROUP) always has some yahoo who goes "man we need a healer". Often one of my bard advocates will pipe up for me: "Indeed, Booser is a healer!" But other times, especially on my alts where no one knows me, it is an argument I have to make.

    The amount of bard hate you face can depend on a number of factors, server being one of them. Argonnessen seems to be a hotbed for a good lot of bard hate. People will often say "Well gosh darn I love bards!" Then they turn around and post their group: LFM: Hey we could use crowd control or a healer!; Wizard, Sorcerer, Cleric...

    I send them a tell and they giggle, "A bard? Well well, I love your songs and buffs but, you can't really heal or CC like the classes I want, sorry buddy."

    You can't tell me bard hate doesn't exist - I see it every day, 99% of my play time is comprised of playing bards. However, I love to be underestimated, it makes me look that much better when I do my primary job: Saving bad parties from themselves.

    Regards,
    Booser
    Booser McDrunk - 14 Bard

  11. #11
    Community Member twix's Avatar
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    My main groups are healer=bard, me= melee, and three casters fun times.Theres nothin you cant do when you have bard buffs.Even if the bard isnt specced for healing Your so buffed you hardly get hit.

  12. #12
    Hatchery Founder Ganak's Avatar
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    Wow, great advice from everyone. Thank you.

    Quick question: Do shields with a spell failure % affect bards when equipped?
    The Nak Abides - Argo - Ascent
    Ganak Goblinjuicer ~ Xanak the Irregular

  13. #13
    Founder Freeman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ganak View Post
    Wow, great advice from everyone. Thank you.

    Quick question: Do shields with a spell failure % affect bards when equipped?
    Yes, bard are like any other arcane casting class when it comes to shield spell failure. However, light shields and bucklers normally only have 5% spell failure normally. If you can find a mithral shield, then it will reduce the spell failure to 0%. Most bard run around with light mithral shields(If they use shields).

    And yes, I knew you were being sarcastic, Hazur. Still, every bard is going to run into the opinions you expressed at some point or another. I've had to make the same argument before on a bard being a healer. Those are probably the same people who won't bring a rogue unless they have traps to get past.
    Freeman - Human Bard - Thelanis Fulfilling my duty to the ladies of Stormreach
    Yuvben(Halfling Rogue), Acana(Drow Sorcerer), Walket(Human Cleric), Mahoukami (WF Wizard), Knicapper(Horc Fighter), Pyetr(Human Bard), Mazinger (WF Barb), and Belcar(Halfling Ranger).

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by hazur View Post
    3.) Most people will not want you in their group
    9.) People may yell at you for charming things.
    I dunno. I think #3 can easily be a result of #9. As an example: a crew ready to wreck shop in Trial by Fire. The bard states "hey, why fight anything? I'm the greatest bard there is" and zergs to the second general before everyone is finished zoning in, gets killed, then sits there while everyone else assembles at the start. He uses the time to talk about how many bards he's created, how the one he's running now is the greatest bard ever, and how bards are the most misunderstood and complex classes in the game. Party sans buffs catches up to this uber bard, and upon getting a rez his first act is to co-opt the second general, then innocently comment "aw come on, you don't like charms?" as if this is supposed to impress rather than annoy.

    You'd party with this bard again? I know I sure as hell won't. And you wonder why Argo bards have crummy reps? IME they're either clueless, so insecure that they can't shut the fsck up about how great they are, or the rare 2% that know what they're doing and just go do it.

    Ganak- I'm thinking you're not in a guild with a ton of good bards, or else you'd have gone to them before us with this general query. My suggestion would be to send in-game mail to bards on Argo that you've enjoyed partying with, tell them what aspects of gameplay you enjoy most, and solicit tips on how you could incorporate them into a bard build. I don't think you'll be out of luck from jump going the halfling route- it's just a shame the Companion line is so limp, even after its "love" from the devs, or else that'd be a great buff to add to your arsenal.

  15. #15
    Community Member Zenako's Avatar
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    Yah, must be the server demographics, cause pretty much all I ever saw on Sarlona was warm and fuzzy bard love....aaawww

    That being said, just like "Fighting Cleric hate", Bards could be the subject of aprehension if the players have not seen a well played one. In the hands of someone who even has half a clue about what they can do, a good bard can turn an otherwise challengeing quest into a cakewalk. It is easy for a bard to keep everyone healed if they are always buffed and displaced. The mobs don't hurt what they can't hit. Fascinated or Dancing mobs are helpless and easy pickings.

    Some quests like Threnal East 3 become almost easy with a good bard. Three manning quests like Co6 with Bard, Ranger/rogue and Fighter with no deaths for example. The mobs never had a chance.

    As for building a Bard, give some thought to which of the three specialty type of Bard you want to build: Spellsinger, Warchanter, etc. It will affect which feats and enhancements you need to choose. I personally am quite happy with the effects of the Spellsinger variant, it fit in well with the character concept and existing feats and enhancements at the time.
    Last edited by Zenako; 09-02-2007 at 01:00 PM.
    Sarlona - The Ko Brotherhood :Jareko-Elf Ranger12Rogue8+4E; Hennako-Human Cleric22; Rukio-Human Paladin18; Taellya-Halfling Rogue16; Zenako-Dwarf Fighter10Cleric1; Daniko-Drow Bard20; Kerriganko-Human Cleric18; Buket-WF Fighter6; Xenophilia-Human Wiz20; Zenakotwo-Dwarf Cleric16; Yadnomko-Halfling Ftr12; Gabiko-Human Bard15; lots more

  16. #16
    Community Member Quartzite's Avatar
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    So the consensus is if you want to make a Bard:
    Sarlona= good.
    Argo= bunch of jerks.

    I wonder if that applies to out of spec builds in general? My Sorc with 2 levels of Pally was never rejected from a group, either...
    Khalzad - TWF Dwarf Barbarian
    Aubergine - Warforged Tactical Warchanter
    Malakyte - Mark of the Sentinel Human "True" Tank

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Quartzite View Post
    So the consensus is if you want to make a Bard:
    Sarlona= good.
    Argo= bunch of jerks.

    I wonder if that applies to out of spec builds in general? My Sorc with 2 levels of Pally was never rejected from a group, either...
    I have had very little problems with my Bards on Argo since switching servers about 1-2 months ago. Perhaps some people aren't as well thought of as they think of themselves. I play two non-traditional Bards, a rogue and a very combat heavy battle bard. I have had no problem in groups with either. The rogue/bard gets asked if he can do traps, which I answer yes and that is about it.

  18. #18
    Founder Rickpa's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by geezee View Post
    One thing you might like to know is that it is generally accepted that humans, dwarves, drow, and WF make better bards than halflings. Which isn't to say you can't play brilliantly as a little one.

    If youre new to bards, maybe it would be helpful for you to know that I would recommend against building a halfling, unless you have a specific build and playstyle in mind which calls for halfling.
    Interesting point of view, especially since dwarfs and warforged are limited on charisma.

    Halfling bard is a popular build. Not as popular as drow or human, but they come in a strong 3rd. Halflings have the edge when it comes to saves, especially when Halfling Luck is somewhat un-nerfed after Module 5. Halflings get dex bonuses, +1 AC, +1 to hit, and pluses to hide and move silently. If you want a bard that can get up and fascinate before he gets detected and whacked, a halfling is your likely candidate!


    If you're not hell-bent on having the highest charisma possible, halfling is the best choice for a build that can deal damage and get away with it.

  19. #19
    Founder PurdueDave's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by hazur View Post
    7.) Generally people will allow you along as a sixth wheel, but if anything goes wrong its your fault.

    8.) If you run ahead and fascinate everything perfectly 99 times out of a hundred, and yet one time you manage to die doing it, that's when they will flip out at you and say, "THIS IS WHY YOU DON'T RUN AHEAD!"
    lol

  20. #20
    Community Member hazur's Avatar
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    Default When people know you...

    Greetings,

    Once people begin to know you as a good bard, you will get parties more easily. I am speaking from experiences with my alts when people do not know who I am. Also depends on what time you play I imagine (I play late at night EST generally, so not as many groups.) Also, the observations are tongue and cheek and do not apply to everyone/every server. I am also not referring to leveling groups (As they will often take what they can get.) People take me way more seriously than they should lol.

    Regards,
    Booser
    Booser McDrunk - 14 Bard

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