The moment of truth.
"Hi welcome," I say as that PuG hits the 6th spot in my party or 12th in my raid party. Typically, that means the first person to hit my LFM. I don't like to sit around. I'd rather have that elf 6 cleric / 7 ranger / 6 rogue than turn someone away because they're not the right build.
Thoughts race across my mind. Will the new guy respond? Will they show up to the quest? Will they show up to the quest with explicit directions, encouragement, and a player guide?
As a raid leader, this is pretty much my only criteria for a successful pick up player. I'm delighted when they turn out to be responsive. A pleasant personality is a huge bonus. Good times, in my book.
But what if...
What if I was picky? What build would I want in my party?
This is that build that brings it all together, regardless of party makeup. This is my take on the perfectly balanced bard right now. Not the perfectly balanced bard 2 years ago, and maybe not the perfectly balanced bard 2 years from now. In the hands of a team player, this build brings whatever the party could need at any given time.
What does that mean? Buffs, heals, and DPS. Sorry Charlie Charmer, but DDO hates crowd control right now. Fascinate will do the trick when it's time to incapacitate monsters. The rest of the time, this bard can dish it out, keep herself alive, and keep the party in good spirits.
Not taking the two handed fighting feats lowers personal DPS. In return for the loss of personal DPS, this build has it all. In the right hands, it will heal well enough to be the sole healer in an epic 6-man quest or a typical Shroud. It makes no sacrifices on songs and buffing; the 20th level bard grants longer songs and additional damage. Many players make the decision to splash their bards because of how difficult the feats are. Can't blame them. But this build can still rock it out with the Destruction armor, put out big crits, and provide full healing to boot. There is just nothing more I would want on this type of build that could be gained by splashing.
Being pure is awesome because your songs are longer and better, your buffs are better, and it's very simple to re-spec when the next flavor of the month is an ultra-high charisma spellsinger dual wielding Dynastic Falcatas. With human versatility (if you are the human route) you can adjust your stats to match whatever tomes you get and whatever gear you pick up along your journey to level 20.
As a reference, The Classic Rocker has nearly the DPS of a similarly-geared Two Weapon Fighting bard that is soley focused on her own DPS (See Roq Star). The warforged and half orc variation will get closer to the two weapon fighting build because of its power attack enhancements. Equipping to epic weapons and learning to twitch fight properly will help even out two weapon fighting's advantage if this is important to you. At the same time, it has about 15% more DPS of a similar warchanter that puts level-ups in charisma but maintains DPS equipment (see Jacklyn of All Trades).
SO, WHO SHOULD PLAY THIS CHARACTER?
- You. (or your wife... I mean, someone's got to give you the Axer Package)
- Someone who is looking for a general-purpose bard that is not watered down.
- Someone who runs their bard in endgame raids and epic / elite content.
- Someone who wants their bard to be able double as a healer.
- Someone who can accept doing up to 10-20% less DPS than a full on battlebard.
- Someone who likes chocolate cake.
- Someone with enough twitch ability not to let every trash mob kill you repeatedly as you are telling the party who you copied your build from. Let's face it: heal scrolling and displacing takes some attention span!
- Full buffing potential -- extended hastes, long songs, full damage
- Best songs in DDO!
- Raid quality healing (Quicken, Maximize, Empower Healing)
- Excellent bardic to-hit (bard songs at all times and two-handed fighting)
- Sufficient hit points to fill a melee or off-tank role
- Not gimped spell penetration for easy landing of Otto's Irresistible Dance
- Debuffs via Destruction armor and Radiance guard
- Fascinates, with the option to pick up music of the makers / music of the dead
- Mega Healing amplification -- human 30%, ring 20%, and perhaps epic gloves 30%
- Scroll mastery that gets you the most for your money and time
- Excellent solo ability, especially at higher levels
- 5% doublestrike from Inspire Recklessness
- Niche abilities like haggling and stealth available -- Invis + Fascinate is a dungeon alert breaker
- Great Box Breaking!
32 point HUMAN STATS at level 20
40 STR: 18 base + 2 tome + 1 litany + 1 human + 6 item + 3 exceptional + 5 levels + 2 rage + 2 yugoloth
18 DEX: 8 base + 2 tome + 1 litany + 7 item
28 CON: 16 base + 2 tome + 1 litany + 6 item + 1 human + 20 rage
11 INT: 8 base + 2 tome + 1 litany
16 WIS: 8 base + 1 tome + 1 litany + 6 item
26 CHA: 14 base + 2 tome + 1 litany + 6 item + 1 enhancement + 2 capstone
[ 28 point: 18 STR; 8 DEX; 14 CON; 8 INT; 8 WIS; 14 CHA ]
[ 34 point: 18 STR; 8 DEX; 16 CON; 8 INT; 8 WIS; 15 CHA ]
[ 36 point: 18 STR; 8 DEX; 16 CON; 8 INT; 8 WIS; 16 CHA ]
I slot in +2 tomes to demonstrate this build's ability to be able to compare it to other build. However, not having access to these tomes initially is not a barrier to making The Classic Rocker. None of the skills or abilities require stats higher than given.
587 HP: at level 20
1: Weapon Focus: Slashing
3: Mental Toughness
6: Power Attack
9: Maximize Spell
12: Improved Critical: Slashing
15: Quicken Spell
18: Improved Mental Toughness
21: Inspire Excellence
24: Epic Mental Toughness (+200 SP)
1: Weapon Focus: Slashing
3: Power Attack
9: Maximize Spell
12: Improved Critical: Slashing
15: Quicken Spell
18: Great Cleave
21: Inspire Excellence
24: Overwhelming Critical
SPELLS:Bard Inspired Attack III
Bard Inspired Bravery III
Bard Inspired Damage III
Bard Lingering Song IV
Bard Warchanter II
Bard Musical Prodigy
Human Adaptability Strength I
Human Greater Adaptability Constitution I
Human Improved Recovery I
Bard Energy of the Music II
Racial Toughness III
Bard Song Magic IV
Bard Wand and Scroll Mastery IV
(1): Remove Fear, Focusing Chant, Sonic Blast (Boxes!), Master's Touch,
(2): Blur, Rage, Glitterdust, Invisibility
(3): Haste, Good Hope, Displacement, Cure Serious Wounds
(4): Freedom of Movement, Dimension Door, Break Enchantment, Cure
Critical Wounds, Neutralize Poison
(5): Greater Heroism, Mass Suggestion, Mass Cure Light Wounds, Greater
Dispel Magic, Summon Monster V
(6): Mass Cure Moderate Wounds, Otto's Irresistible Dance, Cat's Grace, Mass, Hero's Feast
Concentration, Perform, Use Magic Device, Jump, Balance, Tumble
- Fatesinger's Repertoire (required 0): (Active - toggle) Gain +1 to your effective Arcane caster level. For every level of Fatesinger, gain 2 Songs and 25 Spell Points. If you didn't have inspire courage gain that feat. Each autogrant (including this one) also give you +3 stacking sonic resistance.
- Glitter of fame (required 4): (Passive) Gain +1 to your effective Arcane caster level and a +1 to hit. Special Effect: As long as you are above 10% Health, you radiate confidence: gain a +1 to all Ability scores.
- Harmonic resonance (required 8): (Passive) Passive: Your melee and missile attacks have a 10% chance per hit of building a stacking resonance in your enemies. Each stack increases the creature's vulnerability to Sonic damage by 10%. The effect may stack up to 5 times. Active: You may expend a Song to activate Fatesinger's Repertoire. If you do so, your voice thrums with magic, and you no longer require material components to cast spells
- Intoxicationg presence (required 12): (Passive) Passive: Gain +1 to your effective Arcane caster level and a +1 to hit. Special Effect: As long as you are above 10% Health, enemies that strike you have a 5% chance of becoming Fascinated for 12 seconds, with no saving throw."
- Grandeur (required 16): (Passive) Passive: Gain +1 to your effective Arcane caster level. Special Effect: As long as you are above 10% Health, you gain Immunity to Fear, as well as projecting an Aura of Grandeur. This aura grants you and your friends a +1 to all saving throws, a +2 to all Charisma-based skills, and a +2(supposed to be 3 based on a dev post) Competence bonus to damage.
- Majesty (required 20): (Passive) Passive: +1 to your effective Arcane caster level and a +1 to hit. You also gain a +2 to the effective level of your Enchantment/Charm spells and a +10 to the Spell Power of your Sonic, Light and Positive spells. Special Effect: Enemies that strike you also have a 5% chance to become blinded by your glory (in addition to other effects), with no saving throw.
Tier 1 (0 points required)
- 1 O Fortuna (required 0 - No prereq) (3 ranks - 1 AP): (Passive) Inspire courage gives  fortitude and reflex saves
- 1 Music of the spider queen (required 0 - No prereq) (1 rank - 1 AP): (Passive) Fascinate can mesmerize vermins. Vermins still cannot be suggested
- 2 Strength (Passive) +1 Charisma/Strength
Tier 2 (4 points required)
- 3 Tailwind (Prereq : O Fortuna) (Passive) Inspire courage grants + damage to all missile weapons.
- 2 Masked ball (required 4 - Prereq: Music of the spider queen) (2 ranks - 1 AP): (Passive) Fascinate or dirge grants you and your friend 10/20 jump, 20 tumble, blur and ability to run over slippery surfaces unimpeded. Also grant +2 to hit from sneak attacks and +1d6 sneak attack damage. Also grants +2 charisma.
- 2 Strength: (Passive) +1 Charisma/Strength
Tier 3 (8 points required)
- 3 Reign (Prereq: Allure) : Spontaneous Song (expands a song but instant activation): You gain a +60 temporary Health. On a vorpal strike, you unleash a thunderclap for 11d20 Sonic and 11]d20 Electrical damage. Duration: 180 seconds.
- 1 Siren's song (Active Cooldown: 60 seconds) Unbreakable mez on a single target and deals 2 constitution damage every 3 seconds. Duration 12 seconds.
- 2 Strength: +1 Charisma/Strength
Tier 4 (12 points required)
- 2 Strength: (Passive) +1 Charisma/Strength
Tier 5 (16 points required)
- 2 Fragment of the song: Valor (required 16 - No prereq) (2 ranks - 1 AP): (Passive) Inspire courage increase your attack speed by 4% and grants you 20 competence bonus to temporary HP. It also grants your allies 20 morale bonus to temporary HP and a +4 intimidate. Tier 1 removes combat penalties for moving. Tier 2 gives you a 2% chance to cause 5% electricity/light/sonic vulnerability (stacks 3 times).
Tier 6 (20 points required)
[list][*]3 Turn of the tide (required 20 - Prereq: Fragment of the song: Valor 1) (3 ranks - 1 AP): (Active Cooldown: 10 mins) Expend a Song to activate, Turn of the Tide grants a +5 to hit, +40% damage, DR 15/-, a +4 Charisma, and deals +5d20 +150 Sonic damage per hit. (Sonic damage does not affect Bosses.). In addition, while under the effects of Turn of the Tide, you cannot fail a Will save an a roll of 1. Duration: 20 seconds.
Ideas for Twists of Fate
- Tier 4 (Fury of the Wild) Sense Weakness. (Passive). You deal 30% extra damage to helpless targets. Your melee attacks deal 1d8 extra damage to enemies below 75% HP, 1d12 extra damage to enemies below 50% HP, and 1d20 extra damage to enemies below 25% HP. These are cumulative.
- Tier 2 (Fury of the Wild) Unstoppable Fury: (Passive) While raged, when you miss with a melee attack, gain +3 attack for 20s. Can stack 3 times. Only loses 1 stack each 20s.
- or Tier 2 Fey form (Shiradi Champion): (Passive) Gain DR 7 Cold Iron and 15 Spell Power.
- Tier 1 (Exalted Angel) Healing power: (Passive) +30 Positive energy spellpower
EQUIPMENT IDEAS (in progress- Menace of the Underdark pending)
- Armor: Dragontouched Breastplate (+5 resist or 10% healing amp, or Greater False Life, Empower Healing II, 20% healing amp, or +6 CHA, Destruction), Red Dragonscale, Marilith Chain (can epic with Toughness)
- Bracers: Bracers of the Claw (Heavy Fort, +2 con)
- Goggles: Tharne's Goggles (True Seeing, Backstab +5)
- Helm: Greensteel helm (45 HP, radiance guard or earthgrab guard)
- Necklace: Torc of Prince Raiyum (Greater Spell Penetration VI, Transform Kinetic Energy) / Devotion 60 Large Guild Augment Necklace of Perform +13 (20 HP) / Golden Guile (boss debuff)
- Cloak: Greensteel weave cloak (disease/blindness immunity, 150 mana, +5 cha skills +6 wisdom, concordant opposition)
- Trinket: Bloodstone
- Belt: Ravager Belt (6 con / Seeker +2)
- Gloves: Gloves of the Claw (30% healing amplification)
- Boots: Rock Boots (yellow: Greater False Life, colorless: 6 cha)
- Ring: Ring of the Ravager (+6 str, +1 str, +2 str)
- Ring: 6 cha / 20% healing amp misc tod ring (also Shintao Monk as a swap if possible) or Large Guild Augment
- Staff of the Petitioner (Abbot raid, gives 10% off spell point cost) -- this item is helpful for healing in a pinch and pinching sp pennies.
- Greater Ardor Potions (House P Object Desire store) -- more economical than potions, these will boost your healing by 20 spell power
- Devotion. After Menace of the Underdark, you must slot a devotion item full time. A Tower ring works, but there are many other epics you can fit in based on which slots are freest.
- Archivist's necklace, ring of spell storing, twisted talisman, vile blasphemy, mysterious bauble -- Free mana. Maximize your healing potential.
- Good 2-handers. Take advantage of Cannith Crafting if you haven't already to make boss damage reduction bypassers like a Holy(burst) silver falchion of (greater)lawful outsider bane or cold iron of chaotic outsider bane. But, if you think you'll get into either epic, opt for something cheaper and get yourself an antique greataxe (house phiarlan epics), Calomel Falchion, or an Elemental Greataxe of Fire. For greensteel, triple positive or lightning recipes will be decent all-around weapons until your Epic Sword of Shadow materializes.
- Epic Sword of Shadows -- This is one of your biggest priorities. This is the single item that brings you in contention with two weapon fighting characters.
- Shield Wands or Silver Flame robes -- Magic missiles suck! Prevent damage wherever possible.
- Seeker item -- Especially if you've got that Epic Sword of Shadows, you should find a way to fit seeker in there somewhere. It makes a big difference.
- Greensteel CHA skills item -- Failing heal scrolls is irritating. You might not need this item anymore, but it's t here if you need it to get to that magic 39 or 44 UMD mark.
- Greater Heroism song / spell -- remember to keep your UMD up. Available starting on scroll from level 9.
- Epic Elyd Edge. Song of Heroism now gives +4 AC as well as +4 stacking dodge chance. Use Elyd Edge to pass this great buff out to your entire party!
- Fireshield scrolls and resist wands/pots - Dying sucks. Be prepared!
Shopping List: Consumables I carry on a bard
- Greater Ardor potions (House P Object Desire)
- Mass Protection from Elements scrolls (Portable Hole)
- Divine Power scrolls (Guild Vendor, House J)
- Essence of Desire and Fury (CON and STR yugoloth potions)
- Heal scrolls and cure critical wands (Guild vendor)
- Stone to Flesh scrolls or wand (House J)
- Lesser restoration potions (unbound) (Most general vendors)
- Remove Curse potions (unbound) (House J or most general vendors)
- Restoration/Greater restoration Scrolls (Guild vendor or House J)
- Raise dead/resurrection scrolls (Guild vendor, House J)
- Resist 11 wands (random drop)
- Shield wand
- Fireshield (fire) and (cold) (Guild, Portable Hole)
- Teleport and Greater Teleport scrolls (Portable Hole)
- Shadow Walk scrolls (Portable Hole)
- Mass invisibility scrolls (Portable Hole)
- Greater Heroism scrolls (Portable Hole, House P)
- Elemental Weapons scrolls (House C)
- Adamantine Weapons scrolls (House C)
- Enchant weapons and Enchant Armor scrolls (House C)
- Byeshk Weapons scrolls (House C)
- Prismatic Ray (instakill that pillar!) (Portable Hole)
- Oil of Incandescence (Mabar festival, 1d6 damage on your weapons for 1 hour)
- Summon Monster VIII scrolls (air elemental - cannot buy in stores)
- Cloudkill scrolls (cannot buy in stores)
TABLE OF CONTENTS:
- Original post … #1
- Alignment... #33(Neutral v. Good)
- Feats … #73 (Greater Two Handed Fighting)
- Half-Orc ... #4 (Classic Rock HOs), #73 (Discussion)
- Enhancements ... #135 (lingering song, life magic)
- Healing … #18 (Emp. healing vs. Maximize), #21 (Empower healing), #64 (Learning curve, Emp healing), #73 (How-To)
- Leveling … #58 (Tips for low levels), #130 (true reincarnating)
- Skills … #49 (Description)
- Spells … #54 (Greater Heroism, Good Hope)
- Newb Advice … #58 (not being squishy)
- Strategy … #58 (Lowbies), #117 (Fighting tough bosses)
- [font=courier]Equipment … #126 (gear)
- Warforged Variant ... #2 (Robot Rock), #62 #62 (Blademark Docent), #68(Race comparison)