Bard combat songs are indeed marginalized in today's DDO. One thing is that many unique song effects are now available from different sources. Another thing is that the song bonuses are now relatively smaller compared to other bonuses that we can get.
For example, Inspire Courage. Morale bonus to attack is easily found on GH (+4), few extra points from song are not tremendously important. Though it never hurts. Morale bonus to damage still remains a unique benefit, the only other source being Good Hope (+2; bard spell or clickies). Realistically, most current warchanters have a +8 to damage here. Pure wc has +9. Splashed non-warchanters have a +6. Fatesinger destiny adds only an extra +2 (T4 and T5 abilities). After today, most bards will probably have a +4 damage song (+3 from bard 14, +1 from warchanter second core ability). Some will perhaps pick another +1 by investing 20+ AP in the warchanter tree. Only the most crazy warchanters 20 will get the maximum benefit at +6. Pretty big nerf imho.
Why were bards popular in the past:
* extended displace for entire party => gone
* extra combat damage for entire party => benefit decreased; and relative value lower as other damage bonuses are much higher (hello Deadly XII)
* rage => primal scream
* haste => items, epic feat
* healer => byoh
In the current byoh, solo/uncooperative world, bards can perform ok.
* solid self-healing (cocoon / ccw / heal scrolls)
* great CC (OID, pin, whistler, adrenaline+overwhelming force, fascinate)
* average mitigation (easy displace, but no dodge, no incorporeality)
* solid DPS from EDs, though feats are tight to incorporate multiple roles (melee + furyshot + extend + heals) (enh.pass helps here by removing feat prereqs)
* solid utility (ddoor, often traps and/or haggle)
* bad saves (FoM is great, clickies needed for the rest, reflex still sucks even if you dip for evasion)
But, Paladins are pretty low (high?) on the suck scale
Turning Cleric > Paladin
Healing Bard or Druid > Paladin
Melee class (any) > Paladin
Tanking Monk or Fighter > Paladin
Heck, Paladins aren't even the best at destroying either Undead or Evil Outsiders. A Disruption or Banishing weapon will do the job better.
Then DDO went haywire with casters. The most overpowered aspects of bards has been and continues to be (up until 10am EST at least) Spellsong Vigor, Fascinate, and Inspire Excellence. +1 to EVERY DC, +1 to EVERY save, +1 to EVERY skill, +1 damage, and +1 to-hit, then times that by the number of people in your group. It would be LESS powerful if it was simply a +12 to strength.
I laugh at the person calling fascinate on the bases of VoN 6 "cheese." There was a time when fascinate was most definitely cheese, because it was no-fail and there was no dungeon alert. That is no longer true. Fascinate is the premier CC ability, and needs to be managed with some amount of game knowledge and finesse to even be useful. That part they finally got mostly right.
Spellsong vigor is still utterly ludicrous. People that don't even list it in their list of bard pros/cons simply have no business stating their opinion in this thread. It is simply one of the most overpowered mechanics in the game. It and the ever-recharging radiant aura/blast have been the two most broken aspects of the game when singling out individual abilities (at least among those that weren't borderline exploits).
My bard has seen every enhancement change that has ever occurred in DDO, and has never been made relatively worse when compared with other classes. Bards are so overpowered right now I've stopped comparing them. The only people that don't understand what bards do for groups in DDO are the people stuck in simplistic kill count analysis. In other words, ignore the noobs.
I've never said, "Bards get a great deal in the enhancement pass!" Never. (I also never said they got shafted.) If you want to suggest things to make Bards better at what Bards do, or somewhat more flexible, I probably won't disagree. But to make them much better at something that is not there core area, and better at it than the classes that specialize in it, is still idiotic.
By that un-logic, taking a 12th level of FvS is wasted because Cleric gets Heal at level 11. And, boy, those Druids just wasted 6 levels by not stopping at 11, too. And your Bard shouldn't have stopped at 17, but at 11.
If you want to only take 11 Bard levels, or 17 Bard levels, who's stopping you? Not Druids. Or Clerics. I see lots of splashed Bards around.
I just object to stupidly over-powered and inappropriate-to-the-class ideas, and to blatant falsehoods.
As I wrote in another thread, as someone who likes the idea behind bards very much, I keep pushing out my bard life in the hope that they will be improved. Instead, despite being far from the most powerful class, they seem to keep getting worse, which is really strange.
Unless, of course, the complainers are all incorrect. Wouldn't be the first time.
I still think bards are cool and look forward to playing one. Even if it's not the most powerful class around.
please re-read what i wrote. i didn't dismissively say bard buffs were fine. i countered your argument that bard buffs were worthless because they could be gotten elsewhere. you haven't answered me on that point. still waiting. if you CAN'T counter me, then guess what, you're wrong, and no amount of repetition will make you right.
the "other utility/support classes" you keep pointing at as examples....druids are full spellcasters with 9 spell levels. i would expect them to be better than bards in the spell department. arti's are the only ones that compare with 6 spell levels... and personaly, i've always been of the opinion they were a little OP. but... to compare them arti's get damage focused spells, bards get CC focused spells. artis get somewhat better "heals"... but only toward constructs... artis can also throw (literally) 'mass' cures in the form of curative admixtures, but each cast costs a pot of the appropriate kind. handy and useful perhaps, but can get costly, and when was the last time you saw an arti use this aside from throwing curse pots in raids? it's already been pointed out by several people how bard's song ends up being better than deadly weapons. (both together is divine however... mmmmm. <3 <3 <3 anyways... ) so now down to the damage... arti's big hoorah in the damage department is blade barrier... and for bards it's greater shout. BB is the clear winner in straightup damage, but for a bard who's focused on the spellcasting aspect (which you did, apparently) Greater Shout is a tool... it's Soundburst's big granddaddy... an AoE stun with an (admittedly not so great) damage component... yet another bard spell that is CC as either it's primary or secondary function. artis and bards both get UMD and wand and scroll mastery, so any spell on a scroll or wand is fair game.
bards can use a LITTLE love... perhaps a boost to Greater Shout's damage to make it more useful... perhaps a small sonic dot as a spell not an SLA, and i'll admit, the news that 'wall of sound' was not making it in did make me a little sad... but to ask that bards get damaging spells and/or SLAs on par with wizards sorcerers and druids... nope. ain't happenin', nor should it ever.
i await your rebuttal
A Warchanter was my main for over 4 years, through several lives to get PLs and several variations on his base-theme with LRs. But over time he has gotten less and less strong. His relative weight of contribution has gotten weak. When your average Pug-melee in your endgame (Shroud at cap16) did hit in the 30s the +damage and DR-song from a Warchanter in the raid was quiet noticeable in ease of completion, and especially when i was on my healer. Nowadays when everything has grown exponentially, i dont really notice it if we have a bard in a raid.
The other damageboni have double and trippled over time and with EDs, while a Bard only gets +2 damage if he sticks to Fatesinger. Thats trivial when you look at what damageboosts other destinies give, even if you multiply the +2damage by the number of melees in your current group.
I'll reroll my Bard main into a Ranger/Rogue build, with details and perhaps a 3rd class determined by my feelings with the enhancements. Sad day.
Last edited by Noctus; 08-19-2013 at 10:20 AM.
Erzskalde (Warchanter) / Erzmarschall (melee FvS) / Erzsoldat (waiting for TR-time) / Erzschmied (ranged Artificer)
AOK - From Argonnessen
99% of the rest of players arent playing your "real game" however. I play on 3 servers and have no issue getting people to use fascinate to its fullest. People in Fury use Overwhelming Force as the first strike on the mob they are killing, or are fury shotting the mobs. Casters are either instant killing mobs or using single target shiradi stuff. Anyone tossing AOE blindly to wake up fascinated mobs is doing it wrong.
Refusal to take advantage of powerful abilities a class has doesnt make the class weak, it makes the playstyle weak.
Advocating repeated nerfs in the name of "balancing the game" then complaining about how DDO is moving away from D&D, is a direct contradiction in logic - D&D 3.5 (what DDO is based on) is not a balanced game. We can either have a balanced clone MMO with homogenized classes, or we can have a D&D game. We cant have both.
I have to admit I'm a fan of the "Enhanced Piking" line in the Spell Singer tree. I definitely intend on maxing that.
I am not sure how I like my build or not. I lost a little IC, but have all the bard songs pretty much. Heal spell for about 1k, cocoon. 1700 spell points, 3k with supplements. Enthrallment is great, spellsong vigor. Poorish personal dps but not abysmal. A hardcore buff healbot. Probably my number one healing character really.
Norg Fighter12/Paladin6/Monk2, Jacquiej Cleric18/Monk1/Wiz1, Rabiez Bard16/Ranger3/Cleric1, Hangover Bard L20, Boomsticks Fighter12/Monk 6/Druid 2, Grumblegut Ranger8/Paladin6/Monk6, Rabidly Rogue L20, Furiously Rogue10/Monk6/Paladin4, Snowcones Cleric 12/Ranger 6/Monk 2, Norge Barbarian 12/FVS4/Rogue4. Guild:Prophets of The New Republic Khyber.
well... i havn't changed my bard's levels at all. i might still... i'm not sure... but... i selected enhancements that appealed to me, and gave em a test drive.
i've heard that the mob CRs are borked in Lords of Dust chain right now... cultists still lower like they supposed to be, but all the doggies and bosses are more like EE. so i gave it a spin.
otto's irresistible still works fine... the rest of her buddies are enthralled in the next room patiently waiting for their turn to get their arse kicked
o hey look. music of the dead works great still too.
a bit hard for me to punch thru his SR being down 4 levels of bard and dumped charisma, but i still got him.
what's this? a bard going toe-to-toe with the big baddie? at 43 CR not less?
and as you can see, that wasn't even in a "combat" related destiny... that was in fatesinger.
hmmm. i think i'll stay bard, thanks. ^_^
I love how half of the replies are from warchanters or str based bards/splashes. Of course there's not really any problems if you go that way. I feel a pure (not splash) charisma bard is missing a small option of doing some decent damage. Can anyone care to say why it would be so overpowered to have an option for cha to damage, just like rogues get int or dex to damage with some weapons.
Also with reply to nukes if we are to stick with our crappy sonic nukes, do many people realise bards are missing some "core" damage spells with regards to shadow evocation/conjuration. They were in the 3.5 handbook for bards to use, and you could make conjuration/evo spells of up to 4th level with a extra will save chance. While they wouldn't be uber, a bard with good dc (not talking epic elite i mean for LEVELING you know bit what bard sucks at) should have option to firewall or toss a few nukes.
Eiether option would open up a damage option for bards without being overpowered. The spells could be a simple pick of three spells like summons are, say melfs, acid blast or acid rain for conj, and scorching ray, fireball and firewall for evo. Mobs just get two saves using illusion dc, just like pk.
On top of this I could heal the party better than before (heal spells hitting 400-500) and I wasn't running out of sp because now healing CC bard has spellsinger stuff.
If people are hating on bards it is because they don't understand how to play the class and what its strengths are.
Totally and wholeheartedly agree. When I first started playing DDO and created a bard because my PnP bard was such a major bad mofo, I was incredibly disappointed.
I mean, part of the reason he was so incredible was because PnP is a role playing game, and is not a video game. DDO is a video game based on a role playing game. The point here is that because DDO is a video game, you cannot expect a class like bard to be treated like it is in PnP. The role playing is pretty much non existent, at least by the pure game engine standards, so every class needs to have a purpose in combat.
As you mention, bards in DnD have spells like firewall. Maybe not as powerful as a druid's firewall, but it is available. For some reason, I suppose "flavor", the devs decided that bards should only get sonic related spells. Which would be great except they are horribly underpowered and until recently, were very limited in how you could empower them.
But bards have CC! Yeah, but the reality is that it's not really viable in epic levels, and for the most part CC is pointless when you have several other classes insta killing everything in the room. "Hey look fellas, I can make him dance!" "Huh? What? We can't hear you because we're 4 rooms ahead and everything's dead. Why isn't your guy dead? Why is he dancing?" Fascinate is tremendously powerful, but again, there's no point in the game as it's played. Everyone is playing like a monkey on crack, going as fast as possible through everything. Fascinate takes forever to sing, it breaks easily, and it doesn't actually hurt the monsters. So they still have to be killed. Again, the monks, barbs, juggs, and whatnot have already sprinted through the room at mach 4 and killed everything in their path. Fascinate does what? The only time I ever use it is soloing. And it's only because I have no insta kills. Or even rapid kills.
And even if CC is viable, the bard is so far behind a wiz, or other caster, (other than fascinate) that it's pretty pointless anyway. The DCs are set for a full blown meta gamed wiz and a bard trying to keep up is starting from a severe disadvantage with no way to make it up.
So that's why pretty much every successful bard mentioned in this thread is not pure. In fact, they're not even splashed. Most of them have 5 levels or more of another class. There's nothing wrong with doing this, of course, but I point it out because it simply illustrates how poor the bard class is for an action based video game. In the game's infancy, before all the power creep, many people were happy to play the bard as a support class. And again, if you think that it's fun to buff everyone and then stand back and watch them do all the heavy lifting while you toss a feeble heal here and there because the cleric is too busy or blocked, then more power to you. But the choice should be there for a bard that can offer some limited support options, but can kick buttocks when needed. (Warchanter seems like a natural extension of this idea, but has absolutely no teeth)
So yes, you can make a bard. And if you are a skilled player, builder, and have some good gear and past lives, you can create a bard that will amaze people. Partly because the standard has been set so low, but mostly because of all the other things I've mentioned, as well as meta gaming the class structure to minimize the bard weaknesses by mixing in a heavy dose of something else.
That's not a well designed class. That's a well researched meta game.
Well my 1st life Bard 16/Fighter 4 Warchanter II in LD was an absolute monster. In most non-elite groups I'd easily be one of the strongest toons. Ever since MotU, I realised that Spellsingers bring much more to a group, but I never really wanted to play a caster Bard, so I never TR'd. Now that I have the opportunity, I'm thinking of going pure and perhaps a caster PRE. But I really hate the idea of giving up the ability to melee, what should I do with my Bard?
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