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  1. #1

    Default Early Look: Bard Changes

    Hello! We're here today to give you a first look at plans for significant changes to Bard coming up soon! This is pretty early in the process, so things are still subject to change; we'd love to know what you think!

    BEFORE WE BEGIN:

    Bard Songs of the modern era have been eroded in their usefulness as other buff and item effects have infringed upon their channels. They were meant to be a small, ever present bonus, and to instill the feeling that no matter what character you are playing, a Bard will help them excel at what they do best. In practice, however, they fall short - both on their effects and in how they actually feel to the player. It also takes a long time for a Bard to sing all of their songs, and most of them provide minimal - if any - bonuses for a very short period of time. Bards right now need a drastic change to bring them closer to pen and paper and to appropriate power levels, and we hope this accomplishes that goal in the most elegant way possible.

    GOALS:

    • Recapture the feeling of a classical pen and paper Bard
    • Reduce the time it takes for a Bard to buff the party
    • Provide a meaningful reason as to why a party would want a Bard with them
    • Remove some of the not-quite-so-fun mechanics from the buff playstyle as a Bard
    • Help reduce strain on game performance by cleaning up the auras to play a lot nicer in a group
    • Clean up text inconsistencies and clear out bugs behind the scenes to make it easier to have future items/abilities affect Bard songs


    THE PLAN:
    Bards will no longer sing their songs individually, one at a time. Instead, their Single-Target Bard Songs will be collapsed into one "song" - known as their Bardic Inspiration - and their Area of Effect Bard Songs will simply be constantly pulsing from their location to all players. For example, the single target Bard Song “Inspire Heroics” is now automatically played (meaning its effects are added) when the Bard plays their Inspiration for their target - as long as the Bard meets the song’s Perform and level requirements.

    For reference:

    • Aria: these are the passive Chants and Inspire Courage/Greatness
    • Bardic Inspiration: these are the single target Bard songs


    Bardic Aria will become active at Bard level 1, and contain Inspire Courage at first. Bards will gain access to Bardic Inspiration at Bard level 3, which will initially contain Inspire Competence. The active Bard songs that would be granted are instead changed to passive feats that display their effects are and how they are applied.

    THE SONGS:
    This is how the basic Bard Songs are changing by their effect:

    Inspire Courage now grants a Music bonuses to Attack, Damage, saves versus Fear, and Universal Spell Power. These start at a base of +1 Attack, Damage, Saves vs Fear, and 3 Universal Spell Power. (Max values: Damage +8 (4 from Bard levels, 3 from Warchanter, 1 from Fatesinger), Attack +8 (4 from Bard Levels, 3 from Warchanter, 1 from Fatesinger), Saves vs Fear +8 (4 from Bard Levels, 3 from Warchanter, 1 from Fatesinger), Universal Spell Power 30 (4 from Bard Levels, 3 from Warchanter, 3 from Fatesinger - x3 per increment))

    Inspire Competence now grants +4 Music bonuses to all Skills.

    Inspire Greatness now grants Music bonuses to PRR and healing amplification, as well as 20 temporary HP. These can be increased from their base of +3 PRR, +10 healing amp, and base 20 temp HP. Healing Amp will stay at 10 no matter what, but Music of the Dead will add 10 Negative Amp, and Music of the Makers will add 10 repair amp. Temp HP will start at 20, but the 12th level core (Fighting Spirit) in Warchanter will change it to your Charisma bonus (double in Epics). (Max Values: PRR +12 (3 base, 6 from Warchanter, 3 from Fatesinger))

    Inspire Heroics will give a +4 Music bonus to all Saves, +4 Music bonus to Armor Class, and +4% Music bonus to dodge.

    THE ARIA:
    This is the constantly playing music that follows the Bard from place to place. The Aria of a Bard is constantly active and requires no additional input from the player. This Aria is a large Area of Effect that matches the distance of the current Warchanter passive auras. The Aria is only active if the character has at least something that would be applied.

    At Bard level 1, and with 3 ranks in perform, all players in the Aria receive the benefits of Inspire Courage.

    At Bard level 9 and with 12 ranks in perform, all players in the Aria receive the benefits of Inspire Greatness.

    Arcane Shield Chant is now part of the Aria, providing 2/4/6 to elemental resistance.

    Ironskin Chant is now part of the Aria, providing DR 2/4/6 and adds 2/4/6 to the PRR granted from Inspire Greatness.

    Reckless Chant is now part of the Aria, providing 2/4/6 Doublestrike, Doubleshot, and adds 2/4/6 to the Universal Spell power of Inspire Courage.

    Expeditious Chant is now part of the Aria, providing 5/10/15% Action Boost bonus to Movement Speed.

    Chant of Power is now part of the Aria, providing 2/4/6% melee and ranged damage and spell critical chance for all spells.

    Inspire Excellence is now part of the Aria, providing a +2 Music bonus to each ability score.

    Also, Aria from Fatesinger is getting a name change into "Ballad" so we can use Aria as the name for this game feature.

    BARDIC INSPIRATION:
    This is, essentially, one button for every single target bard song in the game. After a brief animation and some music - just like the old Bard Songs - this single Song will apply all of the previously available single target songs - and the short lasting Spellsinger songs - to one ally (or yourself) at the same time. This activation will cost one Bard Song, just like the old Bard Songs did.

    These are separate than the always-on songs because of their relative power level, with one exception that I will explain further below. Elyd Edge’s Inspiring Echoes will now cause this single-target Bard Song to always also apply to you as well, regardless of who you have selected, instead of its original effect.

    These all last for the same amount of time - which is now 1m plus 30s per Bard level. If you have an ability that "rides along" with a Bard Song - such as Frolic from the Song of Freedom - it's duration will be changed to match your Bard Songs and it will ride along with Bardic Inspiration instead. Effects and abilities that increase your Bard Song duration will increase both the base Bard Song effects in your Bardic Inspiration, as well as anything else that comes along with the ride.

    At Bard level 3, and with 6 ranks of Perform, this will include Inspire Competence.

    At Bard level 15 and with 18 ranks in perform, this will include Inspire Heroics.

    Spell Song Vigor is now part of this song, restoring spell points over time.

    Sustaining Song is now part of this song, restoring health. Music of the Dead will add to this, applying a negative energy heal to Undead characters (aka Pale Master Wizards). Music of the Makers will add to this as well, applying a repair heal to Constructs and Living Constructs (aka Warforged/Bladeforged and the Iron Defender Artificer pet). These all scale with Positive/Negative/Repair spell power, respectively. This was AoE, but now it is single target due to the technical complication of dynamically filtering undead-specific heal over time effects, as we need to be able to tell if you're a Pale Master at the time of application to avoid putting the wrong heal on you.

    Spell Song Trance is now part of this song, granting +1 Music bonus to all DCs and 10% Music bonus spell discount.

    Song of Arcane Might is now part of this song, granting +1 Music bonus to caster levels.

    The Song Fragments from Fatesinger now apply to you when you use your Bardic Inspiration. They are otherwise unchanged in effect. The same is true for anything that used to trigger on any Bard Song - it now works on Bardic Inspiration instead. This includes single-shot effects such as Prodigy and Words of Encouragement.

    THE FEATS:
    There is now a new general feat, available to Bards level 12 and above (must have 15 trained ranks in Perform):

    Improved Bardic Music: Inspire Greatness now grants an additional +1 to all Skills, and Inspire Heroics now grants an additional +1 to Armor Class, Dodge, and all Saves.

    Lasting Inspiration (the Bard epic feat) will remain unchanged.

    FATESINGER:
    Fatesinger will continue to ONLY provide the old activated Song version of Inspire Courage (although it will be the new version of Inspire Courage's effect that lives entirely on the Music channels) - no Aria or Bardic Inspiration. Fatesinger's ride along buffs will trigger on both your Bardic Inspiration AND the Fatesinger Inspire Courage, so you'll still be able to make use of it if you are not a Bard.


    A lot of Fatesinger's Abilities will scale your Bard Songs in new ways:
    O Fortuna: +1/2/3 PRR from Inspire Greatness, +1/2/3 personal fort and reflex saves
    Allure: +3/6/9 Universal Spell Power from Inspire Courage, +2/4/6 Perform, Haggle, and Bluff, and 1 Song
    Tailwind: +0/0/1 Damage from Inspire Courage, +1/2/3 competence to damage for missile weapons
    Lucidity: +0/0/1 Attack from Inspire Courage, +2/4/6 Concentration/Diplomacy, +1/2/3 UMD, +1 Song.

    WARCHANTER:
    Warchanter's 12th level Core (Fighting Spirit) now reads: +10 HP, +1 Damage from Inspire Courage. Your Inspire Greatness now uses your Charisma score for its Temporary HP, double in epics.

    Warchanter's 18th level Core (Victory Song) now reads: The range of your Bardic Aria is doubled. You have +20 HP, and Base Attack Bonus equal to your character level.

    The Warchanter Capstone now reads: You have +25 HP, +2 Strength, and +2 Con. You can expend a Bard Song to scream the songs of your frozen ancestors, forcing enemies in an area to make a fortitude save versus Freeze or be slowed significantly. Either way, they take significant cold damage over time. This was changed due to the Warchanter capstone no longer making mechanical sense in the new Bard Song flow - there's no need to give Music bonuses when everything's already a Music bonus!

    CONCLUSION:
    We hope very much that these changes preserve the spirit of a Bard without any of the old, less interactive parts. Drastically reduced buff time and increased buff effectiveness will go a long way to making Bards more team players, and new character options open up build diversity for players to explore. Please let us know what you think!
    We don't only build for the builds that exist.
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    The fact that some changes are necessary is not diminished by the fact that other necessary changes have not happened yet.

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    Question Couple Questions

    Quote Originally Posted by Steelstar View Post
    Inspire Greatness now grants Music bonuses to PRR and healing amplification, as well as 20 temporary HP. These can be increased from their base of +3 PRR, +10 healing amp, and base 20 temp HP. Healing Amp will stay at 10 no matter what, but Music of the Dead will add 10 Negative Amp, and Music of the Makers will add 10 repair amp. Temp HP will start at 20, but the 12th level core (Fighting Spirit) in Warchanter will change it to your Charisma bonus (double in Epics). (Max Values: PRR +12 (3 base, 6 from Warchanter, 3 from Fatesinger))

    WARCHANTER:
    Warchanter's 12th level Core (Fighting Spirit) now reads: +10 HP, +1 Damage from Inspire Courage. Your Inspire Greatness now uses your Charisma score for its Temporary HP, double in epics.
    Which one Steel? Bonus or Score, there's a BIG difference. (Assuming 90 CHA at 30: +80 HP vs +180 HP)

    Quote Originally Posted by Steelstar View Post
    Sustaining Song is now part of this song, restoring health. Music of the Dead will add to this, applying a negative energy heal to Undead characters (aka Pale Master Wizards). Music of the Makers will add to this as well, applying a repair heal to Constructs and Living Constructs (aka Warforged/Bladeforged and the Iron Defender Artificer pet). These all scale with Positive/Negative/Repair spell power, respectively. This was AoE, but now it is single target due to the technical complication of dynamically filtering undead-specific heal over time effects, as we need to be able to tell if you're a Pale Master at the time of application to avoid putting the wrong heal on you.
    So... now in a Raid I need to sing 12 times to apply sustaining to all party members? That's MORE singing than I currently do on my bard. Unless the animation is super short, I'm talking like the 0.5 second GCD, I won't be singing for other people, only for myself. Unless you can make it so it sings Sustain 3 times consecutively, once for each type of heal, that way you can still keep it AOE and have the separate restrictions for each heal type (pos, neg, rep).

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ultramaetche1 View Post
    Which one Steel? Bonus or Score, there's a BIG difference. (Assuming 90 CHA at 30: +80 HP vs +180 HP)
    Score

    Quote Originally Posted by Ultramaetche1 View Post
    So... now in a Raid I need to sing 12 times to apply sustaining to all party members? That's MORE singing than I currently do on my bard. Unless the animation is super short, I'm talking like the 0.5 second GCD, I won't be singing for other people, only for myself. Unless you can make it so it sings Sustain 3 times consecutively, once for each type of heal, that way you can still keep it AOE and have the separate restrictions for each heal type (pos, neg, rep).
    Yes, 12 songs, 1 for each party member. Keep in mind that Sustaining Song now lasts significantly longer, and is no longer sung individually. All of your Spellsinger songs are applied with one use of Bardic Inspiration. In a raid group, you will only ever need 12 songs to buff every member with everything - no matter how many different effects, spellsinger songs, or ride-along buffs you have.
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    Default Animation changes with it??

    Quote Originally Posted by Lynnabel View Post
    Yes, 12 songs, 1 for each party member. Keep in mind that Sustaining Song now lasts significantly longer, and is no longer sung individually. All of your Spellsinger songs are applied with one use of Bardic Inspiration. In a raid group, you will only ever need 12 songs to buff every member with everything - no matter how many different effects, spellsinger songs, or ride-along buffs you have.
    Please tell me the animation will be noticeably shorter than it it currently. I don't want to stand around for 2 minutes buffing 12 people after using a shrine.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ultramaetche1 View Post
    Please tell me the animation will be noticeably shorter than it it currently. I don't want to stand around for 2 minutes buffing 12 people after using a shrine.
    The current animation is 4.7 seconds, 12 times is 56.4 seconds to fully buff an entire raid group with every single song for the full duration.

    As a bit of a quick comparison, given that Spell Song Vigor is currently also single target, the current time to fully buff an entire raid group with every single song is 56.4 seconds plus however long it takes to sing literally every single other song in the game. Remember, every song lasts the exact same amount of time now. You can hit people with your Bardic Inspiration at the start and they'll have that heal over time on them for a lot longer than they do currently.
    Last edited by Lynnabel; 10-15-2018 at 12:35 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lynnabel View Post
    Score



    Yes, 12 songs, 1 for each party member. Keep in mind that Sustaining Song now lasts significantly longer, and is no longer sung individually. All of your Spellsinger songs are applied with one use of Bardic Inspiration. In a raid group, you will only ever need 12 songs to buff every member with everything - no matter how many different effects, spellsinger songs, or ride-along buffs you have.
    How will these changes affect "Inspiring Echoes"? Will it be bugged on arrival and never fixed?
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    Will the Bard change also address the fact that pale masters in undead form can not benefit from Spellsong Trance?

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    Liking the direction you're taking at first glance.

    While the focus is on Bards, could you take a look at Bound Fate and Grim Fate in Fatesinger. The duration of Grim Fate currently scales down to 12 or 14 seconds on R10. Not sure if this is WAI/bugged/oversight, but due to its long CD, it's one of the core reasons why Fatesinger isn't the go-to ED for support Bards in high reaper.

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    Quote Originally Posted by kmoustakas View Post
    How will these changes affect "Inspiring Echoes"? Will it be bugged on arrival and never fixed?
    From the OP:

    Quote Originally Posted by Steelstar View Post
    Elyd Edge’s Inspiring Echoes will now cause this single-target Bard Song to always also apply to you as well, regardless of who you have selected, instead of its original effect.
    Inspiring Echoes in its current state is far too volatile to re-introduce. It made making new Bard Songs basically unfeasible. This implementation still saves you songs, but it's much less likely to break the game.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lynnabel View Post
    The current animation is 4.7 seconds, 12 times is 56.4 seconds to fully buff an entire raid group with every single song for the full duration.

    As a bit of a quick comparison, given that Spell Song Vigor is currently also single target, the current time to fully buff an entire raid group with every single song is 56.4 seconds plus however long it takes to sing literally every single other song in the game. Remember, every song lasts the exact same amount of time now. You can hit people with your Bardic Inspiration at the start and they'll have that heal over time on them for a lot longer than they do currently.
    That's also assuming a build with T5 spellsinger. My bard is melee support: PDK 18 Bard / 1 Fighter / 1 FvS

    It goes up T5 warchanter and does not sing 12 times for vigor because it doesn't have it. So it currently sings: Courage, Trance, Sustaining, Excellence. With the changes proposed, I go up from 4 songs sung per rest to 12 that is not a small increase, nor is it a very efficient use of songs. 4 vs 12. Also it removes the option to mass buff the party should multiple people die simultaneously in a raid or party scenario. So there goes a form of panic heals to the group.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Steelstar View Post
    Sustaining Song is now part of this song, restoring health. Music of the Dead will add to this, applying a negative energy heal to Undead characters (aka Pale Master Wizards). Music of the Makers will add to this as well, applying a repair heal to Constructs and Living Constructs (aka Warforged/Bladeforged and the Iron Defender Artificer pet). These all scale with Positive/Negative/Repair spell power, respectively. This was AoE, but now it is single target due to the technical complication of dynamically filtering undead-specific heal over time effects, as we need to be able to tell if you're a Pale Master at the time of application to avoid putting the wrong heal on you.
    Correct me if I'm wrong, but this sounds like
    - Use Song on Pale Master who is in Undead form
    - They drop form for whichever reason
    - Now have a 10 minute "buff" of Inflict Moderate Wounds DoT

    as well as possibly
    - Use Song on Warforged Druid out of wildshape
    - They change to a wolf, bear or elemental
    - 10 minute "buff" of Immune (Repair Symbol) DoT

    and to a lesser extent
    - Use Song on someone who can benefit from both positive healing and repair
    - They change gear to flip which one they benefit more from
    - Buff now provides less healing than it could

    As amusing as #1 would be to tag a Pale Master with it and then somehow convince them to drop undead form, I really hope I've just misinterpreted this.
    Quote Originally Posted by Lynnabel View Post
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kenpai View Post
    Correct me if I'm wrong, but this sounds like
    - Use Song on Pale Master who is in Undead form
    - They drop form for whichever reason
    - Now have a 10 minute "buff" of Inflict Moderate Wounds DoT

    as well as possibly
    - Use Song on Warforged Druid out of wildshape
    - They change to a wolf, bear or elemental
    - 10 minute "buff" of Immune (Repair Symbol) DoT

    and to a lesser extent
    - Use Song on someone who can benefit from both positive healing and repair
    - They change gear to flip which one they benefit more from
    - Buff now provides less healing than it could

    As amusing as #1 would be to tag a Pale Master with it and then somehow convince them to drop undead form, I really hope I've just misinterpreted this.
    This is part of why we needed to drop it to single target. Heal over Times that cross barriers like this are, uh, complicated. We have a plan to drop the "wrong" heal off of you if you change your state, don't worry.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Steelstar View Post

    Ironskin Chant is now part of the Aria, providing DR 2/4/6 and adds 2/4/6 to the PRR granted from Inspire Greatness.
    Will this mean you need the 9 bard levels for Inspire Greatness to get the 6 PRR from Ironskin Chant? As it is now, you only need 3 Bard for access to T3 enhancements for the 6/- and 6 PRR. The change makes it sound like you'll need at least 9 for Inspire Greatness.

    Or will Ironskin Chant be updated more like this:

    "You and nearby allies gain DR (2/4/6) and (2/4/6) Music bonus to PRR. Requires 8 trained Ranks of Perform to use. In addition your Inspire Greatness provides an additional +6 PRR"
    Last edited by Ultramaetche1; 10-15-2018 at 01:08 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Lynnabel View Post
    The current animation is 4.7 seconds, 12 times is 56.4 seconds to fully buff an entire raid group with every single song for the full duration.

    As a bit of a quick comparison, given that Spell Song Vigor is currently also single target, the current time to fully buff an entire raid group with every single song is 56.4 seconds plus however long it takes to sing literally every single other song in the game. Remember, every song lasts the exact same amount of time now. You can hit people with your Bardic Inspiration at the start and they'll have that heal over time on them for a lot longer than they do currently.
    Yeah, my main concern here is that singing the same 4.7 second song 12 times is less fun than singing 10 different AOE songs. But as I would now in a group or raid, I guess I'd just focus on a few people that need it either because they're the ones doing all the work in the raid or because they're most likely to die and need all the help they can get. Or because they're nicer people.

    Would making bardic inspiration all AOE but with a much shorter duration at high levels be better?
    1. Mechanically, I think it's much more interesting to have to consider the tradeoffs of singing a song in the middle of combat to refresh things, the single target duration will be once and never again until death/rest by high levels
    2. It's more bard-y to have to sing in combat (sometimes)
    3. 12 (or even 6) songs in a row is still a bit tedious when it's the same song just working down the list of players.

    [if we can't have negative/repair healing in an AOE song because of technical reasons I can live with that]

    Overall definitely simpler though. I look forward to all the bugs and non-stacking stuff in existing songs getting removed, and they won't be replaced with any new bugs I'm sure! I also really like that this is focusing on making bards more bard-y not just giving stacking individual power boosts to bards to bring them up to the level of other classes that came after them.
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    The changes look good!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Steelstar View Post

    BARDIC INSPIRATION:
    This is, essentially, one button for every single target bard song in the game.

    Sustaining Song is now part of this song, restoring health.
    Ahh so you are nerfing spellsinger to move the AoE sustain to warchanter who needs it more to melee, and changing it to temp hp to work in reaper. Ahh, I'm going to miss the early EZ mode AoE healing.
    Last edited by Tilomere; 10-15-2018 at 01:58 PM.

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    Were there any changes to the number of songs a bard can acquire? Were there any changes to Fascinate? Either in timing, length of animation, duration or range?
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    Quote Originally Posted by Steelstar View Post
    Hello! We're here today to give you a first look at plans for significant changes to Bard coming up soon! This is pretty early in the process, so things are still subject to change; we'd love to know what you think!

    BEFORE WE BEGIN:

    Bard Songs of the modern era have been eroded in their usefulness as other buff and item effects have infringed upon their channels. They were meant to be a small, ever present bonus, and to instill the feeling that no matter what character you are playing, a Bard will help them excel at what they do best. In practice, however, they fall short - both on their effects and in how they actually feel to the player. It also takes a long time for a Bard to sing all of their songs, and most of them provide minimal - if any - bonuses for a very short period of time. Bards right now need a drastic change to bring them closer to pen and paper and to appropriate power levels, and we hope this accomplishes that goal in the most elegant way possible.

    GOALS:

    • Recapture the feeling of a classical pen and paper Bard
    • Reduce the time it takes for a Bard to buff the party
    • Provide a meaningful reason as to why a party would want a Bard with them
    • Remove some of the not-quite-so-fun mechanics from the buff playstyle as a Bard
    • Help reduce strain on game performance by cleaning up the auras to play a lot nicer in a group
    • Clean up text inconsistencies and clear out bugs behind the scenes to make it easier to have future items/abilities affect Bard songs
    Perfectly summarizes what I've heard most Bards asking for in-game. TY for listening!


    Inspire Heroics will give a +4 Music bonus to all Saves, +4 Music bonus to Armor Class, and +4% Music bonus to dodge.
    Will this increase max dodge bonus as well? If so, my monk ALWAYS wants a bard nearby.

    THE FEATS:
    There is now a new general feat, available to Bards level 12 and above (must have 15 trained ranks in Perform):

    Improved Bardic Music: Inspire Greatness now grants an additional +1 to all Skills, and Inspire Heroics now grants an additional +1 to Armor Class, Dodge, and all Saves.
    Same question on the dodge. 1 AC won't do much, but as a cumulative bonus with the other bonuses available, is OK.

    CONCLUSION:
    We hope very much that these changes preserve the spirit of a Bard without any of the old, less interactive parts. Drastically reduced buff time and increased buff effectiveness will go a long way to making Bards more team players, and new character options open up build diversity for players to explore. Please let us know what you think!
    Agreed. Well done!
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    I like the direction this is taking, though I do have a couple of questions.

    Some of the addons do not list a bonus type. Can you share those? Arcane Shield Chant, Reckless Chant's doublestrike/shot, Chant of Power

    How will this update affect the Inspire Courage from the Bardic Dilettante past life feat? Will it be updated similar to the Fatesinger one?

  20. #20
    Community Member SerPounce's Avatar
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    Apr 2013
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    Sounds great! I agree that the missing piece with bards currently is that there isn't that sense of "sweet, a bard just joint the raid, we get buffs!" Hopefully this will get some of that sense back.
    Sabathal and Sabbathiel of Sarlona

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