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Thread: Bard Tank?

  1. #1

    Default Bard Tank?

    Is there such a thing? Does this mythical beast exist? Hoping the upcoming changes have inspired some new builds!

    Feel free to post your ideas!

    Thanks all,
    -Salamandar
    Once a King, always a King.
    But once a Knight is NEVER enough!

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    10bard/6lock/4ftr
    Cha/con
    32ap enlightened spirit
    22ap spellsinger for heal ticks
    26ap defender for stance goodies

    Should be good for 240prr/150mrr/200ac/3000hp on first lifers with meh gear but more like 315prr/190mrr/275ac/3700hp on a toon with great gear and appropriate past lives.

    16 songs per rest that last about 13 minutes each. Can touch consistent 850 positive spellpower for very high bard heal ticks and renewal. Not a high reaper tank but would be the ultimate pug raid tank as you'd not need a healbot babysitter like the others and the bard heal over time with 850 spellpower would likely negate the need for any dedicated healer at all.

    Downside is leveling would be atrocious and you'd only be able to kill something by hitting /death

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    The Bard song changes don't really increase the power of Bards much. There are a few nice additions (being able to Frolic/Competence yourself; pulsing Charismax2 temporary hit points), but they're not going to tilt the scales.

    Bard song healing remains anemic. With maximum possible positive spell power, you're probably only healing 10/sec health via Sustaining Song. In contrast, you're generating 15+ temporary hit points/sec via Ballad + core 4 of Warchanter. Soothing Song probably caps out @ ~60 health per use (it costs a Bard song). It's not nothing, but you're not going to be able to withstand sustained damage with them - even a poorly geared Artificer or Pale Master provides significantly better self-healing (although they're arguably worse at the aggregate healing provided since the Bard healing is AE).

    Bards do fight S&B, but that's for the offensive benefits rather than the defensive ones. Traditional S&B (with Heavy Armor/Tower Shields) isn't well-supported.

    It's also important to understand what a 'tank' is in DDO. Tanks are a very narrow niche rather than a general archetype. You use tanks almost exclusively for high reaper boss fights. They aren't much use elsewhere. For virtually everything else, you'll be using a combination of CC and high dps.

    Moreover, the characteristics that make up a good 'tank' (high hit points, AC + PRR + MRR, etc.) aren't ones that Bards generally provide (at least not at the level you'd expect from your 'tank'). So while you can make a very durable Bard build, you're not going to be particularly competitive with the builds that are solely focused on it - and Bard wouldn't be one of the classes that you'd select for such a build.

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    Default Bard/tank

    15/3/2 Bard, fighter, rogue. Swash, SD. Trap skills too. Decent enough used to be a good build back in the day. Probably viable now up to elite played right

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    Quote Originally Posted by Hjarki View Post
    The Bard song changes don't really increase the power of Bards much. There are a few nice additions (being able to Frolic/Competence yourself; pulsing Charismax2 temporary hit points), but they're not going to tilt the scales.

    Bard song healing remains anemic. With maximum possible positive spell power, you're probably only healing 10/sec health via Sustaining Song. In contrast, you're generating 15+ temporary hit points/sec via Ballad + core 4 of Warchanter. Soothing Song probably caps out @ ~60 health per use (it costs a Bard song). It's not nothing, but you're not going to be able to withstand sustained damage with them - even a poorly geared Artificer or Pale Master provides significantly better self-healing (although they're arguably worse at the aggregate healing provided since the Bard healing is AE).

    Bards do fight S&B, but that's for the offensive benefits rather than the defensive ones. Traditional S&B (with Heavy Armor/Tower Shields) isn't well-supported.

    It's also important to understand what a 'tank' is in DDO. Tanks are a very narrow niche rather than a general archetype. You use tanks almost exclusively for high reaper boss fights. They aren't much use elsewhere. For virtually everything else, you'll be using a combination of CC and high dps.

    Moreover, the characteristics that make up a good 'tank' (high hit points, AC + PRR + MRR, etc.) aren't ones that Bards generally provide (at least not at the level you'd expect from your 'tank'). So while you can make a very durable Bard build, you're not going to be particularly competitive with the builds that are solely focused on it - and Bard wouldn't be one of the classes that you'd select for such a build.
    The problem with solely focused tank builds is they're only any good in high reaper because they can't do anything besides stand there and soak up damage regardless of the difficulty of the content they're running. It's the same thing with the DC caster in high reaper vs any other caster in mid-reaper and under - the DC caster is clearly better in r10 and also clearly worse in r5 and below. Same for the tanks, but if you wanna tank high reaper then you simply have to build one of the 2 cookie tanks. However building a tank takes a lot of past lives and man would it suck to spend that much time and effort to be good at .1% of the game and worse at everything else. Much better off to build a tank that has utility and there's a few.

    Cleric15/pal4/wiz1 can still touch well over 300 ac/prr plus have a serviceable aura to go along with a ton of other self heals. It's a very good party build.

    Warlock 20 can see 270prr/220ac/180mrr/3500hp/15ish dodge and have the added benefit of 2 second aura ticks for the party plus enough dps to actually hold aggro while the cookies are losing it to anyone that's in a +threat stance.

    Bard10/6lock/4ftr I mentioned above can get very good defensive numbers and the sustaining heal over time is VERY strong with 850 spellpower behind it, for the whole party, also has warlock aura ticks at 4 seconds. Don't sleep on the HOT if you haven't seen it in action. 2d3 averages out to 4, multiplied by 9.5 spellpower comes out to 38 every second before heal amp - and every tank is gonna be sitting at 150+ if they're semi-competent builders. Again, for the whole party. Also you'd be wearing the devotion items full time so no deviation from gear swaps.

    The 3 builds I mentioned are all perfectly capable of tanking/self healing through all of the newer raids up to r1 at the very least and r5+ in normal legendary quests. The Warlock can even easily solo r5's without instakills. Sure, they can't tank R10, but why the hell would you when you can run 5 melees and a healer through r8's with no chance of failure all day every day anyways? I just really don't want people to get discouraged from making usable builds because they see people that don't play or theorycraft tanks say that only a couple are any good when it's not remotely true.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Emerge2012 View Post
    Don't sleep on the HOT if you haven't seen it in action. 2d3 averages out to 4, multiplied by 9.5 spellpower comes out to 38 every second before heal amp - and every tank is gonna be sitting at 150+ if they're semi-competent builders.
    When I tested it on Lamannia, it was ~1 hp/sec before healing amp/positive spellpower. While I didn't carefully time it out, it appeared to be ticking every 2 secs. It definitely wasn't a random roll - it was the same value every tick. To put this in perspective, with roughly equivalent gearing, it was literally an order of magnitude less than Death Aura on a Pale Master.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Hjarki View Post
    When I tested it on Lamannia, it was ~1 hp/sec before healing amp/positive spellpower. While I didn't carefully time it out, it appeared to be ticking every 2 secs. It definitely wasn't a random roll - it was the same value every tick. To put this in perspective, with roughly equivalent gearing, it was literally an order of magnitude less than Death Aura on a Pale Master.
    Oof, I didn't bother to test it since they said nothing about the strength of the heal dot changing. If that's the case and it's no longer 2d3 then it's utterly useless no matter what. Currently on live everything in this link is correct https://www.ddo.com/forums/showthread.php/448776

    Recently ran with a bard that had 950 positive spellpower and the heal ticks with around 100 heal amp were about 100 per and ticked once per second.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Emerge2012 View Post
    Oof, I didn't bother to test it since they said nothing about the strength of the heal dot changing.
    It wasn't one of the things I was explicitly looking to test the bounds of - I just fired up sustaining song and was seeing consistent 7 point ticks (on a level 30 character with 400-ish Positive and ~30% healing amp).

    In any case, I think the larger issue remains: Bards aren't really a class you'd choose for the purposes of tanking. They don't have any particular advantages in that arena over other classes. You can certainly build Bards that are more or less durable, but a 'Bard tank' is roughly equivalent to a 'Ranger tank' and probably somewhere below a 'Barbarian tank' in terms of raw tanking effectiveness.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Hjarki View Post
    It wasn't one of the things I was explicitly looking to test the bounds of - I just fired up sustaining song and was seeing consistent 7 point ticks (on a level 30 character with 400-ish Positive and ~30% healing amp).

    In any case, I think the larger issue remains: Bards aren't really a class you'd choose for the purposes of tanking. They don't have any particular advantages in that arena over other classes. You can certainly build Bards that are more or less durable, but a 'Bard tank' is roughly equivalent to a 'Ranger tank' and probably somewhere below a 'Barbarian tank' in terms of raw tanking effectiveness.
    The split I mentioned gets good tanking numbers and would outperform the cookie tanks up to mid reaper. But that's assuming the heal over time isn't nerfed into the ground as you're saying it is.

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    When it comes to tanking there are three basic things the build needs to be able to do.

    1. Get the Aggro
    2. Keep the Aggro
    3. Cost less to maintain then if the damage was distributed to the whole party


    No matter the make up, if your build can do the above three things you can be an effective tank.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Emerge2012 View Post
    If that's the case and it's no longer 2d3 then it's utterly useless no matter what.
    A nerf from 4/sec base to 1/2sec or 87.5%. Well, to be fair, now all the bard songs will be equally useful.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Enoach View Post
    When it comes to tanking there are three basic things the build needs to be able to do.

    1. Get the Aggro
    2. Keep the Aggro
    3. Cost less to maintain then if the damage was distributed to the whole party


    No matter the make up, if your build can do the above three things you can be an effective tank.
    Which is part of the reason Bards aren't a particularly strong base for the tank: they bring almost nothing to the table to help with any of that. Bards have no threat increasing abilities and do not gain Intimidate as a class skill (although their native Charisma means they've got a stronger-than-ordinary Intimidate skill). They have virtually no significant personal defensive buffs except for Dodge - and they're not even close to what Monks could do in that regard.

    Most of the 'tankishness' you can derive from the Bard class merely involves using their buffs/heals on themselves - which would be more effective used on others.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Hjarki View Post
    Which is part of the reason Bards aren't a particularly strong base for the tank: they bring almost nothing to the table to help with any of that. Bards have no threat increasing abilities and do not gain Intimidate as a class skill (although their native Charisma means they've got a stronger-than-ordinary Intimidate skill). They have virtually no significant personal defensive buffs except for Dodge - and they're not even close to what Monks could do in that regard.

    Most of the 'tankishness' you can derive from the Bard class merely involves using their buffs/heals on themselves - which would be more effective used on others.
    Who builds pure tanks anyways?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tilomere View Post
    A nerf from 4/sec base to 1/2sec or 87.5%. Well, to be fair, now all the bard songs will be equally useful.
    Oh that's REALLY bad.

    F'ing why...

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    Quote Originally Posted by Emerge2012 View Post
    Oof, I didn't bother to test it since they said nothing about the strength of the heal dot changing. If that's the case and it's no longer 2d3 then it's utterly useless no matter what. Currently on live everything in this link is correct https://www.ddo.com/forums/showthread.php/448776

    Recently ran with a bard that had 950 positive spellpower and the heal ticks with around 100 heal amp were about 100 per and ticked once per second.
    Psa, as per the lamannia notes, the magnitude of the heal over time is not changing at all. It is exactly the same buff, just applied for a much longer period of time with much less upkeep. It should be doing the exact same healing it does on live. If you find this is not the case, it is a bug, and please let us know!
    100% radical, enthusiasm enthusiast.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Lynnabel View Post
    Psa, as per the lamannia notes, the magnitude of the heal over time is not changing at all. It is exactly the same buff, just applied for a much longer period of time with much less upkeep. It should be doing the exact same healing it does on live. If you find this is not the case, it is a bug, and please let us know!
    Oh I sincerely hope so! A few people have said that it was significantly weaker on Lama and they seem to be pretty confident in the numbers presented in this thread.

    I think you do a wonderful job btw. No tush smooching, just being honest.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Emerge2012 View Post
    Who builds pure tanks anyways?
    12 bard 39 AP Warchanter temp hp aura + warchanter buffs, 7 SB Fast Movement
    4 warlock 21 AP ES temp hp aura, 4 AP TS feigned health
    4 fighter 6 std stance
    3 PDK CKT

    Plate + Tower Shield + Sun Blade (edit: for epic blinding ones like Celestia) + THF/Cleave feats/Shield feats edit: and bsword feat

    With featherfall spell, combined with auras, you will grant 3xcharisma, 2xcon in temp hp around you, on top of healing song (edit lvl 8 free feat one), and apply AoE helpless CC and various buffs to everyone. Fighter lets you skill intimidate. CKT gives you charisma to hit and damage with short swords (edit: and bswords), which glancing blow as sun blades, and activate epic defensive fighting.

    Edit: US renewal I hear overwrites sustaining song, so since you will be tanking in US, you don't need spellsinger.
    Last edited by Tilomere; 12-07-2018 at 05:20 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Emerge2012 View Post
    Oh I sincerely hope so!
    Me too! :P I just did another deep dive into this to be 100% sure. The initial hit is the same large heal proc (only single target rather than rippling outwards) from the original ability, and the subsequent healing over time is 2d3, scaling with source positive spell power (or repair or negative if you're healing a warforged or undead) and resting on an interval of 2 seconds. If I am wrong and it isn't scaling at all, please let me know so I can take another look
    100% radical, enthusiasm enthusiast.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tilomere View Post
    12 bard 39 AP Warchanter temp hp aura + warchanter buffs + healing song, 7 SB Fast Movement
    4 warlock 21 AP ES temp hp aura, 4 AP TS feigned health
    4 fighter 6 std stance
    3 PDK CKT

    Plate + Tower Shield + Sun Blade + THF/Cleave feats/Shield feats

    With featherfall spell, combined with auras, you will grant 3xcharisma, 2xcon in temp hp around you, on top of healing song, and apply AoE helpless CC and various buffs to everyone. Fighter lets you skill intimidate. CKT gives you charisma to hit and damage with short swords, which glancing blow as sun blades, and activate epic defensive fighting.
    With the song changes bard has some good possibilities. A bard-based tank will never be high reaper worthy but they can easily be king of the R1 legendary raid tanks like the split I posted earlier in the thread.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tilomere View Post
    With featherfall spell, combined with auras, you will grant 3xcharisma, 2xcon in temp hp around you, on top of healing song, and apply AoE helpless CC and various buffs to everyone. Fighter lets you skill intimidate. CKT gives you charisma to hit and damage with short swords, which glancing blow as sun blades, and activate epic defensive fighting.
    The point you're overlooking is that almost none of that is unique to the Bard. It's akin to saying Favored Soul make the best tanks because they can cast Heal. Sure, you can build a FvS tank. But you're a heck of a lot better off just building a tank and having your FvS heal them.

    The kind of build you're describing is what I like to term a "big fish/little pond" build - it really only makes sense for people who have a massive gear/past life advantage over everyone else around them. But if you're playing with people who have equivalent power backing their build, this sort of "I can do it all!" approach ends up being "I can do none of it!".

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