Okay, so let’s be honest. Bards suck/sucked/sucketh. I’m having a hard time figuring out a way to balance them, or keep them even close to speed with being utilized in a normal group. Celebration Night was the most critical aspect of a bard’s gameplay, and it made them in demand, but past that they’re a novelty. So how can we make them better? I was thinking of increasing their spell damage output, healing output, and damage done. Then there’s the thought of their 1:30second cooldown on singing. I think their songs are the biggest things, without affecting any of their statistcal output, that could really affect them in a positive way. Lower cooldown on singing, maybe a double effect from the songs they sing, or a potential overlap of tunes to keep their allies buffed. I really loved playing my bard back in the day, but in hindsight, it was just a novelty pick. Mages were the only ones who adored bards heh.
Bards were basically a semi-support class that were only really needed in certain circumstances. i.e. To sing Celebration night in slow regen rooms for mages (and clerics)
Being an arch wizard’s pet to duo certain things was always fun, as were larger parties (mostly in the mountains). Playing a semi-cleric was also possible in some circumstances.
They were really a “Jack of all trades” class, which is difficult to balance without taking too much from the roles of other classes. Songs were their unique ability even if Celebration night was the main one used in battle. Perhaps a song to add more to physical damage? Was Draen’s tale ever used?
I don’t recall the cooldown on singing being much of a problem, although if the other songs were more useful it may become more noticable.
Playing primary a mage in Nexus, bards were always to look for. They had best synergy with mages dunring hunt.
That said, bards did fair damage using their spells once they advanced in levels, the breaking point was level 16 when they can learn tier 4 spells (Immolate, lightning ect.) But over all they served as mana bateries. And of course during sell times to sing the trading song so we can sell for more.
Their core in Nexus was their songs, so we should not move away from it. But rather work around adding/addusting songs to be more usefull.
AOE heal song - I think it existed but was rather weak (or simply the timers between songs made it rather useless)?
No follow song - I think it existed, or it was “do not block?”
Do follow song - to lure things out to safer zone - but that one might be easily abusable
Party inspiration song - attack or defence
Resist oriented songs - to stack up additional Fire resist (for example) on top of player casted resists spells and/or resist from items. Thus further buffing people.
Distract songs - increase mobs move timers, attack timers, cast timers (might be one song, or 3 separete to be used based on situation)
Charm song even? - chance to charm a mob to become frendly, or even fight for you for the duration of the song (cannot charm more than 1 or could be level based with some form of hard cap:
lvl 5 you can charm 1 lesser mob,
level 10 you can charm stronger mob, still 1 though
level 15 you can charm 2 lesser mobs or 1 strong ect. So you don’t run around with 2 Red Dragons following you.
I think timer between songs should be removed and you can switch songs according to the needs much like a mage can weave different spells every few seconds.
The bard sings Celebration night, suddenly Red dragon pops in, bard switches imidiately to “Fire resist song” to assist the group mitigating the incoming fight. The effect from the Celebration night stops imidiately upon switch of course. (or add small timer to start the new song like casting spells or attacks timers, to remove options for abuse like:
use Celebration night for 1 tick, switch to resist before the dragon attacks, then switch back to Celebration and so on (although that would be fun to watch a bard dancing on his instrument between multiple songs ).
Overall bards had support role and in my opinion it should remain the same, just think of more mechanics to make their game play more interesting while keeping the core.
Most of the other songs were neglible if I recall right. Even the seller’s song it was good (kind of?), but by no means something you’d feel like you missed out on. And celebration night was by far the main song that was played probably 99% of the time. It also healed on top of mana regen btw, Solmur. So there’d be no need to have a different healing tune. I was thinking, if there really is just a handful of tunes that any bard would sing whether in battle, selling, or just relaxing in Town Square, why couldn’t their songs increase ‘morale’ with an inspiration mechanic added at each pinnacle tier or 5/10/15/20/25 etc. the morale effect could increase offensive and defensive output.
Tier 5: Increases allies accuracy 2% (since accuracy was a wider problem at lower levels, nothing OP, but helpful)
Tier 10: increases armor class OR reduced damage taken from enemies by 2.5%
Tier 15: increases everyone’s healing done by 3%
Tier 20: increases everyone’s damage done by 3.5%
I’m sure the scope of gains could use tweaking, but it promotes bringing a bard for more reasons than being an arch wizards cabana boy at wyres… As well as promoting a good slope to their power while respecting what’s too OP at each tier.
but but but… I like the cabana boy’s and girls
I never played the original Nexus, and was guided to this forum by Garendar, but I have a good amount of tabletop experience, and I love Bards. So, from my outside perspective it seems like the Bard in this thread is geared towards songs that improve allies? Are there songs to debuff as well? I’m thinking something like lowering enemy hit chance, slowing cooldown timers, slowing movement, silences, increasing an enemies vulnerability to damage.
Also, I’m not quite sure how spells work, but Bards are usually masters of gathering information, so perhaps there is a way to increase the variety of spells they can cast? Allowing them to cast Mage spells and Healing spells? They may do this already, but again, just brainstorming.
Bards in the original Nexus were… well let’s call things with their real names shall we . They were mana batteries. And as such always demanded by Mages.
They were capable of casting certain spells up to 4th tier damage spells. Anything beyond that was mage’s only. So they did, fair damage, nothing extordinary but ok.Unfortunately while they had more than one song, only 2 realy made any sence to be used. The forementioned mana batery thingie called Celebration night - which also healed for certain amount so it was always the one used during fights or rest periods.
And they had another usefull song that boosted selling prices by certain amount. It was helping, but not somehting to break your neck over if you don’t have bard around.
They also had access to the main arcenal of healing magic asside from the top healing spell “Heal” which preatty much heals you to max even if you are 1 point from dying. But due to the hard nature of the spell even Priests/Paladins were capable of using it limited number of times per day. Now I think Healers and Paladinds got some bonus healing from the other spells which Bards didn’t.
Never the less, it made them awsome support class (and by awsome I pretty much mean Wizards’ puppets cuz we kinda needed their singing to sustain high tiert spell spam).
I don’t think we should give bards bonus in spell damage or healing (we don’t want to turn them into Wizards or Priests just having different name), instead we should diverse their songs which made them “different” class in Nexus.
p.s welcome aboard
I’m wondering if we could make celebration night a spell instead of a song. It could be cast as an aura on the ground or on a single target for a stronger effect, and then the bard could continue with other songs or spells to help in combat more directly.
Another thought: enchant instrument. A bard could enchant an instrument to play a song FOR him or her and then head into combat. The efficacy of the enchantment could be based on their skill with the instrument, giving them a skill tree to climb that is completely unique to any other class.
The way songs worked before they were basically an aura. I think anything involving mana regen should be a class ability like singing, so it should remain a song. But maybe we could work in a skill based system for songs. Maybe at base level celebration night only regens stamina, then at the first upgrade it would regen stamina and mana and when you upgrade it a third time it could regen stamina, mana, and health.
The main thing would be adding enough songs and having them be good enough to make other songs worth using.
Maybe bards could have some class specific spells though, kind of along the idea of a track spell for rangers. As to what those could be tho…Im at a bit of a loss.
OK. So how about instead of songs, bards could learn melodies. Each melody has a buff or debuff, and a bard can keep a number of melodies active based on his or her instrument skill. This would allow them to keep a mana regeneration active, but also weave different melodies in and out of active rotation based on the circumstance.
Basically, in the first few levels, bards can only have one melody, but as they skill up, they can start stacking different melodies on top of one another in the same performance.
This would provide a huge amount of flexibility and open up more options besides just being a mana battery, while still keeping the focus on songs. They could collect melodies in the same or similar way that mages learn spells.
This could also open up some itemization for bards, allowing different instruments to increase certain melodies, or allow more melodies to be active at once. I.e singing might provide a 20% bonus to all melodies, but only allow one to be active, while a lute increases a bards active melody allowance by +1.
I like that quite a bit. That way you can mix and match melodies to fit the group. Perhaps the melody increases just increase with tier. One melody to start then you get a second at 10, third at 15, and a fourth at 20? 4 might be OP maybe you just get the third melody at 20 and 15 you get some increase to your songs duration.
If u wanted you add in a skill factor you could do String, Percussion, and Wind instruments or something to that effect and maybe increases the effects of your songs as u skill up.
In addition to melodies, bards might also be able to use harmonies at higher levels, allowing them to use a melody slot to increase the efficacy of a particular melody.
As an example, say a level 15 Bard has two active melody slots available to her during combat. She knows 3 melodies (heath regeneration, mana regeneration, critical bonus), and 2 harmonies (double critical bonus, or 20% bonus to health regeneration). Now she has a choice to run 2 melodies, or she can play one melody and it’s accompanying harmony to increase the effect. Some harmonies could be melody specific, while others might be generic like increase the radius of your aura by one space.
I was sort of envisioning Melodies as something to be discovered or learned, not something automatically granted at certain levels. Though both of these have pros and cons.
The way bards learned songs before was with Song Sheets, that worked basically like scrolls. I never played a bard tbh so I’m not sure if the songs had tier restrictions, but I know spells did. If there were any particularly strong melodies, all we have to do is put a tier cap on when you can use it, and just allow it to be learned at whatever level. Most the time it was more of a challenge of finding the song sheet, some of them were pretty hard to get.
Maybe you get a harmony slot at 5 and 15. That way be level 20 you could use 3 melodies and 2 harmonies, and I guess if anyone got to 25 you could get a 3rd harmony. Like you said harmonies could just be things like increases duration or increasing effectiveness and perhaps some of them are just general increases, while others could be melody specific
For example lets say your level 10 and you have two melody slots, so you can have mana regen and stamina regen melodies active. Then you set the harmony to increase the duration of your melodies. But you find that the fights are tough and your not benefitting from the extra duration, so you switch to a harmony that gives a 35% increase to the amount of mana regen of the mana melody instead so you can help the cleric keep spamming his higher level heal spells.
I think you can easily give bards melody and harmony slots without it being too broken, as they don’t have much damage output so making them a premier support is fine. So you would eventually end up with 6 slots total at 25, 3 of each. Then you just alternate getting a melody or harmony slot every 5 levels, and you start with a melody slot at level 1.
I think melodies should just continue to be learned with Song Sheets, but perhaps harmonies could be learned in some other fashion? Random discovery is kind of annoying mechanic, but it would kind of make some RP sense. If you add instrument skills, perhaps you could gain certain harmonies at certain skills, OR the skills just increase the effectiveness of the harmony as your skill increases.
I think it’s important for Bards to have one set of slots, not two. Melodies and Harmonies should need to compete for use for balance reasons. Harmonies the way I envision them are very strong, but static (their bonuses should not increase with instrument skill), and should be found using some kind of RP discovery method, while Melodies might be easier to acquire. Melody stats, though could increase with instrument skill. Instruments can be broken down into something like weapon groups:
Singing: n% bonus to all melodies, one slot (n increases as skill increases)
Flute: Increase melody duration by 10s, and health regen by 1.5%/level, one slot
Ocarina: Increase melody duration by 10s, and mana regen by 1.5%/level, one slot
Bansuri: Increase melody duration by 6s, and crit chance by 1.25%/level, one slot
Lute: 4 slots
Lyre: increase duration of melody by 2s, and 5% chance to slow, 3 slots
Bagpipes: DoT to all enemies in aura, Increase all allies damage by n%, increase crit chance by 2%/level, two slots
Controlling Melody/Harmony slots with instruments makes sense to me, since some instruments are only designed to play one note at a time.
Well i was thinking more along the lines of making bards more of an endgame class by increases the variables they can support at once. I think your leaning towards them being able to achieve that by boosting one song to a high level of effectiveness, but I kind of like the idea of making custom songs essentially for each situation.
The way I was thinking the songs would be weaker but maybe if you really wanted to boost a particular set, you could possibly double up on a melody. If you double up a melody maybe increase the effects by 30% or something and then you could also modify it with two harmonies.
Idk i think it could be a really interesting/fun system that way. Be kinda like composing your own songs.
In both systems we are describing the Bard creates custom songs, it’s really the mechanic of how we manage that aspect that is in question. I see a Bard using instruments in the same way a Fighter uses weapons, choosing the best instrument for the circumstance, with certain instruments amplifying a melody to a high level, and others allowing for multiple melodies to be stacked. I would be just as happy though if Bards gained melody slots at level tiers, but my main sticking point is that Harmonies should take up Melody slots, and not have their own slots. Perhaps Instruments could add or subtract slots too. But I see Bard Melodies not being trivial buffs/debuffs, so the cap should be relatively small, say 4 slots, with Harmonies and Melodies competing for use.
I think we can probably agree, though, that changing out Melodies during combat should have a respectable cooldown. I’m not sure how the pacing of combat goes, but I was thinking like 30 seconds before a Bard can start performing a new combination of Melodies after changing one out.
I want to say the old bard songs may have been on a 3 min cooldown and lasted 2 min so there was like a minute of downtime between songs. But I didnt play one so not sure exact numbers.
One point on the instruments, is we dont even have distinctions in weapons to that extent. While its a cool idea it might also pigeonhole someone into an instrument type they dont want to use unless all the instruments provided the same bonus. Then you can work on whichever one goes with the RP of your character without sacrificing any combat effectiveness.
Then the fact its a lot of in depth balancing for just one class. I guess I was trying to keep things simpler. Could be interesting to add weapon perks for different weapontypes, but then that just creates alot more balance issues.
The melody/harmony idea is really solid I think tho.
I guess that’s just my tabletop mentality leaking in about instruments. For simplicity, instruments could just be RP flavor. I think it came from an idea that I didn’t really post, though I did allude to it with the listing of Bagpipes. It would be cool if a Bard’s weapon was his instrument (again, no idea if this was the case). Doing DoT while also buffing your allies would be an interesting character niche. So perhaps taking a reduction of that idea and simply letting all instruments do AoE damage over time, then stacking melodies on top of that for the additional effects would be doable? I guess it boils down to should there be a class that does no damage and only supports (I’m assuming Clerics do damage, in addition to healing)
Bards did damage. They could equip weapons and i think even shields while using instruments as a “held” item i believe. They could also cast spells, they just couldnt cast spells as early as mages and didnt get damage modifiers. So bards could cast Immolate which was like a 12th tier spell for a mage but they had to wait til like 14. They just did more or less base damages while also supporting. They did more damage than clerics for sure, with the exception that clerics can turn undead (which could either halve an undeads health, instant kill it, or fail)
Might want to change it so they cant use shields and an instrument at the least, so we dont end up with tanking bards, specially with the proposed changes to shields to give them high armor and block value. Or maybe give bards a choice to use a weapon or shield and an instrument. But at least make it where they cant be carrying 3 things at once (specially since most instruments should take two hands to play)