Jacks of all trades, but masters of none. Bards have a unique combination of abilities, making them extremely versatile. Essentially a bard is a cross between almost all the basic classes, yet notably they are plate wearers. The key function of the Bard is that his songs stack with all other buffs. His mana and health regeneration songs stack with other class' hp/mana regen spells, his V2 and V3 haste stacks with other class' haste spells, and many other songs stack or simply benefit the group at large. He even has a song to cure your hunger! So if you're looking for a class that benefits the group he's in, has the most tools at his disposal for pulling, and is simply lots of fun to play, look no further than the Bard.
Table of Bard Skills
| || Skill || Level || Cap @ 50 || Notes|
| Combat Skills|
| || 1 Hand Blunt|| 01|| 200 || |
| || 1 Hand Slashing|| 01|| 200 || |
| || Bind Wound|| 01|| 150 || |
| || Defense|| 01|| 200 || |
| || Hand to Hand|| 01|| 100 || |
| || Offense|| 01|| 200 || |
| || Piercing|| 01|| 200 || |
| || Throwing|| 01|| 113 || |
| || Dodge|| 10|| 125 || |
| || Dual Wield|| 17|| 210 || |
| || Instill Doubt|| 26|| 100 || |
| || Parry|| 53|| 075 || |
| || Riposte|| 58|| 075 || |
| Class Specific Skills|
| || Singing|| 01|| 235 || |
| || Percussion|| 05|| 235 || |
| || String|| 05|| 235 || |
| || Meditate|| 10|| 001 || |
| || Brass|| 05|| 235 || |
| || Wind|| 05|| 235 || |
| Class Ancillary Skills|
| || Safe Fall|| 01|| 100 || * Vah Shir only|
| || Alcohol Tolerance|| 01|| 200 || |
| || Beg|| 01|| 200 || |
| || Fishing|| 01|| 200 || |
| || Swimming|| 01|| 200 || |
| || Forage|| 12|| 055 || |
| || Sneak|| 17|| 075 || |
| || Sense Traps|| 20|| 075 || |
| || Safe Fall|| 24|| 040 || *Normal Bard|
| || Hide|| 25|| 040 || |
| || Disarm Traps|| 30|| 100 || |
| || Track|| 35|| 100 || |
| || Pick Lock|| 40|| 100 || |
Bards have a large number of different song lines, which lend them vastly different abilities. These include:
- A line of group or AOE hp and mana regeneration songs, starting with the level six Hymn of Restoration and the level twenty Cassindra's Chant of Clarity.
- A line of group speed-increasing songs starting with the level five Selo's Accelerando, the best of which with an appropriate drum is faster than any horse.
- A line of AOE resist increasing songs starting with the level nine Elemental Rhythms and a more powerful line of group resist increasing songs starting with the level 25 Psalm of Warmth (all of which also have a damage shield component.)
- A line of charm songs starting with the level 27 Solon's Song of the Sirens that is of critical importance in several early soloing techniques.
- A line of overhaste songs starting with Battlecry of the Vah Shir. Overhaste is a type of haste which goes over the haste cap (100%). A player with 100% haste (from items and enchanter/shaman buffs) and a bard around for overhaste can swing his sword 130% faster than he would normally swing with no buffs! Higher level versions of these songs improve the damage portion of a wizard's nuke, or a necromancer's DoT, and even higher versions improve the amount of healing a cleric's spell will give a player.
- The absolutely unique Song of Highsun that sends a target back to it's spawn location.
These are only a few characteristic songs of a bard, listing all useful bard songs would take quite some time. A full list of bard songs can be found here.
Bards can use instruments; some songs, such as Shauri's Sonorous Clouding require instruments, while others, such as Selo's Accelerando are only made more effective by one. Some songs, such as Lyssa's Cataloging Libretto are not at all effected by instruments. Also notably, bard haste songs do not give any greater haste with an instrument equipped.
Bard songs that are effected by instrument see an increase in their power (e.g., their effect without any instrument) proportional to the modifier of the instrument that they are sung with. Mods range from 1.1 to around 3.4. At lower levels mods are typically only found on actual instruments such as the Mistmoore Battle Drums whereas at higher levels instrument modifiers are oftentimes found on armor items, as is the case on Luvwen's Vambraces of Melody. Many high level raiding bards simply use the Blade of Vesagran, the bard epic 2.0, to fulfill all of their needed mods.
Just as a Wizard or Cleric seeks focus effects to benefit their spells, the Bard seeks Instrument modifiers to benefit his songs. Instrument modifiers initially have a cap at 3.6, however, purchasing certain AAs can increase the cap, however this isn't necessary for group players but may be vital to raiding bards. Instrument mods come in the form of a skill - the more a bard plays a song which uses stringed instruments, ie Hymn of Restoration, the better his skill will be, and the less chance he will miss a note and stop singing/playing the song.
Instrument Mods are important for the Bard since it determines the strength of the song that the Bard sings - ie if a Bard sang Hymn of Restoration with a lute, they would heal more HP per round with the lute than without. For example:
Stringed: This instrument type usually applies to Area of Effect damage songs, hp/mp regen songs, and choice mitigation songs. It can be increased by use of any lute, or by any equipment with a Stringed modification on it.
Brass: This instrument type applies to haste songs, some Area of Effect damage songs, some of our Slow songs (rate of attack slow), and some of our single-target direct damage nukes. It can be increased by equipping any brass instrument (horns, mostly) or by any equipment with a Brass modifier on it.
Percussion: This instrument type mainly modifies run speed songs, like Selo's Accelerating Accelerando, damage-over-time songs, resistance songs, and some others. These songs can be modified by equipping a drum, or by wearing any equipment with percussion modifiers.
Wind: This instrument doesn't modify many songs, but, many songs that use the Wind modifier require a wind instrument to be used to sing it. Examples are the Shauri's Sonorous Clouding song (invisibility song) require a wind instrument to be used while singing. This modifier is useful when a bard is singing his Lull type songs on monsters, but aside from that, it is very situational.
Singing: This is the Bard's odd-one-out. There are few items which modify the singing skill/mod, and most of the items which do, require raids to acquire. Consequently, Singing is arguably the Bard's most valued modifier; it affects snare songs, slow songs, some direct damage nukes, resist songs, mitigation songs and many, many more. Furthermore, when a bard plays a song and does not have modifiers on his equipment, nor does he have an instrument equipped, the Singing skill will be used to play the song. Thus, Singing is very important as it is the default mod/skill for the bard. One song, Amplification, modifies the bard's singing skill, which improves all songs which uses the singing modifier. This song is excellent at boosting an AC song, a direct damage nuke, or landing that 50% slow song on a monster without having a resist.
Luckily for most bards in 2008 and beyond, the Defiant line of armor has bard modifiers of each type within certain slots. Defiant armor is very easily found from a large amount of monsters, or even more easily purchased from the bazaar and thus, modifiers are not something to worry fervently about as one did before. However, if a bard chooses not to use Defiant armor, or is missing a modifier for some reason, the Bard Epic weapon (Singing Short Sword), has a 1.8 modifier to ALL skill types and thus covers all mods a bard will need.
Bards have many spells that make them a very efficient puller:
- Lines of lulling, snaring, mesmerizing, and charming spells to hinder their targets.
- The fastest run-speed buff in the game (Selo's), as well as a current max of Run 8 to their base speed (obtained through AAs) to keep them at a distance from their targets and to assist in chain pulling.
- Boastful Bellow: bards can purchase this AA skill at level 63. It is a 250 range, instant cast, 18 second recast, no mana cost spell that is great for any tagging situation, and makes chain pulling a cinch.
- Fading Memories (a.k.a. Fade, or FM): bards can purchase this AA skill at level 63. This is THE defining spell for bards as pullers. Fade is a self-only, instant cast, instant recast, 900 mana cost spell that instantly wipes the memories of ALL of the mobs the bard has attacked or come in contact with so that they forget they ever saw him, rendering him instantly safe. In addition, it gives the bard permanent invisibility that can be seen through by see-invis mobs and undead mobs (the invis drops like a normal invis if the bard casts/attacks or is hit).
The easiest way to pull a single mob is to make sure you have separated it from the pack. Your pulling strategy will differ based on the number of mobs involved, how much elbow room you have for splitting, and mobs' resists/immunities:
Tag and Wait
- Pull the mob and his buddies away from their spawn point. Fade. Wait while his buddies path back towards their spawn points. With any luck, he'll be the last one left. Tag him.
- Quickly lull all the adds, then pull your target mob.
- Snare/Mez the mob you want. Run the adds out of range of your target. Fade. Run back quickly and pull your target mob.
- Run your target mob and his adds well away from their spawn point. Once at a distance, snare/mez the target mob and quickly fade. Wait for the adds to path out of distance. Your snared/mezzed mob should be the last one left.
- Mez an add, run out, fade. Mez another add, run farther, fade. Repeat until you have your target mob alone.
- A mezzed mob will normally attack when mez wears off. If you fade before mez wears off, then they will have forgotten you and will not attack once the mez wears off.
- This technique may require quite a bit of elbow room or creativity.
Divine Aura Pull
- Sing Kazumi's or single-target DA song on yourself, run into the pack of mobs you want, lead them away, gain distance, click off DA, and mez your target, run the pack off, fade, collect. This is useful against raid targets, or in dense rooms or zones with narrow corridors.
- Target immune to mez and snare ? try highsun! grab your mob and his pack, lead them off a ways, circle kite and attempt to highsun the mob. if he disappears, fade immediately, run back to his spawn point and tag him, lead him to your group.
This is a great technique for bypassing loads of mobs and pulling named_mob_01 ALONE from one side of the zone to the other, WITHOUT adds.
First, you must know that there are two kinds of agro: Direct Agro, and Assist Agro. Both work differently.
- Direct Agro (DA) is the agro you get when you attack a mob, or a mob sees you first and attacks you.
- Assist Agro (AA) is the agro you get when a mob (or mobs) is in range to assist a mob that has DA on you.
Now they both seem the same; in both ways you end up with a mob trying to kill you. But here is the difference:
- A mob with DA on you will be able to attract nearby allies and cause them to AA on you.
- A mob with AA on you will never attract allies to assist you, even if he runs right over them. Only a mob with DA on you can do that.
The goal for this pull is to make named_mob_01 get Assist Agro (AA) on you.
You will need an invis song or clicky ready (not fade), along with a mez, Fading Memories aa, and possibly a lull song.
- Step 1: Locate named_mob_01. You will NOT be taking any action against this mob.
- Step 2: Get to a safe spot.
- Step 3: If possible, lull mobs in range of named_mob_01 (do not lull named_mob_01).
- Step 4: Mez a mob in assist range to named_mob_01. This will cause the mezzed mob to DA on you, but it will be unable to attack. Named_mob_01 should AA on you and begin running at you.
- Step 5: Quickly invis up and run to camp with named_mob_01 in tow. If you did all of the above correctly, since named_mob_01 only has AA on you, he will not be getting help from allies as he runs by them, and should be alone by the time he gets to camp.
- Step 6: Once named_mob_01 is close enough to camp, fade off the mezzed mob. The mezzed mob will completely forget about you whether or not he was still mezzed by the time you faded.
- A mezzed mob will normally attack when mez wears off. If you fade before mez wears of, the mezzed mob will not remember you when it wakes up and will not attack.
- Don't worry if mez wears off before you get to camp. Just stay invis and keep running with named_mob_01 in tow. There is still plenty of distance between you and named_mob_01, and the massive train the now awakened mob is bringing towards you. Just don't forget to fade when you get to camp.
- This technique will get you praises from your group members, but you will still look bad if you end up training another group. If the mezzed mob wakes before you get to camp, it will start a train and possibly hurt any players caught in the middle. Be sure the path between named_mob_01 and your group camp is clear of other parties before you pull.
- When mercs are in the group, be sure to always ask the leader to designate you as puller with the group assignments so that the mercs do not heal or assist you on incoming. Mercs will too often wipe the group without that little change to your rank.
- In high level groups, a bad pull will generally end in a wipe. For the sake of your reputation as a puller, and the sake of your experience, health, and sanity of your group members, know how close is TOO close to camp when fading off mobs. Nothing is worse than a puller wiping his group over and over just because he is too lazy to take his time and effort to make a safe pull happen.
- Lay out a plan for crowd control and/or wipe recovery with your group BEFORE something goes wrong (such as one too many mobs making it to camp, or patrolling adds). The right time to figure out who is doing what is NOT when your cleric is dead and your tank is using all his discs to get by. Be sure everyone knows what that plan is so that everyone will have a cool head when the time comes to implement said plan.
- Communicate with your tank or designated tagger about tagging rules. Your environment may be too add crazy to just pull the mob and let the tank tag it; sometimes the taggers don't have the right line of sight to see hidden_mob_01 behind big_rock_02 that is ready to add the second they tag the target mob. Make sure you let your tank know whether or not he should wait for your o.k. before tagging any mobs, or if he should just tag at his own discretion. Or if he should not tag at all for that matter, if that is what you are most comfortable with.
- It's better to die solo on a bad pull than to get your group involved. If you know what you just did is going to end in a death, pull AWAY from camp. Sure, the puller dying doesn't ever look good, but it's better that you die alone and have to med for a couple minutes than to have the whole group die and just piss everyone off.
- You're going to die. Make thing easier when in a group by going to "Options" (alt+o)>"General" tab> and clicking on both "Auto Group Consent" and "Auto Raid Consent". No one likes having to ask you to consent them to drag your corpse when there is danger all around and they are standing right next to your corpse ready to get back to safety.
- It is always best communicate to group members to invis while you are out situating pulls. All too often group members will die from non-see-invis mobs that end up too close to camp for one reason or another, especially in areas where there is little room for you to split. If there is a class without invis, ask someone else in the group to be on invis duty for that person, or the group in general.
- Unless you're on slow/snare/cc duty in your group, it's usually a good idea to chain pull. That means stop attacking around 35% and go set up the next pull, that way when the mob is dead, the next one is ready for killing.
- If the last mob is not dead before you get back to camp with the next mob, either fade it out just out of range of the group, or park it with mez until the tank is ready for it.
- Many pullers get caught into the trap of trying to get named_mob_01 out of an impossible situation. You could spend over two hours trying to get that one mob, and most of that time will be spent medding your mana back after you died, or your whole group recovering mana after a near or total wipe. And you still won't have pulled named_mob_01 to camp safely. BEFORE you even start TRYING to pull named_mob_01, take one minute to assess the situation. If your experience tells you the pull is possible, try your best methods. If you fail to single pull named_mob_01 in under five attempts (and that's attempts that do not endanger your group), then suck up your pride and clear the adds one by one until it is safe to single pull named_mob_01. Better that you spend 40 mins clearing trash with no deaths and getting your mob, than to try single pulling him for 3 hrs to no avail and dying/wiping over a handful of times. You may not become known as the most super fantastic puller of the server for pulling trash, but it's better than being known as the unprofessional wannabe who can't pull for sh*t and wipes groups.
- Doing the smart thing as is stated above will get you invited back to groups. All players care about is that you got the job done WITHOUT wasting time.
- This is just to illustrate how others will remember you (possibly) when considering inviting you to future groups, listed from most memorable to least memorable, and each will generally be the ONLY thing they remember about you if it occurred:
- That you wiped them 5 times
- That you spent 3 hours pulling one mob
- That you wiped them 3 times
- That you spend 2 hours pulling one mob
- That you died 5 times and wiped them 2 times
- That you died 10 times
- That you died 7 times
- That you successfully pulled and defeated the mob
- That you died 3 times and wiped them 1 time
- That you spent 40 minutes clearing trash to get to the target mob
- Case in point: they will generally remember the worst of you, unless your mistakes are minor enough in light of your accomplishments in said group.
- If clearing mobs at side "b" of the room will give you more room to split mobs from the more important side "a" of the room, then make things easier for yourself and do it.
- As puller, your ultimate goal is to get things done. Don't be above letting the monk in the group assist you in pulling, or if he has the advantage in that situation, to allow him to single it. Same goes for any classes that can effectively help you get the job done.
- Make it a habit to always do a "ready check" after each group break to make sure everyone is prepared for the next pull. There is nothing stupider than taking a 5 min break after a wipe only to begin pulling and find your healer and everyone else is ready, but your tank is still afk, and you all die because if it.
- Practice, Practice, Practice. Don't be afraid to get your hands dirty and just do it. Never fear a pull, but always try to be smart about it.
Hotkeys, Macros, UI Tips and Tricks
- always begin your melody macros with /stopsong to halt whatever you're singing at the time.
--> the numbers in the melodies below are just examples. replace #s with your gem # your song is in
- Go into options, navigate to keyboard, select Target from the drop down window, and delegate TAB to "Toggle Last Two Targets"
- it is recommended that a bard player, if he expects he will need to be in a CC role or a pulling role, should play in 3rd person view - hit F9 three times, then use mouse2 and alt+numpad8, alt+numpad2 to raise/lower/change your view angle.
- our Crescendo line grants an amount of HP and mana after a 30 second buff timer ticks down to zero. the strange thing about the song, however, is the modifier from our instruments is applied not when we finish singing the song itself to apply the buff, but when the buff expires. a good tactic is, sing Crescendo as you are leaving your camp to pull a mob. when you'r eback in the group fighting your pull, and your buff is about to expire, switch your lute into your secondary hand just before the buff ends: the modifier will be applied and casters and healers will recieve a nice boost of mana.
1: The mez melody.
/melody 6 1 2 3
this melody enables a bard to continue meleeing one target while mezzing another target simultaneously. to do so, target mob 2, and click this melody. then hit TAB to go back to your target. mob 2 is mezzed, and you begin singing your three songs. now, before song 3 finishes, like 1/2 to 1/4 of a second before song 3 finishes, hit your TAB key to target mob 2. as soon as song 6, or your mez song, begins, hit TAB again to go back to mob 1. songs are placed on your target you have before the song is begun.
2: the 2-target mez melody.
/melody 6 1 2 6 3 1 6 2 3
this melody enables the bard to continue meleeing one target while mezzing two targets. the mode is similar to the single target mez, however this time, the bard doesn't use TAB to toggle targets, but instead selects the targets with his cursor. remember to target the mob -before- the mez song begins, then go back to the mob you're fighting. keep in mind which mob you have mezzed and which one is due for a refresh.
the order of the songs in the melody above allows your group to benefit from 3 songs without drops and breaks.
3: the dot chant.
/melody 1 2 3 4 5
this is pretty straightforward. however, since our DOT songs last 3 ticks instead of two (or 18 seconds), a bard can twist five DOTs together instead of four, because by the time he finishes song 5 and begins song 1 again, song 1 has -just- worn off. this enables five dots to tick constantly. note, each song in this melody must not be similar ie, only 1 fire, 1 ice, 1 poison, 1 disease, and 1 magic chant.
4: the fade spam
/G Fading Aggro!!
/alt activate 212
it may seem silly to spam your group with fade messages, but it's actually the polite thing to do.
(to be filled in)
- Suggested AA Purchases for Beginning Bards *****
- 1: Fading Memories. This AA removes the bard from the hate list of ALL monsters in the zone. It is completely game changing and is a necessary pulling tool for the Bard. Buy it.
- 2: Run Speed 3. In order for a bard to pull, he must be able to run. A bard will not always be able to sing Selo's, and thus he must rely on base run speed to help him in his cause. Rank 5 and even rank 7 is highly recommended.
- 3: Boastful Bellow (rank 1). This AA gives the bard an ability that hits a target for 50 damage. It has a range of 250 and includes a stun which works on monsters level 60 and under with the first rank. It is invaluable for pulling thanks to the long range and the ease of hot keying the ability.
- 4: Jam Fest (rank 3). This AA will improve the effect your songs provide by giving you the benefits of a higher level bard singing the songs you are singing.
- 5: Instrument Mastery (rank 3). This AA improves the effect your instrument modifiers provide for your songs.
- 6: Singing Mastery (rank 3). This AA improves your singing modifier. While useful, is somewhat optional.
- 7: Scribble Notes. Improves the speed at which a bard memorizes songs. Highly useful for changing song gems mid-fight or even in between a monster's attacks. Cheap!
- 8: Natural Durability (rank 3). This AA improves the Bard's base hitpoints by 2%, 5% and 10% per rank.
- 9: Combat Agility (rank 3). This AA improves the chance of a bard dodging a monster's attack outright. Very important for those occasional hits while pulling, or even when the group's tank dies and the bard steps up to bat.
- 10: Combat Stability (rank 3). This AA improves the damage mitigation for the bard. Monsters that attack the bard with this AA will do slightly less damage than they would if the bard did not have any ranks in this AA line. Not as useful at Combat Agility (dodging the attack completely is better than having some reduced damage), however, still a baseline AA to purchase early on.
Further recommendations would be Ambidexterity, Combat Fury, Spell Casting Fury, Weapon Affinity, and Sinister Strikes.
Epic 1.0, Singing Short Sword
Epic 1.25 Pre-quest (no reward)
Epic 1.5, Prismatic Dragon Blade
Epic 2.0, Blade of Vesagran
Epic 2.5, An Epic Augment
This page last modified 2013-03-12 13:45:42.