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Thread: Singing and you! A short guide to Bard.

  1. #1
    Soulwalker
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    Default Singing and you! A short guide to Bard.

    Hey guys! I figured I would try to contribute something to the Rogue community as, IMO, it's one of the best classes Trion has made. I will cover specs, Planar Essence and rotation/tactics. Keep in mind, this is from a PvE point of view. I do not PvP as a Bard. That being said, onto the guide!

    What is a Bard?
    Bard is the Rogue's support class. We role 7 buffs and two debuffs ranging from damage reduction, crit, spell power/attack power, basic stats, healing increase, healing over time and magic/physical damage increase to name a few. As a Bard you probably will not be topping the damage meter and if you are your DPS is probably dead or doing something wrong. Bards a amazing support healers, but as content becomes easier for the group, Bards helpfulness starts to diminish and it becomes better to bring another DPS.

    Specs:

    Virtuoso: I call it "Super healer" because that is what it allows you to do. Every 3 mins, you can use your combo point abilities with out using your combo points. A well time "Super healer" can save your group from large AoE damage spikes, can help get your tank back up to full from a hit that brings them to almost dead and pretty much bring amazing healing over that 15 seconds.

    Verse of Joy: I've seen a little bit of discussion on how to spec. People either for or against the 51 point talent. Verse of Joy, 5 energy/5power/50 mana per second, is almost a staple in T1/T2 fights and into raiding. I cannot tell you have many kills we have gotten just because I was able to use Verse of Joy when our healers potion CD was still down or to kill an add faster as our Rogue/Warrior was able to be power capped for 15 seconds. It is a very nice talent and should always be taken.

    Builds:
    Ok, all that being said about two key talents, my build looks something like this:
    http://rift.zam.com/en/stc.html?t=0Mcip.EIdqiqskqz.Vh.V

    I have a few reasons for picking up Riftstalker over Blademaster or another soul. The 15% attack power far out does anything in the other souls, if you are not hit capped. I'll explain hit later. You also pick up Planebound Resilience. A lot of bosses in the later dungeons do a lot of AoE damage that cannot be avoided. The extra Endurance helps a lot for survivability.

    Nightblade is almost a stable secondary soul giving your Cadence another 24% damage resulting in a 24% increase in healing. A long with providing a ranged CC that is pretty helpful when learning trash.

    I have two floater talents that can go where you see fit. Healing increase, damage reduction and finisher damage. The choice isn't very crucial so just get what you find helpful.

    A hit build:
    http://rift.zam.com/en/stc.html?t=0MciV.EIdqiqskqz.Vh.V

    Switching out Riftstalker to Bladedancer gives you another 5% hit. I will explain hit later as you may think because all your abilities cannot be dodge, block or parried that hit wouldn't matter, but it does and I'll explain in the next section. You still have two floater points and putting one more into Bladedancer will allow you to provide a Dex buff. If you are buffing with Fanfare of Power, you can switch over to another one, probably Knowledge, to get as many buffs on the group as possible.

    The importance of hit
    Hit does a lot for a melee and caster. Not only does it push dodge, block, parry, miss and resists off the table it also increases your damage. Mobs at 50 have a cap to them on how much hit you need and if you are below that, you will see a decrease in your damage. The cap for T1 is roughly 50-70 hit and for T2 it's 100. With more hit you'll see your numbers raise in damage.

    So being a Bard and being under hit cap, you will be healing with Cadence for a bit less than if you were hit capped. For melee, hit only seems to come from weapons, rings and necks. I have yet to see hit on armor, but it's possible there could be a few pieces.

    Stat Priority

    I go by Hit > Dex > Attack > Str > Crit.

    Hit only till the cap than Attack followed by Dex. As I explained above, hit has a lot of hidden modifiers and it's value is a lot higher. The more the better really.

    Dex is next as it will influence our heals by raising our Attack and our Crit. You can never have enough Dex. Dex also boosts dodge and there are a lot of boss abilities that our dodge-able.

    Attack is third as like Dex, it gives us more healing through damage, but it lacks adding to crit or anything else. It's just a flat out damage increase.

    Str is 4th as it also raises Attack, but not as high as Dex. It's a good stat, but the other two are better.

    Crit is last. It's a good stat, but you'll get a lot of Crit from Dex and it's on a lot of pieces of gear. I would pick up a piece with more Attack and less crit, though, as it is a bigger benefit.

    Rotation

    On pull
    Once I see my tank throw out their shield or planestep on pull, I will throw out Riff and get Coda of Distress up right away for 7% magic damage. Right after that I Power Cord and get Coda of Cowardice up next. I keep these up through the fight, unless another class is bringing them.

    During the fight
    For the most part, I never use my Combo points for a damaging ability. If a fight has adds, I may through out a Coda of Fury, but I usually just spam Cadence. The reason for this is you never know when a damage spike is coming and you'll need to use Coda of Restoration. If you don't have your combo points up, it could lead to a wipe. Going from 150 to 175 DPS isn't worth a wipe.

    Keep up songs
    It can be a little annoying keeping track of songs. An easy was is to macro your first one in your rotation. I usually open with Motif of Grandeur. But first you'll need to make your own chat channel. To make your own just type /join "Chat Name". Call it anything. The more unique the better as you don't need other people in it.

    Now, to make this channel a bit more obvious than your other channels, right click the "General" tab on the chat box and go to "Settings". Under the "Channel Messages" tab, you can change the color of that channel. Now for the Macro! Quick note: Macros don't need the / in them.

    #show Motif of Grandeur
    cast Motif of Grandeur
    wait 20
    <Chat Number> Rebuff soon!
    party

    *Thanks to BlackholeX for the macro

    So after 20 seconds(You can make it longer if you want) you'll get a message saying you'll need to rebuff. The "party" at the end will switch you back to party chat.

    Song rotation
    When buffing and rebuffing, I do my songs in a specific order. Mostly used by what I think is needed to be up first. It usually goes like Motif of Grandeur, Regeneration, Tenacity, Bravery and than Focus. Grandeur and Regeneration should be pretty easy to figure out why they should be up first, but the rest honestly don't matter to much.

    Fanfares
    Basically pick one based on what you have. If you have mostly caster, go with Knowledge. If you have mostly melee go with Power. You will probably not use Vigor as almost everyone brings an Endurance buff and even though ours is better, Power and Knowledge are a lot better. All this is situational though, as if your melee bring a Dex buff it would be better to go with Knowledge.

    Anthems
    Another situational buff. You'll mostly want to run Fervor, but there are fights that I'll use Defiance and even Competence. I highly suggest keybinding them to quickly switch them out during the fight. As Defiance might be good for one part of the fight and than Competence might be good for another part.
    I almost never run Glory because it's only a 1-2% mitigation on our tank and the other ones are a lot more helpful.

    Planar Essence

    Lesser:
    This part is pretty easy. Anything with Dex and either Attack or Physical Crit is best. Most of these usually come with Strength as well.

    Greater:
    As of writing this, only one greater is worthwhile as a Bard, Consuming Faestone. This will proc off your heals and restore another 550 health as a heal over time. This is the only greater that actually procs from our heals. I have ran with Faded Shadesource, but it has never proced. This is probably a bug and may be fixed later.

    Thanks for taking the time to read this! Hope it helps someone.

  2. #2
    Telaran Inabi's Avatar
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    Great post! I plan to put some of these in action as soon as I get home. Only one thing, I thought that you couldn't use wait commands anymore?
    Gnome Paladins: Because the world needs more GNOMES.

  3. #3
    Telaran
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    Very nice guide! Well formatted and good descriptions for everything. A few points I'd like to mention, though - I tend to find that attack power doesn't scale as well as dexterity, so if you're going for a five point splash tree Saboteur's nimble fingers seems to be a better choice, plus it's to have a free AoE slow.

    Verse of Joy - In my personal experience I don't think it's worth it. I've yet to see a fight in which really needed it, as the DPS it adds is negligible and by taking it you're opting out of less of a DPS-oriented build, thus extending the duration and forcing your healer to NEED more mana. To each their own.

    Nightblade - Try speccing into deeper nightblade, and using Fiery Spike and Flame Thrust for DPS finishers and see how you like the playstyle. A 51 point bard usually hangs around 120 DPS from what I've seen, and I usually come in around 250-300 depending on the fight.

    Stat weights - I'd definitely put crit ahead of strength, twice the scaling makes for better cadence heals, and delicious verse of vitality / coda of restoration crits.

    Anthem of glory - writing off 1-2% mitigation is actually quite a lot, would you turn down an anthem that added 2% healing done?

  4. #4
    Rift Chaser Rykin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Flares View Post
    During the fight
    For the most part, I never use my Combo points for a damaging ability. If a fight has adds, I may through out a Coda of Fury, but I usually just spam Cadence. The reason for this is you never know when a damage spike is coming and you'll need to use Coda of Restoration. If you don't have your combo points up, it could lead to a wipe. Going from 150 to 175 DPS isn't worth a wipe.
    Some good info in there but I completely disagree with the above part. If you've run the dungeon before you KNOW when damage spikes are coming and if you are not doing anything in between them but spamming Cadence you are not playing to your class potential. There are times to focus on healing but spike damage on the tank is not our job, that's what a dedicated healer is for. Spike damage on the group we can help with, but it is not something that takes up ALL of our time so do not hesitate to throw out those Codas of Fury on trash and Wrath on the boss. If you wipe, it's not going to be because you did not have CoR loaded and ready to go. In an even of emergency like that we have Verse of Vitality and Riff+Virtuoso is only 3GCDs away from massive healing stream on demand.

    Also, +hit at L50 is in overabundce, there's really no reason to spec for it.

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    Sword of Telara Atreiu's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Flares View Post

    Greater:
    As of writing this, only one greater is worthwhile as a Bard, Consuming Faestone. This will proc off your heals and restore another 550 health as a heal over time. This is the only greater that actually procs from our heals.

    Where can I get this greater, and what heals are proccing it? Motifs, cadence, coda of resto?

    <Anotherguy>
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  6. #6
    Ascendant ShalarLight's Avatar
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    Very good post, strong information present.

    I agree with the poster above about coda tactics. Other than that very good information, and following your advice Will provide some very nice support, maybe not our fullest potential, but you wont be caught out of sequence when it counts either so there is that.

    Anthem of glory - writing off 1-2% mitigation is actually quite a lot, would you turn down an anthem that added 2% healing done?
    Depends on the group make up, I would run it for a rogue tank for sure, unless they have it themselves as RS\bard.

    /+1
    Last edited by ShalarLight; 03-23-2011 at 10:51 AM.

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    Rift Chaser Rykin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Atreiu View Post
    Where can I get this greater, and what heals are proccing it? Motifs, cadence, coda of resto?
    Only Cadence procs it, easiest source is your local AH, otherwise you can farm rifts in Shimmersand/IP/Stillmoore and hope that you get it as a reward.

  8. #8
    Soulwalker
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    Sorry, lost my own post to the wave of QQ nerf threads, but to answer some questions. Thanks for the kind words!

    Between spamming Cadence and using the combo points for Coda of Fury/Wrath, the DPS gain I have noticed is roughly 25 or lower. It honestly, in my case, seems to equal out to just slightly higher numbers to not be too needed. Most of this guide was written with a T2 view in mind and during this, there are a lot of unpredictable damage spikes on the tank, but yeah. Once you know the fight be using your points for Coda of Wrath/Fury when you know damage won't be hitting.

    Specing into +hit, yeah I agree it's on all the gear. That is why I don't do it, but a fresh 50 it might be of help. I only included it as a minor alternative.

    About the greaters, you can get them from closing rifts or just going to the AH. As someone pointed out your Cadence, Motif and Coda of Restoration proc it and it procs it a lot.

    Verse of Joy is almost crucial to a lot of fights that we have done in T2. It's not just a boost to your own gain, it's a boost to your DPS as well and your healers mana. It might not scale well, so come raiding it might lose it's usefulness. I, however, will be keeping it. It's a pretty good DPS and mana CD for your group.

    Anthem of Glory: Our tank is pretty well geared. He's in mostly T1 epics and T2 blues/epic, so it doesn't seem to do as much, but like a lot of our abilities it's situational.

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    Sword of Telara Atreiu's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rykin View Post
    Only Cadence procs it, easiest source is your local AH, otherwise you can farm rifts in Shimmersand/IP/Stillmoore and hope that you get it as a reward.
    buyed it, kinda handy.

    I noticed there is one even more powerful, its like 600 healing over 8 secs, do you think you can use them both in the same planar focus? would be great

    <Anotherguy>
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  10. #10
    Telaran KRan's Avatar
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    What about pvp bards?

  11. #11
    Soulwalker
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    Quote Originally Posted by Atreiu View Post
    buyed it, kinda handy.

    I noticed there is one even more powerful, its like 600 healing over 8 secs, do you think you can use them both in the same planar focus? would be great
    You cannot use the same kind of Sourcestone even if it's of different levels and thanks for that. I have not seen a higher one yet. That is good to know!

  12. #12
    Telaran Waananii's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Inabi View Post
    Great post! I plan to put some of these in action as soon as I get home. Only one thing, I thought that you couldn't use wait commands anymore?
    No, unless it was patched today, I've been using it for a while (if it was stolen from the thread I posted in - Macro Help - Ima be mad that I wasn't acknowledged :S)

  13. #13
    Soulwalker
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    Quote Originally Posted by Waananii View Post
    No, unless it was patched today, I've been using it for a while (if it was stolen from the thread I posted in - Macro Help - Ima be mad that I wasn't acknowledged :S)
    I got the macro from http://forums.riftgame.com/showthrea...ighlight=macro and credited Blackholex for it.

  14. #14
    Rift Disciple Obyran's Avatar
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    Awesome post, thanks for the macro tips. I will be respeccing my bard when I get home to try out some of the above mentioned DPS builds. Verse of Joy doesn't seem worth it to me right now b/c I don't PvE raid so 44 points in Bard is plenty.

  15. #15
    Soulwalker
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    Well. I'm not able to edit my own post for whatever reason, but after a quick (And I do mean quick) look at a soul tree calculator I managed to throw up a DPS spec that should do pretty well.

    http://rift.zam.com/en/stc.html?t=0M...iqszVz.Vhxzh.V

    I don't really condone trying to max out your own DPS and skipping on talents like Verse of Joy because it is more than just a mana CD for your healers. The Power and Energy you give to your raid and yourself helps keep everyone able to spam attacks with out delay. But like always, to each their own! On another short note, you could(Given that your AP was rather high) switch Sab for Riftstalker and drop the 5 points into Unseen Fury for a bigger increase in damage.

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