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Thread: The Bardic Life: Raiding Bard Thoughts

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    Soulwalker
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    Default The Bardic Life: Raiding Bard Thoughts

    The Bardic Life: Raiding Bard 101
    Clearthought <Voodoo> of Snarebrush[D]

    Introduction:

    Beta 4 to 5/5 Greenscale Blight as Bard. My thoughts on the class so far and how I play my bard.

    As a 12+ year MMORPG "Video game addict" I've spent alot of time working on new content and bosses. In Everquest (5year vet) the pve game was aggressive and competitive with, at first, strategy's on boss fights held as closely guarded guild secrets. I played through and cleared the Anguish expansion with my Enchanter named Javanis who was ranked as one of the top 5 geared enchanters in the world at my time of EQ retirement.

    Then came WoW. We are all just getting over this addiction, at least a good many of us, and I will not ramble about it. I played you played we all played.

    Now to the Bard class! Let me explain my enthusiasm for this class. About three years ago I had said, "If a game comes out that is as good or better then World of Warcraft AND has bard as a class. I'm there." I heard about Rift in the middle of Beta 4 when I applied and joined. I began leveling my first bard. Before the headstart I had level'd 4 bards to 25+ on beta with highest being 33. In love with this class! Great Job Trion!

    What a Bard Brings to a Raid Scenario, the Quick Breakdown.

    Resonance: 5% Increased Ally Attributes for having Motif of Bravery/Focus/Tenacity active.

    Cadence/Coda of Restoration/Verse of Vitality = Support Heals

    Verse of Joy = 2min CD (5 power/energy/charge per sec, 50 mp5)

    Virtuoso = 3min CD (granting 15seconds of unlimitied Finisher use so long as CP are first on the target)

    Motifs (songs) = 5 different 30sec buffs giving 5% crit/62 ap & sp/5% damage reduction/5% increased healing/10 player smart targeting hot.

    One Hour Fanfare Buff = 52 Endurance or 52 Str/Dex or 52 Wis/Int
    (1per bard)

    Anthem = 657 armor/20% movement speed/40 magical resist/13% ability cost reduction
    (1per bard)

    AE Debuffs = 7% non-physical damage increase and 5% physical damage increase with 1min duration. Archon Crumbling Resistance and Ashen Defense are preferred on single target fights due to there 5min duration and buffing the Archon. In situations with more then 3-4 targets a bard should debuff and allow the archon to continue his Debuffs on the Kill target. Allowing the archon more dps up time only having to overwrite your debuff when switching targets. Synergy my friends synergy.

    Pve Raiding Build

    My preferred Build:
    51 Bard/10 Nightblade/5 Saboteur
    http://rift.zam.com/en/stc.html?t=1M...dqiqskqz.Vhb.V

    Backup Build: *(thanks to Accomp of <Casually Hardcore> on Dayblind[G} for this build)
    51 Bard/8 Nightblade/7 Riftstalker
    http://rift.zam.com/en/stc.html?t=1M...qiqskqz.Vh.V0b

    Bard and Nightblade I feel are necessary. Last soul is preference. Riftstalker and Saboteur seem to be the popular two. Riftstalker gives different playstyle then Saboteur.

    First Build gives 15% Dexterity and 6% more finisher damage. (does not affect coda of restoration)

    Second Build gives 15% more ap and 6% more hps. The last 2 points in Great Fortitude are optional. Can go anywhere along that Riftstalker second tier in my opinion.

    What This Means To You

    You may already be calling me out for not mentioning Coda of Wrath or Coda of Fury. I mean we have Deeps to man! No we don't that's just a lie. We are a support class. Our damage coda's we use in specific situations where MAXIMUM raid damage is needed. Otherwise a bard usually has a better choice available them.

    This does not mean you never use these coda's. I use them a great bit in every fights I'm in but I feel bards in general need to get use to the mindset of:

    "Even though I'm a rogue I'm not here for me I'm here for them...my Group, my Raid."

    Until you get this Mantra rumbling in your head. Do not go further!

    Gearing

    Easy Priority Checklist for Bards.

    Hit (until cap) > Attack Power > Dexterity > Strength > Physical Crit

    Well How Do You Play This Playstyle You Speak About Clearthought?!?

    So glad you asked!

    I'm a fan of "Grouping" my thoughts. Great learning tool many of you are familiar with I'm sure. Let me try to explain how I group the bard and then break down each of those groups.

    We Barely Do Damage. We Barely Keep You Alive. We GREATLY Buff You. We are a Support Soul.

    I have Jobs in a raid. Many, oh so many jobs in a raid. Let me prioritize them for you.

    1. Keep Up a Fanfare and Anthem on the raid.
    As only bard I will usually run Fanfare of Power and Anthem of Fervor as we have a physical damage heavy guild. If you are the second bard I recommend Fanfare of Knowledge and Anthem of competence. Why Anthem of Competence? Because players are bad. Not all the time. But we all have our bad moments. 20% increased movement speed may help your guildmate who noticed a second late he was standing in something he shouldn't get out before death gets him. Save him from the final tick. That's an amazing thing to provide for a group of 20. Save a Brez.

    2. Keep Up All 5 Motifs! Try to Never Let them fall. Our Most Important Job!
    Okay, this will take some explaining. Your motif's give 5% crit/62 ap & sp/5% damage reduction/5% increased healing/10 player smart targeting hot. To the raid as a whole. So when you let your motif's drop. You may be responsible for a wipe. That 5% decreased attributes, 5% less healing recieved combined with the 5% more damage made the difference between life or death for 2-5 people in the raid or your tank and damn "Who's got a Soul Walk?" KEEP YOUR SONGS UP.

    But, keeping up with 5 buffs every 30seconds can be tiredsome. I'm using an old Everquest macro trick myself. I created a channel that I join everyday when I log on. I'm the only person in that channel. My first Motif ( which is Motif of Focus) is a macro as follows.

    #show Motif of Focus
    cast Motif of Focus
    wait 25
    6 MOTIF'S ABOUT TO FALL!

    Made that channel a nasty green that just pops out. Every 25seconds I know I have 5 seconds to finish what I'm doing and began my motif rotation again.

    3. Combo Points and Combo Point Finishers. How to Build Them and Use Them.
    Bard does not have a set rotation. I think situationaly so let me use some "IF" statements.

    IF there is alot of AE damage going out throughout the fight.
    THEN I will use my Verse of Joy 20seconds into combat and then on CD from that point forward.
    Verse of Vitality is used on CD when 3 or more raid members will recieve benefit. I will use Cadence to always build Combo points unless I'm moving. If moving I will throw out a Power Chord or Finisher so I am not wasting GCD's (Global Cool Downs).
    My preferred Finisher is 5cp Coda of Restoration. Coda of Wrath/Fury is used when raid is at full health and I am at 5cp with no Boss AE damage expected in the next 5seconds.

    IF there are add phases with more then 3+ adds.
    THEN I will use my Coda of Distress and Coda of Cowardice to help improve Raid Cleave Damage. When less then 3 mobs I will allow the Archon to provide debuffs.

    IF there is a timed event or spell happens with major Raid AE damage
    THEN I will build 5 cp on a target which will stay alive at least 30seconds. I will put up my Motif's with new duration then Hit my Virtuoso (if off CD) and Verse of Joy (if off CD) and spam Coda of Restoration. Maximizing raid dps why minimizing mana loss and helping reduce the healing load. (In Greenscale encounter it is possible to have Virtuoso up for every Air Phase helping burn the adds in transition.)

    IF there is a dps Timer
    THEN I sometimes use Virtuoso to spam Coda of Wrath if a call is out to burn boss and many dps are down and it's a close one. I will also use Coda of Fury if Adds are getting out of hand. My fury crits for just shy of 1k damage on 10 targets every GCD for 15secs. It does make a difference.

    Main Thought Check List would be.

    Are my Fanfare and Anthem Correct?
    Are my motif's up?
    Do I have 5 Combo Points?
    Is more then the tank taking damage right now? (If so Verse of Vitality/Coda of Restoration)


    Some things your guildies may not understand:
    Most bard abilities are capped at 20yards. So when encounter require spreading out we need the "Middle" position to continue our Cadence.
    We are getting Carpal Tunnel for Your Benefit.
    We use to play at a Tavern the Faceless Man frequented.


    Priority Check List:
    1. Pre-Combat Questions. Is there an Archon/Warlord/Chloro/Druid in the raid? Am I the Only Bard? Which Fanfare and Anthem will bring the greatest benefit to my raid?

    In my typical raid I have an Archon and Chloro running.

    We have agree'd in guild that the Bard 13% ability cost Anthem is preferred to the 10% Chloro buff.

    Archon Crumbling Resistance and Ashen Defense are preferred on single target fights due to there 5min duration and buffing the Archon. In situations with more then 3-4 targets a Bard should debuff and allow the Archon to continue his Debuffs on the Kill target. Allowing the Archon more dps up time only having to overwrite your debuff when switching targets.

    Druid and Warlord both run a 62 ap/sp increase. It is my advice a Bard be allowed to cotinue running all 5 of his motif's as opposed to running 4 letting one of those classes buff the 62 ap/sp. We are playing our songs every 30seconds anyways. It's Habit now. Just let us play.

    Synergy my friends synergy.

    p.s. This is how I play my bard in a Raid setting. I would love feedback or questions. I tried to make it a practical look at the thinking of a bard in relation to his raid. Willing to answer specific questions on playstyle or soul build. Let me know. I may have alos Missed a Giant portion of the bard's abilities as I just threw this together in a quick afternoon. Will revise as I catch what I have missed.

    Clearthought

    Special Thanks to Abbey <Voodoo>, Paintjunkie <Voodoo>, Magic <Voodoo> for your insights into the Warrior, Mage, and Cleric classes.

  2. #2
    Soulwalker
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    Default to be continue

    Reserved for future additions

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    Soulwalker metalone's Avatar
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    Nice work, thanks for the contribution.
    Play to Crush

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    Plane Touched Lazerus's Avatar
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    I noticed neither one of your builds have Ranger in it which makes me assume you run into melee while spamming cadence yes?

    I was just curious to your opinion on Ranged bards, and why you prefer melee better.

    Great post by the way, Thanks for the contribution to the Bard community.
    Last edited by Lazerus; 04-03-2011 at 03:26 PM.
    Sabs make people go http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_K5hl9GgoQg

    To bad Rorschach didn't just cleanse it...

    Quote Originally Posted by Veldo View Post
    Offline PvP..

    Maybe his neighbor is throwing blast charges over the fence and one shotting his pet.

  5. #5
    Rift Disciple
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    Great write-up, but I had one question:

    Why maximize attack power over critical hit? Seems as though crits would boost our healing up a little bit if they happened more often, and that AP doesn't really effect our skills. I could be wrong but I was under the assumption that AP effects white damage, select finishers, and select combo builders only.

  6. #6
    Soulwalker
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    Good reading but I would like to point out that
    Hit (until cap) > Attack Power > Dexterity > Strength > Physical Crit
    is wrong, Bard abilities cannot be dodged parried or blocked.

  7. #7
    Plane Touched Lazerus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Thoon View Post
    Great write-up, but I had one question:

    Why maximize attack power over critical hit? Seems as though crits would boost our healing up a little bit if they happened more often, and that AP doesn't really effect our skills. I could be wrong but I was under the assumption that AP effects white damage, select finishers, and select combo builders only.
    I was thinking about this too a little bit. Clearthought is there any way you can give us a breakdown on how you chose the stat priority?
    Last edited by Lazerus; 04-03-2011 at 03:38 PM.
    Sabs make people go http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_K5hl9GgoQg

    To bad Rorschach didn't just cleanse it...

    Quote Originally Posted by Veldo View Post
    Offline PvP..

    Maybe his neighbor is throwing blast charges over the fence and one shotting his pet.

  8. #8
    Soulwalker
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    You are forgetting about one thing in the NB tree. By spending 15 points into NB (well only really need to spend 12) you get an extra 10% damage from melted skin (which affects cadence). An extra 3 points can be spent to give you 3% damage and some damage resistance or you could then get 9% dex (sab) or 9% AP (RS).

  9. #9
    Shadowlander
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    Quote Originally Posted by Uilamin View Post
    You are forgetting about one thing in the NB tree. By spending 15 points into NB (well only really need to spend 12) you get an extra 10% damage from melted skin (which affects cadence). An extra 3 points can be spent to give you 3% damage and some damage resistance or you could then get 9% dex (sab) or 9% AP (RS).

    the only problem with melted skin is it will only proc off of melee or ranged auto attacks for bards. cadence doesn't proc it.



    i've actually been running a kind of odd set up of 44 bard/22nb to get heat retention in nb. gives a decent boost to your cadence numbers... but you lose VoJ. whether or not it's better than a 51 pt bard build depends mostly on your group and situation.

  10. #10
    Ascendant
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    1) dex and crit are the most important stats. AP adds almost nothing

    2) you need the NB points for CP abilities, and get the dmg increaser + melted skin (1 pt)

    3) most good bard specs include melee because you can get free more dps with procs and melee abilities. Examples include the weapon enchant or poison plus things like melted skin

    4) you should mention what other classes brings to the table for buffs which copy/replace the ones bards can cast - often leaving only one or two useful ones (well, marginally useful)

    5) bard dps on AOE fights is not terrible. not good, but worth dpsing

  11. #11
    Soulwalker
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    I have different playstyle when raiding as opposed to running dungeons.

    I have never ran the ranger soul and for that reason I left out comments about it. As I said. The third soul is personal preference.

    Hit is always important for anyone into min/maxing. Bards don't do alot of dps but I prefer to pull the most out of my class as I can. And seeing a bunch of misses go by on my screen is offensive. the rings/necks/weapons make reaching the hit cap easy. I see no reason not to get it. A second reason to max hit is that most likely you only have 1 set of gear right now. If you aren't main bard you will be asked to switch to dps. You must be hit capped for that. When I can afford to consider alternate gear sets I will look into the hit issue more. For me it still remains my number 1.

    AP directly affects our cadence damage thus our cadence heals. Which make it the second stat priority in my mind. I understand the thinking behind crit for more cadence burst heal moments I guess. My thought is this:

    Clerics and chloro's make sure that the Tank and Raid all get topped off.

    Bards make sure the raid members that fall below 20% get a quick jump to 30-40% health so clerics and chloro's can do there job. Once at that new level we maintain there health with cadence. AP stacking lets me know what my cadence is healing for letting me better plan movement CD and GCD usage and all sorts of other fun things. As always our job is to make others look better.

    As to Melted skin giving up 6% dex or 6% ap. that's personal preference in the same way picking 4% damage reduction over 6% endurance increase would be a prefernce choice. I'm not a fan of counting on procs.

    And when it comes to which buffs other classes bring as opposed to bard. It's our job to buff. We should provide the buff they bring allowing them to find better uses for those GCD's. In almost every situation the bards buffs and debuffs will be better than other classes. Exception to my knowledge being single target debuff for 7% magic damage and 5% physical damage from the Archon. Because it last 5mins instead of our 1min. and it gives archon more armor or something.

    I would almost go so far as to say some classes need to repsec there souls moving points that went into buffs for raid that a bard supplies. Maybe having 1 backup for bard deaths.

  12. #12
    Soulwalker
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    Cadence Heals:

    In the 51bard/8NB/7RS: I found myself doing 113-179 heals. avg by visual examination is 117 with 179 the crit heal

    In the 51bard/10NB/5sab: I found myself doing 106-172 heals. Avg by visual examination is 108 with 172 being the crit heal

    In the 51bard/12NB/3RS: I found myself doing 103-165. with Melted blade 114-180.

    After these test I would say 51bard/8NB/7RS is best for me. most consistent heals. last 2 points in RS can go anywhere.

  13. #13
    Shadowlander
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    Thanks for the post. Hit 50 not to long ago and just starting to try and find my place in groups/raids. I am going to try and respec to 51bard/8NB/7RS, I am currently running 51bard/15rng/0mm. That spec was more laziness then effectiveness, just didn't try out other specs or pay much attention to my other trees, just wanted to get 51 in Bard.

    Glad this post was made.

  14. #14
    Soulwalker
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    Glad it could help you out Algor. =)

    I enjoy the responses as they are forcing me to think and theory craft to make myself better. Let's keep this bard conversation rolling and all benefit.

    Clearthought <Voodoo>

  15. #15
    Plane Walker am0nr3's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Xney View Post
    1) dex and crit are the most important stats. AP adds almost nothing.
    Pending current gear:

    1 AP ~ 1.42 Dex ~ 2 Str ~ 4 Crit.

    His order was correct.

    To the other poster who said Hit is unimportant, you are right, Bard abilities cannot be 'Blocked, Parried, or Dodged,' but they can Miss.
    "This server is going to be Gnarly, man."
    "We have enough cloth and wood to pitch a tent."

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