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Thread: Bard Healing 101: So you think you can dance Gangnum style?

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    Telaran Manki's Avatar
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    Default Bard Healing 101: So you think you can dance Gangnum style?

    Bard Healing 101: So you think you can dance Gangnum style?

    by Manki <Vexed>




    So, if you donít know me, my name is Manki in game and I Bard. I donít just Bard though, I Bard like it was meant to be done. Some background on me, Iíve been an MMO player since WoW released and played that game until RIFT was announced and I received my Beta key. Iíve always been a fan of the underdog class and the Bard soul fit that role perfectly. My raiding experience consists of everything at level 50 except some of ID. Coming in to Storm Legion a lot of things have changed for the Bard, and almost all of them for the better! First before I do anything, let me get rid of some misconceptions about the Bard and its role in raids.


    Firstly, BARD IS A SUPPORT HEALING ROLE! It is not a support DPS soul, in the slightest. This is the first thing that you must remember. Priority is on keeping up buffs and debuffs, secondary is healing. Let the Archon worry about doing DPS. If you feel that you NEED to do DPS as a Bard, my next installment will be a guide of how to build a viable Bard DPS. This guide in particular will be focused on the Healing aspect.

    Second misconception is, you must use all your buffs and debuffs in every fight. THIS IS A LIE! There are many debuffs that arenít even required. In fact, if there is an Archon in the raid, NONE of your debuffs are required. The only exception to this rule is the fact that Coda of Distress and Coda of Cowardice apply as an AoE debuff. This means that when it is required to kill multiple adds in certain fights, your debuffs are required. The only required buffs that you must maintain are your Motifs, all 3 of them since they give you Resonance.


    Following these 2 rules will put you well on your way to being a sought after bard. It is important to talk with your Archon and find out what each of you will be responsible for during each encounter. For example, on fights with 2 or more bosses (King and Prince in HK, Council in ID, Twins in FT) you may be responsible for keeping debuffs on 1 target, while your Archon focuses on the other.


    So, now that weve got our ground rules, let talk about specs. In previous days I typically had between 3 and 5 bard specs at any 1 time. This was because different encounters could utilize different abilities more fruitfully. As it stands in storm legion at the moment I am currently only running 2 separate specs for Barding. They are as follows:


    40 Bard / 36 Tact / 0 Marksman
    http://rift.zam.com/en/stc.html?t=0M...zqocq0t0dV.-11

    This is the TOP spec to run currently. There is no debate on this. It has the maximum HPS and allows access to every debuff and buff available that is useful in raids. It also allows access to Power Core in the tactician tree, which allows us to buff the raid Damage and Healing by 10% for 15 seconds, every minute.
    NOTE: Power core DOES share a buff with Wild Growth, so to optimize the output you will need to use it in between Wild Growths.

    A lot of people ask me why I run this over 61 Bard, and simply put is this. Putting more than 40 points in Bard is an HPS loss. The abilities higher in the tree for Bard can either be covered by other more prominent roles, or are not more beneficial than the abilities you gain in the tactician tree.


    This spec is what I like to call ďRotation HealingĒ. Simply put you will spend most of your time alternating between finishers until the point in time which you either A. Need a cooldown such as Virtuoso. Or B. you kill the boss. This rotation is by no means mindless though, especially if you are required to juggle debuffs. The macros I am currently using for this spec are as follows:


    Macros:


    #show Coda of Distress
    suppressmacrofailures
    cast [alt] Coda of Jeopardy
    cast [shift] Coda of Cowardice
    cast Coda of Distress


    #show Battle Remote
    suppressmacrofailures
    cast Battle Remote
    cast Power Core


    #show Curative Core
    suppressmacrofailures
    cast Curative Core
    cast Curative Remote


    #show Empyrean Bolt
    suppressmacrofailures
    cast Power Chord
    cast Empyrean Bolt


    You can also macro your DPS Abilities like this:


    #show Coda of Wrath
    suppressmacrofailures
    cast [shift] Empyrean Ray
    cast Coda of Wrath


    Lastly before we get into the meat of the rotation, letís talk about buffs. There are 4 buffs you should be using before the pull happens. Those are Fanfare of Power, Fanfare of Vigor, Restorative Engine (this is how you heal, please donít forget it) and Anthem of Glory.
    NOTE: Make sure your whole raid is within LoS when you attempt to use Fanfares. Feel free to yell at people if they arenít. Itís your job to buff them so make sure they know who they are dealing with.



    So, weve got our buffs and weve got our macros, what do we do now? Simply put, we out heal Clerics and Mages and make them cry themselves to sleep at night. That is not a joke; it should be your goal in every raid. Rotation is fairly loose; the only requirement is that you use a Coda at LEAST every 15 seconds. This allows you to refresh Motifs without spending 3 extra GCDís to do it. It should look something like this:


    Healing Rotation:


    Motifs (Tenacity, Bravery, Regeneration) > Curative Core Macro x 2 > Empyrean Bolt Macro to 5 CP > Curative Blast

    Empyrean Bolt Macro to 5 CP > Curative Blast

    Empyrean Bolt Macro to 5 CP > Coda of Restoration

    Rinse and Repeat


    NOTE: you should replace the Curative Core Macro with the Battle Remote Macro every time you are able to use it. Or on specific mechanics where burst DPS is optimal.

    NOTE: If required to debuff, you should always use those at 5 Combo Points instead of either Curative Blast or Coda of Restoration. Once the required debuffs are applied, revert to the listed rotation until needed to re-apply.

    NOTE: You will not be required to refresh Motifs after the first rotation. Coda of Restoration will do that for you. During transitions it is however a good idea to continue to refresh them so they do not fall off while moving to the new area / waiting for the boss to reappear.


    This is a very simple rotation to follow, and if done right can push very high healing numbers. If you are in a fight where almost 0 raid healing is required, then you can use a DPS rotation such as this:


    DPS Rotation:


    Motifs (Tenacity, Bravery, Regeneration) Curative Core Macro x 2 > Power Chord > Cadenza > Empyrean Ray

    Power Chord > Cadenza > Empyrean Ray

    Power Chord > Cadenza > Coda of Wrath

    Rinse and Repeat


    NOTE: you should replace the Curative Core Macro with the Battle Remote Macro every time you are able to use it. Or on specific mechanics where burst DPS is optimal.

    NOTE: If required to debuff, you should always use those at 5 Combo Points instead of either Empyrean Ray or Coda of Wrath. Once the required debuffs are applied, revert to the listed rotation until needed to re-apply.

    NOTE: You will not be required to refresh Motifs after the first rotation. Coda of Wrath will do that for you. During transitions it is however a good idea to continue to refresh them so they do not fall off while moving to the new area / waiting for the boss to reappear.

    NOTE: If it is an AoE DPS Situation, simply replace Empyrean Ray with Necrotic Ray for higher numbers.


    That about sums it up for this build. Fairly easy to use, pulls incredible HPS, and provides all the necessary buffs and debuffs. Spec it, put it on your bar, play those melodious sounds of Telara, and profit from the lewtz.



    48 Bard / 28 Tactician / 0 Marksman
    http://rift.zam.com/en/stc.html?t=0M...qRcqkt0dqR.-11


    Before I get into the meat of this build, let me throw a disclaimer out there. There is really only 1 purpose you would ever play this build over the 40/36 variant. That stipulation is, if you donít have a Chloromancer in the raid. That literally is the ONLY reason to play this spec. it happens in 10 mans occasionally, and this is a decent spec to solo heal experts with, but if your raid doesnít have a Chloromancer in a 20 man raid, someone is doing it wrong. This spec collects a lot of dust, but I am quite happy when I need it to pick up for others slack. All that being said, this spec is still better than 61 Bard in healing, it does however lack a DPS cooldown to apply to the raid, which is where 61 Bard would come out ahead with Orchestra of the Planes. Even that though isnít reason enough to run 61 over this spec. Gaining an overall 1-2% DPS boost for the raid is not worth only doing half the healing.



    This spec follows its sister spec very closely, both in rotation and in macros. A few subtle differences in cooldowns and utility spells will make the specs play slightly differently. The macros I use for this particular variation are as follows:


    Macros:


    #show Coda of Distress
    suppressmacrofailures
    cast [alt] Coda of Jeopardy
    cast [shift] Coda of Cowardice
    cast Coda of Distress


    #show Empyrean Bolt
    suppressmacrofailures
    cast Power Chord
    cast Empyrean Bolt


    #show Harmonic Distortion
    suppressmacrofailures
    cast @mouseover Harmonic Distortion


    You can also macro your DPS abilities as follows:


    #show Coda of Wrath
    suppressmacrofailures
    cast [shift] Empyrean Ray
    cast Coda of Wrath


    #show Cadenza
    suppressmacrofailures
    cast Verse of Agony
    cast Cadenza


    NOTE: With the Cadenza Macro if Verse of Agony is off cooldown, you will have to hit it twice to initiate the Cadenza Spell cast. Donít worry; casting Verse of Agony is a DPS increase even if you are 1 GCD behind on your Cadenza.



    The buffs in this spec are also close to the 40/36 version with a few slight differences. Instead of Anthem of Glory you should be using Anthem of Fervor (remember, thatís pretty much the only reason we are running this spec!). In addition to Fervor, you should apply all of your normal buffs before a pull, Restorative Engine, Fanfare of Power and Fanfare of Vigor. As always, keep your Motifs up at all times during the fight.



    Now letís talk about rotation. For the most part nothing will change from 40/36 when it comes to your ďRotation HealingĒ. In fact, the healing rotation is exactly the same! This make for easy transitioning between specs without having to re-learn something new. Reposted for clarity:


    Healing Rotation:


    Motifs (Tenacity, Bravery, Regeneration) > Curative Core > Empyrean Bolt Macro to 5 CP > Curative Blast

    Empyrean Bolt Macro to 5 CP > Curative Blast

    Empyrean Bolt Macro to 5 CP > Coda of Restoration

    Rinse and Repeat


    NOTE: If required to debuff, you should always use those at 5 Combo Points instead of either Curative Blast or Coda of Restoration. Once the required debuffs are applied, revert to the listed rotation until needed to re-apply.

    NOTE: You will not be required to refresh Motifs after the first rotation. Coda of Restoration will do that for you. During transitions it is however a good idea to continue to refresh them so they do not fall off while moving to the new area / waiting for the boss to reappear.


    Now it is what you do outside the rotation that is going to matter here. There are a few new abilities we gain from going a bit deeper into Bard that should be looked at.

    Harmonic Distortion: This heal can be quite useful when either used on the tank or needed to spot heal another raid member. The best way to do this is to use the macro posted above and hover your mouse over the intended target via the raid frame, and click away. It can actually heal for a significant amount, but remember you only have limited uses. Every time you use a Coda you will gain 1 stack, with a possible of 5. So in the best of times you will have 5 spells before you have to go back into a rotation to rebuild your stacks. Use wisely and this can be a great boon to your raid.

    Verse of Vitality: This AoE heal used to be a lot better than it currently is now, at the moment it heals for seemingly insignificant amounts. The most effective way to use this ability is when you do not have the ability or time to build combo points and cast a finisher. Feel free to use this as much as you want since it will rarely become a game changer when the fight is on the line.


    When DPS is required as opposed to healing, this is an optimal rotation that you can use instead of the healing rotation:


    DPS Rotation:


    Motifs (Tenacity, Bravery, Regeneration) > Curative Core > Power Chord > Cadenza Macro > Empyrean Ray

    Power Chord > Cadenza Macro > Empyrean Ray

    Power Chord > Cadenza Macro > Coda of Wrath

    Rinse and Repeat


    NOTE: If required to debuff, you should always use those at 5 Combo Points instead of either Empyrean Ray or Coda of Wrath. Once the required debuffs are applied, revert to the listed rotation until needed to re-apply.

    NOTE: You will not be required to refresh Motifs after the first rotation. Coda of Wrath will do that for you. During transitions it is however a good idea to continue to refresh them so they do not fall off while moving to the new area / waiting for the boss to reappear.

    NOTE: If it is an AoE DPS Situation, simply replace Empyrean Ray with Necrotic Ray for higher numbers.


    Thatís it! This spec while sub-optimal can still maintain reasonable numbers in healing while maintaining all the buffs and debuffs your raid requires. It adds a few utility spells such as Harmonic Distortion and Verse of Vitality. In addition to providing the much needed energy buff that is Anthem of Fervor.



    If you have reached this point, congratulations! Youíve made it to the end of my Storm Legion 2.2 installment of Bard Healing 101. If this helped you out Iím glad, and also I ask to keep an eye on my work in the future. As well as checking back in here for updates! Check me out on www.twitch.tv/Manki_1 where I will be streaming raids occasionally and you can see Bard in action. If youíd like updates on when this happens check out my Twitter or Facebook at https://twitter.com/Mankigaming or http://www.facebook.com/jordan.penwell.9.


    If you have any questions or comments feel free to post them here in the forums and I will do my best to address them in a timely manner.


    Next time: Bard DPS 101: So you think you can dance Gangnum style?


    Manki <Vexed>
    Manki - Guild Bard - <Vexed> - 3/4 FT, 2/5 EE
    vexedguild.guildlaunch.com
    "No Calling is OP, you just have to not suck at yours..." - Manki
    "Get on your knees and make it lovely" - Prince Hylas
    "Let us be done with this funny looking man so that we may drink!" - Atrophinus

  2. #2
    Soulwalker Witchtripper's Avatar
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    Thanks for this. Love detailed writeups.

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    why do you use glory and overwrite an archon aura?

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    Ascendant Bloodbourne's Avatar
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    Who allows you to raid without VoJ... That's just poor judgement...
    Misterwar <-Virus-> 5/11 Warborne <Yakisoba> 5/11 Warborne <Apotheosys> 0/11

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    Telaran Manki's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Flaming View Post
    why do you use glory and overwrite an archon aura?

    You are correct when you say it does conflict with the Archon buff. I usually put it up, but if you are in communication with your Archon and are sure he is doing it, by all means leave it out. So many buffs are like that now a days it is hard to keep track thats why communication is key.


    About VoJ, its really not that good. The only real benefit is the charge regen to the mages. Being on a 2 min cooldown its not going to give enough mana/energy/power to really be worth it. If your guild requires it, fine. All I know is until they make it % based I'll leave it out of my specs.

    Secondly, I think my guild would be much happier with me doing ~10k HPS than providing 750 mana to the clerics I'm beating every 2 min :P
    Last edited by Manki; 01-30-2013 at 02:55 AM.
    Manki - Guild Bard - <Vexed> - 3/4 FT, 2/5 EE
    vexedguild.guildlaunch.com
    "No Calling is OP, you just have to not suck at yours..." - Manki
    "Get on your knees and make it lovely" - Prince Hylas
    "Let us be done with this funny looking man so that we may drink!" - Atrophinus

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    Telaran Manki's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Witchtripper View Post
    Thanks for this. Love detailed writeups.

    You are most welcome, I love writing them. Hope it helps you and your guild!
    Manki - Guild Bard - <Vexed> - 3/4 FT, 2/5 EE
    vexedguild.guildlaunch.com
    "No Calling is OP, you just have to not suck at yours..." - Manki
    "Get on your knees and make it lovely" - Prince Hylas
    "Let us be done with this funny looking man so that we may drink!" - Atrophinus

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    Soulwalker
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    I noticed you put 2 points into Expanded Torrents but see no mention of torrents in your rotation. Is this just filler points or do you use torrents to build up stacks before the pull for a quick 5cp at the start of the fight?

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    Soulwalker
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    Quote Originally Posted by Yahkti View Post
    I noticed you put 2 points into Expanded Torrents but see no mention of torrents in your rotation. Is this just filler points or do you use torrents to build up stacks before the pull for a quick 5cp at the start of the fight?
    Guess its a stupid question because I don't see any other options except maybe 1 more point in metal plating.

  9. #9
    Soulwalker
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    If you have an Archon, he IS running the aura, simply due to how much of a stat loss it is to the Archon NOT to run the aura (2 piece bonus, talents in tree that scale with number of auras). It will also overwrite Glory. If you have both an Archon and a Chloro in raid, Competence or Nothing are your best bets.

  10. #10
    Rift Disciple Purgwolf's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kosstile View Post
    If you have an Archon, he IS running the aura, simply due to how much of a stat loss it is to the Archon NOT to run the aura (2 piece bonus, talents in tree that scale with number of auras). It will also overwrite Glory. If you have both an Archon and a Chloro in raid, Competence or Nothing are your best bets.
    It's just than Anthem, it's not like one click and it's a different one. No big deal.

    Love this guide, and will try it out when the servers come back up.

    I've been looking for some nice updated specs to work with, and so many of these guides are so confusing, and they even change throughout their 10 pages of comments, so it's been a tad mind numbing to find a 'polished' model to work with..

    I'm so terrible at building my own, and I'm bad with complexity in rotations.

    THANK YOU!
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    RIFT Guide Writer TheGrinnz's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kosstile View Post
    If you have an Archon, he IS running the aura, simply due to how much of a stat loss it is to the Archon NOT to run the aura (2 piece bonus, talents in tree that scale with number of auras). It will also overwrite Glory. If you have both an Archon and a Chloro in raid, Competence or Nothing are your best bets.
    This. If you have an Archon and he is not putting up the resistance aura (Arcane Aegis) then he should really just go DPS.

    FYI, the Tactician healing these builds are abusing is largely dependent on Restorative Engine which is bugged in two different ways and fixed on PTS. So I would be ready to re-evaluate the usefulness of these specs soon. I am hoping 61 Bard will become more useful with the fix because Orchestra of the Planes is so incredibly better of a DPS buff than Power Core.
    Last edited by TheGrinnz; 01-30-2013 at 08:52 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by TheGrinnz View Post
    This. If you have an Archon and he is not putting up the resistance aura (Arcane Aegis) then he should really just go DPS.

    FYI, the Tactician healing these builds are abusing is largely dependent on Restorative Engine which is bugged in two different ways and fixed on PTS. So I would be ready to re-evaluate the usefulness of these specs soon. I am hoping 61 Bard will become more useful with the fix because Orchestra of the Planes is so incredibly better of a DPS buff than Power Core.
    How is OoP better then PC? PC is 10% damage for 15s every 60 seconds OoP is 15% damage for 15s once every 120seconds. In a 5 min fight you get PC 4 times where OoP only 2 times. So overall PC gives more of a damage boost across the course of a fight.
    Last edited by Cichard; 01-30-2013 at 09:50 AM.

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    I have a comment instead of marksman for the 0 point i use RS for the blink. Its minimal but it has saved my butt a couple of times. i see the blink as a better cd then On the double.
    Last edited by Cichard; 01-30-2013 at 09:49 AM.

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    Also wouldnt power chord be a healing loss since it only heals 5 people and emp bolt heals 10? also i see you do curative blast 2 times in your rotation is that so it will be put on 20 people? if so then i can see why you want power chord for the faster CP gen.

  15. #15
    RIFT Guide Writer TheGrinnz's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cichard View Post
    How is OoP better then PC? PC is 10% damage for 15s every 60 seconds OoP is 15% damage for 15s once every 120seconds. In a 5 min fight you get PC 4 times where OoP only 2 times. So overall PC gives more of a damage boost across the course of a fight.
    Power core only affects 10 raid members, like Lava Field. So not only is it less overall, it's probably buffing your tank/healers half the time.
    Last edited by TheGrinnz; 01-30-2013 at 10:08 AM.

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