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Improve Bards (song mainly)

kamuizinkamuizin Member Posts: 3,683
edited December 2013 in New Members Welcome Area
I made an research before posting and i found this thread about bard songs from july 2012 (posted here for future references). Unfortunally it's closed so i'm opening a new one.

Actually bards are one of the weakest classes of the game, if not the weakest, and i mean in everything. PvM, PvP, AoE, tank, hitman... in almost everything they're not the 2° best, they're the worst. The exception is the Blade Class, but still not enough to make that class decent.

I revived this nightmare a while ago, when i made an evil bard and compared it to my awesome team with Dorn, Viconia, Edwin, Korgan and Hexxat (that sucks also but still is better than a bard).

For the above reasons, i'm here asking the devs to completly reword the bard class system, or at least improve them to an enjoynable level. I'm not asking for another Kensai/Mage overpowered character, but something that's better than ctrl+q a peasant and elect it as my main char.

Ppl do not need to agree with everything below, but if the improvment of this class is something you member of this community desire, then i would appreciate your vote and support to this idea.

In terms of suggestion i propose:

1° - Change Bard Song maintenance system.
There are many ways to work with the bard song. They could endure x rounds per x levels of the bard after the music end. They could be cast as special abilities as it's done in Neverwinter Nights 2. They could just keep the music on while casting spells, but not while fighting.

The possibilities are many.



2° - Change the Bard Song Cast System.
Give To bards songs a menu options to choose which song to play at each momen based on level and kit. This would make bards more versatile, exactly their main point of existance.




3° - HLA of improved song should be different for each class at least.
As the title says, i would prefer that an jester to not have the same song that an skald when picking the HLA improved song. Also i believe that if HLA song gave immunity to imprisonment spell when being played, the Bard class would be a lot more valuable to any team.




4° - Give Bards exclusive spells.
Not necessary powerful spells, but bard only spells would be nice, and would make the class more valuable for a party.




The option 1 and 2 can be sum to display the opinions toward the enhance of this class. The option 3 displays the opposition to this idea.

Edit: @Dee, by mistake i posted this on new members area, can you please correct it to "Feature Requests"?

Improve Bards (song specifically) 21 votes

Yes, i support the idea in the exactly terms that it's provided (and more maybe)
33%
kamuizinMadeiraQuartzbooinyoureyeswho_is_danielTjarburDanacm 7 votes
Yes, i support the idea, but not as it's displayed below (please, give your opinion then if you want)
38%
DragonspearreedmilfamArchaosLiberelliPokotameaglothMidget_GemsElysium 8 votes
No, let Bards as they are (please, give your opinion then if you want)
28%
BelgarathMTHelminsterZanianBluePearCrevsDaakabacus 6 votes

Comments

  • meaglothmeagloth Member Posts: 3,806
    Yes, i support the idea, but not as it's displayed below (please, give your opinion then if you want)
    So, yeah, bards are underpowered, especially if you don't really know How to play them. But Remember, they're not supposed to be good at any one thing, just bad at everything. Jack of all trades, master of none. The back up a party that already has a specialist in each category. (Thief, Mage, tank, healer, ect.)
    I would only change two things:

    1. Nobody plays a pure-class bard. Load of bull, they are. They need a better song, or specialization, or more spell casting ability.

    2. The bard song takes to much micromanagement, and while the bard is sinhpging, he can't do anything else. They need to be able to sing and attack, maybe just missile, or with a penalty. Spell casting and singing would not make any since though. (Hit him with the mandolin! Hit him with the mandolin!)

    I have always wanted more kits, that specailize in a thief skill other than pickpocket. If there was a class that could pick locks, one that could hide and backstab, one that could find traps, and then maybe a magician bard, who'll could get one level 9 spell slot? Perhaps in trade of a not-so-good bard song.

  • CrevsDaakCrevsDaak Member Posts: 7,152
    No, let Bards as they are (please, give your opinion then if you want)
    I don't feel like they need changes.
    I will stick with the things as they are till death.
    No more changes.

  • Midget_GemsMidget_Gems Member Posts: 8
    Yes, i support the idea, but not as it's displayed below (please, give your opinion then if you want)
    Anyone who can use a wand has plenty of fire power. But I would like to see the song grow stronger at higher levels and having it linger would make things more realistic.

  • BelgarathMTHBelgarathMTH Member Posts: 5,600
    edited December 2013
    No, let Bards as they are (please, give your opinion then if you want)
    A lot of the things being complained about are already solved with the mod Rogue Rebalancing. My skald song in SoA lasts a full extra round after I start casting a spell or firing my bow, so my party gets +3 to hit and -3 to AC (goes up to +4 bonuses when I hit level 18), during the first round of combat. The range of the song is expanded as well. And of course, I have the option to keep singing if the buffs are the best thing I can do for the party at the moment. I tend to alternate between singing during battles, and firing my bow.

    There is a lingering song HLA as well - I only wish I didn't have to get HLA's to get what should be a pretty basic ability.

    It doesn't hurt being an automatic Identify dispenser, either.

    Because of fast level progression, I have plenty of spell slots to work with, although Jan Jansen did get two level five slots for Breaches before I got my first level five slot two levels later. My spells that scale with character level are actually better than the same spells cast by party mages.

    My wands, scrolls, songs, and magic bow with magic arrows, were the only arcane spells my party needed to beat Sarevok and Karoug in BG1 - in other words, I was the only party arcanist for the whole game, and I did just fine.

    Moving into late SoA and ToB, we will probably need an arcane specialist, which I plan to be Imoen.

    You really don't need that much arcane magic to beat the game with a well-balanced party. You only have to have the occasional Breach, Lower Resistance, or crowd control spell. (And I can cast Confusion three times a day with my harp without needing any spell slots.) ToB has so many Breach wands you won't know what to do with them all.

    I'm loving playing my skald character with Rogue Rebalancing. (I'd still like it without the mod, too.) I don't feel like I'm weaker than my other party members at all - my powers are mostly supportive, like a cleric's, but I'm fine with that. Plus I get to own a dinner theater in Amn for my stronghold.

    I've found that a really strong party is one that includes all six character class archetypes - a melee powerhouse, a cleric, a thief or thief mage, an arcane specialist (mage or sorcerer), a druid, and a bard.

    If the thief, cleric, and druid can be multi-classed as fighters, (or thief-mage for the thief) your party gets so powerful they can overwhelm most of the game.

    I really think that most of the time, when someone complains about the bard class, it's got to do with their not wanting to play a support role in a party. If they're not the one making the most kills, they feel worthless. So, it's a matter of play style and personal disposition. If you don't like to play a support class, don't play one, or even use one in your party. I don't think it's necessary to change the class so much it's not even the same class any more.

    All that said, I agree that the bard song, which should be the bard's main special power, was not implemented well in BG. Rogue Rebalancing solves a lot of those problems, or at least makes significant improvements.

    CamDawg also has a mod out called "Icewindification" that adds the multiple bard song selection from Icewind Dale, if you want that, and like how the mod implements it.

  • reedmilfamreedmilfam Member Posts: 2,808
    Yes, i support the idea, but not as it's displayed below (please, give your opinion then if you want)
    People figure out how to work around the gimps of bards, but they are (IMO) weak choices and, for me, not very fun. If they are fun, I haven't figured out how to make them so.

  • kamuizinkamuizin Member Posts: 3,683
    Yes, i support the idea in the exactly terms that it's provided (and more maybe)
    Bards aren't unplayable, but they're weak, that's a fact. The problem with the mod solution it is thats's not a solution, but an palliative.

    The old Devs in the old game mas a poor work in the bard class (as they did with the wizard slayer kit), what we need nowdays isn't a mod to makeup the poor work of the past, but an enhancement to make this class more enjoynable.

  • DragonspearDragonspear Member Posts: 1,835
    Yes, i support the idea, but not as it's displayed below (please, give your opinion then if you want)
    I think you should acquire lingering song much earlier than HLAs myself. But here are my two cents:

    1. A skald should be able to keep their "bard song" going while physically attacking.

    2. A jester shouldn't be able to do anything while playing their song, as they're trying to sow confusion, chaos etc.

    3. True bard, magic while singing or doing ranged attacks might make sense.

    4. Technically, according to PnP their song should be a lot closer to a Chant spell than an actual bard song. They get X number of uses per day, Blade Flourish I think it was called, and its how their fighting that influences combat.

    as @Belgarathmth said though, Bards operate as a "force multiplier" class, in that its their job to improve their fellows around them etc. Two kits perform exceptionally well in this role, Jester (with the AOE enemy debuff) and Skald (where the more physical attackers you run the more powerful you become). While the blade suffers here, it gains increased utility by being capable of being your sole "tank" on fights that need them by 75% of the way through BG1, and being able to turn that off and into an offensive powerhouse with offensive spin from level 1. If anything my complaint with Blades would be the lack of Blade Flourish (which honestly might make them imbalancedly good) and the fact that offensive spin doesn't scale at all.

  • PokotaPokota Member Posts: 701
    Yes, i support the idea, but not as it's displayed below (please, give your opinion then if you want)
    Would it be possible to give Bards sorcerer-type casting instead of wizard-type memorization, or is it hard-coded into the engine?

    As for improving the songs, I usually just go with the IWDification mod. Still, I would like to see Bard Song (and Trap Search and Turn Undead) remain on while doing certain other actions. Like opening doors, for instance.

  • LiberelliLiberelli Member Posts: 170
    Yes, i support the idea, but not as it's displayed below (please, give your opinion then if you want)
    I do agree with some of these points, while definately not all of them.
    @Dragonspear has some good points, i agree that the class kits themselves need some diversity, cuz there's not alot of incentive to go with any specific kit, cept for what song you like. And ofc, not being able to attack while singing is very annoying.
    The biggest issue i have with bard is, as stated, that the HLA song is always the same regardless of what kit you have. I'm currently playing a jester and i'd have loved to see a really powerful chaos-sewing song instead of the standard one.
    kamuizin said:


    I revived this nightmare a while ago, when i made an evil bard and compared it to my awesome team with Dorn, Viconia, Edwin, Korgan and Hexxat (that sucks also but still is better than a bard).

    Also, I gotta say, Hexxat is one of the most powerful characters you'll ever meet (if you stay out of the sun), now if only she was an assassin... :)

  • kamuizinkamuizin Member Posts: 3,683
    Yes, i support the idea in the exactly terms that it's provided (and more maybe)
    Serious, i didn't see things like that @Liberelli, being an thief she doesn't get con bonus for HP as fighters, her 20 str should make her a lot strong but for some reason that doesn't happen. I got a bit disappointed with her, maybe in reason of comparison between her and Valen, but i can't help that.

  • elminsterelminster Member, Developer Posts: 16,047
    edited December 2013
    No, let Bards as they are (please, give your opinion then if you want)
    You can just click the gear icon at the top of this page and click "edit" then change where the thread is located.

    Anyways I don't see whats wrong with bards. Its a class that starts out being able to use a much wider array of items than a mage, thief, or fighter (individually). It can steal all the gold (by stealing items and selling them) it ever needs to be able to use those items, and getting access to Mislead and/or Protection from Magical Weapons makes it particularly useful in any party. With Wands of Spell Striking more prevalent in BG2EE than in the original, their ability to use Arrows of Dispelling, and given their high level progression (which concerns Remove Magic and Dispel Magic), they are basically the best magical protection removers in either game.

    BelgarathMTH
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