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Blade instead of Bard/Skald?

So I'm wondering how necessary a vanilla bard or skald is to the party. I'm playing on ios and finding it annoying that every time I select all in my party to attack, the bard song stops playing. Maybe it's easier on the PC, but I get almost no use out of my bard song. Truth is I just don't want to deal with micromanaging the bard song. I played a Blade in BG2, and am thinking of re-starting with a blade instead of a skald. I've never played IWD before and am worried, based on the bard songs popularity on these forums, that later in the game I'll be at a disadvantage if I don't have one.

Any advice on this? Is a bard song truly necessary? Or other iOS users, how do you deal with the annoying mechanic of keeping the bard song going without selecting each individual party member to attack?

Comments

  • FardragonFardragon Member Posts: 4,511
    Bard song isn't essential, but it is very helpful. Helpful enough that a bard who stops singing in order to attack isn't pulling their weight. Thus a Blade is a poor choice for IWD, unless there is more than one Bard in the party.

    If you want that Blade playstyle in IWD, I suggest you create a fighter/mage instead.

  • kensaikensai Member Posts: 228
    His song sucks, his melee and magic power loses to f\m in comparison. Other bards are better imho

  • JarrakulJarrakul Member Posts: 2,028
    Strongly disagree that the blade is a worse caster than a fighter/mage, although losing rings of wizardry is a big blow. The blade will get new spell levels at a similar or faster rate, and the blade will always have a much higher caster level. Melee-wise, though, the blade does lose out compared to the fighter/mage. Offensive spin is good, but eventually eclipsed by Improved Haste, which it doesn't stack with. Defensive Spin is better at higher levels, especially since AC is more relevant in IWD than in BG, but still the fighter/mage is gonna do more damage and both of them will be pretty invincible, so the fighter/mage wins out in physical combat overall.

    Of course, if you don't have another bard, the blade will still be useful for lore and bard-only items. So overall I'd say the blade and the fighter/mage are actually fairly evenly matched, especially if you've got other physical damage dealers.

    Now, as for the blade in comparison to the other bards... I really like the blade, but the vanilla bard is pretty clearly king in IWD, imo. That said, if you're not using the bard songs anyway, you aren't gonna lose anything by switching to blade.

  • kensaikensai Member Posts: 228
    Jarrakul said:

    Strongly disagree that the blade is a worse caster than a fighter/mage, although losing rings of wizardry is a big blow. The blade will get new spell levels at a similar or faster rate, and the blade will always have a much higher caster level.

    If I remember correctly, blade can't cast 9 lvl spells and can't equip mage robes and rings, and this in my opinion are decisive disadvantages.

    elminster
  • Lord_TansheronLord_Tansheron Member Posts: 4,094
    Bard Song is really the prime reason to use a Bard, and Blade doesn't really have that. Skald or Vanilla Bard are better buffers. I personally prefer Skald, but I can see uses for the VBard as well.

    elminster
  • JarrakulJarrakul Member Posts: 2,028
    kensai said:

    If I remember correctly, blade can't cast 9 lvl spells and can't equip mage robes and rings, and this in my opinion are decisive disadvantages.

    Blades don't get 9th level spells, but neither do fighter/mages until a good ways HoF. I could point out that that's pretty irrelevant for most players, but instead let's look at the actual comparison. By the time a fighter/mage gets 9th level spells, the blade is 37th level, and has 14 HLAs. If he has a lick of sense, that's a Use Any Item, maybe a Magic Flute and Improved Bard Song, and 11-13 HLA traps. 11-13 Timestops or 20d6-no-save-unresistable bursts, none of which take combat time for the blade. Even if the Robe of Vecna existed in IWD, allowing for insane Improved Alacrity combos, that'd put 9th level spells to shame.

    The loss of robes is, honestly, unimportant. Bracers and elven chain fill in perfectly well. Would robes be better? Yeah, marginally, but not enough better to counterbalance Defensive Spin. The loss of rings of wizardry is by far the most important loss, but the gain in caster level is a larger advantage for the most part. And, of course, both these restrictions go away long before 9th level spells are on the table.

  • FardragonFardragon Member Posts: 4,511
    edited November 2014
    There are no HLAs in IWDEE (which makes continuing to play after 3MXP pretty pointless).

    The first point is valid though: in normal play, neither bards nor fighter/mages get 9th level spells.

    In IWD, arcane spells are trivial anyway, all that matters is how hard you can hit stuff, and fighter mages easily beat Blades in that department.

    elminsterShikao
  • JarrakulJarrakul Member Posts: 2,028
    Wait, I was pretty sure we'd confirmed that HLAs are in? I mean, I'll admit I'm not far enough to know from personal experience, but I could've sworn...

  • elminsterelminster Member, Developer Posts: 15,952
    edited November 2014
    HLA's do exist in the game files but they aren't accessible in-game by default (someone at some point will probably provide a mod to let you get them). In the meantime you could however add them in with the console and AddSpell.

    Jarrakul
  • kensaikensai Member Posts: 228
    edited November 2014
    There are no hla in iwd ee.
    And i'm not sure if there are elven chains in game.
    About experience, that's hardly are problem in iwd, with doubling exp on insane and you can easily select hof option and kill mobs then you are ready then switch to normal mode and exp rewards from quests, etc.

  • bob_vengbob_veng Member Posts: 2,259
    Skyllaros said:


    Any advice on this? Is a bard song truly necessary? Or other iOS users, how do you deal with the annoying mechanic of keeping the bard song going without selecting each individual party member to attack?

    on pc i select all > ctrl+# deselect members i don't want to attack and then attack

    Shikao
  • macomeaumacomeau Member Posts: 80
    Skyllaros said:


    Any advice on this? Is a bard song truly necessary? Or other iOS users, how do you deal with the annoying mechanic of keeping the bard song going without selecting each individual party member to attack?

    Not on iOS, but the character AI scripting is pretty great. I very rarely send my whole party on a manual attack. Most of my manual stuff in combat is picking out a specific person for one character to target (like sending my archer after a spellcaster to disrupt them quickest) or a particular spell for someone to cast. Pausing is your best friend.

    If you're new to the games, look at the character record screen -> customize -> script. I mean, if you're not new they're still there, but just so you know. Y'know?

  • billygreatbillygreat Member Posts: 66
    kensai said:

    There are no hla in iwd ee.
    And i'm not sure if there are elven chains in game.
    About experience, that's hardly are problem in iwd, with doubling exp on insane and you can easily select hof option and kill mobs then you are ready then switch to normal mode and exp rewards from quests, etc.

    There are some awesome elven chains in the game :
    Elven chain mail of the hand +3 and my favorite, Kaylessa's armor + 3

    Jarrakul
  • jackjackjackjack Member Posts: 3,248
    I think Blade might be the weakest Bard kit in IWDEE.

    JuliusBorisov
  • DreadKhanDreadKhan Member Posts: 3,859
    Blade is definately much stronger relatively in BG2, and downright bad probably if you don't want to micromanage his abilities liberally.

    From glancing at charts, it seems like the Blade will typically have a slightly lower THAC0 and less total spell slots, but have access to similar level spells. So, you'd need to make very optimal buffing routines or use Spins to be competetive. The Blade gets some Bard only gear, which isn't really spectacular (but not bad. Mage only amounts to Mage Daggers mostly), but he's better offensively when you get to cast Tenser's... though thats pretty late! Unless you scroll cast. HAHAHAHA! Yeah, right. But still, if your party doesn't need speed weapons, the Blade doing a Spin is at least competetive.

    Fwiw, the Blade has a much higher caster level, but that doesn't actually come up terribly often. You will be very buff spell dependant, so you won't be casting many damage spells, and Dispel rsrely comes up. But, your buffs last a bit longer.

  • WowoWowo Member Posts: 2,058
    @Skyllaros‌ I set my 5 other party members to script "standard attack". Then they get in the fight and the skald just stands there singing away. It's a pretty worthwhile song, at least on harder difficulties. I have the skald set to script "bard controlled" so he'll song by himself too though this is less necessary.

    jackjack
  • BladesBlades Member Posts: 157
    Vanilla Bard, Skald, Jester then Blade. All are worthwhile. Blade is the weakest IMHO. I am using a Skald with an upgraded Sword of Myrloch Vale. He easily holds his own in melee. He has 2 pips in 1-weapon style.

    If I would choose a Blade, I would go longsword dualled. I don't know what others mean when talking most of a bards spells are used as buffs. Once you find bracers ac6 or any robe similar, mirror image is the only buff he needs. That is only if he is mobbed. Skull trap and lance of disruption seem to payoff big time for my bard as softeners.

    jackjack
  • SkyllarosSkyllaros Member Posts: 2
    I just wanted to say thank you all for your comments and suggestions! was really helpful to read. I think I'm going to stick with a skald ;)

    jackjackkensaielminsterJuliusBorisov
  • DelvarianDelvarian Member Posts: 1,232
    One of the custom scripts is for a bard to sing at all times. It's the new EE script. It also makes your thief check for traps whenever they aren't fighting. I use this Script all the time so I don't need to micromanage as much.

    elminsterjackjack
  • DreadKhanDreadKhan Member Posts: 3,859
    Skald is easier to manage by far.

    elminsterjackjackJuliusBorisov
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