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Concerns about Bards and using Utility to solve the issue

I have several concerns about the Bard Archetype in AoC. Of course, we have not seen a skill tree yet, but I fear once we do, it will be too hard to change things since I think the base theory behind the class as posted so far is problematic. Once Alpha2 comes out I will be giving as much feedback to the devs as possible to assure that the Bard (and other concerning archetypes like the Summoner) is as much fun to play, AND as viable as possible.

First a little about myself. I have been a ‘gamer’ since the 80’s and played a DnD continuous world for 4 years with the same group of 8. Then a break for higher education, a dabble into Everquest and finally DAoC. DAoC RvR servers were zerg fests, but when the PVP servers came out I went to the Mordred fulltime PvP server. On Mordred I had three RR5+ characters, a Rogue (Shadowblade), Melee DPS (Savage), and a Minstrel (Bard). I was in a small guild, but we had a keep and it was the best gaming experience of my life.

The Minstrel/Bard classes in DAoC were CC classes with group casted CC, instant single target CC, light heals, and group run speed buff (+200%). The playstyle was definitely NOT that of a BUFFBOT.
And herein lies the potential problem. Steven has said that Bards will not be a Buffbot that 'buffs and then hides in the corner for 30 minutes'. And then he states that the actions that the bard does while playing is a ‘multiplier’ for the group using proximity attacks that buff. Most likely these will be damage buffs for the dps, damage reduction for the tank, and heal augment for the healers. While many might think this sounds like great fun to play and certainly not a Buffbot, but I would argue that this is essentially the SAME thing. Instead of a Passive Buffbot, you have created an Active Buffbot!!!

The implication is that they see Support classes as player introverts who like to hang back and passively help their team without exposing themselves. In DAoC many classes could buff, and the >>Healers<< led the charge. This was essential because your group had to get off CC first, so only classes with group CC drew first blood. Then proper target selection, snares, roots, and stuns would follow. While the enemy would blow cooldowns, do the same, and try to position for advantage. It would rarely become a DPS race, and it was much more complex than learning rotations and spamming buttons for big crits. Tactics, both individual and group, played an important role and were crucial on a second by second basis. But enough about a dead game.

It all boils down to two salient points and their intrinsic relation with one another.
1. Why is this Archetype fun to play?
2. What is the method by which this Archetype provides benefit to the group?

Too often the novice player will think that a Tank is fun to play because it can absorb the most damage, a healer is fun because they can out heal the incoming damage, and a DPS is fun because they can put big damage numbers up. These things are all true, but they are also one dimensional and ultimately will be boring to play.

So lets think about what the current Wiki says about the Bard and see if it will be fun to play. Granted we don’t know much yet, but its an interesting thought experiment:
-The Bard provides buffs to the group either by buffing DPS, tanking, or healing actions of the other player. This is the ‘multiplier effect’ mentioned by Steven. In a group of 8 you will likely have one healer, one tank, one or two support (Bard and/or Summoner), and four or five DPS (melee and/or ranged). As it stands now, the Bard will be in the back, with a flute or stringed instrument, and do abilities that will augment the other classes. This is an active buff. Steven has said that in his opinion this will provide more benefit than having another DPS. This is a good start. But boy this will be boring.
While thinking about this I happened to watch the video by Vlhadus Gaming on utility going too far in current games like WoW (as opposed to Wow Classic): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nqDe7i8c61E

In the video he posits that DPS should have 2 active utilities and 1 passive, Tanks/Healers should have 4 actives and 2 passives, and Support (Bard and Summoner) should have 6-8 actives and 4-5 passives. I am not sure about the numbers, but this sounds about right to me. How better to help your group in PvX than to have extra Utility? The flavors of these utilities can be defensive or offensive in nature (and indeed passive or active buffs), or situational. But certainly, for PVP there should be all the CC and counter CC abilities worked in. What a boring job it would be to just spam active DPS proximity effects every PvP fight.

How does this fit into the lore? Well first of all, I don’t think fitting into any lore is really important. As Asmongold has said dozens of times, if the combat is great, the game is going to be good. But for the Bard this does fit into the lore. I imagine the Bard having multiple single target insta cast CC cleanses. These may be arcane cleanses (Mez/sheep), Nature cleanses (snares and roots), or physical cleanses (hamstrings and slows). As well a castable (3 sec cast time, with long cooldown) group cleanse. Depending on spec, maybe these will also be offensive abilities? For PvE it would be easy to have these cleanses work against boss debuffs and DoTs, for example, if bosses are not designed to do much CC.

Lastly, we want a game the rewards practice, knowledge and skill. We don’t want a game that gives the advantage to whomever brings the most bodies to the fight. The best way to allow a smaller group to overcome a larger group is with CC and Utilities, not increased damage, mitigation or healing buffs since all of these are achieved with more bodies. Without such abilities a group of 8 will always lose to a group of 12, and that shouldn’t always be the case.

TL;DR
Current discussion by devs state that Bards will not be Buffbots, but instead use active proximity abilities to provide benefit to the group. In essence they are planning to make them Active Buffbots.
Instead of creating Active Buffbots, devs should focus on giving the support classes more actual UTILITIES other than just buffing DPS, Tanking, or Healing.

Comments

  • AzheraeAzherae Member, Alpha One, Adventurer
    Having read and parsed this a few times, I still feel like I'm not grasping the difference between what you consider to be a 'buffbot' and what you're suggesting, other than shifting the general intent of Bards (as I personally understand them) completely.

    A Bard controls rhythm of fights by changing the buffs active, in my experience. So if the game is simple, the Bard is simple, if the game has more depth, the Bard has more depth.

    The 'when' and 'why' of the buffs is what I perceive to be the important part of playing Bard, and while you could also, therefore, in many older games 'just apply the buffs and go hide', that didn't really make it optimal for complex games anyway.

    This response is probably because I'm used to games where the Bard's job is rhythm and utility through buffs, and you may be concerned about a recent trend to the contrary, but I mention all this because people might need a bit more context as to what you're 'used to or expecting that makes you think this', to meaningfully engage with the concern.
    Sorry, my native language is Erlang.
    
  • Vulfr wrote: »
    Current discussion by devs state that Bards will not be Buffbots, but instead use active proximity abilities to provide benefit to the group. In essence they are planning to make them Active Buffbots.
    Instead of creating Active Buffbots, devs should focus on giving the support classes more actual UTILITIES other than just buffing DPS, Tanking, or Healing.

    I think I know where you are coming from. I, myself, started MMO'ing with UO beta. the bard have had several iterations over the years - some boring, some good. Hell, they ahve even been fulltime healers in games. I think - if I undestand Steven correctly, that bards will be much more active in this game. They have position attacks, and it is the attacks themselves that buff the group, not a song they play. So the buffs comes from the bard fighting. So its my thought, that you have to choose what moves to use, based on what kind of help the group needs in the moment. I hope that bard also have a ton of buffs. I dont think bards are meant to be DPS per say, in thie game, so they have to bring some stuff to the table. Now if bards have combat bufs, that gives extra dmg, heals, health . whatever. Thats a part of it. But in my vision, bard most def also have long term buffs that they can have running. Be it mana regen, health regen, armor, runspeed, combat speed - all sort of stuff. They have to pick and choose what to have on, and its a slower process than the combat buffs. I think the bards needs to have more of a general use too, like healing up between spots the group go to. In general speeding up the process. I dont think they talked about that side of bards yet, only the combat buffing. So I guess we will see.

    I, too, am comcerned, as I always play support, and I like a support that does not die easy. I like shaman,bard,druid type characters. Lets hope they have a bard showcase soon =)
  • I think the mistake here is interpreting the devs vision of the Bard gameplay as "standing in the backline casting buffs". The vision is rather for the Bard to be an active player in the frontlines, using combos and abilities to do damage and also buff allies in close proximity.

    A good guess would be the Bard will be somewhat of a close-ranged DPS with "high-skill ceiling" position buffing. Sounds great to me. Don't even mind the backline Bard like in LOTRO really even if that were the case, tbh.
  • NiKrNiKr Member
    edited January 20
    I'd like to see smth like this:
    • bard has general songs/dances that give 5-10min buffs (relatively weak stuff)
    • bard has several "bonks" that do dmg to a target and produce a certain sound
    • bard has certain short-time buffs that require certain sounds produced by the "bonks"
    • bard has dance movements that require a certain sound to sync to
    • those dance movements debuff targets

    Imo cleanses should be a healer thing. So a bard/cleric might have smth like "buff speed and remove speed debuffs", but that would obviously need to be tested and balanced properly.

    To me thsi seems like a good active bard who's involved in the encounter, rather than standing somewhere in the back doing nothing.

    edit: those bonks could also be sequenced by 5 bards in a raid to create the ability to produce a big strong synergistic effect for the entire raid.
  • NepokeNepoke Member
    edited January 20
    Good post.

    I'd like to see bard as a big backline playmaker, as opposed to for example ArcheAge bard songbot.

    DAoC style haste is probably not healthy for the game if the uptime is too high. But for example, a bardic war horn buff that would give a massive speed boost for a couple seconds to charge or disengage sounds fun. Large, short duration effects combined with cc and cleanse would make the bard a more tactical class compared to the others.

    I'd still like to be able to configure my bard to be a tanky buffbot if I wanted to though! Or a semi-dps that gives out some group damage buffs for PvE. In my opinion, the ideal bard would be almost as flexible as the (supposed) summoner will be.

    Other cool bard tools to just throw ideas out there:
    • Access to very short duration walls to block projectiles/LoS in tight situations.
    • Making someone ethereal for a second. (Think of Dota eth blade)
    • Remove group collision in an aoe around the bard for a few seconds.
    • Turn an ally invisible for a second.
    • Ability to interfere with enemy bard buffs.
    • Damaging/debuffing trail effects
    • Illusion/decoy nonsense?
    • Disorienting abilities that affect enemy visuals
    • Mind controlling or mesmerizing mobs with a channel

    Playmaking tricks!
  • NerrorNerror Member, Alpha One, Adventurer
    I certainly don't want the core mechanic of the bard to just be weaving songs like we saw for the LOTRO minstrel. That's silly. I liked the DAoC take on the three different classes honestly (minstrel, bard, skald), where they got a nice mix of offensive stuff too, including CC. Some proximity debuffs would also be a good idea I think.

    Whatever we end up getting, I just really hope we don't end up with a class where people can just type /follow and turn on their buff rotation macro and go afk.
  • Vulfr wrote: »
    I have several concerns about the Bard Archetype in AoC. Of course, we have not seen a skill tree yet, but I fear once we do, it will be too hard to change things since I think the base theory behind the class as posted so far is problematic. Once Alpha2 comes out I will be giving as much feedback to the devs as possible to assure that the Bard (and other concerning archetypes like the Summoner) is as much fun to play, AND as viable as possible.

    First a little about myself. I have been a ‘gamer’ since the 80’s and played a DnD continuous world for 4 years with the same group of 8. Then a break for higher education, a dabble into Everquest and finally DAoC. DAoC RvR servers were zerg fests, but when the PVP servers came out I went to the Mordred fulltime PvP server. On Mordred I had three RR5+ characters, a Rogue (Shadowblade), Melee DPS (Savage), and a Minstrel (Bard). I was in a small guild, but we had a keep and it was the best gaming experience of my life.

    The Minstrel/Bard classes in DAoC were CC classes with group casted CC, instant single target CC, light heals, and group run speed buff (+200%). The playstyle was definitely NOT that of a BUFFBOT.
    And herein lies the potential problem. Steven has said that Bards will not be a Buffbot that 'buffs and then hides in the corner for 30 minutes'. And then he states that the actions that the bard does while playing is a ‘multiplier’ for the group using proximity attacks that buff. Most likely these will be damage buffs for the dps, damage reduction for the tank, and heal augment for the healers. While many might think this sounds like great fun to play and certainly not a Buffbot, but I would argue that this is essentially the SAME thing. Instead of a Passive Buffbot, you have created an Active Buffbot!!!

    The implication is that they see Support classes as player introverts who like to hang back and passively help their team without exposing themselves. In DAoC many classes could buff, and the >>Healers<< led the charge. This was essential because your group had to get off CC first, so only classes with group CC drew first blood. Then proper target selection, snares, roots, and stuns would follow. While the enemy would blow cooldowns, do the same, and try to position for advantage. It would rarely become a DPS race, and it was much more complex than learning rotations and spamming buttons for big crits. Tactics, both individual and group, played an important role and were crucial on a second by second basis. But enough about a dead game.

    It all boils down to two salient points and their intrinsic relation with one another.
    1. Why is this Archetype fun to play?
    2. What is the method by which this Archetype provides benefit to the group?

    Too often the novice player will think that a Tank is fun to play because it can absorb the most damage, a healer is fun because they can out heal the incoming damage, and a DPS is fun because they can put big damage numbers up. These things are all true, but they are also one dimensional and ultimately will be boring to play.

    So lets think about what the current Wiki says about the Bard and see if it will be fun to play. Granted we don’t know much yet, but its an interesting thought experiment:
    -The Bard provides buffs to the group either by buffing DPS, tanking, or healing actions of the other player. This is the ‘multiplier effect’ mentioned by Steven. In a group of 8 you will likely have one healer, one tank, one or two support (Bard and/or Summoner), and four or five DPS (melee and/or ranged). As it stands now, the Bard will be in the back, with a flute or stringed instrument, and do abilities that will augment the other classes. This is an active buff. Steven has said that in his opinion this will provide more benefit than having another DPS. This is a good start. But boy this will be boring.
    While thinking about this I happened to watch the video by Vlhadus Gaming on utility going too far in current games like WoW (as opposed to Wow Classic): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nqDe7i8c61E

    In the video he posits that DPS should have 2 active utilities and 1 passive, Tanks/Healers should have 4 actives and 2 passives, and Support (Bard and Summoner) should have 6-8 actives and 4-5 passives. I am not sure about the numbers, but this sounds about right to me. How better to help your group in PvX than to have extra Utility? The flavors of these utilities can be defensive or offensive in nature (and indeed passive or active buffs), or situational. But certainly, for PVP there should be all the CC and counter CC abilities worked in. What a boring job it would be to just spam active DPS proximity effects every PvP fight.

    How does this fit into the lore? Well first of all, I don’t think fitting into any lore is really important. As Asmongold has said dozens of times, if the combat is great, the game is going to be good. But for the Bard this does fit into the lore. I imagine the Bard having multiple single target insta cast CC cleanses. These may be arcane cleanses (Mez/sheep), Nature cleanses (snares and roots), or physical cleanses (hamstrings and slows). As well a castable (3 sec cast time, with long cooldown) group cleanse. Depending on spec, maybe these will also be offensive abilities? For PvE it would be easy to have these cleanses work against boss debuffs and DoTs, for example, if bosses are not designed to do much CC.

    Lastly, we want a game the rewards practice, knowledge and skill. We don’t want a game that gives the advantage to whomever brings the most bodies to the fight. The best way to allow a smaller group to overcome a larger group is with CC and Utilities, not increased damage, mitigation or healing buffs since all of these are achieved with more bodies. Without such abilities a group of 8 will always lose to a group of 12, and that shouldn’t always be the case.

    TL;DR
    Current discussion by devs state that Bards will not be Buffbots, but instead use active proximity abilities to provide benefit to the group. In essence they are planning to make them Active Buffbots.
    Instead of creating Active Buffbots, devs should focus on giving the support classes more actual UTILITIES other than just buffing DPS, Tanking, or Healing.

    how are you so sure that you know whats fun to play? why do you get to decide whats fun for me or for others? that is subjective.

    however, there are certain things that make thigns fun..which is engagement. pressing buttons is engaging and therefore fun (there are other things but they dont matter for this example). pressing buttons and using skills to buff your allies is indeed fun, at least more fun than pressing a few buttons then hanging back for 10 mins to rebuff. im sure we can agree on that. steven has already said characters will have around 30 buffs or so, so there is probably more than what you just said about a defense buff, a dps buff and a healing buff.

    i see the bard as a character focused on buffs, not cc. i can see how some people might see bards as a character focused on cc, but thats maybe because they have played games where bards are supposed to cc...but that changes from game to game.

    ive played games where bards just do buff and have maybe 1 or 2 cc and they are fun and engaging and you gotta use ur brain, which makes them even more fun to play for me.

  • AzheraeAzherae Member, Alpha One, Adventurer
    NiKr wrote: »
    I'd like to see smth like this:
    • bard has general songs/dances that give 5-10min buffs (relatively weak stuff)
    • bard has several "bonks" that do dmg to a target and produce a certain sound
    • bard has certain short-time buffs that require certain sounds produced by the "bonks"
    • bard has dance movements that require a certain sound to sync to
    • those dance movements debuff targets

    Imo cleanses should be a healer thing. So a bard/cleric might have smth like "buff speed and remove speed debuffs", but that would obviously need to be tested and balanced properly.

    To me thsi seems like a good active bard who's involved in the encounter, rather than standing somewhere in the back doing nothing.

    edit: those bonks could also be sequenced by 5 bards in a raid to create the ability to produce a big strong synergistic effect for the entire raid.

    In the end, doesn't everyone just want the Hunting Horn?

    Wanna swing the weapon to play from the backline because it's safe? No problem. Wanna bash the mob's head because it's safe to do that right now? Also fine. Wanna go full badass and dodge and weave while playing songs, good luck.
    Sorry, my native language is Erlang.
    
  • nanfoodlenanfoodle Member, Founder, Kickstarter
    edited January 21
    Steven said that he wants all skill tree's viable. My hope is Bards will be full support buffs but my hope the ways buff work will be based on the skill tree they spec in.

    Like a melee front line in the mud class. The DPS skills also adds damage mitigation to the team but also heals the team the more damage the Bard does.

    Then a ranged Bard that is all about buffing teams damage and helping give back mana. The more damage the Bard does the more the team crit rate goes up, including the Bard.

    I'm not saying that's exactly how the Bard should work but what I'm hoping for is that the Bard is 100% the buff bot but it relies on getting involved in the battle and the better the Bard does in combat, the harder they will be to kill just because the Bard is buffed by their own buffs.

    I was a Minstrel in DAoC and loved it. I was a Bard in EQ1. I loved my role but I'm ready for progression on what a Bard can be. Also I don't think my wrist could play a EQ1 Bard again lol. So I hope the Bard will have skill tree's that are viable as Steven said when talking about all classes. So far the depth of the other classes has been impressive. I hope Bards have just as much depth.
  • This might be a bit controversial but I really hope that bard fills the more traditional backlinje support (with option for frontline speccing of course) simply because clerics are more offensive healers by default.

    I have two players in my group that really thrive and feel more comfortable playing a "true" supportive class, and one of them is intent on playing summoner while the other one wanted to play cleric until she saw how frontline-y they are. Now she is hoping that the bard will be a bit more backline oriented so that she can perhaps play them instead.

    She is also a huge DnD bard fan so I hope Intrepid will take some inspiration from there.

    I get that a lot of people want more offensive bards - I would too if it was for my own sake - but if bards also turn into really attack-heavy supports, then some support players might feel like none of the AoC support classes are for them.


    I get the fear of botting when it comes to backline buffers, but imo Intrepid should not design classes out of fear of bots; rather they should focus on making sure to enforce their stance by actively banning them. (Which is another discussion entirely.)

    All that said, people who want more aggressive bards should be able to pick secondary archetypes that reflect that. c:
    apr6xzdxo10r.png
  • XeegXeeg Member
    In one of my fav games (a MUD not an MMO), the bard was a balanced character for stealth, combat, utility, defenses with a bunch of powerful party buffs that were unique to the game. They had the 2nd best stun and a couple of HOT type heals. A fully self buffed bard was on par with many other classes in solo play. But once you got bard buffs on the other classes they would definitely out compete.
  • Thokan wrote: »
    I think the mistake here is interpreting the devs vision of the Bard gameplay as "standing in the backline casting buffs". The vision is rather for the Bard to be an active player in the frontlines, using combos and abilities to do damage and also buff allies in close proximity.

    A good guess would be the Bard will be somewhat of a close-ranged DPS with "high-skill ceiling" position buffing. Sounds great to me. Don't even mind the backline Bard like in LOTRO really even if that were the case, tbh.

    I mean, they said it themselves in the OP message:

    "using proximity attacks that buff"

    I'm proper pumped to play Bard, just cos it already sounds like more than a simple buffbot. I got the same sort of feeling that you did about it. A damage-dealing Support where positional awareness and group synergy and teamwork is rewarded.
    This link may help you: https://ashesofcreation.wiki/
  • I think whether the Bard is an 'enjoyable' class to play is a 2 way street between the game designers and players. From what we know so far (admittedly not that much), Intrepid are trying to make the bard more than a mere cheerleader, with positional, proximity and formation buffs, as well as for direct combat hits from the player. They will have offensive and defensive combat abilities.

    But I do think that some players who have missed the Bard for so long in games are expecting too much. It's still primarily a support class in group combat, and many many people enjoy playing that supportive role. It is intended as one part of a synergistic group. It's not a LESSER role, just a DIFFERENT one.

    Yet even the definition of supportive becomes subjective here. If the most effective performance of a combat party is dependent on receiving Bard-inspired buffs (as well as those from other so called support classes), the Bard can be seen as, and will be, an integral party member.

    I for one will be using a Bard as one of my alts as I hope it will also have some cool and unique non combat abilities. And for those days I'm in the mood to inspire my party to victory.
  • IskiabIskiab Member
    edited January 26
    TLDR, but for bard to not suck it's a mathematical thing. In a group of 8 people a bard should be buffing the group's dps by about 20% per person and do about 80% of a dps' dps. That will ensure it's still viable in solo/small group play.

    Standing at the back, or just twisting songs, is boring. I'd rather have longer duration buffs and the rotation be damaging abilities so you're actively doing something. There should also be options too, so there's the ability for if 2 bards play together they cover different buffs so can somewhat help each other.
  • Iskiab wrote: »
    TLDR, but for bard to not suck it's a mathematical thing. In a group of 8 people a bard should be buffing the group's dps by about 20% per person and do about 80% of a dps' dps. That will ensure it's still viable in solo/small group play.

    Standing at the back, or just twisting songs, is boring. I'd rather have longer duration buffs and the rotation be damaging abilities so you're actively doing something. There should also be options too, so there's the ability for if 2 bards play together they cover different buffs so can somewhat help each other.

    i think the opposite. i hope bard buffs are short lived and you need to constantly be in combat to buff your party, this will help prevent people dual clienting a bard just for buffs and having a p2w advantage.

    i also hope that one bard is enough to provide every party regardless of composition with all the necessary buffs. bards are always the least played class. finding one will be hard, and finding 2 for your party will be painful and close to impossible.
  • nanfoodlenanfoodle Member, Founder, Kickstarter
    Depraved wrote: »
    Iskiab wrote: »
    TLDR, but for bard to not suck it's a mathematical thing. In a group of 8 people a bard should be buffing the group's dps by about 20% per person and do about 80% of a dps' dps. That will ensure it's still viable in solo/small group play.

    Standing at the back, or just twisting songs, is boring. I'd rather have longer duration buffs and the rotation be damaging abilities so you're actively doing something. There should also be options too, so there's the ability for if 2 bards play together they cover different buffs so can somewhat help each other.

    i think the opposite. i hope bard buffs are short lived and you need to constantly be in combat to buff your party, this will help prevent people dual clienting a bard just for buffs and having a p2w advantage.

    i also hope that one bard is enough to provide every party regardless of composition with all the necessary buffs. bards are always the least played class. finding one will be hard, and finding 2 for your party will be painful and close to impossible.

    I really don't think it's asking too much that a modern MMO also take the next step in every class including the Bard. Why people thinking Bard fans are asking to much, is mind blowing to me :unamused: Personally much like all the other classes, I think people will be happy at the innovation that will be the Ashes Bard.
  • edited January 26
    1. buffbots and healbots were usually secondary accounts you used to follow you around while you leveled/quested/farmed etc. Having another player do it is not the same thing especially if we are using DAOC as an example.
    2. bard is a support role, their primary function is to buff/debuff which yes includes both directly and indirectly through your party. This includes damage, heals and CC.
    3. they will have some of their own abilities for direct damage as well but in normal situation they should not out dps or out heal a damage role directly and the same goes for a support cleric primary based on what we know about class design.
    4. utility is important for all roles which should not be any different for support roles either except for how specifically it functions from ability to ability.
  • 1. buffbots and healbots were usually secondary accounts you used to follow you around while you leveled/quested/farmed etc. Having another player do it is not the same thing especially if we are using DAOC as an example.
    2. bard is a support role, their primary function is to buff/debuff which yes includes both directly and indirectly through your party. This includes damage, heals and CC.
    3. they will have some of their own abilities for direct damage as well but in normal situation they should not out dps or out heal a damage role directly and the same goes for a support cleric primary based on what we know about class design.
    4. utility is important for all roles which should not be any different for support roles either except for how specificaly it functions from ability to ability.

    I see bards as "Lets hurry this shit along" type support. They make everything go faster. Regen mana, regen health, speed buff, attack speed buff, slow on mobs, mezz etc. They are the "slow is smooth, smooth is fast" type guys =)

    But it is important, that they dont feel useless alone or in small groups. The more prople in the group, the better they are to have around. But if they suck alone or in duo, they can have a hard time getting quests done and so on. I would suggest, that buffs become a tad better the less people receive them. No role in an MMO should feel useless alone. Only some will feel powerful, but none should feel useless.
  • Saabynator wrote: »
    1. buffbots and healbots were usually secondary accounts you used to follow you around while you leveled/quested/farmed etc. Having another player do it is not the same thing especially if we are using DAOC as an example.
    2. bard is a support role, their primary function is to buff/debuff which yes includes both directly and indirectly through your party. This includes damage, heals and CC.
    3. they will have some of their own abilities for direct damage as well but in normal situation they should not out dps or out heal a damage role directly and the same goes for a support cleric primary based on what we know about class design.
    4. utility is important for all roles which should not be any different for support roles either except for how specificaly it functions from ability to ability.

    I see bards as "Lets hurry this shit along" type support. They make everything go faster. Regen mana, regen health, speed buff, attack speed buff, slow on mobs, mezz etc. They are the "slow is smooth, smooth is fast" type guys =)

    But it is important, that they dont feel useless alone or in small groups. The more prople in the group, the better they are to have around. But if they suck alone or in duo, they can have a hard time getting quests done and so on. I would suggest, that buffs become a tad better the less people receive them. No role in an MMO should feel useless alone. Only some will feel powerful, but none should feel useless.

    You'll probably find this threads discussion interesting.

    https://forums.ashesofcreation.com/discussion/57167/support-classes-in-parties-vs-in-raids/p1
  • Saabynator wrote: »
    1. buffbots and healbots were usually secondary accounts you used to follow you around while you leveled/quested/farmed etc. Having another player do it is not the same thing especially if we are using DAOC as an example.
    2. bard is a support role, their primary function is to buff/debuff which yes includes both directly and indirectly through your party. This includes damage, heals and CC.
    3. they will have some of their own abilities for direct damage as well but in normal situation they should not out dps or out heal a damage role directly and the same goes for a support cleric primary based on what we know about class design.
    4. utility is important for all roles which should not be any different for support roles either except for how specificaly it functions from ability to ability.

    I see bards as "Lets hurry this shit along" type support. They make everything go faster. Regen mana, regen health, speed buff, attack speed buff, slow on mobs, mezz etc. They are the "slow is smooth, smooth is fast" type guys =)

    But it is important, that they dont feel useless alone or in small groups. The more prople in the group, the better they are to have around. But if they suck alone or in duo, they can have a hard time getting quests done and so on. I would suggest, that buffs become a tad better the less people receive them. No role in an MMO should feel useless alone. Only some will feel powerful, but none should feel useless.

    no. why punish people for grouping?
    there are areas meant to be farmed without a full group
  • Depraved wrote: »
    Saabynator wrote: »
    1. buffbots and healbots were usually secondary accounts you used to follow you around while you leveled/quested/farmed etc. Having another player do it is not the same thing especially if we are using DAOC as an example.
    2. bard is a support role, their primary function is to buff/debuff which yes includes both directly and indirectly through your party. This includes damage, heals and CC.
    3. they will have some of their own abilities for direct damage as well but in normal situation they should not out dps or out heal a damage role directly and the same goes for a support cleric primary based on what we know about class design.
    4. utility is important for all roles which should not be any different for support roles either except for how specificaly it functions from ability to ability.

    I see bards as "Lets hurry this shit along" type support. They make everything go faster. Regen mana, regen health, speed buff, attack speed buff, slow on mobs, mezz etc. They are the "slow is smooth, smooth is fast" type guys =)

    But it is important, that they dont feel useless alone or in small groups. The more prople in the group, the better they are to have around. But if they suck alone or in duo, they can have a hard time getting quests done and so on. I would suggest, that buffs become a tad better the less people receive them. No role in an MMO should feel useless alone. Only some will feel powerful, but none should feel useless.

    no. why punish people for grouping?
    there are areas meant to be farmed without a full group

    Thats not a punishment. It does not have to scale 1:1.
  • DygzDygz Member, Braver of Worlds, Kickstarter, Alpha One
    This might be a bit controversial but I really hope that bard fills the more traditional backlinje support (with option for frontline speccing of course) simply because clerics are more offensive healers by default.

    I have two players in my group that really thrive and feel more comfortable playing a "true" supportive class, and one of them is intent on playing summoner while the other one wanted to play cleric until she saw how frontline-y they are. Now she is hoping that the bard will be a bit more backline oriented so that she can perhaps play them instead.

    She is also a huge DnD bard fan so I hope Intrepid will take some inspiration from there.

    I get that a lot of people want more offensive bards - I would too if it was for my own sake - but if bards also turn into really attack-heavy supports, then some support players might feel like none of the AoC support classes are for them.


    I get the fear of botting when it comes to backline buffers, but imo Intrepid should not design classes out of fear of bots; rather they should focus on making sure to enforce their stance by actively banning them. (Which is another discussion entirely.)

    All that said, people who want more aggressive bards should be able to pick secondary archetypes that reflect that. c:
    Yep. Secondary Archetypes along with Social Org, Religion and Race Augments should allow us to have a wide variety of Bard combat styles.
  • Short term buffs that do nothing but buff... no ability for 2 bards to group without the 2nd bard being useless? These are horrible suggestions.
  • nanfoodlenanfoodle Member, Founder, Kickstarter
    Iskiab wrote: »
    Short term buffs that do nothing but buff... no ability for 2 bards to group without the 2nd bard being useless? These are horrible suggestions.

    Ya let's just roll all the classes back to 1999 lol
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