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Been testing the new bard skills and I'm sad to report they are basially useless

Discussion in 'UO Bard' started by Luke Carjacker, May 27, 2010.

  1. First thing I wanted to say is that I'm excited UO is trying to give bards something after all these years. I guess as Poo said, anything is better than nothing.

    Second thing I'll say is I know Logrus has mentioned some of the changes didn't make the publish but will be added after going through QA. That would be nice.

    Ok, onto what I have to report.

    I'd like to point out that bards have long been useless in PvP. You can't discord players, you can't provoke players, you can't provoke stuff summoned by other players, etc. What that means is that basically all of the existing bards in the game - in other words all of us that have been asking for bard improvements - have templates designed for PvM. These are pretty well known, bard/mage, bard/archer, bard/tamer, necro/peace, etc.

    I can report back now that, except of extremely specific and rare situations, these new bard skills are not useful when compared with basic Provoke & Discord (I don't use peace much myself). The casting time, mana cost to cast, mana upkeep cost, casting interruption at the moment, and just plain pathetic effects, mean that there is almost no situation where I'd prefer a provoke or discord mastery over just regular provoke & discord (keeping in mind you can provoke & discord over and over again, just maintaining line of site every 10 seconds).

    So, the conclusion that I draw from this is that the people these changes were ostensibly intended to help - the long-time bards who have been waiting for stuff for the last 6-12 years - will not benefit from the changes. The existing templates that bards have built their players (and more importantly, in-game personas) around will very simply not benefit from these changes. That's a kick in the groin for those of us that have been waiting patiently for about a decade.

    What I find most troubling about these new skills is that all of the thought and planning that seems to have gone into the PvP side of the skill. Sure, I understand that PvP balancing is always tougher, and I certainly wouldn't be mad of some of my existing bards could have a bit more survivability in a raid or something. But all of this time and effort going into NEW bard templates just totally ignores the needs of existing bards.

    I'm just disappointed that after all this time, this is what we ended up with. I'll still play my bards, because that's what I enjoy. But the new skills, and more pertinent the development time that went into the new skills are totally worthless to me, and more than likely any of the long-time bards out there.

    Some suggestions that bards that have had that apparently were not considered in order to implement this new (worthless to us) system:

    swing speed bonuses
    increased effectiveness based on stats (dexterity, etc.)
    damage bonuses
    useful bard specific equipment
    fire horns that don't break every 5 minutes
    and like 3 dozen other things

    Anyhow, 2 hours after the biggest publish in ages for my favorite skills, and I'm logging off. Not quite the excitement I was hoping for to keep me interested for hours on end. :(
  2. ultima77

    ultima77 Guest

    I'm sorry, but this post is absurdly premature. Not only are the kinks still being worked out, but you only played for TWO hours. I also disagree - with my 40 LMC suit and 120 med, there was drain, but my character is certainly still functional, and I found discoing a mob then hitting them with disapir/tribulation to be very effective. Now if the spell interruption is resolved, you"d have a great system.
  3. eekamouse

    eekamouse Guest

    Was just playing with the Discord ones.

    They are totally worthless. Basically it's the upkeep mana cost and the interruption that are the issue.

    In my opinion, remove both of these, and nerf the skills.
  4. Diggity

    Diggity Guest

    I also played around with the disco spellsongs yesterday. I’ve 40 LMC, 18-21 MR – so initial mana costs/upkeep weren’t a big issue. I agree with the OP, Despair does not have a good mana/damage ratio in PVM to the point where there doesn’t seem to be a reason to use it. Tribulation may be useful IF you have a crowd beating on a high hitpoint boss type. I think the Tribulation damage output could be huge if there are 10-20 or more people attacking. This doesn’t happen much on the shard I play outside of special events and sometimes Doom.

    I used Tribulation at Navery with a small group beating on it. There was a nice stream of steady damage generated, even when I was web frozen. For the number of people there, tho, I could still do more damage with mage spells (slayer book fireball spam) than via the song. So again, I agree the mana/damage ratio doesn’t seem to justify using it in PVM.

    Gonna try this weekend to run provo songs in a party. I’m thinking Inspire is also going to be useless for fighter types as most in the party will have capped hci/di anyways. I don’t think it would be too game breaking if the spellsongs broke the caps at some reduced value. So if a party fighter has max di already, maybe a 120/120 Inspire bumps up damage some.
  5. Poo

    Poo The Grandest of the PooBah’s
    Stratics Veteran Alumni Stratics Legend Campaign Benefactor 4H

    Sep 18, 2003
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    i found the disco ones to be great.

    its free damage for NOTHING!

    if you go in thinking that you where gonna one hit kill critters with a spell song.... well thats just silly.

    i will admit i was a little sad about the mana cost.
    but hey, its free HP your taking.

    and really, you can roll up on someone doing a Dark Father and do nothing but put a disco spell song on the DF and you get credit for the kill.

    hmmmm..... do nothing and get credit for the kill.

    i can see why youd be upset by that.
  6. eekamouse

    eekamouse Guest

    I just found it sort of pointless to cast that spell and not be able to do much else.

    This is coming from a Bard/Tamer though. I usually am doing other things like dispelling Revenants, curing party members, invising myself, etc..., etc...

    The mana drain is just a little bit annoying. Granted my Tamer has never really cared much for LMC or MR. I got by fine with 80 Med and max resists.

    It's just pointless, to me, to cast a spell, and then be limited in your versatility. I mean Discord is powerful enough as it is really.

    If they really wanted to add offense to pure Bards, they could just make horns drop more often, or be craftable, and have different dmg types..... and make the existing Bard skills have some sort of effect in PvP as is.
  7. Saint of Killers

    Stratics Veteran

    Dec 14, 2006
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    You may want to recheck your thoughts about the disco ones being great Poo. I made the template yesterday and am only seeing -16 str & 10 point damage ticks in pvp from despair.

    It ain't all that since test. :(
  8. Metalstorm

    Metalstorm Seasoned Veteran
    Stratics Veteran Stratics Legend

    Dec 14, 2003
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    The whole mana drain kinda bums me out.

    I've never relied on magic so I never bothered with mana regeneration and such.
    I consider myself a bard not a mage, hence no real magery skills. I never thought I'd need meditation and mana galore to play a lute.

    With no med and perhaps 5 mana regen i can pull off a mastery song for about 12 seconds.

    It's just not nearly long enough to really evaluate the new stuff.

    So until I can either get some mana regen or they reduce mana cost I will keep my mouth zipped until i can properly play with the bard songs.

    In the meantime I will sit back and enjoy every ones' assessment.

    On edit: On the bright side of things, the normal bard skills are unchanged so I'm most grateful and happy about that :) As long as those continue to work like normal I have no real issue to complain about.
  9. Well, maybe I wasn't clear in how I described my findings; seems like some of the other posters get it while some don't. While I agree that free damage is nice, the point is that these new skills will not give you better results than a multitude of other skills. This is a game where you build out a template and choose specific skills based on how they can contribute to your overall effectiveness, there's no reason (especially with the mana costs & upkeep costs) why you'd go with these bard skills over the many other skills that will give you much better damage over the same period of time for far less mana cost.

    So yes, rolling up on someone and getting credit while they kill something might seem nice (actually I'd call someone like that a weasel and everyone hates people like that), it would be much nicer to go in with a skill that actually does more damage. As I said, in all but the most unique and specific of circumstances, you'll get a lot better mileage from other skills. Also, I think there's a consensus that being a bard that stands in the corner while others fight & have fun sucks...a lot.

    It has nothing to do with one hit kill. The premise is simple. If I spend the points on discord/music I'll be doing like 15 points of damage every two seconds, to say nothing of the mention equipment, stats & skills you'll have to invest in the mana casting cost & upkeep cost. I'll do way more damage if I invest those stats, skills & equipment mods on magery, mystic, necro, SW combinations, or melee/necro/bushido or archer/chiv/bushido, etc. Above that, you'll be able to benefit from things like SSI, 180 stamina, FC, FCR etc. And moreover (I'm running out of words to stack on more stuff) in all of those cases I can target weaker resists either through mix-damage weapons, different spell choices or consecrate weapon, as opposed to being locked into physical damage.

    Here's the challenge: describe the situations where expending the mana & upkeep costs on despair or tribulation (along with the associated penalties like not taking damage) would be a superior choice. Unless we're talking about 10+ people hunting in a group, i can't think of any; and even then you need to consider mana upkeep for bigger groups along with the fact that first-use wins and that the problem that people will get super bored when hunting in groups that big (unless they're all newbies). So, unless you can play with 10 others supporting you, with none of them wanting to use bard skills to take advantage of the big group and collect damage credit for themselves, I don't see it.
  10. ultima77

    ultima77 Guest

    What are you talking about? 15 pts per second? Despair does 60 points of damage per tick. Oh, and there are many templates where incorporating high-damage offensive capabilities on a bard simply isn't feasible. For example, my Tamer/Bard - After Music, Provoke, Disco, Taming, Lore, Magery, and Med, please tell me where I can fit ANY offensive capabilities. However, with the new masteries, I can allow my GD to wail away on a disco'd target while provoking other creatures onto that target AND cause 60 pts. of damage per tick. Additionally, if they really do eventually allow spells to be cast, I can also heal my GD while utilizing dispair as well.
  11. The 60 damage every 2 seconds is before resists are figured. After resists, most anything worth killing is going to take 15-20 points of damage every 2 seconds max. A properly equipped archer (enemy of one, consecrate, lightning strike, slayer) can swing faster than every 2 seconds at hit for 150-200 points of damage to most high-end targets. A properly equipped mystic mage or necro mage isn't going to do as much as an archer, but certainly tons better than the damage from discord.

    Looking at your template, you're obviously set up to put you GD into action. That's fine. But consider this, if you sub in Eval for either disco or provoke (depending on what you're fighting), you'll do tons for damage while expending less mana. That's the point I'm making.

    With your current template you've made the conscious decision to not include eval, which obviously means that the points you've spent on Magery & Med have basically no offensive value. You need the Med to support the mana & upkeed costs for your bard skills, so basically, you've committed points to 4 skills (Music/Disco/Provoke/Med) for the measly 60 physical damage every 2 seconds. Instead of Music/Disco/Provoke let's say you sub in Eval/Mysticism/Focus or eval/necro/SS. You'll be doing 5x more damage over the same period of time for equal or less mana, and also have tons of other spell options.

    So yes, I understand if you're committed to a template with no offensive value, then anything would be nice. But the point, as many seem to understand, is that you'll get a lot more damage and effectiveness over a given amount of time for a given mana cost with lots of skills other than Bard.

    Don't get me wrong, I've been a bard for 10+ years and I know what Provoke & Discord can do. I play several bard templates and my main char is a bard/mage. I understand the skill as well as anyone and have killed everything in the game as a bard (I have not met anyone else who has earned the title of Foresaker of Evil). It's the reason why I'm so disappointed with these additions. An extreme letdown after all this waiting.
  12. Poo

    Poo The Grandest of the PooBah’s
    Stratics Veteran Alumni Stratics Legend Campaign Benefactor 4H

    Sep 18, 2003
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    it all depends on your template and what you want to do.

    if i wanna rule the pool then yes, im gonna take in my disco tamer with my GD.

    but you have to know going in that if your gonna be playing a pure bard then your not gonna be the highest person to damage the critter.

    so you have to decide which template your gonna talk about when talking about the new skills.

    am i gonna put ANY of the new spell songs on my disco tamers?

    i have no mana regen, no med or focus.
    so its pointless.

    but i dont think these new spells where made for bard tamers.
    and i like that.
    cause really, a bard tamer dosnt need any more help.

    but a pure bard.
    ya a pure bard needs a little help.
    and this is giving a little help.
    agreed, templates are gonna have to be changed, suits are gonna have to be tweaked.
    and in the end the damage ya get isnt massive.
    buts its more then you where getting before.
    personally i dumped my EI and picked up med.
    so i still run the core 4 barding skills and then magic and med.
    but ive only dont that on a few toons.
    and i kinda like it.

    these arnt game changing new spells, and i dont think they where ever meant to be.
    i think they are doing exactlly what they wanted them to do, and thats give the old bard a little more pepper.
    bards have allways been the back up players in a party and remain there still.

    but i did notice i was getting a lot more HP damage then i was getting before.
    went out in a group.
    one peace tamer.
    one mage.
    one melee.
    and a pure bard (me)

    usually id disco the mob, then GD goes in as meat shield.
    mage and melee lay in.
    bard drops a couple spells over the shoulder of the melee on the mob and a couple EV's or earthies.
    blast out some heals on the GL or melee as needed.

    rinse and repeat.

    do the same thing now, but disco the mob THEN drop a spell song on him.
    im easilly getting twice the HP damage i was getting before.
  13. Despair does 30, it was halved.

    So far I've found Tribulation much less effective than Despair, with Despair you at least get consistent damage, Tribulation goes off on the small hits too much. Haven't used Tribulation in Doom yet but I'm not convinced a stream of hits from other peoples damage on a counter attack boss (throws bones) is a good idea, seems like it'll get you spammed and dead to Blood Oath.

    Discord + Despair killed a Rotting Corpse in a full mana dump doing 60 damage to it every tick. Also did around 60 damage to Skeletal Lich's, 20 something to Barracoon and something in the teens to Navrey. Haven't used it for much else yet.
  14. Well, I guess we have had different experiences in what bards can do. My long-time main character is a bard/mage (provoke/discord/music/magery/eval/med, never liked peace) and is virtually always the top damager at the spawns I go to (and I lead hunts every day and have hundreds of skulls to show for it); always in the thick of things, definitely not a support character. I have a Bard/Archer (swap provoke or discord based on what I'm hunting) that is top damager at spawns 100% of the time bar none. I have a discord/tamer, but rarely take that character to spawns because I hate being on foot in felucca.

    I also play most of the other popular spawn hunting templates (ABC archer, sampire, necro/mage, mystic/mage) and have put together some special templates of my own (currently loving mystic/necro/mage with about 800 skill points). Among a group of experienced hunters, I can be top damager 95% of the time with any of these templates.

    I know what's available to other classes and I know how to put a template together that works. The Bard forum is the only professions forum that I look at here because, as I mentioned, it's the long-time template of my main character and because I think of my in-game persona as Bard. But my bards are not support characters or back-up players. The reason I like them is because I can be in the thickest, ugliest & most dangerous parts spawns.

    Look, if someone wants to argue with me that Bards are already strong enough, I wouldn't disagree. If you know how to play it, and how to build a template & select equipment, bard skills are still among the very best PvM skills around. But my problem with these new skills is, if they're going to spend development time & resources on the skills, then at least make them useful to us. Don't pigeon-hole bards by trying to force them into preconceived ideas that they are support characters that are around for the benefit of other players.

    In my opinion, the new skills are great for someone who wants to role-play a bard. I'm thinking of people who have decided in advance that they are going to have 4x 120 bard skills and apply one single combat tactic of standing back and playing songs. Now these folks have a way to do some small amount of damage with their bard skills, and the opportunity to gain some credit for playing buffs for their party - great for them. But for anyone looking to put together a template taking advantage of bard skills to actually be as effective as possible, these new masteries are useless when compared to the other choices available. (note: I didn't say bard skills were useless, they can be fit into may effective templates as I mentioned above; just that the new masteries are useless).
  15. Poo

    Poo The Grandest of the PooBah’s
    Stratics Veteran Alumni Stratics Legend Campaign Benefactor 4H

    Sep 18, 2003
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    i hear ya and i agree with ya for 99% of what ya say.

    but this..

    you must play with some hidiouslly horrible players if your bard is the top damager!

    holy cow.
    the day that a bard can our damage a sampire or a necro mystic or a disco tamer.... well that just dosnt compute.

    dont get me wrong, im a bard.
    i play bards, i have since day one and i have all sorts of different templates, and i play every night and ive been known to be a pretty good lute player. But there is no way that i can out damage a tank template.
  16. I think everyone who plays a bard is kind of disappointed that these changes don't make a bard the Avatar de jour. It wasn't supposed to create another over-powered template and I actually think this is a good thing.

    There should be more skill buffs like this to existing skills that give some bonus to make playing fun (yes, I said FUN!) rather than having everyone rush to rebuild their characters. I think this small tweak is a great idea.
  17. No, I just want what we've been given to be useable without the restrictions.
  18. I actually play with some very experienced players. My bard/archer template is essentially an ABC archer with equipment that takes him to 805 skill points, and compared with my regular ABC archer gives up some points in bushido, anatomy, tactics & no resist (still stacking damage with enemy of one, consecrate, lightning strike, and some of the best slayers imbuing offers). Damage output is very close to what my regular ABC archer (which I consider along with mystic/necro/mage the current kings of the damage dealing mountain), but with the crowd control benefits of provoke I can often get more shots in on the target.

    If I'm going to a situation where I don't need crowd control, then I'll go with discord and soften up targets as I take them down; this is really awesome with level 3 & 4 spawns. Slayer weapon, enemy of one, consecrate weapon, discord, lightning strike - we're talking massive damage and virtually any high level spawn creature is down in 1 or 2 shots. If it's a situation where you just need to stand and pound away on a target (peerless, baracoon, etc.) then it's better to just go with regular ABC or Mystic/Necro/Mage.

    These days, I fight mostly at the abyss spawns (the drops & rewards are just so much better). If you've fought the abyssal infernal, you know that his secondary spawn can be a pain in the ass; and if he gets to chasing people around the screen it can turn into a nightmare. However, if you're able to provoke him onto his secondary spawn, he'll stop chasing people, and you can stand there and fire away at him. Definitely put more lead on target with provoke/archer than a standard ABC archer, which offsets the every so slightly less damage per shot. Another good example of this is Neira. Rotting corpse & lich lord secondary spawns always end up in lots of wasted firepower; but if you can provoke these onto the boss, you can direct your damage where it counts.

    The template wasn't really possible before imbuing, at least not easily & ideally. But now, with the ability to fit in equipment with skill points, imbue jewelry and get to 800 skill points with just a little work; while still maintaining all 70s resists, 40 LMC, 175 stamina, and having a 40SSI weapon with slayer, mana & stamina leech, things are peachy for this template. You know, imbuing is a tremendously powerful skill that benefits almost every other class more than bards. Just another kick in the pants for us :)

    As an additional note, I've pointed out in other posts that I believe the abyss spawns properly credit damage for provoke damage, and also damage done over the course of the spawn (not just the boss). We have had instances where our justice provider has received unique artifact drops without doing any damage at all to the boss. A discord/archer mows through level 3 & 4 spawn and can out damage sampires & necro/mages during these stages (but not in the earlier stages). And for those that are wondering, at old & new spawns alike the skull drops into the pack of the top damager - this is not random - so it's easy to know who the top damager is (except at primeval lich which doesn't have a skull).
  19. Fink

    Fink Guest

    I'm rather pleased. It's enough of a boost that we get something, not so much that you get every twink jumps in and pees in the pool. It's a nice change that people who actually want to play bards get a benefit, not the "I'll play whatever owns" people.
  20. Diggity

    Diggity Guest

    Tested the disco spells some more at Navrey. Long enough to get a tangle this time :). I dropped provo or eval in order to get 120 focus to increase the spellsong time. Had 23 MR as well.

    Despair still is not effective use of mana. I'd be better off spamming fireballs and keeping eval for that.

    Tribulation actually is useful/mana effective if there is a good enough group doing damage. Need the hard hitting melee/archer types to rack up the good damage. Then at the end, the word of deaths can also add up pretty good amounts of damage. I'm not sure tribulation is doing 20-60% damage. I only occasionally saw greater than 100 damage - and pretty sure that was WOD damage. Mostly it is 1-15 except for the melee/archers. GD's seem to be in the mid teens - same as ev damage.
  21. Poo

    Poo The Grandest of the PooBah’s
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    Sep 18, 2003
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    ive been toying with the disco spellsongs.
    and i still stick with my original opinion.

    i do think that the mana cost is way too high though.
    i run 100 LRC with 40 LMC and on most of my bards i try to get around 10 MR.
    with these changes in the spells i stoned off my EI and put on 110 med.
    and i find that with the 40 LMC / MR 10 and 110 med i still am no where near keeping up to the mana cost of the upkeep.

    i think this needs to be knocked down by about 1/2 of the rate it is at now.
    personally, if i where in charge of the control lever, id drop it down about 3/4 from what it is now.

    that, in MHO would be king.
    but when have we ever gotten all the things we want, hehe.

    im still just happy that after all these years we got SOMETHING.
  22. Llewen

    Llewen Grand Inquisitor
    Stratics Veteran Stratics Legend Campaign Supporter

    Mar 3, 2006
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    Well, if I were them, I would be erring on the side of caution. Better to have something be a bit weak, or too costly, and be buffed, rather than have it be too strong, have it become the fotm, then have to nerf it. My guess is it will get tweaked if it needs to be, as soon as the dust settles.

    We already had some people screaming that this was the end of pvp as we know it, so I'm guessing the devs want to have a really good idea of what is going on on the ground before they make any more adjustments.
  23. WarUltima

    WarUltima Babbling Loonie
    Stratics Veteran

    Mar 3, 2004
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    Despair should have a lot of damage in PvM...
    Make it auto target monster's lowest resist and/or works with sdi and slayer spellbook and/or lower the mana upkeep and/or making it tick more and more up to triple of its current damage.

    Looks like in order to achieve 60 damage you need 120 Music + 120 Desco + 120 Provo + 120 Peacemaking. And even 60 is way to low for any practical use in PvM when each tick takes 11 mana.
  24. Hmm... did I miss something? Do all of the bard skills contribute to the damage total in the new bard spells?

    How does this damage compare to magery? What spell can you cast to get up to 60 damage per second with 11 mana?

    It looks like Logrus is tinkering with the damage totals - "Damage output is currently 36 in PvP/72 PvM ...

    Currently in PvP Damage output is just between fireball and lightning, which is kind of expensive mana wise but since this wont be interrupted by spell casting it would be allowing significant damage out put potential so I'm not entirely sure that it is that weak. ...

    At a guaranteed rate that pushes their damage output to exceeded mages in dps and significantly less mana cost, only requiring investment in initial cast time and upkeep."

    So, Logrus is still tinkering with these numbers, which I think is a good sign!
  25. Garm The Green

    Garm The Green Lore Master
    Stratics Veteran Stratics Legend

    Mar 26, 2005
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    No, and you still can. You haven't been nerfed and most bards will have other skills. If you don't that's your choice.

    Like saying that investing 120 in ninja, stealth, hiding doesn't allow you to outdamage a mage - not every skill should be able to match a tamer, paladin or mage in damage... that's the point.

    "I've invested 100 points in lumberjacking for 15% DI? My friend with tactics does far more damage..."

    Really, I don't see what's wrong with that. Pfft. Maybe I seem to be missing the point?

    You shouldn't be able to match them IMHO... but they can't disco multiple mobs either etc etc. By playing pure you're making a choice to be at a particular type.

    You've just had an anti-nerf!
  26. Garm The Green

    Garm The Green Lore Master
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    Mar 26, 2005
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