What Rhymes with Bard?

  • Who cares ?!?! Just add them already , kk thanks. :saxophone: :musical_score: :dancer:

  • Can someone please explain to me what a Bard is supposed to do. When I think of a Bard I think of Edward and he was a weenie.

  • A typical Bard is a ranged attacker, and while somewhat weaker than an Archer they almost make up for it with party buff or enemy debuff effects based loosely on a morale mechanic.

    Some games stylize their musical instrument as having magical powers that can "cast" the notes of the music they play as attacks, and thus give them lutes, harps, etc. as their weapons. Some just give them a crossbow. I think the latter would suit a Bard in King's and Heroes.

    Their music is usually portrayed as having beneficial or detrimental effects on their listeners.

    A soothing melody to aid spellcaster's concentration. (think serenity)
    A methodical beat to strengthen warrior's resolve. (think war drums)
    A piercing wail to stun or strike fear in their enemies. (think banshee scream)
    A death dirge to incite violence or even sap the vitality from their foes. (think heavy metal \m/ )

    As to the original question, what rhymes with bard...

    There once was a Bard from Everdale,
    He spoke in prose without fail,
    He picked up his flute instead of his lute,
    And blew out his enemy's entrail.

  • So you want to play Jem and the Holograms. Gotcha.

  • @Trup I always think of the Bard as from the 2004 Bard's Tale game https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B2tjINqmx6A

  • @Trup - You should watch The Gamers 1 and 2 for an 'in-depth look' into the different classes ;)

  • I can get behind the idea of a buffer/debuffer class, I just don't understand the whole shooting musical notes at guys angle. It's like a tenacious d video.

  • In today’s world where most mmos are extremely two dimensional in regards to character development and player/game interaction bards have not been a very popular or really understood class. Bards were the original ultimate hybrid. Don’t have a wizard, a bard can cast some spells and may even know that obscure piece of lore from some dusty book no one has heard of. Don’t have a cleric, a bard can heal a little. Short on damage output, bards can respectfully swing a sword or notch an arrow. Traps or locks got you down, there’s a chance the bard can take care of it. People loved playing bards because they were so versatile. Then it came to their area of specialty and here is where modern game design hamstrung the bard unfortunately, they were the social interaction specialists. Whether it be their high charisma, their intimate knowledge of customs and etiquette, they were the ones that your team wanted when it came to talking with the NPCs.

    Problem is now, games and from that gamers have moved so far from that they no longer see any real benefit to a bard like class. Many players hate the NPC aspect of MMOs because they don’t want to read, don’t care about any lore or story, or consider it a waste of their time. Players look for three things, can you put out more DPS than anyone else, can you take a hit from anything and not die, or can you heal enough to ensure that the first two can keep doing what they do? And now, thanks to games like FFXIV, even the tanks and healers are asked the DPS question as well. So what is missing, that jacks of all trades, the hybrids, the bards.

    Now, some games and some people have seen their worth and implemented them well. I played Rift for years at launch as a bard and remember many groups complaining I wasn’t a marksman for more DPS because they didn’t need a bard. So I would switch and they would all die within a few pulls. When implemented well, and Rift along with Everquest 1 were two of the few I felt did just that, Bards can be a huge blessing to a group. What I find so ironic is that over the last 10+ years of MMOs players have looked down at hybrids while simultaneously asking for abilities for their classes that essentially make them one. The non-social gamers looking to play MMOs yet not group demand that their dedicated class has the abilities of other classes so they can solo essentially making them hybrids. They don’t want to play a bard, they just want to have the versatility of one without any of the drawbacks.

    So where does or could a bard fit in K&H? Well, that will honestly depend on what the devs intend for this game. Is this going to be perhaps a more true reincarnation of classes D&D style gaming where problem solving, NPC interaction, and the fear of the unknown are going to play a major role? Then perhaps the bard will find a suitable home here. If the intention is more a casual Diablo’esque dungeon romp of slaughtering hordes of faceless minions on our journey to the boss and the promise of phat lewts? Then perhaps not, other classes can do their job with greater efficiency.

    On a personal note, I hope so. I would really like to see K&H go the route of a more traditional D&D style of gaming. I remember the explosion of popularity that came with the original NWN toolkit and the multiplayer aspect. I could see K&H filling a much needed gap where players are looking for a more in depth gaming experience and less simply memorizing rotations and floor patterns in order to do the same content over and over weeks on end in hopes of that elusive purple. WoW was the gold standard for a long time but as we have seen with Legion even those gamers are finally tiring and looking for something better. I think K&H can be that.

  • True Hyrbid classes are just too difficult to balance without making them the best solo class. If a Bard is going to be some okayish Hybrid that can also do a bunch of RP stuff then I guess that's fine, but RP doesn't exactly pay the bills, and it's also just a hard aspect to do correctly. Any time one class becomes a Hybrid it makes it harder to balance everything else, and also requires a bunch of more systems in place to counter act the Hybrid problem. It's the entire reason why enrage mechanics were introduced into mmos.

    It's hard to make RP mandatory, but if it isn't mandatory then it largely doesn't matter. Would you want a Bard than can do a bunch of RP stuff that has no impact on the game, or do you want a Bard that makes certain functions easier at the expense of class identify for everyone else?

    A Cleric has a large healing kit with a small dps kit, but they're still arguably the best solo class because they have the combination of skills required to push content. So it doesn't matter how well the Hybrid class performs, only if it performs better than a non-hybrid class. In K&H, Clerics are better to have in a group than Wizards, Rangers, and Rogues. You can argue it's nice to have more dps, but nice doesn't matter, only success, and at the end of the day everyone wants to be successful when they play.

    I like the idea of a class that buffs and debuffs. But that's different than a class that can fill any role and also offers a bunch of RP stuff, right?

  • I don't quite agree with that a cleric is always better than a pure dps class in K&H. Maybe at the lower difficulty levels, but definitely not at the higher ones. Rogues can solo as well since they have the option to circumvent content by stealthing around it, but in groups I do no quite see their purpose except for opening the few locked doors there currently are.
    The problem is that the game seems to be intended to be a solo game with the option to group for speed running dungeons and that gear -> level -> class -> skill. Content is currently not designed to promote group play and pure support classes will be unneeded. Introducing the Bard would be nice variety wise but the class would have to provide more to the group than an additional DPSer or open slots except a champion and a cleric would be filled by DPS classes.
    A useful Bard would be ranged dps/buffer and maybe a warlock as ranged dps/debuff.

  • Balancing a hybrid can be difficult. I believe the goal should always be situational value. The ability to provide a little extra in any given area when it is needed without overshadowing the primary position. RP has been a hot topic over the last almost two decades of online gaming. I do feel however that is can pay the bills. The issue with selling any product is finding the correct buyer. Trying to sell roleplay to a buyer that wants casual hack and slash is never going to work. However, selling the same hack and slash to a buyer looking for roleplay is just as dangerous. While in recent times roleplayers have been essentially forced to play in normal MMOs a large portion of that can be attributed to simply a lack of options. Roleplaying at its core is still alive and well and new editions of D&D and countless P&P games every few years is a good testament.

    I have been running an online game community now for a little over 16 years and a common thing I hear from our members is that they have always wanted to roleplay but were either made fun of or never found a game where it was supported. Game developers in today’s market I believe just need to come to a single conclusion and that is that there will never be another WoW. WoW will never be another WoW. World of Warcraft was as successful as it was because Blizzard was insightful enough to see a change in societal acceptance of gaming in general. This prompted them to change/produce a game that was easy enough for the influx of traditional non-gamers while still providing enough end game challenge, goals (carrot and stick) for veteran players and longevity. Blizzard’s success was as much a result of good design as it was good timing.

    We are in a different place now. No game will ever be as successful as WoW because it isn’t new anymore. The initial wave of novelty has passed and gaming has reached mainstream success and acceptance. Ronda Rousey and Vin Diesel play Wold of Warcraft and Shirley Curry, a lovely lady in her 80’s, hosts a very popular YouTube channel of her playing Skyrim. So the sooner developers accept that there will never be another 10 million subscriber game and instead concentrate on making the absolute best game they can for a particular market we as gamers and the industry as a whole will start to see the pendulum upswing again to a greater golden age of games.

    Now that leaves us with the same question, what is the market of K&H? Very little has been stated that I have seen. The main site lists, “full multiplayer RPG with character advancement” but as history has taught us, an argument can be made that playing Pong means you are taking on the ‘role’ of a white line so that makes it an RPG. I personally don’t agree but there it is. I believe that there is still a strong, virtually untapped market of gamers that would like to see a strong, deep, social, roleplay release from the gaming industry. Neverwinter Nights did very well for Bioware and players have actually been clamoring for a full 3D version for years, only to be terribly unhappy with DDO. I don’t know, so much is still unknown we will have to wait and see. I can tell already that K&H is going to be a ton of fun for whatever demographic is decides to focus on. I just hope they do choose one because what we have seen over the last declining decade is that when a game tries to do it all, no one group is happy which leads to an overall ‘meh’ release.

    The amusing parallel is that fact that this stems from a conversation regarding bards being ‘meh’ to some. The difference is a bard class should be meh on its own and only through their group do they truly make everyone’s lives better. A game cannot follow the same model as it will always stand alone.

  • Nice speeches.

    So... Instead of talking semantics, lets talk about how to make the class work within Kings and Heroes. If it's even possible. How to make it viable. Etc.

    As the game currently stands, all current classes (when well geared) are able to solo normal & advanced and some classes can solo hard content. So the benchmark for a new class is that they can at least solo anything currently in the game on normal (and hopefully advanced).

    If the class were to be added we need to figure out:

    Primary stats - ? / ? They really are a jack of all trades, almost all stats are useful to them. Maybe when someone is creating a Bard, remove the preferred X / Y stats info and state that they're a jack and just look for decent everything?

    Main attack - Not musical note throwing, it wouldn't suit the game and isn't true to any D&D that I know of as an attack.
    I think their main could be a dedicated dual-wield perk. This could be 2x melee or if hand-crossbows were introduced as a new weapon type, 1x melee & 1x ranged, or even 2x ranged if a player wanted to.

    If hand crossbows were introduced (pretty big if, but this is just theory). At a distance the hand-crossbow would be used but if an enemy closed within melee range the game would automatically attempts to switch to swinging melee for the next scheduled attack?

    Armour - Medium would suit the above preferred weapons, but what are their buffs / debuffs powered by? If it's spellpower then armour with all three stats would become useful, but is currently uncraftable.

    Skills - Someone else can come up with some ideas on... What these might be? How they might work? Do they have visual effects? Musical sounds? Apply status icons? Make devs hurt themselves or others?

    Or should this class just be put in the too hard basket for now and revisited after simpler classes are explored and/or implemented.

  • @Sin If you wish to focus specifically on a certain aspect of the discussion you feel is important please do so. But there really is no need to come out of the gate attacking other posters.

  • @Sin said in What Rhymes with Bard?:

    Nice speeches.

    Indeed - always good with a constructive discussion ;)

    Primary stats - ? / ? They really are a jack of all trades, almost all stats are useful to them. Maybe when someone is creating a Bard, remove the preferred X / Y stats info and state that they're a jack and just look for decent everything?

    CHA/DEX obviously

    Main attack - Not musical note throwing, it wouldn't suit the game and isn't true to any D&D that I know of as an attack.
    Ranged. He could fire arrows with his lute. Just kidding :) but seriously ranged. Would required new CHA/DEX based weapons though
    Armour - Medium would suit the above preferred weapons, but what are their buffs / debuffs powered by? If it's spellpower then armour with all three stats would become useful, but is currently uncraftable.

    Skills - Someone else can come up with some ideas on... What these might be? How they might work? Do they have visual effects? Musical sounds? Apply status icons? Make devs hurt themselves or others?

    Like the cleric. Just some basic ranged dmg skills and single target debuffs and group buffs

    Or should this class just be put in the too hard basket for now and revisited after simpler classes are explored and/or implemented.
    A true buffer/debuffer is missing. It's the only class needed to complete the toolset.

  • To follow the same system as the other classes they would still need two main stats. Dex and Cha would be fine. Most likely they would be a ranged power class since Rangers are the only ones filling that niche; so Ranged weapons as well. They already have 1h crossbows in the game, they just disabled them a while back. I think choosing to 2h a bow or dw crossbows could work. Ranged Power would also put them into medium armor.

    As for skills, I think some kind of unique 10m buff mechanic that worked with scrolls would be interesting. Either some kind of buff to a scroll when used, or maybe a flat chance to not consume a scroll when used.

    I think a system of channeled buffs and debuffs that ended with some additional effect could work. For example, I could see them channel a 3s magic resistance buff on the group, or even some kind of shield type of ability that absorbed spell damage, but after the full channel ended it increased their next damaging ability by some amount.

    And I'm not sure if I agree on Shadex's point about Blizzard because they keep having the same successes. Blizzard is great at finding a stagnant genre and creating an excellent game within that genre that is hard to match. Hearthstone, HotS, and Overwatch are all highly successful games that completely blow away any competition. It's not about hitting some magical subscriber number, it's about crushing the competition and hearing their lamentations. So someone will eventually come in to the mmo space and create the great next game. There's just a very high chance that it'll be Blizzard.

    I've talked about this in regards to K&H before. There are hundreds of games on the market that do generic open world mmo questing. There are only a handful that provide the kind of dungeon smashing aspect of an arpg in a proper mmo model. They have something very unique here, I just hope they don't dilute that by creating quests that have me collecting 10 wolf pelts. There is nothing original about that. They also aren't creating the Witcher here. My suggestion has always been to focus on the dungeon experience and make it the best in the genre.

    For RP stuff in games, I think it just comes down to effort vs. reward. Spend money creating content used by a small percentage of your players, or try to maximize your effort by creating content that will be enjoyed by all. Not everyone will enter a fully functioning RP Inn and care about what kind of experience it's providing, but everyone will enter the new shiny dungeon.

  • Hi All,

    Really cool discussion. There will be instruments! There will be buffs/debuffs. It will have 2 primary base stats like other classes. Let us know what else you think or would like.


  • @Trup My comment regarding Blizzard was specifically focused on their success with World of Warcraft. Believe me, I completely agree with the quality of the games they create. Having played Blizzard titles since Orcs vs Humans they are indeed very polished. Blizzards skill as a game developer is without question but so is the skill of many studios. What I feel makes them so successful is that they managed to pair with that skill one of the greatest marketing teams in history.

    On the RP front, it isn't the lion's share of the playerbase true. I do feel that that can still be greatly attributed to the fact that games just don't support them or the fact that other players seem to enjoy bullying them. Remember the rude awakening Carbine had with Wildstar when they created an MMO so focused on end game raiding and dungeons that they all but left every other playstyle out in the rain. They came to find that they had built an entire game around less than 5% of their playerbase. Yes, end game raids are a good carrot and stick to keep players playing but it has dominated the market I feel because most devs don't know anything else to do.

    Star Wars Galaxies in its pre-NGE era was widely successful without end game content looking more to player interaction to create the end game, much as EvE has done now. I just feel that there are many other areas of success that can be found in MMO design especially now that the pendulum is begun its swing away from the standard run instance 500 times for x item but only if you are the top 5% of players because otherwise you can't do it since we designed our boss fights that difficult. We used to game with people because we liked them and now a days we often group with people we can't stand simply because they can help us get that special uber drop.

    With a K&H bard I would like to see a lot of social interaction and benefit. DEX and CHA is a solid choice making them harder to hit and better with light weapons like daggers/rapiers and ranged weapons. Songs could buff resolution as I have seen vids of some of those huge boss fights and being 'feared' was always a concern in D&D. Crowd control was a fun aspect of bards in Everquest being able to put enemies to sleep while you dealt with others or perhaps to charm an enemy so that it will fight on your side for a little while.

  • True, but Blizzard also continues to innovate and try new ideas. Hate it or love it, it's hard to argue that the world quest system in Legion isn't successful and a fresh take on the entire daily quest/end game content system. Add in the upgrade mechanic and it's really a couple of great ideas merged together into a successful system.

    I'm just not sure how you walk the line between making an rp element engaging and useful without making it mandatory. For example, I could see Bards setting up camps within dungeons where they could set up checkpoints, buff up the group, or generally provide other useful effects to the group all wrapped up in some kind of bardish social rp thingy.

    But if you remove the tangible effects from those actions then it's just fluff and doesn't really serve a purpose. If you leave in the tangible, then it becomes part of the meta, right? So how do you make an rp element that is tangibly rewarding, enjoyable to partake in, but not mandatory?

    I remember playing a flashpoint in swtor and thinking how cool it was to partake in a story within a dungeon rather than just smashing my way through. But by the nth run I was so tired of waiting for others to experience that same system I enjoyed because it was old content for me. At what point do I not care about the lore you're telling me that I've heard before just to get a buff I need?

    I always used to wonder about this problem in the context of lockboxes in wow. I have 20 boxes on me I need opened. To open all 20 boxes will take me 63 steps. Ask in general for a rogue. Whisper the rogue and ask where they are. Go to the rogue. Request 20 trades. Drag 20 boxes. Click confirm 20 times. Now do that same function on an rp sever. Am I at 100 steps? 200? At what point should performing the mundane just be about performing the mundane and performing the rp be something fun? I totally get that mmos don't provide a lot of tools to make rp fun and engaging, but even the simple lockbox scenario is difficult to wrap in some fun and interesting rp thing that doesn't become repetitive and ultimately boring.

  • The usability of the Bard class has nothing to do with RP or not. Buffing and debuffing are important game mechanics that are currently missing. After the nerf to the cleric's wis buff and divine shield I hardly use them in groups since they disappear too quickly and are hard to aim correctly while in battle. I probably have died more often due to trying to cast DS on me and it disappearing almost instantly instead of just trying to heal myself.
    The lockbox example is not valid since you assume you would ask the rogue for every single box instead of asking him ' I have these 20 boxes. Would you please help me opening them?'
    RP is not something the game forces you to do, at best a game can provide tools and resources that allow players to RP. Just take a look at the Prancing Pony in Bree. There's no 'RP or Die' sign at the door - still there's a lot of rping going on there.
    As for the Bard - 15 min music (instrument) buffs and 10-30 sec ranged (bow/xbow) debuffs would be nice. Actually being able to override the default melodies with our own compositions would be cool.
    If RP is planned we should have a dedicated thread for that and not tie class and RP together in one thread.


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