I didn’t use to. Back in the murky days I created what would have been a haggle bard. Just good enough to get to 20 and then it was going to turn stuff into plat. That was back when plat had value and there was a thriving market. That was also back when random items had no value (kinda like the post Shadowfells days when both plat AND random and most named items has no value).
So my bard turned into a mule. And there he remained until years later Turbine decided to get all ‘bards are cool’ and release a new enhancement (Swashbuckler) and redo two others. That made me curious. And I decided to invest some time in redoing my dusty Drow bard and see if I could make something out of it.
First – it’s clear that I don’t have enough gear to make it as well as I can, that’s alright. I barely had any tomes to give my Drow, especially now when tomes seems to be almost impossible to pull (remember that +2 loot the other weekend, the one that usually means that you pull a few tomes? Nah – cob web was more like it). But I can see a kernel of potential.
The thing with bards (and lets not pretend that I’m an expert) is that unlike some classes this one require a little bit of work to get into style. They’re not bad – but you probably should TR a few times for those additional ability points. Plus a couple of Sorc TRs (or whatever) adds evocation and it’s going to be useful with those new SLAs.
The reason why I like the changes is because the old bard was relegated to Buffing and weak in most other aspects. It was mainly crowd control with lukewarm DPS and no real offensive edge, either as a caster or skirmishers.
The new changes makes Spellsinger the caster type, Warchanter the caster fighter type and Swashbuckler the scrapper. And they’re okay with it. I like to combine Spellsinger and Swashbuckler and my idea is to run it on a draconic blue dragon destiny. That works well with Horns of thunder. Swashbuckler adds the in your face aspect of this bard build, with all the SLAs as additional damage. And most of the SLAs, like shout and horns of thunder hits for 500-1200 in damage. That’s pretty nice; the downside is that it’s a fairly short range, more like a cone. So getting close and dirty is a must to get the most out of those SLAs and that’s best achieved while stabbing something with a good weapon.
The benefit from this bard setup is a self sufficient caster skirmisher. With self healing, regeneration of SP, basic and essential buffs like blur and displacement along with whatever else is needed to get the most of the enhancement system and spells. This will work well with several items (at least in early epics) but less so towards cap. Like Sonic – the problem with this is that if you want to swashbuckle here’s nothing that works better than the chime from Canniths challenges. But it’s a Sonic lore 15% with 90 spell power deal. And while not bad certainly not the max at 28. You could add an augment, now you’re talking about 138 and better. Or you could tier 1 craft a thunderforged item and get 150. But then you’re giving up DPS, since you can only use weapon to get the benefit of Swashbuckling and there’s no sonic buckler or orb for late game stuff.
I’m opting for the libram anyways, but that also means saying goodbye some of the possibilities of a thunderforged orb. Such as using it for spell power and eventually tier 3 lore and perhaps Evocation DC for tier 2. That would go well with a all DPS type item like the citw rapier or a thunderforged one.
And that’s the basic dilemma. Give up Libram and additional lore crit and 11 charisma OR go for more sonic spell power and lore?
We’ll see, I’m only 24 yet and it’s going well, but I doubt it’s ready for EE. And that’s always the goal.