Are We Bards Awesome, Or Just Stagnating?

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2010-09-08
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Are We Bards Awesome, or just Stagnating?
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 Quetzalcoatl.Morari
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By Quetzalcoatl.Morari 2013-06-17 14:00:14
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SE has designed SoA around the concept of tiered growth. Essentially because they aren't raising the level cap, character growth has been transferred directly to the aquisition of new gear. So instead of leveling from 99 to 100 etc, we're transitioning from (Late)Abyssea-Voidwatch-Legion gear to Bayld gear, to Skirmish gear, then to Wildskeeper gear etc.

This is mindset is part of the reasoning why the current dev team wanted to leave REMs where they were, supplanting them with new weapons with every new tier level of content. Whether or not that was a wise decision on the Dev's part initially, now they're making a way to make REM tier the same way, bringing them stats to match level 120 gear. (Probably in about 3 or 4 jumps rather than the multiple jumps that the Magians gave us).

But here's my concern: Even if we leave the REM updates out of the equation (since really we have to) almost every other job can get better. If we do factor them in, it becomes even more apparent. Since g'horn and d'harp have been left out of this update, does SE think that bards are already fully capable of +20 level content as is?

Then I thought about it: what could SE really do to the horn/harp to much us better? Most melee jobs have a dozen or more different stats (and their derivatives) to juggle to maximize battle efficiency - Haste, STR, TP gain, -PDT, combat skill levels, etc etc etc. Magic dealing jobs have their own way of min-maxing with INT, and refresh gear, MAB gear, etc.

We bards are so awesome, that apparently we're at the top of our game, here and now. With the exception of Scherzo, we don't have to worry about skill levels. Our songs are already at cap, and there's nothing we can do that would make them /better/.

Song duration and song recast stuff is mainly for convenience and not all that needed. Our AF3+2 already gives additional stat buffs and is an improvement (although a remarkably small one in the scheme of things).

My linkshell was talking about it the other day, and we only came up with Magic Accuracy being the only real stat relevant to bards anymore. (Though Orvail pants and fast cast snuck into the conversation at the last moment.)

Has it always been like this with bards "sitting at the top", or am I imagining things? Are we actually already fully capable of our roles and duties in level 20 content already? FFXI has always been about getting new gear, and *now* there's no tangible reason for bards to strive for much. After you get your harp/horn, your AF3+2, your 3(maybe 4) pieces of Marduk+1, and those few pieces of Adoulin gear that are helpful but not at all needed, there's not much left. Okay, other than working on our mythic dagger.

At least in the context of gear, there's really not much that Adoulin offers us that would make us "better" is there? Except for those Macc earrings, I've met all my Adoulin gear goals for bard.

(While I can picture that white mages and possibly red mages and scholars have the same issue, it seems more pronounced for bards. RDM and SCH have delve gear worth getting and leveling up for MAB if I understand correctly.)

Okay, since g'horn has been left out of the (soon?)coming REM updates, how does SE expect us bards to become more relevant? Or do they already think of bards as already fully capable of level 20 content as is? If that's so, then doesn't bard have a huge potential to just become more of the boring same? Melee songs on melee, ballad on mages, debuffs on mobs.


Note: I wrote this up a few days ago, and now with the information that SE is working on Adoulin JSE gear, we may see that tangible boost to bards that I was worried couldn't happen. But it's still a valid issue I would think.
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By macsdf1 2013-06-17 14:04:50
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You get more cha and magic acc stuff so you can actually land debuffs on mega bosses, just like any other mage.
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By krish 2013-06-17 14:08:05
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Behold! The best bard item from this update: Orvail pants.
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 Odin.Sawtelle
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By Odin.Sawtelle 2013-06-17 14:21:54
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SE wants you to be DDs.
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 Valefor.Philemon
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By Valefor.Philemon 2013-06-19 14:43:21
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Yeah there's only so much we can get at this point. I'd like another march that would allow us to cap haste with that and haste spell. Until Delve I never really saw the need for another madrigal but now I really want one. Same thing with minuets. An elegy would be nice but the spell has lost most of the luster it once had when you actually cared about how fast mobs attacked.

Really I think it's the same issue affecting all mage jobs. We're level 99 now, so we wouldn't get new spells through leveling like we did from 76-99. New melee weapons are coming out that allow melee to continue progressing, but magic damage and support are not getting buffed on the same scale (elemental magic adjustment notwithstanding). Are we going to get new spells? Are old spells going to be buffed up? Or, more likely, is it just going to be more of the same?
 Fenrir.Sigfreid
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By Fenrir.Sigfreid 2013-06-20 07:08:43
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Valefor.Philemon said: »
Yeah there's only so much we can get at this point. I'd like another march that would allow us to cap haste with that and haste spell.
I remember reading on the official SE forums that they are planning a 3rd March song, how that would work or even if it'll happen, we'll just have to wait and see....

But a halfassed answer to the topic, Bard is fecking amazing and we get even more amazing when surrounded by fairly decent LOLDDs..... ;P
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By nephilipitou 2013-09-16 18:06:44
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whether or not Bards are just awesome or stagnating will really depend on SE.

If they give us nuking songs that would be an awesomely amazing new game changer. Especially with staves like the one from Rala augmented and boosted with Yorcia. Would bring a whole new dynamic to Bard.

However we do still have access to many thief and dancer daggers. That's not bad at all.

Really it comes down to the devs when they make the AF upgradable to item level 109. If they give us enough song duration + to make relic empy past the 10 minute mark, and put some melee stats well... that's what they want us to do.

If they pull an Empyrean on us and only give us INT and MND for the most part, then we know we're just a support.
 Lakshmi.Konvict
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By Lakshmi.Konvict 2013-09-16 18:11:34
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bard is a mule's job
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 Carbuncle.Xenhas
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By Carbuncle.Xenhas 2013-09-16 18:55:26
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Make bard more relevant? Bard has marches. Bard is always relevant.
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 Carbuncle.Anesthesia
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By Carbuncle.Anesthesia 2013-09-18 03:29:25
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When your job improves the damage output of other jobs by a fixed multiplier, you tend to automatically keep up with changes in damage output i.e. 300dps * 1.40 = 420, 2400dps * 1.40 = 3360

You could call it stagnation, or you could call it timeless, it depends on perspective I suppose
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 Asura.Sechs
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By Asura.Sechs 2013-09-18 04:43:15
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Quetzalcoatl.Morari said: »
Has it always been like this with bards "sitting at the top", or am I imagining things?
Dunno what you really meant, but if I got you right, it's kinda something that started after they raised the cap from 75, and slowly got there patch after patch.

Aside from the core concepts of the job (there are those who find it boring, those who like it) the problems I see in BRD atm are:


1) Daurdabla is perhaps too good. Having an item that allows you to be the sum of two of your jobs is a bit overpowered. Think about an Empyreal monk who does exactely twice the damage of an Oaxitur MNK. The side consequence of this overpoweredness is that such an item (at least in the lv90 version) became kinda mandatory for each BRD to have if they want to be considered for their job. Of course, from a developer point of view, this is an "error" that you cannot easily fix. Can't really suddenly nerf Daurdabla, can you?

2) Aside from Scherzo and Nocturne all we got since the cap was raised are new tiers of old songs, most of which have a debateable utility. There's no need to make BRD the ultimate BUFF machine, but considering they can't do damage or anything else, at least one new category of useful buff would have been nice

3) BRD is based around the concept of song tiers. Which mean songs give a static amount of a certain stat with a certain cap. If you want to do more, you'll have to use a higher tier.
Other buffing class mostly have scaling buffs. I.e. a single tier which automatically adapts itself with the standards.
This doesn't happen for BRD. The relevance of giving +50 attack 2 years ago was way bigger than giving +50 attack nowadays.

4) Skill doesn't matter anymore, we cap everything except Scherzo




I don't see a possible solution for problem 1), we'll just have to live with it. Or they could release an easy-to-obtain item that gives you the same bonus as a level90 Daurdabla, uhngh... could be a compromise I suppose.
Solution to 2) is easy, just give BRD a new category of buff or debuff, or adjust the ratio of some of the old ones to make them more useful.
As for 3) they could just add a couple of new tiers here and there, but I'm not sure this would solve things. Afraid BRD will just have to live with its static values.
Number 4 would be tricky to solve. They could either raise the caps, or change the ratio at which you reach the current cap (requiring much more skill to give the same bonuses) or just make so Skill over cap still has a certain relevance, like slightly increasing duration in tiers?
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 Lakshmi.Amymy
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By Lakshmi.Amymy 2014-10-08 17:30:16
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With the recent update to geo (entrust) what's bards future? Asking before I finish daurabla 99.
 Asura.Loire
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By Asura.Loire 2014-10-08 17:55:34
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Lakshmi.Amymy said: »
With the recent update to geo (entrust) what's bards future? Asking before I finish daurabla 99.
You sing songs.
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 Bismarck.Ariyon
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By Bismarck.Ariyon 2014-10-08 18:01:01
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Makes me snicker now when BRDs start questioning whether they're becoming obsolete. GEO may have some insane buffs/debuffs, but we're restricted to two (three with Entrust, but only a third of the time) versus a fully geared BRD which can put out what, four songs excluding anything done with Pianissimo? Yeah, BRD's not going anywhere any time soon.
 Leviathan.Kaparu
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By Leviathan.Kaparu 2014-10-08 18:01:02
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People still seem to prefer BRDs for some bizarre reason, so I wouldn't be terribly concerned
 Asura.Highwynn
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By Asura.Highwynn 2014-10-08 18:12:32
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Having buffs not tied to MP or a 5 min recast is a huge boom. Brds wont be going anywhere.
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 Odin.Calipso
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By Odin.Calipso 2014-10-08 18:17:52
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Unless they add a job that can do all of magic haste, accuracy and/or attack, as well as stuff like racc, carols, scherzo, etc, at the same time, all while providing huge refresh, with no mp penalty and almost no recast time... brd isn't going anywhere :x
 Leviathan.Kaparu
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By Leviathan.Kaparu 2014-10-08 18:22:26
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May as well toss Pastoral in there too, as long as we're listing things that are almost always irrelevant

Being able to split your buffs is nifty and all, but hardly ever necessary
 Lakshmi.Feint
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By Lakshmi.Feint 2014-10-08 18:23:20
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Leviathan.Kaparu said: »
May as well toss Pastoral in there too, as long as we're listing things that are almost always irrelevant

Being able to split your buffs is nifty and all, but hardly ever necessary
:o
 Leviathan.Kaparu
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By Leviathan.Kaparu 2014-10-08 18:26:55
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Don't you dare, Feint. Don't you dare
 Bismarck.Ariyon
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By Bismarck.Ariyon 2014-10-08 18:28:55
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 Lakshmi.Feint
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By Lakshmi.Feint 2014-10-08 18:32:18
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Why no sexy?
 Asura.Failaras
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By Asura.Failaras 2014-10-08 18:32:55
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I still like a single bard to handle Marchx2 and Ballads, it really depends on the event and how useful a 4th Geo spell is going to be, or a 6th if you are already taking 2 Geos. For instance if you are already running Yorcia with 2 Geos, sure you can bring a Geo over a Brd for Indi-Haste but the 6th spell won't likely be very useful as you already have Fury/Frailty/Attune/Vex covered with options to add in Torpor and such with entrust.
 Leviathan.Kaparu
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By Leviathan.Kaparu 2014-10-08 18:37:51
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Mostly my point- in all but extreme cases, it's entirely down to preference. There's very rarely an advantage to being able to do twenty different songs on five people

And for as often as ballad is cited as boon, it's rarely mentioned that single-buffer situations seldom strain for MP, and that multi-buffer situations allow for Geo/Indi-Refresh to no detriment
 Asura.Failaras
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By Asura.Failaras 2014-10-08 18:57:37
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I think people understand that when the Whm is playing correctly ballads shouldn't be a very big deal, but god knows most Whms suck and it helps to make it so that they at least can't run out of MP to eliminate one of the ways they can suck even more.
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 Lakshmi.Amymy
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By Lakshmi.Amymy 2014-10-08 18:58:26
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Only asking because daurabla 99 is almost done. To 99 daurabla or not to 99.
 Odin.Jassik
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By Odin.Jassik 2014-10-08 19:04:42
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Lakshmi.Amymy said: »
Only asking because daurabla 99 is almost done. To 99 daurabla or not to 99.

Besides selling all the items and making a yagrush, what else is going to consistently get you invited that a 4 song BRD? GEO is useful, but BRD is a universally powerful and wanted buffer.
 Lakshmi.Amymy
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By Lakshmi.Amymy 2014-10-08 20:10:20
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making geo ergon weapon. =D

jkjk I will finish my mission.
 Bismarck.Ariyon
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By Bismarck.Ariyon 2014-10-08 20:31:46
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Odin.Jassik said: »
GEO is useful, but BRD is a universally powerful and wanted buffer.
They've both got their ups and downs really. GEO's debuffs can't be resisted (provided what you're fighting isn't outright immune to it), but our biggest liabilities are the fact that luopans cost a ridiculous amount of MP and have to be constantly recast due to roving groups/AoE spam, or having to stand right next to the mob with an Indi- debuff which sponges extra MP because now you're being cured every time an AoE hits.

BRDs have the option of applying more buffs and being able to stand back a safe distance, but their biggest liability (and really the only one I can think of offhand) is having to worry about songs being dispelled, whereas GEO buffs can't be.
 Leviathan.Kaparu
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By Leviathan.Kaparu 2014-10-08 20:38:24
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Being in range is a boon, not a detriment. You're increasing the MP return of curaga

BRDs greatest liability is being generally weaker than GEO. Frailty is still more powerful than anything BRD can do, and is more than capable of making up for any attack lost in light of having to change food/equipment to accommodate for the absence of madrigal
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