Following up on Slice’s post on why he wants to be a pretty Blood Elf Bard, I decided to give my own post instead of filling his comments section with my inane ramblings.
After the April Fool’s Joke of what…2008, when they told us there would be Bard’s introduced people have gone crazy over it. People believed that this would be primarily a support role if it ever existed. Blizzard has done a pretty good job of making three unique trees for their classes, sure the lines get a little blurry for some classes that are pure DPS (warriors, rogues, DKs, warlocks) and some could argue they are pretty similar, but they still manage to feel different.
So what about a bard? How do you make it unique and give it talent trees? In my opinion you use it as support and for the “catch-all” for the classes that aren’t in the game that people want to see. Hang with me here… I suggest the three talent trees be Ranged Physical DPS, Melee Physical DPS, and Support buffing and healing.
Since all classes need to have DPS specs, make two of them fill that role. The first is ranged physical DPS, the Ranger tree if you will. Ranged weapons, hunters horn, NO PET. Almost like a survival hunter, without the annoying pet. Still provides some buff via the hunter’s horn or hunters call type abilities and perhaps some magical damage as well. Agility as a primary stat.
Melee physical DPS is basically a Brewmaster. Bards hang out in Taverns, and probably are pretty good at using their fists! Kapow! So here it’s dual weilding one-handed swords, axes, or daggers, similar to combat rogues (NO STEALTH), but providing buffs using KEGS of beer to inspire your party members! Perhaps some short ranged explosives as well. Agility as a primary stat.
Lastly, the support healing role. The trick here is really do you select the DPS or healer button when clicking LFG? They either have to have enough healing to keep up a 5-man group, or they must have enough DPS to hold their own. Where the other two Bard talent trees would be purely DPS type specs, this support role is also DPS, except DPS boosting, not DPS of your own. So I’m going to go with DPS again for the final spec. But not solo DPS, group DPS. That is what support is about anyways right? So let’s say normally you would have 2 DPS each doing…I dunno 14k DPS. Maybe this support bard only does 6k DPS on his own, but to make up for the lower DPS he can increase the DPS of the other two by 3-4k (30% more DPS). 14 + 14 + 14 = 42k DPS and 18+ 18 + 6 = 42k DPS! Look at that, a match!
The idea here is that the bard would use songs and temporary charms or enchants to inspire his mates to be able to increase their DPS for the lack of his own. Maybe actually he has less DPS than that normally and only does DPS when not enhancing others. It’s basically like using cooldowns ON other people–think Power Infusion or Hysteria! I think it would work. If each buff was short enough duration, you’d basically need to keep them refreshed on your party. Maybe you have a buff that increases haste for 8 seconds by 10%, stacks 3 times, say it’s a 1.5 second cast time. You’ll basically need to keep rolling that spell on your compadres to give them the boost. Okay, that might be a terrible example of times, maybe that’s too short, too many stacks, but you get the idea where I’m going here. Maybe somethings boosts healing by 15% for the next 12 seconds you can use it on your healer. Something to reduce incoming damage for tanks…you see where I’m going. But how to regulate it. Well a bard is going to be thirsty after all that singing…maybe a DK rune type system to limit how often these spells are cast only instead of runes use beer. Ha!
Anyways, I think it could be viable, during downtime they can add some of their own DPS, but mostly their damage would be indirect damage by increasing that of others. In a raid environment the limitation would come on how many people you can buff at the same time since they all have short durations. This would prevent it from being overpowered and increasing the whole raid DPS by 30%…you know except for maybe a MEGA SONG OF EPIC LYRICS cooldown.
Anyways, it’s a thought. Some of the other trees would have those abilities but nothing like the support tree, where singing Slice would woo you with lyrics of epicness.