Bard 11-20 Leveling
You made it
in a blaze of speed to level 10! And now you get even MORE
speed! Levels 11-20 have a lot to look forward to, but now what you
really need to concentrate on are your tactics and songs. You will also
need to learn about group dynamics, because you are not meant to solo.
That is not to say that you cannot solo, but you are most effective in
a group.Groups also give you valuable and much needed buffs, and of
course your healers are going to be crucial to your success. Although
bards are considered offensive fighters, and can wear medium armor and
use medium weapons, the fact is, we are not major damage dealers. Don't
imagine you will be doing 2000 damage on an epic hit. You are a steady
damage dealer, but nothing eye-popping. Your strengths lie elswhere.
Ok, lutes tuned, drums a'rolling?? Let's go!
First, you want to look at your songs and also make sure you have
updated and upgraded all your weapons, armor and abilities. Your
instruments really don't change at this time. Unless you actually
want to stand in back and equip a horn or lute or flute instead of
weapons, then you will have to accept that your damage songs will not
be maximized. At this time, all instruments are two-handed; thus, you
must unequip your weapons to use. Obviously, for your speed/run song,
you don't need a weapon and would equip your drum, as always. I have
implemented using a lute while group buffing during my ranged attack,
but I see very little benefit thus far.
If you use macros (check out href="http://vanguard.tentonhammer.com/index.php?module=ContentExpress&func=display&ceid=496">Xeldar's
Hotkeys for Dummies) , it is extremely important to make sure
updated them, and continue to do so each time you get new stuff. Using
a /wear macro that equips a copper shortsword, when you are actually
using a snapjaw's tooth, will leave you fighting with bare fists, and
dying a lot.
Another interesting upgrade is to your bow. No matter
what, try to keep your bow damage as high as you possibly can,
including upgrading the arrows/bolts when allowed because you will be
doing a LOT of kiting (see Grimore's href="http://vanguard.tentonhammer.com/index.php?module=ContentExpress&func=display&ceid=569">Kiting
101 for a few basics that apply even to Bards), and your
initial damage should always
be a ranged pull. In many
cases, your ranged damage will exceed that of any of your other normal
specials. If you are at max range, you can generally get in two shots,
and if you keep running backwards, kiting, maybe even 3. After your
ranged attack, you will then use Eaon's Blasting Bellow. If you seem to
be having a little trouble, you can snare your target and back up for
another shot. But if you are really going down fast, the same holds
true as for levels 1-10. RUN AWAY.
New Songs, Components and
Requiem of War: Increases
the damage of all attacks made by you or your allies.
Weirlaun's Long rest: A
that reduces your song cost by 5 ( be sure to re-do your songs
that might need this!)
opponent, reducing its hatred of you by 30%
Raises your chance to
parry incoming attacks for 60 seconds or until you parry. The
only point in using Fence is to gain the ability to to use your Echoing
Azriel's Assonance of
Deals arcane DoT. Yes, your first DoT Song! Be sure to use it.
Briel's Lyric of
mad skillz of Safe Fall. You and your group can fall safely from ANY
Swirl of the Tempest I:
is your first and only AoE attack at this point. Use it wisely.
Upgrades to current specials include style="font-style: italic;">Echoing
Cut II, Razor Parts Silk II and Humming Blade II.
style="font-weight: bold;">More upgrades to our
repetoire are Eaon's
Blasting Bellow II, Hinder II,
Hewing the Mountain II, Striking the Mountain III, Sever the Tie III,
Razor Parts Silk III and Humming Blade III.
Note: Sever the Tie III will be your most used special. Sadly, you do
not get any new melee damage specials until level 24, so get used to
what you have and maximize their use, according to endurance costs, as
best as you can.
Split the Clouds I:
chain, AoE, that inflicts melee damage plus 126 to all opponents within
Suann's Call of Slumber:
your opponent to sleep, preventing it from assisting nearby allies for
New Songs and Components
Suann's Entrancing Trill
This is your mezz! Use it, love it! Stop an opponent in their tracks
for 18 seconds or one hit. Best when used upon a second opponent, while
you smack down the first.
Asilam's Lament of the
Finally, underwater breathing, for when you jump off those high cliffs
into the ocean, or just teleport into Khal's bay.
Hazoc's Harmony of Haste:
Increases the attack speed of you and your allies by 8-10%. VOICE.
This is great because you don't need an instrument to maximize the use
of this melody.
You also get several new choruses, embellishments, lyrics and another
rest. Be sure to play with these, because song composition is very
personal. I suggest you go to an area with mobs at least 3 levels below
you, in order to test out what works for you. An important thing to
note is that it is not always essential to get your song costs to 0.
Unless your song is costing you 11 energy per second, the chance of
running out of energy is nearly non-existent, even using Humming Blade.
Your greatest concern will always be Endurance, since that is currently
and lamentably, fixed at 100.
So now that you know your tools and songs, it is time to figure out how
Again, grouping is your best option, but failing that, at least try to
score a few buffs before wandering out into the wilds. Otherwise you
will really need to level in an area much lower level than you. It is
also important to note whom you are fighting against. I cannot
emphasize enough how the amount of dots a mob has next to its name
will affect you. While other classes will brag about being able to solo
3 yellow dots, chances are you cannot. As stated previously, your
ranged attack is your first move and best friend. Then Eaon's Blasting
Bellow. I would not use Calming Lullaby, as it is more geared towards
protecting a clothie. You will want to use Razor Silk or Thread the
Needle as often as possible, to trigger your crits. Then slap in a
finisher. You have to make sure you have enough Endurance left for the
finisher though, so don't be spamming. Set up a couple of
to trigger your finishers when you hear or see the chain effect. And
always have your speed song macro ready to trigger if you get
overpowered. Be VERY careful about your AoE because you simply can't
handle more than 2 mobs, and in some cases, barely one, when soloing.
At this level, Careen of the Cunning is your best combat form, although
again, you might want to play around with that. I have two seperate
damage songs that I play: one that uses a bit less endurance but gives
consistent damage and melee speed for the long haul fight, and one that
triggers when I use a finisher and maximizes overall damage.
Actually grouping is not a lot different from soloing, except that you
don't generally need to run away if there is a good Shaman or other
type in your group. You will also want to keep an eye on your clothies,
and use your lullaby or mezz if the mob aggroes them.You do not get a
Charm until Level 24. While you can play the main tank, it is suggested
that you slip into off tank. Using an assist macro will enable you to
use Hinder effectively. You can use your ranged to pull if the group
wishes. Try to trigger your crit hits as often as you can, and feel a
bit freer to use your AoE. I use a group buff song while I do my ranged
attack to allow tanks and casters to get in a strong first hit, with
less mana used by the clothies. This lets them heal more, too. I then
switch to my damage songs, the same as when solo. I also have a
healing/buffing song set up to play should we need it after a fight. I
have a shielding song set up, but thus far, have seen very little
positive reasons to use it in a group with healers.
All in all, playing a Bard can be fun and rewarding. The key is to find
the right places to level, where you won't be overwhelmed, should you
be soloing. Once you hit 16, the Jin-ka forest in Kojan is an excellent
place for loot and XP in a group. Of course, there will always be those
of you who want to solo, and I wish you luck, but the game,
particularly for Bards, is really geared towards grouping. You will
find that even with one other person (preferably a healer/damage
dealer) you will progress a lot faster, as well as more safely. Load up
on gear and weapons that increase your DEX, vitality and strength. Also
sure to upgrade your training as often as possible, and as always,
remember that if you must, RUN!
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