Just to preface this review, I played for most of the Reborn Beta playing only Bard and would like to know others points of view of the class as well. You don’t have to go crazy like me, but just what you enjoyed, or what you didn’t, or both! Also if you disagree with something I said or feel like I made a mistake, feel free to let me know about it as well! Happy reading!
In this Bard guide/review I will mainly be going over all of the Bard’s orbs, my personal enjoyment, and it’s issues and my suggestions to fix them.
The 8 Orbs:
All of the orbs have the same pattern except:
(When Reborn comes out all the orbs are meant to have new patterns to learn, but for the beta they are mostly the same, except for these two)
A brief description of every orb, what it does, and what it is good for:
-Main single-target damage orb, sends out periodic bursts of damage.
-Use when fighting bosses if damage is needed or on your own.
-Crescendo is challenging to get used to, as the 5 orbs shot tend to lean left and right.
-Main AOE damage orb, as it deals damage over time to mobs nearby.
-Use when clearing groups of junk in a dungeon or raid boss 2-like ads.
-Crescendo is just one orb instead of five that acts just like the crescendo of the Justice Orb, so getting used to one helps with the other.
-Only healing source in the beta.
-Useful when on your own, but no need in raids as the musky will do most of the healing.
-Crescendo for the party and solo is the only visible benefit, as it does have the potential to heal 80% (20% of four peoples HP).
-Situational, protects from poisons and other DOTs decently.
-One thing to remember is the effect is a debuff that you put on the enemy, meaning you have to be close to the enemy for it to work, not the person debuffed.
-Useful against Desert Dungeon robots, spiders, and twinkle-toes (blue goat aberration)
-Crescendo is not as good as it sounds (music pun not intended), because of the time it takes to build up. Mage decurse would always be the better option and this would be used as, if anything, a plan B if the mage fails.
-An amazing orb to use when with a mage-heavy group, as it does not only increase wisdom, but also increases ultimate charge rate, which for mages is a huge plus.
-Useful on anything really, amazing orb!
-Crescendo is contradictory to the entire point of the orb, as mage ultimate casts instantly, which means ranger would be the only class to benefit from the duration increase. My thoughts are that they are going to release another wisdom-using DPS or even more duration-based ultimate classes.
-Another great, all-around orb with it’s stamina increases. Counters the teleport debuffs that came to reborn.
-Useful mostly in AOE fights, as everyone needs to have stamina to dodge.
-Crescendo is amazing for leashing mobs, or even just dodging multiple attacks with a complete stamina restore!
-Very good situational orb, as many mobs have projectiles.
-Again remember, this gives a debuff to the enemy, so effective use of this orb again means you have to be close to the enemy.
-Useful against the Witch (or any smaller Witch-looking mob) as there aren’t new projectiles in normal Orbus.
-Crescendo give a projectile shield on the battle-field, which is again situational, but may be better when we see exactly how many it projectiles it blocks (as it was not implemented in the beta).
-Was not implemented in the beta, but will most likely be the main healing orb along with gentle healing is there is no musky within the group.
Good Orb Combos:
-Justice, Harm, Gentle Healing. This was the main combination I used in the Reborn Beta, and for good reason! Gathering the crescendos of Justice and Harm before combat allows for tons of burst when walking into combat.
-Gentle Healing, Inspiration, Speed. This is your full buff combination, not used too often in the beta, although speed always helped with colossus for dodging the AOE’s. Speed can also be easily switched out for defense against the Witch rather than colossus.
Next, my personal enjoyment:
As a DPS main, playing solely Ranger, I did not expect any major new things to learn with the beta. I even had been saying for a while that I would not switch to a new class when reborn comes out. I could not have been more wrong. With the reborn beta beginning and ranger shooting backwards sometimes for no reason, I decided to try out the bard. Took maybe a level or two to understand what or if I was even doing anything, but then BAM! It all clicked (especially with the colored falling orbs patch), it made since what I was doing. Although the visuals are sometimes hard to understand (such as the orb crescendo visual glitch or the Justice orb’s periodic damage always veering to the right instead of actually heading to the target it’s damaging), once you get used to fixing small bugs and understand what is happening the class gets much more enjoyable. I was having a blast playing “Mary had a Little Lamb” to everyone I met, and helping different groups fight colossus. I also learnt more songs as I went along (even with only 5 notes). One thing that I do recommend if you do want to play this class, understand that for combat, unlike mage (where you can always get faster at casting your spells or in different orders), there is a skillcap for the bard (as the notes will always move at a certain speed and will follow a certain pattern). The only thing that I can see that doesn’t necessarily have a skillcap, is the changing between different orbs in combat. I will delve more into this topic in the next paragraph. Overall, the bard had a magnificent effect on me and got me excited for reborn in a whole new light. But along with most things it does still have it’s issues…
Issues with the Bard and how to fix them:
-Many people believe that the Bard’s skillcap is way too low for the class, which in the beta, I can agree with them. However when the actual game comes out and every orb has their own patterns, I feel the skillcap is going to boost automatically.
-The 5 notes given don’t allow the bard to play many actual tunes outside of combat. An easy fix to this is putting two more notes (one on either side of the instrument) to make a full chord. This not only fixes the out of combat problem, but also increases the in-combat skillcap by adding two new areas for the notes to fall on.
-Hit detection is a bit wonky when selecting which orbs to activate. For example when trying to activate a certain orb, I may turn off another orb I wanted on, or just turn on a different orb completely (turning off one of the ones I wanted on in the process).
-The Bard’s skillcap, although already increasing with the release and repolishing of reborn, should still increase the more you play the class. The best suggestion I’ve seen was written by Riley mentioning the activation of a fourth orb. I’m guessing this would be a talent at later levels, but this on it’s own would fix the skillcap issue and make the class more interesting within the end-game.
-The automatic combat bard music should be able to be turned to a lower volume or even completely muted by not only others, but also the bard player (as I feels that same music the entire time would get extremely repetitive).
The Bard is the class that, as of now, I plan to main in reborn. I wish to learn more songs to play out of combat for friends and foes alike, which the inclusion of more notes would help with tons. I hope the new orbs we get are going to be as good or even better than the ones we have currently and I am excited for the future. I do feel like more ‘2 notes at once’ hits should be included, as at the moment only one baton is required to play the class.
Thanks to anyone who read this and I hoped I helped you see the Bard class in a new light, understand it better, or just want to begin playing the class. Good luck in Reborn!