Relooking at Bard Healing

So…I’ve been playing Bard as my main since Reborn launched. I love the class and will run end game content with it whenever I can, but Bard is so underwhelming compared to Musketeer that even my own Fellowship, knowing that it’s my main healing class, requests me to play Musketeer over Bard on 15 Shards.

Below is the result of my testing with +6 Bard Mallets, and +5 Musket.

The green cells denote the ability to heal multiple allies at once. Numbers in parentheses are cooldown times. According to the numbers I pulled from the combat log, even though I’m using a weaker Musket, Musketeer is out healing the Bard per second on Renew and Turret, along with having the ability to bounce Cure Wounds to the entire party.

Bard does have a higher Cure (assuming the difference in +5/+6 doesn’t outdo the 13% difference), and although there’s an extra second in recharge time and the crescendos take longer to reach allies than the Musket orbs, I feel that’s justified considering you can’t miss with Crescendo heals.

While I haven’t gotten clear numbers/results for Shield Orb vs Song Shield, it’s worth noting that Shield Orb from Musketeer has an 8 second cooldown whereas Song Shield only goes off when using Crescendos, again causing longer cooldowns for Bard.

Now, in order to try and make up for far less healing, I’ve looked a LOT at Encore, hoping it’d greatly increase the amount of healing Bard puts out. I did testing regarding how long it takes to get 100 Empowered Notes while running Cure Wounds, Gentle Healing, and Harm (my most used combo with Empower)

I tried to decrease the amount of time between Empowered Notes by increasing different stats, but so far testing isn’t promising (Although Luck may be doing something, I’ll be running more when I have the time) Using those numbers (and rounding to one Empowered Note per 5 seconds to give benefit of the doubt to the game), I calculated how much time it would save per Crescendo.

On average, Bards will save anywhere from 1 to 1.6 seconds on Crescendos for healing. However, if you hold that crescendo and don’t use it for 1 to 1.6 seconds, Encore as a whole is being wasted. On top of this, due to the fact that each Empowered Note counts as 1.5 notes, if you get an odd number of Empowered Notes during a Crescendo buildup, Encore is being wasted. The worst part, however, is that using Encore, your Healer is relying on RNG to get heals up.

Using your level 30 talent to save, on average, one second and possibly even losing that benefit, while relying on RNG to give you that and still possibly losing the benefit if you get an odd number of Empowered Notes is making it hard for me to justify it to people asking me about playing Bard. If it were up to me, and this may be a bit radical, I’d like to see Encore changed to make Crescendos require 8 notes instead of the 12. This would bring more healing to the class, eliminate the RNG aspect of Encore, and be far more reliable.

I understand that Bard is more support oriented rather than pure healing, but with the disparity here it’s hard to justify bringing a Bard into later game content. While it’s possible there are others out there, I’m only aware of one other player who routinely plays Bard in level 15 Shards. Compare this to the spread of the other classes for other roles: There are plenty of Warrior and Paladins end game, as well as all the DPS classes. Bard is the only one that appears to have a lack of players at the top tier content. I’m also nowhere near as good at math as I’d like to be, so if my numbers are off anywhere, I’m more than happy to recalculate.

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I 100% think the class needs a buff everything that the bard can do musket can pretty much do better overall bard has some things that are better but then you look at what musket does better and its just so much different I think as a bard buff the cure wounds instrument everytime you hit the note its almost like the pulse but now its not an overtime and one big heal

2 Likes

For healing, yes.

The Bard gets:
Cure Wounds: Increasing Healing done (great with Warrior tank with the Chorus talent |EDIT| Nope, it’s no better.) and a burst heal
Gentle Healing: Your bread and butter, 3 second tick AOE heal.
Speed: Increases Stamina Recovery, great for raid bosses and Fatigued shards.
Inspiration: Only great for Rangers and Warriors (Mage, Shaman, and Scoundrel Ults aren’t worth sacrificing damage over)
Defense/Protection: Passives not working, I believe through testing that it’s supposed to be 5% decrease in damage, which isn’t enough to justify using, especially late game.
Harm: Nice.
Justice: Super interrupt. Great.

So Bard gets interrupts and Speed, and Wisdom charge for the people that really want it. Again, I LOVE Bard and will continue to play it as my main Healer, but I don’t blame people for wanting Musketeer instead when Bard heals are so lacking currently.

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Agreed. the bard has alot, but sometimes its not enough. I often feel like theres trades youre making as a bard comapred to musky, but said things you arent as good at arent in trade for something better. Not to mention crucial parts of bard not even working, and the 5min CD debuff on bards ult. Like if you do nothing else, ill take no cooldown on bard ulti

I second that, would love to play bard more. Yet Bard is fine if, and only if, you go with the handful tanks in the game which need only a fraction of the healing all others do or none at all even (then Bard is an awesome groupheal on higher shards with alot of mutations etc.).

As for support, I don’t see bard supporting much, it can’t even properly shield - vital for some bossfights like temple last - or resurrect, for example, several of the support-instrument are neglectible compared with these 2 musky-skills.

Also the talent to play 4 instruments is dropped by most because you really need to charge both your heals as fast as possible to keep the tank alive, that leaves one single spot for a support-instrument, not even to speak of the dull super-cd of 5mins which barely any other class suffers from.

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Due to the RNG nature of Encore, it doesn’t always become faster either. That’s why I’d like to see it changed to requiring instruments to get 8 or 9 notes for crescendo instead of the current 12. Having your healer rely on RNG to get heals up is not ideal.

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I don’t see any data though proving the necessity of a musky healer to do shards with a good or bad tank instead of bard. Or any prove that it makes the dungeon easier with a musky.

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I’m not trying to prove that Muskets are required over Bards. I’m showing that the healing disparity between Bards and Musketeers is so great that it should be looked at again.

Regarding dungeons being easier with Musketeer, the shielding downtime and sheer healing output of the Musketeer makes Bard pale in comparison. This safety makes a world of difference. As a Musketeer, if Tank does something wrong, you are almost always prepared to do something about it (even if it doesn’t work, you can at least shoot a Shield, or Cure Wounds, or something). As Bard, you aren’t equipped to help much. You’ve got your 3 second tick Heal, and two crescendos to deal with everything. Our shielding only happens if we have Song Shield talent and use our Crescendos, which means you shield only when you’re healed. While yes, I and unnamed amazing other Bard can run Bard at higher levels, look at the amount of Bards vs Musketeers at end game.

All I’m trying to do is show that Bard healing is much, MUCH, in need of some help.

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Also wanted to show that Encore should be relooked at as well, since having a Healer rely on RNG to get heals up on time isn’t ideal. Still currently testing to see exactly how much of a difference it makes on average not just with calculating numbers, but actually running the instruments and timing them.

The encore thing which was the initial thing of this post is indeed flawed and should be looked at.

Out of our experience without any scientific backup having a musket on hot foot means move. Having a bard with hot foot means you can stand still (for dps). That is already indicating for me that a bard his heal power is not shitier in that situation at-least when I compare it with all muskies I played enough with. Again no science just feeling and personal experience. Just like all other posts about it :sweat_smile:

We can start to call out situations where bard or musky would be the better healer back and forth and you will probably see it being situation specific for both classes who will win.

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There are definitely times when Bard is preferred. Hot Foot, like you said (although see note below), and Raid Boss 2 in particular come to mind. I also prefer Barding on Raid Boss 3 over Musket due to group healing.

However, the two issues for me are
1: Encore, which we agree on needing an overhaul
2: Bard’s healing just being hopelessly outdone by Musketeer. With my numbers being pulled from a +5 Musket vs +6 Bard Mallets, Musket can get 3.5x the healing of Bard easily. Just Renew (which you can bounce to entire party) or the Turret alone outdoes the Bard heals per second, and considering that Musket also gets Shield Orb, Lifewell, and a bouncing Cure Wounds, the numbers are heavily skewed.

I do want to point out that on Hotfoot, two of our Musketeers in Elysium can deal with it just as easily as me Barding. I don’t know how they do it, but Hotfoot isn’t too much an issue there. I still prefer to Bard though, and when Golden Egg comes back, I still prefer to Bard on that!

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The way that you ultimately heal hot foot on musket is making sure that everyone is in bounce heal range. Whether that is through bouncing off turret or enemies it makes it easy to keep everyone alive. I would also like to note that our rangers normally move while shooting so while they are not in bounce range I can easily give them a lifewell if they need it.

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What exactly do you mean with “bounce heal” though? Your renew-charged turret or the charged shot (on turret or mobs) itself?

I agree that it’s not a major problem healing out hot foot (I normally do that for mages who don’t want or should move; everyone else actually got time to do so without dmg loss!). However, it still all comes down to the tank - if he needs a turret on him, desperately, it’s a bad idea to focus on group-heal, be it walkin back into ranger-range - and it could be a great distance if they care for their 40m - to charge-shot the turret or be it to let the turret do its thing (spreading renew) and without reaching the tank then; lifewell is also an option but none to keep up 100% of the time, so with several non-moving rangers in the group this alone would not work out.

If people are not standing close enough to the monsters that the tank is holding agro on I will put my turret at a mid point between the tank and dps and bounce regen and cure wounds on it while bouncing shield off of the enemies closest to tank. Because of this if I have to I can teleport out real fast to bounce a cure wounds or regen off my turret I move on a ranger or mage that is staying farther away and only lose maybe 1 or 2 direct heals from the turret to the tank while I move it back real fast.

In essence charge shotting the healing orbs (or any orb) has a specific aoe to them from the point of origin and if I move my turret to be closer to ranged dps I can move the aoe point of origin that the heal bounces from.

Yah ok so the charged shot spreads you meant, just wasn’t familiar with the term ‘bounces’… i’m a musky as well :wink: (and group heal via relocating turret quickly is sure fine in situations where a tank easily survives those 1-2 missing turret ticks… alas some tanks, in some situations, might not).

Testing out Song Shield vs Musketeer Shield Orb today. Against a small mob, I went from 6250 damage taken per hit to 0 damage per hit. To test the extent to which Bard Song Shield will mitigate, I went to the Wastelands with Traffic Cone, me as Bard, him as Musketeer. We took multiple smashes from the same mob. We took them with no shielding, and with Bard shielding, to find that Bard Song Shield, with my +6 Mallets, shielded a consistent 6367 damage. When we tested with Musketeer’s Shield Orb, we took 0 damage.

To test how much Shield Orb will mitigate, we went to Treesus (Bjorn, the Highsteppe World Boss), and took smashes with no shielding, and smashes with a Shield Orb from Musketeer. The Shield Orb mitigated 49,957 damage.

With Shield Orb coming up every 8 seconds, and Song Shield only coming with Crescendos (13-18 seconds average), there again appears to be a huge disparity between support there.

At this point, it’s not even worth arguing that Bard is a good choice over Musketeer. Bard is just getting shafted :frowning: I get that Song Shield is just a Talent that you can choose not to take (in which case you get 5% damage buff to the entire party, which Musketeer’s Weakness orb can do with 100% uptime), but there’s currently no shielding abilities on Bard that are viable for end game. I’m still going to play it, but Upbeat is broken, Protection and Defense Instruments don’t work (and in PvP actually increase damage taken), Song Shield will only block the amount of damage that an overworld single mob does in one hit, the healing is less than a third of Musketeer’s, and the Ultimate is capped at once per five minutes.shield testing

Again, if anybody has any testing that shows different data, I’m more than happy to edit my statements. I just want knowledge about Bard class, and right now, the knowledge isn’t favorable for the class.

4 Likes

Just to repost something I posted in another thread that would be far more appropriate here.

Musk has faster heals (the bard heals are slow and chase the person they are after if they teleport. Furthermore if you use a crescendo and a person teleports they take an INSANELY long time to chase after them after reacquiring the target). If you are talking about the pulse healing from the bard the turret has the exact same results. Musk can splash heals off a mob or the turret or shoot at the ground near a group and they reach that point VERY fast. The Musk can also re-apply the 5% damage buff before it drops. So the bard lost its advantage a long time ago. I wouldn’t want Musk to be debuffed at all as I pushed hard for one of my fave classes to be upgraded appropriately. But I feel the bard, a class I moved over too due to love of music and at the time its bonus has lost any of the advantages it had. Crachendos vs 100% reliable recharge rate mean that the musk is a winner every time. If you miss 1 note you’re boned and won’t have that heal when you need it. Musk never has to deal with that. The bard needs some serious looking at as it has a lot more skill vs the musk these days.

I’d also like to draw attention to just how powerful shield orb is. Bards have to make a choice whether their heals provide the shield orb or dps buff. Musk doesn’t have that problem. They also have a 5th orb on their chest that can heal AOE as well.

Really tink the Bard got a raw deal in the end.

3 Likes

The argument that I want to make is that the Bard might be a worse pure healer, if you don’t need the extra heals to keep X alive, then having a class which boosts the group a few % more on average is worth it.

(Still Bard does need some fixing and love though)

3 Likes

Slow chasing heal issue could be solved by taking the distance of player Target and player Bard, giving the heal a starting value for speed(idk, 1meter/s), then accelerating the projectile logarithmic-ally over time spent chasing, up to some maximum value. That way they hit their intended travel time between point A and point B, but going beyond that point the projectile would speed up quite a bit.

Wasn’t this exact thing suggested for Summon Orb on shaman a while back? Might make sense to take a look at it there too.