Forums » The Bard

Song Mechanics

    • 3814 posts
    November 29, 2016 8:22 AM PST

    Had a random lightbulb moment yesterday regarding the way songs work. It seems like bard songs have different mechanics in every game so I figure I might as well throw another possibility into the mix. In my opinion, this makes the most sense. Bards in EQ1 were fun, but didn't seem very logical to me. Same with Bards in DDO.

    Here is my proposition:

     - An average song takes 2-3 minutes to sing. During this time, the effects of the spell gradually increase.

     - While a song is being sung, no other songs may be sung simultaneously. A song may be ended at any time, but the effects of that spell are immediately removed (or maybe quickly fade over the next 10 seconds)

     - Once a song is completed and its effects reach full potency, those effects linger for anywhere from 15 minutes to an hour, depending on the skill of the Bard. This represents how long the listeners will be inspired by the song.

    Here is a rough example:

     Ballad of Bravery:

    Type: Voice, Stringed Instrument

    Length: 2 mins, 15 secs

    Effect: +5 Courage bonus to Strength and Constitution, +10% Courage bonus to movement speed

    Duration: 30 mins

    1. Once the Bard begins to sing Ballad of Bravery, all other song hotkeys are grayed out. Press the Ballad of Bravery hotkey again to immediately end the song at any time while it is being sung. If a song is ended abruptly before it is completed, any effects from that song that had been built up are immediately removed. The Bard may then start that song over from the beginning or start singing a different song if he/she chooses.

    2. 15 seconds after the Bard begins to sing Ballad of Bravery, the group gains +1 to STR and CON & +2% movement speed. At 30 seconds, the group gains an additional +1/+2% for a total of +2/+4%. At 45 seconds, a total of +3/+6%, etc. You get the idea.

    3. After 2 minutes and 15 seconds, the song is concluded and the total +5 Courage bonus to STR/CON and +10% Courage bonus to movement speed is "locked in" for the next 30 mins as the group remains inspired even after the song itself is over.

    4. At this point, the Bard may begin singing a new song to further buff the group. The Bard may not sing the same song until the effects expire. Therefore, all other song hotkeys are no longer grayed out and the Ballad of Bravery hotkey is now grayed out.

    Note: a few songs may be very long, even 6 to 8 minutes long, but they would have proportionately greater bonuses and/or greater durations, perhaps even upward of 2-3 hours. There are endless possible combinations of length, effect, duration, and the rate at which bonuses are gradually applied during the actual singing of the song.

     

    What do you guys think? Do you think or it would be fun to have this more realistic approach to the way songs work or no?

     

    • 2013 posts
    November 29, 2016 11:59 AM PST
    I will be honest that I'm not in love with the idea. I don't see anything wrong with what you laid out. But it seems contradictory to Bard buffs. They are traditionally short cast and short durration. Part or being a Bard in my opinion is the re-application of songs. So whether it be like VG with building the effects of your songs or like XI with casting multiple songs as you make your rounds through the different party roles. Or even like EQ with twisting. Bard songs are short casts with short durration that you need to re-apply. Coupling this with DPS or pulling should keep you pretty busy. So I guess I have to ask what justifies the long durration songs and buffs? Of course there is nothing saying they can't do the Pantheon Bard differently but I can't see toops many folks being ok with it.

    Personally I picture the Bard being the life of the party and spitting out songs left and right as he skips around the battlefield. I just don't see long durration buffs being conducive to this concept where you could more or less set and forget. I don't see a problem with other casters having long durration buffs though....... just not Bards.
    • 3814 posts
    November 29, 2016 1:01 PM PST

    Amsai said: I will be honest that I'm not in love with the idea. I don't see anything wrong with what you laid out. But it seems contradictory to Bard buffs. They are traditionally short cast and short durration. Part or being a Bard in my opinion is the re-application of songs. So whether it be like VG with building the effects of your songs or like XI with casting multiple songs as you make your rounds through the different party roles. Or even like EQ with twisting. Bard songs are short casts with short durration that you need to re-apply. Coupling this with DPS or pulling should keep you pretty busy. So I guess I have to ask what justifies the long durration songs and buffs? Of course there is nothing saying they can't do the Pantheon Bard differently but I can't see toops many folks being ok with it. Personally I picture the Bard being the life of the party and spitting out songs left and right as he skips around the battlefield. I just don't see long durration buffs being conducive to this concept where you could more or less set and forget. I don't see a problem with other casters having long durration buffs though....... just not Bards.

    Fair. I have no problem with it being contradictory to "traditional" bard buffs. I want to think outside the bounds of games that have already been done. Because from my perspective, short cast/short durations seem contradictory to how songs actually work in real life. I am open if someone is willing to explain the logic behind it, but it doesn't make any sense to me. In my mind, I picture someone singing a 10 second fragment of a song and then singing another 10 second fragment of a completely different song and then singing YET ANOTHER 10 second fragment of a third completely different song. How could anyone enjoy that? Granted, constantly juggling different songs is certainly more engaging for the player and therefore arguably more fun (for some people). It's important to remember that there are some people that find a button-mashing/piano/always busy playstyle to be stressful and not fun. They would prefer more of a set-and-forget mechanic. I'm not at all saying I am one of those people. But they are out there. Maybe those people just shouldn't play bards? But that doesn't seem very fair either. Short durations also allow for more flexibility in playstyle. Similarly, this allows for a higher skill ceiling. These are of course all good things.

    Anyway, the system I suggested would still mean that the bard will almost always be singing a song. I'd imagine that as soon as one song is concluded, it would be best to start singing another one to keep your group as buffed as possible. For example, if you have 7 songs, each 2 minutes long with a buff duration of 15 minutes, you'd pretty much have to constantly be cycling through them to maintain all of the effects. You'd always be singing. It's just that most of the actual process would be done passively. You just select which song you wanna sing. Admittedly, another (and perhaps more important) factor that needs to be considered is the fact that time is essentially sped up in most games. An in-game day may only take a few hours at most of real time. Therefore, if we consider that a 3-minute song in real life and imagine that it takes a bard 3 in-game minutes to sing a song, that means it would only take a few seconds of real time. Apply the same translation to the duration of the effects of that song. Perhaps this is where EQ1 got the idea of short cast/short duration? If so, maybe I answered my own question. So then does that mean, if Terminus was the real world for example, it also would take several minutes for a wizard to recite an incantation? Maybe.

    • 2013 posts
    November 29, 2016 2:24 PM PST
    I would say that in my case I don't get overly worried about realism and immersion. They are important to me but not at the expense of practical and fun mechanics.

    As far as it being fair or not. I'll just say that I think different classes should offer different things to people. Some should be easy to gear and easy to master for those that want to concentrate more on the social gameplay etc. And some classes should be harder to master. Harder to gear. Or a combination of there of. And some should be less involved (more auto pilot) and some should be very involved. So for me it's not about making each class the same difficulty, involvement, or gearing.

    And if you haven't I encourage you to look through some of the other threads. Plenty of people have suggested ideas outside the box or just ones they found interesting to spice up Bard gameplay.
    • 562 posts
    November 29, 2016 2:34 PM PST

    I like fresh ideas, kudos for original thinking.  Having said that, here is the major concern I have:

    For me, bards are all about utility, not just group buffing.  If I am pulling for my group, what happens to the three minute buff song I was in the middle of singing while I need to dash off and attract something nasty? Songs are usually short range too, and I'll want speed, so it gets dropped.  If I'm pulling, I will rarely finish a long song.  What if I need to pitch in with some limited crowd control? That obviously can't be a long song, but will also end any current buff ballad.  Much of the fun of playing a bard (granted, this is one troubadour's opinion only) is that I love being able to shift in and out of many different roles on the very next note, as my group needs or the situation demands.  That and looking good of course!

    Perhaps there is a place for long form songs out of combat, to inspire tradecrafts, diplomats, performers or other community activities.  Something to think about!


    This post was edited by Kumu at November 29, 2016 2:36 PM PST
    • 3814 posts
    November 30, 2016 10:09 AM PST

    Kumu said:

    For me, bards are all about utility, not just group buffing.  If I am pulling for my group, what happens to the three minute buff song I was in the middle of singing while I need to dash off and attract something nasty? Songs are usually short range too, and I'll want speed, so it gets dropped.  If I'm pulling, I will rarely finish a long song.  What if I need to pitch in with some limited crowd control? That obviously can't be a long song, but will also end any current buff ballad.  Much of the fun of playing a bard (granted, this is one troubadour's opinion only) is that I love being able to shift in and out of many different roles on the very next note, as my group needs or the situation demands.

    True that is definitely a downside.

    Yet again, it seems to boil down to Practicality vs. Realism. Perhaps this is just an area where practicality should prevail.


    This post was edited by Bazgrim at November 30, 2016 10:11 AM PST
    • 708 posts
    December 3, 2016 11:54 PM PST

    My take on this...

    I like the idea but it would defrinitely need some fine tuning. This is how I would approach it;

    A) First realism vs immersion vs practical vs yaddayaddayadda, singing a 3 minute song in game time would definitely require less than 3 minutes real time since game time moves more quickly than the real world time. SO, maybe songs require 10 seconds to sing (cast) or 20 OR 5. But whatever the 'cast' time is I feel it would have to function like this...

    --a. When song 'a' is being sung all other songs are greyed out. While song 'a' is being sung you still have access to all of your other bard abilities because you are an epic bard who sings while dancing and fighting, you just can't sing two songs at once. This way you can still sing a long song and still use all of your other abilities to pull and fight and CC and talk. :D
    --b. Once song 'a' begins each member of the group receives its buff. The longer the song plays the stronger the buff gets. OR it may work better if the buff isn't applied to the group until the song is finished (either sung entirely or cancelled), and depending on how long the song was sung determines how strong the buff is that the group gets. But either way the longer the song is sung the stronger the buff that's applied.
    --c. Can cancel the song at any time. Depending on how long the song was sung for before being cancelled determines how strong the buff is. Once the song is cancelled a cool down ticks down the remaining amount of time the song would normally take to fully cast.

    B) The buff that the group receives has a short duration, maybe not as short as EQ's twisted songs but definitely not as long as a cleric's HP buff. (Imo, one of the reasons why bards buffs are short is because of balancing concerns. Bards in Brad's games typically have access to practically every type of buff and also the bard has the least stacking restrictions so to balance that their buffs typically don't last much longer than being out of the bard's presence.) So, having a bard buff with a duration of 15 minutes or as long as an hour seems to hurt the balance if we consider that the bard has every buff and none of those have stacking restrictions. BUT we can work with the 'inspiration' theme where as long as the player can continue to hear the bard sing multiple songs the player is inspired and has his current buffs refreshed over and over as long as the bard continues to sing...

    --a. SO, in essence of keeping a good balance the bard's buff can have say a 1 minute duration (or 30 seconds or 3 minutes or whatever, would just need to hammer out a proper duration that doesn't cause a bard's buff to unbalance the game).
    --b. But in order for the bard to build a 'symphony' of buffs, each buff is refreshed as soon as a new song is sung (casted comnpletely). This way, a player can get all sorts of bard buffs, but as soon as the bard leaves their presence their buffs will soonly fade away.

    So, it's getting late and I fear I'm rambling and blahblahblah I'm going to cut this short and possibly continue another day after someone checks it out.

    But a quick example of this in action. We have a dps song, a mana regen song, a health song, and a STR/DEX/CON song.

    The dps song is sung and requires 10 seconds to sing fully. The bard sings the entire song which starts at a +5% increase to dps and if sung for the entire duration increases dps by +15%. Group members are given +15% dps

    Next, the bard sings the mana regen song which starts at +5mana/tick and has a 15 second cast timer. If played the entire time it gives +25mana/tick but the bard cut the song in half stopping at 8 seconds. This makes the buff give +12mana/tick, it applies the mana buff to the group members and also refreshes any other songs they currently have on them, refreshing the dps song.

    Next, the bard sings the STR/DEX/CON song which has a cast timer of 15 seconds. The bard begins the song and during that 15 seconds begins to pull. Upon returning with the pull the song finishes, which initially gives +5 to all 3 stats and if sung fully gives +20 to all 3 stats. The buff is applied and refreshes the dps song, and the mana regen song. The bard now sings the health regen song.

    The health regen song has a cast timer of 20 seconds. It gives a regen of +10health/tick initially. After starting the health regen song the bard finishes up the current mob. As the bard begins to pull another mob he first cancels the health regen song at 10 seconds to add +30health/tick and also refreshes the other songs and then pulls another mob to the group.

    In theory this is how I see something like this working out. Definitely a very raw look and approach to it since I've only thought this over for like 20 minutes now but it's something with potential. One common theme or thread I feel we are all hitting on is having a way to ALTER our songs during us casting them. Whether it be in simply how long you sing the song or having a timing mini game feature where you can increase or decrease the octave or what-have-you, it appears we are all thinking of having a way to affect our songs as we sing them. Which is absolutely awesome if you ask me.

    Well, time for bed lol. Great concept and idea btw!

    • 3814 posts
    December 4, 2016 2:56 PM PST

    I'll think about it more, but at first glance this seems like a pretty good compromise Noobie!

    • 190 posts
    December 30, 2016 7:14 PM PST

    I like the Bard in EQ, but I hope twisting songs isn't the same as in EQ or people are going to have sore hands.  Maybe you could have sets of a few different songs and switch between the sets when needed.

    • 19 posts
    January 10, 2018 3:08 PM PST

    Well I am only a couple years late but I'll give my 2 cents ... I agree that the original EQ bard was unique but yes the twisting was a pain in the fingers, a thought ... bars set to where you can play single songs while carrying a specific instrument to enhance the song ability/buff/or whatever and the ability to twist like songs but keep the twist limited to 2 or maybe 3 at most, and also maybe two buttons set aside where you could place 3 or maybe 4 songs to associate to the button but no instrument can be held in hand while playing/singing that button and basically it would auto twist those specific songs but of course with a lessened affect due to no instrument and that would allow the bard to fight as well, just a thought that might help peoples fingers from getting gnarled and cramped after a gaming session ...

    Although that might be a point of contention and possibly over powering?

    • 315 posts
    January 12, 2018 8:24 AM PST

    I have a completely different "twist" (see what I did there?) on the bard's song abilities.  I like Bazgrim's idea (from 2 years ago) that gave bard's the option to have "full length songs" that gave additional buffs once completed.  If a player needs to leave the area of the bards song (or the bard needs to go pull) then the effect is lost *shrug*... if your healer is OOR or OOM, then you get no heals...  make someone else pull.  With that being said, there could also be additional abilities that the bard could twist in with their songs.  Instead of having specific song name, have specific song amplifications... what I mean by this is the bard chooses a "song" like Ballad of Bravery for example.  While that song is playing, the bard can change the percussion tempo or perform a string crescendo, while the tempo change bard skill will either haste allies or demoralize enemies depending on the song being played, and the string crecendo can regenerate allies or harm enemies.  Without the song playing there could still be a small benefit, but not as "inspiring/demoralzing" as a full song playing.  This could also allow for multiple bards to contribute to a specific "song" maybe having a "chorus" effect, amplifying the song's effect and range.  (You wouldn't have multiple bards playing multiple songs, but they could be playing multiple instruments along with the same song.)  This would also allow for coordination between multiple bards using different instruments to maximize efficiency and only have like 4 abilities (percussion, wind, string, vocal) that have different effects depeding on the song being played, with a handful of different songs to play or utility skills like stuns/mez/lulls/charm.  Having an actual audible "song" (that can be toggled in options by players) would also be AMAZING!  There wouldn't need to be that many songs... 3-5 that create more/stronger effects as the bard's skills improve.

    Just a fun thought to piggy-back onto the original post.

    • 1 posts
    February 24, 2018 8:36 PM PST

    I enjoyed the Bard class in Ever Quest the most because it was the hardest class to be great at.  I would twist 4 to 5 songs at once and I like the option of being able to twist that many songs if you are skilled enough to do so.  I would pull, charm that mob to attack the current mob, sing haste and other buffs, and either snare song or speed to chain pull.  You can not be lazy to play a class like that and I thrived on that. 

    I played a bard in other MMOs, atleast EQ2 and vanguard, and never got that same feel as I did from the EQ bard.

    I see so many things seem to follow the EQ format, in Pantheon, and, I personally, would love to see the bards done the same way they were done originally.  If people complain then they should play another class.  My own opinion but a strong opinion I feel.

    Figo Bigo

    • 562 posts
    February 25, 2018 3:02 AM PST

    Welcome Figo Bigo - always good to hear from another bard!

    • 34 posts
    August 28, 2018 4:23 PM PDT

    Great idea, OP, and the rest of the thread is also very interesting. I just posted on this very subject with a lot of similar ideas to your own! Please check it out.

    https://www.pantheonmmo.com/content/forums/topic/4546/song-mechanics


    This post was edited by Mobius at August 28, 2018 4:30 PM PDT