Greetings, all. This is an update to the “quick and easy changes and fixes thread I posted last September.” There has been a new expansion since than along with some changes and updates relevant to the list, so it’s as good a time as any to get more feedback. Specifically, suggestion 1 from the last post has now been implemented and all songs with recast timers are skipped in melodies. It is my intention that the list is focused on issues specific to bards that are re-occurring sources of frustration (example: Epic 2.0 cast time). I will attempt to focus on what I feel are simple issues with what I assume/hope are simple fixes (example: minor spell/AA change). Lastly, I will do my best to avoid designing novel solutions to perceived issues and I will always do my best to restrain my comments to changes and fixes that I feel are within the developers’ vision of the bard class. This is, of course, a subjective restriction, but I’ll offer up my example from the last post: For example, changes to charm that make the ability more powerful strike me as falling into the second criteria. Why? Because developers have been reducing the power of charm on bards for many years now and I think that intention is well-known. Additionally, a suggestion such as flash000’s “Last id like to see bard get a low level pet AA a shadow man pet "missed note" this is a commandable pet to assist in pulling” as falling into the first criteria. If I do seem to break this rule, it will likely occur when I discuss spells and brainstorm some fixes. Ultimately, my goal here is primarily to make the bard’s play experience a more positive and enjoyable one. It is not to make the bard a stronger class, although that might be the consequence of some of what is covered here. Let’s begin: 1. The Bard Epic should be instaclick. This is perhaps the #1 complaint/suggestion I hear coming from bards. Some bards argue that this needs to be done for convenience, but I don’t personally care about that because a macro can solve most of the problems associated with the bard epic’s cast time. The primary reason that the bard epic should become instaclick is because there is a well-known bug that causes items with cast times to lock out bard spell gems. This bug can still occur when you use a well-written macro depending on how latency is acting at any given time. This bug is sometimes fixed with /stopcast, but not always. If the epic is instaclick, it will simply reduce this bug from occurring more often. The developers have stated that they are hesitant to alter older items, especially when the items are already quite powerful, but baring a fix to the issue with bard spell lock, it should be considered. There are, of course, still many other items with cast times that bards regularly use. Still, none of them (with the exception of Geomantra, perhaps) are used as often. As a result, fixing the issue that leads to bard songs being locked out would render this change unnecessary. Sure, it would still be nice, but not a primary issue to bard playability. 2. Bards should have access to the AA Auroria Mastery (or an equivalent). Allowing the bard to use two of our Auras/Echos simultaneously will dramatically increase the usefulness of the seldom-used regen echos/auras. 3. Improve Selo’s AA to increase speed cap. The easiest way to get this done is to add the Increase Movement Cap (4%) component of EoK’s Selo’s Accelerato. 4. Add ranks to Fleet of Foot This is an example of an issue I don’t particularly care much about, but many bards are frustrated that other classes are moving as fast in some situations. Bards just like to be the fastest. 5. Improve the Bard’s ability to mitigate damage. This comes straight from the last thread: “There are so many suggestions on how to do this, but I don’t personally care how it is done. I don’t know the true intentions of the developers--maybe they don’t want bards to be very tough--but I agree with the bards that think we should be able to mitigate damage better.” Not much has changed. The main addition to our defensive capabilities has been Dirge of Lost Horizons which isn’t very impressive in terms of dealing with sustained damage. I have a suggestion here, but I’m going to cover this after the next point. 6. Give bards access to the bash skill. This is a minor and niche issue, but it does in some ways relate to the prior problem. Specifically, bards have access to the same shield as other plate/tank classes, but we have no way to activate the various procs (Vector of Health being the most common). The only workaround is to use a large race illusion, but not only was that a big clunky it now comes with a huge tradeoff because bards were given kick which the selo’s kick AA was attached to. At the risk of breaking my rules about avoiding novel suggestions, I will off one here simply because it can help both of the above 2 issues. Specifically, give bards both the Bash skill and a new combat ability attached to the bash skill that will work something like the Paladin/SK spurn line or the warrior shield break. 7. Introduce new AA abilities that activate old song lines and make them viable. Over the last several expansions, the developers have been working to streamline spells and AA abilities of many classes but some of these changes started much further back. For example, shamans have access to an AA that cast the highest rank of their basic slow at lvl 78 but by the 90s this AA not only slows but also cripples the target. The only thing somewhat similar to this that bards have is the Assonant Binding line of songs that place a small debuff on the target and attempt to also cast Largo’s Assonant Binding. For a number of reasons, I don’t really know anyone that uses this particular song. I suppose the Improved Requiem of Time AA is also somewhat similar in that it improves a very old spell, but there is no AA that casts Requiem of Time and it still must be both memorized and cast. There are some specific spells that would be good targets for an AA replacement: The previously mentioned Requiem of Time song could be cast via AA. The …of Sound/Tone line of debuffs could be cast via an AA or added as a recourse to another song. Jonthan’s Mightful Caretaker could be cast via an AA or added as a recourse. The AA would preferably a insta-cast and ideally it would stack with our War March line. The same goes for making this spell a recourse; ideally it should stack with War March. The barrier line of songs could be cast via an AA or added as a recourse. 8. Increase the duration of detrimental songs. These song no long fit into any standard melody due to the short durations they have in comparison to our beneficial songs. We have a few AAs and augments that do this to specific song lines, but some song lines have been left behind. 9. Restore Boastful Bellow functionality to Sonic Disturbance. Most bards are thrilled that Boastful Bellow was made into a great source of damage for us. Additionally, it is great that we were given a replacement in Sonic Disturbance that has much of the same pulling functionality as the old BB. However, Sonic Disturbance does not apply a resist debuff (BB still does). It would be nice if that functionality was restored to Sonic Disturbance somehow. 10. Improve the Burning Call line of spells. I think that there are some fun things that could be done with this song, but in its current form it is nearly useless. An AA that instantly casts this spell of or an AA that reduces the cast time significantly would work. In this scenario, a suitable recast time should most certainly be added.