SPA 286, A History of Neglect

Discussion in 'The Veterans' Lounge' started by Scornfire, Aug 30, 2020.

  1. Scornfire The Nimbus Prince

    SPA 286

    What can I say that I haven't already meme'd, the Spells, Clickies and AA that employ this SPA have seen their tuning become increasingly out of balance with the current game state, and while I don't want to disparage it's very existence (Indeed, having a non-mod-able damage bonus is a worthwhile tool)... it's current iterations are, for lack of better parlance, abysmal. We're at the stage where it makes no genuine sense for bards to use their “Caster” ADPS songs in any scenario in current content, they just don't add anything worthwhile (I also feel for the poor Wiz/Dru/Rng/Bst newbies that unwittingly sink umpteen AA into their SPA 286 lines not realizing it's just a (low) flat +dmg). I was hoping to provide a bit of context to this in the form of parse data but I can only reach so far back with my saved logs (RIP hard drive from 2010) but I do have some hosted parses on circa 2011 that I can luckily at least pull a bit of data from.

    Before we get to the good stuff, and I'm sorry to say that I don't really want to get into the Sad Bard Spire/BP click (Shoutout to Drood SPA 286 BP as well /mourn), Bard Dissident or even the extremely critically important Nimbi and other assorted fluff click effects today (I'm sorry, I've failed you my precious LoN fluff </3) or other rare instances of SPA 286, but rest assured they could also use a look over (okay, maybe not the LoN stuff :(). Anywhozitz, here are the aforementioned AA lines, that third column is the rank/line cost for the final ranks, that's 980 AA for Wizards to add 5500 damage to their detrimental casts. 722 for Rangers to add 4060, 1067 for Druids to add 6000... at level 115, on level 115 spells.


    And last but not least, 1233 for Beastlords to add 4500, but hey, at least they got a resist modifier. (Granted, that's all the line did till rank 13 at level 101)


    There can be some argument as to the relative value of AA and their intended impact so I won't harp too much on this, but they were introduced at 80 for rangers and later for the other 3, at no point did the damage bonus ever constitute a relevant boost, buyer beware!

    A more harrowing example of SPA 286's usage takes form in the primary "Caster" songs that have been part of the bard arsenal in their modern form since TSS. Let's take a look at the DD mod songs as an example, back in 2011 during the VOA expansion, it looked like this;


    Now, my guild at the time was by no means high end, so the numbers are lacking, and I don't want to get into average damage because there's just too many procs in this html format that I can't separate, thus bogging down the value. That said, between our Wizzie/Mages I think our Mages were more proficient, so let's use them. For the parses I can view from this era it looks like their Max normal hit was around the 25k range and their max crit upwards of 70k.


    For our purposes, I'm using events where I'm almost certain our mages would not have had bards but did have enchanters (I don't have the actual logs to throw in a modern version of Gamparse or EQlogparser to affirm this 100%, but cross referencing our (somehow still active) DKP database shows me 1-3 bards/2-3 enchanters on each of the events I'm using for reference, the former of whom would've been with the melee and the latter with our gudmages for certain)

    So, let's just pretend that this was the norm for the sake of simplicity, I think the gap in relative efficiency with regards to the bard song(s) themselves will more than make up for any skew in the data due to a weaker ADPS settings for our poor mages back then. Some quick and terrible elementary school math would indicate that the addition of a bard to that group ONLY playing Daevan's would've yielded roughly a 4.5% increase to their max Normal hit and a paltry 1.6% boost to their max crit, now, the value increase relative to their average damage on a whole would be slightly more impactful in an era where crit rates and modifiers were much less than they are today, but still, this wasn't anything to really write home about even at that time, BUT there was absolutely some tangible value to be playing these caster songs... I would have liked to have pushed for a boost even at the time, but alas...

    With that all said, let’s call it a 5% DPS boost on the whole (This is total overoptimistic hokum, but would at least be closer to the TSS value <3). Awesome, fantastic, we all agree. That's okayish value from a song relative to the spells it is modifying, I'd definitely be so bold as to ask for significantly more, but hell if I'd turn that down when our current reality looks more like this;

    Not Snazzy :(

    Hmm, even on the face of it, that… is a pretty big yikes. These lines have seen just north of a 100% increase from where they were NINE years ago... As a static, non-compounding, simple addition, damage modifier. Where does that shake out vs a modern-day mage? Let's just look at the biggest crit and biggest non crit of from a recent raid night.


    Here's a few max/average hits for the main fire spells for additional context


    Quickmathz! Now, to preface, this mage had a bard for several events, but you can rest assured that bard would not and did not, under any circumstances, use Sontalak's Aria

    For that respectable 543k non crit (Which fwiw is lower than the total average of the 4 fire nukes highlighted above when factoring in a healthy modern crit rate), had said bard used Sontalak's, that nuke would've done a whopping 0.4% more Damage.

    …Okay, now what about that max crit? well, stop the presses, it's an incomprehensibly piddly 0.04%. This is an ADPS song, from one of the primary ADPS classes, and it has no business ever being used anymore, that's how little it's adding to Caster DPS. I don’t begrudge the changes to Bard DoTs in ToV (Though the debuff portion should be merged with the DoT itself, it’s only 4 debuff slots, but now that we’ve increased active DoTing classes while not actually reducing the number of DoTs Necros use via these revamps, every slot is as or even more precious than they were in the past... more on this another day) that have tipped their scales to a more classic DPS role, at least in comparison to what the meta was prior to the change, but something needs to be done with these songs to either make them worth using or they should be removed entirely, as the vast majority of Bards I come across still believe these to have some semblance of an impact and will use them unwittingly, because “Why Wouldn’t I?”

    And frankly, I can’t blame them, because, why wouldn’t their caster songs be useful? (No Offense Aria, I still love you)
    Cailen, Wulfhere, Paraxe and 23 others like this.
  2. Chopin.Xegony Augur

    I haven't used caster songs other than Aria since 2015. There are a lot of bard songs that have become useless or stagnant and fallen out of rotation in favor of other songs. The majority of our adps comes from rolling modifiers on cool-down as opposed to being valuable just for our songs. I guess that is a change that makes a /Melody /AFK box bard not as appealing since they require more work. However many of our songs have long been overdue for a bump in adps.
  3. Syylke_EMarr Augur

    It's sort of a sad state of Bards that the majority of song aDPS comes from a single song now (Aria). Even worse when you consider that there's not a lot of reason to change song lineups when going from a melee group to a caster group anymore.

    I could almost see just taking this current design to an extreme and giving Bards 5-6 Aura slots, converting the "primary" songs to Auras and adding a bunch of personal DPS/utility songs instead. Kind of an EQ2 style of Bard.
  4. Jennre Band Leader

    I was just talking to Astral about this haha. Give us auras for our ADPS, but I would say strip them all down to 1-2 effects each that we can mix and match
    Syylke_EMarr likes this.
  5. Syylke_EMarr Augur

    It's an idea I've kind of been looking at since I played EQ2 for awhile with it's "permanent" buffs. I was brainstorming ideas of applying the Insult+Synergy style of short duration buffs to a bunch of personal DPS songs. Like our Fire DoT gives a short duration Synergy-style buff for fire damage spells, etc.

    Sort of derailing thread though, so yeah: this SPA is lackluster in current usage.
  6. Jhenna_BB Proudly Prestigious Pointed Purveyor of Pincusions

    SPA 286 is the twin sibling of the Spell Damage stat. Nice work, Scornfire.

    I actually liked what they did with Wrath of the Forest Stalker upon implementation. It was one less button for have to push, as it became passive. I was actually excited at the time - it made up for the nerf to the original AA no longer working on weapon procs. Now, I become annoyed at the AA cost for so little actual gain as stated above. If it's to remain post crit, it deserves a look for re-balancing.
  7. Nniki Augur

    It actually used to be the case that both the resist debuff and dot portions of chant songs were a single effect, preventing bards from stacking chant songs with each other. They were separated to allow bards to stack the dot portion while only reapplying a single resist debuff portion. They never wanted the resist debuff portion to be stackable.

    As far as the value of the SPA 286 songs, it's been brought up for years in multiple locations (hybrid, veterans' lounge, beta) usually cut off with blanket responses of "bards are fine" without acknowledging the individual stagnations. Many bards and their peers have mistakenly assumed those songs were beneficial utility despite there having been many threads stating the opposite.

    I've run into it in game many times helping people adjust their melodies (although, they're not as reluctant now with the DoT damage boosts). Some can be very stubborn, assuming that as a support class, they should only play beneficial group effects despite there being a more personal-DPS-oriented song that will provide a greater effect; the other issue is getting it through that just because you can play a greater variety of songs due to song duration increases, it doesn't necessarily mean that you should.
    Sirene_Fippy likes this.
  8. Syylke_EMarr Augur

    That was the case, but shouldn't be a requirement anymore. Shamans, for example, have a DoT line with a resist debuff component and the DoT portion stacks fine without stacking the debuff.
    menown, Scornfire and Szilent like this.
  9. kizant Augur

    I think they should just take the max level off those AAs so my procs benefit from sorcerer's vengeance.
  10. Sobmre Augur

    wow that looks like a really in-depth, can someone break all that down to like 2 sentences?
  11. Zaray Augur

    Jamazar likes this.
  12. Riou EQResource

    Everything in EQ that isn't %-based continues to scale very poorly the more recent you go (from not keeping up with inflation).

    Damage Shields got a bump in ToV, but still probably too way low for modern content compared to the past, for example, most things that aren't %-scaled have become garbage like this specific SPA for caster damage.
    Nadisia likes this.
  13. Petalonyx Augur

    ROFL. I just got several alt wizards to 111 and upon review of AA's, decided I should absolutely max Sorcerer's Vengeance first.

    It's done now, at least...

    I guess it's a separate problem that the player can't discern the effect of the AA from the description.
  14. Jhenna_BB Proudly Prestigious Pointed Purveyor of Pincusions

    I can do it in two words: Buff needed.

  15. Nadisia Augur

    That, and the fact that these effects are applied after crit.
    As Scornfire said perfectly, it was somewhat ok-ish when base damage and crit rate was lower.
    It was not huge, but still something.

    But with the current values, it's just ridiculously low and barely noticeable.
  16. Scornfire The Nimbus Prince

    Just a friendly reminder that 2020 SPA 286 is a bads

    Have a great weekend everybody!
    RPoo and Hellowhatsyourname like this.
  17. Hellowhatsyourname Augur

    As a former bard main who switched to SK / Ranger because those classes are more fun and more dynamic, I approve of this message.
  18. Scornfire The Nimbus Prince

    Shameless bump?

    Shameless Bump!
  19. Sissruukk Rogue One

    I think someone made a mention about SPA 286, not sure who that was though...
  20. Hellowhatsyourname Augur

    There's a discussion in the class forum about bard dps and your guildie is asserting concentrating on personal dps as a bard is essentially failing at the class. I used this thread to justify mentioning that, in fact, bards have stagnated in their primary function, and recently started being given personal dps tools that (supposedly???) start to make up for that fact.

    However, the bottom line is people don't pick bards because of personal dps... they pick bards for other reasons. They're really a class in some fundamental turmoil right now, as this SPA 286 issue highlights.
    Jennre likes this.