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Dungeons and Dragons online guide books will tell you a lot about the skills and statistics of a character class in DDO. However, this is little help to you, especially if you do not quite understand the ability numbers and skill stats. If you are a new player to DDO and you want to understand the bard better, take a look at our guide to get a better feel for how the bard works in the game.
The bard is a character with many talents that you can utilize in many situations. If you want to truly make the most out of your bard, you will need to understand the benefits and advantages to being a bard in DDO.
Bards are singers, dancers, musicians, mages, rogues, fighters, archers, diplomats, messengers, negotiators, spies and lovers. They mix all of these skill sets into a unique marriage that form what is known as the Bard. If you are the type of player who likes to have a tool for absolutely any job that might come about, you should consider the bard as your first choice for an optimal class.
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How to Play
The bard uses all of the skills in the book, basically. He works magic and shoots crossbows right before he retires to the tavern to sing a song or tell a tale. Bards are arguably the most useful and most difficult classes to play in DDO. This is because you have to be able to find a balance between being a jack of all trades and being a master of something.
Most bards fail to do this. In fact, most bards remain jacks of all trades, making them particularly ineffective in the heat of battle at the later levels of play. However, if your bard is crafted well, you can make yourself just as effective as any other character class in DDO.
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- Jack of All Trades: The most obvious benefit to being a bard is that you will have something up your sleeve for any situation. If you have to throw a quick spell off, you will have that option; if you want to shoot a bow to slay an enemy from afar, you can whip out your bow and perform well.
- High Party Utility: The bard is one of the most effective players to have in a party because they will have all of the skills necessary for most situations. If you come across a chest that needs cracked but do not have a rogue, you can use your bard instead. This also means that you have someone who can contribute to any situation.
- Diplomats: More often than not, bards can use their quick wits to get out of most situations. If a bard finds that he cannot fight himself away, he will start making bargains or playing tricks with words to get himself free of an adverse situation.
- Swordsmen: Bards are skilled with martial weapons as well. This makes them capable of melee damage in most situations.
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- Master of None: The easiest converse of having a bard as your character is that you will not be able to attain a high level in any one skill. You will never be a master mage or a grand thief. You will always only be a moderate character in any of these fields.
- Poor AC: In addition to being relatively weak in the mastery section, bards will not have a very high armor class, making them a little more flimsy in the heat of battle. This can make them a liability in some situations.
- No Healing: The only skill that bards lack completely is the ability to heal other characters quickly. They can use potions and first aid to heal themselves or help others, but apart from this they are relatively useless in the healing realm.
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By and Large
Though a bard is difficult to master in DDO, they are one of the most useful characters to play in the game, also making them desirable to parties. However, they lack mastery, making them liabilities in later levels. If you want a character that will master his skills by level 20, the bard is not for you.
Bards will be the most effective characters in the game in the early levels, but if you want to have a masterful bard in the later levels, it will take far more work than simply playing. You will need to master game play with the bard, making your fighting style absolutely flawless.
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Images from DDO.