Forsaken World: Bard Guide and Character Suggestions
Before embarking on this guide it should be said that no one build is perfect. There are many different thoughts about what makes a good bard but it's all theory and preference. Since FW allows for you to change everything about your character through several means, I suggest trying out the method that sounds most feasible to you and adjusting to suit your personal needs. Also, if you feel like I missed something or would like something explained more thoroughly please feel free to comment so I can make improvements or answer your question.
In general the bard is considered a support class. However, a good bard can solo heal or prove themselves as a viable dps. With this said, a bard is nothing without their ability to weave chords. A chord is made up of a note and different skills result in different notes. Practice your chords early by weaving your surge chord, which is a CCD chord (not necessarily in that order). This can be accomplished by attacking mobs with Chord of Wind, then Chord of Water and back to wind again. Learning to not over mash your keys will be important to the success of this char. Learning this skill earlier in the game rather than later will greatly improve your skills as a bard.
The water bard is the best PvP build for the bard. Not only do you receive an OP bardy bubble, you also freeze and slow targets to an impossible speed. Furthermore, as the fight progresses you hit harder and harder as others wear themselves out on your bubble.
Instead of giving an exact build I will offer a few suggestions and tips when filling out your tree. First of all, try to focus on maximizing your damage. This can be done by focusing on skills that add to the attacks and crit chance of your water skills and buffs. I personally would avoid anything dealing with Tuneless Sound as you are not likely to use it once you gain more skills and shorten your cool downs.
If you are building for PvP, I would also put points into anything that reduces your opponents mana. A water bard has decent survivability. If you can empty an opponent's mana pool before they can grab redhand then they are pretty much screwed.
You should also max out your bubble or Sonata of Water. This is the water bards main trick and it's a damn good one when maxed out!
If you are leaning toward an evasion build or high defense build you should also consider putting points into these areas of your tree as well as resistances.
Up your water mastery as much and as often as possible. This is far more important than gems for this char.
The wind bard is an interesting character because it is the definition of a support class. I cannot think of another skill tree in the entire game that fits this description more appropriately. The wind bard's job is to spin stronger and longer lasting party buffs than any other class. The small, occasional heals can be helpful as well in dire situations.
When working down the wind tree it is important to remember your goal, you want to get as many party buffs up as possible in any given window. That means you want to add points to skill cool downs as well as anything that increases the amount of time a party buff is active. Increasing the distance is probably a good idea as well so that one screw off who feels a need to kill every side mob can also benefit from your buffs.
Once again, as with water, I would avoid putting points into skills that improve Tuneless Sound. As you gain more skills you will likely not need to use Tuneless Sound anymore making those points wasted.
You will see as you work down the tree you can increase your attack or increase your resistances and survivability. If I were you I would decide on one of these paths and start by putting points into those skills first. For instance, I choose to hit harder so I will improve my crit chance when I can. You will have left over points to put in both areas, however, this will help give you aim until cap.
In theory you should put masteries into wind. However, you may find that resistances serve you better. Since you are a support class you can choose to go the way of ultimate survivability or try to hold your own by going with attack. If your tree and masteries/resistances are similar in layout, you should be successful.
The light bard is kind of amazing. Initially thought of as useless, when FW was a brand new game, we are all now amazed at the light bard's ability to solo heal the highest level runs with ease. In fact, many divine priests have respecced after learning they are so easily replaced by the light bard.
Once again, just remember what your purpose is as a light bard, you are the healer and working down the tree with this in mind will keep you on the straight and narrow.
Make sure you learn Chant of Revival immediately. This move, commonly referred to as battle rez, has saved many an iffy run.
Avoid masteries and resistances found in this tree. If you feel a need to add to resistances, do it through the resistance training. Light resistance will only protect you against some protectors and rebel priests. Since the real threat with the prots is the stuns more than the hits you can easily heal through that just leaves the rebel priests which are rare.
The last thing to know about the light tree is that pure light builds are rare. Many bards work down to battle rez then put the remainder of their points into harder hitting trees.
If you are going pure light then you only need light mastery if you find your self with loads and loads of diamonds you'd hate to hold onto. Otherwise, consider resistances for more survivability.
Hybrid builds, with bards, are very common. The only class with potentially more hybrid builds are the protectors. If you are considering playing with a hybrid build I suggest first laying out a skill tree using the talent calculator on the Forsaken World website. This will ensure that you are able to work down to the important skills you need to make your hybrid work. I also suggest having a spare talent compass on hand. You will be given several free compasses through regular gaming and using them all is no crime. It's a great way to thoroughly customize your character and learn what you like/dislike about it.
Gear and Builds
Pure Attack Build
- If you want to be a complete and total Johnny Badass then you will have to accept that you may be a bit squishy. If you're okay with that then look for at least two IDs that increase your attack in some way on each piece of gear. This could be attack, crit damage, crit chance, or the appropriate mastery for your build. You will want to gem with the gems that correspond to the above. To reduce your squishiness, focus on upgrading your weapon and shoulders first as they will add to both attack and health.
- You are looking for no less than 2 eva ids on every piece of gear including your rings and off hand. You will want to place as many Mistshrouds in your gear as possible. This build is expensive but if you have the money to buy zen, it's completely doable and fun.
- This build is ideal against evasion builds. You will ideally have one or two accuracy IDs and one or two attack, crit chance, crit damage or mastery ID per piece of gear. You should gem similarly. Place as many high level goldsparks as possible, ragefires in every piece, eagle eyes where you can and shattershards where you can.
Warded Stout Build
- Now, I'm not sure why anyone would go this direction with a bard but it could technically work for any class if you are more interested in surviving than seeing those large attacks fly. This build is simple, get all pieces with health and defense as the top set of IDs. I then suggest IDing for heal effect or attack under it but if you would like to go full out, try to ID for additional hp, crit dodge or defense. Gem similarly to how you want your secondary IDs to look with bloodstones and solarflares in every piece as well.
- A skilled healer is pretty much nothing without heal effect gear in FW. If you are going pure light, or mostly light with your bard you will want to ID every piece to double heal effect. Additionally, you will want to increase your health and defense through additional IDs or gems.