Publish 16 - Barding Changes
These changes are being implemented in order to balance Barding as a class, as well as improve the overall in-game experience of playing a bard. This document completely supersedes previous posts on this subject.
This is the base skill for all bard abilities. Any attempt to use other bard skills is preceded by a non-difficulty based check of the character’s Musicianship skill. If this skill check fails, the subsequent skill check to use the bard ability is never made and the character must wait some time before attempting the ability again. There are currently known issues allowing extremely rapid gain in this skill. These exploits will be fixed as part of this publish.
Exceptional instruments and Magical instruments will give bards skill bonuses in certain circumstances. Also, for every point above 100 that a Bard attains in their Musicianship skill, they will be granted a success bonus of 1% per point to Discordance, Targeted Peacemaking, and Provocation attempts.
All bard abilities will have a range. The bard must be within this range of the target to use the ability. Furthermore, the bard must remain within this range or the ability's effect ends. The base range of all bard abilities is 8 tiles, with each 15 points of skill in the ability being used increasing this range by one tile. The Peacemake ability will have an alternative mode usable as a radius of effect. For this variant, the radius of effect is identical to the ability’s range.
Once a bard ability has been used on a target, the bard must remain alive, visible, and within range of the target or the effect ends. Regarding creatures with “Dragon AI” (such as daemons, drakes, hellhounds, nightmares, and, of course, dragons): if at any point the bard moves while using any barding song, that may compel the creature to retarget on the moving character.
All current skill usage delays remain in effect, but there are no new limitations other than those stated above on their use. A bard can have several Provocation fights going at once, provided all of them meet the above restrictions.
In general, this ability will remain unchanged except for these items:
- Difficulty-Based: The Provocation skill check becomes difficulty-based. Each creature will have a dynamically computed difficulty score based on its attributes, skills, and special abilities. This means that some creatures of a type might be slightly easier or more difficult to provoke than the average. The base difficulty in provoking two creatures to fight is the average difficulty of the two creatures. A chart showing the average difficulty of various creatures is provided below.
- Correct Damage Assignment: When two creatures are successfully provoked by a bard, damage assignment will be correctly handled for both creatures involved, meaning the bard will receive correct credit toward looting rights, fame/karma rewards, etc. without having to perform a second provoke on the same creatures in reverse order.
Regarding looting rights, the bard will receive proper damage credit for all damage done to each other by his provoked creatures.
As an example, consider a bard that provoked two creatures and one has died while the other is left at 10% health. If a passerby finishes off the wounded one, the passerby isn’t likely to get looting rights even though he got the killing blow, because the bard still did the vast majority of the damage.
This ability replaces the current barding ability known as “Enticement.”
- Skill Conversion: The Enticement skill in the game will be renamed to Discordance. Any characters who have skill points in Enticement will have those skill points automatically transferred to Discordance.
- Difficulty-Based: This ability is difficulty-based like provocation. The base difficulty of this skill check is the difficulty of the creature using the same computations as Provoke (examples given in the table below). A Discordance attempt is slightly more likely than Provocation to succeed at similar skill levels for any given target.
- Targets: This ability cannot target player characters. It can target player pets in Felucca, subject to normal flagging rules.
- Effects: This ability applies attribute and skill loss to the target creature. The percentage of attribute and skill loss is scaled on the bard’s Discordance skill. At 50.0 skill, the target loses 10% from all stats and skills; and at 100.0 skill the target loses 20% from all stats and skills. Subject to standard rules above, the target will regain lost stats and skills once the effect ends. Note that the creature’s barding difficulty rating will change as a result of stat and skill modifying effects of any sort, so using Discordance against a creature will make it easier to Provoke.
- Standard Mode: Peacemake will become a targeted ability. If the bard targets him- or herself, it works in standard mode. This is a one-shot ability that causes all creatures and players in its radius of effect to stop fighting. Creatures and players can immediately re-target and resume fighting.
- Targeted Mode: In targeted mode, Peacemake is difficulty-based, with difficulty being computed identically to Provocation and Discordance. Peacemaking is slightly more likely than Provocation to succeed at similar skill levels on any given target. Upon a successful Peacemake, the target becomes reluctant to fight. Immediately upon effect initiation, the target stops fighting. Thereafter, until the effect is ended per standard rules, whenever the affected creature is attacked for whatever reason tries to start fighting, there is a chance (based on bard skill and creature difficulty) that the creature will instead return to a peaceful state. Over time, the Peacemaking effect weakens, so eventually the creature will break the effect no matter how skilled the bard and how weak the creature.
While this ability does not guarantee lack of retaliation from a monster, it does make it a much easier opponent to handle. A player can be affected by this ability only in area-affect mode.
- All musical instruments will begin to wear out with use, including newbie instruments. A non-exceptional player-made instrument or one purchased from an NPC will have approximately 400 uses. An exceptional player-made instrument or a magical instrument will have approximately 500 uses.
- The instrument used by a bard skill will automatically be the “last instrument” you double-clicked. This is current bard behavior and isn’t being changed as part of this update. When players wish to change their default instrument (when, for example, you have different magical instruments and need to switch between them during an adventure), they will simply accomplish this by double-click it and having it set it self as the new default “last instrument.”
- Using an exceptional player-crafted instrument grants the bard a bonus of 5 skill points worth of effect for using any bard-related ability. This is applied as a reduction in the difficulty of the skill check, and does not have any effect on any calculations that use the bard’s skill level. For example, the bonus for using an exceptional instrument cannot increase the maximum range or radius of an effect.
- Magical instruments are to be introduced into the game that will have certain similarities to the “slayer weapons” (what some players call “Virtue weapons”) that are more effective against certain creatures and less effective against others.
Each of these magical instruments will give the bard 10 skill points worth of difficulty modifiers against a certain class of creature. However, possessing these instruments does not cause the bard to be vulnerable to other types of creatures. Instead, when using the instrument against the opposing creature type, the attempt has a difficulty penalty instead of a bonus.
As an example, an instrument of Daemon Dismissal (labeled in the fashion of “a lute [Daemon Dismissal]”) will increase the bard’s chance to use a barding ability against any variety of Daemon by 20% (when that instrument is used). When used against an elemental, however, the bard’s chance of success is reduced by 20%.
Note that it is currently undecided where these magic instruments will spawn. However, they will be fairly common as loot.
Bard Difficulty Table
Difficulty ratings vary per creature and will fall within +/- 2% of the values given in this table. The Difficulty rating is the skill level at which the bard has a 50% chance of success versus the creature. At this skill level -25.0, the bard has no chance of success and can't make the attempt. At this skill level +25.0, the bard is guaranteed success and cannot gain skill against this creature. Using an exceptional instrument grants the bard +10% chance of success. Using an aligned “slayer” instrument grants the bard +20% chance of success. To compute the difficulty of provoking two creatures, average their difficulty ratings.
Example: At 120.0 skill, a bard with a dragon-slaying instrument has approx. 70% chance of success to use an ability against an Ancient Wyrm, or to provoke two Ancient Wyrms to fight. At 100.0 skill, with the same instrument, the chance is approx. 30%.