For additional information on leveling changes and more, please check out the M21 FAQ!
A versatile adventurer, the bard commands the power of song to be a powerful healer or a stylish combatant. Regardless of their path, it is a bard’s ability to perform that determines how far they can go.
Mechanics & Abilities
While all of our classes play a bit differently, the bard stands out due to its perform mechanic. Perform is activated using the TAB key, by default, and allows the bard to play a variety of songs that can enhance, heal, or hurt their targets. Upon reaching level 11, bards may specialize in either healing or dealing damage.
Entering perform mode and executing songs expends the bards resource known as performance.
Songs are a new type of ability that generally can only be used during perform. There are ways to execute these abilities without entering perform mode that you will discover as you play the class, though.
Each song is comprised of a series of notes. The series range from 4 to 7 notes in length and can be referenced in the power description when selected.
There are 8 notes in total and when in perform mode they are mapped to the 1 - 8 keys. When a songs pattern has been entered correctly the corresponding ability will execute and perform mode will end. This method of song casting is referred to as manual play.
While in perform mode the bard has access to 2 new ability slots. The first slot is known as a pin slot. Each song’s note pattern can be seen in the power window. This pattern can also be optionally pinned to the top of the perform UI for easy reference. up to 4 songs can be pinned at a time.
The second new slot is known as a quick play slot. This slot allows the bard to execute a slotted song without having to input that song's pattern. While convenient, quick play slots are limited and, in various cases, some of the bard’s feats and class features require that a song be played manually in order to receive their benefits.
Bard paragon paths are the Songblade and the Minstrel. The Songblade serves in a DPS role and focuses on supplementing the groups power while performing visually stylish moves. The Minstrel is a healer who sings ballads that can heal, cleanse, and even make their allies more durable.
One last thing to note. A bard would not be a bard if they were not able to spend their leisure time crafting tunes about their exploits. When out of combat a new mode called free perform can be accessed by holding down the TAB key. In this mode the bard not only has access to the 8 base notes but octaves and accidentals.
So take some time to relax after a day of adventuring and sing a song or two while enjoying a mug of fine ale in Yawning Portal. I look forward to hearing what you all come up with.
Salim “Silius” Grant
Senior Game Designer