For the record, I don't want a bard taking up a precious spot when there are only 5 character classes and we already have a WD to make things crazy. This thread is to challenge myself and to demonstrate how careful we must be when thinking up particular builds to arise. I designed a similar build long ago, but I think the thread fell out of existence, and it's time to present once again. Actually, I think this build was something I put in one of Flux's contest as an archer. Anyway, here it is revisited as a bard.
The Singer (for lack of a better name atm)
This 'bard' uses her voice as a weapon. She is heavily inspired by the singer barbarian who used war cry as a main attack. Picture a whole character based on cry barbs of d2. Now, many people say: come on, how do sound waves kill demons? But I will address this.
Appearance: This character is sexy as hell. It goes with the whole point of some of her skills. She is a seductress. The male version will look like the god king from the movie 300. He is very tall and charming with a soothing voice and his armor is golden bling all over him. But this is just when he starts out. His 'light' armor will look like gold bracelets, lot's of gold necklaces and chains like Mr. T, neck rings, and so much other bling that it all acts as light armor. Later, plate armor is also gold colored and is bejeweled to the high heavens with many engraved designs and other such signs of prominence. The female singer's armor is similar—very fancy and sparkley. She is a super sexy dark skinned woman, again scantily clad to start out and with a soothing voice. Both male and female singers can find special golden masks like king Tut's burial mask.
There are no charisma points in d3, but if there were, you can guess where most of her Blizzard- allocated stats would go. Well, we all know health is a measure of how attractive someone is, so most of her stats will go into vitality.
This build is original because you will be focusing on making your character sexier and sexier as opposed to stronger, smarter, faster, etc. This class is a dream for female players. She is a Barbie doll...with killing power. “If looks could kill,” they say. Well, now they do. More stat points in health make your psychological damage (see below) even more damaging. So you would be wise to wear vitality boosting gear and pick quest rewards that likewise boost health. Yes, you can be the sexiest character on bent2.
There are two types of song damage: physical and psychological. First let's go over the more understandable physical form of song damage.
Singers have been breeding selectively for generations producing humans who have innate magical powers to scream at agonizing amplitudes. Their screams will vibrate bones of the skull causing brain damage. 'Ever hear of bone conduction? It is a way of stimulating hair cells in your cochlea without having sound waves hitting your tympanic membrane (eardrum) like normal. A dentist's drill can cause bone conduction by vibrating your skull, thus producing action potentials in your auditory nerves so you can hear the sounds of the drill directly. Hitting a wall with a slege hammer can cause tinnitus, a loud ringing or other sound in the ears. This is from inner ear damage. Well imagine bone conduction to some ludicrous extreme where your skull vibrates violently and you die from it. Capillary beds rupture, and oh, it's just a big mess in there. The cool thing is that enemies die with no apparent blood loss. It's all internal bleeding. This makes her kills look unique because they are nice, clean kills and look very professional (unless of course you want to specialize in blowing up heads, but we'll get to that).
Psychological damage. These are mostly utility spells, but you can make them do more and more damage if you so choose. Basically, you can cause enemies to die from pleasure or heartache from your songs. The singer's songs are so seductive, intelligent monsters can be turned and will fight for you like with the WD's mass confusion skill. Or, you can make some of the monsters experience heartache, which is psychological damage. They can die from despair. With some songs, like Obsession, if you hit the enemy with your song range and then travel far away enough, they will take psychological damage similar to poison because they can't bear your absence.
What I had in mind for trees was something like: Banshee Tree (which does mostly physical damage), Seduction Tree (for getting better vendor prices in town and some other things on the battle field), and Siren Tree (for psychological damage and utility spell effects like conversions from songs). I'd rather just describe a few spells/songs and not worry about grouping them.
Songs resonate in a nova type of spell area. Just picture a lot of novas, but with w/e range you decide with passive investment. The trees are full of passives that manipulate the following: the range of your nova sounds, their damage, stun length, chance to stun demon, chance to briefly stunlock skellies (the sound waves stop them in their tracks because skellies are too light to press on forward compared to heavier, flesh covered beings), item drops prior to kills (as items are blown off the monsters), and chance to rupture. A rupture is similar to a critical hit. If you go to extremes here, you can make enemies' heads explode. No other class can do this, so get ready for some party appreciation for the spectacle.
Songs can also be directed to single targets to increase their odds of success. This would work like any ray type of spell like fire bolt, except the spell hits almost instantly because sound travels so fast. Here are a few song types:
Heart of Gold—an enemy who dies has a chance of turning into a big pile of gold!
Heart of Ice—adds cold damage and freeze duration.
Heart of Stone—small percent chance to turn enemies into stone with any song. When directed at a single target, you get a much better chance. So you can play as a Medusa.
Heart of Glass—adds cold damage and shatters bodies.
Idolization—lures enemies toward you so you can have more crowd control or play as tank.
Soul mate—the opposite gender version of your character appears and copies your songs exactly. But, one slight scratch will cause you to automatically uncast the soul mate out of fear of harm towards him/her.
Bloodlust—Idk, I'll think of something. How about you get a bit more exp for your kills, but this song does very little damage. You'd usually switch to it when monsters have been whittled down and you use Bloodlust for the killing blow. But switching all the time is a pain, so it's up to you.
Jealousy—convert enemies to fight for you, but they gain more damage when fighting their own kind.
Magnetism—arrows veer off and miss you if they encounter a song nova before they reach you.
Outcry—enemies don't get their spells off because of your distorting noise.
Drop Dead Gorgeous—undead regain their former living being thoughts and are overwhelmed with remorse for all their deeds as zombies. They have a percent chance to lay down and die. Only works on human undead.
Firedance—enemy flames become YOUR flames and not only that, your voice moves them back, so patches of fire on the ground slide outward when hit with the song novas.
Inner Demons—this works on demons only, and exploits their nature as out of control devils. When hit, they tend to run around all over the screen in no predictable orderly formation at all. Sometimes they'll attack if they wonder close enough to someone. It scatters up monsters to lessen their mob style of fighting.
Flamboyance—greatly lowers enemies' defense AND their shield block rate.
With all the nova type of songs going off, you'd think this is a character that can just easily spam songs. But, we must keep in mind you need to specialize in different song types and passives to damage undead, demons and animals. You can't seduce a skeleton by charming it like you can with demons. But you can stunlock skellies and harm them with vibrations to kill them. Animals can't be converted, but they can be turned into stone, and so on. So you have to switch skills a lot to deal with each situation.
So as you can see, this is not really a bard, but more of a monster in some ways. This is why such a bard character can find it hard to fit into the d3 world. There are many issues: why do her brain splitting cries only damage enemies and not her friends? Wouldn't all the gold armor cost a lot to repair compared to conventional armor? She has no bard-like attributes like writing stories or entertaining parties. No, she is all about killing because there is no room in a Diablo game for anything besides killing the crap out of everything. Well, this is a crude rough draft, but it's the only way I can think of to get a godly killer machine bard that is not your typical flaky musician. There can be no musical instrument; that would be preposterous. The thought of singing ANYTHING during a battle is also ridiculous. I have no idea how bards ever came to exist on a battlefield! It's silly. But with my idea, the singer relies on monster style tactics like a banshee or a siren. These are magical attacks. They have to be.
You see, one of the problems with a bard in a Diablo world is the nature of the enemies. Demons...are they going to care about your fiddle playing? Are they going to actually stop and listen to the chords and melodies? Hell no! They're going to scream and snarl and ignore the pretty music. Songs have got to be monstrous magical things with physical stopping power. It's the only way.
Likewise, a mindless enraged barbarian is not going to take in the lovely valorous music of the fair bard who is traveling with him. He doesn't need any encouragement anyway; he's crazy. Crazy old barbarians. And, wizards are busy chanting spells of their own. No time to listen to the harp.
There's animals, and they don't care much for music. Then we have undead, a huge bulk of the enemy base in any Diablo game. Last I checked, they don't even have ears. If you're emitting sound to stop them, it's got to rattle their bones. Hard. Thus, I came with a monster based bard. Basically, she's a banshee and siren put together. She's part charmer too, just to remind us that she's human.
The problems with bards are endless. Not only are they not needed, they are so out of place in a Diablo type of battlefield where MOBS of monsters are EVERYWHERE. On a crowded Diablo screen, he's going to get hit if he tries standing there playing his instrument. And if he runs around (a very common practice in Diablo games btw) then that is just going to look silly. Running all over the place like a sprinter while playing expertly on his flute or w/e. I mean, how could he even get a few notes off? No, it's got to be fast, sharp screams! And lots of them. The old traditional bard that we're used to from D&D just won't do here. I've had to wreck him down and make him into something else. The sexiness and charm stuff is there to compensate for her brutality and monster-like behavior of screaming at things all day.
You know what? Maybe she should be a shapeshifter so she can actually shift into a medusa, banshee and siren to access their screams/songs. And when I say songs, I'm talking about quick screams that are just called songs. It doesn't take any time to cast these puppies. Feel free to add w/e you want. My heart's just not into this.
Barbs really belong in D&D where there lots of role playing outside of killing. They can glorify the adventure with poetry and chat in between battles. But in Diablo, it's get the heck out of town ASAP and kill kill kill stuff 'till you're blue in the face. The glory goes to whoever has the best DPS, plain and simple. It's clearly no place for an artist. Unless it's a death artist. A death artist of doom.
(Edit: don't take this build too seriously. It's just for fun and self challenge.)