A bright tune to soothe a party's wounds... A brisk march to raise a party's spirits... A forbidden chant to weaken a party's foes... The bards of Vana'diel use music as their weapon.
Bards appear as one of the advanced jobs in Final Fantasy XI available to players once they reach level 30. Bards are a type of support job. They exist moreso to boost the party's effectiveness than to be good on their own. They accomplish their task through using various songs.
Bards rely upon charisma for their offensive songs, though not so much for their positive songs. Also, despite the fact that Bards do not naturally have any MP, they do benefit from having it. For both of those reasons, the high charisma of Elvaan or the high MP totals of Tarutaru make them ideal bards; however, bard is one of the least statistical or equipment based jobs in the game and bards of every race are popular, including the charismatically challenged Mithra and Galka races.
Becoming a BardEdit
Similar to the Paladin quest, in order to become a bard, a player must complete multiple quests, which all reveal a part of a person's story. The first quest, The Old Monument, starts in Jeuno. It requires the player to head to the Southern coast of Buburimu Peninsula to find an old monument with song runes on it. Upon hearing this, another NPC overhears and mentions that such a song might cheer up her friend.
The first portion of the quest is just finding the monument and inspecting it. At that point the player will happen across another traveler looking at the rune and complete the first quest. If he is really savvy, the player would bring with a piece of parchment to make a rubbing of the runes. Taking the song runes back to Jeuno, the player can complete the quest Minstrel of Despair.
The third leg, simply named Path of the Bard, requires the bard to talk with Bki Tbujhja again, the same NPC who gave the original quest. She mentions another set of runes in the Valkurm Dunes. When the player finds the runes on the hidden beach, he will be visited by a few NPCs and told a story, after which point the player may level as a Bard.
|Soul Voice||1||1:00:00||0:03:00||Enhances the effects of your songs.|
|Pianissimo||20||0:00:05||0:01:00||Limits area of effect of next song to a single target.|
|Nightingale||75Only unlocked with Merit Points||0:10:00||0:01:00||Halves the casting and recast times of songs.|
|Troubadour||75Only unlocked with Merit Points||0:10:00||0:01:00||Increases the casting time for songs by 1.5 and doubles the effect duration.|
|Tenuto||83||0:00:05||0:01:00||If the next song you cast affects yourself, it will not subsequently be overwritten by other songs.|
|Marcato||93||0:10:00||0:01:00||Enhances the effect of your next song.|
|Clarion Call||96||1:00:00||0:03:00||Increases the number of songs that can affect party members by one.|
|Resist Silence||5 / 25 / 45 / 65 / ??||V||Gives you a slight resistance against silence.|
|Critical Defense Bonus||80||I||Improves defense against critical hits.|
|Fencer||85 / 95||II||Increases Critical Hit Rate when wielding with the main hand only. Grants a TP Bonus to weapon skills.|
Bards use three types of instruments; wind instruments, string instruments, and of course their own Singing voice. Their songs are generally positive in nature, affecting one or all party members. Their ability to effect pretty much any ally ability from damage, to accuracy, to evasion, and MP or HP regeneration makes them highly sought after. Bards have a much more limited ability to negatively affect their enemies with songs, but some songs do exist.
Bards can fight, though they generally do not have the time to do so. They generally are limited to wands, staves, light swords, and knives. In this version any creature can be effected by up to two songs by a bard, and singing a song takes 8 seconds. Since they have short duration, the bard tends to do nothing but sing songs ad nauseum.
- A Bard can improve almost every aspect of a party's performance.
- Bards offer consistent bonuses.
- Bards are able to dispel enemy positive status effects.
- Bard's slow songs, Elegy, stack with magical slow spells.
- Bards can effectively sleep creatures from the undead family.
- Bard get parties with greater ease than some jobs.
- A Bard is virtually helpless without a party except versus all but the easiest of foes, having low statistics, low weapon abilities, and low defense.
- A Bard's effectiveness is limited by party cooperation in the sense that Bards are the only class in the game that needs to be mindful of all party member's position when singing.
- Bard sleep songs, while costing no MP, are fairly weak and do not last very long.
- Bard is an intensely repetitive job requiring a lot of concentration and a decent understanding of game fundamentals. Not many people seem to enjoy playing this job for long periods of time.
- Bard songs are significantly weaker, on average, than Corsair rolls. (Although it should be noted that unlike Corsair rolls, there is no risk of "Busting".)
- Bards offer no damage potential offered by Corsairs.
The vast majority of all Bards use White Mage as a support job. With such a job, they can facilitate in a bit of curing now and then, the use of Stoneskin for pulls, and the removal of status effects from enemies. Even in high end events, such as Dynamis, Bards are often using bar-spells.
Ninja is occasionally used by Bards for pulling, especially "big birds" out in Lufaise Meadows, or any other fast mob that hits hard but slowly. The bard loses some support ability and a few points of charisma for the benefit of gaining 3 hit blink through utsusemi.
Red mage is not completely without its merits, but use is extremely rare. The major advantage to this setup is fast cast which will bring the time required to sing a song down considerably as well as shorten recast times, allowing the bard to pull faster. Phalanx can help mitigate damage on pulls. Stoneskin is still an available spell. A bard may not be able to remove status effects, but he can still cure.
bard was a professional poet, employed by a patron, such as a monarch or nobleman, to commemorate the patron's ancestors and to praise the patron's own activities. Originally a specific class of poet, with the decline of living bardic tradition in the modern period the term "bard" acquired generic meaning of an epic author/singer/narrator, or any poets, especially famous ones. For example, William Shakespeare is known as the Bard or the Bard of Avon.In medieval Gaelic and British culture, a