I’ve always been a fan of bard classes, in any MMO I’ve played. I don’t know why exactly, but I just find them neat, and in most games they are an interesting mix of abilities. Dark Age of Camelot had a really interesting system – each of the three realms had a bardic class, but each of them were completely different in playstyle and abilities – one was a melee heavy bard with lots of instant shout damage, another was a light rogue with charms and control abilities, and the third was a healer with nice buffs, etc. The EQ1 bard will always be one of my favorites, simply because they have so many abilities – basically they are a “kitchen sink” class who can do a little bit of everything. The song twisting element in EQ1 was sometimes fun and sometimes painful (literally!)

I like my troubador (and my dirge) in EQ2, and they are fun and interesting classes – the division between caster support bard and melee support is an interesting one, and they get to choose between a lot of buffs and other abilities, to make their groups stronger.  I’ve now been trying out the Vanguard bard, which is an excellent class – a bit more focused on melee than the EQ2 version, but they have musical instruments that make their songs a lot more powerful (similar to EQ1) and they can compose their own songs from song elements you learn as you go. It’s an interesting system that makes them unique, and I really like it. It’s fun to be able to make heavy DPS songs, buff songs, healing songs for emergencies, and so forth.

It will be interesting to see if future game have a bard type of class, World of Warcraft doesn’t have one, which is too bad, and I’m not sure about the upcoming games like  Age of Conan and Warhammer Online. But if they do, you’ll see me out there giving the bard classes a try!