BARD - Illustrated Elite Spec Concept — Guild Wars 2 Forums

BARD - Illustrated Elite Spec Concept

Lampiao.2470Lampiao.2470 Member ✭✭
edited March 26, 2020 in Mesmer

BARD - Elite Specialization Concept

A little disclaimer here: I know that there’s a few concepts already on the forums (even one using the same weapon I chose but that’s a coincidence) but since I think a Bard specialization for Mesmers would be a great addition to the game, I’m trying to contribute a little so it can somehow happen on that 3rd expansion.

Bards are pretty unique in MMOs, and there's just a few that has this class, so this could be a great opportunity to make something different. It was always a class that I like, and I’m pretty sure that a lot of people do. So… I hope you like the way I think that this specialization could look like.

Also, I made some illustrations (that I’ll be showing throughout the post) and those were just montages on photoshop, nothing special because my digital painting skills are kinda lame for that, but I think the result was pretty good after all. Those include class symbol (and a attempt of a bard ''splash art'' or something).

Bard Specialization Symbol I made (For comparison purposes)


Initial thought is that the Bard will use a power damage based Short Bow, like thieves. This seems to be a good option since it’s playstyle is around a mid-range combat, which is what I’ve thought for this spec, and also bows and blades are often seen as a secondary weapon for bards. Shortbow and utilities will be focused in disabling the enemy and buffing allies with profession specific effects.

When equipping the elite specialization, your current weapon auto attack would change into a illusion of an instrument (lute, harp, flute, whatever) that you would hold when you get in combat stance, which would have the aspect of other phantasm weapons that we already have available ingame, such as Whisperblade, Wall of the Mists, Abyssal Scepter, Reaver of the Mists and so on, making all you auto attacks to be ranged, even if you’re wielding a sword for example. Your current active weapon will be showed as stowed when you’re auto attacking (showing its aura if it’s a legendary, so it won’t be spamming FX when you switch between autos and weapon abilities). You already have a good arsenal of musical instruments in the game, so models won’t be an issue.

The auto attack would look something like Siren’s Call (Trident Auto) with Music Scores and Notes coming along with it while you play the instrument. Autos could get some changes with major traits, like Mirage and Daredevil dodges with grandmasters, and that will switch the auto attack chain and maybe (?) the look of the phantasm weapon you’re holding. For example:

Option 1. Harp? - 900 un. range Projectile based auto attack which will ‘’summon a clone’’ (I’ll get into that) every few attacks (like Scepter does) and maybe apply a type of damaging condition (to match the current concept template). The range will match the current Short Bow range in the game;

Option 2. Lute? - 1200 un. range Beam based auto attack (like Greatsword) which would have a lower damage as far as you go from the target (getting Max Damage at 600 un. range?);

Option 3. Flute? - A three auto attack chain, with Arc AoE shapes and 3 a target cap, which could have a reducing area/increasing damage mechanic for each hit, for example 600 un. / 480 un. / 200 un. radius in front of you, which the last one could remove boons for example (like main hand sword).

These traits of course include damage changes and maybe a condition application on some hits too which I’m not getting into. This will give the player the option to switch your autos based on your playstyle or game mode even if you have an ability kit from other weapon that wouldn’t normally have that type of auto.


Thinking about all the PHANTASMs having a bit of a change and make them play instruments while performing the same kind of attack. There’s nothing much around this topic about the Phantasms, I just want it to look like the Mesmer is summoning members of an orchestra during the battle, for visual identity purposes.

Equipping the Elite Specialization could make your Phantasm abilities, both weapon and utility, to have a little bit of a change in their names, like if you are replacing abilities like Phantasmal Warlock (Staff 3) for Phantasmal Lutenist* if they’re wielding a lute and perform an attack that has the same beam FX I mentioned on that 2nd Option auto attack trait.

*These ability changes could work just like when you turn on Lingering Curse (Curses Grandmaster Trait) on Necromancers and make your Feast of Corruption (Scepter 3) turn into Devouring Darkness.


[Quick reminder that the name I came up with for this mechanic could not be that good so I’m open for suggestions.]

CLONEs will be replaced by a new mechanic as a tradeoff. Similar to the scourge shades or the revenant tablet, abilities (weapons/utilites/traits) that should summon clones will now place a stationary effect which I’m calling FERMATAS (By definition: ‘’A symbol that tells the performer to hold the note as long as s/he would like, but certainly longer than the written note value […] colloquially a birdseye or cyclops eye’’ – eye alike symbol above the mechanic shown on illustration).

Phantasms summoned by the Bard will now turn into these areas after they perform their action, like they would turn into a clone, and new Fermatas will replace older ones just like the clones does having a 3-maximum count. Those will work for AoE applications for buffs, damage and CCs from ‘’Shatters’’ and utilities, just like Scourges does with their F2 to F5 abilities. The Clone count panel will now have a Musical Note shape and will show the amount of Fermatas you have placed.

All weapon skills that summons clones will stay the same but Illusionary Leap (Sword 3), which would make you directly leap to your target, leaving behind one of those Fermatas. Decoy and Mirror Images will summon those areas around you. Other traits and utilities related to clone creations, such as Deceptive Evasion and Signet of Illusions, will summon the mechanic on your current position when it procs. I’m thinking about Ether Feast not appropriate of this mechanic.

These areas have a sound FX, a ‘Fermata’ symbol above them, and deals a small amount of damage and/or apply a really short duration movement impairing condition (chill or cripple?) around them when they’re first summoned. They eventually break/disappear after you walk away a certain distance of it or they could or could not have a duration attached to it (I personally prefer not, but that could be shown after each of the three Music Notes symbol starts emptying).


The current Shatters and Clone panel will now be replaced by a new profession skill (which will have an ICD) followed by a bar, similar to the profession skillbar on necro, and it will work as a "timer" (instead of a second health bar) when you go into a new stance. This will make your character wield a phantasmal version one of those classical harps, something like the Orchestral Staff Skin.

There will be a new set of profession skills, called CHORDS, which could be named like: Chord of Perception, Chord of Frustration, Chord of Departure and Reverberated Chord; those will be respectively AoE versions of the core shatters that will pulse once around you (bigger radius) and around the Fermatas (smaller radius). They will have an ammunition system, which would be 3 charges showed by the same musical notes symbols above your weapon skills which will now have a brighter color and will show the charges count, and they’ll change the last charge (like mantras) at the same time for a stronger ability. Even if you have less than 3 Fermatas placed, all three symbols will glow to show the charge countdown.

These areas created by clones will disappear after you consume all the charges or use your F1 ability again. Last charge of every Chord could be called Sonata and make the Fermata pulse a movement impairing condition 3 times before it runs out.

Last charge of each skill (I’m calling those ‘Sonatas’) will share the current shatters cooldowns and could have their cooldowns lowered by Master of Misdirection trait or a reset by Signet of Illusions (which could also use the reset on the new F1 ability to the list of skills that gets the reset, like you did with the new chrono shatters).

Other Shatter related traits would stay the same, having damage modifiers or applying conditions/boons to the pulses. Shatter Storm trait could give to the Mind Wrack related ability (Chord of Perception?) the possibility to use the Sonata version of the skill on the 2nd and 3rd charge.

Since we have 4 shatters and 5 weapon skill slots, I’m thinking about having a 5th ability which doesn’t have a 3rd stronger charge and will make you and the Fermatas throw a piercing Sound Wave towards the target as an alternative in case of the enemies run out of the range.

(New ''Sound Wave'' ability)

Those new shatters could be placed in weapon slots like:
F1-1st, F2-2nd, F3-3rd, F4-4th, Sound Wave-5th; or
Sound Wave-1st, F1-2nd, F2-3rd, F3-4th, F4-5th (so the Sound Wave skill stays in the Auto Attack slot.)


I won’t go very deep on utilities either, but I’m thinking about them having interactions with Fermatas like the shatters/chords mechanic I proposed, so they can cover up a bigger area during battle (of course, like Fermatas, there would be a target limit for allies and enemies) if you choose to pick them on your skill bar.

Since I’m thinking this specialization to be in-between a damage/utility role, those skills could apply a profession specific effect on people hit, like both Renegade’s Breakrazor's Bastion and Razorclaw's Rage applies on people in range. Those utilities will apply the effect just once and, for example, being hit by one of these effects will make allies affected to pulse (for 3 or 5 seconds maybe?) a specific boon during a few seconds; enemies to receive a pulsing disabling effect; or even create a damaging AoE around allies, like Guardian’s Zealot’s Flame (Torch 4).

Those abilities will be a new type of utility called: Songs, and they will be named something like: Rhapsodies, Hymns, Chants, Arias, so they can match the theme and would trigger a little song that plays around the Mesmer on its duration. There could be a FX of a ‘Sheet Music staff’ with some notes surrounding people hit by those skills so they can tell they have this triggering effect on them.

And that's it so far, hope you liked. Feel free to point out or add anything.



  • Kitta.5412Kitta.5412 Member ✭✭
    edited March 26, 2020

    Super creative and amazing work at concepting this. I love it. You should post this elsewhere to get more traction.

  • Leonidrex.5649Leonidrex.5649 Member ✭✭✭✭

    dude this is some amazing work right there.
    Only gripe I have with it is stationary aoe fields. you cant controll where they spawn lots of times.
    I see it being really frustrating in pvp, everyone just walks out before they can do anything.
    And pve, nubs dont stand in wells, I dont see them standing in these xd

  • Sodeni.6041Sodeni.6041 Member ✭✭✭
    edited March 26, 2020

    Really great illustrations! You put a lot of work and thought into it and I really like it! A power/support based elite spec with a shortbow and instruments would be so great!

    I just don't think changing auto attacks would be that great since Mirage already does that. I prefer giving this elite spec a more unique F-mechanic instead. The Fermatas seem nice but I'd rather place them manually instead of randomly where clones would spawn. Time limited Instruments you could summon as a F-Mechanic is a great idea.

    Thanks for sharing it with us :)

  • Tayga.3192Tayga.3192 Member ✭✭✭✭

    This is more of a "musician" than a bard :P

    Very well designed though.

  • Curunen.8729Curunen.8729 Member ✭✭✭✭

    Wow you put a huge amount of work into that.

    The main issue I had against any kind of bard/minstrel concept is that IRL I work with music in therapy/meditation/etc. So in some ways I kind of like an escape from that in game rather than more of the same!

    But your concept here is fantastic, even with a weapon I'm not too keen of (shortbow) I would still play this.

    My ears, how are you! | Staff | Greatsword

  • Lincolnbeard.1735Lincolnbeard.1735 Member ✭✭✭✭

    Like Curunen I would play this even if I don't appreciate musical classes at all.
    And I'm with Leonidrex, stationary fields created by clones are a problem.

    The degenerate

  • Teratus.2859Teratus.2859 Member ✭✭✭✭

    Really like the visual work you done on this ^^ very well done.

  • Love the concept, I really hope Mesmer gets something music themed eventually. There's already a precursor named 'The Bard' and legendary 'The Minstrel', so perhaps 'Troubador' or another synonym would be used

  • Fenom.9457Fenom.9457 Member ✭✭✭✭

    Wow this is a lot of work! And the edits look amazing, just like something you’d seen in game. Honestly if you had said they were leaked images I’d probably believe it


  • kroof.5468kroof.5468 Member ✭✭

    HOW DID YOU MAKE ALL THIS!?!?!?!? Damnnnnn you have great execution in your post - and I also had a bit of a similar idea ;P

  • I love it, it's so pretty.

  • apharma.3741apharma.3741 Member ✭✭✭✭

    I like the idea and I think aspects of this have promise.

    I think the first part about replacing auto attacks and phantasms is a nice concept but a lot of work for aesthetics and could end up causing problems with readability of attacks. I don't think this is really needed.

    I like the idea of Fermatas where clones instead become nodes that will do AoE effects sort of like shades, would bring much needed AoE capabilities to the class.

    I like the idea of the class mechanic, Chords, becoming a transformation of sorts giving new abilities as well and it can match up well with a lot of traits in skills 1-4. One thing I'm concerned about is the idea of you use chords, spam abilities, leave chords like what happens on a lot of transforms and scourge. I think having the abilities be long channels like 2-3s with an audio effect that you play on the illusionary musical instrument but low cool downs might work but I'm not really sure how to marry it up with the idea of playing songs in a good way which is what you're probably going for. Alternatively simply having the shatters become Chords would solve most problems especially with the UI being notoriously obnoxious to work with, it would literally be a cosmetic change. You can then have the Fermatas play a song when you use each Chord being the tell that they will be consumed in an effect though this would become very much like scourge but it could be made much less obnoxious.

    Utilities being like Renegade summons...not sure I like it, perhaps like current spirit weapons would be fun and they can be band members that follow you around when equipped and then execute AoE attacks/support when told to perform...the skill.

    One thing in the back of my mind though is the question of, so how is this not Chrono but alive instead of rotting behind the shed? It's easy to see the difference between bard and mirage but this concept and chrono in terms of what it brings to the table I can't see outside of aesthetics, both bring AoE that the class lacked, both seem to be support with a bit of damage and both seem to improve shatters in their ability to be useful and hit.

    Another thing is trade off, it's all plus but I don't see much taken away unless the Chord abilities are worse than shatters and I mean it ain't hard to be better than core shatters sometimes. Long channels or delayed activation on the shatters instead of instant casts is a trade off but you get so much with bard, even in it's rough outline that you have, that it's an easy choice.

    You and others might think I'm poking holes in a good idea and being mean, I am doing the former but I don't intentionally do the latter. I think it has promise and if you can iron out the kinks and really get it to a concise and streamlined idea then you may actually get this but it has to be properly poked and prodded and ideas need to be tested to see if they are more than just an elite spec made of cool ideas cough mirage cough.

  • alain.1659alain.1659 Member ✭✭✭

    kitten. Beautiful artwork, great concept, vibrand colors. Can you please design new elites for other professions as well?

  • Tabasco.1743Tabasco.1743 Member ✭✭✭

    I was never a fan of goodbye posts, so I elected to say "The journey continues" when Mike exited the team. At the time it felt like my emotional attachment to the world had departed as well and I haven't looked back.

    ...Which makes it all the more impressive that your creativity and passion for the Mesmer class single-handedly led me to go from casually lurking the forum to hunting down my password, and logging into the account just to thumbs up this idea. That is how great this is. This deserves the official spotlight from the Arena-krewe. Genuine hype- I hope they consider it. Fantastic job OP. :+1:

  • I applaud all the hard work that OP put into his work, I genuinely love the concept and I would probably enjoy it a lot. However,...
    Mesmer, which already has one of the most fun and unique mechanics in the game (and probably in the MMO genre), with great utilities across the board, already has 2 elite specializations that completely reshape the way the class works, giving it a lot of super-cool enticing abilities, while at the same time making them viable for all content types of the game. (There were mandatory classes for most high-end PVE content for years).
    The elite spec you just described would create yet another spec that is sought after due to the unique buffs and utilities it brings to the table. I just do not feel fair that they get yet another elite spec that is not just super-fun to play, but is also borderline OP / must-have.
    I would prefer an elite spec that fills one particular niche, and not just be useful everywhere, because "mesmer is cool, give it all the unique and cool and useful abilities we can".
    Let other classes also get some of the fun things.
    So I have really mixed feelings about this, since if this were to come true, I would probably never stop playing mesmer. But at the same time I would feel bad, because I think other classes deserve the same amount of fun, complexity and utility that mesmers seem to have.
    Please don't hate me for this.

  • @Lampiao.2470 A lot of effort went into this, good job. I need any form of musician mesmer e-spec for my bard character. I'm not entirely convinced about the full mechanics, i agree with the lack of good AoE damage. (I don't particularly like chrono and mirage in open world/pve) But scourge shades / kalla always felt bad to me. Then again i'm not a mesmer main and barely do PvE so there's that.

    Still, fun read. Thanks!

    @zallesz.1650 said:
    I just do not feel fair that they get yet another elite spec that is not just super-fun to play, but is also borderline OP / must-have.
    I would prefer an elite spec that fills one particular niche, and not just be useful everywhere, because "mesmer is cool, give it all the unique and cool and useful abilities we can".
    Let other classes also get some of the fun things.

    I get your point, but might as well just ask for other classes/specs to be brought up to par or get better/more interesting mechanics instead of preemptively wanting a potential mesmer spec to be less fun/good. (Side note that while mandatory in PvE, mesmer and especially chrono are all but gone from the WvW gamemode at least. :p)

    Obèlíx [GAUL] - Gandara(EU).

  • Yoci.2481Yoci.2481 Member ✭✭
    edited March 27, 2020

    That looks really nice, but I want a fix for current Mesmer over this a thousand times.

  • Moradorin.6217Moradorin.6217 Member ✭✭✭
    edited March 27, 2020

    @Yoci.2481 said:
    That looks really nice, but I want a fix for current Mesmer over this a thousand times.

    ^^ THIS! I personally cannot invest in your idea for a "new spec" because Core Mesmer and its present elite specs are basically garbage. At present Mesmer only works in PvE. Core is bad in all 3 game modes.

    I think this thread is damaging. I think people should be focused on the actual present state of mesmer and work on suggests to help make it functional so that perhaps Core mesmer could function before everyone invests in some delusions about a "new espec" that would be for the "new expac" which may never even materialize.

    Mesmer has SO many removed/dead traits. So many major issues. Can we please stay on the ball??

    Just saying! :s

  • Moradorin.6217Moradorin.6217 Member ✭✭✭

    Also you all know this was the original april fools joke just before HoT release right? Anyone who has played very long should know this is eerily like the joke espec for mesmer from back then.

  • Moradorin.6217Moradorin.6217 Member ✭✭✭

    I guess what Im saying why bother with a new espec for a dead class.

  • @Moradorin.6217 said:
    I think this thread is damaging.

    Bit dramatic.

    I guess what Im saying why bother with a new espec for a dead class.

    Because especs sell expansion copies.

    It's wishful thinking i know, but they could just work on core mesmer skills/traits and create new specs.

    Obèlíx [GAUL] - Gandara(EU).

  • Leonidrex.5649Leonidrex.5649 Member ✭✭✭✭

    no matter how good the expac will be I will not buy it unless core/other elites get fixed, and I urge you to do the same.
    or you will be milked every time.
    I have plenty other games to spend my money on, its on developers to persuade ME to spend it on THEM instead of on someone else.
    Gutting MY class and releasing bugged pve content back to back is not convincing me that its worth my cash.
    kitten me in derailing again lol

  • Moradorin.6217Moradorin.6217 Member ✭✭✭
    edited March 27, 2020

    @WraithOfStealth.1624 said:

    @Moradorin.6217 said:
    I think this thread is damaging.

    Bit dramatic.

    I guess what Im saying why bother with a new espec for a dead class.

    Because especs sell expansion copies.

    It's wishful thinking i know, but they could just work on core mesmer skills/traits and create new specs.

    I have to dissagree. I think historic facts demonstrate that especs complicate balance of core for any class. Additionally, the attempted solution so far to balance Mesmer Especs, specifically, has been to destroy core Mesmer. So it seems pretty clear to me that facts prove this has never worked in the past. In fact, history demonstrates the opposite is the case. That is, Anet CANNOT possibly balance core if they continue to focus on the especs. I wish they could!

    Also yes, I wish core would be fixed/helped to be more viable. I would be happy enough on core. After all, I played core for a long time before and even some after HoT and since.