This guide has been posted in RO Empire and Emperium for quite a few months now. I've decided to submit this to GameFAQs due to the lack of complete and up-to-date guides on Bards, Dancers, and their reincarnations (the Clown and the Gypsy). You can consult my guide in the above forums for a much better/ easier read. My guide tends to go really detailed and comprehensive, so readers preferring quick answers can consult shorter guides in GameFAQs, RO Empire or Emperium. ______ Bard/Dancer/Clown/Gypsy Guide (BDCG) v1.0 By aldoteng (firstname.lastname@example.org) 13 Mar 2005 This guide is meant for the public. You can post it anywhere or quote any information, but please inform me should you do so, and credit me should you do any direct quoting. Do NOT alter/edit the guide in anyway should you decide to reproduce this guide for public viewing (unless translated into another language). Contact me at email@example.com. I'll be happy to receive constructive feedback, suggestions, criticisms, corrections, and some good old flirting. I'm male. Flames are welcome too, though they'll be swiftly ignored anyway. ======= PREFACE ======= This is a complete one-stop station for anyone who needs information and answers about this elusive class in Ragnarok Online. It tends to go into detail as it does mean to be as broad as possible. It's geared at readers who are at minimum comfortable with the game basics. This guide is divided into two major sections. The first section deals with stuff already available in various databases and websites (like stats, equipment, etc) with comments included. The second section deals with builds, strategies, discussions and comparisons. Oh yea, I'm a boy, so I've never played a Dancer and whatever I write about Dancers is not from my personal experience. I have been blessed with wonderful Dancer friends and posters that have helped me complete the Dancer sections. Written by deadlyasshole, Bard enthusiast from pRO: "To all Bard that feel down because many ignoring us and calling us weakling then let us show them what we can really do. We Can Support Masses, We can deal tons of Damages, And We Can Frost them like an Ice Candy hehehe. Now, Many feared me, Annoyed to me, Aiming to kill me, Also cosidering me a big threat in PVP and siege hehehe. It seem i'm getting popular. Because of this i ignore my BS and my FS priest. Also it's flooding without getting banned and silence for an hours hehehe. See, Bard is cool. Nope, Bard is extremely cool. Still or us serious bard, being bard, seing other bard rarely is really a great advantage for us because we know were only few and shinning in migard is an easy step stone. As for now my goal is to become the best bard in our server and in the future to become the best in pRO after that in the Whole world. That is only a dream but still i hope it will come true since i'm a serious bard also a Super Active WOE player. To all serious bard like me. Long leave Bards of Migard. Rok On." Anything he's written is perfectly applicable for Dancers too. --------------------- Contents at a glance: --------------------- Introduction Stats Skills - Archer - Bard/Dancer - Bard - Dancer - Duet Builds - The Bad - The Average - The Good - The Unknown Equipment Cards Arrows Walkthrough (includes job quests) Strategies - Dagger-stopping - Song/dance-switching - Solo PVM (Player versus Monster) - Party PVM (Player versus Monster) - MVPing (Most Valuable Player) - PVPing (Player versus Player) - WOEing (War of Emperium) Clown and Gypsy Compare and Contrast - DEX builds vs INT builds - Bard vs Dancer - Bard/Dancer vs Priest - Bard/Dancer vs Hunter - Clown/Gypsy vs Sniper - Bow vs Instrument/Whip Patch History My Character To-Do List Version History References Acknowledgements ============ INTRODUCTION ============ An Archer in Ragnarok Online can choose to evolve into a Hunter or a Bard/ Dancer. Bards must be males and Dancers have to be females. Hunters and Bard/ Dancers have several similarities, but are otherwise strikingly different. If you want to be a powerhouse in damage, win MVPs, and terrorize PVP arenas, Hunter is for you. Bard/Dancers are built for supporting, not for damage. But Bards/Dancers are not the best supporters either. Compared to Priests who can heal, cure, bless, buff, ress and protect, Bard/Dancer skills are at best limited to few benefits. The most efficient Bard/Dancers occupy the middle niche in a party. The ability to deal huge damage (not as high as Hunters/Smiths/Monks though) while singing/dancing simultaneously allows us to be excellent supportive attackers. Melody Strike (Bard)/ Slinging Arrow (Dancer) are fearsome skills known to take down foolish Hunters who forget that we can also reach 150 DEX and actually wear a Cranial Buckler. The general public sentiment is that Bards/Dancers (along with Alchemists and Sages) are not useful in general partying. Be prepared to face rejections from ignorant parties, but anticipate the fun you can get from playing a rare but powerful class. This class is also great for WOE lovers. Most guilds today already realize our assets in War and the powerful ones have at least a Bard and a Dancer. Anyway, a lot of Bard/Dancer mechanics are new to most, so I'll list them here right at the start. Note that you can equip both bows and instruments (Bards)/whips (Dancers). You can use daggers too, but why would you? WHEN YOU EQUIP INSTRUMENTS/WHIPS - Damage is DEX based. Not STR! - You can equip a Buckler. - You cannot use Double Strafe, Charge Arrow and Arrow Shower. - You can use Unbarring Octave and Dazzler without instruments/whips, but all other Bard/Dancer skills require them equipped. WHILE YOU PERFORM A SOLO SONG/DANCE - The skill effect is 7x7. - The skill affects anyone, even outside party or guild alliance. - ***The skill effects on your mates will last even after they step out of the area of effect for 20 seconds.*** You can imbue them with multiple buffs by switching skills quickly. - The skill effects do not affect YOU. - You cannot attack. - You can move at 1/4 of normal walking speed. In a future patch, we'd be able to walk at 1/2 of normal speed. Refer to Patch History section. - You can cast Amp after the first five seconds of performing the skill. - You can cast Melody Strike/Slinging Arrow. - Your SP will not regen. Meanwhile the skill depletes your SP slowly. - The skill will stop if you equip a bow or dagger. - The skill effect is snipable. - When two nearby Bards perform and their skills intersect, the intersected area loses their original effects and becomes Unchained Serenade Lvl 1 (For Dancers, Hip Shaker Lvl 1). Nothing bad happens when a Bard and a Dancer intersects. WHILE YOU PERFORM AN ENSEMBLE - To perform, a Bard and a Dancer must be in the same party and both must have at least a level of that ensemble. One of them (the caster) must stand next to the other (the partner) and start the skill. The duet is automatically performed even if the partner doesn't want to. Both must have instrument/ whip equipped. The resulting skill level is an average of the two skill levels rounded down (eg. Mr Kim a Rich Man, Bard has it at Lvl 2, Dancer at Lvl 4, resulting ensemble is performed at Lvl 3). - The skill effect is 9x9. - Some skills affect everyone, some affect party members, some affect enemies only. - The skill effects **do not** last after your mates step out of the area of effect. - The skills do not affect the caster but they affect the partner. - You cannot attack. - You cannot move at all. - Both caster and partner can cast Amp for all ensembles except for Loki's Wail, where only the caster can do that. - You can cast Melody Strike / Slinging Arrow. - Your SP will not regen. Meanwhile the skill depletes your SP slowly. - The skill will stop if you equip a bow or dagger. - The skill effect is snipable. - Nothing happens when duets intersect. A SONG/DANCE/DUET WILL STOP IF - The player casts Adaptation, but only after the first five seconds of the skill. This is the typical way to stop singing/dancing. - The player receives a single damage of more than 1/4 his/her max HP. - The player gets frozen, stunned or stoned. - The player runs out of SP, or HP (aka dies). - The player equips a dagger or a bow. This is the basis of the dagger- stopping tactic. Progression of jobs: Males: Novice --> Archer --> Bard --> High Novice --> High Archer --> Clown Female: Novice --> Archer --> Dancer --> High Novice --> High Archer --> Gypsy ===== STATS ===== The Bard's Job bonuses at Job 50 are: STR 2, AGI 7, VIT 3, INT 5, DEX 8, LUK 4 The Dancer's Job bonuses are Job 50 are: STR 2, AGI 7, VIT 3, INT 5, DEX 4, LUK 8 STR - +30 maximum weight per point Very few Bards and Dancers raise this beyond 1, and so should you not. Note: A seemingly experienced Clown in my server recommends STR for WOE-support Bards/Dancers to carry more pots. While I don't readily agree with him, he does have a point. I still don't recommend STR though (and neither do most players). AGI - +1 Flee per point - Increases ASPD by some complicated formula * For Bard skill A Whistle, +1 flee per 10 points * For Bard skill Assassin Cross of Sunset, +1% ASPD per 20 points * For Dancer skill Forget Me Not, -x% enemy movement speed per 10 points (not known how much exactly) Very good for levelling and dealing fast damage, and is decently useful in MVP and WOE. A moderate amount is still pretty useful because Melody Strike / Slinging Arrow speed is based on ASPD. Too high a figure is not necessary; you can't flee crits, magic and mobs, and you shouldn't be the main damage-dealer so you don't need so much ASPD. VIT - +1% maximum HP per point - +0.8 weapon damage reduction per point - +2% healing item effect per point - +1 HP regen per 5 points - +1 spell damage reduction per 2 points - Increases stun, silence and poison resistance * For Bard skill Apple of Idun, +5 HP recovery per 10 points and +10% max HP per 10 points Very good for WOE and MVP survival. Too high a figure isn't that necessary; you are not a tanker. Popular belief says that 80 VIT is enough to grant near- immunity to stun and other effects. INT - +1% maximum SP per point - +2% SP recovery item effects per point - +1 SP regen per 6 points - +1 spell damage reduction per point - Increases stone curse, sleep and blind resistance * For Bard skill A Poem of Bragi, -1% after-cast delay per 10 points * For Dancer skill Service For You, +x% max SP per 10 points (not known how much exactly) and -1% SP usage per 10 points * For duet skill Lullaby, improves sleep chance A convenience stat, the only useful effects of INT are max SP and SP regen. A good choice for players who do not wish to burn blue pots and honey. Most get 1 to 30. It is not necessary to get higher than 30 as the points are better spent on other stats that affect performance like DEX and VIT. Besides, with Gonryun and Niffleheim, SP recovery items are more available than ever. DEX - +1 Hit per point - +1 base damage for bow, instrument and whip - Bonus of (DEX/10)^2 damage. The number in brackets is always rounded down (This is commonly known as the DEX bonus; it comes in 10s) - Reduces casting time for skills Charge Arrow, Arrow Shower, Melody Strike / Slinging Arrow and Arrow Vulcan by (DEX/1.5)%. At 75 DEX your casting time is halved. At 150 DEX you have no casting time - Increases ASPD by some complicated formula. The effect of 1 DEX is about one quarter that of 1 AGI * For Bard skill A Poem of Bragi, -1% cast time per 10 points * For Dancer skill Humming, +1 hit per 10 points * For Dancer skill Forget Me Not, -x% enemy ASPD per 10 points (not known how much exactly) Easily the most popular stat in the game, you'll need a very high figure of this for damage and spamming skills with cast times. Most builds recommend getting 120, to 150. (final DEX). You don't actually need this for most of your songs/dances, but otherwise you won't be able to MS/SA well making you basically a weak supporter. Plus you'll be levelling like hell. Side note: The DEX bonus stated comes in 10s. The difference between 108 and 109 DEX is very little, but the difference between 109 and 110 DEX is huge. Get your final DEX (base DEX + job bonus + equips + cards + buffs) to multiples of 10, like 130 and 140. The same goes for INT (bonus at 6s for regen) and VIT (bonus at 5s for regen). LUK - +0.3 crit per point - +1 perfect dodge per 10 points - Increases resistance against enemy crits * For Bard skill A Whistle, +1% perfect dodge per 10 points * For Dancer skill Fortune's Kiss +1% crit per 10 points No established build gets LUK because crits do not work for skills like Double Strafe and Melody Strike. Best left at 1. Note: Quite a number of players out there are actually toying with the idea of a Crit Dancer. I have no experience in Crit characters whatsoever, and a Crit Bard/Dancer is not a proven build yet. But that doesn't mean it won't work. I still don't recommend it though. ====== SKILLS ====== This section is divided into Archer skills, Bard/Dancer skills, Bard-only skills, Dancer-only skills, and Duet skills. I wanted to include Novice skills too but who was I kidding... Note: Many of the Bard/Dancer skills were renamed in iRO, so I wrote the iRO names next to the original ones. Note: Credits to Himeyasha's now-defunct website for much of the Bard/Dancer skill info. I've given up trying to make an ASCII skill tree. You can check out the jpg skill tree I created at: http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v36/aldoteng/BCDGSkillTreecopy.jpg ------------- Archer Skills ------------- _______________________ 01) Owl's Eye (Passive) Requirements: None Requirement for: Vulture's Eye (3) Lvl 1: DEX +1 Lvl 2: DEX +2 <...and so on...> Lvl 10: DEX +10 Description: Increases your DEX stat. No reason why you wouldn't want to max this. My rating: ***** ___________________________ 02) Vulture's Eye (Passive) Requirements: Owl's Eye 3 Requirement for: Improve Concentration (1) Lvl 1: Range +1 Lvl 2: Range +2 <...and so on...> Lvl 10: Range +10 Description: Increases your range ONLY with a bow. Melody Strike / Slinging Arrow does not benefit from this skill. It's great during your Archer days and your Bard/Dancer days if you level with a bow (recommended choice). With this skill you get to murder enemies as far as the edge of the screen. My rating: **** ________________________________ 03) Improve Concentration (Self) Requirements: Vulture's Eye 1 Requirement for: None Lvl 1: AGI and DEX +3% for 40 seconds, 25 SP Lvl 2: AGI and DEX +4% for 50 seconds, 30 SP Lvl 3: AGI and DEX +5% for 60 seconds, 35 SP <...and so on...> Lvl 10: AGI and DEX +12% for 130 seconds, 70 SP Description: Improves your AGI and DEX by % and also allows you to detect nearby hidden enemies. AGI and DEX increment is based on base stats, job bonuses, Owl's Eye and equips (not including cards). Has a high SP cost while low-levelled but you'll be using this skill again and again when you're a Bard/Dancer and have SP to burn. This is very useful for performance and the only builds that don't need this are those with no DEX and AGI, which are crap, I'm sorry. My rating: ***** _______________________________________ 04) Double Strafe (Single Enemy Ranged) Requirements: None Requirement for: Arrow Shower (5) Cast time: None Cast delay: 0.1s? SP cost: 12 Lvl 1: Damages enemy with 200% ATK Lvl 2: Damages enemy with 220% ATK <...and so on...> Lvl 10: Damages enemy with 380% ATK Description: Basically hits the enemy with a strong damage multiplier. Does not use up arrows. Future patch: Requires arrows. The fearsome trademark of a Hunter. Bard/Dancers can be scary with DS too, but our lower ASPD with bows makes us second-class compared to Hunters. This is great for levelling as a Bard/Dancer when you have SP to burn. Cannot be used with an instrument/whip. My rating: ***** ________________________________ 05) Arrow Shower (Splash Ranged) Requirements: Double Strafe 5 Requirement for: None Cast time: None Cast delay: None SP cost: 15 Lvl 1: Damages enemies in 5x5 AoE with 80% ATK Lvl 2: Damages enemies in 5x5 AoE with 85% ATK <...and so on...> Lvl 10: Damages enemies in 5x5 AoE with 125% ATK Description: Targets an enemy and hits the 5X5 area of effect around him. Enemies hit are pushed back 2 cells. Does not use up arrows. Future patch: Requires arrows. Besides Frost Joker and Scream, this is your only reliable mob control skill. Some people don't max this. Lvl 1 is already useful for inflicting status ailments to a mob with status-carded bows. Cannot be used with an instrument/ whip. My rating: *** ______________________ a) Arrow Create (Self) Job quest requirements: Archer Job >29, or Bard/Dancer. Gather 41 Tough Scalelike Stems, 13 Trunks, 1 Red Potions, 20 Resins, 7 Mushroom Spores and talk to Roberto in Morroc (121,109). SP cost: 10 Lvl 1: Creates arrows from items in your inventory There are many websites/guides with the list of Arrow Create combinations. This is very useful for levelling (instead of having to lug 5,000 silvers per trip and get overweight, just bring 100 Zargons) and getting rare arrows like Crystal, Stone and Wind. It's free anyway. Cannot be used when weight >50%. _____________________________________ b) Arrow Charge (Single Enemy Ranged) Job quest requirements: Archer Job >34, or Bard/Dancer. Gather 1 Crossbow, 10 Tentacles, 10 Bills of Bird, 3 Yoyo Tails, 2 Emeralds, 36 Banana Juices, and talk to Jason in Payon (30,94). You'll get your crossbow back. SP cost: 15 Lvl 1: Damages enemy with 150% ATK and pushes back 6 cells. Does not use up arrows. Future patch: Requires arrows. Description: Push-back does not work in WOE. Outside WOE, a great tool to get out of sticky situations like mobs and strong monsters approaching. It's free anyway. Cannot be used with an instrument/whip. Comments: You can't really go very wrong here. You need a minimum of 39 skills and there are only 50 to choose from. Bard/Dancers who plan to still use a bow at higher levels SHOULD consider GOING FOR JOB 50 and get as many available skills as possible (the least important being Arrow Shower). In fact, you really should use a bow to level. It's a much better levelling tool. Anyway, if you refuse to use bows, you can sacrifice a few skills and change at Job 40. Among the bow-only skills, Double Strafe is more important so you can leave Arrow Shower to rest except for 1 point in it to use with status bows. If your build does not have DEX or AGI altogether, you are mad, but anyway you can forget about Improve Concentration. I'm highly biased towards getting all Archer skill points because I believe a bowless and DEXless build is useless. Most people don't bother with Arrow Shower but I feel it could come useful one day. What's Job 50 compared to Base 99 anyway. ------------------ Bard/Dancer Skills ------------------ Both Bards and Dancers have these skills. They can be cast without a partner. ____________________________________________ 01) Adaptation to Circumstances / Amp (Self) Requirements: None Requirement for: Encore (1) and Dissonance (1)/ Ugly Dance (1) SP cost: 1 Lvl 1: Stops your singing/dancing/duets It's requisite for your whole skill tree. It's not as super-useful as it sounds because it cannot be cast within the first 5 seconds of the song/dance. Instead, equip a dagger to stop your skill. Refer to Strategies section, Dagger-stopping, for more reasons why you should use dagger-equipping instead of Adapting. My rating: *** _________________ 02) Encore (Self) Requirements: Adaptation to Circumstances 1 Requirement for: Frost Joker (1)/ Scream (1) SP cost: 1 Lvl 1: Repeats your last song/dance for half its usual SP cost Definitely take this skill, Bards and Dancers don't have a LOT of SP. My rating: ***** ----------- Bard Skills ----------- _____________________________ 03a) Musical Lesson (Passive) Requirements: None Requirement for: Dissonance (1) and Melody Strike (3) Lvl 1: Instrument ATK +3 and improves Bard songs Lvl 2: Instrument ATK +6 and improves Bard songs <...and so on...> Lvl 10: Instrument ATK +30 and improves Bard songs Future patch: Improves walking speed while singing. At lvl 10, you can move at 1/2 of normal walking speed. Description: Improves instrument ATK and improves the effects of solo Bard songs (duets are not affected, though). Its effects on individual songs are described below under each respective song. No reason why you would want to skip this. My rating: ***** ________________________________________ 04a) Melody Strike (Single Enemy Ranged) Requirements: Musical Lesson 3 Requirement for: None Cast time: 1.5s Cast delay: None SP cost: 8 Lvl 1: Damages enemy with 150% ATK Lvl 2: Damages enemy with 175% ATK <...and so on...> Lvl 5: Damages enemy with 250% ATK Description: Basically hits the enemy with a strong damage multiplier. Does not use up arrows. You cannot set the level. Future patch: Requires arrows. You can also set the level, in fact this patch rewrites the whole mechanics, and at Lvl 5 the damage modifier is pegged at 260% with an SP cost of 9. Not as strong as DS, but you can use this while singing. With very high DEX you can basically spam this like a Hunter's DS and do a lot of extra damage even while you're singing away. GET THIS! Without this you're just a half- grade supporter. Note that the skill ignores the ATK from the arrow, so there isn't a difference between using Arrows and Oridecon Arrows. Also, currently this cannot bypass Immune Muffler in PVP. Say you're using MS with an elemental arrow on someone wearing Immune Muffler. The MS damage will still get reduced by 20%. Hope they fix that soon. My rating: ***** ____________________________________________ 05a) Frost Joker / Unbarring Octave (Active) Requirements: Encore 1 Requirement for: None Cast time: None Cast delay: 3 sec. Lvl 1: Freezes with 20% chance, 12 SP Lvl 2: Freezes with 25% chance, 14 SP <...and so on...> Lvl 5: Freezes with 40% chance, 20 SP Description: Tries to freeze your enemies on the WHOLE screen. Has a low chance of freezing your own party members / guild allies in WOE. In some servers namely iRO, guild members and allies in sieges OUTSIDE your party can never be frozen. It's best to use this when a lot of your party/guild members wear Unfrozen in WOE. This is a killer move, a lot of people go "WTF !@#$%^&" when they realize the enemy has a Frosting Bard; it's known to be great for castle-storming. Mature servers have a lot of Marc armours so this becomes less useful, but now you can teach those Ghostring/Angelring/Dokebi brats a lesson. If you do WOE, take this. Lotharin of ROE says: "Further strategies with Frost Joker: 1) Use wind arrows and DS or MS the poor sucker when he is frozen. A hunter can outdamage you normally, but under these circumstances, you would be able to deal an insane amount of damage - why? You will have the benefit of an additional elemental modifier (wind vs. ice). 2) In PVP or even WOE, delay your DS or MS so that you can attempt to freeze him again with another Octave. This means you will need to wait 1 or 2 seconds before you DS him to wait for the "recoil" to almost finish. If requires a good deal of control, but if you can pull it off, you will make your opponent cry or embarrassed. 3) Use Jupitel Thunder from the Electric Guitar and basically play like a weak Wizard. Full support and high INT bards (not necessarily 80-99 INT, but high enough to do good damage), and even the standard 18-30 INT types should do decent damage, though I much prefer the wind arrow method. Apply the above strategy of stalling the attack after freezing for repeated lightning beatings to the head. 4) Frost the screen. Wizard friend LOVs. Screen is refreshingly clear of enemies. (this one is obvious I know)" My rating: **** ___________________________________________ 06a) Dissonance / Unchained Serenade (Song) Requirements: Adaptation 1 and Musical Lesson 1 Requirement for: Whistle (3), Assassin (3), Poem (3) and Apple (3) Duration: 30s SP depletion: 1 SP per 3 seconds Lvl 1: 20 damage, 18 SP Lvl 2: 40 damage, 21 SP Lvl 3: 60 damage, 24 SP Lvl 4: 80 damage, 27 SP Lvl 5: 100 damage, 30 SP Musical Lesson lvl 1: Additional 3 damage Musical Lesson lvl 2: Additional 6 damage <...and so on...> Musical Lesson lvl 10: Additional 10 damage Description: In the 7x7 area of effect, any enemy receives a non-elemental, DEF-ignoring damage of 40 every 3 seconds. The damage increases with skill level. You need 3 levels of this to unlock the main body of Bard skills, so just get 3 of this! 3 is also enough to interrupt a sea of casting Monks and Wizards in WOE. It's been reported to be useful that way though I've never tried it. Whatever it is, just get 3 of Unchained Serenade. My rating: Unknown/not important anyway _________________________________________ 07a) A Whistle / Perfect Tablature (Song) Requirements: Dissonance 3 Requirement for: Lullaby (10) Duration: 60s SP depletion: 1 SP per 5 seconds Lvl 1: Flee +1 and Perfect Dodge +1, 24 SP Lvl 2: Flee +2 and Perfect Dodge +1, 28 SP Lvl 3: Flee +3 and Perfect Dodge +2, 32 SP Lvl 4: Flee +4 and Perfect Dodge +2, 36 SP Lvl 5: Flee +5 and Perfect Dodge +3, 40 SP Lvl 6: Flee +6 and Perfect Dodge +3, 44 SP Lvl 7: Flee +7 and Perfect Dodge +4, 48 SP Lvl 8: Flee +8 and Perfect Dodge +4, 52 SP Lvl 9: Flee +9 and Perfect Dodge +5, 56 SP Lvl 10: Flee +10 and Perfect Dodge +5, 60 SP Musical Lesson lvl 1 and 2: Additional Flee +1 and Perfect Dodge +1 Musical Lesson lvl 3 and 4: Additional Flee +2 and Perfect Dodge +2 Musical Lesson lvl 5 and 6: Additional Flee +3 and Perfect Dodge +3 Musical Lesson lvl 7 and 8: Additional Flee +4 and Perfect Dodge +4 Musical Lesson lvl 9 and 10: Additional Flee +5 and Perfect Dodge +5 If your AGI is 10: Additional Flee +1 If your AGI is 20: Additional Flee +2 <...and so on...for as high AGI as you want> If your LUK is 10: Additional Perfect Dodge +1 If your LUK is 20: Additional Perfect Dodge +2 <...and so on...for as high LUK as you want> (Eg. A Bard with maxed Whistle and Musical Lesson, with 100 AGI and 50 LUK, would buff for Flee +25 and Perfect Dodge +15) Description: In the 7x7 area of effect, the person receives a Flee and Perfect Dodge upgrade. No no no...this is NOT GOOD. Flee is great for PVM only, and Bards are not for PVM support. Don't get this unless you want to get Lullaby and Into the Abyss, which suck anyway. My rating: ** ______________________________________________________ 08a) Assassin Cross of Sunset / Impressive Riff (Song) Requirements: Dissonance 3 Requirement for: Loki's Wail (10) Duration: 120s SP depletion: 1 SP per 3 seconds Lvl 1: ASPD +11%, 38 SP Lvl 2: ASPD +12%, 41 SP Lvl 3: ASPD +13%, 44 SP Lvl 4: ASPD +14%, 47 SP Lvl 5: ASPD +15%, 50 SP Lvl 6: ASPD +16%, 53 SP Lvl 7: ASPD +17%, 56 SP Lvl 8: ASPD +18%, 59 SP Lvl 9: ASPD +19%, 62 SP Lvl 10: ASPD +20%, 65 SP Musical Lesson lvl 1 and 2: Additional ASPD +1% Musical Lesson lvl 3 and 4: Additional ASPD +2% Musical Lesson lvl 5 and 6: Additional ASPD +3% Musical Lesson lvl 7 and 8: Additional ASPD +4% Musical Lesson lvl 9 and 10: Additional ASPD +5% If your AGI is 10: Additional ASPD +1% If your AGI is 20: Additional ASPD +2% <...and so on...for as high AGI as you want> (Eg. A Bard with maxed Whistle and Musical Lesson, with 100 AGI, would buff for ASPD +35%) Description: In the 7x7 area of effect, the person receives an ASPD upgrade. Does not work with Two-Hand Quicken, Spear Quicken, Adrenaline Rush, and bows, but does work with ASPD potions. That leaves out AGI Knights, AGI Crusaders, all Blacksmiths and all Hunters. But wait, we still have Assassins, Rogues, Hybrid Spear Knights and Combo Monks to buff, and boy will they love you for this. Especially good for Emperium breaking, buff those Sins and destroy those Emperiums faster. Also good in monster-hunting/levelling. My rating: **** ___________________________________________ 09a) A Poem of Bragi / Magic Strings (Song) Requirements: Dissonance 3 Requirement for: Invulnerable Siegfried (10) Duration: 180s SP depletion: 1 SP per 5 seconds Lvl 1: Casting time and after-cast delay -3% each, 40 SP Lvl 2: Casting time and after-cast delay -6% each, 45 SP Lvl 3: Casting time and after-cast delay -9% each, 50 SP Lvl 4: Casting time and after-cast delay -12% each, 55 SP Lvl 5: Casting time and after-cast delay -15% each, 60 SP Lvl 6: Casting time and after-cast delay -18% each, 65 SP Lvl 7: Casting time and after-cast delay -21% each, 70 SP Lvl 8: Casting time and after-cast delay -24% each, 75 SP Lvl 9: Casting time and after-cast delay -27% each, 80 SP Lvl 10: Casting time and after-cast delay -30% each, 85 SP Musical Lesson lvl 1: Additional casting time and after-cast delay -1% each Musical Lesson lvl 2: Additional casting time and after-cast delay -2% each <...and so on...> Musical Lesson lvl 10: Additional casting time and after-cast delay -10% each If your DEX is 10: Additional casting time -1% If your DEX is 20: Additional casting time -2% <...and so on...for as high DEX as you want> If your INT is 10: Additional after-cast delay -1% If your INT is 20: Additional after-cast delay -2% <...and so on...for as high INT as you want> (Eg. A Bard with maxed Poem and Musical Lesson, with 150 DEX and 30 INT, would buff for casting time -55% and after-cast delay -43%) Description: In the 7x7 area of effect, the person can cast faster and enjoys a reduction in after-cast delay. This is ABSOLUTELY THE BEST Bard skill. Cast time reduction can be stacked with Suffragium and this is the only skill in the game that reduces after-cast delay. You're basically helping Wizards (the mass damagers), Priests (the vital supporters), Spirit Monks (high damagers), and actually anyone else that spams skills with painful after-cast delays, especially Snipers and Lord Knights. I declare this an overpowered skill (no complaints though)! My rating: ***** _________________________________________ 10a) Apple of Idun / Song of Lutie (Song) Requirements: Dissonance 3 Requirement for: Sound of a Drum on the Battlefield (10) Duration: 180s SP depletion: 1 SP per 6 seconds Lvl 1: HP regen 35 and max HP +7%, 40 SP Lvl 2: HP regen 40 and max HP +9%, 45 SP Lvl 3: HP regen 45 and max HP +11%, 50 SP Lvl 4: HP regen 50 and max HP +13%, 55 SP Lvl 5: HP regen 55 and max HP +15%, 60 SP Lvl 6: HP regen 60 and max HP +17%, 65 SP Lvl 7: HP regen 65 and max HP +19%, 70 SP Lvl 8: HP regen 70 and max HP +21%, 75 SP Lvl 9: HP regen 75 and max HP +23%, 80 SP Lvl 10: HP regen 80 and max HP +25%, 85 SP Musical Lesson lvl 1: Additional HP regen 5 and max HP +1% Musical Lesson lvl 2: Additional HP regen 10 and max HP +2% Musical Lesson lvl 3: Additional HP regen 15 and max HP +3% Musical Lesson lvl 4: Additional HP regen 20 and max HP +4% <...and so on...> Musical Lesson lvl 10: Additional HP regen 50 and max HP +10% If your VIT is 10: Additional HP regen 5 and max HP +1% If your VIT is 20: Additional HP regen 10 and max HP +2% If your VIT is 30: Additional HP regen 15 and max HP +3% If your VIT is 40: Additional HP regen 20 and max HP +4% <...and so on...for as high VIT as you want> (Eg. A Bard with maxed Apple and Musical Lesson, with 70 VIT, would buff for HP regen 165 and max HP +42%) Description: In the 7x7 area of effect, the person has some HP regen and an increase in max HP. The most often-played song in towns and thus the most famous. Its HP recovery is crap honestly, go for the max HP upgrade, a 30% to 40% HP increase is enough to make Knights and Crusaders want to kiss you. Great for tanking MVPs and shockingly good for storming into the WOE pre-casts. My rating: **** ------------- Dancer Skills ------------- _____________________________ 03b) Dancing Lesson (Passive) Description: Same as Musical Lesson, except that it affects whip damage and Dancer skills. _________________________________________ 04b) Slinging Arrow (Single Enemy Ranged) Description: Same as Melody Strike, except that it applies to whips. ______________________________ 05b) Scream / Dazzler (Active) Requirements: Encore 1 Requirement for: None Cast time: None Cast delay: 3 sec SP cost: 8 Lvl 1: Stuns with 30% chance Lvl 2: Stuns with 35% chance <...and so on...> Lvl 5: Stuns with 50% chance Description: Tries to stun your enemies on the WHOLE screen. Has a low chance of stunning your own party members / guild members in WOE. In some servers namely iRO, guild members and allies in sieges OUTSIDE your party can never be frozen. It's best to use this when your party/guild members in WOE are high VIT. This is a killer move, a lot of people go "WTF !@#$%^&" when they realize the enemy has a Screaming Dancer; it's known to be great for castle-storming. Unlike the Bard's Frost Joker, stun cannot be prevented by equipment (except for the Orc Hero card), but it can be reduced by VIT and most WOE players have respectable VIT. Did you know that Scream quotes are really funny? "I'm pregnant with your child!!!" o.O My rating: **** ____________________________________ 06b) Ugly Dance / Hip Shaker (Dance) Requirements: Adaptation 1 and Dancing Lesson 1 Requirement for: Humming (3), Forget (3), Fortune (3) and Service (3) Duration: 30s SP depletion: 1 SP per 3 seconds Lvl 1: 8 SP damage, 23 SP Lvl 2: 14 SP damage, 26 SP Lvl 3: 20 SP damage, 29 SP Lvl 4: 26 SP damage, 32 SP Lvl 5: 32 SP damage, 35 SP Dancing Lesson lvl 1: Additional 6 damage Dancing Lesson lvl 2: Additional 7 damage Dancing Lesson lvl 3: Additional 8 damage <...and so on...> Dancing Lesson lvl 10: Additional 15 damage Description: In the 7x7 area of effect, any enemy receives SP damage of 8 every 3 seconds. The damage increases with skill level. <I do not have a Dancer, but AxiaDrake states that this skill is good in WOE. Especially when the enemy does not know what the skill does. Muahaha> ___________________________________ 07b) Humming / Focus Ballet (Dance) Requirements: Ugly Dance 3 Requirement for: Lullaby (10) Duration: 60s SP depletion: 1 SP per 5 seconds Lvl 1: Hit +2, 22 SP Lvl 2: Hit +4, 24 SP Lvl 3: Hit +6, 26 SP Lvl 4: Hit +8, 28 SP Lvl 5: Hit +10, 30 SP Lvl 6: Hit +12, 32 SP Lvl 7: Hit +14, 34 SP Lvl 8: Hit +16, 36 SP Lvl 9: Hit +18, 38 SP Lvl 10: Hit +20, 40 SP Dancing Lesson lvl 1: Additional Hit +2 Dancing Lesson lvl 2: Additional Hit +4 <...and so on...> Dancing Lesson lvl 10: Additional Hit +20 If your DEX is 10: Additional Hit +1 If your DEX is 20: Additional Hit +2 <...and so on...for as high DEX as you want> (Eg. A Dancer with maxed Humming and Dancing Lesson, with 150 DEX, would buff for Hit +55) Description: In the 7x7 area of effect, the person receives a Hit upgrade. It seems leet. +40 or +50 Hit is not a joke. Low Hit has always plagued many melee classes in MVPing, and here's your chance to get your melee friends to score the MVP for Mistress, Knight of Windstorm, Dark Lord, and other high Flee bosses. My experienced Dancer friends, however, tell me that this skill has no use, so I'll use their rating instead of my purely theoretical assessment. Friends' rating: ** _______________________________________ 08b) Forget Me Not / Slow Grace (Dance) Requirements: Ugly Dance 3 Requirement for: Loki's Wail (10) Duration: 180s SP depletion: 1 SP per 5 seconds Lvl 1: ASPD -3% and movement speed -2%, 28 SP Lvl 2: ASPD -6% and movement speed -4%, 31 SP Lvl 3: ASPD -9% and movement speed -6%, 34 SP Lvl 4: ASPD -12% and movement speed -8%, 37 SP Lvl 5: ASPD -15% and movement speed -10%, 40 SP Lvl 6: ASPD -18% and movement speed -12%, 43 SP Lvl 7: ASPD -21% and movement speed -14%, 46 SP Lvl 8: ASPD -24% and movement speed -16%, 49 SP Lvl 9: ASPD -27% and movement speed -18%, 52 SP Lvl 10: ASPD -30% and movement speed -20%, 55 SP <The effect of Dancing Lesson is currently unknown> <DEX improves ASPD reduction but its exact effect is unknown> <AGI improves movement speed reduction but its exact effect is unknown> Description: In the 7x7 area of effect, the person suffers a reduction in ASPD and movement speed. Experienced Dancers absolutely recommend this dance. In solo PVP, awesome. In WOE, even more awesome. Place the Dancer at strategic points, and unsuspecting enemies get to suffer an ASPD and movement delay for a fat 20 seconds. Or dance next to your own Emperium, and the enemy Sins/Knights would just have a terrible time trying to crack the Emp. Friends' rating: ***** _______________________________________ 09b) Fortune's Kiss / Lady Luck (Dance) Requirements: Ugly Dance 3 Requirement for: Invulnerable Siegfried (10) Duration: 120s SP depletion: 1 SP per 4 seconds Lvl 1: Crit +11, 43 SP Lvl 2: Crit +12, 46 SP Lvl 3: Crit +13, 49 SP Lvl 4: Crit +14, 52 SP Lvl 5: Crit +15, 55 SP Lvl 6: Crit +16, 58 SP Lvl 7: Crit +17, 61 SP Lvl 8: Crit +18, 64 SP Lvl 9: Crit +19, 67 SP Lvl 10: Crit +20, 70 SP Dancing Lesson lvl 1 and 2: Additional Crit +1 Dancing Lesson lvl 3 and 4: Additional Crit +2 Dancing Lesson lvl 5 and 6: Additional Crit +3 Dancing Lesson lvl 7 and 8: Additional Crit +4 Dancing Lesson lvl 9 and 10: Additional Crit +5 If your LUK is 10: Additional Crit +1 If your LUK is 20: Additional Crit +2 <...and so on...for as high LUK as you want> (Eg. A Dancer with maxed Fortune's Kiss and Dancing Lesson, with 10 LUK, would buff for Crit +26) Description: In the 7x7 area of effect, the person receives a Crit upgrade. Popular use for supporting Emperium breaking. Dancers are truly friends of the Emperium - allied or enemy's. Friends' rating: **** ___________________________________________ 10b) Service For You / Gypsy's Kiss (Dance) Requirements: Ugly Dance 3 Requirement for: Sound of a Drum on the Battlefield (10) Duration: 180s SP depletion: 1 SP per 5 seconds Lvl 1: SP cost -13% and max SP +11%, 40 SP Lvl 2: SP cost -16% and max SP +12%, 45 SP Lvl 3: SP cost -19% and max SP +13%, 50 SP Lvl 4: SP cost -22% and max SP +14%, 55 SP Lvl 5: SP cost -25% and max SP +15%, 60 SP Lvl 6: SP cost -26% and max SP +16%, 65 SP Lvl 7: SP cost -31% and max SP +17%, 70 SP Lvl 8: SP cost -34% and max SP +18%, 75 SP Lvl 9: SP cost -37% and max SP +19%, 80 SP Lvl 10: SP cost -40% and max SP +20%, 85 SP Dancing Lesson lvl 1 and 2: Additional SP cost -1% and +unknown max SP Dancing Lesson lvl 3 and 4: Additional SP cost -2% and +unknown max SP Dancing Lesson lvl 5 and 6: Additional SP cost -3% and +unknown max SP Dancing Lesson lvl 7 and 8: Additional SP cost -4% and +unknown max SP Dancing Lesson lvl 9 and 10: Additional SP cost -5% and +unknown max SP If your INT is 10: Additional SP cost -1% and +unknown max SP If your INT is 20: Additional SP cost -2% and +unknown max SP <...and so on...for as high INT as you want> (Eg. A Dancer with maxed Service For You and Dancing Lesson, with 30 INT, would buff for SP cost -55% and max SP +unknown) Description: In the 7x7 area of effect, the person gets to use less SP for skills and an increase in max SP. Affects party members only? Its SP cost reduction is good for levelling parties and potting alchemists, while its max SP upgrade is awesome for Asura Monks. Niroku says it's great in guild dungeons. Friends' rating: ***** ----- Duets ----- Note: Notice how they screwed the iRO names. Thank God I don't play that. ___________ 11) Lullaby Requirements: A Whistle 10 / Humming 10 Requirement for: Into the Abyss (1) Duration: 60s SP cost: 20 SP depletion: 1 SP per 4 seconds Lvl 1: In the 9x9 area of effect, makes everyone go to sleep. INT improves sleep chances. Future patch: Greatly improves sleep chances. No no no, this sucks. Monsters in PVM have high sleep resistance with INT, sleep chance isn't high, and wouldn't you be better off using Frost AND Scream at the same time, dealing Freeze and Stun to the whole screen. You might want to get this for Into the Abyss, but that sucks too. My rating: * ________________________________ 12) Into the Abyss / Power Chord Requirements: Lullaby 1 Requirement for: None Duration: 60s SP cost: 10 SP depletion: 1 SP per 5 seconds Lvl 1: In the 9x9 area of effect, skills no longer require gemstones or traps. Works only for party members. Is very popular for Abracadabra parties. But with an eventual nerf, Abracadabra will always require at least one gem, and the chance of MVP- summoning in Abra has been drastically lowered. Since its prerequisite Bard skill A Whistle is useless, it's screwed up a lot of Bards. Luckily the Dancer's Humming is decent. Anyway, with this nerf, there isn't any reason why you would want to get this. Gems and trap costs are not your priority in critical MVP and WOE situations, and in PVM other skills totally trash it flat. My rating: *1/2 _________________________________ 13) Loki's Wail / Classical Pluck Requirements: Assassin Cross of Sunset 10 / Forget Me Not 10 Requirement for: Eternal Chaos (1) Duration: 60s SP cost: 15 SP depletion: 1 SP per 4 seconds Lvl 1: In the 9x9 area of effect, all players cannot use any skills, including the partner who's unable to cast Melody Strike / Slinging Arrow / Adaptation. Only the caster can Adapt the duet. IMHO the best duet! Get your partner near the portal in a pre-cast room, and get your guildmates to stand further away while barraging the portal with all sorts of skills and spells. Priests can't heal, Monks can't Asura, Bards can't freeze, Dancers can't stun, Blacksmiths can't Mammo, Knights can't Pierce, Crusaders can't GC... you get the idea. Thumbs-up! My rating: **** ______________________________ 14) Eternal Chaos / Down Tempo Requirements: Loki's Wail 1 Requirement for: None Duration: 60s SP cost: 30 SP depletion: 1 SP per 4 seconds Lvl 1: In the 9x9 area of effect, all players get 0 VIT DEF. Future patch: Only affects your enemies. No it doesn't reduce Armour DEF. Only VIT DEF. No one knows any good tactic for this yet. Friends' rating: *1/2 ____________________________________________ 15) Invulnerable Siegfried / Acoustic Rhythm Requirements: A Poem of Bragi 10 / Fortune's Kiss 10 Requirement for: Mr Kim a Rich Man (3) Duration: 60s SP cost: 20 SP depletion: 1 SP per 3 seconds <Has 5 levels but the effectiveness at the 1st four levels are not known> Lvl 5: In the 9x9 area of effect, party mates gain 60% resistance at all elements and 50% resistance to status changes. Future patch: The elemental resistance at lvl 5 is upgraded to 80%. It's received a MAJOR buff. It sounds awesome in MVP and WOE! But my friends who've experienced it say that it doesn't work really that well, so I'll use their rating instead of my theoretical judgement since I've never even seen it in action. Friends' rating: *** ______________________________________ 16) Mr Kim a Rich Man / Mental Sensing Requirements: Invulnerable Siegfried (3) Requirement for: None Duration: 60s SP cost: 20 SP depletion: 1 SP per 3 seconds Lvl 1: Increases EXP gain by 136% Lvl 2: Increases EXP gain by 147% Lvl 3: Increases EXP gain by 158% Lvl 4: Increases EXP gain by 169% Lvl 5: Increases EXP gain by 180% Description: For any monsters killed within the 9x9 area of effect, the EXP gained is increased. The only thing I like about this duet is its name. Even its iRO name got screwed. It's only useful for levelling, and what do you do when you level? You move around actively, looking for more monsters. Duets root the poor Bard and Dancer to one miserable spot. Sure you can get the party mates to lure the monsters into the duet area, but how efficient is that? While we are talking about efficiency, levelling is all about efficient EXP gain per unit time per party member, and adding a Bard and a Dancer just to use this skill is a huge waste of party space. And everyone knows that the most efficient levelling parties in RO are the two-man Priest + Wizard/Hunter parties. The only saving grace is using this skill on Abracadabra'd MVPs. My rating: ** _____________________________________________________ 17) Sound of a Drum on the Battlefield / Battle Theme Requirements: Apple of Idun 10 / Service For You 10 Requirement for: Ring of Nibelungun (3) Duration: 60s SP depletion: 1 SP per 3 seconds Lvl 1: ATK +50 and DEF +4, 40 SP Lvl 2: ATK +75 and DEF +6, 45 SP Lvl 3: ATK +100 and DEF +8, 50 SP Lvl 4: ATK +125 and DEF +10, 55 SP Lvl 5: ATK +150 and DEF +12, 60 SP Description: In the 9x9 area of effect, party members get ATK and DEF upgrades Looks decent. Wish I was able to test it out though. Anyway, while it does look good, a Bard singing his own song and a Dancer dancing her own dance usually result in better effects. My rating: ** ______________________________________ 18) Ring of Nibelungen / Harmonic Lick Requirements: Sound of a Drum on the Battlefield 3 Requirement for: None Duration: 60s SP depletion: 1 SP per 3 seconds Lvl 1: ATK +150, 40 SP Lvl 2: ATK +200, 45 SP Lvl 3: ATK +250, 50 SP Lvl 4: ATK +300, 55 SP Lvl 5: ATK +350, 60 SP Description: In the 9x9 area of effect, party members wielding Lvl 3 and 4 weapons get an ATK upgrade. Future patch: Only works for Lvl 4 weapons, but makes the damage DEF-ignoring. IMHO better than Battlefield. +350 ATK is huge! But again, a Bard and a Dancer doing their own solo stuff usually results in better cumulative buffs. Plus the eventual constraint to Lvl 4 weapons is a major, major nerf. There are still very few situations a Lvl 4 weapon is better than a properly-carded or elemental weapon, except for the Infiltrator. My rating: ** COMMENTS: Duets generally sound good on paper but they are highly flawed. You absolutely need a partner all the time who shares the same skills. Both of you can't move. The skill effects disappear immediately when your party members step out of the area of effect. And most importantly, it would be better for a Bard and a Dancer in the same party but performing their own skills. Think twice before you get a duet, because it takes a lot just to use it. The only duet I see of practical use is Loki's Wail in siege defence. ====== BUILDS ====== A Bard/Dancer is not optimal at being a support-only character. Our skills have a lot of restrictions and are hardly as indispensible as the Priests'. Neither are we good damagers; we are basically Hunters with less HP, slower ASPD, no traps and no falcon. However, we specialize in support PLUS damage. Our Archer background, bonus stats and equippable armour give us plenty of opportunities to reach sky-high DEX and damage, so don't miss them. With the skills Melody Strike and Slinging Arrow, you're able to deal huge damage AS WELL AS sing/dance your hearts out. Hence the paramount importance of DEX in your build. As you know your different stats help you in your skills, so you should also factor them in deciding your stat build. Note that the following builds here are written without much thought. I hate the idea of standard builds, and unlike Wizards and Priests, Bards and Dancers have a lot to factor in the creation of a build. But there WILL still be people too lazy to think of one themselves. Thus I've as lazily created builds for these people. For you unlazy ones, the best way to create your own build is to understand the benefits of each stat, the uses of each skill, and combine your tastes with the experienced players' recommendations to make a Bard or Dancer with the stats and skills you really want. General stat guidelines: DEX - Get it very high or max. Otherwise, don't complain if you regret your build forever. VIT - Higher for PVP and WOE and even MVP, but don't overdo it. Extremely high VIT is useless. AGI - Good for PVM, MVP and levelling, but don't overdo it either. Sky-high AGI ruins your build even worse than high VIT. INT - A convenience stat, you can leave it at 9, or push it to a max of 30. STR - Get it above 1 only if you want a sub-optimal character. LUK - Get it above 1 only if you want a sub-optimal character. General skill guidelines: Adapt, Encore and Dissonance/Ugly 3 should be in all builds. Musical/Dancing Lesson should be put at 10, or 9 if necessary. Melody Strike / Slinging Arrow is -highly- recommended in any build. Frost/Scream is for WOE. Loki's Wail is for WOE; other duets are, for now, not worth the points. Solo songs/dances - Choose at your own discretion, keeping in mind who you want to buff and bonuses from your stat build. Tip: A Poem of Bragi is a must- have for Bards. -------------- The Bad builds -------------- "The Highly Personalized Build" 53 STR 53 VIT 53 AGI 53 DEX 53 INT 53 LUK <A melting pot of skills all over the place> I've met someone who wanted a stat build like this because he just wants a different way of playing. I totally applaud him for trying to be individual, but to anyone else reading this, don't do such a thing to any RO build unless you are REALLY sure you won't mind a highly ineffective and sub-optimal build. ------------------ The Average builds ------------------ "The Slave Build" <Your stats won't even matter, because you wouldn't reach 99 and you wouldn't care about this character anyway> 1 Adaptation 1 Encore 3 Dissonance / Ugly Dance 10 A Whistle / Humming 10 A Poem of Bragi / Fortune's Kiss 1 Lullaby 1 Loki's Wail 3 Invulnerable Siegfried 5 Mr Kim a Rich Man 14 <Insert any song/dance/duet here> The sole purpose of these builds is to slave for Abracadabra parties by eliminating gem usage and buffing experience gain. You really don't need to read a guide then. I'm just warning you that sooner or later Abracadabra will get weakened badly, and such slave builds would hardly get used anymore. "The Full-support WOE Bard/Dancer" 90 INT 90 VIT 50 DEX 9 AGI 1 STR 1 LUK 1 Adaptation 1 Encore 5 Frost Joker / Scream 3 Dissonance / Ugly Dance 10 Musical / Dancing Lesson 10 <Insert any song/dance here> 10 <Insert any song/dance here> 9 <Insert any song/dance here> Fuelled by the desire to be a "Full-Support" character, builds such as these have low DEX and practically no AGI because they wish to "just sing songs and not bother about damage". Such high INT is useless!! And remember, additional damage for the party is a form of support for the party! I originally considered this build a "Bad" one but there exists quite a lot of players who disagree with me, because "Full-Support" builds have their place in WOE. Where ranged attacks are weakened and your DEX-based ranged attacks aren't good enough. Since you won't be doing any damage, might as well go for more SP! But I still do not condone this build. The VIT is always always great, but the INT is not. Refer to Compare and Contrast section to see why I don't agree with this build. "The DEX/AGI Build" 99 DEX 99 AGI 9 INT 1 STR 1 VIT 1 LUK 1 Adaptation 1 Encore 10 Musical / Dancing Lesson 5 Melody Strike / Slinging Arrow 5 Frost Joker / Scream 3 Dissonance / Ugly Dance 10 <Insert any song/dance here> 10 <Insert any song/dance here> 4 <Insert any song/dance/duet here> A Hunter with slower attacks, no traps, no falcons, the ability to look good, sing/dance, and freeze/stun the whole screen. Bards and Dancers like this do exist, and they level very fast, but the lack of VIT means you die often in WOE/MVP and the lack of INT means you lose SP fast from singing/dancing. For your info this was my Bard build so that I could level up quickly for rebirth. "The super-pure WOE Build" <umm... not sure... just that it's way lower than 90> DEX 9 AGI 60 INT 20 STR 80 VIT 1 LUK 1 Adaptation 1 Encore 10 Musical / Dancing Lesson 1 Melody Strike / Slinging Arrow 5 Frost Joker / Scream 3 Dissonance / Ugly Dance 10 Assassin Cross of Sunset / Forget Me Not 10 A Poem of Bragi / Service For You 1 Loki's Wail 7 <Insert any song/dance/duet here> I'd say very good in WOE, but very bad for any other situation. The STR is good for carrying pots in WOE, but is a huge waste for any other use. The INT is great so that you don't need to carry blues (and can carry whites) in WOE, but in any other locations, you'll just be having unused SP. DEX isn't very important in WOE, but you'll regret having low DEX when you realize that you could have interrupted that pre-casting Wizard had you obtained enough DEX to make your MS/SA fast enough. This build is used by someone in mRO who sounds like he knows what he's doing. It's interested me greatly although I would never use it. --------------- The Good builds --------------- *****"The WOE Build"***** 90 DEX 99 VIT 30 INT 9 AGI 1 STR 1 LUK 1 Amp 1 Encore 10 Musical / Dancing Lesson 5 Melody Strike / Slinging Arrow 5 Frost Joker / Scream 3 Dissonance / Ugly Dance 10 Assassin Cross of Sunset / Forget Me Not 1 Loki's Wail 10 A Poem of Bragi / Fortune's Kiss 3 <Insert any song/dance/duet here> This build is ***in my opinion the exemplary support build***. VIT is great for any support situation. This build is, among the viable builds, one of the worst for battle and levelling. Bards could replace Assassin Cross with Apple of Idun, while for Dancers could replace Fortune's Kiss with Service For You. "The MVP Build" 99 DEX 75 AGI 50 VIT 25 INT 1 STR 1 LUK 1 Amp 1 Encore 10 Musical Lesson / Dancing Lesson 5 Melody Strike / Slinging Arrow 3 Dissonance / Ugly Dance 10 A Poem of Bragi / Humming 10 Apple of Idun / Service For You 3 Sound of a Drum on the Battlefield 5 Ring of Nibelungen 1 <Insert any song/dance/duet here> In my opinions the skills listed are good for MVP-support. Stats wise, you have enough AGI to spam MS/SA at the MVP or the occasional monster approaching your Wizard. Pretty good at levelling too. Alternative skill build for the MVP Build: 1 Amp 1 Encore 9 Musical / Dancing Lesson 5 Melody Strike / Slinging Arrow 3 Dissonance / Ugly Dance 10 A Poem of Bragi / Fortune's Kiss 10 Apple of Idun / Service For You 10 Assassin Cross of Sunset / Humming "All-Purpose Build" 99 DEX 75 AGI 50 VIT 25 INT 1 STR 1 LUK 1 Amp 1 Encore 10 Musical / Dancing Lesson 5 Melody Strike / Slinging Arrow 5 Frost Joker / Scream 3 Dissonance / Ugly Dance 10 A Poem of Bragi / Service For You 10 Assassin Cross of Sunset / Forget Me Not 1 Loki's Wail 3 <Insert any song/dance/duet here> Basically able to accommodate into any situation, plus able to level fast enough. My choice, and my Clown right now is following on track (with more skills and stats of course). ------------------ The Unknown Builds ------------------ "The Crit Build" 90 DEX 90 AGI 50 LUK 9 INT 1 STR 1 VIT <The skills don't matter> I previously thought that Bards and Dancers shouldn't Crit since Melody Strike / Slinging Arrow cannot Crit. But today we see Crit Knights, Crusaders and Smiths. I don't know yet if a Crit build is good or bad, so I'll just classify it as "unknown" for now. Crit builds are probably more suitable for Dancers since they have Crit-enhancing weapons, and they are better battlers in general. "The Insta-cast Build" 99 DEX (or whatever is enough to get you to a final value of 150) 99 INT 9 AGI 1 STR 1 VIT 1 LUK <The skills don't matter> Just a raw idea that's never been put to practice. Future patchs of RO would introduce Magic Scrolls, usable items that allow you to cast magic spells, and the Electric Guitar which allows Bards (ONLY) to cast Jupitel Thunder lvl 1. As Bards / Dancers we reach DEX 150 easily, and imagine the chaos an instant- caster can do. I've thought about Electric Guitar Bards. JT has no after-cast delay, and now at 150 DEX with no cast time, you can seriously spam JT with no end, and with JT's knock-back effect... well just leave it to the imagination. Note: Our skills are an all-or-nothing bunch, so if you're unable to max a skill or get it to almost maxed, then don't bother getting that skill at all, except to entertain your friends in towns and get some attention. Comments: For more detailed stat-planning, use the almighty stat calculator http://www.stud.ntnu.no/~magnusrk/calc/ ========= EQUIPMENT ========= I'm only listing the equipment you should actually think of obtaining. Note: Credits to Akemi's Monk guide found in Emperium/ROE. * - You should have these. ------- Weapons ------- Bow: - *4S. Composite Bow, when properly carded is the best bow for High DEX (130 and above) - 3S. Crossbow, cheapest and most versatile - 2S. Gakkung, when properly carded is the best bow for Low Dex (below 120) Instrument: - *4S. Violin, found only from OBBs and maybe OPBs, when properly carded is the best instrument for 150 DEX and above - *3S. Lute, dropped by Wicked Nymphs in Gonryun Dungeon 3, when properly carded is the best instrument for 140 DEX and below - 2S. Harp, can be obtained from Bard Job Quest. Has a nice +2 INT bonus; when carded great as your starting instrument before you obtain the rare 4S. Violin or the 3S. Lute. - Electric Guitar <rare/unavailable yet>, Wind element, +2 INT, +1 AGI, enables Jupitel Thunder lvl 1 Whip: - *4S. Rope, when properly carded is the best whip, plus very frequently- dropped by Dryads - 1S. Rante Whip - Chemeti, +5% Crit, +10% Flee and +2 Perfect Dodge - Lariat Whip, +5 DEX and +1 AGI - Rapture Rose <rare/unavailable yet>, 50% chance of inflicting Poison status Dagger: - *3S. Knife, 40 Weight, the lightest and cheapest dagger a Bard/Dancer can equip. Use it to stop your song/dance without Amping. Sold by your favourite town NPCs. -------- Headgear -------- Any nice headgear to suit your fancy. I'm currently collecting "theme" headgears to play around. Functional upper headgear: - *Apple o' Archer (AOA), 0 DEF and +3 DEX, most popular headgear in the game - Posture Hat, 2 DEF and +2 DEX - Ghost Bandana (GHB), 0 DEF and +2 AGI - Sombrero, 4 DEF and +1 AGI - Sea Otter's Hat, 3 DEF and +1 VIT - Corsair, 5 DEF and +1 VIT - Crown of the Mistress <rare>, 0 DEF, +2 INT and +100 SP - Crown <rare>, 4 DEF and +2 INT - Tiara <rare>, 4 DEF and +2 INT, for females only - Annoyed Raccoon Hat, +20% resistance to sleep status - Drooping Cat, 1 DEF, 15 MDEF, and +30% resistance to curse status - *Poopoo Hat, 0 DEF and +10% resistance to human attacks, very good in WOE. - Fresh Bluish Fish Hat, 2 DEF and +10% damage to fishes - 1S. Cap, 4 DEF Functional middle headgear: - *Binoculars, 1 DEF and +1 DEX, most Archer classes wear this - Masquerade, +3% damage to humans - Blinker, 0 DEF and immunity to darkness status - 1S. Sunglasses <very rare> Functional lower headgear: - Romantic Leaf, +3% resistance to plant attacks - Romantic Flower, +3% resistance to plant attacks - Smoking Pipe, +3% resistance to insect attacks - Oxygen Mask, +20% resistance to poison status - Gangster Mask, +30% resistance to silence status Functional mask (middle and lower) headgear: - Phantom of the Opera, 2 DEF - Alarm Mask, 2 DEF amd +50% resistance to darkness status Functional whole-headgear: - Munak Turban, +10% resistance to undead attacks Note: Most popularly worn are Apple o' Archer, Poopoo Hat, Binoculars, Romantic Leaf, Romantic Flower ------- Shields ------- - *1S. Buckler, 4 DEF, we beat Hunters in defence because we can wear a carded Buckler, an extreme importance in critical battles. ------ Armour ------ - *1S. Tights, 6 DEF and +1 DEX, a staple for Archer classes ----- Robes ----- - *1S. Muffler, 2 DEF - Ragamuffin Cape, 1 DEF and 10 MDEF -------- Footwear -------- - *1S. Boots, 4 DEF - Crystal Pumps, 0 DEF, 10 MDEF and +5 LUK ----------- Accessories ----------- - *1S. Clip, +10 max SP - Glove, +2 DEX - *1S. Glove, +1 DEX, must be at least lvl 90 - Brooch, +2 AGI - 1S. Brooch, +1 AGI, must be at least lvl 90 - Necklace, +2 VIT - Earring, +2 INT - Rosary, +2 LUK - *1S. Rosary, 3 MDEF and +1 LUK, must be at least lvl 90 - Safety Ring <rare>, 3 DEF and 3 MDEF Note: Most popularly worn are Clip, Glove and S. Glove ===== CARDS ===== Again I'm only listing the cards you should bother ever getting. Note: Credits to Akemi's Monk guide found in Emperium/ROE. * - You should have these. ------- Weapons ------- Size modifiers: - Desert Wolf (Gigantic), +5 damage and +15% damage to small monsters. - *Skeleton Worker (Boned), +5 damage and +15% damage to medium monsters. Most monsters in RO are medium. - Minorous (Titan), +5 damage and +15% damage to large monsters. Most bosses are large. Racial modifiers: - *Hydra (Bloody), +20% ATK to humans. - Goblin (Clamorous), +20% ATK to brutes. - Caramel (Insecticide), +20% ATK to insects. - Strouf (Decussate) <very rare>, +20% ATK to demons. - Scorpion King (Holy), +20% ATK to undead. - Pecopeco Egg (Beholder), +20% ATK to formless. Elemental modifiers: - Kaho (Underground), +20% ATK to Earth property monsters. - Vadon (Flammable), +20% ATK to Fire property monsters. - Drainliar (Saharic), +20% ATK to Water property monsters. - Mandragora (Windy), +20% ATK to Wind property monsters. - Christring (Hallowed), +20% ATK to Dark property monsters. The above cards can be combined to form more powerful and specialized combinations. Say you're getting a weapon for High Orcs (large, fire, human). You could slot in 4 Vadon cards for 180% damage or 4 Hydra cards for similarly 180% damage. But when you combine 2 Vadon with 2 Hydra, you get 140% X 140% = 196% damage, which beats the purely-carded combos. In my opinion though, these weapons are far too specialized (most get these for individual MVPs) and expensive, and seeing that Bards/Dancers are not the main damage dealers, I recommend going for a collection of general-purpose weapons (myself, I have one slotted with Desert Wolf for small monsters, one with Skel Worker for medium monsters, one with Minorous for large monsters, and one with a Hydra- Skel Worker combination for WOE and PVP). Status cards: - Snake (Untouchable), +5 ATK and 5% poison chance. Poison is countered by the target's VIT. - Metaller (Silence), +5 ATK and 5% silence chance. Silence is countered by the target's VIT. - Savage Bebe (Stun), +5 ATK and 5% stun chance. Stun is countered by the target's VIT. - Farmiliar (Blink), +5 ATK and 5% blind chance. Blind is countered by the target's INT. - Plankton (Drowsy), +5 ATK and 5% sleep chance. Sleep is countered by the target's INT. - Marina (Ice), +5 ATK and 5% freeze chance. Frozen is countered by the target's MDEF. - Magnolia (Cursing), +5 ATK and 5% curse chance. Curse is countered by the target's LUK. The above cards are best used with a 4-slotted Composite Bow in WOE and to strike a group of enemies with Arrow Shower. While Hunters are often allocated this role, you might want to be versatile and prepare some of these. Stun and silence are the most popular ones. Others: - Andre (Hurricane), +20 ATK --- This beats the size, racial and elemental modified cards at low DEX levels, thus suitable for early weapons. - Mummy (Ancient), +20 Hit --- Even with such high DEX a few monsters, some MVPs, Rogues and Assassins with incredible Flee are hard to hit without Ancient weapons. - Phreeoni (Perfect) <super rare>, +100 Hit --- See above. Great, but I'd rather use it on or sell it to a damager character, like a Blacksmith. - Fabre (Vital), +1 VIT, +100 HP --- Suitable for situations you know you won't be doing any damage at all. - Hunter Fly (Malicious), 3% chance to drain 15% of damage inflicted as HP --- Popular for solo levelling weapons, as the self-healing removes the need for a healer. - Abysmal Knight (Liberation) <very rare>, +25% ATK to bosses --- Great, but I'd rather use it on or sell it to an MVP character, like a Hunter. - Doppleganger (Berserk) <super rare>, upgrades ASPD --- Great, but I'd rather use it on or sell it to a damager character, like a Hunter. -------- Headgear -------- - Orc Hero (Neutral) <super rare>, +3 VIT and stun immunity. Note: The best headgear for Bards/Dancers are the nonslotted ones like Apple o' Archer and Poopoo. For WOE you could also consider carded Caps, which many other Bards and Dancers prefer. ------- Shields ------- General purpose: - Ambernite (Athena), 2 DEF. - Andre Egg (Excellent), +5% max HP. - Thief Bug Egg (Rigid), +400 max HP. - Golden Thief Bug (Deaf) <super rare>, immunity to targeted magic attacks (not AoE spells). - Maya (Reflect) <super rare>, 30% chance to reflect targeted magic attacks (not AoE spells). Racial modifiers: - *Thara Frog (Cranial), +30% resistance to human attacks. - Orc Warrior (Brutal), +30% resistance to brute attacks. - Bigfoot (Gargantua), +30% resistance to insect attacks. - Khalitzburg (Hell), +30% resistance to demon attacks. - Rafflesia (Homer's) <rare>, +30% resistance to fish attacks. - Medusa (Plasterous), +15% resistance to demon attacks, stone curse immunity. More Wizards today have Stone Curse in their builds and this is the only card that confers any resistance to stone curse. Note: Highly recommended are: Thief Bug Egg, Thara Frog, Orc Warrior, Bigfoot and Khalitzburg. ------ Armour ------ General purpose: - Pecopeco (Ares), +10% max HP. - *Pupa (Hard), +700 max HP. - Rocker (Skilful), +1 DEX. - *Marc (Unfrozen), freeze immunity. Elemental modifiers: - *Dokebi (Zephyrus), 1 DEF and makes armour wind 1 element. - Swordfish (Aqua), 1 DEF and makes armour water 1 element. - Pasana (Ifrit), 1 DEF and makes armour fire 1 element. - Angelring (Holy) <very rare>, makes armour holy 1 element. - Ghostring (Ghost) <very rare>, makes armour sense 1 element. Note: Highly recommended are: Either Pecopeco or Pupa, Marc, and all the elemental modifiers. ----- Robes ----- - *Raydric (Immune), +20% resistance to neutral attacks. - *Whisper (Mocking), +20 Flee and +50% damage from sense element attacks. - Dustiness (Warmth), +30% resistance to wind attacks. - *Marse (Genie's), +30% resistance to water attacks. - Jakk (Flameguard), +30% resistance to fire attacks. - Hode (Glorious), +30% resistance to earth attacks. Notes: Whisper for levelling and monster-hunting for AGI-based Bard/Dancers. Anyone else in any other situation, use Raydric. Use the elemental modifiers for specific situations like MVPs; Marse is great for storming into pre-casting SGs in WOE. -------- Footwear -------- - Matyr (Green), +1 AGI and +10% max HP. - Verit (Fledged), +8% max HP and +8% max SP. - Sohee (Soul-enchanted), +15% max SP and +3% SP regen. - Moonlight Flower (Rushing) <super rare>, increase in movement speed and -2 DEX. Notes: Highly recommended is Verit. I didn't indent any of them with * because it's up to you to choose between Matyr, Verit or Sohee. ----------- Accessories ----------- - *Zerom (Nimble), +3 DEX. - Kukre (Athletic), +2 AGI. - Spore (???). +2 VIT. - *Vitata (Healing), enables Heal lvl 1 skill. - *Creamy (Teleport), enables Teleport lvl 1 skill. - Smokie (Hiding), enables Hiding lvl 1 skill. - Horong (Clairvoyant), enables Sight lvl 1 skill. Notes: Highly recommended are Zerom, Vitata and Creamy. --------- New Cards --------- kRO Sakray recently introduced over 90 new cards. Details are still sketchy, effects are not permanent, and more new cards might be in the works. But just as a teaser, here are the cards I feel might be of interest to you. Credits to Lune from Emperium.org Flying Deleter Card <HP> and Ground Deleter Card <SP> To: Armor HP/SP will no longer automatically regenerate. Instead, every time you kill a monster, you will recover 100 HP/15 SP. Ribio Card To: Armor When you receive a close-range physical damage, you have 10% chance of causing Stun ailment to enemies. If your DEX is over 77, then it will be 30% chance. Cemetery Ghoul Card To: Weapon +20% ATK to ghosts. Succubus Card To: Armor Provides VIT - 3, MaxHP + 1000, and -20% penalty to HP natural regeneration rate. If the card is used in conjunction with Incubus Card, it will provide VIT + 4, and increase HP natural regeneration rate by +30%. Incubus Card To: Headgear Provides INT - 3, MaxSP + 150, and penalizes SP natural regeneration rate by -20%. When used in conjunction with Succubus Card, it will be INT + 3, and SP natural regeneration rate +30%. Penomena Card To: Shield +30% resistance to formless attacks. ====== ARROWS ====== Bards and Dancers still cannot avoid the issue of arrows. You need them as an Archer, and as a Bard/Dancer you still need them irregardless of your weapon choice. Double Strafe, Slinging Arrow, Melody Strike and Arrow Vulcan (eventually) take the element of your arrows. The aforementioned four skills will ONE DAY require the usage of arrows. Irritating nerf! Currently you can get arrows from three alternative sources: buy, loot or create. Below lists the arrows you should get. Note that MS/SA do not consider arrow ATK. Henceforth the first four arrows are actually the least useful. Arrow, 25 ATK and neutral element Iron Arrow, 30 ATK and neutral element Steel Arrow, 40 ATK and neutral element Oridecon Arrow, 50 ATK and neutral element Fire Arrow, 30 ATK and fire element Crystal Arrow, 30 ATK and water element Arrow of Wind, 30 ATK and wind element Stone Arrow, 30 ATK and earth element Immaterial Arrow, 30 ATK and sense element Rusty Arrow, 30 ATK and poison element Silver Arrow, 30 ATK and holy element Arrow of Shadow, 30 ATK and dark element ------------- Buying Arrows ------------- Arrows and Iron Arrows can be bought but because they are essentially useless I shan't mislead you so. Silver Arrows - 3zn (2zn discounted) from all weapon NPCs, Payon tool NPCs and Sunken Ship. Fire Arrows - 3zn (2zn discounted) from Sunken Ship. Silver and Fire are the most important arrows because i) they are very easily available from NPCs and ii) Earth, Undead and Dark monsters are the most populous in the game; these arrows work great for them! -------------- Looting Arrows -------------- Steel Arrow - Orc Archers Oridecon Arrow - Goblin Archers Fire Arrow - Skeleton Archers, Horong, Gajomart Crystal Arrow - Anolians Arrow of Wind - Orc Archers Stone Arrow - Orc Archers, Sting Arrow of Shadow - Wild Rose A conscious effort to harvest arrows by looting is never efficient. To collect unbuyable arrows, the following is recommended. --------------- Creating Arrows --------------- All right I've changed my mind... there are far too many places you can check out the Arrow Creation list from (using your Archer quest skill Arrow Create). BUT LISTEN! Subsequent to the future arrow usage patch, Gravity decided to improve Arrow Creation on several items to make it easier for us to collect elemental arrows. Items not listed below receive no changes. Courtesy of Lune. * Wind of Verdure: Wind Arrow 50 --> 150 * Rough Wind: Wind Arrow 150 --> 450 * Matyr's Leash: Wind Arrow 50 --> 150 * Red Blood: Fire Arrow 200 --> 600 * Flame Heart: Fire Arrow 600 --> 1800 * Matchstick: Fire Arrow 1000 --> 3000 * Blue Gemstone: Crystal Arrow 10 --> 30 * Crystal Blue: Crystal Arrow 50 --> 150 * Mystic Frozen: Crystal Arrow 150 --> 450 * Helm of Fin: Crystal Arrow 200 --> 600 * Teeth of Hatii: Crystal Arrow 100 --> 300 * Tooth of Ancient Fish: Crystal Arrow 100 --> 300 * Spiky Fin: Crystal Arrow 50 --> 150 * Yellow Gemstone: Stone Arrow 100 --> 30 * Green Lives: Stone Arrow 50 --> 150 * Great Nature: Stone Arrow 150 --> 450 * Mole Spike: Stone Arrow 10 --> 30 * Nail of a Mole: Stone Arrow 20 --> 60 Anyway, it is very useful to know that you can split pure elemental ores into rough elemental stones with a quest in Umbala. It's still too far away from that patch today but half a year later (present date of writing 21 Dec 2004) you could start stocking on the correct stuff. ------------------------- Quivers and Status Arrows ------------------------- Status arrows WILL be implemented around the same time as Quivers. Quivers are usable items; clicking on them creates a number of arrows (500 I think). These are very preliminary details; look out for more in the future. =========== WALKTHROUGH =========== OK! Enough of the talk. Now you've decided what to get, how do you go about doing it? ---------------- Stat progression ---------------- You ought to start with 1 STR, 9 INT, 1 LUK, 9 AGI, 1 VIT, 9 DEX. No other way around this. If you want more AGI than VIT, add DEX first and intersperse with AGI. Get both your DEX and AGI to their intended final values first. After that, add your INT and VIT. INT is better for levelling while VIT is better for WOE and PVP, so I recommend INT first before VIT. If you want more VIT than AGI, Add DEX first and intersperse with both VIT and AGI. I regret to say I have no experience in levelling such builds, but I'm sure to add INT lastly and definitely start with DEX. ----------- Novice Days ----------- Get tanked. Please. But if you are totally new to the game, find a map with lots of Wilows and kill them along with the Porings, Lunatics, Fabres. Progress to Roda Frogs and so on. Don't touch the Creamies. Pick up all loot and sell all to the NPC EXCEPT the Trunks dropped by the Wilows. ----------------- Archer Job Change ----------------- By now you should have enough Trunks. Deposit any Trunks you can find that do not have a prefix; these can be sold to other players. Collect your Barren, Fine, blablabla Trunks and head to Payon, one map northeast of it is the Archer academy/school/institute, and talk to the guy. Voila! ----------- Archer Days ----------- You can consult any Archer/Hunter guide which has more detail. But in a summary, common Archer bait are (in order of difficulty) Rockers, Payon Dungeon 1, snipe Greatest Generals (one map south and one map east of Payon), Hodes, snipe Geographers (2 maps north of Aldebaran), Zenorcs (Orc Dungeon 2), hit and run Zombie Prisoners (GH Prison). In my opinion the best ever Archer levelling map is the Greatest Generals. You can even start levelling there from Archer Job 01. GGs don't move! Elder Wilows will annoy you at your lower levels, but if you die from them, you could conveniently respawn in the nearby Payon. As mentioned, try go aim for Job 50 and get all Archer skills. It's painful for now but beneficial in the long run. Only stop at Job 40 or 41 if you are 100% sure you don't need Arrow Shower. --------------- Bard Job Change --------------- - Prepare ONE of the following: Witherless Rose (sold in east Morroc for 55000 zeny), Ment, Hinalle, Singing Flower or Illusion flower. - Also prepare one Squid Ink, one Sticky Mucus. - Optional Items: 60 Trunks of any type: note that a 2S. harp is unavailable unless you receive it via this test. 60 Trunks 3S. Violin (may be bought?) 60 Solid/Barren Trunks 2S. Mandolin (can be bought) 60 Fine Trunks 2S. Lute (can be bought) 60 Fine Trunks + job 50 2S. Harp (unavailable anywhere else) - Talk to the Wandering Bard southeast of the Comodo Kapra and give him the flower. - He warps you to Lutie the snowing village. - Talk to the Snowman to become his friend. - Talk to the Girl inside the building in the 1 o¡¯clock direction. - Return to the Snowman. - Talk to the Man in the 11 o¡¯clock direction. - Talk to the Man in the 2 o¡¯clock direction, and give him the Squid Ink and the Sticky Mucus. - Talk to the Lady inside the house northwest of the giant Christmas Tree. - Return to the Snowman get the salt the Lady requested. - Talk to the Clown by the giant Christmas tree. - Talk to the little boy and girl in the 3 o¡¯clock direction. - Return to the Snowman, who'll give you a gift. In many cases it is 5 Candy. - Return to the Wandering Bard. He will ask you to repeat after his song. - Once you finish this make your instrument if you gathered the 60 trunks and then change classes. YAY! ----------------- Dancer Job Change ----------------- - Prepare ONE of the following sets of items. The shoe, sandal and boots must be unslotted. Sandals, 10 Black Hair, 20 Jellopy, 5 Yellow Potion, 2 Clam Shell 1 Shoes, 20 Sticky Mucus, 3 Jellopy, 5 Red Potion 1 Boots , 5 Earthworm Peeling - Talk to the Man next to the Comodo Kapra. - He warps you to a Special Dancing Theatre. - Talk with one of the NPCs on the left and give her one of the above sets of items. - Talk to the NPC on the right for a Q&A. You have to get at least 80% to pass. - Dancing test: Equip a bow and arrows, and listen to the instructions. Dancing pattern : Back Front Left Right Center Pose Improve Concentration Left Front Right Pose Left, Center, Right, Back (you can cheat by going from Left to Back directly) Right Left, Center, Front, Back (you can cheat as above) Left, Center, Front, Back (you can cheat as above) Front Left Center Arrow Shower/Double Strafe the Poring at the end. Make sure you are on the tile. - Return to the NPC who performed the Q&A and change classes. Yay! - Whip rewards: Job 50 3S. Line Job 40-49 3S. Rope ---------------- Bard/Dancer Days ---------------- Party levelling: Anywhere your party can handle. But as we know RO isn't party-friendly, and you'd probably do a lot of soloing. You've a lot of options here. For more details on individual maps, check out the emperium.org monster database. It serves you very well. Orc Dungeon 2 Hunted monsters: Zenorcs, Orc Skeletons It's one of the best places to level for any build because i) Zenorcs are non- aggressive, ii) the monsters spawn like mad, and iii) they drop loot like mad. Bring a Skel Worker bow and silver arrows, and you can practically spend more than 50% of your time shooting instead of walking. Beware though, Zenorcs and Steel Chonchons loot. Pyramids 2 or 4 Hunted monsters: Isis Your main target for experience is the sexy Isis. Lvl 2 has Archer Skels and Soldier Skels, which drop awesome rares. Lvl 4 is easier to manoeuvre around though. Glast Heim Prison Hunted monsters: Zombie Prisoners, Injustices The Priests are your competition for the Prisoners, but they can't healbomb the Injustices. You can slaughter both of them! Bring a Skel Worker bow and silver arrows. These monsters spawn like mad, and they are quite slow too, so VIT builds do quite well here. It tends to get really crowded though. The Rybios are not worth your time, and with such high flee requirements, warp away when one approaches. Glast Heim Sewers 3 Hunted monsters: Stings Stings are really slow, and they drop S. Gloves! Great for VIT builds to shoot and run, but AGI builds should choose an even better place they can flee well. Bring a Skel Worker or a Beholder bow and fire arrows. I don't like this map though because of the annoying Gargoyle shooters. Pyramids B1 Hunted monsters: Minorous Minorous are very popular hunting targets for any class. Beware though, you'd better have some VIT to resist their Hammerfalls; getting stunned seriously stunts your levelling. The Mummies and Verits drop valuable cards, but you have to switch bows and perhaps arrows for them, and that's troublesome. Gef_dun14 or Clock Tower B2 Hunted monsters: High Orcs Another favourite of any class. Unfortunately it is difficult for us to flee the Orc Archers; I choose to warp away if one gets near. Gef_dun14 has Orc Ladies and Orc Warriors, while Clock Tower B2 has Brilights and Arclouses. The latter map has better experience due to the high spawn rate, but you'd need to be higher in level too. Turtle Island surface Hunted monsters: Spring Rabbits, Dragon Tails The famous levelling ground for solo Hunters. The monsters themselves are okay, but it's the shockingly good spawn rate that makes it the premier levelling map. I'd bring a Skel Worker bow and Fire Arrows; Stone Arrows (against Dragon Tails) are too valuable for levelling. Pests are an annoyance, Permeters are too troublesome to kill. It's up to you to want to hit the Thara Frogs; nice card, but crap exp. Niffleheim maps I have no experience at all; give these maps a try yourself. But you're warned to be at least lvl 90, because the monsters mob hard, and hit hard. Once you've reached high levels (Lvl 80+) you are ready to join MVP parties and WOE sieges. Enjoy yourself and be on a continual journey to the lvl 99 aura. ------------------- Rebirth Walkthrough ------------------- Once you reach Lvl 99 you have the option of rebirth into Clowns and Gypsies. I will touch the subject further on the guide. ========== STRATEGIES ========== --------------- Dagger-stopping --------------- You can always Adapt your song/dance, but you can only do it 5 seconds after you started the skill. For a faster response, click a dagger hotkey and voila, your song/dance is interrupted and you are once again free to move about. Useful when you want to song/dance-switch and when an enemy is trying to enjoy your song/dance. Very very useful in situations where your party is moving around because you can just sing for a split-second, interrupt it, and move on while your party members receive that buff for 20 seconds. Downside to this is that now you need two hotkeys instead of one. (Dagger + Instrument versus just Adapt alone) -------------------- Song/dance-switching -------------------- This great tactic is usable in any situation. Anyone who walks out of a solo song/dance area-of-effect is able to enjoy that song/dance buffs for 20 seconds. Song/dance-switching basically uses this rule to continuously allow more than one buff for the party at the same time. First, use skill #1 to buff your friends. Stop the skill with Amp or dagger- equipping, and IMMEDIATELY use skill #2. Your friends enjoy both the buffs from #1 and #2 now. Now you need to roughly estimate when the #1 buffs will disappear, which would be 20 seconds later, and before that happens, stop the skill and immediately use #1 again. Stop, then use #2. Repeat the method 20 seconds later to give your friends two different buffs simultaneously. You can extend this to three different buffs if your party needs so. Many times you might need to move around while song-switching. Tankers, Priests, Skill users, Crit users, and so on benefit from different songs/ dances, and if they are not clustered together you have to move around a lot (kinda like FFXI). -------------------------------- Solo PVM (Player versus Monster) -------------------------------- There isn't any way around it; bows and DS spam are better. Bows have greater range, and so what if they are slower, the elemental compatibility plus the higher Double Strafe damage modifier gives bows higher damage output. Yes instruments/whips allow you to wear a carded Buckler, but you should have decided to level somewhere you can Flee well in the first place. Do a lot of Double Strafe, you have relatively high SP. When a tough monster approaches, try to use the Charge Arrow-Double Strafe tactic. Sometimes you might have no choice but to hunt somewhere you can't Flee well, like when hunting for rares (eg. when I was hunting for slotted Lutes in Gonryun Dungeon 3). I'd suggest you wear an appropriately-carded Buckler, and an instrument/whip. --------------------------------- Party PVM (Player versus Monster) --------------------------------- With the 20 second rule and the dagger-stopping tactic, singing/dancing no longer slows your party down like before. Use skill, equip dagger to stop it, equip back your instrument/whip, and move on. Repeat and rinse every 20 seconds. Know your party's strength and what songs/dances benefit each member of the party, and make sure to move around while song-switching if you have to. It's all about killing effiency; Poem, Sunset, Fortune and Service work well in PVM. The other skills don't have much place here. Don't be too zealous with your songs and dances. If the party performs better with you as an attacker, just do it. Like when you party with another Priest. Instead of trying to Poem him again and again, just get that bow out and DS those monsters. As far as I know the fastest way to level up is to form a party with a Priest and spam DS. A Priest would usually say: Nah, you guys are just weaker Hunters, I'd rather party with Hunters. You should reply: Hunters cannot DS spam without rest, but we can. ----------------------------- MVPing (Most Valuable Player) ----------------------------- You have a few options. - Double Strafe the MVP like a Hunter. - Use duets. - Sing/dance one skill and that's it. - Sing/dance one skill and attack the MVP with Melody Strike / Slinging Arrow. - Song/dance-switching between two skills and that's it. - Song/dance-switching between two skills whilst using MS/SA. - Song/dance-switching between three skills and that's it. - Song/dance-switching between three skills whilst using MS/SA. What you choose from above depend on your skills and your SP. The last few points above can be achieved efficiently only with a Clown or a Gypsy, who enjoy more skills and SP. My Clown is doing the last point right now, especially with hard MVPs and smaller parties, and I tend to bring a few blues just in case. Sometimes DSing like a Hunter is actually viable. When your party doesn't need your songs and dances, just DS DS DS. Finally, don't expect to get the MVP sign above your head if you're facing inter and intra-party competition; we aren't built for that. We absolutely cannot solo MVPs the "brave" way; we don't have enough weight capacity to carry hundreds of pots, and our damage just isn't good enough for your meagre bag of pots to last through or to outbeat competition. We [I]can[/I] solo MVPs with the hit-and-run method; think Eddga, Garm and Amon Ra, like Hunters (note: this is in theory, I've never tried this before). How about MVPing just with you and a Priest? Well it sounds impossible at the beginning, but I've come up with a theoretical suggestion for Bards (note: Bards, not Dancers. Dancers don't have the necessary skills. And note: this is purely in theory. I've never tried this before). - Make sure to avoid the crazily hard MVPs like Stormy and Turtle. - Make sure the Priest is fully equipped with the correct shield, garment, armour. - Make sure you are fully equipped with the similarly correct shield, garment, armour, and a good instrument. - Let the Priest tank. You sing Poem. Under the influence of the song the Priest can HEAL himself FASTER. - Even better, alternate with Poem and Apple. Your Priest friend can Heal himself faster + have more HP to survive instant mega damage attacks. - Whack away at the MVP with Melody Strike till he falls. - Both of you need to have a lot of SP recovery items!!! - You can't get the MVP sign if there is competition from other players, but that doesn't mean you and your Priest friends can't pick up the loot. - If there is no competition expect to be fighting for a long long time! ----------------------------- PVPing (Player versus Player) ----------------------------- The Battle Bard/Dancer is quite versatile. Pneuma? Use instrument/whip. Safety Wall? Use bow. Weapon-stripped? Freeze/stun away. Hidden? Use Improve Concentration next to him. These strategies apply to 1 versus 1 PVP situations in arenas and sieges. Note that Charge Arrow doesn't work in WOE >< Forget Me Not (Dancers only) - Straightforward enough, any non-magic user would be significantly enfeebled with this movement speed and ASPD-reducing skill. While dancing, spam your Sling Arrow. If you're a Gypsy and your server has received the 1200% Arrow Vulcan patch, stop dancing and for that 20 seconds your enemy is slowed, outrun him and keep spamming AV. Scream (Dancers only) - You better hope the PVP arena is sparsely populated, because bystanders certainly do not like being stunned by someone they don't know. A great way to incapacitate low-VIT opponents. Frost Joker (Bards only) - Just like the above, this easily irritates other players outside the duel. Unfortunately for you, freeze status disappears the instance you damage him. Fortunately for you, you can combine this with I) Jupitel Thunder from Electric Guitars, 2) MS with Arrow of Wind for some good damage, and finally 3) Arrow Vulcan with Arrow of Wind (Clowns only) for some REALLY GOOD damage that potentially beats Soul Breaker and Falcon Assault. This is only after the Arrow Vulcan buff. Very unfortunately, players who know what they're doing would equip a Marc Armour if facing a Bard. Charge Arrow + Double Strafe - If you have very good DEX (which all of you should) + sufficient ASPD, this tactic is AWESOME. Strange I don't see a lot of people using this. Swordman classes and Merchant classes are generally weakest to this tactic, although they are the sturdiest characters too. Thief classes can Hide/Cloak/Stalk, and Acolyte classes can Pneuma, but both problems can be solved quite easily. Mage classes with Phen are quite strong against this tactic. Don't try to do this to Hunters because they can easily do the same thing to you with better speed. Status bows - You can pick from a few. Quad Silence/Stun/Curse Comps are useful against different people. Stun and Silence do not work well against VIT characters, while Curse can be countered by MDEF. **Status attacks ignore Pneuma**. This is how you fight against Aco classes. Against Pneuma - Whack away with your instrument or whip if the opponent is weaker. Or so that the Monk can never cast Asura successfully if he isn't Phen-ned. - Stay far far far away so that you can reach him with your bow but he can't reach you with his Manipulate Spirit Sphere. It becomes a tight battle and you have to pull off a good Charge Arrow while he's not within his Pneuma effect. - Use status bows that would penetrate the Pneuma. Against Hide/Cloak/Chase Walk - Frost Joker / Scream freezes/stuns the guy even while he's invisible. Walk up next to him and use Improve Concentration, which would unveil his sorry butt. Against other Bards - Wear a Marc! Against other Dancers - If you don't have a lot of VIT to counter against Scream, things are not looking good for you. Get yourselves as far from her as possible to avoid her Forget Me Not. Against Hunters - Don't try to DS spam! He can do it faster, better, and he has more HP. Equip a Cranial Buckler, and MS/SA him to death. As mentioned, the enemy's DS interrupts your MS/SA animation, allowing you to spam it faster than your ASPD would normally allow. Against Anyone - Bards and Dancers are quite obviously not very good fighters. Even with the strategies above don't expect to surely win against equivalent Hunters, Assassin Crosses, Professors, Whitesmiths that melt you, Bow Rogues that strip you, VIT Priests and Phen Wizards unless you're THAT good. I believe Swordsman and Merchant classes, whilst the sturdiest, are beatable if you have enough skill... just get yourself as far as possible! ------------------------ WOEing (War of Emperium) ------------------------ What to bring? Whites - Understandably so. I take about 40. Blues (or other SP recovery items) - I take 5 or so. You don't need to continually spam your skills till you run out of SP every five minutes, but if you're holding off a major enemy attack and you really need to give it all you've got, spam those skills and those blues too. Greens - I take 1 or 2. Priests love to Lex Div people. Concentration Potions - I take 1 or 2. What to wear? Headgear - Poopoo for offense is a must. Defense-wise, feel free to choose between Poopoo, AOA, carded Caps, etc. Eyegear - I'm ambivalent between Binos and any 2 DEF mask. Shield - Cranial Buckler. Shoes - Fledged or Green Boots. Robe - Immune Muffler. Accessory - If you're rich: Safety Rings. Otherwise, Nimble Gloves, Nimble Rosaries or Rosaries carded with Spore cards. Consider getting a Hide Clip. You shouldn't be the one doing Sight. Weapon - Good carded instrument/whip with Hydra cards and if possible, Skel Worker cards. Damage isn't really your main focus but hey, it's WOE, you're entitled to splurge on good weapons. And a 3S. Knife for dagger-stopping. Should you attack / use MS/SA? Yes though that's not your priority. Ranged damage is nerfed in WOE. But when the situation necessitates it, like when there's a HUGE wave of enemies trying to get past your defenses, MS/SA away at the weaker Wizards, Hunters, SAGES and Assassins (and definitely enemy Bards and Dancers). MS/SA is also very useful to interrupt pre-cast Wizards. Are we popular targets? Everyone says yes. Many people don't understand what we can do, but most are aware that Bards and Dancers aren't good at the DEF and HP department, and once they are aware of what our skills can actually do, they'll come after our behinds, considering we die easily. Conclusion: Yes, good armour and VIT is quite the necessity. Defending the castle: Bards have it easy: Bragi Poem the Wizards and the Priests, the Snipers, and even the GC Cruzes. Get them to stand near you. If they are too busy to notice (I like to think of ourselves as the silent supporters), do the moving around tactic. I think everyone would appreciate Dancers' Service For You; pre-casting is tiring and SP-draining. If you have a couple together, wow that's beyond awesome. Get Loki's Wail out. STORMING INTO THE CASTLE: More interesting than the monotonous pre-casting support. Situation 1: The guild is waiting outside an entrance, eg. the Emperium room. The mood is patient and calculated. Bards use Apple of Idun. The Priests will notice that and heal your team mates to the max. Continue this until the guild rushes in. You've just basically given your whole guild a sizeable increase in HP. Just you alone did it! Situation 2: The guild is rushing into an entrance; no time for you to sing Apple of Idun and get the Priests to heal to max. Get near the portal before the rest and immediately hit that song/dance hotkey. Everyone who rushes past you would receive that buff for a good 20 seconds inside the room. Good skills: Poem of Bragi (most useful for most characters), Assassin Cross of Sunset, Humming and Fortune's Kiss (useful for the least characters). Situation 3: Emperium breaking. Straightforward enough: Assassin Cross and Fortune's Kiss work wonders here. Situation 4: Moving around with your guild: Frost Joker or Scream if number of enemies in the room > number of allies. Situation 5: For some reason or other you want to stop an enemy in his/her tracks, especially so that he/she won't manage to get into the enemy Emp room; use Arrow Vulcan (Clown/Gypsy). WHEN EVERYTHING'S MESSY: Bards and Dancers in WOE are best used at controlled situations, like buffing the Emperium breakers or the pre-casting Wizards. But what if everything goes haywire? Like when the enemies breach your defences. Or when your formation is screwed and you're lost in a sea of enemy guild members? - Option 1: Frost Joker and Scream. Note though, this move attracts a lot of attention and the enemies will be aiming at your throat immediately. - Option 2: Keep singing or dancing. I've learnt that it's ok to let a few enemy guild members enjoy your buffs, because they don't expect it, they don't know what they can do with it, and at such impromptu situations you probably give useless buffs to them. Humming on Hunters, Sunset on spell- casters, Fortune on Priests, Poem on Blacksmiths....you get the idea. In a sea of confusion, locate your correct guild members, get near them and start singing/dancing. You'll get near your allied Wizards and buff them with Poem, but the nearby enemy Hunters and Assassins have no use for it. - Option 3: Forget Me Not or Ugly Dance for Dancers. In a big chaos enemies might not notice that YOU are the cause of their slowed walking speed and their slower ASPD or their depleting SP. - Option 4: Attack. Your guildmates are far away from one another, singing and dancing is not an option, frosting and stunning might affect your party mates / is ineffective as the enemies are all wearing Marc / have high VIT. Lock a weak enemy and whack away. I feel that MS/SA is a liability since ranged damage is nerfed + with the lag, it's 100% impossible for you to spam. Just whack/whip them melee-style. You might win, you more probably would not, 1 on 1. Yea you might die, but you would have deviated enemy attention. If you REALLY don't want to die... - Option 5: Try to avoid everyone and get to wherever you're supposed to be. It's so damn difficult. =============== CLOWN AND GYPSY =============== The advanced classes for Bards and Dancers are Clowns and Gypsies. The Clown's Job bonuses at Job 70 are: STR 8, AGI 12, VIT 2, INT 5, DEX 14, LUK 4 The Gypsy's Job bonuses are Job 70 are: STR 6, AGI 14, VIT 2, INT 5, DEX 16, LUK 2 Besides the better job bonuses Clowns and Gypsies have many other leet additions: - About 30% more HP and SP. - 20 more skill points (max Job lvl at 70). - New sprites (Clowns remind me of Ricky Martin, Gypsies look cooler now) - Three new skills: ______________________________________ 01) Arrow Vulcan (Single Enemy Ranged) Requirements: Melody Strike 1 / Slinging Arrow 1 and Arrow Shower 5 Requirement for: None Lvl 1: Damage enemy with 200% ATK, 12 SP, 2s cast time and 0.8s cast delay Lvl 2: Damage enemy with 240% ATK, 14 SP, 2.2s cast time and 0.8s cast delay Lvl 3: Damage enemy with 280% ATK, 16 SP, 2.4s cast time and 0.8s cast delay Lvl 4: Damage enemy with 320% ATK, 18 SP, 2.6s cast time and 0.8s cast delay Lvl 5: Damage enemy with 360% ATK, 20 SP, 2.8s cast time and 0.8s cast delay Lvl 6: Damage enemy with 400% ATK, 22 SP, 3s cast time and 1s cast delay Lvl 7: Damage enemy with 440% ATK, 24 SP, 3.2s cast time and 1s cast delay Lvl 8: Damage enemy with 480% ATK, 26 SP, 3.4s cast time and 1s cast delay Lvl 9: Damage enemy with 520% ATK, 28 SP, 3.6s cast time and 1s cast delay Lvl 10: Damage enemy with 560% ATK, 30 SP, 3.8s cast time and 1s cast delay Description: Basically hits the enemy with a crazy damage multiplier. Does not use up arrows. Must use instrument/whip. Always neutral element. Does not consider bonuses from weapon cards. Cannot be used while singing/dancing. Future patch: Requires arrows. Considers weapon cards. Considers arrow element. Most importantly, damage is upgraded significantly... at level 10 it becomes 1200%! Really impressive damage multiplier, but it's bad. Refer to above for the numerous crippling restrictions that make MS/SA a much better skill than this is. The after-cast delay hurts too. But be patient, because after the future upgrading patch, this skill would *rock*! It cannot be used while singing/ dancing, so it is not a MS/SA replacement. This skill is for those moments in PVP and WOE where you need to kill that guy NOW. You could also spam Melody Strike / Slinging Arrow and finish off with Arrow Vulcan. You could also use this to lock an enemy in his tracks for 1 second plus . <Rating pending, but I'm really excited about this> ____________________________________________ 02) Marionette Control (Single Ally Support) Requirements: Improve Concentration 10 and Musical / Dancing Lesson 5 Requirement for: None SP cost: 100 Lvl 1: Gives half of your stats to your party member. Description: The person must be your party member and must be within 7 cells from you; otherwise the skill would interrupt. The target must be within 5 levels of you. You cannot raise your party member's stat beyond 99. While in MC mode you still retain your stats, but you cannot do *anything*. Using MC again ends the skill. Cannot be used in WOE. Future patch: The person must be your party member and must be within 7 cells from you; otherwise the skill would interrupt. There are no level restrictions. You cannot raise your party member's stat beyond 99. While in MC mode your stats are halved, but you are free to do whatever you want; sing/ dance. Using MC again ends the skill. *Can* be used in WOE. Imagine buffing a Lord Knight; give him 45 DEX, 40 AGI, 35 VIT and 15 INT; with this kind of ASPD and Hit rate he'd be a tanker PLUS an awesome damager. Or imagine buffing an Assassin Cross if you're VIT; 40 DEX, 45 VIT, 30 AGI and 15 INT; no longer does he need to worry about being stunned, and he gets to enjoy maxed AGI for more ASPD! But currently, it's quite lame because you are immobilized while performing the skill. However, when the future update arrives, rejoice. After using MC, buff them even further by singing/dancing the skills you already have! Looks very useful in MVP and some WOE situations. Could be very cool for forging Blacksmiths, potting Alchemists and Poison Creating SinXs. <Rating pending> ____________________________________________ 03) Moonlit Water Mill, Falling Petal (Duet) Requirements: Improve Concentration 5 and Musical / Dancing Lesson 7 Requirement for: None Lvl 1: 20s duration, 30 SP cost, 4 SP reduced per 10s Lvl 2: 25s duration, 40 SP cost, 8 SP reduced per 10s Lvl 3: 30s duration, 50 SP cost, 12 SP reduced per 10s Lvl 4: 35s duration, 60 SP cost, 16 SP reduced per 10s Lvl 5: 40s duration, 70 SP cost, 20 SP reduced per 10s Description: Creates a 3x3 area surrounding you and your partner that no enemies can enter, but ranged and magic attacks work normally. The skill cannot be used if there are already monsters within 3x3 of the couple. Cannot be used in WOE in fear of abuse. Future patch: 3x3 becomes 7x7. Doesn't look very useful even with its buff from 3x3 to 7x7. Can't be used in WOE, and duets suck in PVM. Might be good in MVP but depends on whether the boss would teleport away if he can't get to you... no one knows right now. <Pending rating> How to be a Clown/Gypsy? Get your Bard/Dancer to 99/50. Strip him/her of EVERYTHING except for 1,285,000 zeny (if you have a wedding ring, it's ok). Go to the 11 o'clock building in Juno, and talk to the Librarian. Then the book. Then the Librarian again. I forgot the exact procedure, but if you want to be safe, talk to the book again. Then go downstairs and meander around a pointless maze to reach the Heart of Ymir, and you'll get warped to the Valkyrie's Palace who'd grant you your rebirth desire. You'll have to level as a High Novice again. Once you get to Job 10, just talk to the Archer guildsman in Payon (remember the guy who changed you into an Archer long ago?), and you're now a High Archer. Levelling now takes about three times the original experience needed. Once you reach at least Job 40 as a High Archer (recommended: change at 50!!), go back to the book in Juno and you'll get warped to the Valkyrie's Palace (don't bother to find the Heart of Ymir). Talk to the Clown or Gypsy (not the Valkyrie) and you'll be like him/her immediately. Levelling as a Clown/Gypsy is slow with the triple experience requirement. You also won't be happy to know that when you reach base lvl 99, you most probably would reach only job lvl 65 or 66. So the levelling doesn't end when you get the aura now. Build-wise, the best step is to probably follow the same build as your predecessor Bard/Dancer, but now with 20 more skill points. You can now finally get a respectable collection of skills (my Clown would have 3 solos and 1 ensemble on top of the typical MS/ML/FJ/Dis/Adp/Encore repertoire, and that's not including the new Clown skills). However, while pure Battle Bards/ Dancers are not feasible, the Battle Clown/Gypsy idea is worth a thought. If Arrow Vulcan fulfils its promise, it will serve as an extremely respectable damage skill that puts you on par with Snipers. Remember that AV does not require AGI. You can build a 99 DEX 99 VIT and 25 INT monster, wear a carded Buckler, have much better defense than a non-FA Sniper, and still terrorize MVPs and PVP with Arrow Vulcan. Really worth experimenting. ==================== COMPARE AND CONTRAST ==================== ------------------------ DEX builds vs INT builds ------------------------ It is true that MVP and WOE are the endgames, and our roles here are support. Many people opt for INT instead of DEX in their builds, going for the likes of 60 to 90 INT, leaving DEX at medium-low figures. I disagree, because very simply, INT doesn't add as much value as DEX. Even when you are supporting. I recommend even ¡°Full Support¡± Bards/Dancers to be high/max DEX because of efficiency both for the individual and for the party/guild. It becomes apparent that a Bard/Dancer able to damage + support + survive decently is better than one able to support + survive well with no damage ability. Melody Strike or Slinging Arrow is a very important skill in our repertoire. The fact that we can use it while singing/dancing is perhaps the most significant factor in determining Bard/Dancer gameplay. Extra damage is extra support. Do not underestimate the damage we can do. We are definitely not the strongest, but we pack punch too. At 140 DEX and a +7 Triple Boned Mandolin <not a Lute>, I dealed more than 3k on a Mummy alone. If a Hunter can DS one at 4k¨C5k, you can realize that the damage we can contribute to the overall yield of the party/guild is significant enough. PVP wise, I have bested Assassins and Rogues 1-on-1 with Melody Strike. In serious WOE, imagine doing that while supporting your Wizards and tankers who are doing their own stuff. In MVP, MS/SA can help the party take down the boss faster, distract the enemy that's hampering the Priests/Wizards or kill the mobs while the others concentrate on the boss. In WOE, MS/SA can help interrupt pre-casters, take down Emperium-bound Assassins, break the Freeze status of the enemy so that your allied Wizard's SG can hit him 3 more times, or simply take down someone faster. All while you are singing/dancing. Remember that MS/SA has a cast time. It isn't long, but when you are thinking of spamming, distracting or interrupting, that small time difference could spell a lot of difference. You could save your friendly Wizard. You could also stop that enemy Wizard. A slow-cast MS/SA can't do that. You need DEX. With all that, the best use for a Bard/Dancer is still support, not damage. But a Bard/Dancer that can damage at the same time would be more useful in almost all aspects. When you are killing nuisances, interrupting casters, distracting monsters or plainly adding more damage, you are giving awesome support already! VIT is always always welcomed. That's why I say that DEX/VIT builds are monsters of WOE, like any PVP/WOE character anyway. But investing INT in the place of DEX is something like giving away 5 oranges for 1 apple in return. INT ups SP - we love it. But at high INT like 80 or 90, we would find ourselves never running out of SP. The only way to run out of SP at 90 INT is when you song-switch between three songs while performing MS, but with low, no point even having MS at your hotkey. INT also provides MDEF. But INT MDEF reduces damage by points, not by percentage like armour MDEF. It's useful, but not that worth it. INT also helps in Poem and Service, but the small benefit it accords isn't significant enough to fashion a stat build just for that purpose. DEX at high levels - good extra damage to help your party, near-instant MS/SA to aid your party in various ways. It's a lot of help compared to INT. Lastly, let's compare 99 DEX and 30 INT with 99 INT and 30 DEX. The 30 INT in the first build is still useful with more SP, magic defence and 3% improvement in Bragi's Poem. But the 30 DEX in the latter build is not the least useful besides its Hit bonus. MS/SA takes too long to cast for interrupting/ distracting, and the damage is so low it's not even worth realizing that you had an extra 30 Hit. To summarize, in my opinion DEX > INT even for support builds. *****The points spent in INT could have been spent in DEX for better results.***** -------------- Bard vs Dancer -------------- Bards are better than Dancers in these aspects: - Better Job bonuses (high DEX low LUK), Dancers' are opposite. - Support skills are universally known to be better (if not much better). Dancers are better than Bards in these aspects: - Females get to equip a few stuff males can't, but not the other way round. - Better at 1-on-1 fights with Slow Grace. - Good whips are much easier to get than good instruments. - Scream is somewhat better than Frost Joker. - Dancers are VERY popular in towns. Everyone wants to see you groove. Unfortunately today, Bards are deemed better than Dancers because everyone wants to see your support skills. --------------------- Bard/Dancer vs Priest --------------------- Bards/Dancers cannot replace FS Priests, and neither are they supposed to. FS Priests are ultimate support; Bards/Dancers provide additional support with the ability to give additional damage too. While Priest skills like Heal and Ress are must-haves, Bard/Dancer skills are nice-to-haves. They make a party stronger, but without them the party won't die. Bards and Dancers have skills to actually support the Priests, unlike any other class, with the Bard's Poem and the Dancer's Service. A Poem of Bragi allows a Priest to heal spam at a faster rate, while Service For You prevents them from running out of SP. --------------------- Bard/Dancer vs Hunter --------------------- There is no answer to the question "which is stronger/better of the two?" Hunters and Bard/Dancers occupy totally different niches in the party. Hunters concentrate on standing afar from the enemy, targeting the right enemy, and switching bows and arrows actively to suit the current target to deal huge and efficient damage. Bards/Dancers concentrate on standing close to the Priests, Wizards, Monks, tankers and other characters they wish to buff, often having to move around the party, switching between songs/dances for the different classes, and trying to deal additional damage to the party's targets. Most people say Hunters are cheap, well I've never tried one so I have no comments, but Bard/Dancers are NOT cheap. As friends, Bard/Dancers have nothing much to give Hunters. Bard skills help tankers, casters and melee attackers, while Dancers benefit crit attackers, low-DEX melee attackers and Asura Monks. As foes, Hunters are more likely to win. Bard/Dancers have a few battle advantages over Hunters: - Can equip a Cranial Buckler. - More SP. But Hunters have far more advantages. - Can reach higher DEX easily. - More HP. - Faster ASPD with bows. - More range. - Double Strafe pwns Melody Strike in damage and lack of cast time. - Melody Strike / Slinging Arrow with elemental arrows cannot bypass Immune Muffler. - Has auto-blitz if we are unlucky. Bards and Dancers aren't exactly the best fighters, while Hunters obviously are. But here is a nice fact we can make use of. A Hunter's DS would interrupt our MS/SA animation, thus allowing us to spam MS/SA faster than our ASPD would allow. This little trick definitely helps in keeping up with the opponent Hunter's damage. --------------------- Clown/Gypsy vs Sniper --------------------- The alternate advanced classes brought a whole new set of dynamics between the Clown/Gypsy and the Sniper. Bards/Dancers never had any good skills that are of real use to Hunters, but now Snipers can benefit a LOT from Clowns. Snipers are known for their killer skills Falcon Assault and Sharpshooting, both beating Double Strafe in raw damage, but suffer from really bad after-cast delays. What happens when they get engulfed in Bragi's Poem? 42% to 44% reduction in after-cast delay --- 40% increase in damage per minute, making Snipers an absolute terror with these two skills. Duel-wise, Clowns and Gypsies now have a somewhat better chance of withstanding Snipers. Arrow Vulcan deals HUGE damage unaffected by ASPD, and this allows Clown/Gypsies to allow much more VIT in their build and still deal as much attacks per minute. On the other hand, most Snipers still want lots of AGI in their builds since Double Strafe still beats un-Poem'ed Sharpshooting and Falcon Assault, thus allowing less VIT in their builds. Don't misunderstand me though, Snipers are still stronger than us. ---------------------- Bow vs Instrument/Whip ---------------------- "Should we use a bow or an instrument/whip to level/attack enemies when not singing/dancing?" My two cents: get both. Bow: - Combine with elemental arrows easily. - More range. - Double Strafe has a higher damage modifier (380% vs 250%). - Double Strafe has no cast time. - Double Strafe has a higher damage/SP cost ratio. - Musical Strike / Slinging Arrow cannot bypass Immune Muffler. - Good bows flood the market. Good instruments are like needles in a pile of other needles. Good whips aren't that bad, though. Instrument/Whip: - Wastes no arrows - cheaper and less hassle. - Faster ASPD. - Can equip a carded Buckler - excellent for monsters you can't Flee well. Bottomline: Bows for general levelling, but instruments/whips when you happen to hunt in a place with neutral/wind/water/fire monsters and you can flee well. I wouldn't want to waste my Crystal, Stone and Wind arrows just for levelling. Get a good instrument/whip and whack them away. ============= PATCH HISTORY ============= For the uninitiated, iRO and all the other servers get their updates from kRO. Whatever changes occur in kRO Sakray today are bound to appear in our servers some time later (quickly for jRO, months for mRO, many months for iRO, maybe a year or more for pRO lol, not sure about the rest). Here is the list of all the patch updates regarding B/D/C/G gameplay that have occurred till the day of writing. Apart from a few nerfing early patches, B/D/C/G are on a continuous road to buffdom...they keep getting better and better. Thanks Gravity! *6/17/2003* - The Bard and Dancer classes were introduced for the very first time. - The duet skill Ragnarok was removed for eternity.... dammit that skill rocked. 7/1/2003 - Bard and Dancer damage became based on DEX instead of STR. - Monsters became affected by Slow Grace. - Frost Joker and Scream could affect party members at a low chance (previously this did not occur). Ugh! - Frost Joker's duration was shortened :< - A few small changes to various solo songs and dances. 7/8/2003 - A four second after-cast delay was introduced for Frost Joker and Scream. 7/15/2003 - The movement speed for Bards and Dancers while solo singing/dancing was reduced to 1/4. - Mr Kim a Rich Man was buffed. 7/29/2003 - Bards and Dancers were allowed to use MS/SA while singing/dancing/dueting. <a few very minor changes here and there not worth mentioning> 3/16/2004 - Bards and Dancers (along with the other 2-2 classes) received their extra job bonus point (unsure what it is). 4/7/2004 - Duets could be stopped if either partner quit while performing. *4/13/2004* Quite a significant buffing patch. - Ring of Nibelungen: previously only affecting Lvl 4 weapons, it now affected Lvl 3 and Lvl 4. - Invulnerable Siegfried: previously only granting up to 80% resistance to Fire and Water, it now granted up to 60% resistance to all elements and up to 50% resistance to status ailments. - Forget Me Not: previously STR improved the ASPD reduction. Now DEX determined it. - Service For You: generally buffed. *4/20/2004* - The Clown and Gypsy classes were introduced for the very first time (actually this was for the kRO common servers, I couldn't find when they were first introduced in Sakray). *6/21/2004* The all important 7x7 buffing patch. - Previously, all solo songs and dancers were 9x9 and once players stepped out of the AoE, they lost their buffs. Now the AoE was reduced to 7x7 and the buff effects lasted for 20 seconds after the players stepped out of the AoE. This basically redefined Bard and Dancer gameplay for those creative enough to use it. 9/14/2004 - Music for the songs/dances/duets that previously went without one was added. - The Electric Guitar was introduced. 10/11/2004 - The quests for the Lvl 4 weapons Electric Guitar and Rapture Rose were introduced. *11/09/2004* THE major Clown/Gypsy buffing patch loved by all. - Arrow Vulcan's Lvl 10 damage was improved from 560% to 1200%. Basically more than doubled the effectiveness. - Moonlit Water Mill, Falling Petal was improved from 3x3 to 7x7. - Marionette Control: Previously, user and recipient must be within 5 levels of each other, user couldn't do a single thing while MCing, user retained his/her stats, and could not be used in WOE. Now, the level requirement and the WOE restriction was removed, user actually lost half his/her stats, and user could do whatever he wanted to throughout the duration of MC. Basically doubled the effectiveness too. 12/07/2004 The arrow nerf/buff patch. - Double Strafe, Arrow Shower, Charge Arrow, MS/SA and Arrow Vulcan now needed arrows. - The status arrows were introduced. - The quiver system was introduced. *12/14/2004* Another significant buffing patch with a few nerfs. - Arrow Vulcan now considered elements and weapon cards. - Movement speed during solo singing and dancing was reduced even further. - Musical/Dancing Lesson now improved movement speed. At maxed lvl movement speed became half of the normal walking speed... A very important buff. - Lullaby's sleep chance was improved. - Eternal Chaos previously affected both enemies and friends; now it only affected enemies. - Ring of Nibelungen did not work on Lvl 3 weapons anymore. On Lvl 4 weapons the damage bonus became DEF-ignoring...but still a big nerf, man. - Invulnerable Siegfried's elemental resistance was boosted from 60% to 80%. - MS/SA mechanics were rewritten. At Lvl 5 it became 260% damage for 9 SP, and now you could adjust its skill level. 02/08/2005 - Introduced the new cards. *03/08/2005* - The Clown and Gypsy sprites were implemented in entirety. Gypsies are hot! ============ MY CHARACTER ============ I play in mRO. Besides a Clown I have a Blacksmith and an Assassin. I often laze around in Payon with my guild in the evenings, actively exploring different places to hunt and practising for WOE. I'm glad to be able to continually impress friends and strangers alike with the skills I can use and the damage I can deal. The Knights and Crusaders love Apple, the Assassins and Rogues love Sunset, and everyone love Poem. Most of their responses usually involve "OMG!", "wow!" or "swt". Attack-wise, no one expected me to deal 3000 damage to a Mummy with a Melody Strike, but I did it at 140+ DEX. I hate PVP no more. I've come to learn how to enjoy it even if idiots run around trying to kill me. Let them try to ruin my fun --- I'll enjoy it my way... "mini" wars between guilds can be fun when you're bored and it's neither Wednesday nor Saturday. Or testing your battle abilities 1 v 1. So far these are the enemies I have absolutely no idea how to defeat 1 v 1: Priests, Phen Wizards, Phen Sages, similarly levelled/skilled Bards, similarly levelled Dancers, Strip-Bow Rogues. Battles with SinCrosses and Monks are very very tricky and need a lot of luck. Battles with Swordsman and Merchant classes need patience and a whole lot of pots which is bad for us. My build is DEX>AGI>VIT>INT. I classified it as the Multi-Purpose build. And that's what it is; it is certainly not the best build in any particular situation. If you want to build the best support build, concentrate on VIT and DEX, and some INT. If you want to build the best battle build (why one would do alludes me), concentrate on your DEX, AGI and some good VIT. My build is neither, but it does pretty well in both support and battle. ----- Stats ----- Final stats at lv99: DEX: 150 AGI: 112 VIT: 70 INT: 30 STR: 1 + 8 (Job) LUK: 1 + 4 (Job) DEX: 89 + 14 (Job) + 10 (Owl's Eye) + 5 (AoA, Binos, Tights) + 8 (Nimble Gloves) + 14 (Concentration) + 10 (Bless) = 150. I did not get DEX 160 because I only wanted instant-cast for Melody Strike and Arrow Vulcan. (249 Hit with Bless) AGI: 78 + 12 (Job) + 10 (Concentration) + 12 (Agi Up) = 112. I wanted to reach 100 AGI without AGI Up for Sunset. (219 Flee with Mocking without Agi Up) (179 ASPD with instrument, 176 ASPD with bow, both with Agi Up) VIT: 68 + 2 (Job) = 70. This was also to strengthen Apple, but I got it primarily for HP and stun resistance. Resulting HP: 9k - 10k. Chance of being stunned: 97 - 70 - 5(LUK)/3 = 25.67%. Chance of being stunned by Hammerfall: 25.67% x 70% = 17.96%. Chance of being stunned by Scream: 25.67% x 50% = 12.84%. Duration of being stunned: 3 X 0.2567 = 0.7701 seconds. INT: 25 + 5 (Job) = 30. This was for SP, SP regen and to strengthen Poem. Resulting SP: Slightly over 1k. ------ Skills ------ 1 Adaptation to Circumstances 1 Encore 10 Musical Lesson 5 Melody Strike 5 Frost Joker 3 Dissonance 10 Assassin Cross of Sunset 10 A Poem of Bragi 10 Apple of Idun 1 Loki's Wail 1 Marionette Control 10 Arrow Vulcan 2 skill points yet to be decided --------- Equipment --------- +7 Apple o' Archer Binoculars Romantic Leaf (hoping for a Pipe in future :P) +6 Hard Tights, +4 Tights of Ifrit, Zephyrus, Aqua and Unfrozen +7 Double Bloody Boned Mandolin, +7 Triple Boned Mandolin, +7 Triple Titan Mandolin, +9 Double Bloody Double Boned Composite Bow, +7 Double Silence Double Cursing Composite Bow, +8 Triple Boned Crossbow, +7 Double Titan Gakkung, +7 Double Gigantic Gakkung, standard Knife (still hunting for 3S. Lutes!) +7 Cranial Buckler, +6 Hell, Brutal and Gargantua Bucklers +7 Immune Muffler, +6 Mocking Muffler +7 Fledged Boots A pair of Nimble Gloves, and the Healing and Teleport Clips I'm not a DEF freak, I wouldn't upgrade anything beyond +7 (and also because I can't afford that kind of thing). ===== TO-DO ===== Every previous To-Dos have been Done! :> We'll see for more stuff in the future. =============== VERSION HISTORY =============== v1.0; 13/03/05 - First version of this guide. This is actually an edit of v3.1i, a version currently available on RO Empire. The "i" refers to iRO, which the "i" guides are written for. The "i" versions use iRO skill names. ========== REFERENCES ========== RO Empire - www.roempire.com/forums Emperium.org - www.emperium.org and its forums, forums.emperium.org RO Universe - www.rouniverse.net/ RO Guardians - www.ro-guardians.com/ iRO Stat Calculator - www.stud.ntnu.no/~magnusrk/calc Himeyasha's delightful website - www.himeyasha.com (exact skill info, job quests) RO Datazone - www.rodatazone.com (stats and status effects info) Forever-Zero's Hunter guide in ROE (ideas on guide writing, Archer stuff) Sitius' Alchemist guide in both ROE and Emperium (ideas on guide aesthetics) Akemi's Monk guide in both ROE and Emperium (equipment, other stuff) Borealis' Dancer guide in Emperium (some opinions on Dancer stuff) ================ ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS ================ I wouldn't do it without you. AxiaDrake, Eos Rododactylus, Raine, Lotharin, Evand, deadlyasshole and other posters in the Bard/Dancer subforum of ROE - for being the motivation behind this guide and the active site of discussion and knowledge sharing. CJ - for being here for me from then till now, in RO and in real life. Kich, Looi, Jade, Domch, Tim, Xingz - for being there for me then, in RO and in real life, I miss you guys. Dude, Joan, DV, Zen, Neph, Jit, Gene and the others from our guild's lazy sub- division that always suntans in Payon - for being here for me now. Goon, Junlong, Abel - for being here for me too. Siong, Kilven, Xiang, Wire, PQ and all the Xantissimo poops - for being such great people.