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Performer.
#1
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The Performer Class

It should come as a surprise to absolutely none of you when the Performers are sung as the "objectively" the 'worst' class.
But is it really the case? Is it really the worst class? 
To quite the numbers of people that touched Performer, "Yes!"
To others that didn't, "I don't know?"
And the hopeful few "No!"

But the Performer itself is like a melody of staggering failure with no real connection. It's a very weird class with no solid route whatsoever other than 'Oh well it's not that good as I thought.' in lot of ways.

Before we start discussing the essential flaw of Performers. It's better you get to know their skills.



THE OFFENSIVE SKILLS

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(Key takeaway. Requires confusion to work. Confused enemy needs to be in attack range. Every rank increases critical by 10) 2 rounds CD
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(Key takeaway. Requires converted monster within five range. Insta-kill converted monsters to deal 300%/400%/500% elemental damage based on starsign, and ignores evasion in six range AoE.) 3 rounds CD
[Image: EEeMaDu.png]
(Key takeaway. Six-range AoE that inflicts Acid ATK+SWA damage. Can Confuse charmed serpentkinds, and snakemen. Inflicts poison based on rank.) 2 rounds CD
 [Image: hj0lsEw.png]
(Key takeaway. Deals Water ATK+SWA water damage, and reduces Fire ATK base on rank. Become Global if Aquamancer's rainstorm active.) 2 rounds CD


THE SUPPORT SKILLS

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(Key takeaway. One enemy within your range is moved toward a tile within range. How many tile they travel is based on rank. No status inflictions on confused or converted enemy.) 5 rounds CD. 
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(Key takeaway. Two separate infliction checks. One for Charmed, and confusion within 6 tile range.) 3 rounds CD
[Image: VwGkTQn.png]
(Key takeaway. No status infliction required. Reduces enemy's status resistance for 3 rounds in six range.) 3 Rounds CD.
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(Key takeaway. Deals Sound damage to enemies in six range around you. Boosts everyone's SWA until your next turn.) 2 Rounds CD


THE UTILITY SKILLS

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(Key takeaway. Requires a single target to have Song of Susceptibility to utilize. Within five range. Character level+10 limit on PVE)
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(Key takeaway. 100% Escape rate for 30FP after, or on round 2. Cannot escape bosses or PVP battles)


THE PASSIVE SKILLS
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(Key takeaway. Extends all songs' duration by LUC chance if you're still SINGING at start of new round.)

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(Key takeaway. Does not require singing.)
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(Key takeaway. While Singing.)

THE INNATE SKILLS
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(Key takeaway. Evade effective for two attacks.)
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(Key takeaway. Any basic attacks or specific skills will inflict bonus sound damage for 3 attacks)
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(Key takeaway. Gains increased critical for two attacks.)
[Image: JWq2B0o.png]
(Key takeaway. Swift guard to their next turn.)
[Image: UPuFOSg.png]
(Key takeaway. Can cure 1D4 negative status effect, odds improved by LUC%)
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(Key takeaway. While you're Singing an active bard-song from base class.)
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THE ATTACK ROUTE:


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SINGING MECHANIC

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What qualify as non-basic skill? Well. Almost Everything. Dance skills will break singing. Hell's beating will break singing. Some of the Dark bards' offensive skill will restart Singing, but does not say that on their description. Meaning it's all knowledge-check to see what skills give you Singing, and retains Singing. Because a few passives and innates require that you are to be Singing on start of new round. It can be frustrating to make a decision on what skills you need to use your last 3M on, before you end turn otherwise you won't benefit from Singing.


THE PROBLEM

If at any point in this thread, you start to notice the issue in the room. There's that glaring slowly waking problem that you've finally started to notice as soon as you reach the bottom. You may be keenly aware of what made Performer such a bad class. But if you somehow managed to reach to this point, innocent with no real build technical knowledge, and thought there's nothing wrong. Then you need more experience.

But if you really want to know why. Then let it be written:

The Performer as a class is a class that have too many conditions required to fulfill. 
And also many of the benefits have a fancy string attached, that you don't recognize.

For example, the Bard Support Skills improvement are effective until you attack twice. Then you have to re-apply the song to get the new benefit again. Or you can be attacked three time, and potentially lose all three increased evades because you didn't dodge any of them.

There's also other conditions like needing to inflict Song of Sus, then hoping you win the dice-roll on an enemy to convert them. However this is pointless if said enemy is higher than level 70. Making it immensely pointless skills to take at high-end PvE. Lot of Performer skills are like that.

Pointless. 
There are select few good Performer considerations like Shower of Applause, Beat It, or Warmonger's Drum. However. You cannot subclass Performer. Too many main-class functions however. And even then, subclassing it is stupid idea. Because you would have to reapply Singing by using a Bard Song Skill. Which is why almost no build would take Performer Subclass unless you're insane to do Ghost/Performer. (I know you're eyeing that Warmonger's Drum.)

But at the end of the day. You're better off going Dark Bard.
  
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#2
I'll support any thread that calls for a Performer buff.

Why does it have the least amount of healling of all bard promos...
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#3
(08-07-2023, 08:39 AM)caliaca Wrote: I'll support any thread that calls for a Performer buff.

Why does it have the least amount of healling of all bard promos...
I blame Dancer
066: Birth of the Robot Emperor
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#4
Problem with performer is that so much of your gameplan relies on doing combos with charm and finita or converting, which isn't even that good in pve party play since your allies will probably kill stuff before you get your setup through and it's barely worthwhile anyway. Doesnt work in pvp, or bosses.

Then the rest of its toolkit is a collection of skills with niche uses that are also just plain weak.

It needs a complete rework in my opinion, the whole charm -> convert -> boom thing is too much at the core of it and imo makes it hard to design a class around.

The class should focus on providing a multitude of buffs, debuffs and utility in a large aoe, and have some proper healing. At the moment the damage is too low and the buffs/utility/healing is too weak, it's that shrimple
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#5
I mean, you're not wrong, Performer is certainly the underperforming little cousin of the other two subclasses, and has the least healing (but comes with a powerful status cure)

I think most of the issues with Performer is that the base bard songs aren't amazing by any means and only provide stats instead of actual unique benefits. A stat buffer does not entail good utility in a fight, so Performer mostly relies upon some mediocre options in general. I'd like the base bard songs to get reworked to be more cohesive with eachother, and to be enhanced by Performer's individual passives, and then see where performer stands from there.

Just pulling an immediate example of the degree of which I think they should be changed:

Quote:Aria Of Agility: 

-Grants LV 2/2/3/3/4 Shukuchi to all allies in range until their next turn, as well as +5 Hit and Evade

Singing Effect: Grants the Aria of Agility aura which grants +5 Hit and +5 Evade

Amplified Agility: Shukuchi LV and hit/evade effects are increased by 50%

Expected to grant: 6 Movement similar to charge order, +15 Hit/Evade for 3 rounds.

I don't expect exactly this, but having the base bard songs be something a little better than just raw stats that get diminished at end game is more preferable than something that can only excel before level 60.
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#6
That's true. The class is meant to make use of base bard songs, and those suck. The only time you're using them is with auto-tune for free at battle start, or when you have really nothing better to do in neutral
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#7
The fact that performer has only been nerfed since release and nobody really played it then is hilarious to me. At least it had one niche teamfight build before. Now it has nothing.
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#8
rip amogus' drums evoker team
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#9
I was going to end up writing a performer essay like my ancient aquamancer essay in my own thread as a performer main but since this is here, here we go:

Mechanically (and thematically) Performer is all over the place. 

> I think singing is an AWFUL mechanic that needs to be reworked since the only way you're going to be reliably singing constantly enough to proc buffs like Performer's Heart (also why is this skill even main class in Performer's current state?)/Second Verse/Dodging Tomatoes, etc are if you go Performer/Dark Bard with an Electric Axe so you at least get some SWA out of your luck required to consistently proc Second Verse (pretty much the only good Performer class combo other than the niche Aquamancer/Performer since it can maintain perma-uptime on all 4 mediocre bard buffs between Second Verse, Encore and maintaining singing status with Dark Bard songs counting for singing.) For something that's touted as the core of Performer's interactions, it's nigh unusable. Hell, singing would be massively better even if it was just changed to be a two turn status after using a song so you can actually use Second Verse/Performer's Heart/Dodging tomatoes if you dare use a non-song skill.

> Its stat scalings lack complete coherence. You want high skill/will for the status inflict because pied piper is extremely important. You want guile because of Bewitching Melody and/or Snake Dancer melody. You want luck for Second Verse. You want sanctity for Encore and Warmonger's Drums and most instruments. You want strength because aside from the guile scaling weapons, every single other weapon scales off it. You're spreading your stats incredibly thin for very little reward in terms of utility and damage.

> This has been mentioned but base bard songs are just bad. Their range is super small unless you use Volume Up (which has a 3 turn duration with a 5 turn cooldown so it has very low uptime) or Active Performance, which means you're often putting yourself in an unfavorable position to cast them. The stats they give are negligible and only last 3 turns unless you utilize Second Verse (which once again requires you to be in singing status at the start of a turn to even proc!), so they're not even worth the momentum to cast. The performer passives that improve them aside from Defending Dawr and Curing Cantus (which is for a 6 turn cd skill and even then for some reason has a luck percent chance of clearing multiple buffs. Hello weird stat spreading my old friend.) are also super mediocre and barely have any impact due to only being usable for a few hits (and because you'd have to cast aforementioned terrible bard buff songs.)

Also why do base bard songs get their auras cancelled when you play something without an aura?? Hitting Cantus or literally any Performer skill and having your already pitiful stat aura removed (which helps a little bit with Music Heals!!) just feels awful.

> Many Performer actions require high setup for mediocre/little reward. Pied Piper into Bloody Ball is heavily enemy position reliant while also requiring you to put yourself in the middle of the enemy team to proc. La Finita takes a whopping 12 momentum of setup with Song of Susceptibility/Pied Piper/Bewitching Melody/La Finita to reliably utilize and even then, it doesn't work on level 70+ monsters. This is not to mention that many of the newer mobs have ridiculously high status resist to top it off. Bewitching Melody on players also requires 9 momentum for one turn of pacify that gets removed if they take a single damage tick. Rain Caller Rondo is very good when used in tandem with Aquamancer's rain skill but once again requires 2 turns to set up. Bard buff songs in general, if your team is even slightly spread out, requires you to have Volume Up + Active Performance (6 momentum) to hit your teammates with.

Good luck doing all of this while trying to juggle your other class' skills while ALSO trying to maintain singing status by being forced to use a song skill at the end of the turn for your CHANCE at activating Second Verse if you managed to fit luck into your weird ass performer build as you get socked in the face by every other thing with more useful skills.

>Tune Up existing as a skill at all. Need I say more?


As for the topic of thematics:

Performer feels like a mash-up of skills that barely have any synergy with each other that doesn't deliver the fantasy of being a charming performer. Quote the in game description of the class: "With a lute in your hand, you can make even the most stuck-up wallflower hit the dance floor like it owes them money."

Possible suggestions include:
  • Lean in more to the charm aspect and interactions with it for both teammates and allies. Skills like Dancer's Double Dance, Dancer's Invitation and Rose Toss honestly feel like they'd be more in line with Performer than in Dancer. Idol Step already charms your own teammates, so I don't see why charmed teammate interactions wouldn't fit right in with Performer.
  • Make Performer emulate actual music. Similar to Kensei Combos, have 'chord progressions' where certain song skill orders activate different effects. This also gives more strategic and creative options for Performer utility skills while also allowing for stronger possible buffs to be added due to requiring more momentum.
  • In line with making it more music-like, make singing status more rewarding the longer you maintain it consecutively. Dark Bard's mechanic is actually a good example of this with the finale being Second Set. For Performer it could be a fluctuating buff where it ramps up for three rounds, hits its 'peak' on the fourth (banger chorus!!) with a big buff and then scales back down as the 'song' dies. A sort of tempo sorts to maintain.
Personally, I'd prefer having it emulate actual music for the sick RP but charming does fit that classic bard theme too!!


TL;DR:
  • Singing status is nigh impossible to maintain without Dark Bard while offering next to nothing in terms of interactions and effects
  • Bard base song skills suck in both effect and uptime and Performer doesn't make them much better
  • Performer requires too much setup for too little reward
  • Performer's stat requirements are all over the place
  • Skills have little to no synergy/cohesion as a whole
  • Has no real thematic that fits the fantasy of playing a lutey-tooty bard that makes people want to boogie
  • The whole class needs a rework in general, it's been terrible and has suffered from all the above problems since release
Thank you for coming to my annual TED talk!!
[-] The following 4 users Like Latto's post:
  • caliaca, DogmaticDusk, Grandpa, SpaceShibe
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#10
Performer does just need a complete rework. You wouldn't hurt anyone by gutting the class entirely and replacing it with an almost runemage progression of different 2 momentum 'chords' or 'beats' or 'notes' where specific cheat codes of them proc some sort of listed effect.
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