One of the things I have noticed about Everquest2’s version of the bard is that their song buffs seem to be “set and forget” types of buffs – you cast an ability and your party gains x benefit – all of them with a nice musical note spell effect.
I guess this is a trade off between game convenience and bardic feel – if you have a shorter ranged buff you get to cast it more which gives you more to do in a bardic way but also more to remember, manage and if you play like I do – forget to recast 😀
On the far extreme of the short buffs is everquest 1 which uses something called twisting to achieve the support buffs. A player starts casting a song and cancels it straight away, this leaves the song with a few seconds duration before the buff expires. The player quickly casts another song, cancels it and moves on to a third and even forth song, before going back and refreshing the first song before its final seconds of buff run out. It is amazing to watch a good bard in action- but its also prone to giving you carpel tunnel and being badly upset by latency and interrupts!
Rift, as it often seems to be, is a mixture; it has various different buffs which you can have one of each running plus it has 4 (or so) temporary buffs that you refresh by hitting combo movies or refreshing them manually. This is a nice trade off; giving a bard music that must be played, allowing for some skilled weaving of dps and buffs but allowing the bard some constant effects that they can refresh hourly or switch on and off at will.
So far in Allods the bard has been a dps class without any buffs, all its abilities are attacking songs which at level 5 is fine, the challenge will be distinguishing it from other dps classes without some form of unique ability, be it buffs, debuffs or some kind of crowd control.
D&D online has even less buffs and less flavour than the other games – in general tho it is a dps class with some short term buffs.
So what do you prefer?
Fire and forget buffs (Everquest2)
Give me a mixture (Rift & Lotro)
Short and sweet (Everquest1)
Buffs are for the weak (Allods & DDo)