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The following article contains information from the Diablo I expansion Hellfire, which was not made by Blizzard Entertainment. Thus, it is not considered canon.
Bard

The Bard

The Bard is one of the two unfinished classes in Diablo: Hellfire, the other being the Barbarian. She could only be played after editing the Command.txt file in the Hellfire folder.

LoreEdit

Bards are members of the Seekers of the Light.

GameplayEdit

The Bard uses the Rogue's graphic, but can dual-wield weapons in lieu of a shield.

Bards possess balanced attributes, so they excel at nothing. Possessing medium amounts of the three core attributes of Dexterity, Strength and Magic, while enough to make them able to at least make use of everything in the game, for the purposes of specialization, makes them weak at all of them. High dexterity, while helpful when using bows, works better when the bard makes use of at least one sword.

Bards have the ability to wield two one-handed weapons. This combination of two one-handed swords is not as powerful as it seems. It can be as damaging as a Great Axe at best. But there are benefits to this style for her. To name one, there is the potential for an additional two magical modifications on the second weapon, which allows for deadly combos. Equipping a Civerb's Cudgel along with a good sword (preferably of Speed or Haste) will make the Bard a very powerful Melee character since the +200% damage bonus on Civerb's Cudgel applies to the whole damage and not just weapon damage. On the other hand, a Bard could sacrifice stopping power for a good weapon with life steal, and it would be near impossible to end her reign, unless stunlock is involved.

Another benefit is that when a Bard dual wields, she possesses the same ability to attack enemies adjacent to her target that the Monk has with his staff. This, when combined with potent equipment, allows the Bard to carve a path of destruction with relative ease, much in the same way that the Barbarian would with his trusty axe.

A fatal flaw in this character's design is that she has the melee attack speed of the Rogue. Rogues were never intended to be melee attackers, so they were given a slower melee attack speed than the warrior. The only saving grace of the bard's melee ability is her high dexterity; having a higher degree of dexterity, as well as being able to equip a second weapon for extra to-hit makes the bard more suited for Civerb's Cudgel than the Warrior or Barbarian, who firstly, needed to get the extra To-Hit from jewelry when wielding it, and secondly, had to make the hits count, as they swung at their normal attacking speed, robbing them of being able to stunlock some monsters. By hitting the enemy more frequently, she has the potential to stun lock her enemy.

Because her magical ability is only second to the sorcerer, a Bard can effectively use the attacking magical spells of Chain Lightning and Fireball, and some may even find worth in choosing to invoke the protection of Mana Shield. This helps to made the Bard effective in combat, both as a spellcaster, and as a melee hero who can quickly restore damage taken with her equipment and the art of healing.

However, the saying 'jack of all trades, masters of none' certainly applies to a Bard: a Warrior, Monk, or Barbarian will always outdamage her in melee combat, the Rogue bests her in ranged combat, and the Sorcerer is more powerful in spell combat. Their strength lies in their ability to adapt: if a Bard cannot adapt, death and/or failure is more likely.

SkillsEdit

Bards have one of the most useful skills in Diablo I. Bards can identify magical items without using scrolls of identify. This skill stopped the drudgery of going back to town, to get Cain to identify it, and selling magical items of little value. Compared to other classes' skills which seemed to actually hurt the hero rather than help them, identify is very beneficial.

Strategy and TipsEdit

  • The Bard's damaging skills increase when she uses a sword. Try to find a good sword as soon as possible.
  • Be aware that different attack speed increasing suffixes, Life Steal, and Mana Steal do not stack. Only the most powerful of the combinations apply.
  • Make good use of her class skill whenever possible. It essentially makes Scrolls of Identify redundant for the Bard, saving time and gold: all other processes of identification, be it from Cain, or buying a scroll from Adria, cost 100 in gold. If playing in Single Player, it can also be helpful to determine what magical items to sell, thanks to the save/load game functions.
  • Her class skill can be used as a service to other players in multiplayer, by charging less than Cain.  However, this is less useful at later levels, when more than 100 gold (Cain's price to identify) is a common monster drop in the Hell levels.

Character AttributesEdit

Base Attributes:

  • Strength: 20
  • Magic: 20
  • Dexterity: 25
  • Vitality: 20
  • Life: 45
  • Mana: 35

Maximum attributes:

  • Strength: 120
  • Magic: 120
  • Dexterity: 120
  • Vitality: 100
  • Life: 221
  • Mana: 231

DevelopmentEdit

Tome This page contains obsolete content
This article contains information that is no longer relevant to gameplay, but is kept here for informational purposes.

The Bard, alongside the Barbarian, was scrapped early on in the development of Hellfire. The class was designed by Donald Tsang. While looking at the code for Diablo I, he noted that it would be pretty easy for a class to wield a different weapon in each hand. He had no idea whether it was balanced or not, but the Bard was going to be a completely experimental, extra, no-balanced-is-required character. It was, in his words, "just for fun."[1]

ReferencesEdit

  1. 2018-06-29, How a Diablo expansion led to behind the scenes trouble. Polygon, accessed on 2018-06-30