FFXIV: Level 60 Bard Life


Change your mind, change your playstyle…

Well, okay, so that’s not the way the saying went, but that’s pretty much what’s happening in my world now that Zuri is a level 60 Bard.

I spent months procrastinating on leveling to 60 because I felt unhappy with the way Bard played with the addition of Wanderer’s Minuet. I jumped around from class to class trying to decide on what to do with her. I tried Machinist, but found it more frustrating than Bard. I enjoyed Dragoon, but I already have a level 60 Dragoon that’s well-geared. I have reservations about other DPS (Black Mage/Summoner), and yet others (Ninja) I have already leveled to 50 on another character.

So, for the sake of just finishing the HW expansion MSQ, I forced myself to level Bard to 60. I studied the theories on the best Bard opening rotation and the overall how-to-Bard info I could find. Unlike other DPS classes, there isn’t a how-to-Bard thread in the official DPS forums. Instead, there are just the notorious They Broke My Job and Angry Bard posts.

It’s hard not to let your thoughts be colored by the discontent when that’s what you primarily hear from the vocal bards on the boards. Time and again, we hear that our DPS is sub-par due to being expected to support the group.

And yet, I still found myself going into dungeons with a melee DPS mentality. Focus down that mob, put out as much DPS as a rotation will allow, try to keep all dots rolling.

Trying Something Different

Even the class quest text is trying to remind me I’m not a melee DPS…

When it came to solo content for quests, I was doing just fine with Zuri. When it came to dungeon running, I found myself lost and struggling to keep up, usually DPSing along with a melee.

As I was reading through guides and Reddit, I ran across this particular comment:


Here, they were discussing the concept of multi-dotting mobs, which I, despite having played Bard for years, never considered. This was mostly because I thought spreading damage around was making it more difficult for a tank to maintain hate. I thought that (aside from certain mobs which stacked and were easy to kill quickly), any kind of AOE I did was a Bad Thing.

Maybe that was true when I first started playing FFXIV and the game was full of new tanks. But, I don’t think that’s so much the case now. I mean, Black Mages and Summoners do AOE on trash all the time in dungeons.

So, I decided to try it during my low level roulettes this week. I dotted everything I could reach in between my major skill cooldowns and pumped out the AOE damage whenever I could on trash mobs. It felt like things were dying faster, but I was still holding my breath waiting for someone in the party to complain that I wasn’t focusing my fire constantly.

Instead, I’ve been earning commendations, which is a surprise. After running so many expert roulettes as a Dragoon (who usually gets totally ignored), I almost forgot what a commendation looked like.

Now, I have no idea if this is The Best Way to Bard. But it’s certainly a change in approach for me, and a change in the way I look at DPS done by the Bard. I’m going to continue to experiment with the kind of damage it can do as I also continue to gear up.

Speaking of gear, I know I wrote about how happy I was to not only get my upgraded Law bow last night, but to also get the majority of my left side geared up using the new Sky Pirates armor (thanks to a wonderful FC crafter!). Sure, it set me back a good chunk of gil. But it was much cheaper than trying to get them off the marketboard, and saved me so many leveling roulette runs in the long run.

Even the Fat Cat is happy.

I can always make the gil back, but I can’t get back my time and sanity. XD

My goal is to get Zuri to an ilvl where she can start joining on things like Void Ark and (maaaaaybe) Alex 1. I should also pick up my crafting and gathering sometime… it would be awesome to be able to make these kinds of things for myself one day.


Oh, and on the Tai side of things, I’ve just been running new dungeons for unlocks with the FC folks. I’m leveling Paladin (halfway through 54 now) through beast tribe, hunts and the rare requested dungeon.

Last night, I tanked my first HW dungeon for a couple of the FC guys who needed just a little EX boost to get them to the next level. I did surprisingly okay on holding aggro against a lvl 59/60 and lvl 56/57 Ninjas when all was said and done. Practicing low-stress tanking runs with the FC helps a lot. I’m glad I picked up that poetics armor as I felt that helped a bit, too.

So, have you been playing FFXIV lately? What have you been up to? 


  1. I’ve done the spreading-around-DoTs thing before a few times, actually. Well, really, I try it whenever I remember to. 😀 I can’t say it makes a *huge* difference, but it does increase your overall DPS a bit.

  2. Good for you!

    Yeah I can understand your hesitancy to switch to full on DoT mode, but it is a very poorly designed game that doesn’t take mild DoTs into account when thinking about tank tools. That said, the multiDoT playstyle is truly a different mindset to a focus fire playstyle, and I don’t blame you for being nervous about trying it.

    Hopefully it starts to feel more natural and more satisfying to Bard once you get used to the new playstyle!

    1. Thanks for the encouragement! It’s a big shift in playstyle to going from direct damage (where you see your strikes taking down the health bar) to dots that slowly burn the bar away. Bard has a little of both, but not nearly enough spike damage for someone who’s come from a pretty heavy hitting melee class. I’m trying to figure it out, though!

  3. Glad to see you are doing well!

    To be honest once you get used to multi-dotting then it becomes second nature to you. I can attest to that, after all I have been playing SMN as my main for quite a while. ^^ It all depends on the class playstyle, while I can’t really talk about bard (as mine is really low level), I can say that once you get used to the general timers and cooldowns your dots have it becomes quite easy to refresh them even if you mess up sometimes.

    Most importantly, try to have fun and do not mind people who complain. Most of those I ran into either didn’t know how the class plays, or if claimed they maxed and played it, could not give any advice, making them stop complaining in the end. Though I have run into people who have given me advice on occasions. But they did not complain, but just asked if I was using skill x or y, in general I love people like that as they don’t bach you, but try helping… sadly those are rare.

    All in all, glad to see you doing all right, to be honest I miss the runs and general messing around with you guys. Hope I can get some more time playing over the weekends (more like to even have time to play as sadly I do not organize my time right v.v ) so I can catch up XD

  4. Awesome to hear that Bard’ing is becoming a more enjoyable thing for you. It always sucks when a job you really adore ends up falling short mechanically.

    I’ve gotten back in to the swing of group things myself. I’ve been snarly at PUG’s but have since begun to slowly simmer down and am looking to FC-mates more frequently. Did my first-ever run of Pharos Sirius HM a couple of nights ago and…it felt good to DRK Tank things again. It felt REALLY good. I love everything about the class even if it feels like I’m coming up short.

    Here’s hoping things as a Bardess continue to delight. <3

    1. I’m glad to hear tanking has felt better for you, too. I also tend to run with FC members as much as possible. You just never know what you’re going to get with PUGs. You can’t let them weigh you down (though sometimes it’s really hard not to).

      I also feel like I’m coming up short with Bard sometimes. I think as I get better gear and some practice, I’ll start to get the feel of things.

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