Orion’s Proposed Minstrel Changes

June 2, 2011


Orion has posted the proposed changes for the Minstrel class on his blog yesterday. These are proposed changes, as in there is nothing done to test servers or anything for us to try out. Orion is just putting his ideas out there for minstrels to give feedback on.

The changes to the class proposed here are pretty darn significant and will most likely change how all minstrel’s trait and play. The post was very detailed and extensive so I do suggest you go read it for yourself but I will attempt to do my best at summarizing things here.

Minstrel’s Three Compositions (Stances)

Healing: No stance required or called the “null” stance. A minstrel with no composition/stance on is basically set for healing 

Some changes will take place to make that healing a little less efficient unless the minstrel focuses on The Watcher of Resolve, but overall the minstrel focusing on healing will be, fundamentally, unchanged. The three primary goals in order are: healing, self-buffing and group support.

Favored Trait Line: Watcher of Resolve (Blue line)

War-Speech: This is the damage stance. Minstrels looking to DPS should focus on this stance. The three primary goals are: damage dealing, damage buffing and self-preservation. 

When Active: -10 seconds Piercing Cry cooldown, +25% increase in the chance for Piercing Cry to Crit, +25% damage to Minor Ballad Damage, Sets the Coda to Coda of Wrath, All heals are now Self Targeted heals.

Favored Trait Line: Warrior-Skald (Red line)

Harmony: This is the “twisting” stance. It should be chosen by players that want to be healers and still contribute in combat versus foes. The three primary goals of Harmony are: buffing, resource management and group healing. 

When Active: -30 second cooldown to Noble Cause, Increases magnitude of Noble Cause healing, Increases Perfect Ballad Damage by 25, Sets the Coda to Coda of Resonance

Favored Trait Line: Protector of Song (Yellow line)

One thing to notice here is the healing penalty to war-speech is gone however any group heal songs you play will now only affect the minstrel. War-speech is meant for a minstrel to look out for themselves, not the group.

Codas (New Finishing Song)

Theorbo_thumb[1]I’m going a bit out of order from Orions blog post but I thought it would be important to list what the new skill codas are before I start referencing them in the anthem’s section.

Coda’s are like the “finishing move” sort of like how Anthem currently works in that using it will clear out all your ballad and anthem buffs and give you an effect or buff. The coda requires three ballads to be active to use (an anthem is not required).

Codas are modified by every Anthem currently in use by the minstrel. Anthems describe what they do to the coda.

See the anthem section below for descriptions of the anthems and how they affect the coda.

There will be three available codas that are tied to the minstrel’s stance (so there will be one coda skill on your bar that changes if you change stance):

Coda of Vigour Null stance coda; provides a moderate heal to the target and removes all active anthems and ballads.
Coda of Wrath War-speech only; deals moderate tactical damage to the target and removes all active anthems and ballads.
Coda of Resonance Harmony stance only; deals minor tactical damage to target and heals up to 3 targets within 12 meters of the minstrel with a minor heal; removes all active anthems and ballads.

Changes to Ballads

Ballads will lose their short-term self buffs and instead will give a buff to the minstrel that will last throughout the entire combat session.

You can have three ballads active at a time. Playing a fourth ballad will replace the first ballad you played so you can change ballads around to suit your current combat needs. There are three types of ballads:

Major Ballads require no target, apply a small healing buff to the minstrel and can only be used in-combat. Each buff applies a small bonus to healing magnitude. 

Each application applies a 1% bonus to magnitude of healing and motivation skills. Does not require a target to play. Duration of the buff is combat permanent.

Minor Ballads require a target and deal a moderate amount of tactical damage to the target as well as applying a small boost to tactical damage output. 

Deals a moderate amount of Light damage to a target and buffs the minstrel with +2% to tactical damage output. Duration of the buff is combat permanent.

Perfect Ballads require a target and deals a minor amount of tactical damage to the target as well as applying a buff that lowers the power cost of all minstrel skills. 

Deals a minor amount of Light damage to a target and buffs the minstrel with -3% reduction in all skill costs with each application. Duration of buff is combat permanent.

The part I like here is that I’m now longer going to have to maintain ballads every few seconds just for benefits. The ballads will remain so long as I don’t play a coda.

So as a healing minstrel, I can play three major ballads to boost my healing to 3% and when the fight drags on replace one or two with a perfect ballad to manage power issues.

Changes to Anthems

In order to play an anthem you need three ballads active (that isn’t new) but the anthem will not clear your ballads (this is new).

Anthems become the primary buff for the minstrel. Existing Anthems are revised, improved and shortened in duration. Anthems will all share cooldowns so that there is a choice of what anthem to play, when. Cooldowns and anthem durations can be improved through a combination of traits and devotion to trait sets. Anthems no longer remove ballads.

Link in this list is to the current skill in case you wanted to look at what it does now for reference. If you are viewing on the blog, a lorebook entry will pop up just by mousing over it.

Anthem of the Free Peoples Increases Group Morale Regeneration; Coda: Adds a Moderate HoT to the Minstrel.
Anthem of Compassion Reduces threat generated from healing by 40%; Coda: Using the Coda generates 0 Threat.
Anthem of the Third Age (Null Stance) Adds +3% to Outgoing Healing, reduces skill inductions by 25%; Coda: Your next Bolster Courage is instant cast (Lasts for 10 seconds)
Anthem of the Third Age (War-speech) +5% increase to call damage; Coda: Refreshes Call of Oromë
Anthem of the Third Age (Harmony) -40% reduction for Anthem Costs; Coda: On critical re-applies Anthem of the Third Age (Harmony)
Anthem of War *new* +10% Melee Combat Damage to the Fellowship, +5% Tactical Damage to Fellowship, +5% Ranged Damage to Fellowship; Coda: Increases the Critical Chance of the Coda
Anthem of Prowess *new* Increases Evade chance to Fellowship, Increases Armour Rating of Fellowship, Increase attack speed of Fellowship; Coda: Activates Noble Cause without invoking Cooldown
Anthem of Composure *new* Increases Resistances to Fellowship, Increases Tactical Mitigation to Fellowship; Coda: Places a buff that restores a portion of the Minstrel’s Max power over 20 seconds.

Some of our existing anthems are being changed to calls (see other proposed skill changes section). For example Anthem of the Valar will be Call to the Valar.

Other Proposed Skill Changes

Call to the Valar
(formerly Anthem of the Valar)
Deals moderate light damage to up to 3 targets in a 5m radius, removes 1 corruption effect from the targets. Cooldown 60 seconds
Call of the Wizards
(formerly Anthem of the
Deals strong light damage to up to 3 targets in a 5m radius and reduces mounted speed by 10%, normal movement speed by 25% and increases the attack speed of the targets by 10% for 15 seconds. Cooldown 60 seconds.
Echoes of Battle Current functionality remains in War-speech and Harmony stance is equivalent to the currently implemented non-War-speech. In new Null stance increases a friendly target’s parry rating and places damage reflection onto that target. Duration is a toggle and the cooldown is 10 second.
Herald’s Strike No longer increases incoming healing modifier.
Inspire Fellows Reduces Incoming Damage slightly, moderately heals all fellow members in a 20m radius; Cooldown 0 seconds. Induction 5 seconds.
Triumphant Spirit Moderately Strong Heal to all fellows in a 20m radius; cooldown 5 minutes
Fellowship’s Heart Removes Fear, Wound, Disease and Poison effects; grants immunity to Fear, Wound, Disease and Poison to the fellowship for 10 seconds.

Moderate Heal to all fellows in 20m; Moderate HoT every 3 seconds for 3o seconds. Induction 2 seconds and cooldown 5 minutes. (Higher Power Cost)

Rally Cooldown reduced to 15 minutes (legacies will be modified)

Songs, Tales and Stories

Improved Song of Hope Removes dread from fellow members – cooldown of 5 minutes
Story of Courage (formerly Cure Fear) Removes 2 Fear effects as it does now and adds fear resistance to target for 10 seconds.
Story of the Hammerhand (formerly Gift of the Hammerhand) Applies a Damage Absorbing Bubble on a friendly target equal to ~20% of the Minstrel’s max power that lasts for 10 seconds. Cost 10% of max power. Cooldown 60 seconds.
Song of the Hammerhand (formerly Lyric of the Hammerhand) Places a damage absorbing shield on the Minstrel equal to ~30% of their max power. If the shield is destroyed the minstrel loses ~20% of the max power. If the shield expires normally, the minstrel recovers ~30%. Cost is 10% of max power. Duration is 30 seconds. Cooldown of 60 seconds.
Story of the Possum (formerly Still as Death) Cooldown reduced to 10 minutes
Tale of Battle Increases Vitality and Resistance to poison, fear, disease and wounds.

A lot of these would require me to play with it in order to really get how they work.

At a glance I can say adding a wound, disease and poison resist to the fellowship’s heart is nifty and a high enough cooldown to not step on the other classes’ toes with their superior skills.

The cure fear, meh. Honestly, my major issue with cure fear as it currently stands is I have to be standing right next to my healing target (what am I whispering in his ear or something?). I think an increased range would help inspire me to use it more often.

There are several concerns in the feedback forum about the induction increase to Inspire Fellows. I am guessing from their discussion that this skill is much more used in end game scenarios. I do use it but it’s not a major go-to for me. Although 5 seconds is a pretty lengthy induction time. A lot could go wrong in 5 seconds and if there’s a lot of damage flying that you feel the need to heal the group 5 seconds could feel like forever.

Removing the healing modifier to herald’s strike. I guess that means the only thing it’s good for now is corruption removal and with so many other classes doing corruption removal more efficiently I don’t know if I would use this skill often. I really don’t use it super often now honestly. Perhaps I’m in the minority here.

The power regen of the Hammerhand is nice. I’ve long said that minstrels need a way to restore power on their own. We don’t always have a lore-master with us (all thought we’d like one). This change is a way for us to get 20% power back by placing the bubble on a player not getting a whole lot of damage and having it run it’s 30 second course. This combined with perfect ballads give us some tools for better managing power.

One final reminder that these are all proposed changes. Orion is interested in your feedback on these ideas. What are your thoughts on these changes?

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Goldenstar's primary happiness in games is anything that involves festivals, parties, cosmetics and pie. If there's any time after those things to kill bad guys, so be it.

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19 Responses to “Orion’s Proposed Minstrel Changes”

  1. Bryandt Says:

    I’m still not sold on Coda’s or the changes proposed to Protector of song. Coda’s just seem so unnecessary. And Protector of Song already does less healing than Watcher of Resolve, but (if I’m reading that correctly) will get nerfed slightly more in the healing department.

    Warrior-Skald changes are… meh. Being able to heal yourself in war-speech again will be cool and useful, but I’m already using pots for that when I’m traiting in the red line.


  2. Joshua Says:

    My one minstrel hasn’t gone past 15, however I think the changes to ballads sound awesome. I have little opinion on the rest of this, but not having to constantly refresh ballads makes me want to actually play my minstrel again.


  3. Phenyhelm Says:

    While it’s a lot to digest I look at it as a very positive set of changes to a class I’ve recently grown to love.

    Sure I’ll have to re-learn it all but I feel like it allows for a more tactical use of the buffs I have available as opposed to ballad spam to try and get as many up as possible.

    I also like that there is more differentiation in the roles that a minstrel can perform.


  4. Zydeco Says:

    I made a hybrid build similar to the thoughts behind Harmony stance so I kinda like what I am seeing here. I am sure things will change but I like the blueprint at least.


  5. Saelyth Says:

    I don’t play a minstrel so i can talk just about some of the skills but i gotta say that this one cooldown time it’s an epic win: Removes dread from fellow members – cooldown of 5 minutes


  6. Elinnea Says:

    In reading the proposed changes and peoples’ reactions to them, I was thinking about how difficult it must be to manage class design when people play in so many different ways and want so many different things out of it. People discuss how it would affect PvMP or end-game raiding, and I just have to take their word for it because I’ve never done those things. The requirements are very different than for leveling and questing with a minstrel, which is what I’m interested in. I respect the devs’ courage in even taking on the task of trying to make some fundamental gameplay changes in this class (and others, but minstrel is the only one I’m really able to follow).

    I think a lot of the proposed changes sound fun to play around with, especially with buffing. But of course it’s hard to tell whether I would like them or not until I get a chance to try it out. I’m not a number cruncher or a min-maxer, so I’ll just leave that to other people to stress over. ;)

    I do like how he’s trying to use more musical language with the skills.


  7. Bryandt Says:

    Regardless, this is putting a real cramp in the Guide to Minstrels PDF I had in mind. :/


  8. Lannadhor Says:

    Well, at this point I’m sitting somewhere between intrigued and befuddled. We’ll see what Orion has to say in his upcoming blog on the related Traits with these ideas, and what will eventually come out in the wash at the end of it all with Isengard’s release.

    As it stands with the feedback on the forums, there is a lot of misrepresentation and out-right falsehoods in some of the feedback. I tend to take everything except Orion’s replies with a large grain of salt. After all, he has more than an inkling of what changes are coming to the game as a whole with the expansion in the Fall, we do not.


  9. Cornaith Says:

    Since Cornaith, my main toon, is a minstrel, i felt obligated to talk about this a bit. I am kind of liking these proposed changes. I have always felt that while in War Speech there is no big finishing move for them. I never really caught on to the current anthems and rarely ever use them. I mainly use the calls in my main rotation along with the tier 1 and 2 ballads. The tier 3 ballads are good but seem to situational and not a lot of damage is done when you hit a tier 3, unless you are just going for a specific anthem.

    These Codas seem interesting and if implemented, they should help me change my DPS game quite a bit.


  10. Halibrand Says:

    Wow. So a War-Speech Minstrel that’s smart about power usage/regeneration is about to become nigh unkillable when soloing? Interesting. Won’t help me in a group ever, but I’ll sure take advantage of that when attempting strange and un-possible feats throughout the regular world. Un-possible no more, I say!


  11. Dawnsfire Says:

    He has a lot of additional info in replies to people in the thread. For example Inspire Fellows isn’t correct. It has a 5 sec cooldown not induction (he goofed the original description). They are also taking medium armor away from Minis. In it’s place the trait will provide a bonus to armor that you are wearing. Too much work making all that new med mini armor ;) Pretty interesting stuff so far.


  12. Crell Says:

    Thanks for these summary posts, it really helps me wrap my head around exactly what’s being discussed for a class I haven’t played much.


  13. John Says:

    So……Any specific reason WHY the minstrel lost the medium armour trait? If I wanted a glass canon I’d have rolled a RK….


    • Avatar of Goldenstar
      Goldenstar Says:

      The trait has been modified from wearing medium armor to boosting the armor value on your light armor. You’ll still be a tough little tankstrel but all minstrels will have the single armor type (light).


  14. John Says:

    I get that. I just don’t the reasoning behind it.

    Surely if someone wanted their minstrel to have a higher armour value, they’d just put on medium armour? Yes, the medium armour didn’t always have will/fate modifiers, but you still had an option to mix and match light/medium armour for the best armour/stats that you were happy with…. Removing that option just seems like a meh move to me, even with the 20% armour boost nonsense it was replaced with.

    But yeah, that’s just me. Obviously I’m in the minority here since I enjoyed soloing with the mini more than actually playing in a group with him :P

    Apologies if it sounds like I’m being difficult or something, was just curious is all. Only saw the announced changes earlier today otherwise I would have asked sooner.


    • Joshua Says:

      It’s completely an itemisation thing, and it’s not at all hard to understand.

      Now, all the tactical classes wear light armour, and the only classes wearing medium armour are physical classes. They don’t need to design a whole new set of medium armour that only some Minstrels will wear. It doesn’t sound like much work, maybe, until you multiply it across all the level bands and raid sets and account for the fact that they’re also designing a set of Minstrel light armour for all of those level bands.


  15. John Says:

    Also, I just noticed the date on the last post. Sorry about that, feel free to ignore my posts. :D



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