Everywhere I look, I seem to see the same idea that the “bard is squishier than the archer because they’re a robed class” but I don’t think it’s true. It might’ve been true in the past but it’s not true now at least. So here’s a half-rant/half-guide on the bard.
Looking at the base survival stats compared to an archer, the bard has:
-30 HP +0 DEF +5 VIT +5 SPD
That’s a fairly small change for people to claim that it’s squishier, especially since its DEF is exactly the same at base.
Next we move onto the equipment stats, here’s the survival stats for wc tops.
An Archer holds a quiver and leather armor: +20 HP +17 DEF (20 hp from quiver)
A Bard holds a lute and a robe: +20 HP +17 DEF (20 hp and +4 def from lute)
So, its equipment DEF and HP is exactly the same.
Therefore the DEF stat is exactly the same for Archer and Bard and Huntress.
Beyond that the bard has an ability that gives it extra defense.
At T6 this is +7 DEF for 5 seconds/100 MP, which means that while not buffed you’re as tanky as the archer and with the buff you’re up a whole 7 DEF.
The only survival negative is the -30 HP, but I think the +7 DEF buff and +5 SPD +5 VIT makes up for that.
Not to mention that with a doombow, thousand shot, or leaf bow can take full advantage of the +25% range from the lute and have wand range.
DPS![image|690x353](upload://qKnFcjwIh06gctjBuwDUxLbp3sf.png) (I'm not sure how to post an image)
With wc tops the Bard has roughly 250 less dps than the Archer, and both of them have the same range so this is one of the main downsides to playing the bard.
SummaryThe bard plays similar to the archer, with the caveat of having a at least -10% dps, and a fundementally different ability.
The bard's ability is more defensive than the other bow classes by buffing the party with extra defense, increasing survival by a bit, and granting each weapon to attack at the next range up:
3.5 Swords -> 4.38
4.75 Katanas ->5.94
5.6 Daggers -> 7
7.04 Bows -> 8.8
8.55 Staves -> 10.69
9 Wands -> 11.25
(not sure if this is in the right category)