Bare in mind that this is all mostly theorycraft at the moment, I can't try this out until I get in game (and I'm not early start, so March 4th for me). Maybe someone else could give it a go in the coming weeks and report back.
I appreciate the the Rift spell in the Bard soul tree and could really find a spot in regular tank rotation.
Riff is what attracted me to Bard in the first place, it really is a fantastic opener. Then I noticed Power Cord with its glorious 3 second cooldown...
There really is no comparison in other trees. For example, an Assassin using Subterfuge and Puncture to get the initial five points, with Cloak and Dagger adding a bit of extra mitigation. It'd probably work, but there are some downsides.
1. Assassin lacks an AOE finisher. A minor problem considering Riftstalker's AOE attacks perhaps, but still a downside.
2. Puncture pails in comparison to Power Cord for building combo points. There really is no contest.
3. The Assassin's opener requires stealth, so you can't pull. You either have to teleport to the mobs, or get someone else to pull them for you (which could
get them killed in some situations).
Motifs, while DPSing, are a phenomenal boost to your groups DPS Healing and tanking however, while you are tanking you'll have a metric sh*t-ton (I think that's an English measurement) of things to do so having the added responsibility of keeping motifs applied, I think you'll be gimping your ability to perform the most basic tank tasks like holding aggro. At the very least, you'll be maintaining Tenacity and Regen, which will take two global cool downs. Two global cool downs that, as you very astutely pointed out yourself, could be spent generating combo points.
Yeah, good points.
In theory, Bardic Inspiration is maxed to make keeping a couple of motifs up easier. But if you find that you're not making good use of them, the points can easily go elsewhere.
Don't forget that Improved Guardian Phase awards players with more health per point spent in the RS tree. Though, if I could make my peace with 1%-2% less health if I was picking up something critical in another tree.
Certainly, I'm hoping the loss is somewhat made up for with the 24% bonus to Fanfare of Vigor though. As well as the 24% bonus to Anthems, improving your defences.
Was there a reason you didn't go deeper into the Riftstalker tree to pick up the AoE taunt, Planar attraction? You could swap Talented Composer for just about anything in the RS tree at very minimal loss. Or was your choice simply to pick up the Anthem of Defiance buff? In which case do you feel that we'll (as tanks) need the extra resistances? Also just to note, if one was to use Anthem of Defiance religiously, one wouldn't need to put points into Anthem of Glory, but, of course, options are always nice depending on the fights.
Yeah, the 24 points are for Glory. There could be some situations where magic resistances are more desirable than an armour buff (and vice versa). Options are always good
If you don't want Anthem of Glory, the build works fine with 21 points in Bard. Key skills are Riff, Power Cord and Coda of Fury.
As for the AOE taunt, between Rift Disturbance, Rift Blitz, and Coda of Fury you can generate a ton of AOE threat already. The loss of one 60 second cooldown probably
wouldn't be noticed... probably.
It's always nice to have another "oh sh*t" button though, especially in PUGS, where the likelihood of someone screwing up your pull is exponentially higher... The extra endurance and slightly stronger shield the points get you aren't to be sniffed at either.
Would your finisher rotation use Annihilate followed by Coda of Fury, or would you simply us Coda of Fury?
Depends what generates more threat for a given situation really. You have the option of spamming Fury for holding multiple mobs, or just using Annihilate/Coda of Wrath on a single mob. In between keeping your shields up of course. Edited, Feb 22nd 2011 11:02pm by JonesMcBones Edited, Feb 22nd 2011 11:03pm by JonesMcBones