When I started playing Shards of Dalaya, I was really yearning for a game with good hybrid classes. I’ve tried World of Warcraft, but in terms of hybrids I think that game ranks even behind the old EverQuest live from around 2001. The hybrid classes feel somewhat clunky, whereas with EverQuest, you always knew what you were getting. Pick shadowknight and you know you will never out-tank a warrior or out-cast a necro, but there is something to the shadowknight class that feels solid anyhow. You know that if you play your role well, you have a very powerful class on your hands that can’t really be replaced by one full warrior and one full necro.
My love for hybrids was sparked by the bard class, however. In EQ as well as SoD, bards are unique in that they get new spells (songs) every level instead of only at natural level increments (levels 9, 15 etc.). They can also cast while walking and have several songs active at the same time. Instruments will amplify a song’s power. In EverQuest, the fastest-running being would always be a bard with a set of drums playing Selo’s Accelerando.
Bards are jacks of all trades and very useful in groups, they can aid regeneration, speed up the whole party, haste everyone, infuse with mana… Yet you wouldn’t let them tank. Explaining bard mechanics to someone probably doesn’t make much sense — you have to try it out. I can’t explain swimming or cycling to anyone either. I hope you simply trust me when I say that bards in SoD are truly unique and demand to be played that way. Once you understand their strengths and weaknesses, you’ll have piles of fun.