Help me understand Truehearing

ElrynGreythaneElrynGreythane Member Posts: 114 Apprentice
Okay, so I'm not the sharpest tool in the shed, and I just noticed by accident that having truehearing as part of my standard defence set was blocking my own beneficial songs as a bard. I'd just assumed that song bonuses were special and didn't show up on BODYSCAN... but no, it was just me not understanding (or having forgotten) how deafness works now.  :'(

However, the more I think about it, the less I really understand why Truehearing exists as it does. I mean, I totally understand having a defence against the passive effects of a particular archetype for player vs player combat (equivalent to protection scrolls for mage demesnes), but as far as I was aware, protection scrolls don't make you immune to elementalism/druidry entirely, including your own support abilities.

1. Doesn't it kind of make Lipread in Discernment pointless? Like, wouldn't it make more sense to just be able to become deaf and lipread as a defensive option... why do we even need a separate 'truehearing'?

2. Not that PvP is really my area, but doesn't it make the deafness counter to musical abilities kind of free, without any drawback? To block pretty much all active abilities and passive effects from the whole skillset - unless you are a bard in which case, too bad about being able to access that defence against hostile bards yourself I guess? 

3. Why is it inconsistent in terms of what it blocks? It seems like ALL song effects positive/negative are ignored, most active music attacks are ignored, majorthird's heal is ignored, captivate audience is ignored, but roulade is heard and effective on boosting ego for some reason. Why is that one ability able to be heard differently?

I mean, I'm not coming from a PK perspective so maybe this all makes sense and I'm just misunderstanding, but I'm a little surprised that even for PvE/support, either I or squadmates have to drop what seems like a key defence just so I can act in that support capacity.

Also, is it intentional I don't get more feedback that my abilities (whether active or passive) are being completely ignored by my target (or myself)?


  • EnyaEnya Member Posts: 505 Expert
    edited October 2019
    Roulade seems like a bug.

    The idea is that bards have very mobile and pretty good passives, as well as quite fast (and pretty strong) musical abilities. The downside is that they need to use blanknote on a target to allow hitting them. All of barding is balanced around this.

    I do agree that the way that captivate and buffing songs work is a little silly and makes the buffing part of songs potentially too risky. The worst off for this (last I checked) are Spiritsingers who don't spawn spirits unless they can hear their own song, and so can't use a big chunk of their kit without being vulnerable to music shenanegins.

    It's been a long time since I've thought on this problem, but I think that by changing captivate to allow songs to go through truehearing for that captivated person this essential problem could be fixed.

    EDIT: and yes, it's intentional as far as I know that you don't automatically know if the enemy is deaf or not. All targeted abilities should have a "successful hit" line if the target is not deaf, the absence of which is your tip that they are deaf.

    A small few defensive buffs might need adjustment for a captivate change, though the only big one that comes to mind is Wyrdsong.
  • ElrynGreythaneElrynGreythane Member Posts: 114 Apprentice
    edited October 2019
    Hmm, or just make truehearing "magically" allow you to hear only beneficial sounds and tune out the bad ones.

    Then you wouldn't have to stuff around with a PK mechanic (captivate) for PvE, and you don't have to learn special tricks as a new bard to work out how to access your skillset.

    Edit: And as far as, "we balanced the whole archetype around this one mechanic that completely changes things"... yuck. That's not a road that usually leads to good places.
  • EnyaEnya Member Posts: 505 Expert
    In PvE you can always just RELAX TRUEHEARING to toggle it off.

    In fact, you actually probably want to do that, as the first thing an enemy bard will try to do is blanknote you followed by perfect fifth. If truehearing is up, it will go down with blanknote and you'll get earache and be unable to immediately escape pfifth (without moving the bard). If it's down, blanknote will do nothing, you'll get pfifth'd but not have earache so you can truehear and skedaddle.

    Just making it only block offensive music would... work, but then you'd have to go through and flag each ability as being beneficial or offensive. That might end up more tricky than extending captivate? Don't know.

    It's a pretty decent to okay balancing conceit, especially when you just take the music skillset itself into account. Pfifth (and movement/movement hindering in general) probably needs a looking at, but it's an essential mechanic for Music skillset strategy. It's not so much changing things, but a mechanic managing aoe/vs single target. You basically can keep one target focused with your passives at a time without expending resources and that's probably a good thing.
  • ElrynGreythaneElrynGreythane Member Posts: 114 Apprentice
    Enya said:
    Just making it only block offensive music would... work, but then you'd have to go through and flag each ability as being beneficial or offensive. That might end up more tricky than extending captivate? Don't know.

    Well, I assume abilities already are flagged that way, since offensive actions will cause shields/reflections/etc to drop. But sure, maybe it's more difficult to categorise song effects than meld effects - that's a consideration.

    I guess I'm just surprised this is... a thing. Especially after all the big PK combat balance projects over the last few years. I honestly just assumed this was how the truehearing defence worked already - that as a defence you would always benefit from having it.

    I'm pretty sure if protection scrolls worked the same way (ie, you either choose to be immune to your own/other mage and druid primary skillset abilities both good and bad including your main damage attack, or you don't use the defence)... it would have been changed long ago.  :D
  • EnyaEnya Member Posts: 505 Expert
    I mean... it's fundamentally different than protection scrolls in a giant host of ways, including being a basic part of the original design of the class afaik (which protection scrolls never were, until the recent rework). Also, melds only allow one side at a time to use their primary skill at all so I think you're just wrong with that last sentence.

    Truehearing gives you a choice between having your team's defenses but being more vulnerable to offensive powers, or needing to be directly targeted by an enemy bard to get hit but not have your defensive powers. This is good fundamental design, there are solid trade offs either way and you can adjust based on the situation. No enemy bards? Woo, constant free buffs for your side? No ally bards? Keep that truehearing up constantly. A mix? Up to you to decide if its worth it. It could stand a little updating - pfifth with more than one bard is kind of brutal in a movement based meta, but it's not a fundamentally poor idea.

    One thing that might be good is allowing RELAX TRUEHEARING to work in combat, but not be forceable. I don't understand why the relax options for all these defenses are masochism locked, honestly. Changing that would fix things (and other problems).

    Aside from that, it's only really an issue for the bard themselves and some of weird interactions like Wildarrane spirits.

  • ParhelionParhelion Member Posts: 402 Fabled
    If you're wanting to only hear your own songs, don't be afraid to captivate yourself or your team. It's an underappreciated skill that more bards should use. It doesn't stop deathsong, obviously, but it does keep people in your room from being affected by any other bard music in the room.
    Her voice firm and commanding, Terentia, the Even Bladed says to you, "You have kept your oath to Me, Parhelion. You have sworn to maintain Justice in these troubled times."

    Yet if a boon be granted me, unworthy as I am, let it be for a steady hand with a clear eye and a fury most inflaming.
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