Bards (and Bard-type classes) in MMOs. They seem so odd juxtaposed with steely warriors and mystic wizards that half the time I think they're a running joke that somewhere along the line people started taking seriously. I mean, pulling out a guitar in the middle of a gang gunfight in Chicago is a good way to ruin a perfectly good musical instrument, but in fantasy worlds this sort of thing happens and nobody even blinks. In some places, a fully decked-out hair metal band can wreck havoc on any raid boss.
Bards appeal to the contrarian in us, with the attitude of "it's OK to be a jack of all trades, as long as you're rocking a sweet axe." In some MMOs their music is used to conjure up buffs, while in others their notes cause aural damage on the level of Ke$ha to monsters. Have family members who keep telling you to turn that racket down? Bards in games are constantly told to crank it up -- and play multiple songs simultaneously, if at all possible. Plus, Bards are not unknown to the ways of the sword, which always amuses group leaders who now have a squishy character charging into combat shouting, "Stab! Stabby stab!"
Today is a first, as we're giving you more than one choice for Leaderboard voting. Please don't pass out. It's a Battle of the Bards, with most of the major MMOs reporting in for duty! Which Bard tops them all? Cast your vote after the jump!