Okay, so some time has passed since some changes have been made to bards/battlechanters so I wanted to give my two cents, far be it from me to keep silent for long.
Let's see, we've got song of the elements, song of recovery, a new bard only weapon, the addition of Quality and Stutter stats on instruments as well as adding supplemental stats to them as well, a change in song power...
Let's begin with song of elements: in my opinion, aside from the unexpected pretty colors that pop up every few rounds or so, this song is useless. Compared to offensive harmony which is a definite increase in damroll (read: damage) this song is way offkey... omg I sound like a second-rate Siskel & Ebert. Anyway... there's just no need for this song as is, either replace it with something more useful or make the procs more powerful or something.
Song of Recovery absolutely rocks. Ask anybody on the mud, they'll tell you how much they love it. The big name zone leaders are big big fans and that translates into serious zoneage opportunities for bards for the time being. I just wish people would stop asking me how much I've preserved their corpse with the song (something that was planned but never implemented)! One gripe: with all due respect, the quest for this song is absolutely insanely easy. Without going into much detail, most people don't care about these items and when I was in the group that ran across the quest mob for the first time, we basically had the items on us and I quested the song right then and there, much to my surprise and elation.
The new glaive just rocks. Thank you to the person who came up with the idea of a bard/battlechanter only weapon. The quest to update it is spot on, this weapon is pretty sweet, the quest SHOULD be as hard as it is, and it's introduced people to a highly-neglected other weapon in the game. No clue if that was intended but that's what's happened.
The changes to instruments have no drawbacks that I can tell unless the base effect of instruments was lowered for the quality and stutter stats. What a pleasant surprise to see my lyre now gave me 15 hp's when I held it. Not exactly awe-inspiring since no bard really holds any one particular instrument as a "main" piece of eq but it ain't bad, that's for sure!
My initial gripe to Iyachtu concerning accompany/song power aside (we had a mature conversation about it immediately after my post where we explained our sides of things and came out understanding each other more) I would have to say that song power has been placed where it probably should be. It's slightly too variable per verse for my liking (read: the low end should be bumped up a little) but it's very nice to see the heal power on song of healing, for instance.
I think people are standing up and taking notice that bards in capable hands can be useful in zones. That's something I didn't see several months ago.
I do have one gripe, albeit a relatively minor one compared to the benefits bards have seen in the past months: the stutter rate was bumped up twice (I believe). The last bump was, I think, a little too much. Birile has a higher amount of mana compared to most other bards out there and I'm finding that I need to renew my mana at an uncomfortable rate, especially with the mana cost on some of my songs (*cough* song of recovery *cough*).
Now, don't think I haven't noticed that none of my ideas were implemented other than the song power which was every bard's crux a couple of months ago. But I'll leave things be for a month or so before kindly reminding people about the thorns still in my side!
Thanks to everyone who helped make these changes, I speak for most bards when I tell you it's greatly appreciated!