Posted in RIFT

Rift: How many puns can we come up with involving the word “soul”? I’m afraid we will soon find out.

One of the aspects of Rift’s soul system that I wanted to look closer at today are the options that Trion has set up to give players flexibility in their roles.  Let’s take a look at the soul chart that went up on the beta forums this past week:

Sorry it’s so small.  I shrunk it for the Massively guide and forgot to save a bigger version.  Anyway!  Onward and upward!

This was created to be a helpful tip sheet to help players suss out what souls did what, exactly.  The chart divides souls into one of four categories: DPS, Heal, Tank and Enhance (support).  It’s really interesting to see how they’ve divided the roles here.

Warriors are fairly straight-forward, with an almost-equal division between DPS roles (5) and tanking (4).  However, out of the four archetypes, warriors are going to be the most limited in terms of role flexibility — you can only do one of two things, to varying degrees of effectiveness.  That’s just fine for some people, so let’s move on.

The other three archetypes are more striking in that they offer souls in at least three roles.  Clerics have an impressive four DPS roles, three healing ones and one tanking role.  Rogues are mostly DPS (6), but have both an enhance (Bard) and tanking (Riftstalker) role as well.  Likewise, mages majored in DPS (5), but have a couple enhance roles and one healing one.

Combined together, Rift offers 19 DPS souls, 4 healing souls, 6 tanking souls and 3 enhance souls spread across the archetypes.

Once you grasp that you can have up to three souls active at any one time (with varying amounts of soul points invested in each) and multiple saved templates at  your beck and call, the possibilities — and joys! — of this system unfold.

I can indulge in creating a fireball-flinging mage while still creating a healing role if I end up running a dungeon with a group that lacks a healer.

I can make a warrior who tanks with a pet.

I can be that shifty rogue who can splash in a bit of tanking or party buffing.

I can be a healtankdpsadin.

I just really like that the options to experiment and constantly change your builds will be out there.  One of my MMO pet peeves is getting so deep into a character build rut with a high-level toon that you never change what you can do without a major headache.  Here, it’s a daily event.

12 thoughts on “Rift: How many puns can we come up with involving the word “soul”? I’m afraid we will soon find out.

  1. mmm… an intriguing class system. Does Rift have any PvP? How are they going balance all these combinations for PvE effectiveness while still making each feel unique? The danger here is that it’ll fall quickly into Flavour of the Month specs for each class, or each class will basically play the same but with renamed spells.

    Will be interesting to see how it pans out.

  2. I don’t think that chart is entirely accurate, or at least doesn’t provide an accurate picture of what the souls can do. The Warlord soul, for instance, provides a decent amount of Enhance. The Paladin soul has some very powerful (but cooldown limited) healing. There are similar examples for each of the callings.

    The table might be a good descriptor of RAID roles, but should not be taken as a guide to the abilities of the different souls. Looking at the table you’d think no warriors can heal, no clerics can buff, etc.

  3. There is some promise with the system but the devil is in the detail. In B1 and B2 I felt underpowered unless I went all out in one soul or I picked a second or third soul which didn’t jive with my first (and was stucl with them). I know they’re working on this so let’s see. The ranged rogue/marksman was a nice combination allowing me to build up pips on the target before they got to melee range then ‘whamo’.

  4. Just to be clear, that chart shows only the MAIN, CENTRAL role of a soul. Of course some support souls can DPS, and some DPS can heal, etc.

  5. Druids are… well, their pet heals. They are just not very good at it compared to Wardens and Sentinels. But they are also not melee dps, no idea what they are intended to be.
    The Warlord does not and cannot tank, it is a buffer – and was pretty useless in Beta < level 20.

    I did not test many rogue souls, as they frankly all sucked compared to Warrior, Cleric and Mage souls. Ranger and Bard works very well due to the very strong pets, which are very strong at least in these early levels regardless which soul/calling your char has.

    The Riftstalker might have been called the "tank" of the Rogues, but it does not have tank-taunts and could not perform a tank role, it was all about self-preservation, something the other Rogue souls were not very good at.

    I am also not sure if the Justicar is supposed to be a tank. Seems they intended that, but… they have tanking abilities, but they don't work well. They have party heals, but neither in Beta 1 or Beta 2 they could replace a Sentinel or Warden.

    What I find interesting is how the Cleric soul is split up. I played and liked Clerics the most, so I could make more observations about them than about the other callings.

    Sentinels have straight Heals, Wardens have HoTs, Purifiers can take care of wounds and have shields (Guild Wars would call this a protection monk). The Inquisitor is a fine nuker.

    Shaman, Druid, Justicar, Cabalist… don't work that well atm. The Cabalist does AoE dots, the Shaman is a melee cleric and the Druid puzzles me. It's feature seems to be that it has a pet. The Justicar class probably tries to be a Paladin, Tank, Buffer – but does not do it very well.

    The Soul system is the coolest thing about RIFT for me. Dual Spec taken to the extreme – but still clinging to the past. I think it will be up to GW2 to show how flexibility can be achieved without sub-class changing on the fly.

  6. I’m a bit surprised at how few priest souls are listed as healing. I suppose the thinking is that you mix and match, but I still would have expected a majority of priests to be heal capable given that two archetypes can’t heal at all and the other archetype only has a single healing soul.

  7. MY first reaction was a bit of disappointment that the enhance part in the chart was so small. Even though there might be some of those capabilities in other souls also it still seems that the game has much of a traditional tank-heal-damage approach, judging by this chart.

    It sounds a bit like a Guild Wars approch, although with perhaps a bit more ease to switch classes and less to switch skills in each class.

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