Posted in RIFT

Early-Life Career Crisis in Telara

Stepping away from [pick one] RIFT enthusiasm/hype/speculation/fanboi gushing, today I wanted to comment a little bit on the soul system in the game.

One of the aspects I’ve struggled with is the lack of a unique class; after all, when anyone you meet is one of just four archetypes, you’re bound to bump into a few clones.  I thought that playing a Bard would be kind of a unique choice, but lo and behold, a lot of folks I know are Barding it up like no tomorrow.  Does that mean I can’t play the class?  No, but it does take a bit of mental readjustment to accepting the fact that others can and will switch to the same build and role I’m doing on the fly.

It’s RIFT’s compromise: sacrifice locked-in classes with unique selling points for a much more flexible build that everyone has access to.  It’s only a bad thing if you usually enjoy playing the class less traveled in MMOs (like I do), but I figure that there will still be little-played builds that can fill this role.

Anyway, yesterday I purchased my second role and decided to build a Riftstalker tank with my Rogue for situations where I needed to brute force through a difficult quest.  By the way?  I totally love that Trion changed the soul points distribution so that you’re forced to spread your points out a bit (I think you can’t have more points in any one soul than you have levels).  This means that splash souls are suddenly very important, particularly those which have tier 1 and 2 talents that synergize well with your main soul.

So for the Riftstalker, I wanted to pump her health up as much as possible, so I added the Bard as a secondary for the tier 1 +5% health bump.  It turns out that the Riftstalker is an absolute blast to play — a tank who teleports, uses shields, and even has a bit of self-healing going on.  I’ve often said that one of my end game regrets is just how locked we get into one class and one role, and I often wish I could switch classes without having to level up again — now I can!

I’m already thinking about my third soul, perhaps the tried-and-true Ranger/Marksman combo that uses a pet and ranged weapons for some of that ol’ WoW hunter action.  Honestly, I want to try everything, and that’s a good sign for my continued interest in this character.

14 thoughts on “Early-Life Career Crisis in Telara

  1. Riftstalkers are awesome. I haven’t played one but, when we tried to do Realm of the Fae without any warriors to tank for us, a guildie built one just for that run and rocked.

    So, we finished that dungeon with 3 rogues (a riftstalker and 2 bards) and 2 mages (a Chloromancer and a Stormcaller). No traditional warrior tanks or preistly healers.

  2. I’m up to 3 roles on my Rogue now.

    My first is a Saboteur/Ranger/Riftstalker and he’s all about blowing things up in that mode. Warfronts are great, partnered with a healer friend I’ve been squatting the Codex all afternoon. The two of us are very hard to dislodge.

    My second is Riftstalker/Bladedancer/Ranger. I just finished tanking the Darkening Deeps with him which was a success although somewhat hard work. It’s very obvious which players have brought the worst of WoW with them to Telara: one guy called me a “stupid noob” because I wouldn’t let him in the group at level 21; 2 people bailed on wipe. We one shotted the first boss, two-shotted bosses 2 & 3 and one shotted boss 4 which I felt was really good. The group got noticeably better each time some leet dpser decided we were too scrub to play with and we had to find a replacement.

    My third mode is Bard/Nightshade/Infiltrator. It’s super easy to spam the heals, once the buffs are up I only use 3 buttons and usually am around the top in healing done.

    It has to be said: Rogues rock!

  3. I haven’t tried RIFT yet (waiting until Friday) but the flexibility of the soul system had me thinking; what does this mean for alts? Will people make less alts than they used to do in other MMORPG?

  4. “I think you can’t have more points in any one soul than you have levels”

    Yup, you have that right.

    @Chordian – Really there’s no reason to have more than 4 characters per faction (assuming you want to try *everything*) so yeah, I think it means fewer alts.

  5. I’ve been thinking about this today. It’s too early (by far) to be sure, but I think in the end I will still be making alts rather than giving single characters multiple roles. Once a particular combination of souls gels, it becomes definitive of that character’s personality and swapping out to a completely different set of abilities feels weird.

    I imagine using the roles mainly to move the same three souls around for different emphasis. That way the characer retains the same essential feel and it becomes more like choosing the spells or abilities for a given adventure as in Everquest or Guild Wars.

    Only six character slots and so many possible combinations means playing on several servers, though. I quite like that, too.

  6. Riftstalker is definitely made of pure concentrated win. In fact I think rogue has the most flexibility of any calling in the game. Hopefully we won’t wind up with everyone playing it.

    I think it’s okay that you’ll meet other people with the same main soul. There are only (sarc) 32 basic classes out there (4 callings with 8 souls each). I’ll note straight away that that is more than WoW allows (10 classes with three trees each).

    Where RIFT really shines is how you choose to augment your main soul. Each of those 32 possible main souls has 7 possible secondary souls. So there’s 364 builds right there.

    Now, a fair number of those builds make no sense (eg necromancer & elementalist), but the openness the system gives you is incredible.

    If that wasn’t enough you can add a third soul, for a little bit of seasoning.

  7. My boyfriend, who was going to go warrior tank, tried out the Riftstalker and fell completely in love with it. I was supposed to go healing cleric but I tried out the Bard and have not looked back since. I love how Rift just makes hybrids viable and so damn FUN to play.

    We did Iron Tombs with him on his Riftstalker and me playing my Bard (not main healing, just group healing/buffing and dps), and it was smoother than the run we did in beta with our warrior and cleric (with a level 30 in the group).

    Bards are just completely awesome and make everything — warfronts, instances, rifts, questing — go much more smoothly with their buffs and HoTs.

  8. The funny thing in all this, people actually playing a “healer” or “tank” role in these Rift Raids or Warfronts [the PvP Battlegrounds] is just totally missing now.

    I’m also playing a bard, and there’s that one upgrade that turns your channel-dps into a raid-wide heal while still maintaining the dps. Guess what happens now?

    a] I pull aggro like crazy
    b] I am top of the healer charts in Warfronts, while the majority of players are Clerics who heal themselves.

    I guess it should be a sign, maybe no one really wants to be bothered with those roles [healing specifically] and now that you can play a self sufficient hybrid that CAN heal and tank in a raid, no one actually does so.

    This open class system actually does lead to a natural progression of what players like to do…i’m sure Trion [if they know how] can find quite interesting statistics out of this [i.e what kind of RPG character does people -really- end up playing if you had no limits]

  9. I’m a nightblade main (with assassin and bladedancer secondaries), and I absolutely love it. Last night, some friends and I decided to try four manning Deepstrike Mines since we were short a guild healer, and we got through it with a warrior tank and three rogues – two bards and a ranger. We took turns swapping out who was singing depending on the fight. Two of us were in the mid 30s which helped a lot, but it was still a blast.

    The flexibility of the soul system is fantastic, and I don’t miss having a single class system at all. I’ve always been an altoholic, and I love that I can develop a single character and still play all the different roles that I enjoy.

  10. I went into Black Garden for the first time ever as a Bard, and was shocked at how well Bards do in PvP. Just by buffing, staying towards the back of the pack, and channeling Cadence on whatever enemy I could reach, the bard did a ton of group healing. We ended up pulling up from behind 75-200, and won.

    I’m still working on getting all of my rogue souls… one of these days I might even buy a second role, though I agree with Bhagpuss that I can’t really imagine my rogue as anything other than a bard.

  11. Love the pet and the idea of a plate wearing pet class is awesome. I initially went BM/Paragon/Reaver and it was good. Don’t see a lot of dual wield Warriors. Then I got the rest of my souls and second build. I went BM/Champion/Riftblade. Works great in Rifts. I can attack from range or Bull Rush my way to an enemy. Loved this so much I respecced my first role to BM/Pally/Reaver. Nice armor plus Reaver heals along with my trust pet. Also gives me options questing. Out in the open with spread out mobs I go Champ/Rift. But if I am in an area where the mobs are tough or closer together and I run the risk of adds I go Pally/Reaver. Looking forward to my third build. Might just go a totally different route. 🙂

  12. I have mixed feelings about the souls system but something I do absolutely love is some of the unique classes they’ve created like the Riftstalker. Rogue tank?! Awesome! 😀

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