Posted in RIFT

RIFT: Tinkering with builds

I’ve deliberately been avoiding the RIFT forums, not just to retain my sanity, but because I have little interest in spoiling how I’m playing my characters right now.  One of the big attractions of the game for me is being able to tinker with and create whole new builds on the fly, and the longer I stay away from probably-already-perfected min/max specs, the more I can enjoy personal experimentation.

I know, of course, that means I’ll be playing less-than-optimally, but that’s okay for the time being.  There’s a LOT of depth available with the soul tree builds, and I’m still just feeling around the edges of it.

My mage has three roles at present: my Necromancer build (primary solo/dps), my Chloromancer build (for group healing), and an experimental build (currently Dominator).  What I love about this game is that I can come up with an idea for a class in my mind and then, more likely than not, make it happen in the game.  For example, my Necromancer is incredibly similar to my old World of Warcraft Warlock, what with DOTs (augmented with the Warlock soul), a tanking pet, and even a stream of soul-sucking power.  But it’s also a pretty unimaginative build, I’ll admit — I’ve seen some players do incredibly creative things with builds that aren’t weighted toward just one soul.  When you free yourself up to spread a role between three souls and look for synergy between cross-soul skills, almost a Magic: the Gathering strategy emerges.

I’m not 100% sure I want to stick with the mage at this point.  There’s a lot to be said about them, but I’m starting to rue the lack of archetype flexibility (they’re weighted strongly on the “DPS” end of the scale).  My cleric alt, who’s been waiting in the wings for weeks now, is giving me a seductive glance.

But no!  I must stick with one to max level, I tell myself!  Be strong!  Commit!

I am not strong.  I am but flesh and blood and 0.10% altohol.

21 thoughts on “RIFT: Tinkering with builds

  1. I am running 3 characters….Cleric (main) Rogue (gatherer) and Chloro (altinating healer)
    I have two specs for each and then switch off between the alts to build rested XP and of course experience a different way to play (the Cleric for example is 100% grouped all the time, while Rogue is solo-tastic).

    I am enjoying this aspect of the game, and usually have never been a fan of rebuilding (except in Guild Wars). Glad Rift offers this fun feature…adds to the entertainment level.


  2. I think my favorite aspect of the soul system and the multiple roles is that it’s really staving off my rampant altoholism.

    I rolled a Cleric when I started and am miraculously still playing him as my main. I’ve got three roles open: solo/questing (Shaman), tanking (though I haven’t had a chance to run any dungeons it does come in handy for major rifts and invasions), and an experimental build. Every time I get an itch for a different flavor I switch up that third build. Sometimes I even use it to test out variations of one of my other builds (I’m currently using it to respec and compare Shaman/Druid, Shaman/Justicar and Druid/Shaman builds).

    I have rolled a couple of alts but none of them are past level 10. It’s working well for me. Even though it feels weird to have a “main” this early in the game it’s nice to be progressing rather than stagnating on alts for years before seeing anything beyond the first zone or two. And it’s all thanks to the soul system.

  3. I’m a little drunk on altohol right now in Rift. The rest XP is just an enabler. Partly it might be due to laziness. It’s easier to just log to an alt for something different than to sit down and figure out a whole new role setup.

  4. My Guardian mage hit 50 weeks ago and my Guardian rogue has been 30 for a while.

    My Defiant warrior is also 30 and my Defiant rogue only 20, but that’s mostly because the warrior has spent 75% of his time mining and gathering for the rogue, who’s now a 280/300 weaponsmith.

    I’ve come to the conclusion that I actually dislike the multiple role thing. Three of my four so far have two roles, but I almost never swap them out. I get very confused when my mage turns from an AE DPS specialist into a healer/crowd control support class. It’s not that I can’t manage the transition in gameplay, it’s that suddenly the character I was playing is someone else and I find myself mystified that he has the same quests or can use the same bank slots as the “other” mage.

    I think I’ll probably stick to alts when I want to try out new souls. The idea of having one character that can morph into five entirely different builds seems too much like roleplaying someone with multiple personality disorder.

  5. I’ve spent ages trying to find a warrior mix of souls I like. I knew I liked Paladin as the core of both soloing and tanking builds, and have tried almost every soul a little bit randomly, so I feel your pain. Also strongly considered playing a cleric instead as I’m used to being a healer in MMOs so wondered if playing a tank was my issue instead of the soul mix. But last night I tried another mix and finally liked it! Hurrah!!

    There is light, or other souls/classes.

  6. I’ve also avoided looking online for build “help”. It’s pretty hard to make a build that’s completely useless as most of the souls can stand on their own. I’m not level capped, I’m not raiding, I’m not running heroics, so it hardly matters if my builds are “optimal” or not. I look for fun, and have tinkered a LOT with all my characters. The most fun I’ve had so far has been with a Nightblade/Riftstalker/Bladedancer rogue. Nice burst and utility (stealth teleports for the win!) but falls apart if a fight lasts too long.

    Avoid the lure of the cleric’s versatility. Yes, they’re the only calling that can fully fill any role (melee dps, ranged dps, healing, tanking) and that’s what got me to try a cleric at launch. But compared to the other callings playing a cleric feels kind of . . . bland. They’re powerful, no doubt, and capable of some absurd min/maxing, but I just find the other callings to be more FUN.

    To each their own, of course, but if you have fun with your mage just stick with it.

  7. My mage level 50 have 3 builds:
    1- necro 51/lock 15/chloro 0 – it is my soloer, it get me to level 50 doing the quests.
    2- ele 51/storm 15/dom 0 – it is my dps grouper, for dungeons, I use wind pet (higher damage and aoe) and my storm aoe spells, it make easier kill the mos inside dungeons.
    3- chloro 51/lock 15/dom 0 – it is my healer grouper, it is used at dungeons and when invasion happens.

    I know that it is possible to try share the points between diferent souls for look for synergies, but I prefer go up max points at one soul. For chloro is obvious the reason, need 44+ points for get that instant everyone heal, but it is possible to try something diferent with archon as second soul. For necro is just that I like pet classes and I prefer my pet be the stronger possible (more points at necro soul, stronger the pet). For the elementalist I am thinking if I give more points to storm my damage output will be greater.

    I just bought a 4th role, but I am thinking what I will test with it. Maybe an archon main soul, for be a support role. Not sure how to build it, maybe share more points with chloro for look for synergies.

    I think I need try some more shared point builds…

  8. I’m actually having a lot of the same feelings about my characters right now. My main is a mage, with a chloro spec, necro/lock, and a pyro build. I just hit 50 last night, and I’m already wishing I had leveled my cleric instead. He’s got a justicar tanking build, shaman melee DPS, and I’m still trying to settle on a healing spec. The mage is fun, but being relegated to DPS and off-healing is a bit limiting when it comes to finding groups. Now that my mage is max, I think I may be spending a lot more time on my cleric.

  9. I love build-tinkering and I also avoid forums for pretty much the same reasons (sanity and too much info about game details).

    I like the hybrid type builds (support + some dmg output) best for solo/small team. Have tried some more dmg-focused also, but do not really like them. For larger teams/raids I aim for more dedicated support roles – and invasions are a good opportunity to try them out a bit.

  10. I have a 50 cleric with 3 roles right now.

    Solo/Offhealer — 38 Inquisitor / 16 Justicar / 12 Sentinel. I do respectable dps, especially in AE, and I have enough healing that I can keep the tank up on my own if the MH goes down (in non-experts, anyway. Haven’t tried on experts yet). Plus my passive AE heals from my DPS help the MH out a lot to boot.

    Main Healer — Warden 38 / Sentinel 28. Accordingto the forums, I should be a 34 Sentinel / 32 Purifier, but I like the HOT’s and the AE Hot’s that proc Serendipity all the time. Fun build, and it’s been pretty forgiving to me so far.

    Tank — 38 Justicar / 16 Shaman / 12 Inquisitor. Only tanked up through King’s Breach, so I don’t know how well this works in the upper dungeons or in experts, but I like the idea behind it. Yes, Inquisitor as part of a tanking build. Sounds weird, but gets good bonuses, life damage spells to gain conviction, fear immunity, buff purge on pull… seems to be a winner to me. Doesn’t match the min/maxed build from the forums, but so what?

    Also have 29 warrior, 29 mage, and 24 rogue. Still monkeying with them. Found I like Riftblade/Paragon for warrior a lot more that the “suggested” Champion/Beastmaster build. I like SC/Ele for mage, but don’t much care for Necrolock. Can’t say why, just don’t. Still loving the ranger and have a nice Riftstalker build too for tanking. Want to tank DSM on the rogue in the next level or so to see how that goes.

    All in all, fun fun fun for me!

  11. There are just too many choices, buddy! I have all 6 character slots filled and keep coming up with ideas for new builds, I don’t have a character past the mid 30s…

    But, right now, I’m absolutely loving my rogue tank build, it’s such a fresh style compared to the standard sword-and-board tank!!!

  12. I am 100% with you here, Syp; avoiding the forums so I can stick to personal experimentation a bit longer. It’s nice this early in a game’s life cycle: no one can really claim they know better than anyone what’s best. In fact the reverse is true, at least on my server so far. Players seem almost universally supportive of this experimentation. Possibly unique and I don’t suspect it will last, but it’s nice.

  13. The Warrior has all my alt-itas covered with the ability to do ranged damage (who doesnt like to snipe from time to time) as well as the tank and dps roles. Strongest thing about Rift for me! And yes the forums will fill your head with the idea you’re not actually having fun until you actually beleive that every fight you lose is the dev’s fault. So much more fun to just enjoy the content on your own terms.

  14. @Bhagpuss

    I’m right up there with you. It’s confusing to swap out to completely different spells/skills, and I am a roleplayer, so it’s definitely hard for me to rationalize it.

    I’ve found that the best thing for me to do is to use the same three souls in all my builds, but just put points in them in different ways. So it’s more like “I’m hitting harder with my sword because I’m concentrating on it more” than “I’ve decided to retain the memories and training of *this* person instead of *that* person”.

  15. I have to say I’m loving my Cleric. Main spec questing spec is Druid/Shaman/Purifier (for extra heal and shield). I’m toying with a second role for healing now to start learning dungeon healing too.

    Agree with the RP comments. Regardless of what’s optimal/FOTM I’m going to keep Druid in the mix even if only as the third ‘splash’ soul so he can always have his pet faerie with him 🙂

  16. Hey Syp, You have finally convinced me, I just bought RIFT! Don’t know where to start so I was wondering which guild and server you play on so I’ll have a starting point. If you don’t want to put it in comments, then feel free to email me, johnny71181atmsndotcom

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