Increasingly my favorite soul as a Rogue in RIFT isn’t the Tactician, but the Bladedancer. I got convinced to give it a serious try thanks to a post on the official forums outlining all of its virtues. After having played it as my primary build for the past week or so, I have to say that it lives up to that post’s hype.
There’s something exhilarating about being a whirling dervish of death, a fighter who’s more focused on precision, speed, and agility than brute force and sneak attacks. The Bladedancer’s greatest strength is her extreme flexibility that allows for on-the-spot adjustment to different battle situations thanks to a set of powerful 24-second buffs. She can pour out strong single-target DPS, shift into more of a defensive posture for tough fights, or activate one of a pair of AOE attacks for groups of mobs. The life leech from the Assassin line helps to keep me from dying too quickly.
Probably the biggest downside to this build is that I don’t have a lot of “oh crap” buttons — no emergency shields or heals or anything like that. I try to keep some health potions around, but usually it comes down to a DPS race between me and a lot of very disgruntled mobs.
I’ve been tearing through the Droughtlands in my early 40s, hoovering up quests left and right to do. It’s not the most visually dynamic of zones — it’s kind of an Arizona-looking place — but it’s well laid out so that I don’t have much running to do to get to the quests.
As I’ve been striking blows for justice left and right, I’ve enjoyed (at least in my head) the feeling of being valiant. We toss around “hero” as some sort of player/developer aspiration in games, but that’s too generic and non-specific for my liking. Heroism comes in many shades and flavors. Some days I don’t want to save the world, I just want to perform acts of service for those in need. Escorting refugees and helping a widow get justice aren’t going to shift the geo-political balance of power, but it will make those lives better. Or, it would if those were real. But hey, it’s part of fantasy to play-pretend at being valiant.
I did get a little Skrit hellbug pet from one of those Defiance crossover rifts, which made me pretty happy. I’ve also upgraded my planar focus to the full version (2 greater/4 lesser essences) which is allowing for more customization. So slowly but surely I’m charging toward the threshold of Storm Legion, and after that, Nightmare Tide.