rift soul breakdown – rogue – tier 1, support

I know, I know. Riftstalker is anything but a “support” class. Except, it kind of is. Or at least, for reasons of allowing me to stuff 3 souls into this post it is πŸ™‚ One thing these three classes have in common is some significant durability in exchange for lower traditional dps, so that’s something. Maybe I should just call this one “other”. Maybe I will next time. But I ramble. On to our investigation of the first tier of abilities for the final set of rogue souls.

Bard

Each point spent in Bard increases damage by 0.75%, endurance by 0.5%, and healing by 0.5%.

Rift’s bard class is the classic mmo bard. They can maintain a wide array of raid buffs, provide a constant low level of group healing, and occasionally remember that they’re a rogue and shoot an arrow or something in between everything else that they’re doing. They are generally very fun to play in a group and very slow to play solo compared to other rogue souls.

For zero points, bard gives you the first of their songs, Motif of Bravery. This song buffs the attack power, spell power, and crit chance of all nearby raid members for 20 seconds. There is no cooldown and it doesn’t cost much. There are a variety of motifs that you can eventually maintain the whole set of them with minimal twisting. Even soloing as another build, Motif of Bravery is a great self buff to pop right before starting a fight.

At zero points, bards also get Cadence, which is perhaps the strangest attack ability in the game. It is a channeled ranged attack that deals life damage over time and awards multiple combo points. Upgrades allow the ability to heal nearby raid members at the same time.

Tier 1 Talents

  • 5 points – +10% non-physical damage
  • 5 points – +10% endurance

2 points in the root unlocks Coda of Wrath, a basic ranged finisher that deals life damage.

4 points in the root unlocks Fanfare of Vigor, an endurance buff that affects all nearby raid members for an hour. Each player may only be affected by one fanfare per bard.

Riftstalker

Each point spent in Riftstalker increases resistances by 2.5%, armor by 2%, endurance by 1.5%, and damage by 0.5%.

Riftstalkers are teleporty, vertigo inducing, amazing AoE tanks. Like Justicars, they become sturdy by virtue of a stance buff that reduces their efficiency in other areas. One of the key riftstalker mechanics is their variety of teleport abilities that can be upgraded to provide them significant buffs for a short duration after blinking. Starting off with a riftstalker can be incredibly disorienting – especially when you add the buff that makes you blink behind your target (turning you 180). This button also has the notable side-effect of occasionally splinching you or simply dropping you off a cliff πŸ™‚

As a zero point soul you get your first blink button, Shadow Shift. By itself, this is just a teleport button on a 45s cooldown that may or may not get you to your destination. When combined with later builds, it has a lot more utility. But by itself, the ability isn’t terribly amazing. Oh, you also get a melee builder that generates threat, which isn’t much by itself.

Tier 1 Talents

  • 5 points – +15% armor
  • 5 points – +10% attack power and weapon damage

2 points in the root unlocks Guarded Steel, a finisher that generates extra threat and increases your armor by 10% for 30 seconds. What’s nice about this is that the buff doesn’t depend on your number of combo points – so it doesn’t hurt to pop it a bit early if you need the extra durability. Of course, generating combo points isn’t terribly difficult, but there may (theoretically) be times when you want the armor buff more than you want the extra damage and threat that you’d generate with a full 5 combo points.

4 points in the root unlocks Planebound Resilience, a standard endurance self-buff.

Tactician

Each point spent in Tactician increases damage by 0.75% and healing by 0.75%.

Tactician is the 2.0 rogue soul. They’re your basic combat engineer and play more like WoW shamans than anything else I can think of. In addition to more standard issue rogue type abilities (primarily ranged), they have a wide variety of self buffs, totems cores that they can drop to deal aoe effects for a few seconds, and channeled cone attacks called torrents – none of which generate combo points (well, the ranged attacks do – but the flamethrowers don’t).

At zero points, tactician gives you Necrotic Torrent, a channeled death cone attack that affects up to 8 enemies in the (surprisingly large) area of effect. Torrents fire directly in front of you, not at your target – but you can move while channeling them, so it’s easy to position them to your liking over the course of a cast. They are OverPowered (capital OP) in the extreme. In an attempt to mitigate this, every second you spend channeling a torrent stacks a debuff that increases their energy costs. This eventually caps out at 10 points, and either fades with time or with use of a tactician builder, but it’s the difference between being able to spam flamethrowers forever and having to mix it up a bit.

Tier 1 Talents

  • 5 points – +10% armor and resistances
  • 5 points – +10% non-physical damage

2 points in the root unlocks Empyrean Ray, your basic finisher. It does moderate life damage and removes one stack of Torrent Overload per combo point – and has a 1.5 second cast time, making it the only rogue finisher that I can think of with a cast time.

4 points in the root unlocks Curative Engine, a self buff that heals you up to once per second when you get hit. You can only have one engine buff up at a time, and there are eventually several interesting choices to choose from – but just this one could make a huge difference in a riftstalker’s durability.

Aaand done. This one took a bit longer than I expected because, I got distracted playing Diablo III instead of Rift this weekend πŸ™‚ But that’s it for basic rogue coverage. Next up I guess we’ll take a look at mages – and I’ll have to figure out a better way to divide them up than ranged and melee dps…

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