Tag Archives: mmorpg

rift soul breakdown – mage – tier 1, squishy

I agonized over it for all of two minutes and decided that the three buckets I’ll be splitting mages up into and decided to go with support/healing, the more durable summoner/melee archetypes, and glass cannons. Today’s set of mages nuke hard and fast and depend on their damage output more than anything else to last through fights. That’s right. We’re talking about squishies. Actually, we’re not, but I’m going to pretend we are because it makes the math easier. In all honesty, there’s no good way to split up the 6 core dps mage souls. I could do 2 summoners vs 4 non-summoner… but I am liking the 3v3v3 thing. So 🙂


Each point spent in Pyromancer increases damage by 1%.

Pyromancers are the most iconic “mage” archetype that Rift has to offer. They throw fireballs and fireblasts and fire bursts and other fire things that start with b. And they light the ground on fire and generally kill things with fire. This is not the most subtle class. Originally, they had some mechanics that encouraged the glass cannon schtick even further – making them more effective if they stood still. That’s all gone and now they’re easier and more fun to play in my opinion.

At zero points, pyromancer gives you Flame Bolt, which is an instant cast, high damage nuke with an 8 second cooldown.

In the current skill trees, mages all have one or more spammable nukes that “count as a Primary Bolt”. These abilities are usually earned at zero points. There are numerous talents across the various skill trees that augment primary bolts somehow. The pyromancer’s primary bolt, Fireball, comes at zero points and has a 2.5s casting time with a 40% chance to light the target on fire for 8 seconds.
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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 🙂 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.


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.
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rift soul breakdown – rogue – tier 1, melee

Call me old fashioned, but when I play a rogue in an mmo, I have a hard time taking ranged damage seriously. Sure, I love a good archer build. There is significant documented evidence of this. But the word rogue (we used to call them “thieves” but apparently political correctness happened or something) really implies backstab and poisons and dodge tanking and all the rest.

Rift has two stealth spec choices and one toe-to-toe melee dps soul to choose from. I’ve spent a lot of time playing an assassin and hope to get a chance to look at the other options more seriously now.


Each point spent in Assassin increases damage dealt by 1%.

Ssasswots are the classic stealth rogue. They get all of the iconic abilities and are an absolute joy to play. One thing that Rift does with stealth that you don’t see very often is limit its duration by default. So even though Assassins and Nightblades both get stealth at level 4, it only lasts for 30 seconds. This eliminates a lot of the classic mmorpg stealth gameplay… unless you’re a level 21+ assassin, then your stealth lasts forever, which thing is awesome 🙂
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rift soul breakdown – rogue – tier 1, ranged

I’ll be doing rogues in 3 groups of 3 souls each – ranged dps, melee dps, and other (ie tank/support). Since I started off with the ranged cleric souls, it is only appropriate that I start rogues off the same way.

I will admit to only medium experience with these souls – my rogue primary builds have always been riftstalker and assassin, but my wife’s main is a ranger so I’ve at least seen the abilities in action frequently 😉


Each point spent in Marksman increases damage by 1%.

Marksman is your typical high damage archer. They specialize in kiting and just absolutely burning down their targets. A lot of how they maintain range is with snares and speed buffs.

For zero points, you get a sprint button. It’s on a 30 second cooldown and increases your speed by 50% for 5 seconds, but it is also usable in combat. You also get a combo point builder that procs a 15% speed buff for 10 seconds every time you use it.
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rift soul breakdown – cleric – tier 1, justicar

No preamble this time, let’s do this.


Each point spent in Justicar increases damage by 0.5%, armor by 1%, endurance by 1.5%, and resistances by 2%.

Justicar is my thing. Cleric tanking has been a part of my game-playing identity since I did it with pen and paper in the early 90’s, and I’m glad a real MMO remembers that sort of thing.

As a zero point class, justicar grants a passive ability called Salvation that causes all of your damaging abilities to heal you. Justicar attacks heal for double the baseline. Non-justicar AoE abilities restore only 1/4 of the baseline, and ground target AoE restores only 5% of the baseline. Still, it’s a very attractive ability to splash justicar for in most builds since most of the time you don’t need a ton of self healing, just enough to put off casting a heal.
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rift soul breakdown – cleric – tier 1, healing

I’ll admit it. Healing in Rift can be stressful. The healing classes are vastly different and lend themselves heavily to different play styles and situations. They are, however, all amazing. And the improvements they’ve seen in recent updates make me so happy to play a cleric.


Each point spent in Purifier increases healing by 1% and absorption by 1%.

Purifier has always been my favorite healing tree, not only because it is thematically more interesting than sentinel or warden (FIRE!), but because it relies heavily on damage prevention in the form of numerous bubbles. They are supposed to be the best single-target healers in the game, and when I am tanking 5 man content I’d have to agree that I’d rather have a purifier healing me than a sentinel or warden.
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