With the new expansion souls hitting pts and scheduled to drop in the next major patch – 2.7 – instead of waiting to launch along with the expansion 2 patches later in 3.0, they have become increasingly more relevant. They’re also likely to change subtly from their current state – but I doubt they will actually change all that much. So I’m going to take a break from iterating over the launched classes in order to look at the new expansion souls. I’m also going to do these one soul at a time, but do three tiers of each soul per post.
Some sites (notably Magelo) have posted these soul trees already – and I’ve looked at what they display, but I figured it was easy enough to check things out for myself. So all of my information is direct from the current test server.
Each point spent in oracle increases damage by 0.75%, healing by 0.5%, and absorption by 0.5%.
Oracle is the full support spec for clerics. It has always been possible to do warden/druid/justicar heals on top of an otherwise dps build. But all you wind up with is something that hits harder than a tank and heals slightly better than one. Clerics have never been able to provide their group with significant buffs. This is where other classes have really shined by comparison. Everyone else already has one or two souls that do wonderful things to a variety of party stats. Clerics might be able to bring two long-term party stat buffs buffs to a group… but nothing major, and nothing that they could twist like a bard during combat…
The oracle is here to fix that for us.
Continue reading rift soul breakdown – oracle – tier 1-3
It is that time again. Today’s highly scientific categorization method splits out the mage archetypes who can take the most beating. Summoners manage it by taking the beating by proxy, and harbingers manage it by actually being relatively durable for a clothie.
Mages are unique among the callings for having two full blown pet souls. If you combine the two, you can still only maintain one pet at a time – but you do get other synergy bonuses. So that’s fun.
Each point spent in Elementalist increases damage by 0.5% and pet damage by 4%.
Elementalists are a pet class who as their name implies can’t pick a damage type and stick with it. They do the most varied damage of the mage archetypes: earth, air, water, and fire. And they have summons to go with it. This makes them overlap nicely with a large segment of the other souls.
As a zero point class, Elementalists get a Lesser Earth Elemental. This is a basic tank pet that caps out at level 30 like all other basic summons. I find it the least useful summon these days – barely being able to maintain aggro for the summoner in single target pulls, much less tanking for a group or aoe pull. The upgraded version is significantly more reliable.
The lesser elementalist tank pet is technically almost identical to the lesser necromancer tank pet – but it still feels weaker. This is largely due to differences between elementalist and necromancer mechanics – and in differences between a zero point and an eight point ability. I’ll get into this more when we revisit these souls for tier 2.
For zero points, Elementalists also get their primary bolt, Crystalline Missiles, which does straightforward earth damage with a 2 second cast time.
Continue reading rift soul breakdown – mage – tier 1, sturdy
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.
Continue reading rift soul breakdown – mage – tier 1, squishy
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.
Continue reading rift soul breakdown – rogue – tier 1, support
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 🙂
Continue reading rift soul breakdown – rogue – tier 1, melee
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.
Continue reading rift soul breakdown – rogue – tier 1, ranged