Thanksgiving Weekend of Gaming 2012
Fair warning — this post will be pic heavy. I actually remembered to use my screenshot button from time to time. . . . .
TSW proceeds apace. I’m at about 80% of the skill wheel completed now, though I’m still “only” about 2/3 of the way through so far as the amount of XP earned goes. You’d think the skills farther on the outside of the wheel cost more points or something weird like that 😉 I generally am playing it 3-4 nights a week when an IRL friend is on, so we’re more often running quests to get him more SP’s and AP’s than trying to do dungeons. And I love it! Dungeons are fun, but if they’re all I did, I know I’d burn out fast. I’ve never been much of one to do endgame gear grinds, after all.
I also am back into Rift now. I shelled out the $120 for the year-long subscription that included the expansion in the price. Before the expansion launched I hopped in a couple of times to see how the souls had changed, but didn’t really do much else. The constant attacks on Sanctum got old after a very short time for me, and I was simply marking time until the expansion came out. Add in that after TSW the combat felt glacially slow, the skills had been redone in such a manner as to encourage lots of different keypresses/button-clicks instead of being able to make a few macros and call it a day, and I wasn’t really “feeling it” at first and wondering if I’d made a mistake in making that purchase.
Well, since the expansion’s dropped, I can say that I’ve caught the Rift bug pretty hard, so I’m glad of that purchase decision. I’m still experimenting with my cleric and rogue as to what soul combo I like the best with each of them for my solo leveling work, but my warrior and mage are in good shape.
The warrior’s currently using a Warlord / Champion combination. The Warlord is now a “tank” soul rather than a “support” soul, but it still works with a lot of self-buffs for damage. Champion is still the king of AE dps — when spec’d up, its AE skills do more damage and cost less energy that single-target strikes, actually. Too bad the Storm Legion mob spacing generally doesn’t encourage AE unless you’re fighting an invasion 😦 Even so, it’s still a lot of fun to play and Warlord gets “defensive posture” which includes a heal on attack mechanic, so it makes it quite durable. I checked out the new Tempest soul for a little while and it works pretty well, but essentially it’s just a ranged spellcaster that happens to be in the warrior calling. I think it’d be good as an rdps in a group, but didn’t really think it was well suited for solo work. The warrior’s now level 51 (up from 50).
The mage was level 39 when Storm Legion dropped. That character’s now level 50 and is slightly over halfway to 51. I’ve been having an absolute BLAST with the new Harbinger soul. It does a combination of lightning and life attacks. Lightning meshes well with the Stormcaller soul for dps, but I’m using it for my solo work right now, so I’m a little more focused on the Life damage attacks and Chloromancer as a secondary soul, since the life attacks give nice heals when used. Makes for a mean little machine that can farm even-level elites in a “go go go go go” manner, if I’m so inclined. I was so inclined in the cyclops section of the Droughtlands, but didn’t worry about it in Shimmersand. I haven’t found any areas like that in Storm Legion yet, but I’m more looking at the quests there right now anyway. They’re more fun than simple mob grinding when it’s new, ya know? Still and all, the synergy is excellent between the souls and appears to have been deliberately designed as such in order to make it a soloing machine. Now I need to find a good dps build. I’m told that Elementalist is the current FotM for mage dps, and I’ve actually got a role with max Elementalist, but I’ve not done any dungeons or anything to test it out either.
For the cleric (level 51, up from 50) , my old “Shamicar” solo build has changed a lot. Shaman now does better damage when swapping back and forth between magical and physical attacks, a lot of skills had their cooldowns removed so you can’t simply put them in a macro anymore, and the heals off the Justicar’s Salvation passive have been reduced, so there’s no wading in to a groups of mobs and watching them all fall down anymore either. As a result, there are 2 main spcs anymore considered to be “the new hotness.” The 1st is a “Druidicar” that goes deep druid for all the pet buffs and moderately into Justicar in order to buff up the self heals a little and then it makes use of the Justicar attacks in order to maximize the self-heals. I’ve been using the rdps fairy pet, as it puts out a surprising amount of damage and its hits proc the Salvation self-heals as well as my own hits too, so it works amazingly well.
The other “hotness” is to put at least 16 points into the new Defiler soul in order to gain its “Beacon of Despair” tank pet and then put any other soul with it that you like to do damage with. Or go deep defiler. Whatever works. The beacon pet is rather amazing at holding aggro — it actually has a little of its own and then siphons 50% of the aggro you generate too, so going solo with Defiler 16 is a matter of “self-shield, drop beacon, kill mobs.” I’ve tried it with Shaman, Inquisitor, and going deep Defiler. They all have about the same kill speed, but deep Defiler has the simplest rotation, so I’ll probably stick with that as I solo going forward.
I haven’t done much with the rogue yet. I was never terribly familiar with rogues before anyway, and with all the changes currently, I’m even less so. In spite of being level 46 on that character. Go figure. . . . I’ll get to it eventually.
Gear inflation with this expansion is pretty astounding at 1st, until you stop and think about it and realize that Trion needed something for the hardcore raiders to be able to upgrade to also. As it it, a lot of raiders are reporting that they aren’t upgrading equipment until level 56 or 57 anyway. My cleric’s “T2 Crafted” purple pieces are more or less on-par with the new quest greens, so I’ve not upgraded out of those yet, but my warrior and mage are now decked out in SL greens and their stats have vastly improved as a result. Which is funny becuz I took the mage to SL at level 48 and was doing just fine in old-world crafted greens. Now that I’m “decked out” in SL-quality gear, it’s pretty ridiculous, actually.
And in case you wonder, yes, Meylota is my Armorsmith. And Weaponsmith. And Artificer. And a level 46 rogue 😛
And the last screenshot is one that shows that Trion’s devs have a nice sense of humor and are familiar with 25-yr old movies. . . . . . . . .