Category Archives: Rift
So I’ve intended to do a couple of posts before now, but kept forgetting or wasn’t able to make time when I thought about it. Such is life.
True to my form, once I capped my Guardian Cleric at 60, I shelved it. I’ve taken it out exactly 1 time since hitting 60 into the Ashora zone far enough to unlock the Qajiri daily quests, but I’ve not actually done any of those quests yet. And for something completely different: That’s how far my 58 warrior is in Ashora too. Okay, so it’s not completely different, but it’s a different toon, at least.
On my 1st leveling experience with the cleric, I found that I really didn’t care for the “death-themed” Dusken continent, so I’ve taken a slightly different path with my warrior. With the cleric I’d swap back and forth across the continents as the quests turned orange or yellow, so I was always fighting mobs that were even-level or lower. As a result, my leveling path was: Cape Jule, Kingdom of Pelladane, City Core, Seratos, Eastern Holdings, Ardent Domain, Morban, and I reached 60 in Morban.
The warrior did Kingdom of Pelladane 1st, then Cape Jule and the City Core before moving on to the Eastern Holdings. I went into EH at 54, and the mobs are 53-55 there for the most part, so it was there that I began to be even level to the mobs I was fighting. I was in the 2nd half of 55 when I finished the zone and moved on to Ardent Domain, so there I started to be a level below the mobs I was fighting. Ardent Domain is fairly small, so while I got to 56 in there, I was completely done (as in I used the Carnage Book and Quest Finder add-ons and they both reported I’d “done it all”) with the zone before reaching 57. I headed into Kingsward and there’s enough in there that’s level 58 that I was able to do that portion of the zone, get to 57, then do the 2nd half of the zone vs the level 59 mobs. This got me to 57.55, and the quest finder add-ons said I had 4 carnage quests for rare mobs left, but that was it. I didn’t feel like searching them out, so I headed into Ashora to see if I could get to 58 off careful carnage quest killing.
At level 57 I could handle a level 60 mob (even 2 with difficulty), but I’d finish each fight at about 60% health, leading to a lot of downtime. Not fun. Someone spammed out that they needed person #20 for a Great Hunt raid, and I’d heard that those were great XP, so I said I was available. I swapped to a Tempest ranged build for it, but found pretty quickly that at level 57 going after red level 62 mobs means I took a severe damage penalty on them. I was getting about 10K dps in AE was all, and once we got the AE trash packs down I’d drop to about 1000 dps on the final boss was all, and that was with seeing a lot of “dodge, dodge, missed, resisted” so I probably wasn’t even doing that much and it was just a remnant in the parser of the prior damage done earlier in the fight.
The leader of the raid was your typical PUG elitist and was berating everyone for “not contributing” and “random mob tagging” and threatening to kick people out of the raid for not helping in spite of the fact that we were successfully completing the hunts. After the 2nd one was done most of the people had had enough and simply disbanded out of the raid and left. I was one of them. I was trying, but was simply too low a level to contribute meaningfully so I figured he’d probably boot me out if I didn’t leave myself anyway. But I got about 17% of a level in those 2 GHunts, so it definitely was excellent XP.
Still and all, I decided to break down and head over to Dusken and into Seratos. I figured I’d just blow through the zone’s story missions and get some notoriety with the Caretakers, but since I was +4 levels to the zone, I was able to do mass pulls of mobs and finish off Carnage quests very rapidly. As a result, I had the final 28% of a level I needed to hit 58 in about an hour and a half between blasting the missions plus all the carnages.
Since at 58 the level 60 mobs in Ashora turned yellow and no longer give me a damage penalty vs them, nor gain a damage bonus vs me when I fight them anymore… back to Ashora. The warrior is actually a very good soloer, and I can take on 4 of the level 60 mobs if I have to without *too* much trouble, though I’ll admit to preferring to only fight 1-2 at a time. I’m using the “Updated Perfect Solo” spec for my solo work. And yes, the “pkudude” author of that guide is me. 😛 With the changes coming in the next 2.2 patch I’ll have to go in and edit the guide, but it’s current for now, at least.
Now to push on to 60, then I’ll probably start working on my mage. I’m just not much of a level-capped endgame gear grind person. I don’t suffer altoholism, I enjoy every minute of it!
So as you can see, I made it to the cap in Rift with my cleric. The screenie isn’t dated, but it was in the wee hours of the morning today. I was in the zone of Morban fulfilling my “completionist” tendencies (ie I finished the story, but still needed 11 more carnage and 11 more regular quests for the zone quest achievements, so I was searching them out) and had gotten to around 59.75, but it was midnight and I was getting tired, so I was about to teleport home and call it a night when a zone event popped. Since most zone events only take 15-30 minutes, I figured I could stay on for that at least.
This event was interesting in that it required 12 flame crystals to be destroyed as well as 3 flame harbingers, followed by the big boss at the end. Each crystal was surrounded by 3 mini-bosses and their minions. Each crystal was also shielded and you had to kill all 3 mini-bosses and their minions to drop the shield, which then gave you about a 15 second window to work on the crystal before 3 portals opened and 3 new mini-bosses (with minions, of course) appeared and reestablished the crystal’s shield. The initial raid group of 7 took a while to work on them, but as people trickled in and the dps increased we got to the point where 2 tanks would go grab the 2 bosses on the far side and drag them to the 3rd boss then we’d all AE the whole kit-n-kaboodle down and it’d only take 2 cycles of that per crystal.
After killing the crystals then there was the harbinger in the middle. He had … um…. many of those mini-bosses around him supplying him with a shield. At least 8, possibly 12. I never really counted. But anyway, burn them then work on the main boss himself. He’d continually summon minions, but no additional mini-bosses so at least his shield never went back up. I didn’t pay attention to my xp bar after the 1st part was done, but after we’d finished the 2nd harbinger off, I noticed I was at 59.90, so I was getting about 7.5% of a level at each section. Amazingly fast, all things considered. We did the 3rd and I was then at 59.97 and it was time to go kill the big bad of the event. I didn’t think I’d get another 3% for his death, so once he was downed (and he was annoying let me tell you, all the knockbacks and pull ins and very melee unfriendly, so me not being able to swap to my ranged dps role sucked. . ) and all the “You beat the event!” message were popping up all over the place I started to think where I could go get a quick 1-2% of a level, when I noticed that my guildies were all congratulating me and that Guild Chat said I’d just gotten level 60. Kinda sad that I hit 60 and didn’t even notice, don’t you think? I managed to hit the print screen button while the achievement popup was on-screen, at least.
On my alts, I’ve switched my build for my warrior to one that’s focused a lot more on the Champion class. The build mentioned in the prior post works, but the animations feel a bit laggy or something, so it always feels just a little off or behind. The new build honestly doesn’t kill things any faster, taking 17 seconds per fight pretty much every time (the old build was also 17-20 most of the time) but the animations feel spot on, so it feels like it plays better.
Due to crafting dailies, I also got my mage and my rogue to 53 now, in spite of not really having played them except for the crafting. Weaponsmith 375, Armorsmith 350, Artificer 315, Outfitter 375, Apothecary 375 and poor old Runecrafting still at 300, in case you wonder. But anyway, at 53 that Harbinger/Necromancer/Chloromancer build mentioned in the prior post really did take off. You wouldn’t think that a single level would make so much difference, but… there it is. I also grabbed the cookie cutter Ranger 36 /Marksman 40 dps build for my rogue, but since she’s only 53 yet it’s currently 36/33. It still does insane damage and does single target kills in about 7 seconds, on average, so combat feels really fast and I tend to not avoid mobs since it doesn’t feel like combat’s really slowing me down. My tank pet from the ranger can’t hold aggro after a few shots, but it still works as a speed bump for the mobs before they get to me, at least. I’m happy with it – even happier than with my Nightblade build from the prior post. Now that I’ve completed my “drive to 60” I thnk I’ll be playing Rift a bit less and TSW a bit more.
And speaking of TSW, I’ve been in there a bit, but not much since Storm Legion came out. Issue 5 recently came out and I’ve done some of the new mission line, but not yet completed it. I did the quest to get the Quantum Brace auxiliary weapon, though, and since it’s ranged it’s good for pulling on my melee solo build, but isn’t so oppressively huge on my back all the time I’ve taken to wearing and using it now. Plus I do heal on occasion and it’s got a nice little healing bonus I’ll be able to use once I’ve invested the AP’s in it.
Funcom’s added some new outfits to the cash shop and since I’m still subbed I got 1200 points to use, so I was previewing the new things, but I was getting a lot of clipping from other clothing underneath while in the preview mode. Due to that, I tried changing what I was wearing underneath the preview to see if that would make the clipping stop, but instead got the display bug of a nude character with a brown bikini bottom and smiley-face pasties. I thought I’d taken a screenshot of it to share, but realized after the fact that I’d hit Prt Scrn, not F11. Oh well. No pixel pr0n beyond Crucia’s avatar for you today 😛
Happy gaming and Happy New Year!
Inspired by a couple of others, here’s my post about the specs I’m currently using in Rift. Since I’m still “just soloing” I’m not showing my group roles like pure dps or healing or tanking, hence the title of “Solo Spec Post.”
1st up is my cleric. I’m swapping a bit between 2 specs with her, trying to get a feel for both, etc. 1st spec you see is a “druidicar” build that I found on the forums. The guy called it “The Just Seer” so I named it that in my window also. When I stopped playing a year ago this would have been laughably bad. But the druid’s got new pets and a few new tricks up its sleeve, so this has been working well for me. I use the ranged dps fairy pet and generally just leave it using single-target attacks. One of the pet buffs makes it do a little AE no matter what, so it still works well in an AE situation even without toggling it over to AE. The basic idea behind it is that one uses the Justicar soul and attacks for maximum self-healing and mitigation, while the druid side gives some nice buffs, a couple of DPS tricks, and of course the pet which adds damage and heals as well. It’s not as fast at killing things as my rogue is, but it’s about the same as the mage and it’s faster than the warrior, so all in all a pretty good balance, I think. Basic rotation is to hit the mob with Bolt of Radiance, then the Thorns of Ire, teleport to the mob, hit Eruption of Life, then the single-target macro which includes Shield of Oak (25% mitigation), Combined Effort (large hit, makes mobs take more damage from you), Bolt of Radiance (does more damage than your regular hit) and finally Strike of Judgment. For AE your macro uses Even Justice instead of SoJ, but is otherwise the same. I’ve started adding points to Shaman now since I don’t have anything else in Druid or Justicar that seems to help the build anymore.
Next up is the solo defiler spec I’m using. It’s also found on the forums, and at 1st blush doesn’t seem to be anything special, but then you play it and find out that dang, it’s amazingly useful. It does solo mob kills in about the same 16-ish seconds that the druidicar does, so it comes down to playstyle preference, really. This is a caster build, where the druidicar is a melee build. When fully solo, it doesn’t make any gameplay difference, but in a rift or onslaught where you need to go from mob group to mob group, the range this build has might be an advantage. But in situations like that you actually need AE and this build doesn’t really have that, so take that for what you will. I mean, yeah it’s got a couple of AE skills, but they’re on 8 and 10 second cooldowns, so they’re helpful but you don’t really want to get into an AE situation if you can avoid it.
Basic rotation is to pre-shield yourself with the Husk of Indifference then cast the Beacon of Despair. Marrow Harvest, Sanction Heretic, Vex, Siphon Vitality, and now Marrow Harvest is available again. Spam out 3 Somatic Desecrations and it’s time for Marrow Harvest again. Now you have 1 GCD available before you need to refresh your dots, so I use that for either another SD or I’ll toss a Hideous Reconstruction on the Beacon (not really necessary, but it’s an option). Usually an SD there will finish the mob off anyway, so you don’t actually need to refresh the dots. Siphon Vitality counts as a heal spell so it auto-refreshes your Husk of Indifference also. And even though you aren’t actually taking damage due to the Husk, the absorbed hits you take through the link to the beacon still proc Blight Rage. Justicar is the 3rd soul since what little damage you do take in spite of the Husk and Beacon is then auto-healed by the Salvation passive. I also keep Loathsome Restoration and Foul Growth on my bars in case I need their heals in a pinch. Not that I have yet, but someday I might.
Next we move on to my rogue. I was trying my own builds using deep Assassin (at least 36 points) for the better poison procs for Leeching Poison, but it didn’t work as well as it used to. I tried something along the lines of the old melee ranger, again using Assassin for bleeds in order to make the wolf pet frenzy, and that worked ok, but not nearly as well as it used to either. Finally I tried a deep Bladedancer build and that seemed to work really well (better than deep Assassin, anyway), but it still wasn’t “doing it” for me either. So I finally turned to the forums. Most solo builds there were deep Riftstalker, which playstyle hasn’t ever “done it” for me either, so even though they were claiming to be able to take down AE groups of 10 mobs in 10 seconds, I didn’t care to really try that.
Then I finally stumbled across a build that does make some use of Riftstalker, but really just for passive buffs, and focuses on the Nightblade soul as its primary. It does a take on it that’s outside the norm, though, in that it eschews the use of the Fiery Spike and Primal Strike abilities. I’d never used NB much when I played before, so I guess I didn’t realize how integral it was considered to be for the build until I suggested the build to someone in-game and sent him the macros and he said he’d figure out the point distribution on his own, then came back a few minutes alter asking if he’s using Dusk Strike in the macro, when does he hit Primal Strike and how does he weave in the Fiery Spike? And I had to explain that the build doesn’t use those skills at all, so he had to go respec again becuz he’d been building toward using those 2 abilities a lot. But anyway… I tried out this build and imagine my surprise when the mobs I was fighting just melted. I couldn’t believe how fast they died.
Here’s the screenie of the build, with the caveat that I’d actually messed up the build when I took the screenie — there should be a point spent in Dusk to Dawn, and I’d also incorrectly put 2 points in a Fiery Spike enhancement. Oops! And I don’t call it “Tank” anymore either. 😛 Link to the correct build is here.
Why this build works so well is that it’s got so many buffs on itself. From Riftstalker we get the Stalker Phase which bumps damage by 5% all the time and another 15% after you teleport, and then Planar boost gets you up to another 10% bonus. Nightblade then gets you 5% after your weapon effects proc, 10% more on anything you hit with Twilight Force, 6% from Fire and Death Attunement, 10% to Dusk Strike from Eventide, 20% from Dark Malady as you open the fight, 6% from Unstable State, and then Heat Retention gets you another 10% and 30% on a finisher, and Dusk to Dawn buffs up the Blazing Strike finisher by another 15% as well. When the procs and buffs all align, I can see Dusk Strike doing almost 3000 per hit, and Blazing Strike do normal hits for over 4000 damage and crit for 7400. Typical fight time is about 8 seconds. It’s *fast!*
Only downside to the build is that Dusk Strike will make you starve for energy in longer fights (eg vs elite mobs) or if you’re trying to chain pull. Still, my overall impression is 2 thumbs way way up!
Moving on to the mage — 1st build is simply a cookie cutter Harbinger/Chloromancer spec. Nothing really exciting about it other than hey, it’s a melee mage. Who ever thought of such a thing? Basic rotation is lead with Ruin, hit Withering Vines, hit Blazing Light, Piercing Beam, your melee macro, pop Nature’s Touch when Eldritch Armor procs and refesh Ruin and the dots if necessary, though it usually isn’t and that’s how I can gauge the 16s kill speed. Ruin’s always just coming off cooldown then the mob dies. After getting 54 points in to Harbinger, I plan on putting the remainder into Dominator for the Mass Charged Shield. Might as well add that little bit more damage to the mobs when they hit me, right?
Remember that rogue I was talking to earlier about my Nightblade build? His main’s actually a level 60 mage and he’s got a build he told me about that he said he liked even more than the cookie cutter for solo, though he did say that it didn’t really work until level 53. I built it out at my level of 52, and I can see why he’d say that. I took it out for a spin and while the mobs did die and I didn’t, it killed slower than the cookie cutter and was a lot squishier in spite of having the same 16 points in Chloromancer. At 53 I’ll get the next point into Furious Assault and then try it again. According to the guy I was talking to, it does about 15-20% higher damage than the cookie cutter build and has the same self-heals so shouldn’t be any squishier. I haven’t seen it yet, but I’m keeping an open mind. Harb does pretty well on its own, after all, so if a necro dps pet adds to that, you’d think it would be quite awesome. Sounds good on paper anyway, and we’ll see about the practice after I hit 53. Here’s the build as I’ve got it so far:
And finally the warrior. Not too much to say other than I tried a few things on my own modeled after my old Paladin/Rifblade solo spec from prior to the 1.11 (more like back in 1.05, really) and it didn’t work so well anymore. Tried a Beastmaster/Champion combo and that was okay, but . . . forum searching for solo builds for warriors kept pointing me to one that several people were calling it “The Perfect Warrior Solo Build,” even though the build’s actual initial poster certainly wasn’t calling it that.
It leverages the mitigation and damage buffs from the Warlord Soul along with the AE dps of the Champion soul and meshes them together into a build that kills a bit slow, but doesn’t have any downtime either. And it can kill a group of mobs as quickly as a single mob. Too bad in SL the mobs are usually so well spaced that it’s hard to pull a bunch in for AE grinding 😦 It really just uses AE skills becuz with the points allocated in Champion the AE skills cost less energy than ST ones and do roughly the same amount of damage to a single target as well, so there’s no reason not to use them in every situation. I added in the “Quick Death” single target ability to the builder macro, though, as it does finish a mob off faster once it’s below 30% health. Even with that, it’s pretty slow on the kill speed, taking about 20 seconds per kill. The official forums indicate that warriors are getting a pass to look at their damage rates since they’re apparently parsing well below the other classes in group/raid situations, which would bleed over to solo as well.
It will be nice at level 57 when I have enough points to get the Cornered Beast skill. That plus the recovery posture from Warlord is supposedly an “I win” button. I could spec for that now, but I don’t feel the need, and I like what the 41 points in Warlord gives me too. More dps while solo can wait. I’ve got a whole year to worry about it, after all.
I know this is already long, but. . . I’m adding a little more. In my last post I mentioned that with my new rig I’d discovered a facial tattoo on my cleric, but I didn’t have a screenie of it. I do now, so… from left to right — old graphics (where there’s no tattoo), then new graphics (with it, obviously), and then a final shot after I visited the “stylist” and paid in 28 gold to take it off. And yes, that is the same hammer in each shot. It’s actually still *slightly* better than anything else I’ve found yet. Those old crafted purples were really nice back in the day if it’s still holding up in early SL, doncha think?
I also have rediscovered why I actually prefer the Defiant races as well. The Eth simply look better than the Mathosians. The Mathosians all have this open mouth thing going on that I can’t get to close. And the Bahmi get the best weapon animations of any race to boot, plus I love their look as well. I’ll admit to not really caring for the Kelari, though. But on the Guardian side, Eth are simply “ok,” High Elves are again “merely ok” and I actually can’t stand the dwarves. Arms too long and hands too big. Any time I tried to make one they just gave me the heebie jeebies.
Oddly, I don’t think the Mathosians look *bad, just that the Eth look *better.* Compare my Mathosian Warrior to my Eth Mage (Mathosian on the left):
The Mathosian I think looks just fine, but the Eth looks better to me. I can’t really define why, it simply does. Go figure. And to repeat shots you’ve already seen, but in a different juxtaposition, here’s a comparison of my Eth Cleric to my Mathosian Cleric. Again… the Mathosian looks fine, but the Eth is simply better looking. Mathosian’s on the right this time:
Finally, the funny screenshot of the post — The armor dye bug is still alive and well. I’ve seen it on all of my characters with dyed pieces at some point, but usually it just goes to a plain white color with a blue or green trim and doesn’t actually look all that bad, simply not the color I made them. Re-logging always fixes it, but I usually don’t care. At least until this hideous color combo appeared. It’s Christmas colors, so it’s at least seasonally appropriate, but it’s not a very good green to go with the deep red:
A slight TSW update first:
Ran a few more nightmare dungeons, got a few more skill points. Finished off the Outer Ring of Assault Rifle, so theoretically could put together a rifle healing spec, though I still need to work on Blood a bit to get a few more passives. So still alive and kicking. But all in all it’s a fairly small game, so it’s semi-hard to have much to talk about in it. Unless you want quest spoilers 😛 My cabal does do the new raid, but I’ve not logged in at the right time yet. I’ll get there eventually.
Back in the day, I took a screenie of my Defiant Cleric that was level 50. This was on a 4 year old laptop with an HDMI cable going out to an external monitor so I still played in 1920 x 1080, but I had the graphics set down quite low in order to be able to get 15-20 fps. A bit choppy, but playable, I thought.
Since then, I’ve upgraded my computer. I use the same resolution, but now I play on the “Ultra” graphics setting and still usually have 40+ fps. I took a screenie of the same character (you’ll notice that the 2H mace she’s carrying is the same, though I swapped to some appearance armor). Quite a difference, no? I had no idea I’d made the complexion so dark. I think it looks really nice, so I’m not planning on changing anything.
I took this character into the new areas and got her decked out in the quested gear set, plus bought her a crafted staff to replace the old 2H hammer that was rather good back in its day, but now is pretty much laughably bad (though still good enough to be useful in the new areas until I got something better). And that’s the result to the left. Funny thing is I didn’t think it looked bad before, but now in comparison . . . yikes!
I’ve also found that my Guardian Cleric has a facial tattoo. I had no idea. On the old graphics she didn’t have anything on her face at all, on purpose. Time to find a barber. . . .
I’ve been spreading myself around a bit on my characters, trying to find what works for me and what doesn’t, which playstyle I find myself liking, etc etc. As a result, my Guardian Cleric is 51, my Rogue is 51, my Warrior is . . . .wait for it. . . . 51. And my mage I got to 52 last night. I wanted to play through the City Core zone and happened to be on the mage when I made the decision, so it got the XP and the “extra” level.
I am starting to see what I’ve seen other bloggers mention in that leveling speed is pretty slow and you can easily get in over your head with mobs that are too high for you to reasonably fight. The mage was about 51.1 when I went into the City Core and was fighting mobs that were level 52-53. Not bad, really, as yellows are still easy to hit and you do full damage to them. But I finished the City Core (did every Carnage quest — got the achievement for doing them and then did 2 more. . . .), did an Onslaught, did a zone event. . . the only thing I didn’t do for XP was join any Instant Adventures there, and I finished the zone at 51.96. I got into the Eastern Holdings and the mobs start at 53 there, but go to 56 in a hurry. Well….. 56 was still red to me, and 54 and 55 were orange. Doable, but you take a 25% penalty to damage done vs orange mobs, so the fights took a long time. Fortunately a zone even started right as I got there so I was able to join up and get enough xp to hit 52 during that, so the 56’s turned orange, at least. But I think I’m going to need to take the mage over to Pelladane and try to get another level or 2 there also.
Part of the issue is that I took the mage to SL at level 48, so the XP that I used to get to 50 while there was about 1/3 of a level at SL rates, so had I gone there at 50, I would have eaily been 52 before Eastern Holdings. But that doesn’t change the fact that Eastern Holdings seems to want you to be level 54 before you start playing there.
Something I think is interesting is that once I got into SL gear, I’ve stopped seeing the “Vengeful Shock” ability proc’ing. SL gear includes quite a bit of the Hit stat and Vengeful Shock requires a miss from me to proc it, and apparently with all the Hit on my gear I’m not missing anymore, not even vs orange-con mobs. We’ll see if that holds true as I get higher in level.
As it is, I’m actually liking my rogue the best right now. It’s the 2nd least squishy of the characters (cleric is least squishy of all), and does the most damage by far, so it’s got the fastest kill speed. I don’t mind getting in a fight with a random mob on the rogue, where on the other characters, combat is slow enough that I actively avoid fighting if I don’t have a quest for a mob. The rogue usually kills a solo mob in 8-10 seconds. The cleric and mage usually take about 16 seconds, and the warrior usually takes about 20 seconds (I’m told they’re getting a buff and that the changes are on the test server right now). Unless it’s AE, in which case the warrior takes out the whole group in about that same 20 seconds and the other 3 toons slow down a lot. Too bad the mobs are usually so spread out that it’s hard to get AE fights going for the warrior. 😦
But anyway….. Rift has a ton of new content, so it’s mostly pulled me away from TSW right now. I’m still doing TSW a time or 3 a week, so it’s there, but Rift is my focus again. Fun how games come in and out of one’s consciousness, isn’t it?
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. . . . . . . . .