Rift: Searching My Soul

February 16, 2011

No, not that old Ally McBeal theme by Vonda Shepard. Loved that show, though. But I do need help. Maybe I should have named this post “REsearching My Soul”, since with head-start coming up so soon, lately I’ve been thinking about my future plans for Rift, especially when it comes to what class to play and which souls to pick.

Most of the time, I prefer playing support classes like tanks and healers, but for beta I deliberately and specifically chose a solo-friendly DPS class and soul combo because I knew I was going to try and go as far as I could before they wipe the characters. I know a lot of players like to “save” themselves for launch like maidens for their wedding day, but frankly I’ve never too worried too much about spoiling content for myself. The more I level, the farther I get from level 1, and knowing my piss-poor memory with stuff like this, I doubt I’d remember much of anything from my first time through when I play the content again.

The thing about playing like this, however, is that unlike a lot of others, I’ve had very little opportunity to experiment. I messed around a little as a Rogue when I did my quick stint as a Guardian, and I’ve seen a bit of how the Warrior plays courtesy of my husband, but for the most part, I know nothing, NOTHING! I’ve only gotten to know my Mage, albeit quite intimately.

What I’ve been doing so far, is playing with my core soul being Elementalist, with some points thrown into Chloromancer and Stormcaller. Quite honestly though, I’m level 31 right now and at this early stage I still really only need the first two souls. My earth elemental pet, whom I named Bludgeon (I debated either that or Pummel), is key to my success. I’ve sunk most of my points into making him as strong and hard as I can, including improving my pet healing skills and as you can see, upgrading him to a greater elemental. Now we can take up to half a dozen mobs at the same time, as long as the damage input never goes over what I can heal and I don’t run out of mana.

On the Chloro side, I’ve put in just enough points to get myself an instant heal which I can pop around every 10 seconds. As you would expect, this combo resulted in very little downtime.

Anyway, those are my thoughts and experiences, and hopefully later some people will share with me theirs.

I like my beta character so much I’m probably going to stick with the Mage for a side character at launch (AKA the character not beholden to the pesky spousal leveling contract), but for my main I am stilling leaning towards support, though of course at this point, I’m still open to all avenues.

I’m interested to see what other classes and souls others have enjoyed. I do like how the Rift website gives you a brief rundown of each of the classes and souls including their strengths and weaknesses, but of course, nothing can replace actual player experience.

Admittedly, healing does hold great interest for me. Hence I’ve been especially drawn to the Cleric lately, but maybe that’s because it’s the class I know least about. I’m particularly intrigued by a build I’ve seen on forums referred to the “warrior priest” which just begs further investigation.


  1. Rift kinda scares me, because I’ve NEVER been the kind of person who pays any attention to numbers, really. When I pick up a game, I play it for the enjoyment of not crunching numbers or anything. Not saying that people who DO crunch numbers aren’t having as much fun as I am (Wheeee!), but for someone who doesn’t really pay attention to interactions between various elements, having to pick 3 ability classes — and hoping they compliment one another well enough — is really outside my usual comfort zone.

    • I’m pretty terrible with numbers too, and I prefer to work things out on my own by reason rather than pull out the calculator and crunch numbers.

      I generally stay away from theory crafting sites for two reasons…1) because math makes my head hurt and 2) dependence on these sites make you a worse player, imo. When one gets too used to looking up builds and adopting the cookie cutter FOTM, you stop to actually read the tooltips and consider what would best suit your playstyle.

      Picking my first couple of souls for my character was admittedly quite daunting. For my combo, I went with the safest bet possible — something offensive, something defensive. Of course, I made several changes before I was happy with what I have, but experimenting was half the fun 🙂

  2. Actually, I was watching a video on YouTube about soul selection yesterday, apparently the Cleric is the second easiest class to level (after Rogue). They have a pretty good solo build as a melee type Cleric (Druid/Shaman/Inquisitor) or there’s the ranger Cleric (Cabalist/Purifier.. something). So not only do they kick ass, they also heal. Sounds good to me!

    • Oh, I should go look up that video! I’m a little surprised to hear about the ease of leveling, but I guess it does depend on the souls you choose. If I go Cleric, I think for me the trick will be finding a balance that will make me a good healer, but still do decent dps for leveling.

      • Might as well spec for solo levelling until 13, after that you get dual spec iirc? I tweeted the video yesterday if you can be arsed to go looking through my twitter feed :p

      • Found it (and followed)! You tweet a lot 😛

      • A bit yeah – sorry about that! :p

      • Nah, don’t apologize, some days I go crazy with my own tweets myself 😛

        I watched the video, what an awesome guide. I might give one of those two cleric combos a try. I also think it’s great how he and I both independently came up with the same Mage souls for best leveling 😀

  3. I tried the Warrior with a few nifty soul combos but never really gel’ed with the fighting. I was hitting buttons and killing things, but I *knew* I was hitting buttons and killing things. (Never got to the point of being fluid and transcending the controls.) I had more luck playing a rogue with a bow, though. Seemed to have nice combos of stacking bombs on enemies and stacking run-speed increases. The mix and matching of abilities started getting interesting as I leveled up, too. It felt a lot better to play, in my eyes, than the melee styles, and caster styles now that I think about it.

    My vote is a ranged Rogue. Get the Marksmen (I think) first, then the pet one, then the bomb one. Though I did have more fun juggling speed boosts while tossing out the bombs, pets help a lot via tanking as you know with Bludgeon. Wait, is it really that close in spelling to “dungeon”? Crazy British spelling habits. Surprised they didn’t slip in an extra “u” in there 😛

    • Now that I think about it, I believe the Rogue I played with on the Guardian side was a Marksman. Was that the one where you can get a pet? I only remember I went straight for the pet class, for the solo efficiency thing. But I didn’t get far enough to get a good feel for the class, unfortunately. Sounds interesting and really fun the way you put it though, especially when you say a thing like “the bomb one” 😛

      My husband played a warrior…not sure if it’s the souls he picked, but to echo your thoughts, the gameplay seemed a bit awkward too.

  4. I liked the necro and ranger the most. I tried several different classes/souls and those just seemed the most entertaining. I do like that you can change things up with the souls if you get bored and go with a different direction, seems like it will keep things fun without the need for so many alts.

    • Yes, I like that too. I must have switched and replaced half a dozen souls before I found a combination that I liked. There are so many different styles within the classes that it’s nice not having to start over right away if you find you don’t like how a particular one feels. I haven’t tried the necro, though I hear from a lot of people that it’s quite a bit of fun.

  5. So far I’ve liked them all so I’m not much of a help BUT…

    Here’s the thing… you really only need to pick an archetype. Unless they change things in launch (and honestly I hope they do) you’ll have all 8 souls by the time you’re 15 or so, and eventually 4 Roles to mix and match them in.

    I was playing a cleric in beta and I had 2 roles, one was for soloing and the other was pure healer. Each used 3 totally different souls in my case.

    Also respec (again, at least in beta) doesn’t seem to carry a great cost, from what people have told me (caveat: I’ve never done it myself).

    Bottom line, sweat your archetype because you can’t change that, but don’t sweat soul selection as you’ll probably be tweaking it as you go anyway.

    • Erm, and sorry, I’ve just walked in the door after 16 hours on the road and I’m a bit frazzled… clearly everything I just said in my comment you’re already well aware of. My apologies for that!

    • Well, hearing you say you like them all actually kinda helps, since it’s nice knowing there’s a good chance I’ll like many of the combinations I’ll play with 😀 I’m looked into the souls you suggested last night and am toying with the idea of Shaman and Justicar. Seems like it might offer a good balance between damage and healing.

  6. I have played several classes, none very high. But I enjoyed Assassin/Riftstalker/Bard for the Rogue. A little tanky DPS with a couple group-support and ranged abilities. For Cleric, I went with Druid/Cabalist/Warden. Worked pretty well, with the faerie pet and some heals. I had the hardest time with the mage, Stormcaller/Chloromancer/Necromancer. Very squishy. I kinda did it again in open beta, finally partnering with DGF who likes Rogues, I went with Storm/Chloro/Dominator. Dominaotr starts out with a transmogifry (polymorph) squirrel. So that’s fun. But he’s still squishy.

    • Mages are indeed quite squishy. If I don’t get my pet on something right away, I’m a goner. The only times I die when I play is when I pull aggro somehow and my earth elemental can’t get it back. I think having a pet will make a much easier time of things, unless you group up and play with someone.

      I haven’t used my Stormcaller soul very much. Looking at the abilities it has though, it looks very useful for PvP. Right now I have a few points in the soul for some shielding and slowing abilities.

  7. Necromancer/warlock/chloromancer all way to level 50.

    And 51 points to necromancer and 15 points to warlock.

    • Necromancer was a soul I wanted to try, since it was another one that had a pet. I was going to remake my Elementalist mage for my side character once the game launches, but now I’m thinking I’ll make a Necro/Chloro instead. Thanks.

  8. I’ve really only played around with the Rogue calling. I tried an Assassin/Nightblade/something or other but didn’t really bond with it. I then went Ranger/Marksman/Saboteur and liked it better. For this beta I’m trying out a Marksman/Ranger/Riftstalker. So far it’s a pretty deadly combo.

    • Many of the rogue combos I’ve seen are pretty deadly. Pretty good at surviving too even when being targeted by multiple enemies, which I was surprised to see in my rift groups.

  9. In Beta 5 I pretty much stuck to what I’m usually good at playing which was a tank, so I mostly played a warrior souled Paladin/VoidKnight/Reaver. That worked well for me and worked great tanking when I tanked in Iron Tomb. Only other build version I tried starting over on a new character was a little more dps tank build as a Paladin/VoidKnight/Riftblade which was indeed a bit more dps and less tanky or seemed more squishy as well. Pretty much stuck to the build I liked for tanking and to my playstyle tactic as Paladin/VoidKnight/Reaver.

    I’ll be playing in head start so have somewhat skipped the last beta and haven’t really logged into current beta. Just saving things up for launch a bit. I’ll be playing defiant on a PVE server. So far I’m somewhat looking to see if someone will form up a bloggers community guild or something like that at launch.

    • Warriors look tough to play, from watching my husband. I thought it was his choice of souls but the video I watched the Jaedia referred me to also seems to show the same thing. It seems like a lot more care is needed to find a good balance and that ironically, sometimes they can have a hard time with survivability. I think Mr. MMOGC will want to stick with tanking, so I’ll probably suggest your Paladin/VoidKnight/Reaver souls to him. Thanks!

      With regards to guilds, I haven’t decided yet either. I will be on a PvE server for sure though, and my preference is Defiants. I found out recently there is a Multiplaying.net guild they are setting up that meets that criteria though, and I am thinking of maybe joining up with them.

      • As from my Beta experience, never really had a problem much with survivability while soloing. Actually enjoyed how tough my Tank felt. What i enjoyed about about my tank was the physical toughness of the Paladin and with the soul of the Void Knight having toughness fighting casters as well and returning their spell damage to them. So being all around tough tough against melee and spell felt awesome. However it does take some time to master using skills properly and i did spend a bit of time while leveling trying out various rotations and that helps tremendously.

  10. I got a mage to 28 in the final beta. . .but just started it in B6. I agree with the squishiness factor being an issue and as a result eventually ended up just using my healing build of Chloromancer/Warlock and tossing Elementalist as the 3rd soul for the pet. Put my healing buffs on the pet and sent it in. I wasn’t doing enough dps to pull aggro often at all, and with the AE healing I do even if I got an add or 2 on me I’d stay up just fine, though usually the pet would take AE aggro and I wouldn’t get adds.

    Killed slower, though not terribly slowly, I didn’t feel… and felt so much safer than any of the other builds I tried.

    Though I’ll admit the Pyromancer was a ton of fun in a group. Just sit back and blow stuff up. Tank was good so I didn’t get aggro much and he could get it back if I did rip it. Much fun!

    I also healed IT and DSM with my Chloromancer build and was surprised at how effective it was, so long as aggro wasn’t bouncing.

    • Nice to hear Chloromancer is a viable healer for dungeons! I had wondered that often myself, but didn’t know, since I only put enough points into the tree to get instant bloom. I’m going to remake a mage for launch, for my alt. Once I get high level enough I plan on branching out with points into the chloro soul to see what else it has in store for me. I have a feeling even as my secondary soul, it has a lot of potential.

  11. I had 3 Builds I enjoyed.
    First was a warrior build Reaver/beastmaster/paladin
    Had great dps and hard to kill.
    Second: Rogue build Bladedancer/Bard/ Ranger Good dps and can heal and buff yourself threw the bard. Pet for extra dps and bladedancer for close combat.
    Third: Cleric I went Sentnial/Warden/Purifier Good dps and almost impossible to kill. Instant heals and a damage shield from purifier and HOT from Warden i think it was.

    • I’ve decided on maybe a druid/justicar/something or another build but hmm, sentinel/warden/purifier…that’s interesting. All kinds of potential there already forming in my head. Will definitely have to grab all the souls and mess around at a higher level at some point!

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