Archive for March 2nd, 2011


Adventures In The Iron Tombs

March 2, 2011

Instances were something I never did during the Rift beta since I’d decided it was content I wanted to “save” for myself after launch, so forgive me if I’m coming late to the party with my musings.

I’ve been through Iron Tombs a few times now. Needless to say, your class and the soul build you choose will dictate your playstyle while in the dungeon. I guess what I didn’t anticipate, however, was how greatly your group makeup can alter your overall experience as well.

For days now, I’ve been mulling over and comparing two particular IT runs in my head. In Run #1, I was one of three Clerics in a rather bizarre group, along with a Warrior tank and a Rogue filling out the ranks. At the time, I was using my hybrid melee/heal soloing role and my guess was the other Clerics had a similar setup as well, since despite the three of us, I don’t think we even had a dedicated healer in the party. Not that it stopped us from tearing through the place, however. Seems when you have that many Clerics, you get a lot of incidental healing flying around. I felt a certain closeness to the rest of my group, with all of us being in the fray.

That said, the run was not without its challenges: overall damage was perhaps lower for us, leading our group to play to its defensive strengths, often resulting in long drawn out battles that put the Clerics’ mana bars at risk and there were some pretty scary moments for the tank. But still. Completely doable.

Run #2 was completed with a more “traditional” setup. Two Rogues, two Warriors, and me. I had purchased another role and was pretty eager to try out my new pure healing build. And boy, did IT give me a run for my money this time around, despite the higher average level of the group. Perhaps I would have had an easier time if we’d had another Cleric in the group, or even a Chloromancer, but the rapidly falling health meters especially during the Three Kings fight was not something I anticipated and I nearly went crazy with panic trying to keep the heals up, slamming and clicking away on the keyboard and mouse like a madwoman, screaming profanities at my casting bar all the while. My Twitter pals Dusty and Chris were in the group so thank goodness we weren’t on vent, or I’m sure I would have scared them off and found two less followers come morning.

Still, it was a blast. I wasn’t really in the thick of it anymore, but I felt like a “real” healer, and certainly the roles were way more clear cut than in my first run, the holy trinity asserting its dominance once again. Having a dedicated healer may be the “proper” way to do it, but it did mean more pressure for myself and I’m sure everybody else. But I gotta say it gave me the challenge I was looking for. Certainly, each dungeon run teaches me something about my current build, about what I’m doing right and what I might be missing.

I’ve taken to being excited over waiting to see what other classes are in my group and trying to anticipate their roles and what it would mean for my own. It seems the dungeon experience and difficulty can change so much depending on what the other class and soul combinations are, even if you stay with the same role each time. Who knows, maybe group makeup matters less now considering IT is low level content, but I see flexibility in roles as also being flexibility in group playstyle. It’d be nice if I can do multiple runs of the same instance, and still be surprised each time.