Rants tag

Rants, ruminations, and rambling reports from the front lines* of the Massively Multiplayer Multiverse.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Souls, or, Finding Your Unique Playstyle in Rift

Before I get into my main topic, I wanted to say thank you, Dear Reader, for taking the time to read my drivel, especially in the past month or so. I have been focusing a lot on Rift for the past few posts, because that is the game that has been taking up so much of my time, like a shiny new toy. While I have still been playing WoW and STO, I don't have the same level of enthusiasm for them. If you've been saying "Shut up about Rift already," you probably are not even reading this. But if you are, bear with me; maybe even give the game itself a chance. While much of the hype about Rift's "innovations" may be just that--hype--the game is a solid playing experience with enough familiarity to be comfortable, and enough difference to be interesting.

On a another side note, how many of you fellow bloggers think of something you saw a another blog and want to reference/link it, but then can't find it? EDIT: In this case I read Elementalisty's post that said:

"There seems to only be two kinds of people that don't like Rift.
Those that think it is too much like WoW
And those that think it is not enough like WoW.
Everyone else loves it =D"

ANYWAY

I read Scary Booster's post from the other day, where he talked about changing his Cleric from a predominantly DPS caster-style Cabalist to a Tanky melee Justicar. He experimented a bit with the secondary souls until he found just the right combination for the way he wanted to play.
I went basically the opposite direction with my Rogue. She started out a Tanky melee Riftstalker with a side of Bard (for healing) and Blade Dancer, then I split her roles around level 15, adding a group oriented Healer role dominated by the Bard, and changing the melee-heavy Riftstalker to a Ranger (ranged DPS with a pet). I love the way I can shoot from a distance; and if the mob gets too close, I can throw a couple Saboteur charges and blow the sucker up. Like Scary, after doing my own thing for a while, I decided to follow the advice of the Devs (It's Developer Appreciation Week!) and go with the recommended subsidiary souls. But I still have the ability to customize my talent trees to fit my style.

The best part of the soul system is that Trion has made it relatively painless to experiment with different builds, to see what works and what doesn't work for you and your enjoyment of the game. Resetting souls involves a nominal fee that scales with level (as far as I can tell) and frequency of resets. If the build isn't working, you can reset and try again. And you don't have to lose time starting a new character from scratch if you decide to change playstyles. With the Rogue archetype, I can do ranged or melee DPS, even Tank and/or Heal. In WoW (just to compare), if I wanted to switch from melee DPS to ranged/pet DPS to Tank to Healer, I would need four different characters: Rogue, Hunter, Warrior, Priest. Even the hybrid classes in WoW tend to be spec-focused on a single role. In Rift, I just change roles, up to four (between fights, though given the right combination of souls, I could switch totally on the fly with some loss of effectiveness.)

With the total max-level points at 66, and the top of each soul tree requiring 31 points, you can reach the 31-point talent in two trees, with points to spare. Or fill out a tree completely (every talent) for a 51-point "root" ability with 15 points still available for the other two trees. The one thing I would suggest about the system would be to have some benefit to balancing the points across all three soul trees (22-22-22)--a boost to the primary attribute for the archetype, for example--just to make it a competitive option versus more specialized specs. Right now, most players I know have one "zero-point" soul, with only the first basic abilities available.

A lot has been said about "bring the player, not the class" in Rift. I haven't seen a whole of that, having only been through one instance, but in that run we had a Rogue tank, Rogue melee, Rogue ranged and two very different clerics healing/minor DPS. It worked out pretty well. I look forward to the higher level instances as I level up and fill whatever role is needed.

3 comments:

  1. Yea...uh, that was MY blog you saw the quote from...LOL

    And it was just YESTERDAY....agghhh

    http://simple-n-complex.blogspot.com/2011/03/x-fire-game-charts-for-march-20th.html

    It sure is a good quote though.

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  2. Thanks! I knew it was yesterday, but I couldn't remember where I'd seen in it. I need to add you to my Google Reader.

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  3. I bounce between roles all the time. In a lot of games I play melee classes, so I am naturally attracted to that playstyle (shaman/druid/justicar). Yet, sometimes I feel in the mood for something different, so I go casting (inquisitor/cabalist). I also like giving support in a group, and thought I'd try my hand at heals (purifier/sentinel/warden). And once I have enough platinum, I'm going to buy my fourth role and make it a tank build. Everything I could ever want all in one character, I love my cleric.

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