And … let’s talk about choosing characters in Rift!


How time flies when you’re having fun in betas. Before you know it, tomorrow is head start day for Rift and even though I’m run off my feet at the moment with flu (which sucks, don’t get it!) and various other games such as the Darkspore beta and Tuesday night Spreadsheet-Pirates I have been getting increasingly excited to play Rift over the various betas.

I respect bloggers like Tipa’s decision to avoid beta so that everything is new at release, but at the same time it has helped me to decide which souls I love and to get to know some of the people in my Rift guild, mostly made up of friends from LOTRO and twitter. (Incidentally, I disagree wholeheartedly with Ravious on the faction coolness factor on the grounds that … Defiants get to ride robo-mechanical-horses. It doesn’t get cooler than that!)

I was getting very confused over classes and souls until I decided to just try and remake a class I’d enjoyed from a different game. In DaoC, my sorceress was a master of AE Crowd Control, used lots of dots and lifetaps, could charm pets and had a run speed buff.

I ditched the pet idea instantly because I never really liked being stuck with a pet and started a new character as a Dominator/ Warlock. Suddenly it clicked. What I’m finding now is that I love the Warlock so I’ll use that as primary/ secondary in some kind of dps build and then maybe add Chloromancer/ Warlock as a main healer build. That still leaves the possibility of a heavy CC build for PvP.

In many ways, ‘choosing’ a character is wrong word for Rift character generation. Designing a character would be closer to how it works in practice.

I’m not sure why I am so hooked on casters in this game, but I have been enjoying it in beta immensely. Arb has been through far worse torment on deciding on a class and soul combo and I know she’s not the only one.

One thing I have noticed is that Trion has actually put a fair amount of content in the game for explorers. There are artifacts to collect and puzzles to solve in each zone. But you have to wonder what the point is when Rift Junkies has guides up to all the puzzles already …

Do you prefer to know this sort of information in advance to make sure that you don’t accidentally miss anything, or do you prefer to find it out (possibly alongside your guild)?

17 thoughts on “And … let’s talk about choosing characters in Rift!

  1. Once I decided I loved the world and the game felt like something I’d love to explore I quit playing.

    I poked around to know that all the callings had pet classes (I love them) and essentially a little bit of the class trinity built into each one and I was set!

    I’ve been listening to the Riftpodcast and thinking about the classes I want to play ever since.

    I’d really love to strike out on a different path but really I’m a Necromancer at heart, Warlock is a no brainer choice, but I’m really excited to put some points in the Chloromancer soul! Bringing a bit of the spirit of the Runekeeper (LOTRO) or the Shaman (WAR) to my Necro seems like it will be a blast!

  2. I fall into the middle ground. One of my good friends bought the “hint guides” (usually from Prima) when playing a game, and I thought that sapped all the fun out of it. But, I’m not so doggedly stubborn that I feel the need to figure every little thing out myself.

    Generally what I’ll do is jump into a game to feel it out. If I don’t quite “get” it or feel there’s more info than I want to click through and read in a game (like RIFT‘s souls), I’ll go read a guide. Then, after I’m done with a part of the game (a zone, usually), I’ll read up to see if I missed anything.

    I know I’m not the typical user, being a game designer. Many times I’ll read guides about game mechanics just to learn about them and add them to my list of known mechanics systems for later reference.

    But, I will agree: RIFT certainly did a lot to entertain people who like to explore every nook and cranny. Hooray Explorer content (that will get promptly cataloged… oh, it already has been….)

  3. At beta I played defiant necromancer/warlock to 30+.

    At launch I will be guardian dwarf, elementalist/stormcaller. It is a pet mage, but play diferent than necromancer. And the guardian zones were not explored by me at beta.

    But I am thinking a lot if I must try chloromancer/warlock. At beta I failed as healer when I changed my necromancer/warlock to a 2nd role (chloromancer/archon) at a dungeon run and the professional chloromancers say that soul is a main healer and not secondary healer. So, I can take the challenge to learn how to play chloromancer right and be a good main healer.

    • Level 16 sees Chloromancers turn into “main healers” with the caveat that most of their healing goes to a single-target (generally the tank) and while it can be instantly switched to another target, it can’t be switched BACK for 30 seconds. As a result, the chloro’s I’ve talked to (and also personally) will let anyone who rips aggro off the tank die and just keep the Synthesis buff on the tank and only the tank.

      You actually get Synthesis with only 11 points in the tree, and *can* be main healer then, but at 16 points you get Nature’s Touch, which is your “huge heal for Synthesis target.” Fortunately, dungeons don’t really start until level 16-17. . . . .

      I’ve been primarily playing a “chlorlock” the last 2 betas. When solo I use Elementalist as the 3rd soul for the pet. Synthesis on that and it’s well nigh invulnerable. Can tank 2 even-con elite mobs if you have to. Kill speed is kinda slow, but after level 17 or 18 and you have 6 points in warlock you have endless mana, so. . . no speed records, but you can take things down that others couldn’t even think about killing.

      And in a dungeon since it’s a 0-point soul, just swap the Ele out for Dominator so you can squirrel things on the pull. You really don’t need to, but it seems to reassure people when the tank pulls 3 but only 2 beat on him. . .

  4. I dinked around with multiple characters in the beta, and ultimately fell in love with my mage. Chloromancer/Warlock/Archon. I’d probably not use Chloromancer as primary soul in my first role again, but I loved the concept. So much fun!

    I also tried a warrior and a cleric, but don’t even remember the souls I used. Both were good fun as well, but not as much as the mage. Looking forward to trying a rogue.

    The beta didn’t click for me until right at the end, and I am hoping to find some Twitter folks that will kindly take me into their soon to be guild. Hint hint. 😉

  5. I am loving the Pyro/Ele/Storm combo at the moment and managed to get up to 20-something in the Betas. I’ve got a preorder in for the physical CE with GAME, so I won’t be getting the headstart. That said, I’ll definitely playing (and probably blogging) once the full release happens.

    Just need to find/organise a guild now, and I’m sorted! Looking for PvE, preferably RP but no biggie. Defiant side.

  6. I’ll be starting as a mage with Elementalist for my primary soul. Probably grab Stormcaller or Pyromancer as the 2nd and the 3rd will depend on what I end up grabbing as the 2nd — Archon if Pyro, Dominator if SC. I like both Pyro and SC from my playing of them, so. . . not a choice I’ll make until the moment of it, I don’t think.

    At 13 I’ll quest out my souls as quickly as I can and by 17 I plan to buy a 2nd role and make it a “Chlorlock” so I can be a group healer and run through the Iron Tombs dungeon repeatedly.

    It will be a combo Outfitter/Runecrafter for its artisan skills, with Butchering as its only harvesting skill.

    I’ll also be making a rogue alt fairly early on — Ranger/Marksman/Assassin for its 3 souls. But this one will be more to make into an Artificer to support the mage than to try to level up simultaneously. But the mage will be able to supply it with leather armor and runes also, so. . I like the synergy between the 2.

    I’ll eventually add in a cleric and a warrior too, but that will be down the road a ways, methinks.

  7. I tried a cleric soul set in the last beta and I was sold. Granted, I went for the full dps way, being Inq/Pur/Just. But it worked: the combination of a shadow and holy from WoW seems to click most.

    This makes even more sense if you think of the combo I played most in the earlier betas: Pyro/Ele/Archon, basically the same but with different emphasis.

    Why is it that the tank classes do not click in this game? Have I been trying it for too long in WoW already?

    Anyhow, Rift will be a blast. Will it be enough to pull me away from WoW is another thing.

    C out

  8. Oh… mistake. My cleric was Inquisitor/Cabalist/Purifier.

    And I really do not want to see any websites explaining the puzzles or giving questing guides or explaining the world to the players. Telara is complex enough – and simple enough – for an average player to come in terms with and for fffsss sake, it’s an MMORPG, not some sports in which you have to WIN!

    Having fun is winning in RPG and in games. Not being the top performing bad ass, like people think.

    C out (again)

  9. I agree with you on the great and many possibilities that each core class holds, Personally however, I feel that in general the choices are presented very poorly for anyone not willing to spend hours on a website building their perfect class, and specifically I feel that the different warrior choices often clash with each other in ways that make your choices very narrow. Then again, I did not play the beta, to end level.

    • But what do you want? Do you want a system that means you have to think about your choices and potentially buggers you horribly if you balls it up; or do you want a nice, easy, “there’s only 2 talents I won’t need to pick and they’re both for PvP, that was easy” system that WoW now sports?

      Experimentation, consequence and time are the price you pay for a more creative talent tree system.

  10. I like to know, I admit. I am partially a minmaxer at heart(even though I’m not a hardass ‘stop having fun’ type), and these days, I have a sorta…limited plate for games at any given times. I tend to really want to know ”is this something that I want in one of those slots”. Right now I still have WoW which is of course my main game(though I mainly log on, gather, play the AH, raid and log off. Gathering/AH can take a bit. :p) But I also have a couple PSP games running, and three upcoming games that I want(Tactics Ogre PSP, Dissidia 012, and Dragon Age 2). So yeah-another MMO is going to need to be something I *really* want.

    Thus, the beta. And yeah, I preordered.

    I am actually going to be dual-leveling a Riftstalker/Bladedancer/Something tank rogue and then a Champion/Riftblade/Paragon alongside to see what I want first. I am actually thinking that…somehow, Rift might end up having me choose the rogue over the plate this time(DA2 might as well, the rogues there are just out and out insane if you build them for flat killing.) The idea of tanking as a rogue-a real tank, with parrying, Strength on my leather and all-is just pretty awesome and you just don’t get to do that in games, like, at all.

    Judging by your comments and blogs, you get really into casters if they are the Mezmer/CC type, which I also notice you don’t see a lot these days. You seem to be on top of casters if you can get a Mezmer/CC type; I guess I can be the same with rogue-types of I can get a Monk(not a rogue but lightly armored DPSer)/Brutal type of rogue. (Contrary to popular belief, plate isn’t my first choice-it only ends up being my first choice since barely any game offers my first choices.)

  11. Rogue for me.

    I usually incline towards tanks and healers so I tried the cleric first which is a lot of fun. But the Rogue when I tried it on a friend’s recommendation is absolutely superb, especially the Saboteur.

    And then of course I get to be a tank/healer/dps/stealther/pvper in the same character.

    The seal on the decision was deciding with a RL friend to play on a pvp server. I think people have forgotten how broken stealth is in world pvp. In an arena you know someone is there somewhere but in world pvp they never know. You can log off and still have them nervously looking over their shoulders for ages. Plus it’s a real boon for escaping being corpse camped.

    So Rogue it is. And if I see lfm (full on dps) I’ll just laugh and join the group 🙂

  12. I’m going with a Warrior, (Paladin/Walord/VK, 44/22/0 at max level) to tank with, primarily.

    I think I’ll probably go with a Rogue or Cleric as my alt, and Rogue tanking looks pretty interesting. I’d quite like to try healing on a cleric as well though ^^

  13. Are you sure it isn’t Scurvy?

    Sorry to hear about your bout with the Flu, Spinks. My spouse just got over a week of it herself. Absolutely no fun.

    The good news is that we have an excellent Epic group mission ready for you upon your return…promise it doesn’t involve any complex formulas and absolutely no rows and columns!

    What it does involve, however, is some cosmetic rewards, along with a shiney new title and lots of xp and doubloons.

    Don’t forget the two “R’s” to help fight the cruds…

    Rest and Rum!

  14. DGF and I followed the book map for the starting zone, mostly because you can’t go back there once you get to the main world. I don’t plan on looking a whole at guides, unless I get stuck on something. Plus, I am a bit spoiled by WoWwiki for lore and WoWhead for guidance, other games just don’t have that level of dedication from outside sources.

    As far classes go, I like what you said about designing, versus simply choosing, you class. It’s true, I see alll sorts of combinations and somepeople will max one souls while others will get good pairings even with a given soul combo. Lots of room to experiment and lots of room to screww up. Thankfully, they already have a respec mechanism in place if you change your mind.

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