Monday, March 7, 2011

Rift Progression Curve Notes

My Rift Cleric hit level 24 over the weekend, but I've side-tracked a bit working on some alts (a level 12 Mage with Outfitter and a brand new level 7 Rogue).  A few observations:
  • After seeing how Blizzard did Cataclysm, I'm really glad to have the exp curve set in a way that allows me to do stuff like Rifts without outleveling the zone I'm in.  I might skip the last hub or two of Gloamwood when I get that far, but that's more because the zone somehow hasn't caught my attention - it's pretty, but I've seen dark and gloomy many times before. 
  • As I noted in my first launch impressions, getting all the souls for a class in the extremely low levels feels like an odd progression choice.  By the mid 20's, my pure soul builds are already nearing the top "branches" of their soul trees.  There are still a few more abilities to be gained from the "roots" (and many abilities scale with the total points spent in that soul, up to 51 if you go back and take everything including the stuff you didn't want the first time). 

    The good news is that I can now look at a 10-12 point base in another tree without doing too much damage to my intended main focus, so this opens up options, but it is starting to feel like progress is slowing down.
  • Of all the Cleric builds I've tried, the 20+ Shaman/10 Justicar build seems to be the most effective.  I don't have much for ranged, which can be a problem in Rifts with bouncing aggro, but I do good damage and I can solo a single elite mob (or multiple non-elites) through self-healing.  On the downside, it's starting to bore me because it's getting a bit easy (which is part of why I'm trying the other classes suddenly).  
Overall, things are still fun, and it still looks like I have a decent amount of game ahead of me.  


Stabs said...

I've had some thoughts on interesting things to do with Clerics.

- you could try healing. I initially started with a Sentinel which according to the perceived wisdom of the rift forums is the best healer. I now much prefer a Purifier. I've macroed all the long cooldown abilities and can now run forever while spamming heals which is a much more pvp-friendly style. Warden looks interesting too.

- you could try tanking. The Justicar spammable ability that hits 5 things will make aoe tanking a breeze.

- I don't recommend cabalist but it's worth a look. Similarly Inqusitor looks a bit lacklustre compared to Shaman.

- Druids look like fun. You probably need the 31 point Satyr though as much of the tree is about buffing the pet which is rather pointless if your pet is a fairy.

- You could try different optimisation and parse your data. Shaman with the +20% crit damage bonuses from Inquisitor and Sentinel is a Shammy with +60% crit damage bonus. A 100 hit becomes a 210 crit.

Magson said...

I've got a level 18 cleric going with both the Shaman/Justicar/Warden and Inquis/Cabalist/Warden builds and while I like them both, I love the Shaman's big bashing with a hammer style, while still having the warden's instant nuke so that I can spam that while I'm running to the next mob.

That said, I also quite enjoy simply standing back and nuking like a mage with the inquisitor from time to time. Sometimes you just feel a bit lazy, ya know?

Doug said...

The bulding story line in every quest of the zone and story arc climax is worth completing every quest in Gloamwood. You'll also end up with a nice blue.

You need to be at least level 26 for the next zone or quests don't work.

Graham said...

No offense, but at level 24 you're short of the 31 & 32pt abilities from your main tree of choice. They generally make a pretty big difference, which is reflected in the ramping up in difficulty of quests/mobs/dungeons. By your mid 30's, you'll have some harder (but fun!) choices to make about what kind of crazy ubermensch you want to be.

Once there, it really is a good idea to have at least 3 soul 'Roles' purchased so you can easily switch between them depending on your objectives.

Green Armadillo said...

@Stabs: I should really respec my healer role (currently a Warden/something), probably to Purifier. I'm mostly interested in healing rifts, and the direct healing Sentinel isn't a good fit compared to HOT's or wards because the overheals get wasted. I actually did like Inquis/Justicar (currently in my third role slot) but it seems like more work than Shaman. I probably will try Druid next.

@Magson: I used Warden in the third slot of my Shaman build originally, but I think I swapped it out for a sentinel or purifier or somesuch so that the ranged spell would be life elemental for building convictions. As I mentioned above, Inquis/Justicar can be an interesting build once you can afford to spend 10 points in Justicar, you're like a mage but you're tough and self-heal-able.

@Doug: We'll see how things go. I do like to finish up zone storylines on principle, but my level is slowly starting to creep above the quests, and that might convince me to jump early. Or I might stick around, farm some rifts and maybe a dungeon or two, and try to power through to 30 so that I can skip Scarlet Gorge and start Scarwood Reach on level.

@Graham: I'm not saying that there are no milestones ahead, and the fun part of the soul system is that each individual point opens up more possibilities (e.g. going into your second tree to get an ability "early"). It just feels right now like the rate at which I'm getting new stuff is slowing down, which I would not have expected so early in the level ranges. Of course, that might not matter if it turns out that those last few abilities are game-changers, I guess I'll find out about that over the next 26 levels.

Koal said...

You should continue with your main a while longer. It will get more difficult. In the low to mid 40's I have not seen a class/spec yet which can solo an elite even if it is a couple levels lower than the character.