At Magson's suggestion, I respeced the Cabalist build I'd been experimenting with into the famous AOE-grinding Inquisitor/Justicar. I agree that the Inquisitor is obviously more powerful and effective - I pulled multiple mobs, somehow failed to Vex enough, died, ran back, and still leveled way faster in this build than any other I've tried because the build literally kills four mobs as fast as it kills one. I actually had a lot more fun playing the less powerful Cabalist, perhaps precisely because it felt weaker. This is the downside to the highly flexible soul system - some builds will simply be objectively better than others, leaving the player to choose between interesting and effective.
Aside: part of the increased leveling speed may have been due to the encouragement to kill more mobs just because I could. At my level, a mob kill with rested exp was awarding around 800 XP, while a quest completion was worth upper 3000's. Where I previously tried to pull carefully to minimize time spent in combat with extraneous mobs, with this build they were simply free exp and cash.
I did finally pick up the cash to purchase my fourth role slot, which means that I can now tank, heal, nuke-DPS or stab-DPS on the same single character, if I ever wanted to. I don't know that I'll ever want to tank, but I suppose it's good to have the option. My guess is that my four specs after my next round of respecs will end up being:
- Nuke: Cabalist/12 Justicar/ remainder Sentinel
- Melee: Druid/12 Justicar/remainder Shaman (or possibly 31+ Druid/12 Justicar/14+ Shaman)
- Healer: 31+ Purifier/12 Inquisitor/Warden (amount of Warden TBD, I like to have either 12 Inq or 8 Cab for mana regen abilities, and the other stuff I get for Inq feels more interesting)
- Tank: Full Justicar, most off-tree points to Shaman, undecided on a third soul
Unfortunately, the soul system has left me feeling that I'd happily trade in eight reasonably well implemented, versatile and effective options that I'm not that excited about for one option that I really get excited to play, as I have in LOTRO, WoW (twice over), ROM, and EQ2. If Rift's 32 souls were instead 32 classes and I had to pick just one, it likely would not be any of the eight Cleric souls. Because I chose a calling, rather than a class, I've ended up in an odd situation in which the healer is probably the most interesting of my four roles; not the best fit when my schedule keeps me primarily confined to solo play, with only the occasional zone invasion where it is actually useful to switch over from a hybrid DPS role that can off-heal into a real healer.
|Four Roles: I can has them.|
The challenge for Trion is that it's a crowded marketplace. The month of WoW I picked up to finish the proto-drake and my second level 85 lasts for another day or so. I've got some more Vanguard trial time, which will likely determine whether I sub up for EQ2 alone or pay for the Station upgrade to juggle both games. I'm in no huge hurry to LOTRO right now, but there is an expansion arriving at some point in the fall, and there are other games that I'm also not paying a sub for.
Then there's Rift, a high quality, well-polished game that's quietly getting better with more features almost every month, but somehow always seems to come up number 2 or 3 in my queue. Ironically, the steady stream of patches encourages me to wait - if I'm going to pay for just one more month of Rift this year, it might as well be December when they've added the most updates, such as the possibly ill-advised AA system.
That said, I am reasonably impressed with what I'm seeing. The world event seems well implemented, and I was able to celebrate my new level with an epic level 40 necklace that has passive water-breathing as a side perk - this souvenir will probably stay in my bags for the life of the character to deal with those pesky swimming quests. I got to hang out with Ferrel and Iniquity for a few days, and I got to see some pretty sights. One of these days, I'll be in the mood for more Rift, and I don't expect to be disappointed when that day comes.
|A crossroads for now, and a quick peek at the next zone on my tour wishlist.|