Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Fewer Choices, More Impact

I was debating what to play last night, and Blue Kae suggested that I try logging into different games until something stuck.  The winner was Runes of Magic, where I finally got around to picking up my third class.
Halanna and her Oak Walker

Expanded options
Until the most recent Chapter update, Runes of Magic characters were effectively two classes in one - my character spent most of her time on her Druid/Rogue (a shadow DPS caster) and a bit of her time on her Rogue/Druid (a normal stabby rogue with moderate self-healing but poor DPS).  Under the new system, characters can still only use two classes at once, but you are now choosing from a list of three instead of a list of two, which means six class pairings.

I opted to pick up the Warden, a generally melee-based pet class.  Paired with the Rogue, the Warden is a dual-wielding (or 2-handed fighter if you prefer) flurry of blades, with additional damage skills powered by the rogue energy bar (a trait it shares with the Druid/Rogue, which was what really sold me on this pairing in the first place).  Paired with the Druid, the Warden gets a nice heal and some buffs, but noticeably lower DPS.

(I haven't used the Warden as a secondary yet because it still needs to be leveled.  Rogue/Warden will likely have the same offense for survival trade-off compared to the Rogue/Druid.  The Druid/Warden could be good for buffs and off-heals, but I won't really be able to use it that way because all of my skill upgrades have been spent on damage spells, and there is currently no dual-spec option for skills.) 

It's not everyday that the list of stuff that is broken is "everything".  (I'm only slightly bitter that I took several exp death penalties before giving up for the night because "everything" includes "emergency health potions".) 

Limited Flexibility encourages tradeoffs
As a solo player, it would definitely be easier to play if there was more of a compromise position where I could have some of each.  My first impression was that it was almost like a Rift soul tree with only three points to spend - two on my primary class and one on one of the two secondaries - when I'd prefer to spend one point on each of the three.

As I've gotten into the system, though, I actually find it interesting. Wardens have three basic pets - the Spirit of the Oak (a giant plant tanking pet), the nature crystal (a passive buff pet - specialty of the Warden/Druid), and the Oak Walker (a melee DPS pet.  (Warden/Scouts get a fourth pet, a Centaur archer.)  As you get to higher levels, you can have one pet active and a buff from "sacrificing" one of the other pets.  This means that I can make trade-offs between DPS and survivability per fight if needed. 

Sacrificing the tank grants me a massive boost to armor, which lets me off-tank mobs while the oak walker stabs them to death (very quickly) - on the Warden/Rogue, I'm finding that faster kills and improved durability more than outweigh the downside of tanking mobs myself.  The other two pet buffs grant offensive bonuses, so my Warden/Druid may be able to run more aggressively, knowing she has healing when she needs it.  (That said, the Warden/Druid ends up relying a bit more on autoattacks than I prefer, as Wardens abilities burn mana very quickly, even if you aren't also using the same bar for your secondary/elite skills.) 

Overall, I suppose the bottom line is that sometimes more limitations isn't a bad thing, if they present you with interesting tradeoffs and choices that are worth considering.


  1. Glad it worked for you! I run into similar situations often, and either do that or just run all of the launches and then randomly click on one with my eyes closed.

  2. Considering the dilemma I face when I sit at my machine at the end of a long, hard day, maybe I ought to follow Blue Kae's advice as well...


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