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Rift: River of Souls Patch 1.1 Overview Part 2

Posted Mon, Apr 11, 2011 by Medawky

Thirty days into one of the smoothest launches in MMOG history, the team at Trion ups the ante with the first major content patch of their new title. Rift launched with more content than any other new game ever had, and the content team flexed its collective muscle by introducing The River of Souls patch so quickly. With such an ambitious and robust amount of additions, tweaks and fixes we will spend the next few weeks looking at the major points of the patch. Our second look focuses on the changes made to the souls of Rift. Next week we will unravel new dynamic content and take a look at the changes to PvE dungeons.

From the official patch notes:

  •  Warriors: The following abilities have been changed to fix an issue where the character could use them and die before they actually triggered, making it seem like they missed: Touch of Life, Master of the Abyss, No Permission to Die, Rift Shield, and Predictable Movements.
  •  Warriors: Taunts now continue cooldown timers while logged out.
  •  Mages: Reduced pushback on all non-healing Mage spells.
  •  Mages: Increased the base damage on all damaging Mage abilities.
  •  Clerics: All Cleric Cleanses should now properly remove associated effects.

There were a ton of changes, tweaks and outright nerfs in patch 1.1, which both delighted and angered players depending on which side of the bat their favorite soul resided. Mages were once again big winners while some rogue and warrior souls were brought down in damage output significantly. It seems most of the changes were probably fueled by PvP, which is disappointing since we were told that PvP nerfs wouldn’t effect PvE abilities. While class balancing is an expected part of the MMOG experience, I worry that the effects of so many buffs to mages to help increase their overall presence in Telara will ultimately backfire when the inevitable reductions in power happen.
While there were lots of minor edits done to nearly every soul, let’s look at some of the more intriguing changes in each calling.

Rift callings



Cleric


Rift Druid

Cleric changes were mostly a mixed bag of neutrality this round, with a smattering of bug fixes and tweaks. Druids and Purifiers had the most to read about, with druids getting Fury of the Fae moved to the pet castbar – making management of the spell a more automated process. Healing spec’d Clerics that still wonder why Chloromancers feel superior in healing ability and DPS skills. While this may be mostly collective QQ from the clerics, there is some merit to concerns that mages are dominating many group compositions - my advice; spec deep into Justicar.

DRUID


  • Trickster Spirit, Slothful Spirit, Spiteful Spirit: Reduced the damage to better account for the attached debuffs.
  • Fury of the Fae: Now a pet-cast buff that increases the group/raid's Attack Power and Spell Power for 30 seconds with a 10 second cooldown. Shares stacking with Bard's Motif of Bravery.
  • Satyr: Increased the ratio of the owner's Spell Power converted into the Satyr's Attack Power.
  • Weight of the World: Fixed a bug preventing this from applying to ranks 2 through 6 of Crag Hammer.

PURIFIER


  • Shield of the Ancestors and related buffs now appear in the combat log.
  • Caregiver's Blessing: No longer procs off of procced heals.
  • Surging Flames: Now converts 50% of overhealing.
  • Divine Cascade: Reduced Spell Power contribution. Now has a stack size of 1 per caster instead of 1 total, but only triggers when target is healed by the caster rather than anyone.
  • Spirit Rupture: Fixed the contribution from Spell Power.

The overall balance of the Cleric calling is good and there are some great souls to be found here. This round of changes did little to diminish the appeal of the Cleric, but future patches will hopefully help promote the healing side of the calling a bit better.

Mage


Rift Mage
The truth of the matter is that Mages were woefully underrepresented for the first few weeks of the game and something had to be done to incentivize them.  Were the changes too much too quickly? To many players who didn’t reroll mages, yes they were. Hopefully other classes will be brought up to match the mages, but that usually isn’t how it works in MMOG-land.



CHLOROMANCER

  • Withering Vines: Increased the amount healed.
  • Livegiving Veil: Now affects up to 5 targets.
  • Radiant Spores: Now has a base chance to proc of 10%.
  • Phytogenesis: Now increases the chance for Radiant Spores to proc by 2-6%.

Chloromancer is without a doubt one of the most intriguing souls in the game, giving a heavy hitting DPS calling some truly amazing versatility. With further buffing here in 1.1 it is becoming increasingly rare to find a mage who doesn’t have at least one roll built around this soul.

PYROMANCER


  • Heat Wave: Reduced cooldown to 2 minutes.
  • Inferno: Removed from global cooldown.
  • Improved Grounding: Now a tier 2 branch ability.
  • Improved Smoldering Power: Now a tier 3 branch ability.
  • Ground of Power: Now obtained at 6 points.
  • Smoldering Power: Now obtained at 8 points.
  • Burning Shield - New Ability: Consumes the mage's Ground spell to shield them in flames, absorbing damage. Lasts up to 30 seconds. While Burning Shield is active, the next Ground spell is instant-cast. Obtained at 6 points.
  • Ground of Strength: The stun proc from this spell is now affected by diminishing returns, to match other stuns in the game.

In a case of the rich getting richer, the Pyromancer just got paid. Without a doubt the hardest hitting DPS soul in the game currently it is hard to spec mage and not go heavy pyro.

Rogue


Rift Rogue
 
If we were to measure the effects of the patch on rogues in terms of the environment they would receive a rating of carbon neutral for 1.1. Not bothered by extreme losses or emboldened by extreme gains, Rogues tend to have stayed the course as a powerful and fun calling full of diverse gameplay. The only downside to this calling is when compared to the other major DPS group – the Mages. If we have learned anything in our years in fantasy MMOGs however, it should be that judging apples against oranges never works out well in the end.

BARD


  • Due to the below changes, characters with points spent in Bard have received a free soul point respec.
  • Invigorated Soul, Coda of Restoration: Now affects up to 5 targets.
  • Using Verse of Fascination or Verse of Captivation now turns off auto-attack, since these effects break on damage.
  • Verse of Fascination is now tagged correctly as a Mesmerize effect. It can now be removed by abilities that clear Mesmerizes and will not affect enemies that are immune to them.
  • Motif of Tenacity: Now unlocked at 12 points.
  • Anthem of Defiance: Now unlocked at 18 points.
  • Motif of Regeneration: Now unlocked at 24 points. Now casts on the Bard and heals up to 10 raid or group members nearby with each tick. Uses smart healing to select targets – those with the lowest health of available targets nearby.
  • Anthem of Fervor: Fixed tooltip so the cost reduction is shown correctly when points are spent in Street Performer. Also fixed the cost reduction not being applied correctly to raid members when points are spent in Street Performer.

Bards continue to be one of the most challenging and rewarding souls in Telara, and the patch changes helped to sort out some of the more annoying mechanic issues.

Warrior


Rift Warrior

The cries of the Warriors have been heard all across the lands and on the forums. The vast majority may be hyperbole, but the number of warriors in warfronts and instance runs is definitely lower than it was in the first 30 days.  The main problem is that Riftblades were one of the first real “flavor of the moment” souls and as a result of their insane damage output centered around one ability, they brought to light many of the issues with warrior balance. I have a feeling that the next round of major changes will show warriors some love as their numbers start to decline.
 

BEASTMASTER


  • Flesh Rip: Will now properly show up in the reactive ability UI when your pet critically hits. Fixed an issue where this was gaining weapon damage to each tick of the bleed effect. Base damage reduced.
  • Backhanded Blow: Now correctly triggers global cooldown. Fixed a bug causing Rank 3 to do 20% more damage than intended. Base damage reduced. Corrected Power cost on ranks 2 through 8 to cost the proper 25 Power.
  • Slashing Strike: Fixed a bug where this ability was doing the damage of a single target ability. The damage has been reduced to match other cleave-style abilities.
  • Fight as One: The benefits gained from Fight as One have been reduced to 5-15% for Hit, Critical Hit, and Damage. This ability has been taken off of global cooldown.
  • Diversion Strike: Increases Critical Hit chance of the Beastmaster and their pet by 5% instead of 10%. Damage lowered.
  • Tenacious Wounds: Now increases bleed damage by 2-4% instead of 3-6%.
  • Feral Sweep: Resolved a bug where this was dealing extra damage on each tick of the Bleed effect. Base damage lowered.
  • Tearing Slash, Fierce Strike: Damage lowered.
  • Protective Companion: Fixed a bug where the armor bonus from Protective Companion was not being applied for ranks 2 through 5. Corrected the armor bonus from Protective Companion remaining on the Beastmaster after their pet was killed or dismissed.
  • Protective Companion caused Companion's Bite to debuff the target's damage. This ended up not working as hoped, and the ability has been changed to a buff for the pet that reduces the damage they take by 2% per Bleed effect on the target, up to a maximum of 5 (10% damage reduction).

The Riftblade gets most of the attention on the forums, but the Beastmaster may have been hit the hardest. While some of the reductions were from bug fixes, the majority are direct nerfs to already middle of the road soul. My insight as to why this may have happened comes in the form of the buffs given to another warrior soul – the Paragon. I have a feeling there may have been too many Beastmasters running about the world and too few Paragons. It will be interesting to see if players will be baited into switching it up.

PARAGON


  • Strike Like Iron: Ability is no longer on the global cooldown. Increased from a 10-30% damage buff up to a 16-48% damage buff, with the value doubled for follow-up attacks. No longer overwritten by lesser effects.
  • Death Touch: Due to the Strike Like Iron changes, damage of Death Touch has been lowered.
  • Force of Will: Due to the Strike Like Iron changes, damage bonus to follow-up attacks from Force of Will has been reduced from 20 per point to 10 per point.
  • Path of the Wind, Path of the Raptor: Now have cooldowns of 6 seconds and a slight increase in damage due to the longer reuse time.
  • Dual Strike: Fixed a bug causing this to do less damage than intended - as a result, damage from this ability has increased.
  • Deadly Grace: Increased from 7% of Dual Strike damage per point to 9% Dual Strike damage per point.
  • Weapon Master: Increased from a 4-20% chance to gain a second attack point up to a 10-50% chance.
  • Combat Precision: Fixed a bug that caused this to ignore 100% of target’s armor. Combat Precision now correctly ignores 1-5% of the target’s armor.
  • Rising Waterfall: Damage increased.
  • Turn the Blade: Damage increased.
  • Flurry: Damage lowered.

Paragons had a couple of small downward adjustments, but overall the increases were huge. Will this be enough to persuade players into giving this monk in plate armor a go? I hope so, it really is a fun soul to play and the reactive feel of the abilities keeps you on your toes.

How did your favorite soul fare in this latest round of tinkering? Did changes bring joy, tears, anger or a reroll? Let us know in our forums, and check back next week as we look at the new rift and PvE content introduced with the patch.
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