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Rift: Three Souls You Need to Play

Posted Fri, Jul 22, 2011 by Medawky

With so many fantasy MMOGs out there it takes something special to stand apart from the crowd. Rift brings a lot to the table with emergent gameplay, the robust soul system and tons of available content listed among its many strong suits. None of that amounts to much however if players are playing the game, and one of the most crucial aspects of buying into a game is having fun classes to play. Luckily many of the numerous souls in Rift are engaging and fun to play, and this week we will spotlight three must-play souls.

We realize that what makes one class fun to play to one person may not mean anything to someone else, but we used a set of simple criteria to separate these souls from the rest. First we want something that isn’t easily replicated in other games – which is a daunting task when given the similarities in fantasy game mechanics. Secondly we are looking for something that doesn’t lull the player to sleep with a simple rotation of spells/abilities, but has some pop and interactivity. Lastly we went looking for something that defies convention, fantasy archetypes are far too easy to pigeonhole. Warriors tank, Mages DPS and Clerics heal – well no longer!


Bard


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The first class in our list hails from the rogue calling and is one of the best support souls in the game. The bard itself isn’t a new concept in fantasy games, troubadours that inspire their allies and demoralize their foes has been a staple of the genre. The Bard in Rift however takes it up a notch in terms of form and function. With a bevy of carpal tunnel inducing abilities the Bard uses Fanfares and Anthems for long term raid wide buffs, motifs for short term stat and power gains and Codas as finishing moves to round out their tune. This soul takes an active player who constantly scans the battlefield and makes adjustments on the fly to help maximize their group’s performance.  Bards aren’t the most powerful solo artists and they definitely prefer to be the accompaniment, but it is possible to set this as your main soul and have an entirely enjoyable experience due to the unique gameplay.

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Chloromancer


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The next soul in our list comes to us from the mage calling and fits the bill as a class that defies tradition. Mages are known far and wide as masters of direct and AoE damage, the proverbial glass cannon that makes their way through world annihilating foes without ever soiling their dress…err robes. The Chloromancer kicks that assumption to the curve and twists their elemental command to raise up their allies with powerful healing magic. Early balance issues in Rift made this class one of the most popular healers about and even though things have been adjusted throughout the callings, a well-played Chloromancer is still a viable healer in many situations. The interesting aspect of this soul isn’t so much that it can heal, but rather how it goes about doing it. The Chloromancers healing prowess is directly affected by the amount of damage they can put out – which naturally leads to some engaging and tense moments in this fast paced environment. The idea of a mage who can heal by putting out massive damage is appealing, but there is a slight caveat with the Chloromancer; they can’t directly heal themselves.

Rift


Justicar


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The final soul in our first installment of must-play souls is found nestled in the Cleric calling. From time immemorial, the sacred healers of fantasy games have gazed longingly upon the shiny metal armor of their usually larger and more powerful allies and daydreamed of one day shouting “Huzzah beast! Attack me instead!” With the Justicar, the meek have inherited the shields and have transformed into a powerful tanking soul. Obviously modern MMOGs have given most healing classes some teeth with a formidable off-spec of damage or blurred the lines by making hybrid classes with multiple personality disorders, but few have risen quite to the level of the Justicar. Boasting strong damage output, a powerful self-buff and exceptional spot healing, the Justicar can go toe to toe with the other tanking souls in the game and easily hold their own. The Justicar didn’t simply make this list on the merit of going against the cleric grain either, through the use of excellent reactive abilities and well-timed finishers, the Justicar is engaging and fun to play.

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That wraps up our first look at the souls that make Rift exceptionally fun to play, let us know which souls you find the most engaging and we may highlight them in the near future.

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