Rift: Soul system working as intended

Quick Rift observation for today, and next week I’ll wrap up the PvE Sandbox MMO series (which, btw, I think has gone really well, so thanks everyone for the feedback so far).

Last night we ran expert Iron Tombs again, which for me is now 6-8 runs, but this time we had a very different setup than our normal 5. Three rogues, a mage, and myself, a warrior. Our mage went Chloro (healer), we had a bard (healer), and two dps rogues with two different builds, both which could go bard if we needed more healing. Our normal group is warrior, warrior, cleric, rogue, mage/rogue.

While it was still the same instance, it felt different during the boss fights, and even trash was not identical. It was, honestly, pretty refreshing. Bosses that would give us trouble before went down easy, while the boss that we usually steamroll caused a wipe and a razor-thin second attempt victory.

Now granted, in other themeparks you can do something similar by bringing different classes, but Rift makes it much easier thanks to the soul system and how easy it is to switch up not just specs, but entire roles. Usually our mage goes dps, and if he was a mage in another themepark, odds are the best he could do would be to switch to a different flavor of dps. Not so in Rift, and this not only adds an enjoyable option for him, it allows our guild to combine more groups of 5 and still successfully complete an instance. Our guild roster, which is rogue heavy, would be a total disaster in WoW. In Rift, it’s perfectly fine and does not limit us in terms of content.

It sounds like just a ‘nice to have’, until you are faced with the fact that your rogue-heavy guild is forced to sit some people more than others based on their character creation choice. That crappy leader/officer decision is averted here, and to me that’s way more than a ‘nice to have’.

To tie this into the current blog-o-sphere hot topic (again) of cross-server matchmaking and the general issue of a tank/healer shortage, it’s nice that Rift makes this so easy. If I want to sit out from tanking, we can have a rogue step in, or a cleric. If our cleric wants to take the night off, in comes a mage or rogue. My warrior can dps, as can the cleric. It’s not “any class you can image”, that was stupid PR speak (and most of us knew that), but yea, it is a solid step up from locked-in DPS classes having three flavors of DPS, tanks that can only tank, and healers crippling the group if they don’t heal.

Class system 3.0.

About SynCaine

Former hardcore raider turned casual gamer.
This entry was posted in Combat Systems, Inquisition Clan, MMO design, Rift. Bookmark the permalink.

15 Responses to Rift: Soul system working as intended

  1. John says:

    I can’t believe you aren’t being compensated in some way for these blog posts about Rift. I’m not saying that Rift is bad or anything, but you have always maintained a healthy disdain for anything “WoW”.

    Well you would have to be a blind monkey to not realize the Rift plays almost identical to WoW.

    So I find it very surprising that you enjoy Rift.

    • SynCaine says:

      I played and enjoyed WoW for close to two years. Then Blizzard started gutting 2004 WoW patch by patch, until we have what is there today. Rift is WoW 2004, for 2011. Why is that so hard to understand?

      • Max says:

        Because Rift is not WoW 2004. Its WoW TBC sans arena. It has instanced BGs, tokens all that. It doesnt have vanilla WoW city capital city raids or even world pvp (occasional clash at zone rift events dont even count -as people kill boss first and only afterwards kill each other – BS )

      • Dril says:

        Because it isn’t. I can’t possibly understand how you can feel it’s anywhere near the awesome that was Vanilla WoW.

        Examples include, but are not limited to:
        -RIFT’s world (and current WoW’s) are dead and lacks charm; all of the gimmicks feel a bit hackneyed and forced, rather than being something a dev liked and wanted to just insert as a small nod to something.
        -class homogenisation in both games: especially on my Warrior in RIFT, everything felt basically the same due using the exact same combat mechanics. Spam combo builder 3 times, use finisher. Soloing or grouping, dpsing or tanking, it was exactly the same.
        -there’s nothing compelling about the dungeons. They aren’t vast, sprawling labyrinth’s that you can get lost in, where you have to hope for loot, where you can just immerse yourself in being in an iconic locale. They’re simply hallways filled with mobs, interspersed with the odd boss. Oh, and both games have a token system which means you’re just grinding experts (or heroics) for points rather than gear.
        -to use Dragonball Z as an example: there’s only Snake Way to get to the next objective. You fall of, your stuffed.
        -cross-server. Blech. No sense of realm community and pride.
        -it’s incredibly quick and easy to get to 50 (relative to classic WoW) and then immediately jump on the same old gearing treadmill. Where’s the attunement? Where’s the epic class quests?
        -linking to the above: recognisable and rare armour. A Hunter in full Dragonstalker with Rhok (and Lok)’Delar was a sight to behold and instantly awe-inspiring. Now, it’s “oh, the X Raid Instance set. I’ll have that in a couple of months when they nerf the place/add it to the points vendor/hand it out for free.”

        I know I sound bitter. I know it’s a tired set of arguments. But I am tired and I am bitter. I went in to RIFT expecting to find my Classic WoW and rejoice in it for years to come. Instead, I was so disappointed and pissed off that I’ll be looking toward GW2 and TOR with a much more weary eye.

        I’m glad you enjoy it, Syn. But for me, it’s just nothing like Classic. Hell, I’d take TBC any day as well. But it’s not even close to either of those.

        • Nils says:

          It doesn’t have an anonymous, teleporting LFD, it doesn’t have heirlooms and it does allow for some choice when building a character. Also it got something going on in the world instead of nothing.

          Of course Rift is far from my favourite game. And I made a multi-week break just after the first 30 days. But it’s much better than current WoW, while having AAA-production value.

          There just aren’t so many options nowadays.
          Rift is not good on a absolute scale. But it’s better than WoW. For now this is enough to be a success.

        • D says:

          There are a lot of things I miss about Vanilla WoW. Attunements are not one of them. The key to UBRS is not one of them.

          I would resub to a WoW progression server tbh. Was good times. Honestly I’m still waiting for someone to make a wow but with large servers and/or one faction. Multiple factions(3 is okay I guess 2 ftl) and cross-server-annonymous bullshit(In another gmae besides WoW?) are definitely my top two most hated features in themeparks. Why does there always need to be a two sided conflict? I’d rather have everyone versus the game with some contrived mercenary system for pvp battlegrounds. Sorry world pvp but unless developers take their heads out of their ass and make a 3 faction game then world pvp will have to suffer.

          That was a little rambling

    • Barrista says:

      I played WoW for 3 years and EQ2 for 3 months. I get more of an EQ2 feeling in this. I also realize that most of the things like achievements and such that make Rift similar to WoW were present in other games (LotRO for example) before they were in WoW.

      The only thing I am missing is housing and the ability to betray your faction.

  2. Nils says:

    It probably wouldn’t hurt to talk a bit more about what Rift could do better. Otherwise I agree. Rift is in many ways similar to classic WoW, which is great.

    Right now, however, I miss some long-term vision. Will the focus be on raiding (I hope not) or on world events (yes, please). Will the world events have more consequences in the future, now that it is proven that they work?

    Also I would like Trion to reconsider the very high focus on item-rewards. I don’t need some reward out of thin air for every rift I close. I’d rather want the feeling of having helped somebody.

    • SynCaine says:

      Phase two of the event is this weekend, and really that’s going to show a lot in terms of what Trion has planned to keep people interested. The biggest flaw for Rift right now, IMO, is that the content burn is faster for most than previous MMOs.

      In 2004 I ran MC 100 times, I’m only good for 10-20 runs in Rift. If Rift delivers content like WoW, even 2004 WoW, it’s not going to last. But I think Trion knows that, and has the tools to increase that rate considerably. If they don’t, they won’t see people sticking around.

      • Bhagpuss says:

        Looking forward to your take on Phases 2 and 3.

        On general comments above, I think the main problem with all MMOs and MMO commentary now is ridiculously high expectations. Rift is a solid MMO that had some over-the-top PR hype before launch. Surely we all know enough to discount PR hype, whether it’s for games, movies, cars, whatever?

        Expecting more than a professionally produced product from a games company seems to me to be beyond naive. These big MMOs aren’t hobby projects or new religions, they’re commercial entertainments. If you don’t find one entertaining, leave it be and try something else.

        Why there has to be more to it than that, I have no idea.

  3. rulez says:

    “bard (healer)”

    I wish they would remove all the healing components from the Bard soul to make my face stop palming every time someone refers to the unique support soul as off/support healer.
    I am disappoint. :(

  4. Angry Gamer says:

    BTW – your sandbox series is great thanks for writing it

    Quote:”It sounds like just a ‘nice to have’, until you are faced with the fact that your rogue-heavy guild is forced to sit some people more than others based on their character creation choice.”

    What? You mean a game that ACTUALLY does deeply support the idea of “Bring the player not the class????”

    Perish the thought… One of the things that really flipped me out when I started playing Rift is the soul systems’ ability to grow and morph TO ENABLE greater player options.

    It’s cool and made me think in new ways… WHY CAN’T A ROGUE TANK in other MMOs?

    Is it because a rogue in D&D is sneaky only? Why can’t a mage heal? Why can’t a warrior have a pet?

    These out of the box implementations just blow me away in Rift. It really is revolutionary… And other games will have a hard time keeping up with this paradigm shift.

  5. Kyir says:

    Being locked in to the trinity is still the best system.

    Neener neener.

  6. SM says:

    We did normal Lantern Hook yesterday with two bards and it worked really well. Both bards did enough healing to be able to dps at the same time so everyone had fun. It’s nice to see instances that can be played flexibly instead of a fixed trinity folowing set rotations.

  7. Raize says:

    Honestly, I enjoyed Darkfall more than Rift. I’ve already let my account expire for the game.

    Yes, the class system is revolutionary, not being stuck playing one role is completely awesome, however it also doesn’t add anything to an already lackluster PvP system.

    At least Warhammer had keeps and raids actually meant something. Honestly, I’m starting to think there are only two games out there that provide what I want and Darkfall has no population and Eve has no action.

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