We’re a couple weeks away from Storm Legion, RIFT’s first expansion. Patch 1.11 (yes, 11 content patches since the launch, WoW rarely got past 3) is out and is prepping all the souls for the new expansion.
I have a 50 Cleric as a main, a 50 Warrior as well, a mid range Mage and a low level Rogue. I had a decent set of builds for the first 2, opting for a healing/tanking set for the Cleric. I really liked the flow of tanking with a Cleric but there were some rather serious limitations at launch – namely spell resist. There have been a lot of balancing patches, a few with rather large re-writes to skills but the overall balance between everyone is pretty good, considering the thousands of combinations possible.
1.11 is pretty much re-writing every skill tree though. You still spend 51 points (until the cap is lifted in the expansion) but there are plenty of new things to pick from. As a general rule, the game is moving away from the RNG issues it had before, into a more streamlined stacking buff mechanic. The changes for classes are so large, that each class has it’s own post, typically 5-6 pages long of changes. Wilhelm goes over some of the player perspective points.
Let me contrast this with WoW for a second. My Rogue has the exact same playstyle as before. Poison the daggers, build CP to keep Slice and Dice running, finish with Envenom/Rupture. My Shaman has the same priority. Flame Shock on, Lava Burst, Shock Burst at 7+ stacks, Lightning Bolt. The only class with a real change is Warlocks. There’s just a distinct lack of choice now.
Back to RIFT. I like how the devs are taking their builds to task. I like how they listen to player feedback and promote players to moderate positions. I like the forums as they generally are not cess-pools of vitriol. Players seem to do a great job of self-moderating and the bad apples are rooted out fairly quickly. I like the feature set for the next expansion – especially player housing.
I think the thing I like the most about RIFT is the clear amount of fun you can have when a system is made by people who genuinely understand their market and aren’t hopping on some hype train.