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Reader Comments (56)

Posted: Mar 30th 2011 10:13AM j1083 said

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More disappointing news from Rift, then. I was *extremely* intrigued by the thought that I could be a rogue healer, a rogue tank, a mage healer, etc... It seems that's not really the case.

The sad fact I see repeated over and over in MMORPGs is that if you're not the best at what you do, you're essentially useless and there's a very narrow echelon in which support is actually worth a flip. The trouble with being the fifth wheel is you need the other four, first.

I'm sick of roles stymying fun in MMORPGs. Can GW2 come out, yet?

Posted: Mar 30th 2011 10:31AM Tizmah said

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@j1083 Umm...you can. I played with a rogue tank the other night and we seriously owned that dungeon..
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Posted: Mar 30th 2011 10:33AM Irem said

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@j1083
From what I understand, you CAN be a rogue tank, rogue healer, ect.--it's just that not everyone wants to utilize all three of those roles and have them available to switch to in groups.
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Posted: Mar 30th 2011 10:36AM gamebynight said

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@j1083 No no, don't misunderstand what the author is saying. You can *absolutely* be a rogue healer or mage healer. Rogue tanks are definitely viable. Pre-experts (RIFTs equivalent to heroics) the only barrier to entry is that you have the spec and gear for it. If you want to be a rogue or mage healer, and be effective at it, you have to invest the points to do so, but it's not impossible. My guild ran, and is running, even expert level dungeons with rogue tanks/healers -- mages are a given since the Chloromancer is one of, if not the best, healer in the game right night.

When you start to get up into the tougher experts or raids, that's when soul choice really starts to matter. From what our raid leader has told me, bards are best as off-healers since other classes can simply perform better at that level. Still, if what you want is the ability to be a traditional class in a non-traditional role, you can.
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Posted: Mar 30th 2011 10:38AM aurickle said

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@j1083
I don't understand. If everyone in the group has at least a couple roles to choose from, how does that make anyone a fifth wheel? In practice you will usually be able to play to your strengths.

Honestly, compare it to WoW. There, if you're a mage that's it. You're always DPS. Have fun sitting in those long-assed dungeon queues while the priests and tanks jump from dungeon to dungeon with practically zero waiting. Of course, now that they've added dual specialization (and made it accessible) there are many classes that can queue for two or even three roles so that they get picked by the finder sooner.

The bottom line is that in any game the players who have a total "me first" attitude are going to be at a disadvantage compared to the players who try to be group friendly. How can it possibly be Trion's fault that mages have the option to be healers or rogues have the option to be tanks? If a player doesn't want to take advantage of those options that's his prerogative. But should he be blaming Trion for his lack of social grace?
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Posted: Mar 30th 2011 10:54AM j1083 said

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@aurickle Well, just to make sure it's clarified, I'm not a Rift player, disgruntled or otherwise. I'm sitting the sidelines and watching it pan out for the time being. A friend who tried to recruit me, however, definitely made a big deal of how I could use bard to be a "rogue healer." Based on this article and what I've seen in the forums, however, that's not the case. I can play a bard to be "support" and then beg someone else in the group to help heal or we wipe.

It's certainly not Trion's fault that players are antisocial and would prefer not to pitch in with their group, but it seems quite apparent that my friend's (and at one point, i thought, Trion's) claim that any calling could fulfill any role is not the case. I'm sick of being "support," "off healer," "add tank," etc. What kind of a power heart, anyway?
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Posted: Mar 30th 2011 12:05PM Vladeon said

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@j1083

Fact of the matter is this; people are so certain of the "fact" that you need one person to heal the group or to tank and the rest to dps or you're doing it wrong, that they're not willing to sacrifice a little dps to actually get through dungeons.

In Rift, there isn't a rigid, one tank, three dps and one healer where you expect the dps to forego all healing and the healer to forego all dpsing. A bard is a dps healer. A support class that can do decent damage and also heal through minor pulls. When you pair a rogue with a cleric or two bards, everything goes smoothly and everything dies.

People are stuck in the WoW paradigm of discreet roles that don't bleed into other roles that they are willing to FAIL in order to perpetuate those paradigms. Rift is a different game than WoW and has different rules. You should understand that before condemning a game for the inadequacies of your friend. If you don't like flexibility and a game that rewards you for thinking on the fly and adapting to challenges, then maybe Rift isn't the game for you.
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Posted: Mar 30th 2011 1:35PM dudemanjac said

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@j1083 Bard is listed as a support class from the start I have been in many warfronts where my bard came out on top of the list of healers and That was without him being at the highest lvl. I have been the main healer for many groups and dungeons, but there are some things where they need help. But they were never meant to be the Main healer so that's fine.

I am told that riftstalker makes an awesome tank. I have yet to try this out. I like ranged. But I may have to give it a go just to find out.
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Posted: Mar 30th 2011 1:42PM j1083 said

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@Vladeon
The case in point being that Justin Olivetti encountered players who had no interest in thinking on the fly or adapting to challenges and the inadequacies of the bard as an actual healer compounded the problem to result in failure for everyone. Those who could perhaps have healed didn't want to/weren't specced for it and the person who did want to simply couldn't by the nature of class design. The spirit was willing, but the class was weak.

If 2 support = 1 healer, then only having one support is pretty much just as bad as having no healer whatsoever, no? Support is a failure of a role if it only works when all other bases are already covered. That may be fine and dandy in an established group, but it's clearly death when it comes to casual encounters. "The trouble with being the fifth wheel is you need the other four, first."
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Posted: Mar 30th 2011 2:01PM oxlar said

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@Irem
Rogue healer?!?!?! o.0

Your on crack. Bards aren't healers, they are more like able to put a baindaid on multiple people, and bandaids don't cut it for real group content.
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Posted: Mar 30th 2011 2:03PM oxlar said

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@dudemanjac

And that ends as of today. They capped heals to 5 people. Raid environments were the only areas that bards shined for any type of healing. That is now gone.
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Posted: Mar 30th 2011 2:21PM (Unverified) said

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@Vladeon Exactly. I have 3 roles I use and all 3 have some sort of Chloromancer in them. It makes it easier on me solo, with my friend doing rifts or elites or being a healer in a dungeon. I can't imagine a Mage not iwlling to have at least 1 role that has Chloromancer in it even if it's only 14 points in for the instant cast Ruin spell. Lifegiving Veil is just too nice for group stuff to keep little HoTs going.

My 3 specs are Chloromancer/Warlock/Dominator where 44 go into Chloro, 10 into Warlock for the Opportunity talent and rest into Dom. This is my Healing spec.

Other two are DPS/Support roles with differnt play styles. Storm/Elemental/Chloro (21 points) survival build and Warlock44/Necro8/Chloro14 DoT spec
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Posted: Mar 30th 2011 3:20PM Scarecrowe said

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@oxlar
My bard has consistently shined in warfronts for healing. It's only very rarely that I get beaten out for top healing... and it's usually by another bard.
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Posted: Mar 30th 2011 4:33PM oxlar said

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@Scarecrowe

Like I said, raids are a differernt story. But that has changed as of TODAY.
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Posted: Apr 5th 2011 10:30AM alleychatte2002 said

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@j1083

you can totally be a main healing bard - in warfronts, I have utterly owned some healing charts and I have played main heal in dungeons on occasions. It really depends on your comfort level with the souls you mix up and put into a role.

And bard support is really key for some places - the bard buffs and debuffs are very useful, they have verses to mesmerize mobs, give the party health and mana, they dps to heal which helps in the race to burn the boss down - honestly, it's one of the most useful support classes I have ever used since MUDs.
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Posted: Mar 30th 2011 10:30AM aurickle said

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Very good article. I personally start doing the quests to acquire my calling's 5 other souls as soon as I get to the capital and try to have them all by level 15. It just makes sense to give myself as much flexibility as possible.

As soon as I have my souls, I create a second role. My first role is always aimed solo play. My second role is aimed at group support. (Tank, Healing, whatever.) That way when I get in a dungeon group or rift event I can do whatever the group needs. Even then I might not always be in the support role during those groups -- the group may not need it. But being able to take on that role when we do need it is huge! I remember one dungeon run where my mage went in as DPS. Unfortunately, our cleric was a terrible healer. After the first boss fight we switched with me taking on healing for the rest of the dungeon. It worked brilliantly, since that cleric wound up being way better as DPS.

By my late 20's I start toying with the idea of a third role. In that case it's usually either an alternate solo build for different types of enemies or an alternate group build such as a mage that specializes in buffs and crowd control. Or if I'm a rogue I'll have one role for solo/DPS, one for support healing and one for tanking. It just makes me more flexible.

Regardless, one thing I've learned so far is that Rift rarely does things the "normal" way. I hate playing healers in other games, but I LOVE doing it as a Chloromancer. You still fight pretty much just like normal. The difference is that you trade off a bit of DPS for a lot of AoE healing. Honestly, any mage that doesn't keep a Chloromancer role in his back pocket is doing both himself and anyone he might group with a major disservice.

Posted: Mar 30th 2011 11:39AM Gaugamela said

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@aurickle

Could you elaborate a bit how you main heal through dungeons?
I have a hard time keeping the tank up in damage spikes if i have Bloom and Nature's Touch on cooldown. And yes I have synthesis, lifegiving veil on and radiant spores usually placed on the mobs.

What secondary tree is best with Chloro? Warlock?
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Posted: Mar 30th 2011 2:30PM (Unverified) said

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@Gaugamela

Warlock yes for the Opportunity talent and if you go high enough you get more spell crit and spell power.
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Posted: Mar 30th 2011 2:42PM aurickle said

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@Gaugamela
Mine is a Chloromancer/Archon/Summoner. The Archon -- played well -- is a phenomenal buff/debuff soul. This helps my party stay alive because they have better survivability while simultaneously killing everything a lot more easily. That means they need less healing. Here's my build: http://rift.zam.com/en/stc.html?t=0zqRz.Vx.AdhuoAco0o.hMeoM0mm

Of course you can go with anything you want in place of the elementalist.
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Posted: Mar 30th 2011 10:38AM Irem said

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While I understand the frustration, not wanting to switch roles can be a lot more than just only wanting to play DPS and nothing else. I don't know if I'd have spoken up in that situation if I wasn't confident in my abilities as a healer; sometimes it actually is preferable to break group and reform rather than try to make someone take on a role they aren't comfortable with, because if they're not very good at it they're subject to getting the blame if the run goes badly.

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