Rift is a game that empowers creativity with character customisation. Although I’m well aware there are, and have always been ‘cookie cutter’, builds in the game, it does give plenty of opportunity to play with specs.
When I re-subscribed to the game I wanted to just get on and play, so at the moment I’m playing two different prebuilt specs on my cleric.
The Glacial Priest is an interesting spec to play. It’s main soul is the warden, a healer with a mixture of heal-over-time spells and area effect heals. This is combined with the melee-dps shaman soul and a splash of justicar. I find it a durable soul to play if somewhat slow for killing things (which is probably why I was getting bored of the carnage quests!).
Particular strengths of the spec are the variety of damage abilities – I have single and multiple target melee attacks, a slow cooldown heavy hitting melee strike and another slow cooldown heavy hitting lightning strike. One of my area heals does area damage at the same time.
The other spec I tried since starting the expansion content is based on the Arbiter prebuilt soul spec.
I took this mainly for higher survivability in group content. World bosses, such as those at the end of invasions, often throw out nasty area damage. So having a ranged DPS build seemed sensible. It has a multitude of damage-over-time (DoT) abilities and some heavy hitting channeled skills.
I added the sentinel soul to brings some self heals to the spec, the cabalist brings area damage skills. So far I’m not really enjoying this build as much, maybe by swapping Justicar for Sentinel I broke the synergies of the pre-built spec. It’s “high maintenance” to play as you’re almost constantly reapplying all the DoTs, plus it’s so much squishier than the hybrid healer/dps Glacial Priest. I miss not having a shield ability, which most cleric souls have as an emergency ‘breathing space’ skill.
I think I’d like to try stripping out the sentinel and adding purifier instead for some shields and instant self-heals to make it more survivable without diminishing single target damage. I might even swap the cabalist out as well for justicar to add some further survivability. In open world group content even characters specced as tanks won’t necessarily ‘tank’ all the non-boss creatures running around, so using a lot of area damage skills is a good way to get yourself in hot water if you lack defence or healing skills.
My original leveling spec, which predates the prebuilt paths now in the game, was a druid/shaman/purifier build I made up as I went along. It lasted me very well up to 50. Sadly it was lost with the great soul reset in the pre-expansion patch, and I haven’t been able to find a screenshot recording it. Druids no longer have a self heal spell (other than the fairy pet), and other souls have changed a good deal so it might not work anymore. Regardless I have a third build slot that’s languishing unused at present so I can start experimenting with something more original again soon.
On the new server front; I have been happily surprised at how busy Icewatch is in comparison. The game is teeming with other players, and I have no trouble getting involved in rifts, invasions and instant adventures now. My enjoyment of the game has increased dramatically now I can just jump into content again.