I’ve ended up playing yet another Cleric for Rift Prime. Perhaps I should have tried a new main calling in this leveling experiment on the progression server Vigil. Back at the original launch of the game, for a while, my group character was a Warrior. Otherwise I have dabbled with two different Mages over the years in Rift, one as a solo character and crafter, and another Guardian-side with a leveling static.
But when it came down to it, for the new server and the limited available calling/soul combinations I had to go with Cleric: I wanted to have a good set of DPS/healing options and that in the early game means playing a Cleric.
I started with the Shaman-based predefined build, but almost immediately broke out of the default path – swapping Inquisitor out to take Purifier instead. Having damage shields and substantial self-healing was more important to me. It also means I can throw some emergency shields or healing on others in any public group content.
Having a mixture of ranged and melee attacks is useful, it’s not always possible to close with creatures fast enough in the chaos of a rift event, so having lighting attacks as well makes a big difference to my sense of contributing. That coupled with the area melee attack I also have means I always feel like I’m in the thick of things.
I’m not sure where I’m taking this character, or how long his journey on Vigil will be. It’s fun for now though and I’m reminded of the joy of rich character customisation through the soul-system. Leveling relatively fast through the early levels gives you a quick succession of choices to make.
This system doesn’t get enough recognition in an era where character customisation is usually pretty banal or limited. Like Final Fantasy 14 you can, if you want to, do all roles on one character – flexibility is there if you wish it. For balance I’ve also been playing my Cleric main on live some as well.
The Oracle soul has become my favourite to play at higher levels – it’s great for public group stuff, but isn’t so crucial to success as tank or healer. I do rather enjoy playing support classes, and Rift offers the chance to play this oft neglected fourth role.