As you can see from the title above, this is a levelling guide devoted to the best Calling in Rift. Ideally, the Rogue is generally the all-around bad-ass for most MMOs, and Rift makes no exception to this. There are many reasons for choosing the Rogue Calling: barbed daggers; virulent poisons; cruel projectile weapons; and stealthed trickery. The latter of these reasons might lead some to claim that you are a super ninja, but being a bad-ass, in general, is not for everyone. If you are not a bad-ass*, then please consider the Cleric or Mage callings (Warriors exempt, due to also being bad-asses).
To start us off, we will begin by focusing on a useful and well liked Soul combination to get you through your Rift adolescence. Later, not as much detail will be given to exact point allocation, because by then, you will have enough experience to decide on what works best for you.
*Alternatively, if you chose the Rogue calling for the purposes of stealthing around in Warfronts, chain-sapping players, and running away as you giggle like a school-girl, then it is recommended that you delete your Rogue immediately, and uninstall the game.
A Situation Gone Rogue
If you have done any research whatsoever on levelling a Rogue, then you have probably encountered quite a few different opinions on the matter of Calling choices. Realistically, it all comes down to play-style and fun, but the basics of Rogue mechanics dictate that some important points should be followed.
It is assumed that by reading this article, you are new to Rift, and are looking for the quickest, dirtiest, and most shortcut-ridden way to hit level 50. With that in mind, this article is geared towards the novice Rogue, though Rift veterans running Rogue alts will also find use here. As far as the methods here being the ‘bestest, most fastest possible to level 50 in the world!™’, no such claim is made. If someone makes this claim, they are just trolling you, bro.
To make the best levelling decisions, it is encouraged that you use your better judgement at all times, as this is the best way to develop a playstyle that is unique and interesting. The information here is simply intended to add guidance and inspiration to your Telaran adventures. If you ignore it, you may find yourself face-down in some Freemarch ditch, courtesy of a rampant, bloodthirsty pack of enemies intent on driving you to frustration and mental break-downs. But relax; these concerns should not trigger your heightened, Rogue-like sense of paranoia, because after reading this guide and reaching level 50, you will become awash in feelings of superiority and excellence, and only then will you be considered pro.
First Steps: The Barding Ranger (1-20)
If one were begin by running a stealth-centric Soul (Assassin or Night Blade), they might find that some quests involving item retrieval a breeze (you can simply stealth past intervening mobs to get the quest items), whereas kill quests take a bit longer, as there is more downtime time after fights, because stealthed Rogues are lazy, and are required to eat and drink all the time.
To negate the down-time of stealthed-based Callings, for example, one would be best off running a Ranger/Bard build, so that their pet Razorbeast (granted to you automatically by choosing the Ranger calling) can tank all mobs. This greatly reduces your downtime, as you take next to no damage, and little energy is needed to maintain this setup. The Razorbeast may not deal much damage alone, but it has excellent threat generating abilities, and can take a beating. A Bard/Ranger mix will allow for AoE heals with Cadence, for you and your pet. When used with Coda of Wrath, a Bard finisher, you will still doing a decent amount of damage.
Here is an excellent build to take you to level 13, and you should start it off by putting points in the Ranger Soul,
The 0-point talent here is Assassin, because Assassin poisons work on ranged attacks, so there is a decent DPS increase from that. However, feel free to choose whichever 0-point Soul suits your interests. For example, you could try Nightblade for stacking fire damage, or Marksman for Swift Shot (speed increase buff).
At level 20, you may want stronger Cadence heals and a bit more punch to your shot rotation, so here is a suggested build for that,
(If you do not care about the speed buff from Swift Shot, you can switch Marksman for Assassin).
- Rotation: Hit your target with a Quick Shot, use Cadence for three points, use Swift Shot, and finish with Head Shot. Repeat. Now the target is bleeding throughout the entire rotation, Cadence is giving out heals, and Swift Shot is boosting your speed. If you and your pet do not need heals, replace Cadence with more Swift Shots.
When you gain more levels, get Opportunity, Doubleshot, and Bestial Fury (your Head Shot a +5% damage boost for 12 seconds). This will provide a lot more synergy for ranged attacks, and things will die a lot faster.
Note: The Rejuvenate ability (heals your pet) that comes with Ranger is in most cases enough to keep your pet alive, but it is not very effective for chain pulling or keeping your pet alive through multiple mobs at once; Cadence is your friend in these cases. Also, remember to keep your Fleeting Instincts buff up during non-mounted running times (+15% movement speed while ooc).
Suited For PvP (10-19 Bracket)
It is important to consider that some players might want to be more PvP oriented in their levelling, and this is actually a great way to earn favor for great blue items that can be found from PvP vendors in and around major quest hubs. You will also get a significant amount of exp from Warfronts (from 10-19, Black Garden is the only Warfront you can run, but another will unlock every 10 levels), and it can be much less mundane than routine questing.
Now, deciding your build in this bracket is all about personal flavor, as there is no ‘best’ pvp build from 10-19. With that being said, here is something specialized for the melee oriented player,
This is a crit/burst-damage based build, so stacking crit/dex is always a good idea. With Backstab and Double Cross, you should try to be behind your target at all times. To accomplish this from stealth, hit with Paralyzing strike, your 4 second stun, as this will give you 3-4 GCDs of back-facing attack time without having to relocate (normally, an Assassin rogue would open with Jagged Strike, but you cannot do this until level 26).
For a mash-able, cp building, one-button win macro, this will be your go-to,
cast Poison Malice
cast Savage Strike
cast Quick Shot
How this macro works: when your target gets out of melee range, pressing this macro will cause you to hit your target with at range with Quick Shot, to which you can use Headshot as a finisher. In melee, Final Blow should be your main finisher, since Headshot, while doing slightly more damage, cannot be used in melee range.
In sticky situations, you’ve got three options: blinding powder is a good way to deal with newcomers to a fight; Malicious Strike will keep your target slowed so they can’t easily escape; Shadow Shift teleports you 15 meters, hopefully to safety, if you need to fall-back.
With that being said, if you are a PvP-centric player, consider obtaining a second, or even third Role from your class trainer, located in either Meridian or Sanctum (depending on your faction), so that you can switch from a levelling build to a PvP one.
Note: When making your first Soul combination, always consider the usefulness, lowest downtime, and utility of your build; it will make your levelling experience smoother, and more enjoyable overall. Failing that, you can always play Angrybirds, or Shaq-fu for the Sega Genesis.
Level 20 And Beyond
From levels 20 to 30, it is recommended that you continue with the Ranger Soul, at least until you get the Feral Instincts buff (+3% passive crit, available at level 26), so feel free to tweak things around until you get this. Also, with 24 points in ranger, you get access to the Greater Razorbeast, which is like the normal Razorbeast, except it is rage-filled and on steroids. All-right!
At this point, it might be best to refrain from putting more points into the Bard soul. One reason for this is that your new Greater Razorbeast can take a lot more punishment, and he should not be difficult to keep alive without Cadence. He can tank like a champ, so long as you remember to Rejuvinate (pet heal) when necessary.
Another reason for ditching Bard (though you might want to keep it in a secondary build) is that it can be replaced with Souls capable of giving you a much higher damage output, which will simplify things at this stage in the game. Higher damage = more mobs killed = faster dungeon runs = more loot/exp, gg.
Ok, so that may not be exactly how it works… but the idea is that if you are comfortable with barding, and enjoy it, then by all means, use it for levelling and dungeons. In PvP, where it is most formidable, Barding provides your raid with some of the the best in-game buffs available (ex +15% run-speed, +5% crit, +attack/spell power, +endurance). Lastly, if you enjoy lutes, trumpets, horns, and other musical devices, then perhaps you should stick to barding full-time. Enjoy your music, and play it loud.
Looking Ahead: The Crazy 30s
Every unexplored zone comes with new challenges, and by this point you will most certainly be getting a taste of the real Telara; the mobs hit harder, travel in packs, and often appear to team up with members of your opposing faction, especially when you are AFK or minding your own business. They care not for repair bills or run-back times, so in situations such as these, it is essential to pick-up a second or third role slot from your class trainer and have a good sneaking build to avoid attention when it is unwanted. Sometimes, Rogues just want to embrace the shadow, because it is there that they can practice their Bard music while nobody is watching. Unpracticed Bards have been known to cause chaos and torment among small villages.
In and around level 30, a higher damage output becomes a bit more important. To continue with the trend, if you want to play a quick-levelling, ranged build, this build will do just fine,
The point-spread of this build should be self-explanatory, but here are some pointers. For one, your Assassin points give you +4% crit, stealth, and a poison buff that works off ranged attacks. Stealth is extremely helpful for when you get to the mid 20s/early 30s zone, Scarlet Gorge, as this zone is packed with annoying mobs, and stealth here is essential to make it through here unscathed. As before, the 0-point Soul is entirely at your discretion. An interesting thing is that 0-point Bladedancer has Sidesteps, which is great vs. melee attackers.
Note: Ideally, you should develop some level of proficiency with all Rogue souls. If not, your Rogue collegues will not consider you a super ninja.
The Final Stretch (30-49)
By now you should be entering the enchanted vistas of Moonshade Highlands, possibly the most aesthetically pleasing zone in Rift. Here you can take notice of the light at the end of the tunnel, and this light possesses the inexorable promise of legendary, adventure-filled fun. Before this fun can be attained, it is important to take into consideration the Soul choices that might carry you to victory. For one, it is assumed that by this point, you have gained some familiarity with all Rogue Souls, and as such there will not be an overly detailed examination of them here: recommendations from personal experience will be given, for there are simply too many options to cover beyond this point.
With regard to the least difficult, most rewarding levelling build, it is still far better to allowcate the majority of your Soul points to the Ranger/Assassin Souls, because that way your damage will always be high. Once you have access to a Blood Raptor (requires level 30), it will make an excellent dungeon companion. However, your Razorbeast will still be your go-to for questing.
The Razorbeast acts as a kind of miniature warrior that follows you around and keeps mobs under control, so there is far less hassle overall. The terrain of Moonshade Highlands is very open-ended, full of rolling plains, and is generally one of the least obstructed zone in Rift, although it does have many condensed forest areas where a stealth build might be more helpful.
The dynamics of quest flows in areas such as Moonshade Highlands, Whitefall, Shimmersand, and Stillmoor make it possible to utilize the benefits of various Souls, such as being setup for ranged attacks in open areas, and stealth attacks for enclosed ones, so keep in mind that you will want at least two Role choices for these situations.
Note: There is no real reason to take more than 33 points in Ranger, at least for levelling. The points in Assassin are for pure damage, and the ranged damage synergy + speed increases from the Marksman Soul will be of great use while levelling, especially in Whitefall where mobs are spaced so far apart, which was probably done on purpose, just to annoy people.
A Little Theorycrafting
At level 40, this build should give you the highest, single-target, ranged damage output (though the Trick Shot AoE damage is comparable to that of a Saboteur), and although it does not have the highest survivability of all Rogue Soul combos, it is probably the least difficult to level with, and, as mentioned earlier, will reward you with little down-time and high DPS, the mainstays of a levelling build.
For this build, there is an arbitrary point in Puncture, so as to get the 8-point +5% crit Poison (not to mention the +5% crit from the base Marksman talent, and +3% crit Ranger buff!). For the best AoE results, always use Trick Shot for multiple enemies, and finish with Concussive Blast (remember imp. Trick Shot = 15% chance to add extra combo points on your target). When Conc. Blast is on cool-down, simply use one of the single target finishers, or pick up Rain of Arrows at level 41 to help with that.
In your regular, single-target rotation, ensure to open with Shadow Fire (+35% Ranger ability damage for 25 sec), followed by a Quick Shot, two Swift Shots, and finish with Headshot. Next, fire a Quick Shot, 4 Swift Shots, and Finish with Rapid Fire Shot. Do the same thing next time, except using Hasted Shot as your finisher for about. All the while, ensure to reapply your Shadow Fire shot whenever the buff is about to wear off, and try to sneak in Splinter Shots when possible (the damage per combo point for Splinter Shot is roughly 70-80 more damage per combo point than Swift Shot and Quick Shot, though do not use it when your enemy is at low health, as this damage takes place over 10 seconds)
Phew! So, to untangle the mess of shots above, here is a breakdown. The full rotation will not be necessary for the average lowlings, but for tough dungeon/rift bosses, getting this rotation down will help you in the long run. Keep in mind that a perfect ranged rotation is difficult to master in Rift, so if you ever plan on running a ranged build at level 50, then learning it asap will help.
Note: The following information is, again, Ranged-specific. Although it would be far more compelling to compile one for every build, time constraints prevent that from being possible! However, levelling guides focusing on other Souls may make a future appearance, should there be enough interest for them.
Here is an example of a level 40 Shot Rotation, designed to for maximum damage,
- Shadow Fire -> Quick Shot -> Swift Shotx2 -> Headshot
- Quick Shot -> Swift Shotx4 -> Rapid Fire Shot
- ” -> ” -> ”
- ” -> ” -> ”
- ” -> ” -> ”
- Shadow Fire -> Quick Shot -> Swift Shotx2 -> Rapid Fire Shot
Continue finishing with Hasted Shot until reapplications of Shadow Fire and Headshot are needed (every 25 seconds for Shadow Fire, and 60 seconds for Headshot). Boom, Headshot! On the way to 50, it is recommended, for the sake of killing power, to get 5/5 Penetrating Shots, 5/5 Master Archer, 5/5 Keen Eye, and 2/2 Improved Swift Shot. Ok, nobody is afraid of getting hit by an Improved Swift Shot, but the idea is that after shooting one, you can sprint up and boot your enemy in the ass.
The Long Road Ahead
By now you should be on the verge to level 50, and are probably roaming around Guardian-infested** areas like Stillmoor and Shimmersand. You are bruised, beaten, and bloodthirsty. You are wearing frayed clothing, cracked leather, and your feet in dire need of new socks, but this does not dull your perseverance. The light at the end of the tunnel is within reach. Once obtained, many more illuminated tunnels are revealed by this ethereal light, because reaching 50 is only a stepping stone in the grand scheme of things.
So, before you replace your soiled depends, refill the Mountain Dew, and wipe the orange Cheetos residue from your neck-beard, remember that you have completed something that not everyone has the patience to do. In the long-run, you might reflect on this time as being nothing but a momentary blip inside a euphoric swirl of computer gaming nostalgia, but if descriptions such as this elicit an emotional response, then you are probably a fairy who has never even played a Rogue.
**(Bias opinion alert)
Whereas the Defiants are devoted to the development of futuristic, Star Wars technology, the zealotus Guardians, devoted to the wide-spread ignorance of all scientific progress, inhabit an Enclave of Ignorance, and are thus regarded as an infestation by The Defiants.