Storm Legion’s first closed beta weekend event may be under NDA wraps, but thanks to yesterday’s Rogue reveal live stream, we can now share some new information about the Tactician– the Storm Legion Rogue soul. Ever want to use a flamethrower in RIFT? Now’s your chance. Tacticians come complete with a fully-stocked arsenal of technological gadgets including the flamethrower, mechanical cores, engines, and if paired up with the Saboteur soul– even a Molotov Cocktail or two.
The Tactician’s style of gameplay shares a few things in common with both the Tempest Warrior soul and the Harbinger Mage soul. Trion wanted to throw some new, cool stuff into the soul, along with aspects that synergize well with other souls and help fill any sort of gap in the current souls to choose from. The Tactician is bit of a hybrid soul, combining AoE damage and AoE healing power along with a wide assortment of utilities and support abilities that synergize well with many Rogue souls, including Bard, Saboteur, and Nightblade. Ability wise, the soul carries lots of fire power– flame tech and magical tech specifically.
Here’s a rundown of some of the different Tactician gadgets and ability types:
- AoE abilities that are channeled and projected in a flamethrower-type manner (shown in the title image), damaging everything the magical effect hits. Rogues can move while casting these abilities.
- There are also Torrents that form a magical line between the player and either the mobs or players in front of them, as shown to the left. The line stays connected, leaving the player free to be mobile and in essence, move the AoE themselves.
- Torrents require smart player movement and good positioning, making the Tactician more of an active soul.
- Cores are mechanical gadgets that can be placed on the ground and are stationary, which provide a function, whether it be pulse AoE damage, buffs, or pulse AoE healing. Example shown to the right.
- These are the Tactician’s buffs and support abilities, basically. There are remotes, for instance, that provide AoE healing reflection, raid shield-type absorbs, etc.
- Remotes are one reason why it seems that Tactician and Bard will go very well together in a raid-type environment.
- These are self-buffs. The player can only cast one at a time.
- One example provides the Rogue with additional healing every time they are hit, called Curative Engine, which we saw previewed during PAX Prime earlier this year. Another causes splash damage to happen every time damage is dealt.
Now, as far as synergy goes, the team talked about a few options for the Tactician. For the beta, players are able to choose from preset builds. One of the Tactician’s is named Flame Trooper, and is a Tactician/Nightblade build. This one seems good for both single target and AoE DPS, Tactician providing the AoE, Nightblade the single target. Both souls are more magical than physical. Tactician and Saboteur seems a popular combination, and allows the Rogue to put out massive AoE DPS. More on the Sab later!
PvP-wise, the Tactician itself might be good for a support PvP player, one who travels in a group. The soul doesn’t seem to be as well situated for a solo PvP role. The soul might be good in Conquest, for example.
Speaking of Tactician support, the Bard and Tactician will do very well together, and with the re-vamped Bard, this combination will allow Rogue players a true AoE healing and support option. The combo will provide tons of buffs and lots of group healing (but not tank healing, necessarily), similar to the current style of the Cleric -icar builds, except with true support options, as well.
The Bard soul itself is seeing a major overhaul, most of the details for which were discussed during PAX Prime 2012. Here are the basics– Bards will only have to juggle three Motifs, can use Cadence while moving, Cadence has a new AoE function, and finishers refresh Motifs. Bards will become more mobile and more versatile. The Bard’s range will be 20 meters.
Oh, and in case you haven’t heard– Rogue combo points will be on the Rogue in Storm Legion, and not on the mobs. This is for all Rogues. Pretty nice change! At the very end of the live stream, the team finally talked about the changes to energy regeneration. Trion has adjusted Rogue ability costs and energy costs across all souls, making it harder to become energy starved, especially while doing single target DPS. Massive AoE abilities (like Torrents, for example) or repeated burst may still drain energy.
Now for some other Rogue soul details:
- Saboteurs are getting a fun ability called Molotov Cocktail that spreads pretty flames everywhere. They’re also getting some new, more powerful bombs, and some spreading time bombs. Saboteur rotations are being made a little easier, and the soul has additional utility.
- Assassins will gain the ability to use three poisons. A top-tier Assassin talent allows the Rogue to use Assassinate and other stealth attacks out of stealth. Stealth itself isn’t seeing many changes.
- Bladedancer is seeing some minor improvements, including better scaling and better survivability.
Riftstalker changes weren’t discussed in much detail (although it was mentioned that early Tactician may work well with Riftstalker), but the team was quick to state that we should see equal mitigation across all tanking souls. That’s the goal, anyway. Trion wants players to pick tank souls and callings for their flavor and style, not based on which tank tanks “better”. Justicars splash heal while tanking, Rogues teleport, Reavers have DoT abilities, etc. Gersh also admitted that certain fights may still prefer certain tanks later down the road, but this is not the intention.
The same philosophy was discussed when a question was asked regarding the comparison between the Rogue DPS souls. Trion is trying to get DPS classes balanced closer. This may not happen exactly, of course, but that’s the goal. Since gear scaling has seen some shifting, balance may be a little easier this time around.
And to wrap us up, here are a few random leftover items of interest:
- This live stream took place on the Pelladane map, in one of the earth-themed caves called Core of the Architects.
- Speaking of maps, click the map above! Storm Legion map preview time!
- The cool hat Elrar’s character wears during the stream (seen in the image with the flame line) is a piece of level 60 Rogue gear.
- The Harbinger Mage soul gets an ability to transform into a huge, futuristic Valkyrie-type creature with 61 points in the soul.
- Elrar showed off a cute bear mount.
- In a couple of weeks, there will be a Dimension-specific live stream. The team reiterated their goal of a live stream every week until launch, if they can keep up that schedule. The starting time of those streams will be the same as this week’s– 2:30 PM PST.
- Next week’s stream has already been announced. Dynamic content!