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Playing the Main-Changing Game

By on Nov 9, 2012 at 10:00 am, in Article, Editorial, RIFT  |  Comments: 10 comments

Storm Legion is almost upon us, and thanks to the fun-filled beta weekends, Patch 1.11, and Trion’s media coverage and live streams, the last few weeks have literally been a storm of new information for fans to digest. There’s no denying the fact that there are some cool, new features headed our way in Storm Legion, but what about what’s already changed in 1.11? We’ve just seen some major changes to our favorite callings, and some of the new Storm Legion souls are quite impressive. At times like this it’s almost inevitable that many players will rethink their main classes.

There’s also the fact that many of our current souls have seen complete playstyle shifts. One of most challenging aspects about RIFT’s intricate soul system is the fact that Trion has to almost keep constant watch on balance, and be ready to tweak certain callings if necessary (and they certainly aren’t afraid to do so!). The tweaks aren’t always to everyone’s liking, naturally, but perfect balance between every single calling is something we may never see, unfortunately, which is part of the reason why we see constant tweaks.

The good news? RIFT’s complex soul system does have some obvious perks, and one of those is the fact that since we have so many options available to us, if we’re unhappy with a particular role, spec, or soul, it’s fairly simple to change things up and try our hands at a new playstyle. And if that doesn’t work? With Storm Legion upon our doorstep, now’s the perfect time to consider changing mains.

MMO expansions are handy in that they generally provide a clean slate for players. This can be a negative aspect too, of course, but when a player is particularly unsatisfied with the playstyle of their calling during endgame, some new levels, a complete gear reset, and new souls and specs to play around with often cure those feelings of being stuck in a rut. It was always possible to level a new character to 50 and get them ready for raiding, but the gear reset tends to provide a cleaner opportunity, especially since it’s quite common to have to reapproach a guild’s raid roster post-expansion regardless.

The changes to Planar Attunement have also made it easier to change mains in RIFT. Mounts, achievements, pets, and Conquest Points don’t transfer between characters, but the PA bonus in itself is quite nice, especially for starting out leveling in Storm Legion with not-quite-spectacular endgame gear. Changing mains during the launch of an expansion also gives players a chance to test out the new character in a group environment. Running dungeons while leveling is a solid way to get a taste of the various specs and playstyles, and since gear’s somewhat equalized while leveling, comparisons are easier to make.

There’s also often that nice little gap between just reaching the level cap and beginning raiding that lets players go back and quickly level another character if they find themselves not quite happy. Expansions offer players some great ways to change up their playstyles. Storm Legion’s also the perfect opportunity for players to try out new guilds and make new friends, since it’s pretty safe to say that most active RIFT players will definitely be playing during the early post-launch period.

Let’s also not forget about the new souls. Some of them– Tactician and Harbinger in particular, I imagine– will undoubtedly be popular. What better way to test out their longevity by testing them out while leveling through the new content? All four of them look to be fairly useful in certain areas of the game, but without trying them out as they will present on live servers, it’s fairly difficult to know for sure whether certain specs will shine in the new playground of endgame.

All that said, I’m personally changing mains. I’ve mained a Cleric since RIFT’s open beta, and while there are some Cleric callings I still thoroughly enjoy (Justicar is definitely my favorite), I feel that overall, the new direction for some of the changes just isn’t my style. The Defiler may be an interesting, complex soul, and while I give major props to Clerics who enjoy the soul, I didn’t find it meshed with my playstyle well. I’m a tank and melee player at my core, and I’ll be the first to admit that I probably should have rolled a Warrior to begin with, since that calling’s a more obvious fit.

Now, I’m not going to start a huge debate about where Trion went wrong with Clerics– again, it’s my personal playstyle that made me come to this conclusion– but I will state that my situation is a perfect example of why I think expansions are great in MMOs. Clean slates can definitely be handy. New content, new characters, new sights to ogle at– it all breathes life back into the game. I can’t wait to see the shores of Dusken and Brevane alive with players from all backgrounds, eager to explore.

Anyone else playing the main change game with me? If so, why? Feel free to sound off in the comments section below!


    is it just me, or does it seem like everyone is leaving the cleric?

  • David Stern

    I’ve been looking at changing from my rogue back to my cleric. I mainly tank, but the recent changes to the Riftstalker soul feel like going on auto-pilot. Since I prefer a more complex play experience, I’ve been giving serious consideration to the new Cabalist/Defiler combo. I can still tank as Justicar, but the 1.11 changes to Cabalist finally feel like what I’ve always wanted from an AE focused soul. Paired with very strong support from Defiler and it’s a pretty compelling opportunity. Add in the chance to play a full Defiler build and all the new experiences and choices in that kit and I’m all but sold.

  • Heartless

    Everyone is leaving the cleric, The majority of the cleric community was hoping the new soul was a way to make cleric dps more competitive with other classes. Turns out it was another soul to reinforce how clerics are a support class. I liked the warrior in beta, so I think I may continue with that. Though I’m not much of a tank fan so I’m tied between the warrior and a rogue.

  • Daniel Christensen

    I enjoy my Cleric. I find being a self-sufficient Healer for myself and my group while tanking highly enjoyable, though I know it will be a while before I’ll be able to pull it off in the expansion. I also have a Mage and Warrior at lvl 50 atm, however, which i will also be leveling, and I get my damage fix from those.

    I guess if you play Cleric for damage you’ll continue to be disappointed for a while. But then again, if you’re not interested in healing or support, a role by the name of “Cleric” doesn’t seem like the obvious choose.

  • Eagle_1

    I’m thinking of switching from my Warrior to a Cleric. I’ve always been a tank on my warrior and didn’t like the melee dps side of him. Ofc the warrior has a way cooler dps side now (tempest is pretty cool if you ask me) but I am looking for more options.

    Don’t really know how cleric tanking was before 1.11 (seems almost everyone hated it cause of aggro issues?!) but now it is totally fine if you ask me. Yea you don’t have as much options in your build as the warrior has but the build you can make works like a charm. Besides that I can go get myself some healer gear as well. This would give me the opportunity to fore fill a healer role as well later on in the game.

    This might give me the variation during play I am looking for.

  • Soul

    Switching from rogue to mage just to play the harbinger. Which is funny cause harbinger is the only mage soul I like, I just like the new soul that much.

  • Matthew Hissong

    I’m really looking at ditching my Cleric for a Mage. I rolled a Cleric so I could heal, but the only types of healing that Clerics outperform other classes at are burst healing and tank healing. Now it looks like they’re really nerfing AOE burst healing what with Senticar / Inquisicar getting all but killed. I’m scratching my head at how we’d heal a fight like General Silgen. A lot of raid fights have burst damage, actually. Also, Senticars were great because you could burst heal WHILE MOVING. Right now I see Wardens had Healing Cataract switched to a 10 healer, but it has a cast time. They have some 10 man instant HoTs which are nice but can they accumulate enough healing to handle burst reliably? Some minor healing can be done with the instant Geyser dps/healing hybrid spell(but they also requires being in range of and I believe facing an enemy).

    Clerics will still be tops at tank healing, but how many tank healers do you need? There aren’t enough spots and tank healing is usually pretty boring anyway(though the new changes will alter that a bit). Really the only things I’ll lose now are my Cleric’s looks(her chain mail is hawt) and her spells’ graphics. Pretty. But my mage will do more dps and Chloros look like they’ll give raid healing Clerics a run for their money(and mages can tank heal a bit as well).

    So long, sweet Cleric… your dev is a silly person.

  • Meadowlark

    It really bothers me when MMOs such as Rift and WoW change a class or spec so much that you have little option EXCEPT to ditch it in favor of another class or spec. I was perfectly happy with my Shadowstalker rogue, and could just click on the “spend points” button. Now shadowstalkers have hunter pets. Huh? Gravelords used to be able to turn into a lich for 30 seconds every couple of minutes for a nice DPS buff; now it uses charge, so who knows how long it lasts. I hate to see change for the sake of change (*cough* WoW *cough*), and I really hate to see change for the sake of PvP “balance” (*cough* WoW *cough* better off stacking BBs).

    I dunno. I’ve been playing the game on and off since March, so maybe my opinion amounts to a steaming pile. On the other hand, if the game starts to go down the same path WoW did, I’ll just take my steaming pile elsewhere and the game can go bankrupt as far as I care.

  • Vorrac

    My first RIFT character was a cleric, but when I got to about level 35 I started a Rogue and levelled it to 50, and never really got around to levelling my cleric. I’ve started levelling my cleric again now, and I’m up to level 46, so I cannot wait till I’m at 50. I’m just a little disappointed I missed the opportunity to raid level 50 raids as a cleric :(

  • Lilly

    Changing my main from a Cleric to a Mage.

    I actually rolled a Mage before a Cleric with the intent to heal at the start, but in the early days when being a Mage was rough and Clerics were undoubtedly better at healing I rerolled and didn’t look back. I love my Cleric! The healing is incredibly fun, and I had many many hours of pure enjoyment. Unfortunately, healing is all a Cleric is capable of. The dps is abysmal, and worse because I don’t enjoy melee, and pre-defiler they lack any sense of real support. (Let’s not even talk about that nasty -icar mess.) With the complete changes to the souls (and the fact that I have felt more desirable as a mage for healing for quite some time) I’m feeling uninspired to continue my Cleric as my main, and will be switching to my Mage that I’ve been alt raiding with.