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!