Home > Bard, Marksman, Ranger, Rift: Planes of Telara, Rogue > RIFT Warfronts (and Bard soul)… I Think I Love You!

RIFT Warfronts (and Bard soul)… I Think I Love You!

February 21, 2011

Wow!  No pun intended, but I had an absolute freaking blast playing RIFT this weekend and it was all because of the War Fronts and a kick-ass little soul known as the Bard…

I didn’t find this little gem of a soul until late last night, but once I did, I took what had already been a fun filled weekend of mostly doing War Fronts in RIFT to a whole other level of AWESOME!

I started out casually enough on Friday night by completing a few quests and participating in whatever rifts came my way.  I actually did enough Rifting this time around to earn enough planar currency to buy myself a nice blue-tiered planar chest piece.  I was pretty happy about it until I saw that in my haste I had overlooked a very nice blue-tiered bow that I would’ve liked instead.  Ah well, win some, lose some.  It actually worked out pretty good in the end.

It was about this time that I picked up a quest that unlocked the Bard soul.  I’ve never played a bard before so I wasn’t all that terribly interested and I let it sit as I went about my business completing some other quests and doing a little leveling.

It wasn’t until Saturday night that I got around to participating in some War Fronts and from then on out, I was completely hooked.

At first I went in with my Rogue specc’ed out strictly for damage dealing ~ a Marksman/Ranger/Riftstalker build.  This is actually a pretty good and fun build with most of the points going to the Ranger and Marksman trees.  The Riftstalker’s ability to plane shift 15 meters serves as a  nice “get out of jail free” card when things get hairy and it saved my butt quite a few times during some up close in your face situations, but for the most part, that was the only real benefit for me.

As for the action in the War Fronts, it was great fun and I typically found myself amongst the top 5 damage dealers at level 15, but I also found out that I was not very durable, despite my “get out of jail free” card.  For the most part I think we lost more matches than we won, but not by very lopsided ratio or anything.  I think that aside from a lack of general coordination, we also lacked in the healing department.

In just about every group that I was in, if we had any healers in the group, they weren’t very generous with their goods as the heals were far and few in-between.  To be fair though, there were a few healers that actually took their primary role seriously and as a result we often ended up winning those matches.  I ended up picking up a nice new blue tiered bow (as a result of winning 5 matches) to make up for the one I had overlooked earlier and it turned out to be a much nicer bow anyhow.  So win win!  I went to bed around 2 a.m.  that night, a happy gamer and a little more excited for RIFT than I had been.

So Sunday night rolls around and I’m back at it doing the Ranger thing in the War Fronts.  The ratio of wins to losses wasn’t going our way again and this time it was so lopsided that it was embarrassing.  We just couldn’t seem to beat the other guys… it was pretty demoralizing and I was about to go back to PvE when we happened to pick up a Bard for what was supposed to be my last group of the night.

What a difference!  With the bard along we were pretty much unstoppable!  He jumped on the War Front chat channel right from the get go and basically told us he was setting up near the middle and that if we wanted heals and buffs to stay close.  We rushed the center, got the Fang and set up shop and defended.  We had a run of about 5 or 6 matches with the same Bard in our group and we just steamrolled the other side each and every time.  Good times again!  We were winning!  That is… until the Bard left or got paired with another group.  Then it was back to getting owned…

So, right about then, around 11 pm last night, I had an epiphany.  Since hoping for a bard to show up is an iffy proposition at best, I decided to ditch my Riftstalker soul and swap it out for the Bard. So off I went to complete that Bard quest I had ignored and I shifted my points around and hurried back to War Front.

OMG!  What…. a…. freaking…. difference!  I was having such a blast that it was 2 am before I decided, that in the interest of making it to work on time, to retire for the night.  I hated doing it too because I had absolutely started getting into the Bard and would have loved more time to play around with it before the head start… not that I need to be convinced or anything ~ the Bard will definitely be one of my starting souls at launch.. but still, it would have been a blast!

One of the cool side-effects of being a Bard was that all of a sudden people were talking to me throwing me a few “good jobs” etc.  Apparently, I was making a noticeable impact because my name was being hailed in open chat as soon as I joined a War Front.  It happened enough times that I felt like Norm on Cheers, lol.  That’s right, I went from being just another DPS’ing Ranger-nobody-type to a mini-celebrity of sorts.  It was actually a pretty good feeling being able to make such a noticeable difference.

Oh, and our ratio of wins vs. losses?  That quickly turned around in our favor and we were consistently winning more than we lost.  If we managed to get a cleric or another Bard, victory was pretty much guaranteed.  Life is good as Bard.

The only thing that worries me about the Bard though, is that once I started playing him, I found myself almost completely ignoring my Ranger/Marksman skills ~ preferring to keep my buffs up almost indefinitely.  I have put enough points in the Bard tree to make my Motifs last 30 seconds, so really there’s no excuse, it’s just a matter of resisting the urge to spam my buffs and instead trying to focus on doing damage between buffs.

So yeah, I had a great time this weekend with RIFT.  I’m now (thanks to the Bard) anxiously looking forward to Thursday!

~ Mojeaux

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  1. February 22, 2011 at 15:54

    Congrats man, I’m glad you’re really getting into it. Can’t wait to read more on the subject!

  2. February 23, 2011 at 09:10

    So as to not be a total hypocrite when I continue my questioning of what makes RIFT so special, I downloaded the beta client this past weekend and played for a few hours. What struck me immediately is that the game looks more like AION than WoW, and even the contrast in the two sides is eeriely similar.

    I thought the Chloromancer was a soul well done, and the bard was another unique take. The game, itself, however, didn’t really draw me in. It was very much another ‘kill ten rats’ driven game, and the storyline didn’t hook me.

    I intended to get back in and try to get to rifting/pvping just to experience it, but I never did get the time. It sounds like you had a blast with the battlegrounds, but I wonder – what’s left after you’ve maxed your gear? That’s the problem I had with Cataclysm – once I’d maxed out what I could get, there wasn’t much incentive to play (other than extremely minor upgrades on a weekly timer).

  3. February 23, 2011 at 09:49

    @drew

    Yeah, I felt pretty much the same way for the first two beta events and it wasn’t until I really had a chunk of time with which to play with, that I started getting into it.

    And yeah, not sure what the future holds, but for now I think RIFT will get my gaming dollars.

    As for AION comparisons… yeah, they’re all over the place. Hell, even the Guardians starting town is named Sanctum… just like the Elyos main Abyss starting area. Still, and you know I was a fan of AION, I like RIFT’s PVP better so far. Time will tell, though.

    • February 23, 2011 at 10:51

      Yep, and I’m a fan of AION’s combat as well – I really liked the linked attacks (or whatever they were called) – it was just my PC couldn’t handle the massive number of people in the Abyss, and I have a pretty solid machine. If it could’ve, that’s probably what I’d be playing today with all the nice upgrades they’ve done to the game.

      I’m torn – I know everyone and their brother is going to try out RIFT which will make for a fun start-up, and the sheer number of soul combinations means that it will be more diverse than WoW’s PvP. But, I’m not sure I’m down for another sub-par leveling experience of ‘kill 10 rats in generic fantasy setting story’, though. It’s what keeps me playing Fallen Earth – while the quest goals aren’t much different, the story is engaging and the world is interesting.

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