Saturday, December 25, 2010

[Guide] A Warrior's Soul

Now that the NDA is lifted, I can take this from the beta forums and post it here. I've had it up on the official open forums for a while, because I wanted to do the graphic work for soul names before I put it here, but I'm sure I'll get to that at some point.

Warriors are a great calling in Rift. They provide ample amounts of the three roles assigned to their calling. Tanks (Paladin, Reaver, Void Knight), DPS (Paragon, Champion, Riftblade, Beastmaster), and support (Warlord). The ability to fashion almost any sort of play style you desire, is there within each calling, and the Warrior offers up some very interesting possibilities. I encourage people to look at the souls as tools, tools which they can use to fashion the kind of play style they wish to have with their character.

Let's get right to it...


Snares: 1 (root; level 20 - pet based ability, 3s duration)
Sleep: 1 (branch; 6 pts - animals only, 15s dur)
Stealth Detection (branch; 13 pts - base increase of 3 levels
branch; 16 pts - granted by the pet to entire party
branch; 28 pts - 16 pt branch ability also lowers stuns by 30%)

Beastmasters are the warrior pet soul. As far as raw DPS goes, they are a bit more sustained than they are burst. Many of their abilities will put a bleed on the target. On the other hand, they are useful in a group for the small number of buffs they provide (small, because they are not Warlords after all). Further, the pet can effectively step into a "defensive stance" that gives its abilities many tankish aspects such as generating threat, taunting for 3 seconds, reducing the damage done by the target, and increasing the armor of the entire group/raid by 10%. Later on, there is also an ability that is opposite in its design, an "offensive stance" if you will. The damage taken by the target is increased, a 3s snare can be applied, and all nearby allies will have their damage increased by 10%. Beastmasters can also buff their strength, dexterity, and endurance at various intervals and through various means. Should they invest the points in their branch, those buffs will also apply to party members.

For those looking for "rawr DPS!", this may not be the soul you are after. On the other hand, it remains an often discussed topic that many Warriors will take Beastmaster as their 3rd soul, and put zero points into it, simply to acquire the pet which increases DPS over all without actually having to spend/do anything.

I imagine pure (or majorly so) Beastmasters will be rare in PvP. Those looking for the same experience as White Lions in Warhammer: Age of Reckoning might not find what they were looking for with this soul. However, I don't see why they couldn't create something similar by mixing Beastmaster with something else to increase their general damage output.


Charge (root; level 0 - 8s cd
        branch; 11 pts - Bull Rush can be used in combat, and roots the enemy)
Roots: 2 (branch; 11 pts - applied after using Bull Rush
          branch; 11 pts - 6s dur, 30s cd - aoe fear to enemies near rooted target for 6s)
Interrupts: 1 (root; level 11 - 6s cd)
Snares: 1 (root; level 14 - 15s dur, no cooldown)
Stuns: 2 (root; level 51 - 2s dur, 5m cd)
         (branch; 22 pts - 3s stun applied to Bull Rush)
Knockbacks: 1 (branch; 6 pts - 15s cd)
AoE Fears: 1 (branch; 11 pts - 6s dur, 30s cd - roots primary target, does not fear them)
Cleanse (branch; 16 pts - removes disarms, stuns, roots, and snares, 30s cd)
Healing Debuff (branch; 17 pts - 50% healing reduction, 15s dur, applies on crit)

Champions are THE official two handed powerhouse in Rift. Crit will be all kinds of important to them as two significant things can happen whenever a Champion crits - healing reduction and increased energy regeneration. Further, branch advancement can increase their chance to crit, root abilites can increase their chance to crit, and one of their Marks (1m debuff, only one can be active at a time) increases the damage received from a critical hit.

The kiting issues that generally affect pure melee DPS types in previous MMOs does not quite apply to the Champion so much. Their charge is on an 8s cooldown, it can be used in combat, it can stun the target for 3s, and it can also root them. Throw in the fact that every 30s a warrior may root their target, fearing all enemies around it, and the ability to remove disarms, stuns, roots, and snares every 30s as well.

Imagine this series of events...

1: Destroyer's Bearing - Attack ability crits deal 100% of the damage done over 5 seconds, all attack abilities trigger a second weapon swing that deals 25% (can be increased through branch advancement) of the damage done up to 5 adjacent enemies. Lasts 1 hour.
2: Mark of Extermination - Target receives 20% increased damage from melee critical hits. Lasts 1 minute.
3: Bull Rush - Charge the target, stun them (branch advancement), and root them (branch advancement). This can be done again 8 second later, set up by Thunderous Kick (6 pt branch ability, 15s cd) to give them the distance.
4: Leg Sweep - snares the target for 15s.
5 (Optional): Kelari Racial - 100% increased critical strike chance on melee attack abilities, decreasing by 20% for each ability used.

All of that requires 4 GCDs to fully execute (5 for the Kelari racial). That is a total of ~6 seconds (~7.5 for the racial). To accomplish that much destruction, the Champion must have at least 32 points into their branch (Mark of Extermination requires 32).

That is a Champion.

Champions hurt people.

R.I.P Titan's Doom (Alpha - CB2).


Block Increase (root; level 0 - 20% increase for 15s, 15s cd
                root; level 44 - blocks all attacks for 2s/5s/10s based on atttack points
                branch; 5 pts - 10% passive
                branch; 6 pts - 5% passive, does not stack with other shield buffs, 1h dur
                branch; 26 pts - 5% passive, does not stack with other shield buffs, 1h dur)
Interrupts: 1 (root; level 8 - shield req, 6s cd, no gcd)
Taunts: 2 (root; level 10 - shield req, 3s dur, 8s cd
           root; level 13 - aoe, 3s dur, 1m cd, no shield req)
Out of Combat Resurrect (root; level 16 - 8s cast)
Charge (root; level 18 - 15s cd, shield req, roots for 2s)
Roots: 1 (root; level 18 - 15s cd, shield rq, applied with charge ability)
CC Reduction (branch; 7 pts - mez, stun, sleep, fear, and confuse all reduced by 30%)
Stuns: 2 (branch; 11 pts - 3s dur, 1m cd
          branch; 31 pts - 3s dur, 1m cd, triggers off successful block, no gcd)
Cleanse (branch; 16 pts - removes stuns, fears, disarms, and confuses, 1m cd)
Disarms: 1 (root; level 20 - 5s dur, 30s cd, cannot suffer miss, dodge, or parry, no gcd)

The first note I will make about Paladins is regarding their two shield buffs. The one attained at 6 points of branch advancement also increases hit chance by 10%. The one attained 20 points later also increases armor by 317. That is their main difference. Another note I will make is a general one about game mechanics - parries mitigate all damage, blocks mitigate a certain amount, modified by the shield bearer's strength value.

One of the things that pops up repeatedly in the Paladin's arsenal, is the ability to heal other people. Unfortunately, there is no guard ability similar to that of the Chosen in Warhammer, or Templars in Aion. However, the heals themselves are quite substantial and include one at level 8 (root ability, 20m cd) which heals an ally for 100% of the Warrior's health. There is another at 38 which places a buff on an ally that heals them for 10% of their maximum health any time they take damage. This one does not specify how long the duration is, however it does specify that it cannot be used on the Paladin whereas the previous heal mentioned had no specification. If a Paladin can heal themselves for 100% of their health every 20 minutes, this can be seen as the eqivalent of Lay on Hands in other games (no, WoW is not the first game to use that spell name, sorry).

In general, Paladins are THE tank. While Clerics and Rogues can also tank (Justicar and Riftstalker) they do not possess the reliance on a shield that has been a staple to tanks since the beginning of the genre.

Justicars and Riftstalkers are good at what they do, but they do it slightly differently as a result of their archetypes. If you want a seemingly impregnable wall of bricks, a Paladin is what you want.


Interrupts: 1 (root; level 12 - 10s cd, no gcd)
Sprint (root; level 16 - +50% run speed for 15s, 1m cd
        branch; 23 pts - increases duration to 21s
Knockback Immunity (root; level 20 - also increases damage of follow up attacks by 15%, 1h dur)
Charge (root; level 32 - 30s cd, 2s root applied)
Roots: 1 (root; level 32 - applied upon charging the enemy)
Damage Reflect (branch; 6 pts - melee ability attacks only, 1/2/3 attacks based on attack points, 12s dur, 45s cd)
Diarms: 1 (branch; 11 pts - 30s cd, 5s dur, follow up attack)
Parry Buff (branch; 21 pts - +20%/+35%/+70% parry based on attack points, 10s dur, 30s cd)
Incapacitates: 1 (branch; 26 pts - 15s dur, 30s cd, breaks on damage)

Paragons, the dual wielding finesser of the Warrior calling. In case you skipped straight to the Paragon and did not read up on the Paladin, I will make a note about parry. When you parry an opponent, you take 0 damage. While the sequence of events for Champions above is quite impressive, it can be negated entirely by one single parry buff at 21 points of branch advancement. It is for this reason alone that I consider Paragons to be the Champion's hard counter as far as Warriors are concerned (on paper) - Mathosian Paragons even moreso to the Kelari Champion since their shield waters down a Champion's brute force even further.

Another thing that makes Paragons interesting is the amount of follow up attacks they have. They have plenty. They also have a self buff that allows follow up attacks to be used every time they parry without the need for an attack point generating ability beforehand. Parry is based on your Strength, so the same stat you stack to deal damage is the same stat you stack to mitigate it. I also look forward to seeing the 51 point root ability in action, since it is a 6 second channeled ability that allows you to move while casting - a rarity in melee attack abilities.

I honestly don't have a whole lot to say about Paragons. They are very unique and interesting and I encourage those interested in the more graceful side of brute force to either pick up the soul early on, or at least Ctrl+Click the soul when offered for selection to preview their soul tree..


Taunts: 3 (root; level 10 - 3s dur, 8s cd
root; level 14 - aoe, 3s dur, 1m cd)
root; level 32 - aoe, 3s dur, 1m cd)
Snares: 1 (root; level 16 - aoe, 15s dur, 2m cd)
Fears: 1 (branch; 11 pts - 8s dur, 1m cd, can break on damage)
Cleanse (branch; 16 pts - removes fear/polymorph/incapacitate/mesmerize, 1m cd)

I'm... not entirely sure what to say about Reavers to be entirely honest. Do not take this to mean that Reavers suck. That is not what I mean. However, look up at the amount of things Paladins have at their disposal, then look at what Reavers are able to do. I will say this in the defense of the soul; the things I list are generally CC effects and abilites that seem class defining in some regard or another. If I do not list them up top, I talk about them in this area here.

The reason why the Reaver list is so small is because they are a different kind of tank entirely. AoEs, DoTs, and lifetaps. That is what Reavers do. They do not have block  increasing abilities, because the damage that a Paladin might mitigate should be the damage that a Reaver is recovering through their leech abilities. At least, that is how my mind rationalizes it.

At the same time however, it can easily be said that a Paladin/Reaver build is a good idea for someone interested only in tanking since their skillsets do not overlap, more taunts can be acquired, and more hp/armor can be reached - a plus for diversity. If you are a fan of the classic anti-Paladin/Shadow Knight type tank, Reavers are yours.


Roots: 1 (root; level 16 - 5s dur, 30s cd)
Silences: 1 (root; level 32 - 5s dur, 30s cd)
Snares: 2 (branch; 6 pts - 50%, 15s dur, 8s cd
branch; 11 pts - aoe, 12s dur, 45s cd)
Interrupts: 1 (branch; 11 pts - aoe, 45s cd)
Cleanse: 1 (branch; 21 pts - removes root/snare/stuns/mesmerize/incapacitates, 45s cd)
branch; 27 pts - lowers cooldown by 20s)

Do not... under any circumstances... let that small list fool you. I'm not even sure where to begin, really. First, if you see a Warrior teleporting all over the place at will with seemingly no cooldown? That's because at 44 points Riftblades receive a self buff that refreshes the cooldown on Riftwalk when they crit. But don't panic, Riftwalk has the same range as all of the other Riftblade's ranged abilities (of which there are about 5); 20m. All Riftblades need to be the kings of mobility is a run speed increase... oh wait, they get an hour long +10% movement speed self buff. Oh... that cleanse on a 25s cd that removes all of those "stop moving please" abilities? That's Riftwalk.

If you want to panic a little, I won't blame you.

The one thing that stands out to me is that there aren't many truly defensive options. Running away and teleporting is nice, but if you stand and fight, you will get hurt. On the other hand, their first row of talent options includes a 5% Parry increase. So perhaps that's a hint. What I like about this soul is that while they were presented as a dual wielder, I didn't see anything that gave them a specific advantage for dual wielding.

They deal significant amounts of elemental damage (majority of their abilities are element oriented), have gcd independent abilities which substantially buff the damage of the next attack, and a few AoEs under their belt as well.

Now give them a two hander... sexy.

Void Knight

Taunts: 2 (root; level 10 - 3s dur, 10s cd
root; level 14 - aoe, 3s dur, 1m cd)
Silences: 2 (root; level 38 - 6s dur, 45s cd
root; level 44 - aoe, 3s/5s/8s dur based on attack points, 15s cd)
Dispels: 2 (branch; 11 pts - removes 3 positive effects from an enemy, 15s cd
branch; 16 pts - removes 3 negative effects from an ally, 15s cd)
Force Pull: 1 (branch; 21 pts - 20m range, 45s cd, roots for 1.5s
branch; 27 pts - reduces cd to 25s)
Roots: 1 (branch; 21 pts - applied when target is pulled)

This is probably one of the souls that is most alien to people. I highly recommend that they look up what Void Knights are capable of. If "support tank" is a term that doesn't exist, it exists now. Not because Voids bring a plethora of support to the table (Warlords are next!) but because they can dispel. In PvP, positive and negative buffs are flying all over the place... the Void Knight can eat 3 of them, gain 9 pacts as a result (21 pt branch advancement provides 3 per pact, 2 per without), and use those pacts to fuel many of their other abilities. These other abilities include a heal (the base heal of which is very lackluster), as well as a spell damage shield (which is very impressive, 311 damage per pact... 10 pacts = 3110 spell damage absorbed from a 26 pt branch ability). In the same vein, their strength and armor can be passively increased by a percentage per pact, and they can buff the damage of their next ability by a very significant percent per pact as well (15% x 10 = 150%).

The downside is that some of their abilities include what seems to be pretty negligible mana drains as well. I think through the course of player feedback, this could be increased to be significant enough that if a Void Knight is attacking your healer, you won't be worried about them dying, you'll be worried about them going oom. I think that was intended, or else it wouldn't exist. The values just seem low. We'll see.

All in all, I think it really takes some out of the box thinking and analyzing of just what Void Knights can do to dispel the general conception that they are lackluster as a result of not bringing any crazy deeps (Champ/Para) or tankage (Paladin/Reaver) to the table.

Dispel general conceptions... ha ha... I need a studio audience (probably better I don't have one).


Taunts: 2 (root; level 10 - 3s dur, 8 cd
root; level 14 - 3s dur, 1m cd)
Roots: 2 (root; level 12 - 8s dur, 20s cd
root; level 32 - 8s dur, 30s cd)
Disarms: 1 (branch; 11 pts - 5s dur, 10s cd
branch; 12 pts - reduces block/dodge/parry of disarmed target by 5%)

We all know Warlords are the buff/debuff support class for Warriors. But just what do they do?

Well they can... reduce chance to hit, increase damage of melee attacks to a target x2 (one is a small aoe), increase damage of all attacks, self armor buff, party wide endurance buff, increase the damage or healing of an ally's next ability and reducing their threat, raid wide elemental resists, reduce incoming magic damage to party, increasing casting time of nearby enemies, reducing melee damage of attackers, raid wide physical damage increase and threat reduction, raid wide spell damage increase and threat reduction, reduce hit chance of rooted targets by 30%, raid wide healing increase and threat reduction, short health/resistance increase with an added HoT for percentage of health increased.

They can also... heal 25% of all critical damage done, receive 15% extra healing and have a  120% health regeneration rate.

And if that wasn't enough, an attack that would kill an ally instead heals them for 50% of their HP. This buff has a 1m duration and 5m cd.

It is 4:30 in the morning, and I don't think I did that list justice to be honest with you. I just made notes as I went over each of their abilities. What is interesting to note is the healing of critical damage, the increased healing received, and increased health regeneration. It's almost as if Warlords are meant to be kept alive so that they can keep doing their job of buffing and debuffing everyone.

Do I think we will see a lot of them in PvP? In coordinated groups, yes. No Permission to Die (the "Don't die, have 50% of your hp instead!" buff) can completely screw up the spike of an opposing force, giving other team members the time to not only peel attackers off of the spike target, but also give healers more time to react and protect said spike target.

But of course, being the support class that they are, they -need- people who are aware of what it is they do. They root the focus target so that it can be exploded (8s is a long time to be forced to stand in one place in PvP), while empowering everyone around them to do said exploding. Warlord is the perfect name for them, because in a group setting, I can easily see the Warlord being the one who calls the focus target.


  1. Can you make such a guide for the other archetypes? :D its perfect, nice and simple.

  2. This shall happen. :)

    My crystal ball is hazy on the particulars of when, but seeing as how I'm going Rogue in CB3, and apparently Trion is allowing all of the souls to be available on release... then yeah.

    Some time shortly after CB3.

    I'm not sure if I'm going to use fraps or if I'm going to go by way of screenshots... I might do screens, only because I can then provide those screenshots with the guide itself.

    So yeah, soon™!

  3. PS! I intend to generally do a calling per CB event. So Clerics and Mages will come with 4 and 5, unless someone else goes through the effort of pooling the skills together (it's how I was able to do the Warriors, courtesy of Sigfried) then they shall come sooner.

    As for what I personally intend to do next CB, yeah, Rogues.

  4. excellent article. best explanation of warrior souls i've found anywhere on the net. love your writing style!

  5. That article beats the paid for guides hands down.