Archive for the ‘1.6’ Category

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FOTM Cleric DPS Spec–51 Inq & Variations*

December 22, 2011

This guide is co-owned and first released on

mmosite148x591333333333333333

*FOTM = Flavor of the Month

Hello everyone, I meant to write this about a week ago but life got busy!

jelly_beans

Ever since the 1.6.1 patch and the change to cleric DPS, it is pretty apparent that Inquisitor soul is the predominant single target cleric DPS soul on raids (this was the case before 1.6.1 too but even more so now). Patch 1.6.1 brought a “25%” increase to all cleric DPS souls through Mien of Aggression and “5%” extra damage increase to Inquisitor soul through the change to Armor of Awakening. Note that both “25%” and “5″%” are in quotes because the actual damage increase is much less. This is because the 25% and 5% increase are addictive, not multiplicative.

Theorycrafting (has a bit of math!)


This additive vs multiplicative point can be confusing but it is pretty simple. Rather than explaining it myself, Quietmode have already explained it really well in reply to a post so I will just quote his explanation here!

The answer is because its additive. Right now lets say you do 1000dps. Before MoA (Mien of Aggression) was added you had 5% dmg from AoA (Armor of Awakening) and 15% dmg from CP (Corporal Punishment). So thats a 20% damage increase. so you now do 1200dps.

Adding in MoA thats 5%+25%+15% for a total of 45% damage. now you do 1450dps

1450/1200 = 1.208 which means adding MoA caused a ~21% damage increase.

The short version of it is that say if you have two modifiers, one of them adds 25% more damage and another adds 10% more damage to a spell that does 1000 damage. The final output damage for that spell is 1000 x (1+(0.25 +0.1)) = 1000 x 1.35 = 1350 and NOT 1000x 1.25 x 1.1 = 1375.

Anyways, the point is, Inquisitor is pretty much the “Flavor of the Month – FOTM” DPS soul for clerics since 1.6.1. Not only does it bring the highest cleric single target dps in raids, it also brings the 7% magical damage debuff – Clinging Spirit, and a purge. This also means that you will see a lot more clerics running the Inquisitor soul in WFs as the damage it can dish out can annihilate low rank players.

The question many of you might be wondering is which build of the Inquisitor soul can bring out the best DPS?

It used to be 51 Inq/10 sent/5 warden build. This build utilized warden’s destructive tide talent, which adds 10% more damage to instant cast spells. The main instant cast spells affected in this build are Vex, Sanction Heretic and Waterjet. (Even though Vex and Sanction Heretic are DoTs, they are affected on all ticks – i.e. Vex was 123 dmg/tick before talent and 135 dmg/tick after talent. Sanction Heretic was 557 on initial tick and 125 on subsequent ticks before talent and 614/137 after talent). This is great in fights with high movements where you don’t have much “stand-still” time to cast Bolt of Judgment (BoJ), your biggest DPS component.

However, as Ahov pointed out in his thread on the official forums,  the best DPS build might be 51 Inq/10 sent/5 cab. The reason, as he pointed out, is that BoJ makes up the biggest chunks of your parse. The warden talent does not affect it but the 5% SP increase from Cabalist does and this would increase the damage of BoJ even more. This damage increase is bigger than the increase you would get from Vex and Sanction Heretic viato the Warden talent.

One might ask why this would be the case. I have two possible explanations. One is that back when the 5 warden version was top DPS, the gear level was such that the 5% SP increase you get from Cab is much less than it is now with HK gear. On raids I could easily reach 2.2 k SP and I am not even fully HK geared. Hence with the greater boost to SP, BoJ, Vex, and SH all benefits to a greater extent than before.

The other explanation deals with diminishing returns. Vex and Sanction Heretic (SH) have a lot more damage modifiers than BoJ does.  If you look at this page, you can see that Vex/SH is affected by Mental Resilience and Corporal Punishment in addition to Ritual of Judgment.  Ritual of Judgment can be left out of the discussion as it offers a spell power bonus rather than a straight up damage modifier. Mien of Aggression (MoA)  is also a damage modifier. Now if you add these damage modifiers together, you would have 50% from Mental Resilience + 15% from Corporal Punishment + 25% from MoA for a total of 90% damage modifier whereas BoJ would only receive 25% damage modifier from MoA.

The more damage modifier you have already have before MoA is added in, the less is the increase in damage you would get from MoA. The formula to keep in mind is base damage * (1+(damage modifier)). Lets illustrate this with a simple example. Say you had a spell that did 100 damage. If have a damage modifier of 100%, you output damage would be 100 * (1 +(1)) = 200. If you now add 25% more damage modifier from MoA, it would be 100*(1 +(1+0.25)) = 225. 225/200 = 1.125. Now suppose you have a damage modifier of 200%, your output damage would be 100*(1+(2)) = 300. If you add in 25% from MoA, it would be 100*(1+(2+0.25)) = 325. 325/300 = 1.083, 1.083 is definitely less than 1.125.

Anyways, the point is, 51 Inq/10 sent/5cab scales better with gear than 51 Inq/10 sent/5 warden. It might not have being noticeable before, but it is certain true after patch 1.6.1.

Builds


For this section, I am going to list the FOTM 51 Inq/10 sent/5 cab build but I am also going to list 51 Inq/10 sent/5warden and 46 Inq/10 sent/10 Shaman. The 5 cab build might be the best under most situations but for fights with high movement (i.e. Zlias in HK) the 5 warden build will shine. Also, if you have extremely high crit chance (i.e. close to or over the softcap for crit chance), then the 46 Inq build might work better for you.

51 Inq/10 sent/5 cab

Build: http://rift.zam.com/en/stc.html?t=10djo.EEkigtkqz.V0x.V

Macros/Rotations/Priorities:

1. Fanaticism + BoD (Bolt of Depravity)

#show Fanaticism
suppressmacrofailures
cast Fanaticism
cast Bolt of Depravity

2. BoJ macro (Life’s Vengeance and Excommunicate only fire off when moving and Vex only fires off if everything above is on cooldown and you are moving or if you are somehow facing away from the mob)

#show Sanction Heretic
suppressmacrofailures
cast Sanction Heretic
cast Bolt of Judgment
cast Life’s Vengeance
cast Excommunicate
cast Vex

3. AoE

#show Soul Drain
supressmacrofailures
cast Soul Drain
cast Circle of Oblivion

Also, I would have a separate button for Vex.

The priorities/rotation (provided by Ahov) are as follows:

Sanction Heretic –> BoD procs if any –> Vex –> Nysyr’s Rebuke if off cooldown–> BoJ spam via the BoJ macro.

Keep DoTs (Vex/SH) up at all times and use BoD whenever it is up except when it is time to refresh SH.

When moving:

Apply Banish, and then hit the BoJ macro. Keep Vex up via its own button if need.

Gearing:

Stack for as much SP (Spell power) as possible without negatively impacting your SC (spell crit) . If your SC is around 800-900 then you are in a good place and don’t need to worry about it.

Definitely get the Inquisitor crystal, either the T3 raid one or HK crystal. Both crystals will give BoJ a 25% chance to reset the cooldown on Sanction Heretic. The HK crystal 4 piece set bonus is really nice as it adds 10% more life and death damage.

In terms of sigils/sourcemachines, you should use all lessers as there aren’t that good greaters. Necrotic Rage, the guardian only Greater Essence used to be very decent but the 1.6 lessers are a better bang for the buck and you don’t have a chance to wipe your guild on Sicaron (totem won’t show up if you have the lich form on, so the next person can’t see your totem and could walk into it…)

For your trinket, Lifebound Relic from Prince Hylas in GSB is very good. The healing from Vex will proc this quite often for extra 88 SP bonus.

51 Inq/10 sent/5 warden

(use on high movement fights i.e. Zlias in HK or if your SP is really really low – i.e. fresh 50s in T2 dungeon gear. I also like using it for PvP as I get two knockbacks and waterjet!)

Build: http://rift.zam.com/en/stc.html?t=10dje.EEkigtkqz.V0x.V

Macros/Rotations/Priorities:

It is debatable with the 5 warden if you should put Fanaticism on BoD procs or on SH. SH do hit a bit more with the 5 warden build. If you like to put Fanaticism with SH, use this macro

Macro 1

#show Fanaticism
suppressmacrofailures
cast Fanaticism
cast Sanction Heretic

Macro 2: This macro is handy for BoJ and also works great when moving (waterjet only goes off if you are moving, vex only goes off if you are turned away from the mob)

#show Sanction Heretic
suppressmacrofailures
cast Sanction Heretic
cast Bolt of Judgment
cast Waterjet
cast Vex

Keep an eye on Fanaticism if you are using it with Sanction Heretic. Press macro 1 when it is up, otherwise use macro 2.

Priorities/Rotation

Macro 1 (Sanction Heretic)  –> BoD procs if any –> Vex –> Nysyr’s Rebuke if off cooldown –> BoJ spam via macro 2.

46 Inq/10 Sent/10 Shaman

(use only if you have really high crit chance – i.e. close or over soft cap –40% or around 1100 SC)

Build: http://rift.zam.com/en/stc.html?t=10djn.Egkigxoqz.V0x.ke

The point allocations in first tier of shaman is arbitrary. You definitely want 3/3 in Thick Skinned but the rest of the 2 points is pretty much waste points to get to the next tier.

Macros/Rotations/Priorities:

I would put my Fanaticism on BoD for this build. See the 5 cab build for macros.

Priorities/Rotation

Sanction Heretic –> BoD procs if any –> Vex –> BoJ spam via the BoJ macro.

Gearing:

If you are using this build, you have to have high SC. Obviously using lessers with high crit on them would be ideal for that. Check out this page here for a list of 1.6 essences sorted by high SC.

Parses?


Ideally, all parses should be done by the same person in a tightly controlled raid environment using a double blind approach (too much scientific jargon?) but that is never going to happen.

Two types of parsing are possible – controlled testing on dummies or parses from raids.

I will show you some of the parses on dummies here. Keep in mind that the 46/10/10 build may not shine as much on dummies as you won’t get as much SC as you would on raids. Since I don’t have very high SC due to gearing up for purifier on raids, I won’t be able to test it out.

I tested out 5 cab, 5 warden and 10 cab (spec into 5% more damage)

5 cab > 10 cab > 5 warden

5 cab – 1934 sp/788 sc – 1622.81 DPS – 5:02 parse
10 cab – 1934/788 – 1575.06 DPS – 5:03 parse
5 warden – 1858/788 – 1555.82 DPS – 5:02 parse

2

You can see that BoJs and BoDs are much higher with cab builds while SH and Vex tend to be higher with warden builds.

Here is the typical raid parse break down (courtesy of Ahov)

33% Bolt of Judgment
26.7% Sanction Heretic
17.8% Bolt of Depravity
12.1% Vex
5.7% Nysyr’s Rebuke

At very low SP levels, the 5 warden do outshine the 5 cab build slightly.

1054 sp/610 sc, 5:03 parse, 972.19 DPS (5 warden)
1102 sp/610 sc 5:01 parse 957.27 DPS ( 5 cab)

Conclusions


There you have it, 3 builds for the inquisitor that are viable for 1.6.1. Each build is designed for a specific type of encounter/gearing in mind. Finding out which one works best for you is the key.

Merry Christmas and don’t be jelly!!

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Wisdom of the Elders: Clerics from top progression guilds talking about cleric tanking in 1.6

December 13, 2011

This guide is co-owned and first released on

mmosite148x591333333333[3]

Hello everyone, this is the 2nd installment of my interview series talking with clerics from top progression guilds about cleric issues. In our first installment, we talked about cleric DPS in a raid setting. You can see that interview here or here.  Shortly after,  we received a 25% boost to our single target DPS through the usage of Mien of Aggression. The push for more cleric single target DPS was a collective effort by the cleric community and some clerics were so passionate about the issue that they ended up being temporarily suspended on the forums for a few days.

The idea of this interview series, like the previous one, was to give you an idea of tanking issues from the perspectives of clerics from the top progression guild.  Keep in mind that these opinions are that of their own and do not represent the opinions of their guild.  I am also hoping that I could get the developers at Trion to read it, in case they are confused about what the key issues the clerics are facing due to the amount of differing feedback they get everyday.

There are two clerics tanking changes you need to keep in mind. The first was a rather big change to the Justicars with patch 1.6. Essentially, we had one of our abilities, Shield of Faith, which reduces the amount of damage we receive, nerfed from 15% damage reduction to 10% damage reduction with 5/5 point allocation. To counter the nerf, there was also a change to Thorvin’s Law, essentially rewarding heavy investments in Justicar soul in return for more magical and physical mitigation.  Interestingly, 1.6 also introduced significant overhealing threat generation with Mien of Leadership to solve our aggro issues. However, this was rather buggy and did not work as expected. Thankfully, with 1.6.1 patch, we finally received a fix to this issue and now overhealing is working as intended for aggro generation.

Anyways, lets get to the interview!

Like last time, there are 10 questions and 3 participants. There are:

Quietmode, cleric tank from <Voodoo>

Radak, also known as Alovnek, author of the famous Justicar tanking guides.

Xitan, cleric tank from <Maximation>, also hosts a streaming channel here (justin.tv)

1. Can you give us a little background about yourself as a cleric tank?

Quietmode: My gaming history begins in 1999 but my Tanking history doesnt start until World of Warcraft: Burning Crusade. I was a Paladin tank originally in wow and tanked for my last 4-5years of WoW before joining rift. When i first read about Justicar tanks, i immediately fell in love. A healing based tank was always what i wanted my paladin to be. I played my paladin tank using my healing support as much as possible, utilizing any and all heals possible under specific cirumstances.

I started Pre-release as a Cleric with the intention of tanking and bought my 2nd role as soon as possible to be my justicar role. I accomplished server first runs as the tank for almost every normal dungeon while leveling up. I successfully tanked most T1/T2 in the first weeks of 50 even though i felt inferior to warrior tanks. (Greg in DSM T2 was near impossible without 2 healers on a cleric tank). I was really excited to hop into Tanking for GSB when we got a group together, but we were pushed behind rogues and warriors on tanking because of the high magic damage on many fights. I was fine with being pushed back because clerics were top 3 dps in most fights with the 31/11/24 spec. I still was the 3rd tanking option on most fights requiring tanks (Herald, hylas, Alsbeth). Tanking in HK went fine since we had our little niche in physical tanking.

Radak: Lets see here I originally started tanking on my dual wielding Death Knight alt in World of Warcraft and tanked most raids there (only on normal since I would join alt raids). The idea of a alternate tank was something that I liked and after I became bored of wow and found rift, this was something I wanted to continue.

I started tanking on my cleric around beta 5 at which time tanking as a cleric was a whole lot different and Convictions felt much more like combo points and you would have to juggle them around. During beta 6 and 7 I continued tanking on my cleric and I was able to tank all instances at that time (max level at end of beta 7 was 42). At that time cleric tanking was a whole lot more challenging then it is now and this is kind of a disappointment for me.

When the game released I leveled my cleric from 0 to 50 fully using a tank build and since I was one of the fastest levelers I was one of the few tanks around. As a result when people where looking for tanks in general chat I would almost always be taken. When I reached 50 there we only 2 others in my guild that had reached level 50 yet. As a result I started raiding with a different guild where me and another cleric tank where the 2 main tanks for the first 3 raids (after that the other cleric tank dissapeared and was replaced by a warrior). At the same time I joined that guild as still not anyone else had reached level 50 in my original guild.

Xitan: Hi my name is Xitan, I’ve been playing online games for roughly 12 years. I am a competitive person by nature and have a specific draw to MMO’s. In general I try to stay out of the spotlight and low key because I have a hard time communicating my theories and opinions. Unfortunately my ambition to stay out of the spotlight doesn’t stop me from getting noticed, such as when I got banned in AoC, just search “xitan age of conan” and you can see why.

My style of play is attrition which is part of the reason I enjoy healing classes. I’ve been playing healing classes for as long as I can remember, and really enjoy treating MMO’s as a second job. I take pride in my theory crafting and thinking outside of the box, often I go against the grain and common practice to find a way to make things work best for me.

Within the first two weeks of Rift I had the urge to do more then the normal healing role I typically play. One of the Clerics I did not get along very well with told me I could never tank as a Cleric in Rift. From then on out I became intrigued with the idea and started my research and path to become the mainspec Tank role I have today. Here is a launch week pic of me tanking an infinite spawn of mobs in Droughtlands, take a peek at the size of my character model. http://imgur.com/a/zFxQS#0

Shortly after the first week of Rifts release I was healing and tanking for T1 and T2 instances. The buddies I started with did not have as much interest in the game as I did so I ended up changed guilds and applied to a starter raiding guild. The shortness of tanks helped me practice and gear up very quickly. Upon the disbanding of the guild I sought out Maximation and applied as my most geared role, Tank.

2. With the release of 1.6, is 51 justicar the only viable tanking spec now for raids? (Quickmode’s calculations that has the best physical and magical mitigation). Is it a concern that we have to spend 51 points into our tanking soul?

Quietmode: I wouldnt say 51 justicar is the only viable tanking spec, but for a tank in a high progression min/max guild it should be the only spec considered, especially for magic fights. I wouldn’t recommend going below 44pt justicar purely because of the loss of Magic mitigation. Dropping to 44pts is probably only neccesary for precision roles such as getting purge or going for more of a offhealing role

Radak: No other specs are still viable. However 51 point builds are something I would advice for any fight that has some for of non-physical tank damage simple because of the superior mitigation. But when there is no or only a low amount of magic damage any 44+ build is more then capable of tanking the fight (in some cases even 38+ will do fine).

As for it being a problem that we have to spend 51 points into our tank soul. I don’t really see it as a problem for almost any fight. The only problem I see is that 51 builds don’t have any actual access to a purge without going below 51 or having to drop some points from shaman. This is currently not that much of a problem as the fights where a purge is needed aren’t really magic heavy. But when there comes a boss with high magic damage plus requiring purging this could become a problem and I would like to see this fixed in some way. Either by having our reliance or shaman being removes (by moving the talents to just in some way) or by giving justicar it’s own purge.

Xitan: Well this is kind of a loaded question. The viability of our tanking really depends on what your opinion of tanking is. If tanking means to you, the ability to hold aggro on a boss and survive without changing too much of the raid composition to do so. Then no, the gains you get from going 51 Justicar vs 38 Justicar are minuscule compared to the difference between a tank speced Warrior vs a tank speced Cleric.

I will however agree that 51 Justicar provides a significant magic mitigation boost compared to a competitive 38 Justicar. So if you need that extra magic mitigation you should be speced 51 points into Justicar. On the flip side 51 Justicar provides very minimal gains when it comes to physical damage mitigation. In my current gear (full set of HK gear, 5 of them relic set peices) I take 4% more physical damage in a 38 point Justicar spec.

I have had plenty of debates, even within Maximation, as to what is better for tanking. In my opinion there are many factors involved with tanking. I wont argue that taking less damage isn’t our up-most priority but I am a firm believer that it is important to bring as much as you can for the raid as possible, no matter what class/role you are. Rift allows each player to be very dynamic in their specific setup. In my case I may take a measly 4% extra physical damage, but I also bring a slew of other tools, most notable is a much more powerful Doctrine of Loyalty. These extra tools are important for progression pushes, if you determine you really need that 4% extra physical mitigation to tank a boss then by all means go 51.

3. Numbers wise, it looks like cleric tanks are behind in both mitigation and hp compared to other callings. Is this difference actually noticeable on raid settings? Can our heals compensate for this?

Quietmode: I have noticed a significant difference in damage taken between me and our warrior tank though i do not have any numbers handy to prove this. I seemed much squishier on any Dual MT fight and on trash he would hardly lost health tanking entire packs. In my earlier post on war vs cleric i pointed out the kind of support that a warrior tank brings in comparison to our heals/brez. In my opinion the unique abilities the warrior brings (5% dmg, 5% less armor, 5% less hit) in addition to the ones that they can buff versus a dps doing completely counters our heals. They also have the bonus of those abilities always being needed while our heals are marginal at best in some fights

Radak: Yes it currently does look like cleric tanks are behind a bit in both mitigation and hp however at the moment this isn’t really a problem and cleric tanks are more then capable of tanking any boss at the moment. It can become a problem if Trion will balance future raid content on the mitigation and HP levels of warrior tanks because in that case cleric tanks will have a serious problem. As for our heals they won’t really compensate for this problem because they hardly scale and as a result they don’t heal that much.

Xitan: Pre 1.6 Cleric tanks took more physical damage per swing then Warriors. Fortunately for us we had much higher hp pools, better incoming heals / self heals and better avoidance stats to boot. These extra tank stats allowed us to mimic Warriors and their ability to tank, from a healers perspective (the thing that counts most) we we’re very close in terms of tanking ability in 1.5. Essentially Warrior tanks where the Mitigation tanks, and Cleric tanks where the Avoidance tanks. Some fights lended themselves to Cleric tanks because of our ability to do close to the same as Warriors plus we added some extra AoE heals to the mix. Fights like Inquisitor Garau, magic damage heavy, were still the Warriors forte as they have always had much higher magic mitigation then Cleric tank counterparts.

In 1.6 all tanks got a buff. Often you will see that comment made, so if you are only concerned with tanking GSB/RoS/HK forever then yes Cleric tanks got some sweet buffs. In short Cleric tanks had their cooldowns buffed, magic mitigation increased and had a small 5% physical mitigation reduction (doesn’t come out to 5 full %). Warriors took a clear lead in amount of changes and received much bigger buff in comparison.

It is very easy to see that the new 1.6 Warriors make it considerably easier to tank the current content compared to 1.5. Now you can see guilds who are still progressing through HK effectively down encounters because their Warriors take much less damage then before, which allows them to sac healers to meet enrage timers or simply not get gibed as much as before. Maximation has made significant changes to our HK tanking with the release of 1.6. As one example, we can now solo tank Sicaron with one dedicated healer in the raid and everyone else as pure dps or some sort of hybrid.

Personally I am all about progression pushes where the skills, reliability and theory crafting really shine. If nothing is changed between now and then, and we assume the content is difficult, a Warrior tank will make the next tier of content significantly easier.

TL;DR Its not about the ability of a specific tanking class to preform its role, its about the relativity of that tanking class compared to the other two. Warriors have a significant leg up in the tanking department with 1.6.

4. With the recent buff to warrior tanks, it seems like warriors are better main tanks for most raid content and using warriors seems to trivialize some of the raid encounters. As a cleric tank, how do you feel about this? Are you content with being the offtank?

Quietmode: Personally, I love being a “Off-tank”. But by offtank i mean a role when i can have the opportunity to switch between mein of leadership and mein of honor and actually help on Heals, much like i do on my akylios kills where i switch weapons and heal more.

Radak: Like I said in the previous question I currently don’t see much of a problem with it. However I am kind of worried about what the future might hold. I myself wouldn’t be satisfied with just a offtank job while I have been able to main tank 90+% of the content up to now. And I can only hope Trion will do something to fix the differences between cleric, rogue and warrior tanks so they are all viable for all fights within a decent margin. One of the tanks being slightly better then the other on some fights is no problem as long as it’s not for every single fight and the difference should never be so big that the other tanks are simple incapable of tanking the encounter (like inquisitor before patch 1.6).

Xitan: Here is the way I look at it: I feel like the runt of the tanking classes that was shunned for even thinking he could tank pre-HK (mostly due to magic fights). Then when HK released suddenly I was the go-to-guy for making progression pushes easier. I was a super-star and a savior. Now that HK progression is over I have been put back into my place as the class that simply can tank but only if you already have the gear and there is no Warrior around to do the heavy lifting.

Contrary to popular believe, I am fine with this. The only issues I have with the changes is that they have been so dramatic. Trion has a history of things going from really effective, to not effective at all or visa-versa. On top of the fact that they do not give us a clear road map for what they want out of each class. Rift simply becomes a guessing game as to what you will be doing after the next patch.

I would love to be the stable offtank role over anything else. This would make it more acceptable to keep my more healing heavy hybrid tank spec so that I could support the raid more while offtanking. My only gripe is that they need to design encounters that promote offtanking. For example a perfect offtank mob in this game is the large golem add that spawns every time Herald Gaurath lands in RoS. The main tank cannot tank this mob because it puts a debuff on whoever it hits that makes the Gaurath’s breath hit for waaay more.

5. With regards to off-tanking, it has being mentioned that some of the raid content right now are not really designed MT and OT but rather two MTs, swapping back and forth. Do you agree with this? Is there even a place for cleric offtanks at all in raids?

Quietmode: I do agree that most fights are MT/MT. Really only Matron and Zilas has an OT role. The only problem with clerics as an offtnak, is that all of their offtank support is healing which isnt always neccesary or strained from the normal healers. If we were to be label more as a offtank/support tank we would need some similar debuffs/buffs as warriors offer.

Radak: I have to agree with this currently most fights require tanks to be equal a few easy examples are Warmaster Galenir, Murdantix, Matron, Sicaron and Darktide (to some degree). Currently there are very few fight that require true offtanks. So there wouldn’t be a real spot for cleric offtanks in the current situation. And in my opinion I wouldn’t like it if they designed fights for offtanks. I always thought are a bit of a let down. As a offtank it always seems like the devs needed to find a way to keep you busy. For example you might be tanking some adds half the time but the other half of the time you are just being bored and doing 200dps. So I much prefer encounters where there is either a tank swap or there is always something to tank for every tank required for the fight.

Xitan: I made a comment on the forums about this before. Tank swapping (MT and MT) seems to be a very common theme between most of Trion’s encounters. If all tanks where equal in terms of their tanking ability (mitigation or avoidance) I would be very happy with this. I honestly think that a majority of the community and the developers feel that Warriors should be better tanks, hands down. If all tanks are equal then MT and MT would be fine for me, if all tanks are not equal then they should make most of the fights have a true offtank role.

Since Warriors are so much better at taking hits with 1.6, MT and MT fights would mean you should bring two Warriors on progression. I’m not saying its not possible but you will need that extra healer, cooldown or have to adjust your raid to make the non-Warrior tank work. I do not like the idea of requiring additional help and having someone holding my hand because I have aggro.

If I was in charge of designing the tank balance I would have all tanks be vastly different. Warriors could take both physical and magical hits very well at the same time. Rogues could take magic hits just as good as a Warrior but have very crappy physical mitigation. Clerics could take physical hits just as good as a Warrior but have very crappy magic mitigation. Then, and most importantly, I would design each encounter so that they required three tanks. Warriors would take the MT role such that they would mitigate the heavy hits and debuffing the boss, Rogues would be the movement tank required to either kite through blinking or simply have to get somewhere fast and possibly absorb some magic hits, Clerics would excel at holding aggro on a group of trivial mobs that would have some mechanic to it (such that they MT could not possibly hold them when tanking the boss) and they could assist with AoE healing.

6. One issue cleric tanks seem to have is AoE threat. What is your personal experience with this matter? (note this issue was largely fixed with 1.6.1 with the fix to overhealing threat)

Quietmode: Our threat in general is fine versus DPS, but its a joke versus the Rogues planar vortex and warrior aoe threat. So its not really that our aoe threat is bad, its just that rogues and warriors have a tremendous lead over us.

Radak: Cleric AoE threat might be a bit lacking at the moment (possible because of a bug with overhealing threat). However I hardly every have problems keeping AoE threat from the dps since this patch. I think a lot of people are focussing to much on trying to keep aggro by healing. However most seem to have forgotten that every justicar ability now causes increased threat, including Even Justic, and by using a combination of tab targeting even justice spam smart use of DoA it’s easily possible to keep threat from more then 5 targets. However during raids you are hardly tanking more then 5 targets on your own and you have your fellow tanks that are also tanking. The only exception is Matron however in this case they simple inherit boss threat the moment they spawn so as long as your on top off the threat table they will instant target you and run to you and threat isn’t a problem on them because of the 130% threat treshold (this is also the reason why some people are reporting dps dieing when the adds spawn as they inherit actual threat, not the target of matron, so if the dps is at 110% of the tank matron won’t switch but when the adds spawn they do target the dps).

Xitan: Since initial release Clerics have had a tough time with AoE snap threat. Sustained AoE threat wasn’t too much of an issue if their was players to heal. During Maximation’s alpha testing of HK we where encuraged to give feedback on any aspects of the game (this was when MoL overhealing was 300%). I wrote a letter to the developers asking to implement overhealing threat (https://docs.google.com/document/d/1B8TfjVcJ9lCyJlaXojHqhe82iy_XrmaL9fVF-AfXUnQ/edit), I do not take credit for this change whatsoever but I would like to note that it took some time to get through the pipeline. 1.6 introduced overhealing threat but it did not work. 1.6.1 fixed overhealing threat and as far as I can tell, so their isn’t much of an issue here.

7. One of the big things from 1.6 is generating agro from overhealing. Many clerics have reported their frustration with this and Zinbik has posted his comments. Is this mechanism working for you? How are you using this? (note this issue was largely fixed with 1.6.1 with the fix to overhealing threat)

Quietmode: I havent seen much success from Using DoL or other overhealing mechanics having the effect they should. When i use a Call to entrench or Call to battle on my 50 warrior it almost feels like i taunted all the mobs from the snap aggro it gives. Same thing from my rogue tanks Planar vortex. The snap aggro these two classes offer is phenominal in my experience. I have tried running into mobs, and DoL’ing, but i still cant get aggro. I have given up using DoL has a main aoe threat gain and just use it when there is actually something to heal.

Radak: It indeed appears to be a bit malfunctioning at the moment when I really tried to use it. And as a result I now simple ignore it and noticed that the threat from our new ability modifier is more then enough to be able to keep aggro until it gets fixed. However even after it gets fixed I will most likely still continue using the default ability’s unless there is a advantange of using healing threat somewhere in the fight (like adds spawning very far away that need to be picked up ASAP).

Xitan: One of the most concerning thing for me is the fact that Zinbik was in much denial that 1.6 overhealing threat was not working. It took a lot of effort by the community to convince him that it was in fact broken. I saw plenty of threads on our forums with video links disproving what he thought was working. It took me a few minutes of testing to realize it was not working. So how much of the other changes are actually not working as they intended that we do not know about, for every patch?

Since the start of my tanking career I haven’t relied much on heals as part of my threat. 1.6.1 will help me on my AoE threat issues and I will be able to spam more heals and not worry too about losing threat if I get a lot of overhealing. I havn’t had much of an issue with single target threat so I wont need to use it for single target fights.

8. In general, how do cleric tanks compare with rogue tanks?

Quietmode: I’m not really sure, I havent really been tanking while he is tanking. Its normally me and the Warrior or the warrior and the rogue.

Radak: We don’t really use a rogue tank that often but at the moment I think rogue tanks have a slight edge over cleric tanks at the moment mainly because of there larger hp pool. But I think rogue and cleric tanks are currently fairly balanced. But like I said I haven’t looked that much into rogue tanking so I don’t have to much to compare.

Xitan: I feel bad that Rogues had the shaft in HK, its not that they could not tank the content, it just required much more work on the raid to make them work as effectively as a Warrior or Cleric. Unfortunately Maximation has not had a Rogue tank in quite some time so I cannot give any good comments about this. As far as I understand they are not up to par with Warriors. I feel they need a better niche then simply having teleports since Clerics have healing. As a plug, Maximation really really needs a quality Rogue tank we would much rather recruit one then have one of our current Rogues do the part.

9. Do you have anything you like to add about cleric tanking or anything you would like to ask Zinbik?

Quietmode: Not at the moment. I feel like it needs some sort of gameplay adjustments, but i dont have any ideas or suggestions.

Radak: There are a couple of questions/requests I would like to ask zinbik.

1: Removing our reliance of shaman by moving the mitigation and increased healing taken somewhere into the justicar soul. This will allow more variations in possible builds as we go from 58 fixed talent points to only 51 (still not actually fixed as you can go lower but oke). I think this will help a bit in getting more choose in different tanking builds. It also free’s up some talents for shaman for more dps oriented talents.

2: Move a purge somewhere into the justicar soul even though it’s available at only 10 points into inquisitor this is currently impossible to pick up in a 51 point build because of the reliance on shaman. Doing number 1 can help with this but this is another option.

3: Try to balance the 3 tanks a bit more to avoid one of the tanks becoming un-viable in future content. If new content would be balanced around the current warrior tanks cleric will have a very very hard time tanking that content.

4: Take a look at the threat issue again and please make wisdom superior.

5: I like that we might be avoidance tanks with over 40% dodge+parry however in this case our hp needs a boost to be able to survive 2 hits in future content.

6: Scaling will appear to be a problem for cleric tanks in the future. Parry is already hard capped and block is already over the soft cap. And because wisdom doesn’t provide much avoidance we are forced into str/dex for higher avoidance stats. However these don’t appear on our gear so there is a definite cap on how much we can get of these stats. As a result our scaling will be much slower in future content and might put us further behind warrior tanks then we already are in the future. (I can only hope Zinbik will contact me so I might be able to discuss the future of cleric tanks with him in regards to balance and scaling)

7: One of my most wanted things: Take a look at the old style cleric tanking from beta, I really liked the way convictions worked at that time. Currently they are just something that you can ignore 90% of the time because we only use it for DoA and PoR. The few exceptions are when heavy healing is required and we use DoL. But I would like to see convictions be used for more tank oriented ability’s.

Xitan: Overall I am torn with Cleric tanking, I feel like I am in limbo after 1.6, some players tell me Warriors will get nerfed but I am constantly reminded how Rogues where left out for all of HK. I do not feel like I am a go to tank on any boss encounters right now and honestly the only reason I am expected to tank is because I have gear or because a Warrior can do more dps then me if I tank.

I have a few tanking questions for Zinbik:

What is the direction of all three tanking classes, how are Rogues, Warriors and Clerics supposed to work relative to one another?

Are the dungeon teams planning on designing more offtank roles in their boss encounters?

Doctrine of Loyalty is known as a very powerful heal compared to all of the other Cleric heals. Is it intended that hybrid Clerics are to have access to this one-button healing answer?

10. Finally, what do you enjoy the most as a cleric tank?

Quietmode: Being able to support the raid with heals, effectively assisting as two roles in the raid.

Radak: I mostly like the fact that it’s a bit of a alternate tank with the ability to heal. However I think this concept should be taken a lot further and self healing should become a more important aspect (maybe combine this with the tank balance and the convictions idea).

Xitan: Simply put I enjoy being able to heal and tank at the same time. If I was unable to use any heals while tanking I probably would not be in the position I’m in today.

Thanks again to Quietmode, Radak, and Xitan for answering those questions!

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Popular addons – Patch 1.6.1 Edition

December 13, 2011

This guide is co-owned and first released on

mmosite148x591333333333

Hello everyone, it has being a bit over 2 months since addons were enabled for Rift. Over the course of 2 months, we saw a lot of addons being developd. Some of these addons didn’t make the cut, while others become immensely popular. The idea of this guide is give an idea of the currently popular addons that are still being developed and are working in game.

Wire’s Raidkiller

Category: Raid

Last updated: Nov 23, 2011

Wire’s Raidkiller is great addon that will make your raiding life much easier. It features timers for key boss abilities and warnings that will alert you when you need to do something. It is the addon that all raiders should have unless they are purists who do not wish to use addons. Supports all 10 man/20 man raid content and some 5 man content (mostly Caduceus Rise)

This is the configuration screen where you can test out triggers and turn them on/off for certain mechanics.

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This is the timer on your screen telling you how many seconds before an ability hits.

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This is the kind of warning on your screen when you need to do something (the screen flashes)

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King Boss Mods

Category: Raid

Last updated: Dec 4, 2011

Originally an addon designed specifically for King Molinar & Prince Dollin fight in HK, this addon has evolved to perform similar functions as Wire’s Raidkiller but it does two things exceptionally well.

It is especially handy for the King & Prince fight in HK due to the inclusion of this bar on your screen.

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This white bar in the middle will move to left and right depending on the HP balance between the two. You can see this addon in action here (youtube video).

The second handy thing it has is the tank swap monitor shown below. This make a healer’s job easier on fights involves tank swapping (i.e. Matron and Murdantix in HK comes to mind).

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Herald’s Buff Warden

Category: Buff tracker

Last Updated: Dec 10, 2011

This is one of the addons that make you go, OMG I want it! It shows all the buffs available for your soul combination and allow you to apply them by clicking on them and display a timer on how long they will last. It also works for potions, food and consumables like powerstones! You no longer need those buffs taking up your hotbars!!

5b

 

Karuulalert

Category: Buffs/Debuffs tracker

Last updated: Nov 30, 2011

Karuulalert is a buff/debuff tracker that can alert you if you have a buff or debuff on you via displaying an icon on your screen. It is very useful if you want to track if you have a proc (i.e. Serendipity for clerics) or debuff (i.e. healing debuffs in PvP).

Here is a view of my configuration window loaded with everything I wanted to keep track of (Serendipity proc, Latent Blaze, BoD proc, Healing debuffs for pvp).

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You can see the two icons on my screen for tracking when Latent Blaze falls off and when Serendipity procs below.

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nKRebuff

Category: Buffs/Debuffs tracker

Last updated: Dec 08, 2011

nkRebuff is an addon similar to Karuulalert. So if Karuulalert stress your computer out or not working well for you, then look for this alternative.

Originally designed for rogues, but other archtypes may benefit it from it as well.

Here is its configuration screen to give you an idea of the options.

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nKAdvisor

Category: In-game item viewer

Last updated: Dec 9, 2011

nKAdvisor is a very useful addon that allow you to view all items of level 50. It has two useful main functions – seeing what items drop and looking an item up and comparing it to your current item.

The first function – seeing what items from each boss, is not really complete. There are a lot of items missing from each boss so it is not very reliable. Nonetheless, it is good to have for reference. (if you know a loot is missing from a boss, feel free to drop the author an email or something to let him know!)

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For example, this page on Grug on HK is missing a lot of items.

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What this addon really shines though is in the item search department. You can view all the items of a certain slot equippable by your class or you can type in a name and look it up. This allow you to compare that item with your current item and see how much of an upgrade it is for you.

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You can even build your own item ranking system by giving artificial values to certain stats and rank items by that score.

SimpleMeter

Category: DPS Meter

Last Updated: Nov 19, 2011

SimpleMeter is an ingame DPS parser.  It is an alternative to running an external parser like ACT. It can show everyone’s parse, the top 5, or just yourself. It also give you a break down of everyone’s parse (i.e. % of damage done by each ability).

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Riftcount DPS meter

Category: DPS meter

Last updated: Nov 28, 2011

This is the alternative to SimpleMeter if you don’t like it for some reason. The author took a short break but is back to work on it once more. It doesn’t give break down  of the DPS/HPS parse.

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Target Casting Bar

Category: Casting bar/Raiding

Last updated: Nov 18, 2011

This is an external cast bar you can resize and move around all over the screen. It has two features that are really useful. One of them is the ability to lock on that target and watch that target’s casting bar while be targeted to something else. This is really nice in raiding/grouping situations as you can see exactly when the boss is casting something without having it targeted at all. The other nice feature is watch your target’s casting bar, which is fairly standard.

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Castbar replacement

Category: Casting Bar

Last updated: Nov 18, 2011

This addon simply watch your own castbar as well. I don’t find it too useful the default casting bar is good enough for me but if you don’t like it try this out!

bCast – Cast Bars

Category: Casting Bar

Last updated: Dec 9, 2011

If you dislike the default cast bars for yourself, target, target of target etc.. then check out this addon. It has a lot of configuration options to make it look nice and pretty!

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Archimedes

Category: Health/Mana bars

Last updated: Dec 9, 2011

This is a fairly neat addon. Instead of showing your hp/mana/energy bars as rectangles, it shows them as arcs around your character, allowing to be more aware of them. This is really helpful if you are tunnel visioned like me sometimes and forget to check on your mana/health in the middle of a heretic fight.

In the picture below, your own hp/mana bars are on the left while that of target’s is on the right.

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Startip

Category: Tooltip

Last updated: Nov 30, 2011

Startip replace’s Rift’s default tooltip (the box you get when you hover over someone) and give it a bit more information. However, this addon use a lot of CPU activity and my game stuttered a bit when I was running this addon and hovering over things.

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Runecraft Helper

Category: Crafting/General Info

Last updated: Nov 16, 2011

You do not have to be a crafter to benefit from this! It is a great addon showing all the runes/potions in the game for easy reference. You no longer need to ask people what runes you can use in so and so slot or what potions are out there. Everything has being compiled for you for easy access.

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Break Mover

Category: Crafting

Last updated: Dec 7, 2011

Very handy for crafter that need to break large number of items (i.e. Runebreak, Salvage items). It is handy for professional crafters!

Book of the Fallen

Category: PvP

Last updated: Dec 7, 2011

This is a nice little addon for PvPers who wish to keep track of their kills. I think the picture below will describe it better than I can!

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Puzzle Map

Category: Puzzles/Cairns

Last updated: October 16, 2011

I thought this is a neat little addon that shows you all the puzzles/cairns on your map. It is not updated for Ember Isle though.

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Templar and PvP Healing Builds

December 8, 2011

This guide is co-owned and first released on

mmosite148x5913333333

Hello everyone, I recently picked up PvP again trying to reach Rank 7/8 so I can get some upgrades to my Tier 3 raid armor. I have being playing with some healing builds which I find are very effective in PvP and I will share some of here.

The goal for me in PvP is not topping the heal parses. Rather, I try to keep my self alive first and foremost and then my teammates. Managing mana and able to do some damage/Crowd-Control (CC) on the side are also good traits to have.

I only cover the pure healing builds here. There are a lot of other builds that utilize DoL/justicar in combination with other DPS souls. These builds may excel at high PvP ranks but for they never had the survival/burst healing I needed.

The Templar

Templar is a soul you can purchase from the favor merchant in Sanctum/Meridian for 2500 favor. It is a PvP soul and advancing in that soul requires you to have certain PvP ranks. Each vertical advancement in that tree requires you to have the corresponding rank (i.e. 2nd branch of the tree requires you to have rank 2 to be able to put points into it).

0 Point Templar will grant you Break Free, an ability with 2 minutes cooldown which will remove all the CC/snare (run speed impairment)  effects from you. This ability is also nice for PvE on raids/dungeons when you get CC’ed.

5 points in Templar will grant you Detaunt, another useful ability with a 1 minute cooldown that will reduce damage against you by an enemy player by 50% for 15 seconds. This is super useful in 1vs1 or 1vs2 situations you may encounter as you can pop detaunt on an enemy player and run back to the rest of your teammates.

10 points into Templar will grant you Nysyr’s Band, an useful ability against rogues and allow you to spend points in Reinforce, which will grant your and your ally 6% damage reduction for 10 seconds. The beauty of Reinforce is that when combined with Protect the Flock from Sentinel, you are looking at 11% damage reduction for you and your teammates when you spam AoE heals.

In terms of points allocation, for the first 5 points you definitely want to invest 5/5 in  Resilient as it is a flat 15% chance to reduce crits from enemy players (i.e. if enemy player have <15 crit chance, they will never able to crit you). See this thread for more discussion.

Once you are at least rank 3 and don’t have much of a survival issue, then going the other path and getting 2/2 reinforce is definitely recommended to help your teammates out.

PvP Healing Builds

Build 1: 31 Sentinel/30 Warden/5 Templar

Build: 31 sentinel/30 warden/5 templar

You could switch it around and remove the point from Healer’s Haste and put it into Healing Showers in Warden if you wish and make it 30 sentinel/31 warden/5 Templar. You can also move other points around (i.e. moving points away from Light Efficiency into Enraptured Breath) but you definitely want 28 in Sentinel for 3/3 Serendipity and invest 2/2 in Protect the Flock.

This build is probably the most mana friendly of all the builds listed here. As in majority of the warfronts you will be doing lots of AoE healing combined with occasional bursts of single target healing, you will run out of mana quickly and become useless. Having 5/5 in Light Concentration and Cascade from Warden will help a lot. If you need additional mana, you can switch from 5/5 in Destructive Tide to 5/5 in Aquatic Affinity in the Warden tree. Also, pack lots of mana pots (Ember Isle daily quests give out a lot of these as rewards) and lots of drinks (I pack 80-100 drinks/pots on average and consume on average 5-10 drinks per warfront).   

PvP is not really macro friendly so I try to minimize my macro usage. The one macro I do have is Tidal Surge + Orbs of the Stream to make my my orbs much more effective. I cast the orbs on myself whenever I get a chance and on teammates whenever I can spare it.

#show Orbs of the Stream
suppressmacrofailures
cast Tidal Surge
cast Orbs of the Stream

The other macro I have is to promote other team members to assistant when I have the leader. This way, no one bugs me to mark people or pass lead! The macro is a simple one liner – promote.

The third macro I have is instant Healing Invocation.

#show Touch the Light
suppressmacrofailures
cast Touch the Light
cast Tidal Surge
cast Healing Invocation

Single target healing

For most of the single target healing, I use Healing Breath whenever I can. If the damage is too severe to be recuperated with Healing Breath, then Healing Invocation with Serendipity proc is the way to go. I spam Healing Flood as much as I can to proc Serendipity + keep up Protect the Flock.  If you need to move and Healing Breath isn’t up, stacks of Soothing Stream and Healing Spray can be good to use as well. If you or a teammate is getting focus fired, then using the instant HI macro mentioned above and then pop Healer’s Covenant after if it is up. I never cared much for Deluge but if you have HoTs already running on someone and don’t have the 1.5 second to cast Healing Invocation (after Serendipity proc), then it can be useful as it becomes 0.5 seconds with Serendipity.

AoE healing

When your team is taking multiple angles of fire (i.e. the Bridge in Port Scion or Codex in Codex), then AoE heals it is the way to go. Keep spamming Healing Flood as often as you need. Healing Communion will be the way to go for most cases but if the damage is minor, Ripple + HoTs will do the job as well. I try to avoid using Healing Communion as much as possible as it is mana intensive and will drain your mana quick. If things goes awry, then Divine Call may or may not save the day.

Overflow is a nice passive to have in PvP and will make up a significant chuck of your heal parse as well (~10%).

Crowd Control/Survival

One ability I absolutely love to use is Crushing Wave from the Warden soul. It has a fairly short cooldown (15 seconds) as well. I use this knockback ability for three purposes.

1. When I see a warrior/rogue running towards me, Crushing Wave will push them back so my teammates can pick them off and it allow me to prepare myself mentally for the incoming fight.

2. Removing key enemy players from the fight. This is especially useful in the ridges near Codex as I can punt enemy players off the cliff and force them to run back. Other locations come to mind are the staircases in Library and the bridge in Port Scion. This works really well against enemy healers but also in general any enemy player will work. If they are removed from the fight for even a few seconds, they cannot assist their team and there is a bigger chance your team will decimate the remaining enemy players.

3. Interrupt people picking up relics/flags/capturing points. This can be fairly annoying to your opponents as not only they are interrupted, but they are also punted a distance away and have to run back.

Another ability I love to use on enemy mages/cleric is the silence ability. You have two at your disposal. Quietus from Sentinel and Drown from Warden. Both don’t last long and are very situational but if you are faced with mage/cleric and need to get away, they will do the job.

Dissolution from Warden will remove any movement impairments you have and make you immune to them for a short duration. Break Free is there if you need to get out of a silence or fear but it has a 2 minutes cooldown so use it sparingly.

Detaunt and Healer’s Covenant are indispensible for survival. Healer’s Covenant work best when you are getting focus fired while Detaunt works best when you are against a single enemy player or small groups. The key to use Detaunt is to quickly target whoever is chasing you and then hit it and heal yourself up quickly afterwards. Detaunt/Healer’s Covenant + Touch the Light macro for instant HI is my get out of the jail free card for most occasions.

Restorative Tide from Warden is nice to have in PvP. It is not a big heal but it procs constantly with all the damage (crits) you take from other players and it serve as a passive heal that will top you off. It accounts for around 10% of my heal parse on some fights (varies depends on how much you get focus fired).

The main thing about survival in PvP is LoS (Line of Sight), use pillars, stones, rocks, whatever to your advantage and hide behind them when you are getting focus fired. If they don’t get line of sight to you, they can’t kill you.

Cleanse is another big thing in PvP and you will devout a significant amount of time to it and soon learn all the icons you need to cleanse off right away. The reason you need to cleanse a lot is the healing debuffs from warriors, rogues and mages. These healing debuffs will reduce your healing by as much as 50% if not cleansed. Also, since mages are FOTM (Flavor of the Month) with 1.6, there are a lot of out there running with the stormcaller build and they have a nasty Storm Shackle that will damage you if you move without cleansing it. Remember you have 3 cleanses – AoE, cleanse over time and single target cleanse.

Lastly, if you want to do some damage, Waterjet is the way to go. Its handy to finish enemy player off or kill some lowly ranked players.

Build 2: 28 Sentinel/26 Warden/12 Templar

Build: 28 sentinel/26 warden/12 templar

Keep in mind you need to have rank 3 in PvP before you can use build.

If you are not getting focus fired a lot in PvP, this build might be the way to go for the 11% damage reduction (5% from Protect the Flock and 6% from Reinforce) for your and your teammates. Play style is largely similar to the first build.

Build 3: 28 Sentinel/17 Warden/21 Templar

Build: 28 sentinel/17 warden/21 templar

This is a heavy Templar build that can be used only by those with Pvp Rank 6 or above. The main reason to go into 21 templar is for Overload, which is really nice when you are getting focus fired, and Greater Empowerment (think of it as Touch the Light + Tidal Surge combined). Beware that all these abilities have a 2 minutes cooldown timer.

You are also getting some nice utility for your teammates along the way, such as 6% damage reduction from Reinforce and 10% damage increase on teammates under 50% health from Rolling with the Punches. Mark of Purification is also nice to have to ease your cleansing job.

Gear and stuff

Ever since they equalized the valor on all PvP gear, there is very little reason to not get it. Get as much valor as you can, even if the PVP gear has worse stats. You can get + 50 valor rune for chest (Blazing Valorous Rune) and a sigil with +50 valor if you do your PvP dailies. The PvP trinket with permanent stats is nice to have for PvE as well if you don’t have a nice trinket already.

Use Burning Powerstones (+200 sp) if you can afford it. Get Thick Armor Plating or the cheaper version Heavy Armor Plating for damage mitigation against warriors/rogues. Cushioned Insoles or Performance Insoles are also nice for 4-5 % boost to unmounted runspeed, allowing to get out of sticky situations faster.

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Guide to Instant Adventure!

December 6, 2011

This guide is co-owned and first released on

mmosite148x591333333

Hello everyone, Instant Adventure is a new feature in Rift that will be introduced sometime between 1.6 and 1.7 as a mid-content update. The purpose of this guide to help you get orientated with this new feature.

What is it?

Instant adventure is basically a series of objectives currently in Stillmoor/Shimmersand where you and other players need to complete in exchange for reward such as inscribed sourcestones and vanity items. The “instant” refers to the fact that you can jump into the adventure anytime and be instantly teleported to the location of the adventure.

How do you access it?

Instant adventures can be accessed by pressing the . (period) key on your keyboard. If you have changed your key mappings, they can be found via the menus on the bottom left corner of your screen.

Once you press the button, this screen will pop up.

instantadv

If you click on the button, you will be put in queue and very soon this window should pop up!

teleport

Clicking on Teleport will instantly port you to the location of your instant adventure awaits!

Objectives, Diffculty and Rewards!

Objectives you and the rest of your raid need to complete are marked on the map as green icons/circles to separate from the rest of your quest objectives.

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You will also see these objectives on your quest tracking screen like this.

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Each objective have a 15 minutes timer limit, there are a series of objectives you will need to complete at your location, with the last objective usually involve a fight with a mini boss!

The difficulty of the objectives/mini boss will scale up depending on how many people are in your raid. Keep in mind that you and your raid are not in a special instance of the zone and will need to deal with any mobs/creatures you would normally encounter on the map.

After the series of objectives are complete, you will get a new series of objectives, with a window promoting if you wish to be teleported to the new objective’s location.

Each objective rewards about 6k xp, a 50/50 chance at an inscribed sourcestone and occasionally you will get a chance at vanity items like the sandcovered pieces or the pieces you need to make the mathosian vanity set!

There is no return button currently, so if you do decide to drop out of the instant adventure, you will need to soul recall or travel back to town yourself.

Why do them?

Instant adventure offer an endless way to gather inscribed sourcestones and some old vanity pieces if you are willing to put the time to it. The xp isn’t that great and it can get mind-boggling boring at times but if you are bored, they are better than sitting in Sanctum/Meridian!

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Cleric Top DPS Builds 1.6 Q1

November 28, 2011

This guide is co-owned and first released on

mmosite148x591333

Hello everyone, in case you are curious what the top DPS builds for clerics are, here is a guide to help you out. This guide is relevant for 1.6 Quarter 1 (Q1), referring to the time period immediately after patch 1.6 and before any major changes to the Cleric class. However, looking at the preliminary PTS changes to Cleric DPS, the content of this guide should still stay relevant well onto patch 1.7

The emphasis here is on raid DPS, which is different from the DPS you would get from self buffed, beating up a dummy in Sanctum/Meridian. Certain souls, especially druid, do not scale well with raid buffs and falls terribly short in a raid setting even though they might excel in a solo/group setting.

One thing worth mentioning is that all top raid DPS builds are 51 point builds. Hybrid builds (with points spread over 2-3 souls) cannot compete at the moment due to the powerful passives one get from going 51 points into a build (well past 36 points).

Single target DPS Discussion

Cleric single target DPS build at the moment is very static, meaning that there is usually only one way you can put points into the build.

In terms of single target raid DPS, we have the following ranking in terms of decreasing DPS: 51 Inquisitor –> 51 Shaman –> 51 Druid. If you are interested in the raw data, please see this thread here.

On a typical self buffed dummy parse, however, you will see the following in terms of decreasing DPS: 51 Druid –> 51 Inquisitor –> 51 Shaman. Raw data can be found here. As mentioned before, this is has to do with scaling of druid soul. 51 Druid is probably your best pure DPS build for soloing and even some 5 man grouping. However, when you start to have a bard and archon with you, it falls short.

Generally, one should raid with the 51 inquisitor as you can bring the 7% magical damage debuff and do the best single target raid DPS (not to mention it is ranged). Unless things change, 51 inquisitor will dominate the cleric DPS parse as they are getting even more of a buff on the PTS. 51 Shaman might have a place in fights where melees are needed or if your raid is short on people for interrupt duty. 51 Druid have no place in a min/maxing raid force, sadly.

Single target DPS Builds/Macros

51 Inquisitor

Build: 51 Inq/10 sent/5 Warden

You are going 10 points into Sentinel for 5% increase to your SP (Spell Power) and 20% critical hit damage bonus. You are also going 5 points into warden for 10% damage increase to your instant cast spells in the inquisitor soul (Sanction Heretic initial tick, Waterjet). Note that Vex is not affected by this warden ability. See this thread for info on warden ability and inquisitor spells.

The alternative to this build is 51 Inq/10 Sent/Cab for the extra 5% bonus to your SP. However, your DoTs hit harder in the build with 5 Warden and you also have Waterjet for fights with a lot of movement where you can’t stop and cast your primary abilities like Bolt of Judgement. The difference between going into 5 warden or 5 cabalist is minimal but most players I talked to prefer the 5 warden.

Macros/Rotation

Unlike the druid and shaman builds, the inquisitor build does not utilize a lot of complex macros. Instead, a good rotation is the key to this build. I utilize a couple  simple macros.

Macro 1: Slow and Purge (PvP).

#show Purge
suppressmacrofailures
cast Impede
cast Purge

Macro 2: Slow and Knockback (PvP)

#show excommunicate
suppressmacrofailures
cast Impede
cast Excommunicate
cast Crushing Wave

Macro 3: Heal + Hot (Can be used to save people in a pinch)

#show Healing Breath
suppressmacrofailures
cast Healing Breath
cast Healing Spray

Macro 4: SH 

#show Sanction heretic
suppressmacrofailures
cast fanaticism
cast sanction heretic

Macro 5: AoE macro

#show Sanction heretic
suppressmacrofailures
cast soul drain
cast circle of oblivion

Rotation

The basic rotation is rather simple, you will want to cast Sanction Heretic coupled with Fanaticism using that above macro (macro 4). Then you will cast Vex. Between the time period you have for the DoTs to refresh, you will want to spam Bolt of Judgment and use Bolt of Depravity proc whenever it is up. Also, use  Nysyr’s Rebuke whenever it is up from cooldown. Have a separate button for Bolt of Depravity and Nysyr’s Rebuke so you can “mash” them whenever they proc or up from cooldown.

Macro 4 –> Vex –> (BoD if up) –> (Nysyr’s Rebuke if up) –> BoJ spam

If situations where you need to move, you will keep your DoTs refreshed and spam Waterjet.

If you have the 4 piece T1 raid inquisitor synergy crystal or the HK inquisitor synergy crystal (2 piece min), the above BoJ macro will also take care of that. Sanction Heretic will be used whenever it is up from cooldown, whether naturally or triggered by the synergy crystal.

Some players prefer to couple Fanaticism to Bolt of Depravity rather than Sanction Heretic. Parses have shown that Sanction Heretic takes a bigger advantage of that.

Since patch 1.6, the Clinging Spirit debuff (7% magicial damage debuff) is attached to BoD so you no longer have to get in melee range and use Soul Drain on single target fights.

For AoE fights, you will want to use Soul Drain whenever it is up from cooldown. Otherwise, use Circle of Oblivion instead. The AoE macro (macro 6) will take care of that. You will have to get in very close to the mob to get soul drain off however.

Do not use Spiritual Deficiency in your macros. It will overwrite an archon debuff called Crumbing Resistance, which lasts 5 minutes and buffs the archon themselves

Remember you have a purge ability called Purge! So don’t forget to use it when the situation requires it!

Buffs

Use of Armor of Awakening at all times if possible. Currently, it provides only 5% more spell damage but on PTS this has being changed to 10% bonus. Only use Armor of Devotion or Armor of Teachery on fights where taking less damage or having more HP will make a difference in survival (i.e. Grug fight in HK).

Keep Shroud of Agony up as well. This is useful in AoE fights where you might take a lot of damage but on PTS this has being nerfed to affect a maximum of 10 enemies rather than all enemies.

Gear

Stack for SP. The softcap for Spell Crit (SC) is 1.1 k and on raid settings you will reach close to that. Although if you are soloing/5 mans, you might consider getting some lesser essences with a decent amount of SC as well. In general, you will want 2.5 times as much SP as SC. Whenever evaluating gear, use the formula total SP *2.5 + total SC.

Total SP is calculated as wis *0.75 + int *0.25 + actual SP

Total SC is calculated as int * 1 + actual SC.

In terms of the new 1.6 Lesser Essences, considering checking out this guide here and look at the bottom for ranking in terms of 2.5 SP + SC

DPS expectations

Generally, when you are self buffed and beating on a dummy, you can expect about 1.1 k DPS in tier 1 raid gear with some pieces of Hammerknell loot. Fully raid buffed in the same gear, I can expect around 1.6 k DPS in ideal condition where I have perfect rotation and do not have to move at all.

I won’t comment on the DPS you can expect with full HK gear/P8 gear but you can expect at least 2k DPS when raid buffed.

Here is the damage break down you can expect to see on your parse.

51 Shaman

Build: 51 Shaman/11 Inq/4 Justicar or 51 Shaman/11 Inq/4 Warden

The 11 points in inquisitor is not debatable. You are gaining 5% more chance to crit on damaging abilities and a 20% boost in your damage when you crit. The extra 1 point is for the Armor of Devotion,  which will give you 42 SP and SC for a simple 1 point investment.

What is debatable is the investment of the last 4 points. If you invest into Justicar, you gain 4% increase damage in your spells that are melee abilities (Lighting Hammer, Fated Blow, Massive Blow, etc.). However, if you invest into 4 warden, you will do 8% more damage on some of your hardest hitting spells (Jolt, Vengence of Primal North, and anything that is instant and not melee range). Going into either won’t make or break your parse, it comes down to personal preference. If you are interested in some numbers, check out this thread here.

Macros

Shamans have really only one macro to speak of.

#show Rage of the North
suppressmacrofailures
cast Massive Blow
cast Frozen Wrath
cast Sanction Heretic
cast Lightning Hammer
cast Crushing Blow
cast Rage of the North
cast Waterjet
cast Vex
cast Jolt
cast Fated Blow
cast Glory of the Chosen

You may choose to remove Rage of the North out of the macro for situations where you need burst DPS in raid settings (i.e. when your raid leader screams for Moar DOTs!)

The reason for Waterjet in the macro is for situations when you need to move away from melee range of the boss. Vex is also included there as you can cast it when you face away from the boss. In most situations where you are in melee range, Waterjet and vex will never go off as Crushing Blow will be your instant spammable ability. When you are out of melee range, Waterjet will go off. When you are out of melee range and faced away from the boss for whatever reason, Vex will go off.

Make sure you have a separate button for your interrupt ability – Bitter Wind and another button for your purge! These two abilities are essential in a raid setting.

Buffs

Going into Shaman, you have two courage spells. Courage of the Eagle and Courage of the Jaguar.  These won’t stack with raid buffs but for a solo/group setting where you don’t have a bard/archon, the +40 dex/wis they provide do come in handy. It is debatable which one to use. If you are lacking in crit, use Jaguar, otherwise use Eagle.

You also  have two Vengence spells. One of them is Vengenance of the Primal North, an ability you gain at 44 points into Shaman. The other one is Vengenance of the Winter Storm, a 0 point ability. The rule of thumb is use Primal North for AoE situations and use Winter Storm for single target situations.

Make sure you have Armor of Devotion up as well for that little bit of extra SP and SC.

Gear

A good rule of thumb is that SP always worth more than SC. This applies to shaman as well but one do have to remember that some of Shaman abilities, including our highest hitter –Jolt, is dependent on the shaman critting.

This means you could treat yourself to a bit of crit. I personally have a sigil with heavy SC lessers that I like to use with shaman. If you have around 30-35% crit chance when you are self buffed, you will be able to hit the 45-50% crit cap (45% for softcap, 50% for hard cap) on raids.

Using a 2hander is a must for maximal DPS. I also like to have Invigorating Runehard as the rune for my 2hander.

Make sure to grab the Hailtouched Soulstone greater essence as well for your sigil/sourcemachine. This greater is better than the 6th lesser if you are 51 Shaman (51 Shaman ability – Frozen Wrath, will cause this greater to add about 30 dps). The rest of the sigil should be filled with SC heavy lessers if you are not reaching the 30-35% self buffed crit chance value.

DPS Expectations

I parse about 1.1 k self buffed on a dummy and about 1.6 k DPS when raid buffed (bard + archon, no spotter’s order equivalent).

Here is the damage break down.

51 Druid

For the druid discussion, please see this guide here.

As currently, the druid does not scale too well with raid buffs and some of its raidwide buffs do not stack with archon/bard equivalent. Unless this is fixed, 51 inquisitor/shaman are still the way to go for min/maxing raids unless your raid does not have an archon or bard.

AoE DPS Discussion

For AoE dps, nothing can beat a 51 Cabalist. Although 51 Inq is not bad for AoE dps if you cannot spare a Cabalist.

For build and discussion on 51 Cabalist, please see this guide here.

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Wisdom from the Elder: Clerics in top progression guilds talking about 1.6 Cleric DPS

November 25, 2011

This article is co-owned and first released on

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Hello everyone, recently I had a chance to interview a couple clerics from some of the top progression guilds in the game and get their feedback & opinions about cleric DPS in 1.6.

Shortly after that interview was conducted, we saw a flurry of posts from Zinbik, the class dev lead. Here are some of the changes he proposed!

Clerics

  • Mien of Aggression: Now available at 21 points in Cabalist, Druid, Inquisitor, or Shaman. Increases the single target damage of the Cleric and their pet by 20%. Reduces healing by 20%. Does not affect the healing from Balm of the Woods, Contempt, Glory of the Chosen, Harsh Discipline, or Ravaging Darkness.
  • Mien of Aggression, Mien of Honor, Mien of Leadership: Increased their individual and the shared cooldown for Miens to 15 seconds.

Cabalist

  • Curse of Discord: Now lasts 15 seconds as indicated in the tooltip.
  • Symbol of the Ancient: Reduced the bonus per point spent in the Cabalist soul to 2%.

Inquisitor

  • Armor of Awakening: Increased the spell damage bonus to 10%.
  • Clinging Spirit: Now lasts 30 seconds.
  • Shroud of Agony: AE now hits 10 enemies.

Justicar

  • Doctrine of Authority: No longer uses projectiles.
  • Mien of Leadership: Will no longer cause immune messages under certain unusual circumstances.

Our ultimate goal was to increase DPS without changing existing playstyles or increasing the power of -icars. We currently intend to release these changes prior to 1.7, so we would really appreciate as much testing and feedback as we can get as soon as possible.

Anyways, here is the content of that inteview, hope you enjoy and remember that their opinions do not in anyway represent that of their guild.

Ahov – Cleric from <Maximation>

Rantology – Cleric from <Voodoo> and author of DoL Hybrid Healing Guides

jMerliN – Cleric from <Addiction>

1. What role(s) you play on raids as a cleric?

Ahov – I usually play a full-healing role as puri/sent, but on some encounters I run a hybrid healing spec such as senticar or inquisicar.

Rantology – On fights where AoE heals aren’t required I usually play full DPS as either Inquisitor or Cabalist (most of the bottom floor of HK). On fights like Grug, Molinar, Inquisitor, Darktide and Akylios I run DoL hybrid healer (inquisicar). I MT heal as sent/puri on Matron and run 51 warden for Estrode.

jMerliN – I play a lot of different roles depending on the fight and our composition. As we start to outgear content, though, I settle into mainly tank/raid healing in 51W or W/S in P8 gear or falling back on inquisicar for raid heals + DPS with the inquisitor 4pc. If we need more ST DPS, I’ll run either a 51 sham or 51 inquis depending on the fight, if we need AoE damage for killing turtles on Garau, I’ll go cab, etc. I don’t ever really tank, though.

2. As of 1.6, clerics are reporting that they are 30-35% behind in dps compared to other callings; is this what you observe in your raid as well? Would running a pure cleric DPS hinder the raid?

Ahov – Clearly stating the math (and understanding it) is very important when discussing balance. The top Sicaron parse in the world is right at 4200, while the top cleric parse is at 3100. That means clerics are 26% behind the top parse. However, to match that level of dps we would need a 35% flat dps increase. Running a pure cleric dps would technically be less beneficial than running a dps mage, and to an extent my guild has balanced around minimizing the number of clerics. We run four clerics in our raids, and I honestly consider more than three as suboptimal for most fights. All of this being said, you can complete any encounter in Hammerknell with excess clerics.

Rantology – As a pure DPS, the reports are true. At the moment I can do 3-3.1k on sicaron and about 2.3-2.4k on Murdantix as a 66 point DPS. On our raid this week I was 27% behind the top Sicaron DPS and 30% behind the top Murdantix DPS (10th on DPs and 8th on DPS respectively), anywhere from 15-30% behind the top 5. I don’t think the 35%+ figures are accurate but we are definitely 20-30% behind other callings in equal gear.

jMerliN – I’d say that’s pretty accurate looking at just single-target damage. Our AoE is fairly competitive and doesn’t need much change. It’s hard to get a really accurate number because every fight is different, some have AoE parts, others have movement or mechanics that make the DPS from parses unreliable. Around 30% lower than others in an optimal setting for everyone (like Sicaron with no contracts, no purges) is roughly what I’m seeing from clerics in comparable gear, though.

I wouldn’t say running pure DPS from a cleric would hinder a raid. It might if the raid is just starting HK when not everyone is even fully geared in raid tier 1 gear. The DPS requirements for most fights in HK are pretty low, so unless you’re running a significant number of undergeared clerics, you won’t have much trouble with a solid 20 man downing bosses. It’s far more important that the DPSers are aware and know when and where to put their DPS than it is that you have so much DPS that coordination doesn’t matter. In general, unless you’re hitting an enrage, you have plenty of DPS.

3. In your opinion, should a full dps spec’ed cleric ever come close to the DPS of other callings? If not, how much behind you think its reasonable?

Ahov – I believe clerics should offer the worst dps of any calling. However, they should still not be so much of a liability as they are now. A rough 20% increase would balance things in my eyes. I understand my opinion is not very popular among clerics, but I am against homogenization. I feel that everyone having the exact same dps removes any noticeable differences between callings aside from which few buttons you spam.

Rantology – I do think clerics should be able to be competitive. The RIFT soul system was something unique to me, with certain soul combinations you could gain great utility or specialize in a certain area. Trion obviously wanted clerics to be able to fill a damage roll, we have 4 souls dedicated to nothing but damage. It’s Trion’s choice on how they want to balance the various callings and souls, and there are plenty of ideas put forth by the community as to how to go about making the cleric unique, fun and competitive to play as a DPS, I would hope they’d step up and try to take a stab at it. It’s definitely possible.

jMerliN – Absolutely. A cleric in a build and in gear solely meant to DPS should be competitive with other callings. The reasonable difference would be up to the normal ups and downs of changes to souls, not a steadily increasing gap over months of patches as clerics have seen.

4. Even after the 1.6 druid “minor” fix, its dps still does not come close to that of shaman and inquisitor souls. Its that a problem that needs to be looked at? If so, how do you propose the devs should approach this?

Ahov – Alongside dps increases to shaman and inquisitor, druid should gain a few powerful support buffs that make it viable, as opposed to a flat dps increase. We need more variety and viable options as opposed to another dps build that will offer nothing special.

Rantology – I think it’s a problem that could be solved in a number of ways. Right now the Druids DPS is poor in part because the pets scale so poorly. You can either homogenize pets so that all of their abilities are based on player gear, buffs, consumables (as if the player themselves are attacking, but those attacks come from the pets) or you could increase and/or expand the pet scaling. Currently pets do not gain any benefit from player consumables, talents (+5% SP or +5% crit etc etc) or self-buffs (such as Armor of Devetion)… I think it’s damaging to the soul as a whole, the Satyr will do about 40% of a clerics DPS as a 51 Druid, and if that pet isn’t able to benefit from self buffs and consumables then it puts it at an immediate disadvantage in a raid setting simply due to scaling. Zinbik stated the reason for this was so the pet wouldn’t "double dip" from raid buffs, but this makes it so player-only buffs, consumables and talents are wasted on it as well and I definitely think that aspect of pet scaling needs to be revisited. It’s still very crippled at the moment and even if they buffed the Satyr damage to be competitive, unless they address the pet scaling the other DPS souls would quickly out-scale it as gear progresses.

jMerliN – I don’t often play druid but from my understanding the scaling on most of its abilities are absolutely horrendous. This is pretty common among most of our DPS souls but the other 3 souls bring heavy hitting abilities and with 30+ points (resulting in a 51 point build) increase the scaling in a few others to bring their DPS up quite a bit (ST for sham & inquisitor and AoE for cabs). A huge problem for druid is that the 36 point passive only scales pet damage/healing. The way to fix this is the same that should be done for all of our souls: make base ability scaling more potent and remove the dependence on 36 point passives to achieve "good DPS." This shouldn’t make sub-50 clerics too strong but would allow us to keep scaling with other callings as we gear up.

5. A common concern among other callings is that increasing cleric DPS would also increase cleric’s healing ability via the Justicar soul abilities, making clerics “overpowered”. Is this concern valid? If it is, how could we address it?

Ahov – The amount of self-healing is trivial, and only really helps in solo environments or, to a certain extent pvp. If it becomes an issue, Trion has been known to balance pvp separately from PvE. Therefore, self-healing against players could be decreased proportionally to the dps increase.

Rantology – I don’t think this would be an immediate concern. 11 point Justicar healing is already pretty weak in PvP and offers little Survivability in reality. The heals cost GCDs and putting 11 points into justi is a big deal when most of our viable PvP DPS builds are 51 point builds, you lose a lot of DPS and burst that you could have otherwise gotten from crit modifier talents and instant-cast modifiers via Sentinel and Warden. You can dump more points into Justi to gain a bit more survivability via being more tanky (esp geared toward being anti-melee) but you won’t actually kill anything or offer much effective healing in a group PvP situation. In PvE I don’t believe it would unbalance anything. Chloro’s are actually capable of outputting a fair amount more raid healing and have much more utility than a hybrid cleric. If we were to gain more personal DPS I think it would actually help solidify our unique role of being higher DPS raid healers who specialize in countering continuous raid burst damage, as opposed to Chloros who can offer more sustained HPS and utility via tank heals and brezzes.

jMerliN – This concern is just unreasonable, at best. People seem to equate justicar to chloromancer. This is a completely invalid comparison. Chloromancers heal primarily through damage. Justicar hybrids heal primarily through casting DoL. Yes, if the ST DPS of a chloromancer were significantly buffed, it would be outrageously overpowered. However, reparation is a tiny percentage of the healing we can do with a justicar build. Further, maximum healing as a justicar hybrid implies managing convictions just for healing and spending most GCDs on healing. We have almost no DPS to be seen and we heal competitively with W/S, 51W, and chloro for raid healing. To top it off, the very act of investing 11 points into justicar lowers our DPS by close to 15% and provides less valuable reparation heals as a result. So these builds remain a balance: they can’t DPS as well as a pure DPSer and they can’t heal quite as well as a pure healer. The beauty of them is that they allow you to dial in the healing to exactly what is needed while DPSing competently otherwise. This reduces overhealing and this is their primary utility.

In short: buffing our ST damage won’t cause these builds to become too powerful. They will be better (in terms of available DPS), but they won’t suddenly be solo healing Sicaron nor Akylios, nor will they be mowing down teams of warriors & rogues in PvP, as many feel they would. Buffing our AoE damage absolutely could have the potential to break justicar hybrid builds, though. Reparation heals from AoE damage are significant.

6. With the recent 1.6 tank changes, how do cleric tanks stand now against warriors and rogues? It looks like stats wise we are a bit worse off? Are we still having threat issues? Stats aside, how is the cleric tank actual survival compared to others? Are we hurting a lot from the 5% damage mitigation nerf?

Ahov – When it comes down to picking a tank, you have to ask several questions:

a. Does the tank stay up? Is the tank healer overly stressing to keep them alive?
b. Can the tank generate sufficient threat to hold aggro against DPSers with similar gear?
c. What utility does the tank offer?

Our cleric tank noticed the new Mein of Leadership ability is not properly generating threat when overhealing the raid. This becomes an issue as they go back to their higher-threat 38 justicar build, losing mitigation. Once this is fixed, threat will be highly competitive and mitigation won’t be as much of a concern. It mostly comes down to utility, and looking forward to the future. Cleric tanks offer more utility than rogue tanks (except on Grugonim, where Physical Wellness is a handy raid buff for the knockbacks), but arguably less than a warrior. Warriors can keep up leader’s mark, allowing other DPSers to avoid going out of their way to throw on the armor debuff. Properly-specced warriors also bring Cutting Distraction, a 5% armor debuff. Cutting Distraction alone probably isn’t enough to warrant bringing a warrior over a cleric, since the true difference in damage is nowhere near 5%. However, when you combine this with their superior mitigation and threat generation, warriors are the go-to tanks for any min-maxing guild.

All of this being said, clerics are the best off-tanks. They are able to provide additional raid healing when not actively tanking. The problem with this assertion is that most encounters are not designed around having off-tanks. They are designed around having two of your best mitigation tanks. Any encounter that is not too heavy-hitting in magic damage, and requires two tanks, a cleric is your next best choice after the warrior. This actually applies to almost every HK fight involving two tanks. However, into the future the differences in mitigation may become much more noticeable, especially if content is balanced around the stronger mitigation tanks.

Rantology – Being as I don’t tank in raid scenarios any more I cannot really comment on this with any great amount of depth. I do think warriors have been over-tuned to the point of trivializing (or to a lesser extent making some fights a little easier) tanking in some of the content in PvE at the moment.

jMerliN – I don’t really tank, but from what I’ve seen in my own guild and from the concerns of other skilled cleric tanks, we’re definitely behind warriors and rogues in every department. The only benefit a cleric tank has is their ability to stance dance and heal, which is an important one to be sure, but not so much that a cleric should have difficulty keeping threat. I’m not so worried at the moment with clerics not being able to mitigate as much damage as warriors and rogues (that being said as a person who heals tanks), but I do have a real problem with threat still being an issue. We’ve been told by developers that threat should never be an issue for tanks. I don’t feel like it is for rogues and warriors (depending on the build). It still seems shaky for clerics, even with overhealing threat.

It may also be the case that cleric mitigation is a tad bit too far behind. After 1.6, our cleric tank was taking significantly more damage on phase 4 of Akylios. It was noticeable, but it didn’t cause us to wipe (for instance, in the video I posted, we did most of phase 4 with 2 tanks). It’s uncomfortable, to say the least. In my opinion, though, tanking is probably the most balanced archetype in this game.

7. It seems like a lot of our viable builds are 51 builds. Is that a concern? Should hybrids just be as effective?

Ahov – In a perfect world, yes. In a world where the mage dev had no clue how a Building Storm rotation would work and how effective it would be, it just goes to show that players will develop new builds quite often, that devs had not even considered. The end goal of Trion should be to balance different builds for dps, but I’m more concerned with them having unique utility and buffs to provide the raid.

Rantology – If they could be balanced in such a way. I’m skeptical that they could make hybrid builds competitive to 51 point builds in PvE but I do think there could be room for PvP hybrids to have some success.

jMerliN – It is a concern. We have far fewer options in terms of builds when we are forced to spec 51 points to be effective. This problem is entirely centered around most of our scaling coming from 36 point passives. There are only a few places where hybrids are still effective (W/S, P/S, and justicar healers mainly). I feel that from how this game was sold and what the developers have said throughout its lifetime that it is incredibly important that hybrids be effective. If we’re forced to spec into 51 point builds, we lose out on the very basis for Rift. I do think that 51 point builds should have something unique to offer (an incentive for going 51 points, perhaps), but they should not trump every other build hands down because of it. That goes for every calling, not just clerics.

8. Do you think our versatility as clerics is making us into “Jacks of all trades, master of none?” (other than healing of course).

Ahov – This is an interesting question, and it mostly depends on what Trion’s intentions are. A recent dev quote would suggest their goal is balancing all callings to perform similarly with DPS, healing, and tanking. Is this an admirable goal? I’m not sure. I’m afraid of homogenization, and feel it may ruin any immersion this game offered before. I chose my cleric to heal, not to be Superman. This does not mean I’m against having multiple roles. It just means I’m against everyone being equally effective at them.

Rantology – I think that term is just a way to describe poor class balancing.. no class should have a "muddy" feel. Honestly if they can’t balance cleric DPS they should give us more tank trees or more healing trees to make us more successful or have more options in those respective fields. Healing in PvP and PvE is "ok" at the moment but I think a lot could be done with the trees to give us more options on playstyle. Or even give us a support soul. But to leave our DPS souls in their current "muddy" and "not particularly useful" (aka jack of all trades, master of none 😉 ) state is just not acceptable.

jMerliN – I think a lot of people want this to be the case, but that it is contradictory to both the design goals of the game and with the developers stated intents for Rift. Every class in this game is, to an extent, a jack of many trades. We have no true support soul, so we can’t really be a "jack of all trades," so why should every other class be a jack of many trades, master of them all when we can’t? I primarily see this argument from various trolls and primarily people who feel threatened by any move to make clerics competitive, and by the fundamental concepts of Rift (that it should be the player that matters, not their class). The reason it really doesn’t apply to Rift is because nobody can really do multiple things at the same time and do them all well. You don’t see Warrior or Rogue tanks doing competitive DPS, for instance.

9. Is there anything specific that you would like Zinbik to take a look at/fix?

Ahov – The larger issue with Doctrine of Loyalty, even than the fact that it’s located in a tank tree, is that it has a base 35-meter range. This is far too much compared to healing communion or any other aoe spell. Healing Communion+most other aoe heals need to be increased to 35 meters, and Doctrine of Loyalty’s range reduced to 20.

Rantology – The Druid tree is the one that concerns me the most in it’s future in PvP and PvE. Other than that, (unrelated, but) I think if they would get rid of focus-less cleric gear and put talents in the healing trees to make focus useful for healing (high up in the trees, maybe converts 1 focus into .5 sp? idk) so that raid healing clerics were not confined in their role and versatility (essentially punished for being the 1 MT healer a raid needs on some fights) because of gear.

jMerliN – I want Zinbik to take a more active role in fixing our DPS souls. It wouldn’t hurt for him to try to be more open and active in the community, either. I’ve recently heard that his primary role at Trion is not as a class lead, which would make sense. Though this is purely speculation as I’ve not seen any proof of it, I think this is a fundamental reason why clerics are so upset with the game right now. We don’t truly have someone who has it as a priority to work on balancing our souls, or at least it doesn’t seem that way. It feels like someone else is going to have to step in and do this, and I don’t know how much more patience regarding the matter the cleric community has to offer.

10. Finally, kinda unrelated, what you enjoy most about clerics?

Ahov – As a healer, the decisions you make in a raid may drastically affect the outcome. Otherwise, I can’t imagine my black dwarf with a pink afro being anything but a cleric.

Rantology – I enjoy hybrid healing and the versatility we bring. Especially in the early GSB/RoS days when our DPS was decent, it felt really cool to be the monkey wrench in a raid and it’s very fun to learn and be able to utilize several very different builds over the course of a single raid. Being able to DPS on the fights that needed it, and to hybrid on others, etc.

jMerliN – I enjoy being able to heal and to DPS. When I started playing Rift, I carefully read all of the class and soul descriptions to find what I thought would suit me the best. I was left with deciding between a mage or a cleric. I tried both in beta 4, and preferred to play a cleric. I found it really awesome that I could DPS as well as others but switch to healing if we needed it, and the souls felt a lot more coherent to me than did the mage souls, and at the time, chloro healing was not what it is today (nor was it at launch). Recently though, I think our gear (HK gear and P6 gear) looks pretty awesome, too.