Usually I play a healer (World of Warcraft priest) or healer utility (Lord of the Rings Online captain). With Rift I decided that I was going the ranged DPS role. I played around with a Pyromancer/Chloromancer build in beta, but I found that I really liked the Stormcaller soul for live. For soloability and excellent energy management, I added on a helping of Elementalist (pet included). A little late at level 3o, I finally decided to really start messing around with builds. I decided that since I love supporting, I was going to create a Chloromancer build for use in group content where a healer was needed.
I dutifully switched roles (saved Rift builds in game), dumped all my points in to Chloromancer with the excess in to Warlock, and stood back. My skill bars were just awash in green. It was easy to pare the few Warlock skills away, many of which were long term buffs, but I was just bombarded with way too much information. I felt like I had just been dumped in to a cockpit of an airplane, and then I was told “go.”
The other night my guild played around in Gloamwood, which I had outleveled. I decided that would be a good time to fool around with my Chloromancer build. I set up my bars as cleanly as I could separating heals and damaging skills, putting them in some sort of use/cooldown order, and pushing all the utility off to the side. I switched back to my familiar Stormcaller role within minutes. Clearly I could not handle a straight switch.
I definitely want a group friendly mage role built around Chloromancer, but I am not sure how to get there. One idea is to pretend I am leveling. Add a few skills, fight a few mobs, and when I feel comfortable with the rotation add a few more skills. The only problem with this is the “group friendly” part. Surely this would be the way to go for a more soloable role, but I am not sure it would help me in the group role. Although, knowing Chloromancer in its solo mode might be enough. The other way would be to read Chloromancer guides and rotations. I would focus on the skills and rotations emphasized and learn my way through the rest.
Guild Wars has a similar system, but builds only get 8 skills. Changing roles became one of extreme focus, and so maybe that’s it. If I narrow down my 20-30 Chloromancer skills to the 10 or less that I will need to group, perhaps that might work. I know for a solo DPS Stormcaller I rarely use of the cold-based Hypothermia skills. Why should I need all the Chloromancer skills provided? Still, I have to figure out which ones will be the best, and practice far outweighs vicariously playing through what others have written.
One thing I would love is a Rift version of Guild Wars the Zaishen Isle of the Nameless and other Zaishen areas. It’s basically a “safe” area to test out builds. Can I outdamage the Master of Healing or be able to perform with the Master of Energy Denial in my face? The true roles of Rift are known as they owe allegiance to the holy trinity. It would be great to have a test area to see how well a tank build will work, or how well a heal build will work without wasting four others’ time on wipes.
It’s very easy to grow with a build, but it is significantly harder to plop in to another at a later level. I am not really surprised at the latest Massively article when no one had a group role ready. Even with all the help that article provides, it doesn’t make the actual work to get another, wholly different role running any easier. It might be that I do just have to put some serious work in creating the Chloromancer build, but beyond dumping points, I am not sure how best to start.