My Rift Cleric at 40

March 29, 2011

Only ten levels to go… the excitement is building.

These last few levels, if anything like the other MMO’s I have played, will be the longest levels in the game. Well, compared to the first 30 I just played through. I have been thoroughly enjoying the Rift leveling process and have only once been impatient to leave an area and move on to the next – and that was only from excitement that the next are was visually very pretty to play.

Callista, my Cleric, is still primarily an Inquisitor using Vex as my main spell in a 40 inq / 7 warden / 6 sent build. But more and more often, I am finding I need to kill large packs of mobs faster as Vex’s throughput doesn’t heal me enough to keep up with the damage that the higher level mobs are dealing out. This is especially apparent in Invasions where you can’t control how many adds come tottering along with dire intent to maim and murder everything in their path. Sometimes I find myself facing off with up to 15 mobs and it can be a bit too much to deal with. Plus, if Utu pulls threat when he is in his Pyromancer wtfbbqpwnsauce build, I sometimes can’t heal him fast enough to keep him alive with only Healing Breath from the Sentinel tree and Healing Spray from the Warden tree. Even pre-loading the Healing Spray hot and the Healing Current hot on me before a pull can sometimes still be pretty dicey when it comes to outlasting the packs of mobs with only Vex as my DPS heal. I find myself relying on Circle of Oblivion (hereafter to be referred to as Circle of Awesomeness) and Soul Drain between keeping up my Vex dots to burn them down before I die.

I am beginning to yearn for more AOE abilities…

So I have been thinking of switching around. Anyone who has done some serious end-game raiding knows the inverse equation of healing ratio to damage output. More damage output can mean less healing is needed. Conversely, stronger healing can mean less burst damage is needed. Its a balancing act that starts out innocently with merely slotting for class balance in a raid, and ends with min-maxing for hard modes and capitalizing on class stacking and spell rotation usage. But this blog isn’t about hardcore snooze-fest theorycrafting on how to top meters and crush your fellow healing teammates with uber play, its about celebrating being an MMO healer and how much I am enjoying killing things while I level to end game in my current MMO, Rift.

I am thinking I either need stronger heals or I need stronger AOE. The Cabalist tree offers some serious AOE throughput but that would exclude any sort of heals from either my Warden hot or the Sentinel Instant heal. I would have to drop one tree for the Cabalist, and that got me thinking. Why not consider dropping both Warden and Sentinel in favor of an Inquisitor (35) / Cabalist (14) / Purifier (4) build or maybe just drop warden with a Inquisitor (41) / Cabalist (15) / Sentinel (10) build.

Just looking briefly over the numbers, the Cabalist tree offers Entropy which would boost my Vex output, and a spell power increase which replaces the Warden instant ability spell power buff Destructive Tide. The Shield of the Ancestors from the Purifier tree absorbs 658 damage (before spell power modifiers) vs the instant heal of only 304 (before spell power modifiers), but it only has an 8 second CD VS a 30second CD on the shield. The little heal from Healing Flame gives 208 (before spell power modifiers) and its on a 1.5 second CD so maybe it might help, but my instincts tell me that that is too little too slow to really do any difference compared to what I have right now (instant heal and a hot).

So my real dilemma is A) how to get more fat AOE damage without giving up too much healing protection and, B) is the pure AOE output in Cabalist worth dropping the security blanket that the Warden hot and the Sentinel instant heal have given me so far? I guess the only way to see is to spec into the Cabalist/inq/Sent trees and find out.

more details to follow…

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