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Just (quite long) 2 cents as Cleric

KaeyraKaeyra RomePosts: 2Member

Hello all,

First off I'd like to say I have a 50 Cleric, have cleared all T1 and T2 expert dungeons and 3/5 currently in Greenscale's Blight raid instance, so I have actually played the game.

That said, I just wanted to give a warning to those playing the game, especially possible healers. Oh and this is strictly PvE.

 

UI: While you can modify it to your pleasure, it still lacks a lot for a healer. You can't see only your buffs or heals on your target, so you get a line of 5-6 buffs on your tank. Playing a Warden(HoT based healer) is an utter pain since you have to find your HoT stacks in the middle of all those buffs. Playing Sentinel or Purifier instead, you don't have to pay much more attention to your tank's buffs, but your healing mostly consists of spamming your 3s induction heal, because other heals are largely inefficient. 

Also, you will see debuffs on your tank's raidframe, but you won't be able to know what debuffs they are, so you have no idea if you have to cleanse it or if it's not worth wasting a 1.5s global cooldown instead of simply healing through it. Not to mention that other class debuffs are listed there too, so you may not be able to cleanse them off anyway. 

Other than that, it's ok since you're able to modify at your will, although group frames are much less efficient than raidframes, even in 5man content.

3/5

 

Gameplay: Like I said before, Sentinel and Purifier rely on their 3s heal spam, making for a rather boring healing gameplay. Sure you have some long CDs, a battle rez as sentinel, 1-2 45s CDs for a bit of burst, but you're deluding yourself if you think you're doing much else. Sure you can hybrid spec, but most of your heals are just another variant of the same one, and 36+ points into a spec give quite a boost to your shields as Purifier and to your main 3s heal as Sentinel.

Warden on the other hand needs you to be a bit more active, keeping your HoT stacks up on the tank, but between the UI and just not doing much else; as well as lacking burst capacity should you get CC'ed and lose your HoT stacks, it's not exactly thrilling either. 

One last thing to mention is when your group is taking major AoE damage, the cleric only has so many tools to deal with it, which causes you to rely on your support class of choice to really help you as you can only do so much, with Sentinel having a 2s AoE heal as your spam AoE heal, with 1 1min CD AoE and 1 major 2min CD AoE; Purifier only AoE heals with your overheals on tank, which is not always possible; and Warden has 1 spam AoE HoT which doesn't help much in spike damage, 1 2s cast medium AoE heal, and 1 major channeled1min CD AoE and 1 2min CD AoE HoT heal. Notice this is with the full 51 pts in your spec, so hybrid has less tools for AoE healing. They may seem like a lot, but you also have to know that AoE healing is a major mana burn, so don't think you can actually spam them. (When I called an AoE heal a spam heal, I meant as it has no CD besides global cooldown).

Then there's Cleric DPS. As melee, you mostly pick between Shaman and Druid as your main spec. Sadly, you can macro your abilities so that you have 1 button to spam for single target dmg and another to spam for AoE dmg, with a few random CDs. Not much else to say here, once you know what to put in your rotation macro it's quite silly tbh.

Tanking is your generic tanking with generic tank skills. A single target taunt, single target spam, AoE taunt, AoE spam, no charge, no pull mob to self, 1 button to keep up your +20% block chance, and an AoE silence with 10s CD iirc. You basically heal yourself through damage, but again, it's lackluster compared to Warrior and especially Rogue tanks.

Overall, Cleric gameplay has to be the most bland I've seen in MMOs, and was one of the major reasons why I unsubbed.

1/5

 

Endgame: Eh. A lot of tactics are the same as the dungeons you did as leveling up, although a few mechanic or two are improved. The most annoying thing for a healer(imho) in Experts though, is unless you're overgeared, a lot of bosses require a Support class like Bard or Chloromancer(although the latter really mainheal quite well, with no mana problems, and their heals are AoE since they're based on their damage, as well as 2 instant heals, so no long cast heals which get you interrupted). 

The tactics are usually your basic "move out of the dangerous pools of doom" or "cleanse spam" or "LoS this or that". Some have decent mechanics but nothing majorly complex - my favorite being Calyx the Ancient in AP with his lasers requiring movement the whole time as well as area awareness, or the dragon which I forgot name/area.

Then you have Rifts, Expert and Raid. While they were fun when leveling up, these versions mostly are tank/spank, and since you can just zerg them with the game not restricting people that can participate, they're just a grind for essences. The world invasions get a bit boring after a while(imho), but then again you'll end up with plenty planarite and blue shards by time you're 50 anyway. The purple shards are very rare, requiring major world invasions, but once you do manage to enter one, they're easy to get. Another thing to mention is Contribution is poorly balanced, your DPS does not factor your reward as much as spamming skills does. Most the time, healers will get highest contribution quite easily, then tanks, then random DPS, AoE or single doesn't really matter.

There's also dailies you can do, but their rewards are usually not worth the effort, since you get better items from dungeons than notoreity vendors, and crafting recipes are also not that great either. They take quite a while to get too, I was more than raid ready by time I had any considerable rep in the higher ranked factions.

Finally, after rifts and dungeons, you have raids. And sadly, this was another of Rift's major disappointments. For starters, they had to be buffed on release since people could clear them with barely any dungeon gear. Now they're a bit harder, but you don't have to be decked out in T2 dungeon gear to do them, and I've done raids with very undergeared raiders with little issue.

The raid tactics are rather fun to figure out, but their progression is always the same. First 25% is 1 phase, with 1 mechanic. Second 25% is another phase, with another mechanic plus previous. Third 25% is another phase, with two previous mechanics plus one new one. Last 25% is the "clusterfuck" phase, with all the mechanics put together as one. I mean, that's fine if 1-2 bosses are like that, but so far it seems all raid bosses use that method. I actually preferred dungeons to raids, even in difficulty factor(which wasn't that high anyway).

Overall, endgame was decent, but rifts and raids were very disappointing imho. For a game named "Rift", I expected a lot more from those. Dungeons are oky though, but that can only keep you along for so long. Oh and dailies feel like a useless grind.

2/5

 

 

There may be other factors, like graphics and crafting, but first off graphics don't make a game imho and they're usually personal preference, so people can decide that for themselves; and crafting is not worth writing about. It's only useful for when you just hit 50, but the good recipes from vendors you buy with plaques from bags you get from crafting dailies, and they're random so you may not get any for a long time. Also some crafting is way harder to farm for than others, like some Artificer salvaged components not even existing in game yet.

 

tl;dr I think that's pretty much it, overall I'd give Rift a 2/5; if you really need a MMO, go ahead, it's quite casual friendly(although be careful on which server you pick, some are a bit underpopulated), and can be decent filler while you await something else or are burned out by your current MMO, but I don't see it keeping people's attention for much longer, the gameplay just lacks a focus and is not that entertaining(Cleric wise for sure at least, although I have played other classes, just not as extensively), and the fun you have in dungeons will slowly wane and raids will not entertain you besides the gear progression junkies.

 

Forgive any typos and feel free to ask any questions if I missed anything. :)

Comments

  • IrishChaiIrishChai St Louis, MOPosts: 529Member Uncommon

     

    I think that was a great review Kaeyra. Thanks for the post.

     

    I'm not sure why I enjoy Rift so much yet. I've been playing the free weekend, but your post gives something for me to consider before buying and subscribing, as will the replies to your review. I've also been playing Sentinel/Warden/Purifier so I can relate easier to your choice of souls, aka class trees. It's been really fun to me so far. I think for one, I am a serious graphics whore. Put in some pretty effects, a decent-sized world to explore, and a stable game overall and I'll be happy. I think all the mechanics that reward the explorers has also really won me over so far.

     

    My personal interest in available features with Rift seems to fit it's design perfectly. I also get a similar feeling from rifts and defending events as I did with Tabula Rasa, just with less bugs and better stability/balance. My favorite time spent with TR was defending the base invasions, and running in to spawn ships that would drop down aliens on your location, just like in Rift. If Tabula Rasa were still available, this would have easily dethroned it for my top MMO because it's more stable. I know neither game was/is perfect, but TR was fun enough that it kept bringing me back and that's really all that matters. I think Rift might do the same.

     

    My biggest problem so far is seeing the similar mechanics from WAR's failed public quest design. As soon as the population spread out in WAR (just like it is on some of the Rift servers), it became a lot more difficult to find people to help you overcome the later stages of any PQ or RVR area. WAR depended way too much on high, balanced populations to be fun, and I'm curious what Trion is going to do about that, since they're using a similar mechanic, and haven't changed much about it to make it work this time around.

     

    I'm really close to subbing for it regardless of the negatives I've heard because I'm not sure if they will make a difference to me. I think the greater problem might come with Trion trying to please everybody (mostly anyone vocal on forums with negative feedback) and lose sight of some of the best aspects of the game. If I do sub, I know my first suggestion on their forums would be to get a couple 'classic' servers up for people that want the game to stay as it is, and they can worry about patching and hosting new things on the rest of the servers. There have been way too many MMOs that had a niche fanbase, but lost most of that due to updates the veterans did not want, even if it brought in more new players. I hope Trion won't let that happen either by thorough testing and acknowlegement of player feedback, or at least retain most aspects that other players have enjoyed. Unfortunately the people who love it spend most of their time in game instead of defending it on forums.

     

    I'm still a free weekend fan though, so I know all this could change for me if I sub awhile and get a better picture of everything. It might just be worth it for the leveling and exploring experience I've seen so far. The other problem is I'm still pretty happy in Aion, so why switch MMOs?  If I was to subscribe to two MMOs then this would definitely be my 2nd choice, but it has a lot to contend with when Aion is about to get a graphics overhaul, and I have a lot more time already invested in it.

     

    Edit; Also wanted to add, I'm able to play Rift with every graphic setting maxed (customized beyond the highest preset), with a solid 30-40 fps anywhere, regardless of how many players are around me. It doesn't slow down at all with should-to-shoulder players fighting rifts, or around the bigger cities, and this game looks INCREDIBLE! It's the best looking MMO I have ever played, and might just stay that way depending on the quality of Aion's graphical update some time this year.

  • GravargGravarg Harker Heights, TXPosts: 3,332Member Uncommon

    As a fellow cleric, I have to agree with you on alot of your points.  Cleric IS the least exciting of all the callings, but healer always has been.  In WoW, my priest spams 2 spells, unless something a boss does requires something else.  So that's the way of the healer, you spam one or 2 heals.  That's one of the reasons I actually like playing healer, for the most part it's easy to raid.

     

    However, playing as Justicar Tank is very fun for me.  Without a healer (or casting heals on myself except salvation) I have out lasted a paladin (didn't use full heal).  With heals and the paladin using his full life heal, I outlasted him until I ran out of mana.  My guild did this just to test who was the better tank, we tanked the same elite until death, and timed it.  I took more dps than he did, however my Salvation and self-heals counter that.  The only limit to my tanking was mana.  So it was decided that for longer fights He'd use paladin to tank, and I'd be Druid for dps.  Then on shorter boss fights, I'd tank, and he'd switch to champion for dps.  One thing I've learned about Rift is there is no real one way to do things.  Each soul has it's situtation where it will just outshine any other soul, and vis versa.  Justicar is a very capable tank, the only thing I think that's missing is that the Leadership skill should also increase threat from heals.  Justicar has some issues with holding agro against spike damage (i.e. pyro).

     

    I just thought I'd add that in there about Cleric tanking, just my 2 cents to yoru 2 cents.  You got everything else pretty right.

  • IsturiIsturi Phoenix, AZPosts: 1,509Member

    Thanks for the honest review OP im not much for healing class but after your review i may not try out a healing class.

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  • Pale_FirePale_Fire San Antonio, TXPosts: 360Member Uncommon

     A nice, honest review.  Well done.

  • herculeshercules lancashire,blackpoolPosts: 4,788Member Uncommon

    having now reached the max level and seen some of what OP said although not done near as much as he said i can see the issues already and it is getting boring.

    the pvp seen sadly is way worse with gross imbalance and boredom.

    As a warrior i too am getting more and more limited in how i can play my class.last patch seems to have narrowed me into a tanking role and dps only when in guild run  as tbh  now if you are doing pug why on earth would you want a cleric/rogue/warrior dps when mage are well ahead in that.

    I did not even bother buying the 4th spec as i can barely fill the 3 i have post patch.

    Tanking as a warrior trust me is not much more intresting.

    trion really needs to step up its game rather then rely on free weekends to get people to buy the game .as the game stands it suffers from the same problem many new mmo have had.no real long term plans.

  • MarknMarkn St. Paul, MNPosts: 171Member Uncommon

    the real problem is healing is just boring in general theres some serious balancing issues to name a few.  Chloros can maintain decent dps and destroy a cleric in healing at the same time while a cleric cannot dps and just has to spam heals and still cant come close to matching a chloros heals.   They need to be innovative and chloro was the way to go let people dps while healing but go further make a melee cleric soul that is a legit healer while dpsing justicar is a good start but lacks the overall healing.   In my opinion the cleric should have a caster dps heal soul like chloro but better and a melee dps heal soul like justicar but up the heals right now i can only manage 200 hps on a justicar which is about 300 to low to be a useful healer.

    Basically let people who want to play sentinel/purifier do it but give them more options.  Caba is a great soul to give some heals to like a sigil heal for the whole group instead of just you on a 30s CD you can be creative here its just a matter of Trion wanting to be creative with it.

  • doragon86doragon86 Boston, MAPosts: 589Member

    Thank you for the honest and well written review. Too often I've been seeing threads with folks simply saying the "the game is bad, don't buy it" without properly supporting their argument. As I've said before, it's more or less the same ol' stuff. If you're looking for a breathe of fresh air, look elsewhere because you'll most likely get bored. If you don't mind the usual stuff, then you'll most likely have fun.

    "For the Angel of Death spread his wings on the blast,
    And breathed in the face of the foe as he passed:
    And the eyes of the sleepers waxed deadly and chill,
    And their hearts but once heaved, and for ever grew still!"
    ~Lord George Gordon Byron

  • XasapisXasapis VolosPosts: 5,561Member Uncommon

    Here's the thing. Those expert dungeons were not designed to one man healed. Sure you can do it, especially if you're starting having the best T2 gear and raid gear access, but for most people they will need one dedicated healer and one supporter. Here's where things get complicated though:

     

    I don't know if Trion designed the mage soul chloromancer to be a support healer, but he's not. He's a main healer that has the added bonus of covering your group members with heals and he has access to other mage souls that basically give him unlimited amount of mana. In comparison, a cleric is nowhere near as efficient in covering a group with AoE heals, while at the same time doing some big heals on the tank. The bottom line, clerics are support healers at the moment, supporting chloromancers. Here's the usual scenarios of team composition:



    1. You have a chloromancer in your team. Probably the most efficient use of the cleric is to use some form of warden spec to cushion heal the tank, while taking care of any potential spikes on your team (no AoE healing unless an emergency). The chloromaner will provide the big heals that cover spikes and the steady AoE healing to the team.


    2. You have a bard in your team. Bard will provide this time the cushion healing for your entire team. Your best utility is to focus on the tank healing covering spikes with some form of sentinel or purifier spec.


    3. You have both a chloromancer and a bard in your team. That means that either your team is so undergeared that you try to outheal the encounter or you better utilise a dps spec and leave the healing to he other two classes.


    As for the actual healing, it's a bit more complicated than what was described before (but not by much). As far as healing with HoTs, the trick is to time your HoT renews so they never run out. The mana cost of those spells along with the ability on the warden tree to regenerate mana (the only cleric ability in the healers trees) allows for plenty of overwritting without getting into the mana issues the other two souls have. If you mix that warden build with sentinel, you can get the power of the HoTs along with some reactive abilities to be cast in between.


     


    The heavy sentinel and purifier builds rely on pre-casting to be efficient. Pre-casting is when you start the 3 secs heal but when you see that the tank didn't get damaged over a damage threshold (based on personal experience), then you stop casting and restart it. This type of healing is a bit trickier than HoTing, because it relies on reflexes and split second decision to abort the heal or let it hit. It is also obviously connection dependant, bad connections will have issues with healing like this, especially if the tank is undergeared and the damage is constantly spiky. The advantage is that it covers spike damage efficiently. The disadvantage is that there isn't much else you can do for your team while you're pre-casting on your tank, thus it's very dependant on your co-healer.


     


    So here lies the main problem with the healing cleric, he needs to compromise. When he can cover the major spikes on his tank, he can't do much for his team. When he uses HoTs and can dedicate some GCDs (casting circles, 1.5sec for clerics) on his team, he's not good at covering spike damage on his tank. The chloromancer currently does not have those limitations, plus he does damage (doesn't matter how small) and does not run out of manal.


     


     


    Having said all the above, where the cleric shines is healing in PvP. Especially if you reach prestige 3 and gear for it, you can make a build that can be the most tankish in the game while having the output to cover spiky damage, which is what kills in PvP most of the time. But since this is for now a PvE cleric thread I won't elaborate more.

  • BlackWatchBlackWatch OKC, OKPosts: 983Member

    NIce read.  Very informative.  Well written.

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  • crazynannycrazynanny PopowoPosts: 173Member

    @OP
    Quite harsh game rating hidden under one role(main healer) in one class issues, I'd give it at least 3.5/5. Doing expert T1/T2(no raids yet) with my guild and we tend to have 3 clerics(including me) and everyone has a blast.

    Thinking about Rift instances as one warrior tank/ one cleric healer/ three dps is what people are trying to bring from WoW, despite it doesn't work this way well. Imo going for pure dps/tank/healer is a no no in Rift. Souls give so much flexibility so You can adjust Your character to have off healing/off tanking or CC apart of Your main role.

    For example Justicar mixed with Druid/Shaman is neat offhealer/offtank with dps on top. Put him next to warden and he can deal with AoE heals while main healer focuses on single targets. If fight is not damage heavy he can go help with dps. With self heals and tank mode he can off tank some add with few HoTs on him. All that in one build. And it's just melee cleric...

  • KaeyraKaeyra RomePosts: 2Member

    Hey there,

    Just wanted to say thanks for all the constructive comments/replies, they were quite a refreshing read.

    To address a few points, trying to avoid a quote spam at same time:

     

    Yes, Rift graphics are pretty amazing, and it runs rather stable(especially compared to a lot of other MMOs released before).

     

    To add to the rifts section, I've seen quite a few lower level and even mid to high level Rifts start to get ignored, because people realize there's only a certain point to doing them. While you can solo most minor Rifts to a certain point(although will likely fail the later stage time limits), if you see a major Rift while leveling, it's not hard to see it still there 1 hour later before it despawns. Most people just zerg the major invasions for the blue shards, better rewards, final bosses, or the world events like the one that has been going on recently(which would be nice if they did more often, as purple shards will be hell to get after it ends, while it is way too easy now). 

     

    Yes, Justicar is very capable, I just found it rather simple. Voidknight for example has a lot of stacks to deal with for the +50% armor buff(which tbh seems a bit high and a major help in singletarget physical based fights), Warlord have their buffs, Riftstalker has to keep their teleports up for their buffs, manage combo points, absorb shield, etc. While these are far from in depth considerations of those souls, I still think Justicar could use some more mechanics to keep me engaged, but to each his/her own; I've seen Justicars tank dungeons just fine, I just wish they went past the mostly passive self heals.

     

    Thank you Xaspasis for  basically getting my same point across with so much more clarity, for anyone I may have confused or wrote about for way too long.

     

    And finally yes, I may have come across as harsh in rating, if you want to add half a point or a point somewhere feel free, but I feel I made mostly valid arguments, that did not regard only Cleric(or main healing only).

    That justicar melee cleric offhealer is a build I've tried(and I wished it could be a mainhealer as well, it would be SO much more fun); but sadly, the requirement of having to actually hit the boss or the adds constantly to heal is the major downside to it, since a lot of fights are not that melee friendly as one would hope. And if they're melee friendly, you have to remember that Justicar only heals others when they're at max hp, so you taking AoE(or any other type for that matter) dmg will nerf that healing as well.

     

    Thanks again for the comments. :)

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