A Druid Named Vaul

Over the last week I have been experimenting with the other pet souls to see how the Mage, Cleric and Rogue pet varieties worked. To my surprise Durak got a bit sidelined as for the moment I have switched mains to a Cleric – more specifically of the Druid variety.

Don’t get me wrong. The Rogue (Hunter) and Mage (Elementalist/Necromancer) were definitely fun. I still enjoy playing Durak too but when I decided to try the Cleric it just “clicked” with me. They are just so versatile and by playing a Bhami I also get the nice melee attack animations that I have come to love about this game. The Bhami males have very fluid animations with 2-handed weapons and if I am going to look at him swing thousands of times it helps if the motions have a good feel to them.

He is only level 11 so far but my initial souls are Druid/Shaman/Warden which has worked amazingly well for me. I have had almost no downtime with him and he is the first character I have played that easily handles groups of mobs. I don’t do this by AoE’ing them down but instead by doing single target damage and managing both the health of Vaul and his fairy pet, Faewyn. Most of the points are in Druid and secondarily Shaman. So far I just use Warden for the 0-point heal – but that extra heal has been extremely useful so far.

I typically don’t play healing classes which is why I tried out the Cleric last. I was truly surprised when it ended up being my favorite.

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Telara Through New Eyes

I have been playing games on my old HP Pavilion Laptop for the last 4 years but it has been getting a little dated. It ran WoW and LotRO pretty well but as you can see from my previous screenshots I have to run Rift on the Low-res setting. I can’t really complain as the game ran smoothly and I could enjoy playing even if the visuals were quite simplified.

That all changed last Friday. My Alienware M17x laptop arrived and opened up a new world for me. Cranking the game to ultra settings I could finally see the the game’s visuals as the designers at Trion intended. The laptop is working great and the game runs smoother than I could of hoped.

The only downside was that the color choices I made for Durak’s appearance didnt translate very well. His facial tatoos ended up alomst the same color as his skin and and his hair and highlights were off as well. With so little contrast between these features he looked a bit “blurred” for lack of a better term. As he was only level 13 I went ahead and re-rolled him so I could get him looking just the way I wanted. Trion may yet add a barbershop feature sometime down the road but I didnt feel the need to wait for one at this stage.

I kept his his physical characteristics as close as I could to the original version but with the changes to the coloring everything has the right amount of contrast now. It was also fun going though the starter area again (and seeing in in hi-res) and since I already knew what to do it just breezed by.

One thing I did change were his initial souls. Although I stayed with Beastmaster I choose Riftblade and Paladin as his initial supporting souls. Most of my points are still going into Beastmaster but I put 4 points into Riftblade for the ranged attack (rather than the charge from the Champion) and I will eventually put the 8 points into Paladin that gives him the big self heal on a ten-minute cooldown. This may not give him the highest DPS but it has some nice utility and surviveabilty for my first journey to 50. I know I will probably have all of his other souls unlocked by level 15 or so but I like this combo so far.

That title “The Risen” I received from the Collector’s Edition seems even more appropriate now – for both Durak and my computer.

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Durak the Risen

After playing for just a few days I went ahead and upgraded my account from the trial version to the Collector’s Edition download from the Rift website. I had considered buying the boxed set but the additional perks that came with the digital download were too tempting to pass up.

For any of you considering this upgrade the Collectors Edition digital download has the standard perks of a two-headed turtle mount, larger starting bag and a mini-pet from the regular CE. However, with the download version you also get a trinket that grants a 5% experience buff to level 20 and the title “the Risen” for all your characters. The price of the digital download was also a lot cheaper than the boxed version so I jumped at it.

Durak is now level 10 so he is making steady progress even if I am still learning new things about the game constantly. I am already making good use of the newly added cosmetic clothing feature too. Mainly I have the original scale vest equipped over the less attractive breastplates I have found so far. Tweaking my look as I level is something I loved in LotRO and I am glad I can do it in Rift as well.

I plan on tweaking my build later on but for now I am focusing Durak’s talents in the Beastmaster soul and secondarily in the Riftblade. The third soul I am using is the Champion but I have not put any points into it and I just use it to have the Bull’s Rush ability.

I know I will be tweaking my build as I level and I am excited to get the other souls when the quests open up around level 13. I will be sticking with Beastmaster as my primary soul but I am sure I will try out more than a few different combinations for the other two.

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