My current goal in Rift is to finish all of the epic story quests for the Saga of the Endless. While I was leveling, I got stuck on one in Moonshade Highlands which needed me to take on three level 40 elites and I never quite found the time to put a group together. It’s unfortunate because I spoiled the story a bit for myself by accidentally finishing some related quests in other zones.
After getting some help from guildmates earlier this week to finish the quest (thanks Faraii and Gaar!), I was able to do the next part solo but then the follow up quest wanted me to go into the Runic Descent, which is the Highlands dungeon. So last night I popped on and was able to get a guild group together (special thanks to Battlemage for tanking andMMO Gamerchick for helping with the healing) to head into the Descent. Since most of us were over level, it seemed like a good chance to practice being a healer. I’d been using my Chloromancer healing role quite a bit in rifts, but I found out that the free-for-all aspect of rift play is very different from running a dungeon instance.
I did okay, but anytime a fight started to go sideways I found it very difficult to pull of a save. Poor Battlemage suffered quite a few deaths as we made our way through the instance, and while not all of them were my fault I still feel like I should have been able to do better. I’m not sure if it’s my build, the rotation I was using, or just being rusty. I haven’t played a healer in a long long time, my last healing character was my beloved Troll Shaman, Nallas, in Dark Age of Camelot.
About half to three quarters of the way through the instance, GeeCee and I switched roles. She took over with her Cleric’s healing build and I switched to my Stormcaller/Elementalist build. Things went a lot smoother after that.
The challenge for me playing a Chloromance was it has few oh-shit abilities. Most of the healing comes from damage done via life spells, and the majority of them have casting times. So there’s very little time in order to react when the tank’s health starts to plummet. It always seemed like Battlemages health took a nosedive when Bloom was still halfway through its cool down.
Adjusting to using the interface differently was as big a challenge as using the Chloromancer soul. As a DPSer, I’m focused on the tank’s target or my pet’s target primarily. I’ll occasionally pick up an add if it is attacking the healer, but for the most part it’s: target a mob, burn him down, and target the next. I use tab targeting usually and select party members using the mouse (since I do it so rarely I’ve never picked up using the F-keys). The casting time on Chloromancer heals really required me to start using the F-keys in order to respond quickly enough to swap targets, and it’s going to take me some time to get that habit ingrained. I haven’t setup and of the smart targeting options either, but I plan to tonight, so that I can stay focused on the tank a bit more and have damage spells forward to their target (I think that’s how it works in Rift).
So I’m not giving up on the Chloromancer yet, but I do have a lot more to learn and practice. I also don’t think rifting is working to get me the role experience I need. Bad news for my guild’s tanks.