Monday, January 23, 2012

Rift: Max-level and raiding compared to WoW

A while back, I posted a comparison between Rift and World of Warcraft. At the time, I'd just started playing Rift after a brief period away from WoW, and wanted to write down what I thought about the two. It's not really meant to be a "rah, rah, go team!" sort of piece, but an honest comparison of my experiences. This is my followup in very much the same vein, but based on my experiences since reaching max-level in two of the classes. I've been raiding extensively, so that will be a big focus.

First, I should point out that my raiding experience in WoW was very limited post-Burning Crusade. The reasons were varied, but primarily I was having fun with friends doing the leveling thing on a new server and then raiding changed and became more machine-like in Wrath, so I never got into it. So, where I talk about WoW raiding, understand that this article talks about WoW in terms of what I saw long ago and what I've read about since.

Monday, January 2, 2012

Rift Mage: How to do it all wrong and win

To skip ahead a bit in my Mage tutorial, let's talk about Parcholock Glass Cannon. I don't want this series to be about me telling you how to play, so consider this an object lesson, rather than "the answer". Really, what this post is about is the idea that a viable build is more about your ability to play and enjoy it than it is about theorycrafting numbers.

This is my primary single-target, dps raiding build. I call this article, "how to do it all wrong and win" because the theorycrafting says: don't do this. The thing is, it works very well and does the most important thing that you can do for any raider: increases situational awareness. I've given up a lot of rotation complexity for simplicity in order to know what's going on around me.

If you're not familiar with the standard pyrolock build, see Bluedot's coverage of the topic. I break nearly everything he suggests, below, and I'll concede that if I had the ability to master my priority casting the way he does and still pay attention, I'd be a better raider. The fact is, though, that you need to focus on staying alive and not wiping the raid first and only then think about doing more damage.