Monday, October 24, 2016

Back to RIFT: The Hybrid Support DPS

The Soul Tree for this build...
Way back in my RIFT raiding days, I developed a hybrid spec that I was very fond of. I wasn't the only (or even first) to develop it, but it was my own creation and I was very happy with it, even though few others seemed to share my joy for it. When Harbinger came out, it got even better and today, it's basically the only leveling spec I'd really want.

While leveling, I routinely out-DPS people who are fully DPS specced because it's so much easier to keep up a full rotation in hectic situations with this build, but I'm also throwing heals that aren't enough to keep any one person alive, but definitely makes everyone just that much more survivable.

In raid situations, this spec is a nice "fill healer" which is to say, someone that keeps everyone's health constantly ticking up so that a main healer can keep up. I've also got alternate builds that have more Chloro for more raid utility (combat rez, decent spot-heals and so on) and a PvP variant that has more control features. I'll publish those when I have the time. This version is mostly for soloing with a bit of dungeon support and maybe a raid light-dpser designed to supplement an undergeared healer while not gimping the raid too much.

What follows are the build details, try and enjoy!

Macros

Single Target:
    #show Vorpal Slash
    suppressmacrofailures
    stopcasting
    cast [ctrl] Blazing Light
    cast [notactive] Charged Blade
    cast Storm's Fury
    cast Vorpal Slash
    cast Vengeful Shock
    cast Rending Slash
    cast Essence of Wind
    cast Withering Vine
AoE:
    #show Lucent Slash
    suppressmacrofailures
    stopcasting
    cast [ctrl] Blazing Light
    cast [notactive] Charged Blade
    cast [notactive] Essence of Wind
    cast Lucent Slash

Basic usage

My keys are:

` (tick, under the ~ key) - Blade Rush
1 - single target macro
2 - aoe macro
3 - Vile Spores
4 - Tempest Winds
5 - Withering Vine (AoE heal DoT) or emergency macro
6 - Phantom Blades
Q - Distracting Slash (Interrupt)

Single target rotation priority list:
  1. If Blazing Light is not on target, hit Ctrl-2 (Blazing Light)
  2. If not in melee range and Blade Rush is up, hit "`"
  3. If not in melee range and Phantom Blades is up, hit "6" and continue rotation until back in melee
  4. Close to melee range
  5. If you just hit "1" or "2" (which do a /stopcasting) and Tempest Winds is up, hit "4" and wait until complete to continue rotation
  6. If Eldrich Armor has procced and Blazing Light is up, but below 4 sec, hit "2" (AoE)
  7. If Eldrich Armor has procced hit "3" (VS)
  8. Mash "1" (single target)
This sounds complicated, but it's actually quite easy. To learn it on target dummies, just keep adding a step from the last up, so begin by mashing the single target macro. Use a DPS meter to get a sense of how this stacks up against later iterations. Then add in the Eldrich Armor Vile Spores proc. Then add in bringing up and keeping up Blazing Light by using Lucent Slash via the AoE macro. Then add in Tempest Winds when it's up. At that point you know the whole rotation, and just need the situational work for closing to combat.

AoE rotation priority list:
  1. If Blazing Light is not on target, hit Ctrl-2 (Blazing Light)
  2. If not in melee range and Blade Rush is up, hit "`"
  3. Close to melee range and hit "1" until in range.
  4. If Eldrich Armor has procced and 3 or fewer targets, hit "3" (VS)
  5. If you just cast VS, hit "1" (occasional big procs for single target)
  6. Mash "2" (AoE)
Again, this sounds complicated, but it's really simple, even simpler than single target. For big crowds, you just bring up Blazing Light and then mash the 2 key until your head explodes. :-)

Buffs

  • Eldritch Armor
  • Lightning Blade
  • Fury of the Ascended
  • Lifegiving Veil (Lifebound isn't great for this spec, not enough heals for tank-healing, really)

Dungeon and Raid Notes

As I said, this specific version is mostly solo-focused, but it's a great dungeon support build and can work well in specific raid situations (like a retro or low-tier raid where only one healer is strictly needed, but they might sometimes need a bit of help). Things to remember in such situations are:
  • Distracting Slash is your interrupt. Get to learn to love it. In PvP, raids and dungeons, you should be ready to interrupt whenever possible (though in raids, usually only as directed).
  • Blademark can be much better than generic AoE abilities for two targets.
  • Lucent Slash should be dropped from the rotation in favor of manually re-casting Blazing Light if there's any danger of AoE causing problems.
  • Switching between Luminous Weapon (AoE) and Lightning Blade (single target) is essential for boss fights vs. trash.
  • You can put Radiant Spores in your main attack macro if you're soloing content that's more dangerous or PvPing, but it's antisocial to have that in a macro if you're raiding or doing dungeons with other mages who are trying to heal. They'll have better healing from their own RS, and you should let them cast it.
Also, if I get in trouble, I tend to mash this button as a panic rather than simply waiting for heals:
    #show Planar Shield
    suppressmacrofailures
    stopcasting
    cast [notactive] Entropic Veil
    cast Conditioned Response
    cast Planar Shield
    cast Planar Retreat
    cast Natural Conversion
    cast Ruin
    cast Withering Vine
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