So, as I said in my last post, I’m currently playing Rift. Now, I have not at this time made any final decisions regarding WoW, but I am somewhat keeping track of things outside of my other gaming. Thus far, it’s an indefinite break. However, before I go on, I did decide that I wanted to keep my current domain name. Yes, that’s partly due to playing a holy priest that’s a troll, but when I originally settled on the domain name, it’s actually partially a dual meaning. The other part of it is actually due to a bad habit of finding myself trolling forums. And, of course, with the nature of trolling comes the art of having a holier-than-thou attitude. Since I actually try not to have that kind of attitude, it’s a weird sort of irony. Even if it makes sense only to myself. Anyway.

As The Big O (not that Big O, you perverts!) said, there’s a definite lack of personal blogs out there that talk about things from a playerโ€™s perspective. I’ve never been a forerunner on… well… anything, when it comes to gaming. Maybe I’ll give it a go here. To that end, there are three things that I currently play to a significant degree as a cleric in Rift: Sentinel, Shaman and Justicar. Since there’s already a Justicar manual out there, so to speak, I’ll focus more on my other main roles, being Shaman and Sentinel.

For now, I’ll just give a quick rundown of the three trees and what I like about them, and what attracted me to them.

First, the Sentinel tree, which is my main role, especially in raids. It’s a very strong raid healer, as well as an incredibly strong tank healer. As opposed to Warden (the other raid healing tree), it’s much more capable of dealing with burst damage. In doing so, however, it can be an extreme mana hog if you’re not seriously watching your cast bar. I run a 51 Sentinel, which is largely thought to be the “tank healing” spec, but I don’t see it as such. It’s actually equally good at raid healing, specifically due to the way Serendipity works. I’ll get into more details in a later post. As for tank healing, it’s not as efficient as Purifier, but is definitely still really good. Mostly this just involves spamming Healing Invocation or Healing Grace (depending on how your raid composition works in terms of healing), and using Healing Breath on cooldown. It’s a very versatile tree, which pleases me greatly.

The other tree I mainly play in raids is Shaman, which is a melee DPS spec. It mostly involves bashing things’ heads in with a big-ass hammer. Or, in some cases, a shovel. Yes, there’s a drop that’s actually really, really good for DPS clerics that happens to be a shovel. Anyway, this is actually where most of my focus goes in terms of theorycrafting – I’ve gone so far as to test specs for upwards of two hours in seven and a half increments to test rotations and where the best place to spend four talent points is. I’m in the midst of writing a guide on this spec, so while that’ll be posted at DrunkTankGaming, I’ll likely still post it here, too, as another place to have it published and available. It’s actually the melee DPS spec out of the two that’s more focused on physical damage (druid is has a little more emphasis on spell damage, and also includes a pet – shaman get no pet). It’s not the best DPS spec for clerics exactly, but it is, to me, the most appealing. Interestingly enough, it’s kind of like the old two-handed enhancement shaman from WoW, mixed with a little ret paladin.

Finally, I also tank for raid rifts and expert dungeons. That’s the Justicar tree, all about the mace and board. Clerics are too awesome for swords. Justicars are kind of like the prot paladins of Rift, emphasizing spell damage for a lot of their threat abilities, but also using healing as a main threat tool. It’s a very interesting dynamic to the playstyle, even if it does have its pitfalls in comparison to rogue or warrior tanks (yes, rogues can tank, too!). Still, it’s fun to play, and even if it is my third spec, I’m still one of those people that likes to be prepared. As such, I’m getting all my tank stuff together right now in case another tank is needed for raids at any point.

So… that’s basically it. That’s what I do when I’m playing Rift. Heal, DPS and tank. And I can do it with the same character! (Though, I literally have three bags full of consumables, gear and crafting materials at any given time.) Clerics are pretty awesome, if you ask me, though of course, others will definitely disagree with the sentiment, I’m sure. People always do.