Rift: Storm Legion is here and that everyone finally gets a chance to play the four new souls that have been released by Trion. These four souls are Tactician, Tempest, Harbinger, and Defiler, all spread out across the four main class archetypes of the game.
The Defiler is built around the concept of absorbing, mitigating, and redirecting damage through abilities called Links. The class has several Links at its disposal, all of varying capabilities. Links cannot stack, so the Defiler has several to use, encouraging the class to apply as many of these abilities to enemies and allies as possible. Though the Defiler has a great deal of potential in terms of healing, the class also has damage capabilities. The Defiler cannot deal enough damage to be considered a primary damage dealer, but can be a viable sub to more damage-oriented souls.
In PvP, Defiler has a trickier role. The Defiler has powerful healing capabilities through its various Links, but applying these abilities in a PvP environment can be somewhat difficult. If the Defiler can get its Links going, the class will become very powerful, thus making it a primary target for opponents. Even with the Defiler attracting so much attention, its Links allow it to deal damage as it is being hit, dishing out some respectable damage in a passive fashion.
The Tactician is billed as a battlefield strategist, able to control the flow of a battle through its abilities and fancy gadgets. Abilities like Infernal Beam and Necrotic Core accomplish this quite handily, as both abilities deal damage to nearby opponents. The Tactician is also an accomplished AOE healer, again with Cores and other abilities. As the class matures and players become more comfortable with its mechanics, the Tactician will likely occupy the same place as Bards, in terms of healing and support.
If healing isn’t your game, Tactician is also a strong AOE damage dealer. The class makes use of Torrent abilities that, quite literally, spray damage in a wide cone in front of you. The Tactician has three of these abilities that focus on damage: Infernal Torrent, Necrotic Torrent, and Glacial Torrent. By themselves, these abilities are nothing special. A talent called Temperature Inversion, however, makes the torrents exceedingly powerful. Moreover, this talent can be attained fairly early in the Tactician tree, making the soul a viable sub for other damage-oriented souls.
In PvP, the Tactician has many roles to fill. The soul cannot handle the demand of being a dedicated healer, but sway a battle in the favor of their allies with some modest AOE healing. For Warfronts, having Tactician as a primary soul will unlock strong damage and healing potential, but dedicating the majority of your talent points to this tree will make the Tactician ideally suited for a support role, especially with Bard as a sub. Even as support, however, the Tactician can be used as a dreadful weapon against opponents.
The Tempest is the new soul for the Warrior archetype. Originally, I was convinced that this soul would be a typical melee damage dealer, but the Tempest is all about range, using lightning to decimate the battlefield. The soul can also take a punishment and while it might not be an effective tank, it has the survivability it needs to excel in PvP.
Tempest abilities can be used at range, but the soul can be paired with Paragon to make it more melee-friendly. The Tempest is fairly straightforward: Your abilities build attack points that can be used on powerful finishers that offer a lot of burst damage. Even when build around melee combat, the Tempest can close any gaps between it and its opponent with its strong range abilities. This is a powerful feature in PvP, where enemies are often running around, just out of range of your weapons.
The Harbinger is the new soul for the Mage. The soul is designed to bring a melee element to the Mage archetype. As a melee fighter, the Harbinger is certainly a bit different than what players may be used to with other Mage souls. The Harbinger is a damage-oriented class that can summon a number of weapons that offer their own benefits to the soul.
Mages are not well known for their survivability, wearing light armor and all that. The Harbinger boasts of abilities that compensate for that, allowing the soul to be much more survivable than its counterparts. The soul has plenty of crowd-control, damage mitigation, self-healing, and avoidance abilities that make it a difficult opponent to lock down. The Harbinger also has gap closers that allow it to move around the battlefield more easily.
The survivability of the Harbinger does not come at the sacrifice of damage capability. The soul can dish out a respectable amount of damage, especially when paired with the Pyromancer soul. In PvP, this combination is a powerful guerrilla warfare specialist that can get in and out of combat quickly while also dealing a ton of damage.