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Preview: Rift’s 3.6 Souls, Carnival of the Ascended, and Multicore

Patch 3.6 is here and the team at Trion Worlds has dropped a plethora of new items into their free-to-play MMORPG, Rift. New souls, a new event, even multicore support are just a part of the game’s plan and I got a chance to catch up with Simon Ffinch, Senior Design Director, and Chris Meyer, Systems Designer, to get a sneak peek at what today’s update has in store for players. Some of the things I love and (to be honest) some things are not that great in my book but we’ll get to each of them in due course.

Yes, Patch 3.6 brings a lot more than just new souls but I’d be remiss if I didn’t start there. First and foremost, 5 new souls have been added into Rift. The Primalist gets the Maelstrom soul. In my walk through, this soul absolutely punishes foes. Imagine standing still, dishing out damage, reacting to buffs and those ever elusive procs and piling on the damage. One ability, Excoriate, is particularly brutal in that each tick of this DoT ability has damage basically doubling. In my demo, the last tick did almost 200k damage. Do NOT clip this DoT or you’ll be giving up huge damage potential. It also doesn’t hurt that the Maelstrom has the Molten Thresher Spirit Animal. Enjoy your flaming shark head.

DPS Rogues will have the option of picking up the Shadeborn soul in the new Ascended Pack. While primarily a single target DPS machine, the Shadeborn soul does give the Rogue some great abilities to deal with a few side targets at the same time. This soul’s “Bond of Night” debuff can be placed on a secondary target and any damage the rogue does to its primary target means a portion of that damage is applied to the secondary target. Quite a useful feature for those fights that get a little dicey with multiple targets.

Playing your Cleric and finding you aren’t playing the ranged game quite as well as you would like? Check out the new Runeshaper soul. This was probably my favorite soul in my demo. While the primary focus of the soul is single target ranged damage, the Runeshaper has some awesome secondary abilities that will make it quite useful (particularly in raid groups.) The Runeshaper can assist groups by dropping AoE buffs and debuffs on the field of play. Slowing enemies, restoring party members’ mana, and dishing out damage all at once make the Runeshaper a versatile soul.