Rift Online : Understanding the Class System

Rift Online is a recently released MMORPG that was both developed and published by Trion Worlds. One of the most innovative designs in Rift is the uniquely done class system. Rift’s class system is referred to as “The Ascended” class system. The name comes from the in-game lore and storyline where player’s characters are known as the Ascended, a Telaran who was slain during the Shade War and was later resurrected in order to combat an ever growing threat. A unique aspect of the Ascended is that they have access to an ability known as “Soul Attunement”, which is the ability to communicate and embrace the souls of fallen heroes.

Rift’s Soul Attunement system offers players an incredible amount of character customization. The game actually encourages players to use this system to find the right combination of souls and abilities so that they can create a character to their specific play style.

Players originally start down the path of one of four character classes. These classes are the Warrior, Cleric, Rogue and Mage. These four initial classes are more well rounded and flexible, and will become the starting point from which real character customization can begin. This is where Soul Attunement comes in to play. Soul Attunement is the process in which a player is able to augment or replace souls that they have enabled on their character. There are also special souls that can be found during a players adventure which are referred to as “Heroic Souls”.

Each character has what is known as a Soul Tree, which is the equivalent of a skill tree in other games. Within the Soul Tree are “branch advancements” and “root advancements”. Branch advancements are where the player chooses specifically which spells or abilities they wish to unlock and with each point spent the tree will increase in level and potentially unlock abilities higher up the tree. Root advancements on the other hand automatically unlock new abilities as the Soul Tree grows in levels. Where as branches represent the player choices, the root represents the core that all players have access to.

As a player uses Soul Attunement, depending on the souls used, they will gain access to eight more specific class variations. Each initial class gains access to eight different variations of their class, offering a wide variety of character builds. The variations of each class are the following :

Warrior : Champion, Reaver, Paladin, Warlord, Paragon, Riftblade, Void Knight, Beastmaster

Cleric : Purifier, Inquisitor, Sentinel, Justicar, Shaman, Warden, Druid, Cabalist

Rogue : Nightblade, Ranger, Blade Dancer, Assassin, Riftstalker, Marksman, Saboteur, Bard

Mage : Elementalist, Warlock, Pyromancer, Stormcaller, Archon, Necromancer, Dominator, Chloromancer

rift class system

There are obviously a huge variety of options available in the Rift Online class system. This unique and in depth system allows player to customize to their individual styles. When it comes to character customization in Rift, it is almost possible to say that the only limit is your imagination.

If you’re still not sure about what you want to play, read in-depth information about each Rift Class and see which one suits you better.



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