It seems Rift patch 1.7 is where we’ll finally see some changes to the cleric souls. In my eyes this has been a long time coming as the healing souls in particular have been rather neglected. There is a whole list of changes with more being promised in patch 1.8. I’m honestly pleased with what I’ve seen so far providing it makes it to the live servers. Some of my concerns have been addressed while others are still pending. In either event, the healing souls are only improving and that is a good thing in my eyes.
The Justicar Nerf
Trion went a different direction with starting the Justicar nerf than I suggested but that is okay. Doctrines will no longer benefit from the mana reduction provided by Healer’s Creed. This effectively increases the cost of using them by 30%. The community (strangely) is up in arms for the most part. The crowd that realizes this is necessary doesn’t see it as a big deal. Doctrine of Loyalty costs 210 mana currently. This change makes it more difficult to spam it but it isn’t a huge deal. I think there is a need for more changes but we’ll see. The downside is that group healing in the Sentinel and Warden souls wasn’t really improved. I can see people being upset about that.
I am a big Purifier fan. That is the type of cleric I like to play and be. There are some major issues with the soul at the moment. The blessings, which are a big part of our gimmick, are terrible. For the amount of points required they just don’t cut it. This update does not address that at all but we did get a lot of help.
Surging Flames: The triggered heal now has a 20 meter radius.
Divine Cascade: Removed.
Gathering of the Ancestors: New spell available at 38. Puts an absorb shield on up to 10 party or raid members within 35 meters. Applies a blocker that prevents being affected by it again for 20 seconds (this is a different blocker from the one applied by Ward of the Ancestors and the two don’t block each other, but they don’t stack). 30 second cooldown.
Asphodel’s Purifier Crystal: 4 point bonus now reduces damage taken by 7% for 10 second. Now overwrites and cannot be overwritten by Protect the Flock.
Rise of the Phoenix: New spell available at 44 points. Resurrects with 50% health and mana. Usable in combat.
Divine Cascade was a joke of an ability and won’t be missed. The group shield is interesting and relatively useful but it is really just there to say that we do have a group “heal.” Surging Flames getting a larger radius is pretty useful. As I advocated it, it is also nice to see that the soul will be getting a combat resurrection spell.
The Warden also had some decent changes but still not enough to turn it into the group-focused healing soul I believe it was designed to be.
Waterjet: Reduced its benefit from Spell Power.
Healing Showers, Orbs of the Tide: Both now have a 20 meter radius.
Healing Cataract: Now has a 25 meter radius and affects 10 party or raid members.
Ripple: Now has a 20 meter radius.
Cascade: No longer costs mana.
River of Life: New spell available at 44 points. Resurrects with 50% health and mana. Usable in combat.
Healing Showers and Healing Cataract now have a realistic healing radius. This turns Healing Showers from an absolutely useless ability into something that someone might cast. They still have longer than necessary cooldowns and do not otherwise improve. The same tactic has been used with Ripple. More range, no other improvement. The Cascade change is a true upgrade. Healing-soul clerics cannot return their mana effectively (and that would be OK if Chloromancers suffered the same way) and this gives the Warden a fighting chance at it. The Warden also receives a battle resurrection spell. There isn’t really any big change here other than to make abilities that you would rarely use potentially more attractive.
The Sentinel seems to have received the lightest touch so far. That isn’t too terribly bad as, in my opinion, the Sentinel tree is by far the most useful of the three healing souls. I still believe more can be done of course.
Healing Communion, Healing Benediction: Both now have a 20 meter radius.
Marked by the Light: Now has a 15 meter radius.
Life’s Return: Now has a 5 minute cooldown.
If you’re sensing a pattern here you’re right. Instead of making the Sentinel’s group heals more effective they just earned themselves a larger radius. There are no upgrades here other than bringing the combat resurrection in line with all other similar ones. I don’t see much for folks to get excited about.
I still don’t believe that the cleric healing souls are where they need to be. It is good that Trion is addressing them. It is great that something is changing but, on the whole, they still haven’t been under the microscope like other classes. In some cases that is good. In others, it is bad. In this case I’m afraid it is bad because of a few issues I have:
- The three healing clerics souls don’t have clear distinctions about what makes them unique
- Outside of healing a main tank they don’t offer very much to a raid
- Somewhat bland and unexciting to play. Total lack of synergy within the individual soul
Can we do our job? Sure, I would never argue that I’m not effective. Are we irreplaceable? No. Outside of one cleric for the main tank you really could swap a chloromancer in with ease. There should be something these souls do that nobody else can!