I didn't get much play time on Rift last night but I will tonight. My biggest question is whats the point of the Defiler soul for clerics? It has some weird damage transfer mechanic based on the power description. But aside from a tank I cant see anyone ever using this. Its just too dangerous considering the damage output some bosses have. I just want to get to 60 asap so I can start gearing up again.
I main a cleric and was very intrigued when I first heard the concept of the Defiler, but it's in a terrible spot right now. It's classed as a healer and it can
heal a 5-man reasonably well if you have a competent player behind the Defiler. But it's whole playstyle is clunky and unintuitive.
It's like a bad cross of the old-style chloromancer with a gimped purifier and a dash of warden and beastmaster.
The idea is, you place a link on a player. The link causes a percentage of the damage that player receives (there are 4 links - up to 25% at the top end), after mitigation, to be transferred to the defiler. The defiler has talents that reduce the amount of link damage they take, as well as a self-shield (Husk of Indifference) that absorbs only link damage. Several of their abilities will cause the shield to refresh, so even though it's only a 30s buff, it refreshes often enough to stay up.
The only way the defiler could die from link damage would be if he had all 4 of his links up and the boss did enough to damage to one-shot all 4 of his linked allies in one hit (with a lot of overkill).
Most of the abilities that heal are based around Foul Growth stacks, which only heal after 10 seconds, but can be triggered early by other abilities. But to get a stack, you either have to burn a cooldown to get 3 stacks, or cast a 2s cast spell 3 times to build 3 stacks again. And then you have bonds, that are applied to enemies and give bonuses to you based on something else you do.
I really wanted to try it, but every time I've looked at the soul tree, I just can't help but thinking it is the worst train-wreck of a soul and a nightmare to play well. Unfortunately, they're going to be a requirement for progression raiding - 25% off the top for tank damage is too good to pass up.
In the beta, and now on Live, I've been having a good time leveling with a Shaman build (51 shaman, 10 druid, 5 justicar). It has good passive heals, high survivability, and great single target and good AoE damage. A lot of other people are swearing by a 44 druid, 22 justicar build for soloing/grinding.