Rift – Dark Moments in Character Building – Dulcien the Shaman

Boss Drum, here we go again
Rhythm Eternal from a distant time
An echo of long ago
Not yet forgotten, No.

Music is Osgard the Saboteur/Bard’s department, but that’s not going to stop this week’s Rift character from coming on, and coming on strong! Take pinch of dwarven doughtiness, and a distinctly undwarven love of nature, add knowing insight to mystical might, and you’ve got Dulcien the Shaman!

Rift Dulcien The Shaman 600x400

Dulcien - Connected to the Powers that Be With Healing Rhythmic Synergy

I’ve not played Dulcien anywhere near as much as Osgard (partially because I’m holding out for an xp-lock option), so he’s a mere level 15 right now. Rightfully he might at the moment be called Dulcien the Justicar, but he has all the Justicar he’ll be getting, and will be continuing up the Shaman Tree for the time-being.

Shaman, Justicar, and Druid are all largely melee based cleric souls. All three get the rather amazing passive “Faith in Action” which adds your Spell Power to your Attack Power, your Spell Crit to your Attack Crit, and your Spell focus to your Melee Hit. This results in a cleric who can kick out quite a lot of melee damage. This is particularly important for Dulcien, as you’ll see.

Dulcien CAN heal, and does so as much as he is able. This is predominantly done through a Justicar ability called Reparation (the reason he went so far up the Justicar tree.) This causes 10% of all damage he puts out, or 25% from Justicar abilities, to go out as a group heal to the ten nearest group or raid members. A buff that he has and always keeps up, Mien of Honor, increases the healing by 50%. For instance, if Dulcien smacks an opponent for 100 damage, the ten nearest friends will be healed for 15, or for 37 if it was a justicar ability that did the damage. That can add up to some decent passive healing, as Dulcien would usually be hitting a lot of things during a fight, but of course it’s rather spread out and better for keeping people topped up than dealing with serious burst damage.

He could use a shield, but as his healing is improved by improved damage output, he chooses to use a two-handed weapon most of the time. A staff with a high spell-power bonus works perfectly, increasing both his magic AND his melee power.

He also has a group heal, also from Justicar, called Doctrine of Loyalty. This heals the ten nearest friends for 51 +50% from Mien of Honor. Obviously it’s not particularly good, but is useful. It is also fueled by Convictions, which are gained by using life-based attacks.

And that’s it. That’s all his heals right now. What this means is that Dulcien needs to be melee combat to be able to do any healing. This isn’t too much of a problem, generally, and convictions last 30 seconds so he can fire Doctrine of Loyalty off while moving towards the next opponent. Still, it would be fair to say that you would not want Dulcien to be your primary raid healer, though he’d certainly make life a lot easier for whoever was the main healer. One thing worth mentioning is that as a melee build, his area heals are a lot more likely to hit the people who actually need it, the other close-combat characters, than a healer who is standing well back from the fight.

There is one other source of healing, mind you, and that would be his fairy. Like Osgard, he has a zero point pet-class on the side, providing him with a fairy companion, who casts heals-over-time as she sees fit. Currently she’ll do 110 healing over 12 seconds. Once again, useful, and she seems willing to occasionally chuck them at group-mates.

Going forward, that situation is unlikely to improve in the short-term, apart from spell-upgrades. Shaman get a decent personal heal, but nothing they can use on anyone else. However, they do get some excellent resistance group-buffs, being able to raise elemental resistances by 30 (for the rank 1 version), and using the right one for the job will certainly reduce incoming damage a useful amount.

Druid, which he will put points into fairly soon, will give him a single target heal, Balm of the Woods, after 6 points spent, but it’s on a 15 second cooldown. He’s going to pick that up at any rate, for emergency use. Any ability which will increase his damage will also increase his healing, and that’ll be his main focus.

Reality changing, moving shifting us higher
To a connection with Gaia
Running out of rhythm,
You know that we’re coming on strong
Because we keep comin’ on!

Needless to say, the sensible thing to do would be to create a second build that uses souls with more healing abilities, for use when such a thing is completely necessary. This, though, is his default build for generally poking about. It’s extremely good for soloing, and has gotten the job done in general Rift and Invasion situations thus far. I suspect it would be absolutely awful for PvP, where burst damage is the order of the day. Let’s take a quick look at his skill tree.

Rift Dulcien The Shamans Soul Tree 600x418

Rift - A Melee Cleric's Soul Tree

It’s certainly fun to play. My main reason for posting this character, in truth, is to partially show to non-clerics why they might not be getting the healing they’re expecting. Now, I think Dulcien does do a decent amount of healing, as he is very careful about using Doctrine of Loyalty whenever it would be useful, but it is not always available (Not helped by convictions being a bit buggy, and you not always receiving them when you ought). He’s also put particular effort into getting the Justicar abilities which grant and improve the healing from his attacks, and some melee clerics might not have done that. Even with that though, he’s no healing power-house, but there is no rule that a cleric has to be. In Rift they share healing duties with Bards and Chloromancers, after all.

I couldn’t resist littering this post with lyrics from one of my favourite bands of the 90’s. From the days when dance music was still good:

5 comments to Rift – Dark Moments in Character Building – Dulcien the Shaman

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