This overview contains a detailed look into every aspect of the warrior class.
The warrior’s sword clacks furiously upon his opponent’s armor and stings his ears. Sweat beads upon his brow and he grimaces as he gathers all his might to lunge again. Alas, the weapon is growing heavier in his hands and he misses terribly. His adversary cackles and raises his axe, slicing it through the air with ease, connecting with the warrior’s face and splitting his cheek open. The warrior stumbles backward in shock, touching his fingertips to the wound. Enraged, he squeezes the handle of the weapon in his other hand and dashes toward the smirking axe-wielder, thrusting his sword again. For a moment the warrior closes his eyes and listens, waits, for the clack to come again, but it never does. His eyes open just in time to see the sword plunging through armor, his foe collapsing to the ground.
The Warrior Class:
Warriors are masters of their bodies and weapons. So it comes as no surprise that playing the warrior class in Rift is a physical experience which relies heavily upon physical attacks. While a warrior can perform some attacks at range, he/she will want to keep combat up-close and personal as the most powerful abilities in the warrior arsenal are melee attacks. In addition to the might of the body and weapon, the warrior class is suited to wearing plate armor and aims to increase Strength, Dexterity, Physical Crit, Attack Power, Endurance, Dodge, Block, and Parry attributes (depending upon soul and role). Favoring plate armor affords the warrior more durability/survivability. Consequently, ranged classes often rely upon offensive and defensive warriors to shield them from damage. This also means that warriors are often the first to strike at enemy targets, making them an excellent class choice for those that desire to lead groups into battle. The warrior class is an aggressive play-style and certainly not for everyone.
The talent system implemented in Rift is often referred to as the soul system. This is because all player generated characters have gone through the process of death and resurrection (the method by which this happens varies depending upon faction choice), granting them the unique ability to unite with the souls of fallen Telarans. Each character is granted access to three souls, and each soul affords different abilities and talents.
There aren’t any hard and fast rules to choosing souls and players can mix and match souls of their liking. That being said, some souls are better choices for certain play-styles and roles. Vindicator, the only warrior soul not appearing in the chart below, is a PVP soul and is useful for both offensive and defensive roles.
The warrior excels in damage and defensive potential. While several other classes can tank (cleric and rogue), the warrior is considered to be the most proficient due to his/her high health pool and access to damage mitigation talents. Warriors are also offensive powerhouses and often lead their allies in overall damage.
In comparison to the cleric, rogue, and mage classes, the warrior is a weak self-healer. Reavers do have some passive healing talents. Paladins have a full self-heal in Touch of Life (10 minute cooldown). Beastmaster has Kinship (very minor heal, 10 second cooldown) and Spoils of the Hunt (1 minute cooldown). However, with such long cooldowns these heals are situational panic buttons, and not a reliable means to heal one’s self consistently. This can pose problems during Rifts, especially when the raid group has very few healers or the group is smaller in size. Without a self-heal the warrior dies or needs to break from battle to regain health more frequently than his/her counterparts and thus overall participation and rewards can suffer.
In addition, the warrior class has fewer roles available to play (damage and protection) than the Cleric and Rogue classes (damage, protection, and healing). Crowd control abilities are also weaker.
Warrior attacks revolve around two resource systems, Energy (A.K.A. power) and Attack Points (A.K.A. combo points). The amount of Energy the warrior has at any given time is displayed in the character nameplate just below the health bar. The Energy bar begins at a maximum of 100 and is depleted each time the warrior uses an attack. For example, the Champion soul ability Mighty Blow costs 25 Energy to use. Therefore the warrior has 75 Energy left to spend after the attack is executed. Energy is constantly regenerated and the longer the warrior waits between attacks, the more Energy he/she will have available to use for the next attack. Several talents are available in various soul trees which allow warriors to increase the amount and speed at which Energy regenerates.
In addition to Energy, the Attack Point system allows warriors to earn points toward Special Attacks or finishers. For example, the Paladin soul ability “Pacifying Strike” generates one Attack Point each time the ability is used.
Attack points are displayed beneath the character nameplate as swords. 1 attack point or sword allows the warrior to perform the weakest version of a Special Attack while building up 3 Attack Points or swords will allow them to use the most powerful version of the Special Attack. Consider the following Reaver soul ability:
The goal is to accumulate 3 points before using a Special Attack. Although this is not absolutely necessary, rotations which use Attack Points as they become available are typically less effective because the overall rotation suffers from instability. Couple this with the fact that some powerful Special Attacks have lengthy cooldowns (Deathblow, 8 seconds) and reactive abilities such as Turn the Blade (not an Attack Point generating ability or a Special Attack, but very powerful and can only be used when a warrior’s attack has been dodged or parried) would be difficult to weave in and the disparity becomes more apparent.
Dual Strike (Grants 1 Attack Point) > Turn the Blade > Punishing Blow (Special Attack)
Due to the resource system, most warrior rotations (offensive and defensive) will prioritize abilities that generate Attack Points, while weaving in the most powerful attacks that do no generate Attack Points, finishing with a Special Attack. See the above example. The rotation is entirely dependent upon which souls the warrior chooses and which play-style he/she enjoys most. Because the speed and amount of Attack Points generated can change at any given time, playing a warrior requires quick-reflexes and awareness.
Gear is an important part of maximizing warrior potential. However, the most effective attributes/stats will vary depending upon the role. Warriors should not use gear with attributes which boost wisdom, intellect, spell power and spell crit.
Strength is the warrior’s primary stat and should be prioritized above all others. 1 point of Strength increases Attack Power by 0.75, and Parry and Block rating by 1.
For offensive warriors, Dexterity can appear to be the better stat. However, a warrior’s total attack power is 75% Strength and 25% Dexterity (Source: Patch Beta 2). Therefore, any damage bonuses Dexterity provides are second to Strength. For defensive warriors, Endurance and Strength are competitive stats and both can be equally good.
Dexterity is primarily an offensive stat. 1 point of Dexterity increases Attack Power by 0.25, Physical Crit by 1, and Dodge by 1. Dexterity should be the offensive warrior’s second priority.
3.) Physical Crit
Physical Crit is primarily an offensive stat and increases the chance to land a critical strike. 1 point of Physical Crit increases the warrior’s chance to critically hit by 0.038%. Warriors should prioritize Physical Crit before placing points in Attack Power. There are two reasons for this. The first reason is that most plate armor is itemized for Strength, which already grants a 0.75 increase to Attack Power. Therefore, there isn’t a need to stack additional Attack Power. The second reason is that a significant portion of warrior damage is critical strike or “burst” damage. Physical Crit makes the warrior’s hardest hitting abilities stronger.
3.) Attack Power
Attack Power is primarily an offensive stat and increases physical damage. 1 point of Attack Power increases physical damage by 0.1. Attack Power is considered weaker than Strength, Dexterity, and Physical Crit.
Hit increases the chance warriors will hit an enemy target by 0.20%. The amount of hit required to hit an enemy 100% of the time is currently unknown. Try and balance hit with other attributes until more is known about the hit cap.
Endurance is primarily a defensive stat. 1 point of Endurance increases maximum health by 11. Endurance might be considered a better stat than Strength, given that it increases the warrior’s health, affording him/her more time in battle.
Block is primarily a defensive stat. 1 point of Block increases the chance a warrior will block an enemy attack by 0.049% and increases the chance to absorb an attack by 0.096%. Block works well with endurance because it shields the warrior’s health bar from damage.
Parry is primarily a defensive stat. 1 point of Parry increases the chance a warrior will parry an attack by 0.016%.
Dodge is primarily a defensive stat. 1 point of Dodge increases the chance the warrior will dodge an attack by 0.024%.
Armor is primarily a defensive stat. 1 point of Armor reduces damage by 0.01%. Armor is on most pieces of gear, so it’s not a stat a warriors need to seek out, making it less of a priority.
Toughness is primarily a defensive stat. 1 point of Toughness reduces non-player critical hit damage by 2%. This stat is best suited for raiding, and will not be useful in PVP.
Updated 03/18/11: The table below provides a graphical overview of Attributes at level 50. Conversions were calculated without talent points for the most accurate results. Bear in mind that some stat weights change dramatically while leveling. For example, at level 6 a Physical Crit rating of 31 yields a 4.93% Crit chance, while at level 7 a Physical Crit rating of 31 yields a 4.65% Crit chance. Therefore, conversion rates will be different for each level.
Based on attribute values, the table below outlines the suggested priorities for offensive and defensive warriors (red illustrates the most important attribute, while green is the least important):