Monday, 16 May 2011

Rift: the PvE Purifier

Regular readers will know that I'm a fan of the Purifier soul, the workhorse of the healing soul, the tortoise that wins the race.

It doesn't pump out the numbers that other specs can but it does one thing very very well: it keeps your tank alive.

Let's say that again, louder:

It keeps your tank alive.

In PvE you are quite likely to find yourself healing in the company of other healers. Those guys all pump out lots of AOE (area of effect) healing, Bards don't do anything else but AOE healing. So if someone is helping you all you need to do is keep your tank alive. Which brings us to the Purifier.

I've mentioned before that shielding is the highest form of healing. A tank with a shield on is a harder to kill tank than a tank with a hot on or a tank about to get a heal. On top of that, Purifiers have the best Oh Sugar buttons in the game. Tank on 5% life and getting hit? Press your Spiritual Conflagration button and laugh. If it's on cooldown press Rite of the Ancestors.

Another interesting thing about Purifiers is that shields don't scale with spellpower. That's widely cited as a bad thing. Actually it's a gear-dependent issue and while it's a problem for Purifiers with great gear it's abso-frikkin-lutely wonderful for Purifiers who just hit 50.


if shields scaled then a badly geared Puri might shield 500, a raid-epicced Puri might shield 1500. Instead we all shield 1000. That means when you hit 50 and are in blues your shields that would shield 500 if it was related to your spellpower instead shields 1000. (NB: made up numbers for the sake of the example).

In my opinion Purifier is the best Expert Dungeon running spec until you basically no longer need stuff from epic dungeons. I've got just about everything now so I'm mainly using a different healing role but Puri still has its moments. If you want a number then you should be moving on from deep Purifier at around 950 Spellpower (self-buffed).

Another thing that is worth mentioning is mana efficiency. Purifiers are very economical on the blue juice because most of your talent progression is making your heals a little stronger rather than allowing you to cast more of them. The Sentinel talent Serendipity is very strong, allowing you to cast 2 heals in the time it would normally take to cast one. However 2 heals cost twice as much mana as one heal.

Here's how I heal:

Button 1: Healing Breath. Instant, quite powerful, low mana cost. The heal I use to top people up while moving or if they're only missing a little health.

Button 2: Macro:
#show Ward of the Ancestors
cast Healing Breath
cast Ward of the Ancestors
cast Caregiver's Blessing
cast Searing Transfusion
cast Flashover
cast Sterilize
cast Rite of the Ancestors
cast Healing Flare

This is my go to button for mobile healing. If I have to move, which is quite often, I mash this button while moving.

Button 3 self-heal on the run

#show Shield of the Ancestors
target Holystabs (my character's name)
cast Healing Breath
cast Shield of the Ancestors
cast Searing Transfusion
cast Flashover
cast Sterilize
cast Healing Flare

Button 4 Break Free (from Templar tree). This is an amazingly useful pve button. There are lots of boss abilities that put you in cocoons or crystals or stun you or fear you.

Button 5 Healing Flame. It's worse than your big heal but sometimes you only need a small heal or have a short time to be stationary.

#show Healing Flame
cast Healing Breath
cast Healing Flame

Button 6
My main heal: macro. Basically I'm just spamming Restorative Flame my big, 3 second cast, heal.
#show Restorative Flame
cast Touch the Light
cast Flashover
cast Restorative Flame
cast Fiery Blessing

Button 7 Surging Flame. A key ability, this allows us to heal the tank virtually all the time with the rest of the group still being looked after.

Button 8. Macro:
#show Latent Blaze
cast Flashover
cast Latent Blaze
Flashover forces a crit and is always worth using with this pre-cast healing spell. Since it's effectively a passive Oh Sugar button, it's always good that it crits.

Button 9:
Spiritual Conflagration. Hands down the best single target healing spell in the game. Tank in trouble? Press this and get tank not in trouble. The cooldown is short enough that you can use it without worrying that there might be a bigger emergency soon. This is why you went 51 Purifier.

Button 10: Decurse macro:
#show Cauterize
cast @mouseover Sterilize
cast @mouseover Cauterize
I'll explain how this works. First it interrupts anything you are currently casting. This is because many times if something needs to be decursed it needs to be got rid of NOW. (For example the pink dot done by Caelia, last boss in CC Expert). Then it will cast a decurse depending on what your mouse is hovering over. If you don't hover your mouse over a party member it will cast it on your target (usually the tank). If you don't have a target then depending on your settings it will autoselfcast. It will always try to use Sterilize first (which nukes all debuffs) then Cauterize (which nukes just one debuff) if Sterilize is on cooldown. It takes a little practice to get used to what this button does but once you are familiar with it you have very fast and effective one button decursing.

Button 11: Healing Communion
An aoe heal, I rarely use it prefering to overheal the tank to push out aoe healing with Surging Flame but it does heal a bit quicker when everyone is low.

Button 12: Swift Gold Armoured War Horse Bridle. The only way to travel. The glistening golden tints of our bold steed match our heroic mission and exquisite flamecast spell animations. Please don't let the side down by trundling to Ragnarok on a two-headed tortoise called Sid - we wouldn't want to see you dismounted by a Death Lord armed with a juicy piece of lettuce!

The playstyle:
Target tank mash 6 unless you have to move, mash 2 if you have to move and heal. If it all goes wrong press 9. On certain bosses you decurse with button 10. That's about all you need to remember to start with.

The spec:


  1. My healing build is purifier based, although not 51 purifier - it's a homebrew of 38 purifier, 20 sentinel and 8 cabalist (just to let me top off my mana with a little aoe damage). I've done OK in tier 1 experts with it, and I don't PvP as a main healer - my instinct is to smash faces with a side order of heals, which means a shaman/justicar/inquisitor combo.

    I suspect I'm not "optimised" - but as I said, I do OK in the content I do and my work and family commitments pretty much ruile me out of prgression raiding anyway. I do have to ask though - how is your build for mana in sustained fights? I'd feel a bit naked without my sigil of power/decay/obliterate combo to charge up my batteries when needed.

  2. I just about always ran with an offhealer even on trash and burned an average of about 2 mana potions per dungeon.

    Like everything in Rift it's about tradeoffs. Your build sounds fine to me - being able to Sigil for mana is pretty good.

    You might want to consider Inquisitor - Aggressive Renewal is strong now that it got buffed in 1.2 and Soul Drain is a really strong AOE.