The following two pictures are from encounters: The left one is a rift in a low level area and the right one is in the middle of an Instant Adventure taking down a boss with a nasty attack mechanic that disadvantages Melee attacks.
Starting a Warrior with a Pet
When I started playing Rift, I was looking for a way to play with a Pet and a Bow, or at least a Ranged Weapon. It looked like a Ranger Beastmaster build would be the way to do this. Here’s the Soul Tree for that build, with the key skills that the build provides:
I wasn’t able to find a way to use a Bow with this build. You could shoot the bow to draw a mob toward you, but there were no real Ranged skills available for the bow.
If you examine the tool-tips for the skills in this build, you’ll see that most of them are “Melee Range” and only a few are short range – 10-16 m. I’ve played this for a while now and it’s not ideal. There are too many times when you need long range skills. So here is how I built a Ranged Warrior.
Ranged Warrior Build
Now I’ve figured out how to build a role for a Ranged Warrior with a Pet. I’m sure there are several ways to do this, but this one works very well for me.
The key to this build is to have is “Centered” around the Reaver soul rather than the Beastmaster soul. The Beastmaster soul is there for the pet, along with the Paragon soul with provides some useful Raid wide [and Party wide] buffs.
Notice in the tool tips of the skills for this build that most of them have a 35 m range. Notice all the skills at the top are Ranged and the few below are Melee range. I’ve tried this build solo and in Instant Adventures and it works much better than the previous Melee build.
There is a downside. Fewer points in Beastmaster means that by level 30, the pet is still “Lesser” rather than “Greater”. But as higher levels are reached, there should be no problem in advancing the power of the pet.
Ranger or Hunter in Rift?
Other notable games call a Marksman with a Pet a “Hunter” or a “Ranger”. And many Builds in Rift can have pets. The Warrior build above may seem odd in that it uses a Sword, or Axe to do Ranged Damage rather than a Bow or Gun. But a Rogue Build with a Ranger Soul can use a Bow or Gun and has a Pet. But rather than a Cat with a Bad Haircut, the Ranger starts with a Boar pet and moves on to a Griffon.
There may be other better builds for a “Ranger”. I’m a neophyte Soul-Builder. This Ranger build uses the Assassin Soul for stealth and Marksman Soul for better bow/gun skills. This works quite well and is quite a lot of fun to play.
I suggest having Ranged Attacks be the focus of all your builds. Melee is just not that much fun, esp as a low level player in Instant Adventures.
BTW: Inkscape is very useful tool for putting together graphics of this kind. Screenshots of all the tool-tips are cut out and layered together on the soul tree as a single graphic and exported as a PNG.