In Trion Worlds' massively-multiplayer online role-playing game Rift, eight different souls come together three-at-a-time to create many different flavors of rogue. Here are just a few.

Due to various obligations and complications I've not had nearly the time to talk about Rift as I planned when the game first came out, and with its deep and somewhat convoluted soul system I might never have had enough time to cover it completely.

Character creation is simple enough. You select your faction, race, gender, and then one of four main archetypes: Warrior, Wizard, Rogue, and Cleric.


Where things get complicated is the game's Soul system. Each of the four classes has eight different Souls, or sub-classes, that can be combined in groups of three. Once you've selected the three you wish to run with (you can earn more later in the game), you start adding points to the three Soul trees as you level. Adding points to the tree unlocks certain powers, the more points added the more powers unlocked. Even without adding any points you still gain access to the Soul's initial powers.


It makes for an incredibly varied group of characters within the same class. A rogue, for instance, can be a long range sniper, a stealthy stabber, a musical support specialist, or even a tank.

The versatility also makes it tougher for less experienced characters to figure out what to choose and what points to put where, when. The official forums are filled with people giving their opinions on what the best builds are for each class. I've created many characters myself, playing them for a time only to drop them in favor of giving another combination a go.

With each class having hundreds of potential combinations, it's a hard system to balance as well, Certain combinations excel while others falter.

I am enjoying experimenting, at least. I'd enjoy it even more if the game's progression weren't so linear, but I suppose you can't have it all.

Anyway, rogues. They're nice.