Mentoring and Sidekicking are very useful features in RIFT. They allow you to ‘pretend’ that your character is a different level than they actually are.
On RIFT PRIME everyone is auto-mentored everywhere and there is no Sidekicking – so this guide really isn’t for the prime shards!
On the RIFT LIVE shards, auto-mentoring only happens in certain places such as instant adventures (also NMR and volan), so everywhere else you have a choice if you want to mentor or not. Mentoring can be used to gain ‘high level’ rewards from ‘low level’ content (tho the rewards are not exactly the same as explained below) – Mentoring or Sidekicking can also be used so you can play at the same difficulty level as a friend who is lower or higher level than you – Mentoring can also be used to make your character move more slowly.. this may seem like a weird thing to want, but for cheevo hunters this comes in handy a lot!
Below I explain the differences between Mentoring and Sidekicking and how to do it!
Mentoring is REDUCING your characters level.
To mentor your character down, right click on your characters portrait while you are STOOD STILL and OUT OF COMBAT!
If you are not stood still and out of combat then the menu option to mentor down simply wont be there!
It doesn’t matter if you are in a party or solo, mentoring will only effect your level not anyone else’s.
Click on the ‘set ascended mentor level’ option.
This will bring up the level selection box.
You can use the slider bar or type a number into the box to select your new ‘mentored’ level.
When you mentor down, you have to mentor at least 5 levels below your current actual level.
To be within XP range of a mob, you want to be a maximum of 7 levels above the level of the mob. Although 7 levels doesn’t always work, (especially if those 7 levels cross an expansion or 2!).
I find its best to go 5 levels above the mob and to ALWAYS check the colour of the mobs level number before i start attacking.
When you are mentored, you will see arrows pointing down towards your level number.
When you select someone else that is mentored, you will also see these arrows on their portrait and their mentored number. To see their actual level you need to right click and inspect them, their actual level will be at the top of their character screen.
As you can see in the image above, changing your level will effect the difficulty of the mob you are hitting.
You can see the mobs difficulty level when you look at the colour of the text of their level number.
A red mob is going to hit you much harder than a green mob, however you will get different amounts of XP from each colour.
A level 65 player mentored to level 45 killing a level 50 mob (red) gets 2663XP.
A level 65 player mentored to level 56 killing a level 50 mob (green) gets 700XP.
A level 65 player mentored to level 50 killing a level 50 mob (yellow) gets 2646XP.
These numbers show that if you want good XP from kills, it really is better to be at the same level of the mob you are hitting. You don’t want to be too high or too low.
It is however very unlikely that you will find yourself questing or killing mobs in low level zones for XP, as the XP from the content that is the same as your current actual level will be so very much better! In fact the only time this will really matter is if you are power levelling another character and you want to get the very best XP for them from kills.
If you are questing in low zones for XP, then its probably going to be better for you to stay high level and one shot everything, as you will get most of your XP from quest hand ins rather than mob kills.
YOU CAN MACRO IT!!
Rather than using the right click and select level, you can set up a macro to do it all for you.
Set up your macro like this.. [ mentorlevel +5 ]
When you have a mob selected, hit this macro and you will mentor to 5 levels above the mob.
This is a great macro to have when you need to mentor quickly while tagging zone events.
You can change the number to suit your needs.
You can also create another macro to pop you back up to level 70 once you are done [ mentorlevel 70 ]
Again you can change the number to suit your needs, so if you find yourself mentoring to 65 a lot then you can set up a macro for that, or whichever level you need!
TAGGING LOW LEVEL ZONE EVENTS
There are a number of reasons why low level zone events would be useful to you.
You may want the cheevo for completion, you may be hunting sparkles for your patron quest, you may have an upgrade requirement to kill colossi on your gear and/or you may just want to help out!
You only NEED to be mentored for the final boss to get the proper rewards, so if the zone event requires 10 rifts to be closed, you can go close them as a level 70, one shot everything and then just mentor for the final boss.. or use your level 70 awesomeness to solo defend a wardstone while other peeps close the rifts.
A lot of the lower level events can be completely soloed by a high level character, you just need to keep a good eye on those defense points!
HOWEVER.. if while closing rifts you notice that you are not alone in the zone, that there are other people trying to tag stuff and especially if there are actual low level players trying to tag stuff then mentor down! You don’t need to mentor down fully, just go below a point where you one shot everything to give them a chance to tag stuff too!
When the boss pops.. go to it, MENTOR DOWN to the level required and wait a minute or so before you go for the kill to allow the lower level players to tag it properly too.
Be aware that a player who is more than 7 levels above a zone event boss will get a debuff that reduces their damage when they hit the boss, they also will not receive proper rewards for the event. Mentoring properly means you wont get that debuff. However for some bosses you can be 7 levels above and not get the debuff, and other bosses require less than 5 levels above, this is why i prefer to mentor to 5 levels above by default instead of 7. If you find yourself getting the debuff even though you are mentored, get out of combat and mentor lower til the debuff goes away.
MENTORED BUT STILL OP..
Yes.. you are still very much OP..
A level 70 player mentored to level 40 will have much much higher stats and dps than an actual level 40 player. the difference gets more noticeable the lower you mentor down.
This means that even if you are mentored, you will still find the content much much easier than it ‘should be’. This makes it difficult for Trion to award level appropriate rewards for low level content.
So tagging a low level zone event will give you some useful rewards, but it wont give you the same currencies that a zone event in a high level zone will (such as INTEL from PoA zones).
They could fix this by reworking the mentoring system to ensure that a mentored player does the same damage as an actual player of that level, thus making all content the same difficulty, however with so many variables this is a hard task indeed.
And lets face it… peeps LOVE to be OP sometimes!
On the PRIME shard, auto-mentoring is automatic. this is why low level content gives you the same XP and rewards as higher level content.
AUTO-MENTORING ON LIVE SHARDS
On the live shards there are a few areas where you will be auto-mentored – Automentoring will mentor you UP or DOWN depending on the level of the content your are participating in
INSTANT ADVENTURES – Instant Adventures are a great way to get oodles of XP between levels 10 and 65 – Simply queue up and join the group.
For the open world IA you will be teleported around to kill creatures in lots of different areas, from the level 20 areas of Freemarch and Silverwood all the way up to the level 65 areas of Tarken Glacier. To ensure you get good XP from all the kills you will be mentored to the level of whichever zone you are in at the time. While you are in IA you will not be able to change your mentor level and you wont need to!
In the intrepid IA, you will always be level 65, these are set in the instances of Hammerknell and Mind of Madness raids
NIGHTMARE RIFTS – Otherwise known as NMR.
Stepping through the shield surrounding an NMR will mentor you to the level of the NMR – This will allow you to get very nice amounts of planarite for your time – A group of 70s at an NMR mentored to level 65 will do lots more damage than a group of 65s ever did, which is why you will now often see PUG groups hitting stage 300, whereas when peeps were all level 65 this was a very difficult thing to do that required a proper raid group set up and lots of co-ordination.
VOLAN – Dreams of blood and bone zone event in Ashora.
You will be auto-mentored to level 60 in the area where the VOLAN fight takes place (the south east of ashora).
Nobody really know why this happens, as a level 70 mentored to level 60 you are still very overpowered and able to solo the event, although it will take a long time!
The VOLAN event is credited as being one of the very best zone events ever, it is very enjoyable content! So it makes sense that Trion would want players to experience it properly, so maybe that is why we are auto-mentored in that area.
Sidekicking is generally INCREASING your characters level, it is also called ‘mentoring up’.
Sidekicking requires 2 characters to group up together, one high level character and one low level character.
The low level character will then be able to sidekick up to the higher level characters level.
While in a group with a higher level character you can right click your portrait to turn sidekicking on and off.
While you are sidekicked you will have arrows pointing upwards away from your level number.
While you are sidekicked you will auto-mentor to whichever zone you are in, you cannot pick and choose your level like you can while mentoring, however, you can sidekick to a higher level than you actually are, which is VERY useful while levelling.
There are a few rules while sidekicking…
TELEPORTS AND PORTICULUMS
You wont be able to use porticulums to cross expansions unless you are already the correct level for that expansion.
For instance.. a level 10 player sidekicked with a level 70 cannot take a portal to Alittu (the Prophecy of Ankhet starter area).
However that level 70 player will be able to summon the level 10 player, using one of the friend summons, not a guild rally banner.
The level 10 player will need to be in a city (Meridian/Sanctum/Tempest Bay) so that their sidekicked level shows level 70.
So, to get your level 10 friend to PoA zones, party with them, make sure sidekicking is switched on and they are stood in a city to get level 70, then summon them to the PoA zone.
Generally, you will not be able to pick up quests that are more than 5(ish) levels above your true level and certainly not from expansions you don’t have access to yet based on your actual level.
This is to prevent your level 10 friends from picking up level 65 quests, getting 1million XP and shooting up to level 52 in one hit… those were the days!
Warfronts will auto-mentor everyone of a certain level bracket to a specific level. This means that you could be mentored down or sidekicked up depending on where you actual level lands inside the level bracket. Your gear will also be bolstered, which you will be able to see a buff for in your buff bar.