Rift is like many modern MMOs in that it is both not an ARPG where you have to deal with physical/elemental-immune/resistant mobs and outside of PvP, and usually not even there, what type of damage you do is utterly pointless compared to how much damage you do.
Granted that elemental damage will often be less effective against casters than physical damage dealers, and vice versa with physical damage, while "tanks" take less damage overall that distinction is centered almost entirely around PvP with hardly, if any, bleedthrough into PvE.
TBH it really makes me ask, "Just why the f*** do modern MMO developers even f***ing bother with damage types?" They're completely irrelevant for 99.999% of all gameplay except for gear checks on some bosses, and even in the latter case not only are those bosses rare but that particular design philosophy has fallen out of style and is being, if not has been, phased out of MMO design. Just look at the need for +elemental resist gear in early World of Warcraft bosses/instances versus modern World of Warcraft bosses/instances.
Sure, many MMO developers hang secondary effects on various types of elemental damage, but is it really necessary? I mean fire spells in Rift, World of Warcraft, and other MMOs often have a DoT component because they supposedly set the mob on fire, but why don't ice spells have a DoT component? I mean if you create a bunch of icicles inside a mob's armor or under their feet then every time they act they're going to be hurting themselves thereby generating damage over time. Likewise if you numb their skin to the point where they don't know when they're hurting themselves it can achieve the same thing. Frost/ice spells are the same way. Why do only they have slowing components? If you set someone on fire badly enough they aren't going to be moving that fast, especially if you do severe enough fire damage to their legs.
Why are only "shadow" type spells often associated with leeching health from enemies? Wouldn't nature spells do the same? What about ice spells? Creating a spear of ice that funnels the blood/lifeforce from an enemy to yourself makes just as much sense as a blob of "darkness" or shadows doing the same thing.
/shrugs and /rant.
Point being, as I said, that what type of damage you do in this game, especially with regards to PvE, is far, far, FAR more important than what type of damage you do. Just look at what types of damage the primary soul in your build favors and pick bonuses to further enhance that type of damage if you want your primary attacks to be even more effective. --- Stop complaining. I could have done this more painfully. - Dryad from Sacred 2.