I’m sure many players in Rift are still leveling as quickly as possible. I have my warrior at level 47 on the brink of 48. (Two bars away). Having leveled through, I have played around with the souls a lot. While I’m certain that this will change a little when we get start raiding, (FYI Conquest of Emberlord is recruiting all classes and roles for raids, rifts, and warfronts.) I think I have found the best souls for leveling if doing PvE with a little PvP on the side. Again, this is just my personal experience and may just be my observation more than anything.
When leveling, I think of a few requirements. First, the soul should be able to put out as high of DPS as possible. Second, they should have some mechanic to help if you pull multiple mobs. Third, they should be able to have a mechanic to decrease downtime. Finally, it should be able to be used in instances or warfronts.
Looking at these requirements, some souls would be out. Clearly, anything that is focused on tanking would not in and of itself be a good solo leveling soul. Those tend to focus on threat and mitigation but does very little for high DPS output. And while Paladin does have a self heal, there are no real good mechanics to decrease downtime. However, I would recommend one of your specs to be a defensive spec, especially when fighting elite mobs. (Also, I should add in that Hazeed in Shimmersand is a bastard and should burn in hell for all eternity.)
So now, we turn our attention to the offensive souls. Champion, who is probably the heaviest of damage but also the most vulnerable of the offensive souls; Paragon, who uses duel weapons and has ranged abilities; Riftblade, who has elemental buffs and more crowd control than the other offensive souls; and Beastmaster, which is the only offensive soul to have a companion and self heals in combat. So with these four choices for offensive roles, which would be the best ones for leveling.
In my personal opinion, Beastmaster is an absolute requirement for leveling. It gives you a companion who could potentially tank if you pull multiple mobs. It also gives you two different self heals, one that can be cast on cooldown and a bigger heal that cost attack points but heals for 150% of weapon damage. In addition, it offers 3 different buffs for while you are leveling and you can switch your pet to tank or damage.
This leaves room for the two other souls in your leveling spec. The second choice should be really based on your playstyle. You could make an argument for Paragon; however, I think the Champion soul is the best second choice. One, it puts up huge damage with two handed weapons. Second, it has an attack power ability that is a “kill” ability, Deathblow. In other words, when you get an enemy to 30%, you have a way to finish them quickly. The quicker you kill an enemy, the less time you have to recover. Add in the fact that you get heals from Beastmaster and you are talking very little down time. Plus, you get higher damage the faster you move with Bloodlust.
Since I don’t see much of a point in taking the other high damage tree, Paragon, since you are going to be focusing on two handed weapons, this means the final soul is kind of chosen for us. Even if you go deep into Beastmaster and Champion, you can still get the Flaming Spears in Riftblade and have a decent ranged attack.
In order of preference, while leveling, I would get Beastmaster to 31 points to pick up the bigger heal that requires attack points. From there, I would get Champion up to 31 points. Then go to Riftblade to get the Flaming Spheres. This should be enough points to get to level 50 which at that point, you would go for more mitigation or damage based on your role in raids.