WildStar Class Picking Guide



WildStar Class Picking Guide by Foxwell

Table of Contents
1. Introduction
2. Personal Priorities
3. Class Overviews
3.1 Warrior
3.2 Engineer
3.3 Stalker
3.4 Medic
3.5 Spellslinger
3.6 Esper
4. Gallery
5. The Short List

1. Introduction

Let’s get down to brass tacks. Headstart drops in fewer days than the number of toes on your average sloth, and you still can’t pick that perfect class. That’s why you’re here. That’s why I’m here. That’s why that guy who keeps making all those “WICH CLASS R BEST” threads is here. But before we get started on finding you a class that’ll fit you like a tailored suit, there’s one thing you need to understand.

There is absolutely no substitute for hands-on experience. Nothing could be more personal or subjective than choosing a class, with the possible exception of choosing a life partner or hair stylist. What one player finds fun, another will find boring, another will find difficult, another will find rewarding, etc. You really owe it to yourself to give each class a chance and make the ultimate decision on your terms rather than third party claims.

That being said, several classes take a while to blossom from awkward puberty-stricken adolescents into voluptuous young ass-kicking cupcakes. This guide is intended to give you a cursory look at the “feel” you can expect from each class as you level and help you identify traits that suit your preferences.

2. Personal Priorities

The phrase “different strokes for different folks” not only refers to most Aurin players’ favorite Friday night pastime, but also perfectly summarizes the entire design direction of Wildstar. There’s a ton of stuff for you to do and a ton of ways for you to do it. This means you need to first decide what’s important to you and your desired playstyle. So ask yourself the following questions, cupcake.

Is there a race I absolutely have to play?

This is probably the least important consideration as your class choice will have far more impact on your overall playing experience than your race. But if it’s something that’s important to you, it can narrow things down (unless you want to be a Human/Cassian, which can be anything).

Exiles

Human [6 choices]: Warrior, Engineer, Stalker, Medic, Spellslinger, Esper
Mordesh [5 choices]: Warrior, Engineer, Stalker, Medic, Spellslinger
Granok [3 choices]: Warrior, Engineer, Medic
Aurin [3 choices]: Stalker, Spellslinger, Esper

Dominion

Cassian [6 choices]: Warrior, Engineer, Stalker, Medic, Spellslinger, Esper
Mechari [4 choices]: Warrior, Engineer, Stalker, Medic
Draken [3 choices]: Warrior, Stalker, Spellslinger
Chua [4 choices]: Engineer, Medic, Spellslinger, Esper

Note: No Draken medics means no Dr. Drakens for you Kim Possible fans out there.

Do I want to Tank or Heal?

“But I’ll never play a support role!” you exclaim with hands clenched in fists of DPSing rage. Maybe not, but you never know what will happen. Better to leave options open for the future than pigeonhole yourself out of an entire swath of content. (Which is why I also recommend you factor both PVP and PVE into your account, as you’re really selling yourself short when you strictly adhere to one or the other.)

You might be a Tank if…

  • You enjoy (and are qualified) to play a leadership role in group PVE content.
  • You enjoy playing a defensive/utilitarian role in group PVP content. (Smallscale PVP Tanks aren’t particularly useful)
  • You like instant queue times for PVE content.
  • You appreciate a more moderately sized margin of error in PVE content, and want to have a stronger sense of personal responsibility over your team’s success or failure.

You might be a Healer if…

  • You work well in a fast-paced, high-stress environment for both PVE and PVP.
  • You’re interested in being viable in both smallscale and group PVP content from 2’s to Warplots.
  • You’re okay with slower queue times than tanks for PVE content.
  • You’re appreciate a smaller margin of error in PVE content and understand that even if your character name is VanHealen and you are God’s gift to heals, DPS will run out of your telegraphs, stand in the fire, people will die, and you will be blamed.

Tanks [3 choices]: Warrior, Engineer, Stalker
Healers [3 choices]: Medic, Spellslinger, Esper

How much do I plan on grouping vs. soloing?

Just like your Assault/Support roles and PVE/PVP content, you’ll probably be doing a bit of both. But whichever side of the scale you tend to lean on can have a pretty significant influence on your class choice.

For example, the Stalker innate Stealth loses a huge amount of its utility in a group setting. While solo questing, you can skip mobs and zip straight to your objectives; while in a group, this does you absolutely no good.

Additionally, armor does make a noticeable difference in this game. No class is squishy to the point of being unplayable as every class has plenty of viable survival options, but Heavy vs. Light armor can mean the difference between surviving a telegraph you were too slow to get out of or a trip to the Holocrypt. In a group setting this distinction becomes far less pronounced as you’re less likely to be the sole target of these telegraphs. When flying solo, lighter armor tends to come with a higher skill cap.

Solo Efficiency [3 choices]: Engineer, Stalker, Medic
Group Efficiency [5 choices]: Warrior, Engineer, Medic, Spellslinger, Esper

Note: Every class can solo effectively and brings great group utility. Some classes do have uniquely noticeable perks (bots, stealth, medium armor & heals) that have special implications for a solo environment, but this does not make them OP at soloing or underpowered in groups.

3. Class Overviews

3.1 Warrior

Armed to the teeth and fearlessly wading into battle with multiple enemies, warriors are unstoppable juggernauts of brutality and combat! Peace is for the weak!

Range: Melee
Armor: Heavy
Weapon: Sword + Armcannon
DevSpeak: https://www.youtube….d&v=bjClWwCuVCY
Soloing Efficiency/Ease of Leveling: 3

The Warrior is a heavy-armor melee class using a Rage-like resource that will feel familiar if you’re coming from other MMOs. But he’s still a far cry from the sword-and-board can opener you know from that other game.

Kinetic Energy is what’s known as a back-loaded damage resource. That means you start off a fight with low damage until you build up enough KE to spend on your big wallopers. In a solo questing environment, this is not as efficient as the front-loaded damage resources of Stalkers and Medics, so you can expect a slightly slower pace when questing by your lonesome. There’s not a hugely noticeable difference in downtime though, and alternate leveling outlets exist in the form of battlegrounds, dungeons, and adventures.

Being melee isn’t as much of a disadvantage as you’d expect in a game like Wildstar, especially with the Warrior’s high mobility (just shy of the other melee class, the Stalker). You may find yourself having to escape more telegraphs than your ranged cohorts, but as mentioned earlier, heavy armor makes the game much more forgiving if you’re just starting out. And warriors (tanks especially) bring plenty of highly wanted group buffs and utility, making this a fine class for those comfortable with its archetype.

3.2 Engineer

Decked out in mechanical armor, Engineers unleash destructive long-range attacks while deploying a powerful posse of bots in battle. Never before have wrenches inspired such dread!

Range: Mid (Tanking) to Long
Armor: Heavy
Weapon: Launcher
DevSpeak: https://www.youtube….d&v=8z8RUZemEto
Soloing Efficiency/Ease of Leveling: 4

The Engineer is the other heavy-armor class, and his resource, Volatility, functions similarly to Kinetic Energy without the decay (in combat). The similarities end there, though, since the engineer uses robotic pets and a BFG to round out his arsenal.

Engi bots provide interesting gameplay with a bit of a twist over other MMO pet classes. First, it’s completely viable to forgo using the bots (and indeed many people frustrated with their AI do so, but that’s because they haven’t gotten the Viridian City gym badge and their pets won’t obey them), they’re not customizable (yet), and each of your 4 bots (of which you can use 2 at a time) brings a different sort of utility to the table in the form of limited pet tanking, AoE, debuffs, shield boosts, etc. These little guys can be a huge boon while questing both solo and in a group, especially at lower levels before the Engineer gets all his tools and tricks. And don’t worry, every one of your robots respects the 3 Laws. Most of the time.

The Engineer again uses a back-loaded damage resource that can translate into a higher time-to-kill (TTK) while questing, but this can be abated by AoE farming with the help of Bruiserbot (Tank) and Artillerybot (AoE DPS). Playing range is cool if that’s your thing, and Engis really bring the rain to AoE fights, but if you’re tanking most mobs will be meleeing you anyway. So it can feel like more of a “mid” range class than say a Spellslinger or an Esper.

Channeling a spell gives you a 25% self-snare, and you’ve only got one mobility ability, so the class can feel slow-paced. Dat heavy armor doe.

3.3 Stalker

Silent but deadly assassins, Stalkers use advanced stealth technology to stalk and painfully eviscerate their foes. If you see one, you’re already dead!

Range: Melee
Armor: Medium
Weapon: Claws
DevSpeak: https://www.youtube….d&v=evMAIBM2Tmk
Soloing Efficiency/Ease of Leveling: 4.5

It’s melee, it stealths, it uses medium armor and an Energy-like mechanic yada yada yada. Like the Warrior (and later as you’ll see the Esper), Stalkers tend to fall a little closer to the traditional MMO roots of the Rogue archetype. But the combat stealth mechanics and mobility matched only by Spellslingers do keep it feeling fresh.

Stalkers are the first class we’ve discussed with a front-loaded resource (Suit Power) that starts full and steadily refills over time. This translates to a much higher burst potential at the start of a fight, leading to a more efficient TTK in the solo questing environment. Beware, though, Impale stops one-shotting things after the starting zones, so don’t roll this class thinking it’ll be faceroll easy. In fact, many in the community feel Stalkers have one of the highest skill caps (again probably only matched by Spellslinger) in both PVP and PVE. For some, the fact that the class can be challenging to play effectively is exactly what attracts them to it.

Stealth is a unique mechanic, but it probably doesn’t work the way you’re expecting. Stalker-based PVP is built around a “hit-and-run” mechanic where you stealth up to a target, unload, disengage, and strike again when your Suit Power’s recharged. Bear in mind too that almost every player attack is essentially an AoE due to the telegraph system, so Stealthing around group PVP areas such as battlegrounds/warplots can be extremely difficult (without a specific AMP setup). In PVE, you’ll be using Stealth as part of both your Assault and Support rotations.

Finally, in the open world, Stealth does not make you invisible to monsters. It effectively lowers your agro radius, and to a much less degree when you’re approaching from the front or approaching a higher level enemy. You’ve been warned.

3.4 Medic

Specializing in battlefield support, Medics use their arsenal of gadgets to heal their friends and liquidate their enemies. Prescription: death!

Range: Melee (to Mid)
Armor: Medium
Weapon: Resonators (think shock paddles)
DevSpeak: https://www.youtube….d&v=HJieCQEN5ko
Soloing Efficiency/Ease of Leveling: 4

Ignore the website. You are melee, so that medium armor’s going to come in handy.  This leads to a very unique playstyle, especially when healing (and by “unique” I mean angrish-inducing when your cohorts run out of your heals).

When it comes to class resources, you can’t get more front-loaded than Actuators. You start every fight full so you can blow your heavy DPS load right off the bat, and then replenish your Actuators using other abilities. Having your class resource reset to full every time you leave combat is a godsend while leveling. On top of this, your offheals in Assault will give you plenty of sustain, at least in the early game. Beware that your hybrid healing becomes much less effective at higher levels as it scales with Support Power, not Assault.

Beyond that, Medics bring 3 unique traits to the table: Probes (HoTs/DoTs), Fields, and Shield heals. The Probes aren’t developed to the point that you’ll feel like a Resto Druid or Aff Lock—there really isn’t a true “over time” spec at the moment—and the Fields are persistent ground-targeted AoEs of debatable effectiveness. The emphasis on movement in Wildstar somewhat diminishes the value of Fields, but they could be made more relevant in the future.

Finally, Medics are the only class that can “heal” shields. This grants a playstyle almost kinda sorta like a Disc Priest wherein you’re focused on preventing damage rather than healing it, but thanks to LAS, you can build yourself either as a shield healer or focus more on healing throughput.

3.5 Spellslinger

Maverick aces of the run and gun, Spellslingers use their lightning reflexes, quickdraw skills, and arcane sorcery to dispense frontier justice with a vengeance! Shoot first, body count later!

Range: Ranged
Armor: Light
Weapon: Mag-Pistols (contrary to name, do not actually function on magnets)
DevSpeak: https://www.youtube….d&v=khURaB3AAqY
Soloing Efficiency/Ease of Leveling: 3

If the skillshot gameplay of the telegraph system is the primary reason you’re here, Spellslinger might be for you. Spellslingers wear light armor and use some of the game’s highest mobility, CC/utility, and longest/narrowest telegraphs. This all combines into a fast-paced, high skillcap playstyle in both PVE and PVP that’s as rewarding as it is difficult to master.

Spellslingers have a unique resource and innate; their Spellpower starts full and refills over time (slower than the Stalker’s Suit Power) but faster under certain AMP/ability conditions. While questing you can expect a TTK somewhere around the range of a Stalker or Medic, perhaps a bit lower.

The Spellsurge innate is widely agreed to be one of the trickier innates to use effectively. Knowing when and when not to Surge an ability is directly proportional to your level of suck or ass-bruisin.

3.6 Esper

Masters of psionic illusion, Espers use the power of their minds to conjure deadly apparitions and extrasensory weaponry! When it comes to mass butchery, it’s the thought that counts!

Range: Ranged
Armor: Light
Weapon: Psyblace
DevSpeak:https://www.youtube….d&v=tXiD-kEDWKg
Soloing Efficiency/Ease of Leveling: 2.5

Like the Warrior and Stalker, the Esper most closely resembles a more traditional MMO archetype in the form of the mage/cleric. You are a glass cannon. In PVE, the class is designed to play a more stationary role where positioning and planning your movements are absolutely critical. In PVP, you’re much more mobile.

Espers build their back-loaded DPS by generating Combo Psi Points and unleashing finishers. Be warned, this type of resource not only tends to increase TTK, but can also be punishing to players who fail to manage it well (deflects, missed telegraphs, etc.) as it takes a while to build.

Nothing I can ever say about Espers will come close to Carthh’s comments:

I will list reasons I feel someone would want to choose this class over others.
1) You like working harder to receive the same results as others.
2) You like the aesthetics of the class. Lots of cool looking spells and you like the color blue.
3) You like psionic/magic classes, goes with number 2.
4) You like 2 (essentially) button rotations.
5) You like the challenge of being forced to move out of every telegraph because you have light armor while still keeping your dps up, goes with number 1.

Reasons you should not choose an Esper.
1) Using the stationary builder as an excuse for standing still. I see this going around here a lot lately and people claim since they are Espers, they are allowed to stand still and don’t have to move out of stuff.
2) You don’t like working harder than everyone else to receive the same results.
3) You want a more complex or involved rotation.
4) You don’t like standing still for the majority of your attacks.

4. Gallery

Gear is a pretty superficial factor in picking a class, especially with costumes. Regardless, here’s what you can expect to look like in high level gear.

PVP: http://www.readycheck.org/gallery/wildstar-pvp-sets/

PVE: http://www.readychec…dstar-pve-sets/

5. The Short List

I am not liable for any dissatisfaction caused by your rash reliance on this extremely oversimplified and opinionated summary versus using a 6-sided die to choose your class.

Warrior

  • Melee
  • Heavy Armor (More forgiving)
  • Good Mobility
  • Challenge to Play: Moderate

Engineer

  • Ranged
  • Heavy Armor (More forgiving)
  • Low Mobility
  • Challenge to Play: Low

Stalker

  • Melee
  • Medium Armor (Less forgiving)
  • Very High Mobility
  • Challenge to Play: Moderate-to-High

Medic

  • Melee (to Mid)
  • Medium Armor (Less forgiving)
  • Good Mobility
  • Challenge to Play: Low-to-Moderate

Spellslinger

  • Ranged
  • Light Armor (Very unforgiving)
  • Very High Mobility
  • Challenge to Play: High

Esper

  • Ranged
  • Light Armor (Very unforgiving)
  • Low Mobility
  • Challenge to Play: High
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