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WildStar Previews: Becoming A Mechari Warrior

By Garrett Fuller on October 17, 2013

In the second half of our two part series on WildStar this week we wanted to talk about the Warrior class. At New York Comic Con this weekend we had the opportunity for some hands on gameplay and wasted no time getting right into the action. Yesterday we talked about the Stalker. Today it’s all about starting out as a Warrior. If you want to bring the beatdown, take the punishment, and deliver the knock-out punch, then this class is for you. The Warrior is enhanced by some unique skills and interface options which sets it apart from other MMO-Warriors you have played.

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For my time at NYCC I chose the Mechari race. I just liked the mechanical look and wanted to play them ever since their announcement a few months back. With limited time on the demo, I chose to randomize my appearance and get started right away. As I entered the world of Nexus the first thing that stood out was the massive power sword. Hopefully Carbine Studios will allow players some customization on this weapon as your level up. It looked great, but orange is not my color. The next thing that stood out was the movement of the Mechari. They seemed to be much slower and more mechanical. David Bass, the Community Manager at Carbine quickly said that they move at the same speed as the Draken and all the other races. The animations are changed to give the Mechari their brooding robotic movement.  This illusion made sense and once in combat I found that the Warriors are quick killers.

Being a Warrior I chose the Soldier as my Path as it just kind of made sense. I know it’s not necessary to pair the two, but I figured why not go with a theme? Since there was a Soldier quest I partook in during my Stalker runthrough, I wanted to see if I could beat down the hordes of robots near the power generators, this time as the catalyst for that event. As a member of the Dominion faction, I started in the same zone and began my quests defusing mines and killing giant alien bugs. The main difference here is how the Warrior accomplishes his goals.

On your hotbar you have three globes. These globes fill up to offer powerful attacks during a fight. Think of them as a Rage bar and you will be right at home, but they’re tiered in a way that gives access to specific abilities... the system was very intuitive. The combat interface once again offers a lot of attacks with a targeting arc in front to aim at a group of enemies. The basic strike and powered-up attacks I had on the Warrior sported a brutal animation which made me feel epic even at low levels.  But swinging my giant power sword was not the real joy of the class; the gem to the Warrior is the Leap ability you get early onl. In other MMOs when Fighter classes get a leap it is usually just to jump towards your target quickly. In WildStar the Leap has many more uses and I found it to be the core of how I fought monsters. It can also be used as a disruption if your opponent is powering up an attack. The Leap does jump you to your target, but it can be used to jump away as well. This mechanic gives you a great escape option if you are losing a fight. At one point being surrounded by robots I was able to leap out, single out a robot as a target, power up, and perform a sweep attack to take them all down. After that experience, I turned to David Bass and said “Now that was fun.”

Another key mechanic is the Overdrive ability. Just as the Stalker gets Stealth, the Warrior gets Overdrive. Imagine a huge adrenaline boost to your alien tank and you will get the idea. Normally, the Warrior will have to hit a target three times to power up the first globe. In Overdrive the Warrior can do this with one hit. Knowing when to click Overdrive in a fight is a strategy in itself. I liked that it could be used at any time and had a decently quick cooldown timer on it so in a big fight you might even get to use it twice.

I finally made it to the power generators and was able to unlock the Soldier event for my Path.  Even though it is a public quest David explained that you can do them solo. They will scale to however many players enter the area. I fought the robots and suddenly found myself facing a giant boss. The Warrior performed beautifully in taking out multiple foes and I was able to hold off against the boss really well. That is until I started talking and lost track of my health bar…boom dead.

MMO traditionalists will really enjoy the feel of the Warrior. It has enough of the old tank styles from other MMOs baked into its design, but it also comes with a ton of different versatility and active combat. It is much more well-rounded than the Warrior you know from past titles. Once again, WildStar really takes the classic MMO down a new path with fun sci-fi and exploration. We want more, and we can’t wait to get our hands on the game again.


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