The High-Tech Healer
If the Engineer is the class that would try to weaponize your old washing machine, the Medic is the one that would go to a midnight launch for the latest gadgets and gizmos. It comes through the class aesthetics, with Tron-eque laser and plasma cloud abilities paired to futuristic sounds. I’m told by the group that it’s already been nicknamed the ‘Dubstep’ class by beta players.
The Medic is a medium range healer that uses Resonators – high-tech shock paddles – to deliver both damage and healing. To make up for the reduced range, it’s also the only healing class that can wear medium armor. Although you won’t be going into melee range with a Medic, you’ll certainly be cutting it close. Cassians and Mechari can be Medics for the Dominion, while Humans, Mordesh and Granok will be firing techno-heals for the Exiles.
Instead of targeted, burst damage and healing, the Medic focuses on creating what Carbine described as ‘fields’ or ‘stations’ – abilities that you put down on the battlefield to do persistent damage or healing. I’m told that it has a slightly higher skillcap than other healing classes, because of the challenge with using crowd control or kiting to keep enemies inside the field, particularly when you’re trying to coordinate with other players. For those that persevere, the payoff should be worth it, with plenty of persistent healing-over-time abilities and the largest selection of simultaneous damage-and-healing abilities. If you’re looking for a strong healer and off-healer with good utility and group support, the Medic is very compelling.
Like all healers in WildStar, the Medic uses Focus as a secondary resource to regulate how much they can heal over time. Their primary resource is made up of four Power Cores, which are fully charged when entering combat and depleted when using abilities, with more potent abilities devouring more of those cores. The Medic’s basic attack helps to recharge those cores back up, as does getting out of combat.
Despite that foundation on persistent damage or healing over time, we’re told it’s possible to get significant burst from the class when it’s needed. This revolves around the Medic’s innate ability, which provides a short duration buff to damage and healing, and fills those power cores. In addition, for the duration of that buff, any ability that consumes power cores is effectively free. It creates a play pattern where you expend all the cores, punch the innate, then come out at the end with all cores intact. From what I’m told, it’s ideal for DPS burn phases or healing through group or raid-wide incoming damage
Because the Medic’s range is shorter, it also demands more situational awareness. Carbine described a scenario involving main-tank healing, where a boss’s telegraphs could reach a Medic if they’re not careful. It also involves close co-ordination with other group members to ensure that they’re within the various fields. All this requires extensive mobility to get in the best position and avoid incoming attacks, which is why all the Medic’s heals are castable while moving. Unlike the Engineer, there’s no speed impairment for moving while casting.
The Medic also has several unusual telegraph shapes, with the predominant one being a diamond. In the current phase of the beta, it’s also now possible to see allied telegraphs. Friendly heals show up a bright green, although we’re told it’s possible to change the transparency and color. In addition, each heal has a unique spell effect to signify when it’s been triggered. And yes, that’s right – some of the Medic’s fields will remain dormant until an injured ally walks into them.
What can the resonators do? Maztenbacher gave a couple of examples, starting with Annihilation. Unlocked through the AMP system, this instant cast ability pulses out 4 waves of energy, originating from wherever you were standing at the time, even if you move afterwards. Gamma Rays, meanwhile, consumes power cores to use, and spits out 3 damaging projectiles.
Just like the Engineer has its ‘bots, the Medic has a secret hidden up the sleeve of its surgical smock. Probes (no giggling), stab into both allies and enemies to personally deliver a persistent effect. What makes probing even more satisfying is that they can be detonated to deliver a burst effects. If a creature becomes vulnerable after a nicely timed interrupt, detonate the skewered probe and deal a further bonus. If not, wait until the probe’s about to expire, before triggering the detonation for maximum overall effect. Plus, it’s possible to boost probes with Ability Tiers to grant them multiple charges.
Probes fall into 4 categories – Devastator for Damage, Repair for healing, Empowering for offensive buffs and Protection for defensive buffs. Only the Devestator and Repair probes can be detonated.
Despite WildStar being a sci-fi MMO, the previous four classes have had a high-fantasy tinge. Sure, the Warrior has a Power Sword and Arm Cannon, the SpellSlinger wields dual Blasters, the Stalker is teeming with Nanites and the Esper throws psionics-powered mind bullets. But they’re also classes with well-known analogues in other games, making them comfortable choices for veteran players.
By contrast, the Engineer and Medic bring more sci-fi to Carbine’s universe, with a mix of high-tech weaponry that’s begging to be used. As Shelton explained, the team has also worked carefully to make them fit WildStar’s existing combat models. “Both of these classes have been a company-wide effort in getting them from nothingness to where they are now. As we had developed these four other classes, we were looking for holes in the game as to play styles that we had not explored yet. For the engineer, we made it fit WildStar’s playing style by giving it things like bots that follow them around instead of turrets that are just stationary.”
Personally, I can’t wait to try out the Engineer, although the Medic certainly sounds appealing. And if you’re interested in giving them a spin yourself, make sure you apply for winter beta.
Gareth Harmer / Gareth Harmer has been blasting and fireballing his way through MMOs for over ten years. When he's not exploring an online world, he can usually be found enthusiastically dissecting and debating them. Follow him on Twitter at @Gazimoff.