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Shooting Stars

Gareth Harmer Posted:
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Stealthing isn’t the same as being invisible. Once you get closer than 15 meters to your intended victim, there’s a chance they might detect you. Your nanite-powered cloak might twinge and flicker a little, or the grass may rustle around your feet. Unless you’re there to intimidate your prey, it seems like it’ll be best to only move in when you’re ready to strike.

As a melee class, the Stalker will also need some capable dodging. While the WildStar-Standard dodge mechanics will be available, there are a couple of extra moves exclusive to this class. By far the most interesting is False Retreat, where the Stalker jumps back 15 meters and leaves a beacon behind. Use the ability again, and you’ll be right back at the beacon, knocking down foes in the process.

Oh, and your nanite-infused skin can leech the life from enemies.

It’s Elemental

As part of the Spellslinger Livestream last weekend, we were also treated to a further look at Stormtalon’s Lair, an early 5-man dungeon. The action picked up from where the team left off last time, in the hall of Blade Wind the Invoker.

Dungeons in WildStar won’t be the same every time; David Bass described how each visit will offer a handful of optional objectives picked from a large list. Along with completing the instance quickly, or with fewest wipes, completing these objectives will increase your overall performance rating. Score high enough, and you might get an extra boss’ worth of loot. Not too shabby, eh?

The first few pulls were simple enough, until the party discovered a jump ramp to a hidden area. A tough air elemental resided there, guarding some mysterious Eldan equipment. Once defeated, the ancient machines powered up a Holocrypt, allowing the adventurers to resurrect at that halfway point in the instance.

The second boss in Stormtalon’s Lair is a large, mean-looking air elemental named Aethros. The fight looks deceptively simple, with a number of tornadoes patrolling the room as the team first engaged him. After a while, he dispersed into three smaller elementals that had to be collected and taken down. But it was the third stage that I found most entertaining; Aethros teleports the group to the far side of the room, with the tornadoes forming a gauntlet that players have to run through. Once at the end, the players needed to work together to interrupt a potent area effect ability that can wipe the party if left unchecked.

The car wash, as it’s affectionately known, is a place where the Spellslinger gets an advantage. By using Void Slip to step into an alternate dimension, it’s possible to circumvent the tornado gauntlet completely. 

Mechanics Smorgasbord

Away from the class focus and dungeon glimpses, several other interesting tidbits were thrown our way. It turns out that crowd control will do damage, with those from the Assault tree focusing more on the pain. Those in the Utility tree will, conversely, bring more of that control for less damage.

Switching back to healing, Class Lead Hugh Shelton talked about how tank and healer pairing is likely to be more important than minmaxing. He used the example of the Stalker, a highly mobile tank, that would be best paired with an Esper for the freeform healing. Conversely, a Spellslinger’s telegraphed heals would probably work better with the Warrior. There are also abilities that both heal and deal damage, and some that grant an absorption-like bonus shield.

There’s still one question that remains: what about those two mystery classes? We don’t have much longer to wait, with the Class Ultra-Drop continuing next week. Personally, I can’t wait to hear all those juicy details.

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.

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Gazimoff

Gareth Harmer

Gareth Harmer / Gareth “Gazimoff” 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.