The Classic Warrior, Reimagined
I'll admit... of all WildStar's classes, the Warrior seems the least enticing because it's the one class we have in all other MMOs and RPGs. But just because the name is the same doesn't mean Carbine isn't seeking to have some fun with the sword-wielding tropes. After nine levels, the WildStar Warrior reminds me more of Diablo's beloved Barbarian than of say a typical tanking Warrior from other games. The high action and mechanics that reward you for going berserk on hordes of mobs mean the Warrior in this game is an absolute blast to play.
Compared to the Medic, which I spent a lot of time with already, the Warrior certainly feels like a completely different experience. All combat in WildStar is going to be a mobile affair; running, dodging, and moving to avoid your enemies' tells. But with the Warrior, at least up until the whopping level 9 I've reached, I feel far less "scared" to die. There's something that the quick build-up of Kinetic Energy (think Rage) and how fast it drops off out of combat that keeps you barreling from enemy to enemy like a rampaging beast.
Just wandering and slaying, on a cool brisk morning.
The basic attacks of your Warrior are far more rapid-fire than the Medic, as they're all instant-cast so far. You start with a regular slice and dice sort of move that can hit up to five enemies in front of you. This charges your Kinetic Energy quickly as you use it repeatedly. Then you quickly earn other skills like a whirling dervish skill that reduces its cooldown the more you use it in succession. If you charge up your KE with the primary, you can then basically start slowly and whirl quickly in circles decimating foes.
You'll also get a knockdown early on, which is invaluable for interrupting enemies so you don't always have to dodge. It's on a relatively short cooldown too, so you'll be able to use it every fight or every other fight in PVE. You also get a Leap fairly early on to close the distance between you and foes. It's really useful in PVE, and I imagine it's going to save lives from ranged enemies in PVP quite often. But things get really interesting when you hit level 6 and get the first set of skills you have to choose between for your build.
I personally went with the Plasma Saw that literally comes out of your own personal Fallout-like PIPBoy that Warriors all have. It hits up to five enemies in front of you and does a decent amount of damage over time as it bleeds the poor buggers. The animation is also pretty wicked. But you also have the option to bring in your first true "Support' skills, which is tanking for the Warrior. It's an attack that increases aggro for you, while doing a fairly decent amount of damage at the expense of KE. Then there's savage strikes, which pairs nicely with Kick (your knockdown) to do increased damage whenever the enemy is down. This is all by level 8, with several dozen more skills to unlock as you go.
Female Granok are Tough Ladies.
Overall, I'm enjoying the Warrior a lot more than the Medic. Your mileage will definitely vary, but the survivability and brutality of the class are so far very fun. You're a wrecking ball with a sword in your hands, and I like that. You can't heal like the Medic, but you're far better at executing baddies. I'm really curious to see how hard things will be in dungeons as a Tank, what with all the crazy movement you're going to have to do to avoid attacks. I'm also going to experiment more with PVP, to see how melee feels against the ranged classes. But I'm hopeful that my long distance leap will help me close gaps and then the knockdown will help me keep them near me. I'll also wondering if there's another snare coming soon, which will be necessary.
One additional thing I wanted to mention is that some world mobs, not even necessarily elites, will drop weapons or gear specific to them. This alone is kind of cool, as it means hunting down a certain look could be fun in and of itself, but what makes it more interesting is that the weapons can have imbuements. One big Skeech in a cave for the Granok starting zone dropped a sword that was imbued with a special property called "Laceration". I'm not 100% sure what additional benefit this gives me, but it seems to make your weapons stronger if you a.) find a weapon with the imbued effect and then b.) find the target and kill it, thus activating the imbuement. If this can be done via crafting too? Well, that's just nifty.
I also took the explorer path this time, which I enjoyed quite a bit more than the settler. The settler seemed more useful to everyone around me, but the explorer definitely was more fun to partake in. You get to go on scavenger hunts with vague (and not so vague clues), claim land for your faction (which should be fun on PVP servers), uncover special areas, unlock caves and mini dungeons for other players, and so forth. Plus, it feeds the need I have to uncover every corner of a map. Definitely the path I expect to be the most used so far.
What do you think of the video and words above? Does the Warrior of Nexus appeal to you? Let us know in the comments!
Bill Murphy / Bill Murphy is the Managing Editor of MMORPG.com, RTSGuru.com, and lover of all things gaming. He's been playing and writing about MMOs and geekery since 2002, and you can harass him and his views on Twitter @thebillmurphy.