For anyone who has been following WildStar, you'll be more than aware that the Medic and Engineer have been leaked and spoiled several times over. The waiting however is thankfully over and having sat down with Carbine to discuss all that this mystery pair have to offer.
First up on the list was the Engineer. As a ranged tank (though with more than enough fire power to deal plenty of damage) and officially the pet class of WildStar, this launcher toting brute controls a series of "bots" while wearing heavy armor. Although we'll talk about these bots in a little more detail shortly, there are a total of 4 bots that you can choose from with the ability to deploy any 2 at one time.
In terms of playstyle and mechanics and playable as Human, Granok, Mordesh, Chua and Mechari, the the Engineer uses what is known as Volatility. Throughout combat and through the use of various skills this will increase to the point where you can unleash it. As an unstable energy, its primary focus is on helping you deal damage. Accompanying all this are the two additional elements that make up the class: Stances and the Mark 4 Exo-suit.
Predictably the stances of an Engineer allow them to focus on two separate elements of play and as is the cornerstone of WildStar, it's very much down to you to decide which stance you prefer to spend your time in. One (DPS) provides an increase to your damage output, while the second stance (Tank) significantly improves your survivability. Combined with the Exo-suit however (an innate ability all Engineers start with) and you'll receive specific buffs dependant which stance you're currently in. Using your Exo-suit while in the Tank stance will give you near invulnerability for a period of time while switching to the DPS stance half way through, should you so choose, will allow you to amass a huge amount of Volatility for you to unleash. With a fairly long cooldown on the Exo-suit of around 2 minutes, but lasting around 20 seconds, it should balance out quite nicely.
As you can imagine, throwing in some A.I controlled bots at the same time as you turn on your Exo-suit is really where the fun begins. If that wasn't fun enough, he's also able to cast every skill on the move (who doesn't like to run and gun?) though he'll suffer a movement penalty.
When it comes to the bots, I had two reservations: scaling and telegraphs. Luckily for us, the bots follow the engineer at a close proximity and can be controlled similarly to a standard pet in any other MMOG (passive/aggressive stances and commanding them when to return or attack) so avoiding telegraphs shouldn't be too much of an issue. Better yet, they'll also level up alongside the Engineer meaning we won't have to make do with limp robots that die in a single hit. What makes bots also incredibly exciting is the fact that they have independent skills that they can use, with those skills based on the bots purpose.
1. Bruiser Bot (Skill: Taunts and Interrupts)
2. Repair Bot (Skill: Repairs Shields to an Area)
3. Artillary Bot (Skill: Releases a barrage of rockets against multiple enemies)
4. Diminisher Bot (Skill: Snares everything around it and applies a DOT)
The ability to only use 2 bots at any one time is going to be a difficult challenge and will have players asking many questions: "Do I want to deal massive damage and take the Artillery and Diminisher?", "Do I want more control and survivability from the Repair and Dimisher Bot?", "Do I want to mix it up and have snares and taunts from the Bruiser and Diminisher?". Considering that you can only unlock some of the bots through the AMP system also adds an additional layer of choice as to whether the investment is worthwhile.
When asked how the Engineer compares as a tank to the Warrior and Stalker, they did state it can face tank fairly easily. As a ranged tank, you'll have an element of kiting but you're able to divert enemies attentions through the use of your bots as well as other skills.
Last but not least, Carbine let us in on just a few of the Engineers primary abilities which I've noted below.
Pulse Blast: A 25 meter basic conal attack that deals more damage to your enemies based on how near to the centre of the area your enemy is.
Energy Auger: A 30 meter lined lined skill shot that shoots out a charged bolt ahead of you that leaves a 3 second field in the open that deals period damage.
Target Acquisition: Available through the AMP system, this skill allows you to manually mark 12 targets while channeling (or 12 marks on one target) and deals more damage based on the number of active marks.
1. Heavy Armor
2. The third "tank" class
3. Comes with an innate Mark 4 Exo-Suit (Armor ontop of Heavy Armor)
4. Comes with stances to determine your play style (DPS or Tank)
5. Wields a Launcher (A hand made ranged weapon)
6. Is able to deploy 2 of 4 Bots at any one time (He's the pet class)
7. Able to cast every skill on the move (though your movement will be slowed)
8. Can undertake self restoration (shields)
9. Playable as Human, Granok, Mordesh, Chua, Mechari and Cassian
Unsurprisingly after the multitude of leaks, the Medic is the final class to be revealed and is a close-quarter brawler that heals as he hurts. Wielding twin Resonaters, these high tech shock paddles can heal and deal damage at the same time. As a medium armor wearer and the only healer class that does, there's a real need to get up close and personal in order to function. When it comes to their "mechanic" the Medic are what's known as Power Cores. Starting combat with 4 full Power Cores, you'll expel this resource while using various skills but have the ability to build it back up through your basic attack (or when you leave combat). As a secondary resource, you'll have Focus that determines how much you can heal and how long for.
Fundamentally, the Medic will focus on fields or "stations" which are objects you put out into the battlefield that provide a variety of effects (whether healing or damage). The skill ceiling on the medic because of this is notably higher as you'll have to coordinate enemies and party members to remain in these static fields and their radius in order to maximize their effects. In many ways the Medic reminded me of the Monk in Dungeon Defenders and the Aura's that they place down during combat. The difference being the fact that much of the Medics telegraphs are diamonds instead of circles. On top of this the Medic will have "Probes" which they can attach to players or opponents that generally support allies or hinder foes, while some can also be detonated. These Probes provide their effects in a burst meaning that you can chain react several of them to maximum effect.
1. Devastator Probe (Detonate burst damage)
2. Repair Probe (Detonate burst heal)
3. Empowering Probe (Offensive buff)
4. Protection Probe (Defensive buff)
Unsurprisingly, the fact you're up close and personal with bosses and enemies as a Medic healer you're really going to have to be aware of where your allies are. Good communication to keep them in range of your heals really will be a must here and all the while ensuring that you avoid telegraphs. In comparison to the other healers in WildStar the medic is fully mobile due to its skirmish, close natured method of play. There's no movement penalty here regardless of the skills you use.
Where the medics innate ability is concerned, they have what is known as "energize". When triggered, you'll become super charged and all spent Power Cores will be recharged with many skills that once cost Power Cores now completely free of charge. For those "Oh Shit!" moments when you need to heal your party quickly, hitting energize really will save the day.
Briefly discussing skills, Carbine let us in on two of the following:
1. Annihilation Â AMP ability creates 4 waves that shoot out in front of you. Hit enemies with 4 waves from where you're standing.
2. Gamma Rays Â Costs Power Cores to use and fires out 3 projectiles with each dealing damage.
For anyone seeking a heavier style of character but with the ability to really fill a hybrid role, the medic really will suit. Though there's still lots unknown, this Tron-like class (also known as the dub-step healer through the games sound effects) it's certainly one I'm looking forward to the most. The fact it isn't playable as a Chua though leaves me devastated.
1. Medium armor
2. The third healing class
3. Acts as a close range melee fighter
4. Comes with an innate Energize Skill to restore Power Cores and make skills free of cost
5. Comes with Probes you can apply to allies and enemies to chain burst effects
6. Wields Resonaters (tech shock paddles)
7. Is able to deploy fields which hinder or help enemies and allies in a variety of telegraph shapes
8. Able to cast every skill on the move without movement penalty
9. Playable as Human, Mordesh, Granok, Cassian and Mechari