The Stalker, despite being a class capable of stealthing, is an exceptional tank. Fortunately, if you also just want to deal massive single target or area of effect damage, it’s also more than capable of achieving that as well. The Stalker in comparison to the Engineer or Warrior I’ve found has a much higher skill ceiling and that’s primarily because it relies heavily on its stealth mechanics irrespective of whether you’re tanking or dealing damage. Stalkers, similarly to an Engineers Exo Suit, rely on a Nano Suit to boost their damage, defense or evasion. Unlike traditional rogue-like classes, the Stalker spends a lot of time out of stealth and acts more like a Berserker than a typical perma-stealth class. I must stress that the Stalker can be incredibly difficult to play outside of PvE and in PvP it takes a very tentative and measured playstyle to maximise their potential.
- Capable of dealing massive single target damage
- Able to stealth and bypass enemies and players
- They make excellent tanks
- Very easy to level in a PvE environment
- Can struggle to stealth effectively in a PvP environment due to telegraphs
- Relies on Nano Suit swapping to be fully effective
- Is often seen as a solo class (despite it being an excellent tank)
- Very popular
- AMP – A system to buff your abilities by spending AMP points.
- AS - Amplification Spike
- AoE – Area of Effect
- AW - Analyze Weakness
- Base – This refers to taking an ability at its lowest possible value.
- CC – Crowd Control
- CD – Cool Down
- CK - Concussive Kicks
- Crit – Chance to critically hit
- Crit Sev – Critical severity rating
- DPS – Damage per second
- GCD – Global Cool Down
- HoT - Healing Over Time
- HPS – Heals per second
- KB - Knock back
- LAS – Limited Action Set
- ND - Nano Dart
- NF - Nano Field
- NV - Nano Virus
- RD - Razor Disk
- RS - Razor Storm
- SD - Stim Drone
- SP – Support Power (the primary healing and tanking attribute)
- TR - Tactical Retreat
- TM - Tether Mine
The Stalkers primary mechanic is its ability to stealth while in or out of combat. Alongside this it has access to Nano Suit that has 3 modes:
- Nano Skin: Agile
- Nano Skin: Evasive
- Nano Skin: Lethal
Nano Skin: Agile
Agile increases Dash Regeneration, Endurance, and Lifesteal. Exiting Stealth in combat increase Movement Speed for 4.0s.Its primary use is to run away or to use it throughout combat so that you gain the increased movement speed when chasing someone down. The fact it provides lifesteal and endurance makes you incredibly slippery to fight against as you’ll be able to dash plenty.
Nano Skin: Evasive
Technically your tanking Nano Skin, Evasive increases your Deflect Chance, Resistances, Threat Generation, and reduces Assault Power. Exiting Stealth in combat also increases your Resistances for 6.0s.
Nano Skin: Lethal
Lethal is your high damage Nano Skin and should be used as often as possible before you exit stealth and attack someone. It increases your Damage Dealt and decreases your opponents Resistances. The best thing about Lethal is the fact your attacks from Stealth have a 100% chance to land as a Critical Hit.
Alongside the Nano Skin, irrespective of which you choose to fight with, is a resource called Suit Power. You naturally generate Suit Power in and out of combat and each skill you use (with a few exceptions) utilises a certain amount. There are also a multitude of skills which generate additional Suit Power. It’s incredibly as a Stalker to manage your Suit Power and Nano Skins effectively and to swap their use based on your circumstance.
As you might expect, the Stalkers playstyle varies quite heavily dependant on whether you’re tanking or pure DPS. If you’re tanking play is far more “berserker” based rather than sneaky. In contrast, if you’re choosing to pursue a DPS build you’ll spend a large proportion of your time stealthed before unleashing high damage attacks. There is however still a need to rely on stealth while tanking because and as you’ll note from the Nano Skins above, a large amount of benefits are triggered when exiting stealth, not just entering.
The main thing to remember as a Stalker is that life without the Assassin AMP (Utility Tier 2) is bloody hard in both PvE and PvP. The Assassin AMP allows you to take damage and it won’t break your stealth as a result. The importance of this AMP means you can still obtain the exit benefits of your Nano Skin at all times. Being seen is without doubt the biggest nuisance as a Stalker as it puts you at an immediate disadvantage. I know as a player I find it all too easy to spot stealthed players and as a Stalker it’s often frustrating to be seen from what feels like miles away. There’s no solution to this besides taking your time to pick your target when their back is turned.
Despite being one of WildStar’s 3 tanks, a Stalker actually has medium armor instead of heavy (unlike the Engineer and Warrior). By default this leaves you squishier than both but you’re capable of obtaining high amounts of mitigation and avoidance from your skills and AMPs. Irrespective of your build and certainly in a PvP environment, I’d always recommend caution over brute force. You will be forced to spend time out of stealth and you can’t instant kill opposing players like you can in other massively multiplayer games.
Tips & Tricks
- Remember that although you can tank, you’ll still need the right armor, AMPs and skills. Don’t just queue for a dungeon and expect to be able to survive and look after a party.
- Although you can stealth it’s still relatively easy for opposing players to see you in PvP. Make sure you use your positioning properly to reduce the chances of being discovered.
- Remember that you have more than one Nano Skin and you should rotate through them dependant on the circumstance.
- Evasive Skin is probably the most underappreciated of the Stalkers 3 Nano Skins and that’s primarily because its benefits aren’t instantly obvious. However, using it to escape is priceless while its exit benefits (increasing resistances) is incredibly useful in increasing your survivability.
- If you want to annoy opposing players in PvP, equip your Tether Mine skill. They are surprisingly hardy and will generally send anyone affected into a rage. Joyous.
- It’s actually possible to build a highly effective AOE build as a Stalker. It isn’t common and its burst is a lot less than a single target variant, but it works really well in PvE (we’ll be publishing our build on this!)
- It's super important as a Stalker to pick your fights. There's little value in just appearing out of stealth amongst a large group as you'll likely be focused and die.