Paths in WildStar are a permanent choice you will make during the character creation process that determines additional activities you’re able to undertake as you play. You do not have to undertake path abilities after you’ve made your choice but there are some benefits to doing so. At present there are 4 paths to choose from and while all will, at some stage, involve combat they have notable differences in their play styles and the missions you’ll undertake. I would sincerely recommend you take the time to think about what play style suits you before cementing your choice. The 4 paths are:
Regardless of what path you choose their reward structures are set so that at certain level increments you’ll obtain items, skills or titles. It should be noted that paths have independant experience and only level up with “Ranks” from undertaking path missions or activities, not from standard Player versus Enemy encounters. The rewards are the following:
- Ability 1 (Tiers 1, 2, & 3) awarded at Rank 4, 14, 27
- Ability 2 (Tiers 1, 2 & 3) awarded at Rank 5, 18, 29
- Ability 3 (Tier 1, 2, & 3) awarded at Rank 10, 23, 30
- Bags (varying slot sizes) awarded at Rank 3, 7, 12, 17, 22, 30
- House Item awarded at Rank 8
- House Item - Festival FABkit awarded at Rank 5, 10, 15, 20, 25, 29
- Titles awarded at Rank 2, 6, 10, 15, 20, 25, 30
With the ability to double jump in WildStar, I’m sure it’s easy to guess what an Explorer Path entails. It’s all about scouting, searching and exploring the game world. There are a total of 8 mission types you’ll participate in: Cartography, Expedition, Scavenger Hunts, Surveillance, Exploration, Operations (this is where you get to hurt people!), Staking Claims and Tracking. There’s a lot of running around as an Explorer and you’ll need be the sort of individual that’s not only a completionist but whom also doesn’t mind an easter egg hunt and a need to track back and forth across the world map.
- Explorers Safe Fall: Reduce falling damage by 15% (1 minute cooldown)
- Air Brakes: Briefly stops the Explorer in mid-air allowing you to drop from any height without taking damage
- Translocate Beacon: This skill saves your current position which then allows you to returns to that saved point. This skill is excellent for questing as it allows you to quickly move from the quest area back to the hub.
- Cartography: Making maps has never been more fun... or more dangerous! Travel into the untamed wilds of Nexus and chart territory for your faction.
- Expedition: The uncharted frontier awaits! Strike out into the great unknown, making sure to explore every last inch of the map. Cowards need not apply.
- Scavenger Hunt: Ancient artifacts? Check. Remote, inaccessible locations? Check. Fearless explorers who laugh in the face of danger? Oh yeah.
- Surveillance: Get your secret agent on! There's a war out there, and you need to set up remote surveillance devices to keep an eye on the enemy.
- Exploration: Nexus is chock full of secret places, and you'll find every one! Use a combination of technology and agility to access hidden locations!
- Operations: Exploring isn't just about climbing mountains. Sometimes you gotta gear up, buckle down, and get a job done. Skills definitely pay the bills.
- Staking Claims: Nexus ain't big enough for everyone, and second place sucks. So get out there, plant your flag, and claim this planet for your allies.
- Tracking: Ready to hunt? Track enemies, creatures and strange anomalies through the unforgiving terrain of planet Nexus. Epic rewards? You know it.
What’s the best thing about Explorer?
Quite easily it has to be the the costume you get (you look like a desert explorer (Exile) or high-tech soldier (Dominion)) but also that the map is littered with buff flags which massively increase your movement speed for a short period of time and making moving around the map incredibly easy.
What’s the worst thing about Explorer?
There’s a hell of a lot of back and forth searching and some of the locations you need to find are really difficult. There’s been plenty of times when I’ve said a few choice words at my computer because I can’t find what I need to. If you aren’t good at platforming, Explorer isn’t for you.
For someone like me who likes exploration and lore, Scientist is a good mix. You have to scan plants or artefacts and can find hidden bonus items or buffs from the enemies and creatures you encounter. Better yet, you get a mobile robot that follows you around which does the scanning for you. Scientist is a much slower pace than all the other paths and has much less emphasis on combat. That isn’t to say you won’t fight during this Path, because you will, but for the most part it’s all about discovery. The mission types include Analysis, Biology, Chemistry, Cataloguing, Archaeology, Diagnostics and Botany.
- Holographic Distraction: This skill reduces the enemies awareness within a 5 meter radius. I’ve tested it plenty and it just makes it easier to walk past monsters.
- Summon Group: Allows you to teleport your group mates to you as long as they’re in the same continent (it’s awesome!)
- Create Portal: Allows you to teleport to your Capital City
- Analysis: Time to put that big brain of yours to work! Whether it's a bug-eyed monster or the enemy's databanks, it's up to you to scan it.
- Biology: Nexus is home to the craziest critters this side of the Fringe! You and your trusty scanbot better get crackin'.
- Catalog: Knowledge is power. Which is good, because Nexus has a lot of knowledge that needs to be collected and catalogued. Time to power up!
- Diagnostics: You're a scientist, and that means you can fix stuff. Whether it's a broken leg or a busted bot, you'll diagnose the problem and take care of it.
- Archeology: The Eldan left behind a whole planet full of awesome. So start scanning those relics, robots, and radical machines!
- Botony: Studying plants on Nexus is cool. Especially when those plants are trying to chew your face off. Stopping to smell the flowers? Not recommended.
- Chemistry: Nexus is full of exotic materials and alien compounds just waiting to be studied. Are some of them ridiculously dangerous? No doubt about it.
- Field Study: Who knows what evil lurks in the hearts of hostile alien lifeforms? You do. Study behavior patterns among the natives. And try not to get killed.
What’s the best thing about Explorer?
Besides the awesome robot that follows you around it has to be the ability to access more lore. It’s the only class that can do it and there’s some real nuggets of information to be gleaned from the environment as you move around. Oh, and its costume is amazing.
What’s the worst thing about Explorer?
Its pace is incredibly slow and most of the buffs you’ll receive from the landscape or creatures you scan are pretty incidental.
Seemingly very popular in game, being a Settler is about supporting the game world infrastructure by building objects for other players to use. Generally you’re providing a public service such as constructing a post box or a buff station to make everyone's life easier. If you do choose Settler, you’ll need to pick up materials scattered around the game world and apply these to pre-set construction locations. Be aware that anything you build is temporary and it’ll take additional resources from you or other Settler’s to increase its longevity. The best thing about being a Settler from a PvE perspective is the fact you can build buff stations, with one of those buffs increasing run speed. This buff makes leveling a real joy as you zip around the map at super speeds. Mission types include: Expansion, Supply Cache (you have to find the Cache and often fight for it), Public Service, Civil Defense and Infrastructure.
- Settlers Campfire: Provides a hit-point buff and heals players interacting with the fire. Does not work in PvP
- Summon Mail: Summons a Mailbox so that you can collect your mail
- Summon Vendbot: Summons a Vendbot that you can sell items to
- Expansion: That town ain't going to improve itself. So step up, strap on a toolbelt, and get to work building things that make everyone's life a little easier.
- Supply Cache: Who has time to sit around and wait for vital supplies to show up on a platter? Put on those boots and bring home the bacon!
- Public Service: Some people just don't have the grit and backbone to get the job done. Good thing you do. Achieve tasks for the greater good, and get rewarded for it.
- Civil Defense: Town guards can handle the small stuff. But when the biggest, meanest monsters on Nexus come a-knockin', you'll step up and save the day!
- Infrastructure: Are you ready for some serious real estate development? Then do your civic duty and build hospitals, taverns, and spaceports for your friends and allies.
What’s the best thing about Settler?
The speed buff you can obtain from building structures makes questing incredibly quick and easy while there’s also a mobile mailbox which is incredibly useful.
What’s the worst thing about Settler?
Being a Soldier is all about combat and kicking butt. Unlike Explorer it’s a lot more of a combat focused Path and some challenges can be particularly tricky. As with all paths there are 8 for the Soldier: Assassination, Rescue, Holdout-Conquer, Holdout-First Strike, Demolition (who doesn’t want to blow things up?) SWAT, Holdout-Security and Holdout-Protect. Some of these mind sound relatively similar (especially the Holdout’s) but they all play very differently. Whether you’re defending, attacking, sneaking or blowing things up, the emphasis is always on combat and the challenge of it. I’d probably say Soldier is the most accessible out of all the paths.
- Back Into The Fray: This ability heals you to full health when you’re out of combat.
- Bail Out!: Bail Out allows you to teleport to a safe area (similar to a Transmat teleport) to specific safe locations on the map.
- Combat Supply Drop: This ability provides you with a box on the floor that you can loot that then provides you with a skill based weapon you can use.
- Assassination: Ever dream of being a hit man? Channel your inner assassin as you track down targets, put them in your sights, and rack up the body counts!
- Rescue Op: Listen up, Soldier! We have civilians that have been taken hostage by the enemy, and we need you to get 'em out of there! Are we clear? Get moving!
- Holdout-Conquer: Are you ready to lock, load, and start taking care of business? Defend your territory against waves of hostile enemies. No guts, no glory!
- Holdout-First Strike: Hit 'em hard, and hit 'em fast! Strike your targets and destroy them before they call in reinforcements, then bask in the glow of your badassitude!
- Demolition: Most problems can be solved with the right amount of explosives. Blow stuff up using bombs, grenades and other weapons of mass destruction. BOOM!
- SWAT: SWAT: Special Weapons And Tactics. Know what it really means? Shiny new toys! Test advanced military hardware on your foes. Mercy? Not part of the equation.
- Holdout-Security: No one likes a thief. That's where you come in. Defend your loot against dirty underhanded criminals, and crack some skulls with the hammer of justice!
- Holdout-Protect: Being a hero ain't easy... but it's time to step up. Defend allies against incoming waves of hostiles, ensuring they survive another day!
What’s the best thing about Soldier?
Playing a Soldier path slots into the leveling process really well as most of the missions involve fighting while you’re questing. The Soldier path also provides you with an out of combat heal which is incredibly useful.
What’s the worst thing about Soldier?
The Soldier path doesn’t particularly have much depth besides killing enemies so can get slightly repetitive after a while.
Path Costume Rewards
As mentioned above, all of the paths in WildStar offer a unique costume set. You'll need to collect each piece as you level up your chosen path. Fortunately each costume looks pretty awesome for both Exile and Dominion!