WildStar Burst: Esper, Medic and Spellslinger Health Check
In this first update and with the expectant release of WildStar edging closer, I cover the Esper, Medic and Stalker and round up some of the issues or “Hot Topics” facing the classes. Please be aware that as always throughout any Beta, skill balancing is constantly under way for all classes so I’ll not go into too greater depth per each skill.
Unsurprisingly the biggest issue still facing the Esper is its lack of mobility through Telekentric Strike (or TS as it is known). Throughout my entire time with the class, Telekenetric Strike just feels at odds with everything that WildStar is about: telegraphs and mobile combat. While some of the Esper’s skills are mobile or instant cast, the reliance on Telekentic Strike as your Psi Point builder (though I’d recommend you seek other skills for that purpose) is a frustrating experience. In a PvE environment against your typical enemy, TS is functional. While you’ll undoubtedly need to cancel it multiple times to avoid telegraphs, there comes a time when you’ll grow tired of its sheer limitations as you see every other class casually running rings around enemies you know you should be killing much easier than you are.
The problem with the argument for changing TS to something more mobile is that there is a nucleus of players resistant to such a change. They like that the Esper is a turret because of it and they like the challenge of having to sometimes face tank (it seems Carbine do as well). While I’ve no particular issue with that, the biggest counter argument is that these players aren’t viewing the issue in the round, from both a PvE and PvP perspective. I assure you, in PvP it’s agony. Not only being unable to pursue runners, but also having players strafe rings around you when every other skill is on cooldown. Other than that, the other biggest complaints are:
- The Espers melee capability (which is pretty terrible)
- The over reliance on Phantom Swarm
- The fact they’re still the most sought after healer
- Their Psi-blade does absolutely nothing
My favourite class and one which, in comparison to the others, is in a good place. Many have taken to the boards citing that the Medic is overpowered and yet I’d counter this by saying the Medic is where all other classes need to be. Its damage is high if specialised for it, it has good survivability and mobility, while it’s capable of healing to a good standard. I suppose what is relatively forgiving about the Medic is the fact many of its heals are AOE and require no targeting while Quantum Cascade has a large radius. To play a Medic well is a challenge and although there are plenty of them, I see very few good ones. I think the reason I see few good ones is because the vast majority don’t equip healing skills and rely solely on Quantum Cascade.
Unquestionably the skill is powerful (with an overly large radius) but the pump and dump rotation of Discharge > Discharge > Discharge > Discharge > Quantum Cascade is both lengthy and repetitious. This forces the Medic to rely heavily on spikes as opposed continued damage offered by the Spellslinger. Other issues facing the Medic include:
- A lack of tactile feedback when using Discharge
- Resonators being too large and/or unsightly
- Probes and Fields are incredibly lacklustre, with the exception of Empowering Probes.
- Too good compared to other classes
What a difference a patch or two makes. The Spellslinger has gone from being incredibly popular and “OP!!!” to nothing short of “the sky is falling!”. Part of the problem behind this is the fact that the Time to Kill has been adjusted significantly in WildStar, making the Spellslinger feel considerably weaker. In addition, its Spellsurge mechanic is a source of serious concern for many. As it currently stands the Spellslingers base damage feels incredibly low (almost wet noodle) and yet even when Spellsurged, the benefits are sporadic with a variety of skill boosts: some significant, some poor. What I’ve found (along with many) is that leveling is difficult because of the combination of changes and at times, even enemies equal level to you can be a challenge to kill, whereas once previously you’d be capable of cutting through them like butter.
Frustratingly, the class (it seems a running theme for all classes) is overly reliant on a couple of skills with Rapid Fire, Gate and Ignite almost mandatory if you’re to maintain any sort of damage output. Considering the limited action set philosophy, this is obviously wholly wrong and there is a real need to make all Spellslinger skills sing. Other issues facing the Spellslinger (positive and negative) include:
- They’re pretty awesome at raid healing
- Not particularly sought after over the Esper or Medic
- Little survivability if Gate/Into the Void are on cooldown
We'll be publishing our Health Check for the Engineer, Stalker and Warrior tomorrow morning so stay tuned!