WildStar Burst: Stalker, Engineer and Warrior Health Check (Winter Beta 4)
In the second part of our WildStar Winter Beta 4 Health Check, we take a look at the Stalker, Engineer and Warrior.
Many of the primary issues surrounding the Stalker were the fact that its PvE rotations were limited and methods of recovering Suit power. To some degree it seems many Stalker players are happy with how the patch has turned out and the fact that for the most part, these issues seem to be addressed. If youve read through the patch notes, many Stalker abilities received positive boosts in terms of utility and output. Originally Stalkers were far too reliant on Tier 8 Shred (Generates 2 Suit Power every 1s for 5s and stacks twice). Whats useful now is the chance to use Concussive Kicks (Tier 8 again) to remove the cooldown on Punish which provides 30 Suit Power by default. Although it feels a little like robbing from one skill to pay for another, it at least feels like a viable alternative to Shred spam.The third option is to specialise up to Tier 4 of Ruin to gain some extra Suit Power. Either way, its a bit more of an open field for selecting viable skills.
Additional things to note include Preperations huge improvements and the fact that plenty of Stalkers in PvP are using the Tier 4 improvement goes to show its potential. Posts in the way of HOW DO YOU HEAL TO FULL IN STEALTH!? didnt take very long to materialise. Phlebotomize is also an absolute must in a PvP setting, the fact it received a bump from 35% to 60% healing reduction make it an excellent choice where healing heavy teams are present or better still, on Mask carriers. Its good to see Stalkers and Warriors with Augmented Blade working together with these skills and Im hoping people twig on to using them.
Other things of note include the AMP changes which have seen the Stalker receive a damage increase (though you thankfully cant one-shot people of an equal level) while some are still outright bugged or broken. Overall though, feedback has been positive on the Stalker and many players are happy with its progress and direction. Other issues include:
- Stealth is still a little choppy and its, at times, too easy to be seen or to see a Stalker.
- Cooldown Reduction isnt working on skills correctly
- Its too easy to see a Stalker using Tactical Retreat
A frustration from many Engineer players has always been the movement penalty when attacking and Carbine, to a large degree, have attempted to address that issue. An Engineer has to have some form of restriction on their movement during combat as theyre heavy armor wearers: moving at full speed from range would tip their balance over the edge. A sensible compromise has been to change Eradication Suit so that its now on a 60s cooldown. Better still, you suffer no movement penalty when in your mech suit. Its a fantastic idea by Carbine and more than welcome by the Engineer community.
Other positive changes this patch involve the Tier 4 Electrocute (the go-to skill for an Engineer) which has provided it with a good bump on the damage meters. Pulse Blasts Tier 8 change (Grants Empower increasing damage output by 9.5% for 6s) has also been well received and so has the changes to Bots that were desperately in need of. Survivability, damage and responsiveness were the 3 big issues for these mechanical pets and for the most part, its a step in the right direction. Of those Ive fought against and having spoken to several level 50 Engineers, theyre in a good (but not perfect place). I know from my perspective theyve been a real headache in PvP as they never leave me alone and their 15 second skills now make them, to some degree, a viable choice for the Engineers limited action set.
On the subject of limited action set, the biggest gripes coming out of this patch is the fact that it hasnt really opened up an Engineers skill set choices. Pulse Blast and Electrocute are still mandatory, Urgent Withdrawal and Obstruct Vision are also must haves for PvP. This leaves you with very little choice as to what else to take. Or to look at it from another angle, which skills you should avoid (quite a lot). Other issues facing the Engineer include:
- Flak Cannon received a significant reduction in its potency despite it being a core tool for tanking.
- The nerf to the Electrocute Tier 4 (which reduced the Volatility cost) has placed strain on the need to gain Volatility and limited Electroctutes use.
- The continued need to improve other skills so that those existing mandatory ones are displaced.
As far as the Warrior community is concerned, the Winter Beta 4 patch brought all good things and as a result there isnt a huge amount to discuss. Primarily involving AMP changes and damage increases across a variety of skills, Id say the Warriors in a very good place at the moment. Having spent a lot of time recently dueling Warriors (though this is anecdotal) they feel balanced in terms of their utility and damage output. The combination of Leap, Grapple and Flash Bang within a PvP setting is still potent (and annoying) while their tanking changes are being well received. A mitigation increase of 8%, Spiked Armor improvements (it deals damage back to attackers), 25% threat increase, 50% bonus on incoming heals to name some of the improvements. That isnt to say Warriors and their tanking is perfect (like all classes their niche is still a work in progress). Bolstering Strike for an AMP spend skill still feels lacklustre and its Shield return relatively weak at Tier 4, while a support tank in general seems an odd path to take in comparison to an out and out DPS version. Other issues include:
- All tanks are, to some degree, feeling homogenised with the Warrior only viable from a DPS perspective (even when tanking)
- Plays second fiddle to a Stalker tank (heavily debated) due to the ease of Nanofield Spam and a Stalkers higher deflect chance.
- Attack rotation in PvP is perhaps too simplistic (Gather monsters > Use builder to trigger Empower > Use plasma saw > Kick/Grapple > Power strike > Wurlwind
Please note all Health Check information is based on personal place experience and discussing the classes with fellow Beta players