A recap of the Reddit Warrior AMA hosted by Carbine Studios.
As mentioned during the WildStar Warrior re-reveal yesterday, Carbine hosted its Reddit Warrior AMA today where members of the development team answered questions about this atomic powerhouse of a class. With the AMA lasting a few hours I pulled out some of the more juicy information given about the Warrior in relation to its Tanking, DPS and general playstyle and abilities.
As many of you know, the Warrior is capable of fulfilling two separate roles in combat; either a defensive "Tank" or a Damage dealing "DPS". Without further delay, let's first dive into the damage dealing capabilities of the class and what the player can expect.
The Damage Dealing Warrior
The Warrior has a couple different options in terms of dealing damage. These mainly come from the Warrior's huge Plasma Sword or their trusty Arm Cannon. With the limited action it's possible to customize your damage playstyle to be a more melee-oriented fighter, have a mix of melee and range, or even try and go mostly ranged (though in most cases the Warrior will get out-ranged by the other "ranged classes" such as the Esper or Spellslinger). While both the Plasma Sword and the Arm Cannon have damaging abilities associated with them, the Arm Cannon comes standard with every Warrior and is not something that needs to be upgraded or "equipped" like the Plasma Sword.
On the topic of range, because the Warrior is typically an "in your face beat em up kind of class" they have a variety of cool utility abilities that help them stick to their opponents in order to keep up the hurt.
"The Warrior has a bunch of fun CC abilities.
Kick: A melee cone Knockdown. This ability synergizes great with Savage Strikes which deals double damage to knocked down enemies.
Plasma Whip: A ranged pull ability. Teach those Spellslingers a lesson when they try to escape.
Tether: This is a ranged skill shot that hits a single enemy and anchors them to their current position preventing them from moving more than 10 meters away from the Tether unless its destroyed.
Flash Bang: Blind! Hit enemies with this and watch them fumble around.
Taunts: Reduce your enemies damage to your allies."
Through the use of the AMP (the WildStar "Talent Tree") and upgrading abilities through the use of ability points, you can even give these skills increased functionality.
"...Additionally they have Leap, one of my favorite abilities. This is a freeform attack that causes the Warrior to leap forward or leap to their nearest enemy.
One of the tiers for this ability unlocks a second charge allowing you to rapidly jump between two enemies or continually pursue somebody trying to kite you"A question was also brought up regarding how the Warrior's damage output was being balanced compared to other damage-dealing classes, essentially asking if the use of heavy-armor meant that their damage output would be set back compared to, say, a Stalker.
"For all of our tank classes we have stances. These stances allow the tank classes to give up some of their defensive perks to gain additional offensive/dps capabilities. This allows them to switch to a DPS role, without making them overpowered."
So it sounds like DPS Warriors will definitely be able to go toe-to-toe with most classes in terms of damage output and utility. Big sword, deadly cannon, or both. Take your pick.
The Tank Warrior
Now moving on to the Tank Warrior and to where the majority of the AMA questions seemed to be focused. The first question that I'm sure is on almost every tanks mind--How will tanking work? Well, according to Carbine, the "basics" of tanking in WildStar are essentially the same. Your job is to throw yourself between the monsters (or players) in order to defend the group and keep their attention on you. You can do this in a variety of different fashions such as using taunts, intimidates, crowd control, attacks that generate threat or abilities that help prevent or mitigate damage done to your party.
First let's discuss how Taunting works. It is entirely aim based. While this both excites and terrifies me, the design decisions behind this sound like they're going to make tanking fun and interesting and allow "skilled" tanks to really stand out. Just be sure to run in the opposite direction when the "not so skilled" tank misses the taunt on the boss.
"Taunting in WildStar is entirely aim based. Some are like skill shots where as others are PBAE that require more careful positioning rather than aiming.
Default Taunts will temporarily set you to max Threat for the duration of the Taunt. When the taunt wears off you will resume your normal position in the threat list.
Intimidates, are more powerful taunts on a longer cooldown. The difference between Intimidates and taunts are that you will retain your position at the top of the threat list when the taunt wears off. (Unless a reckless DPS or Healer is still generating more threat than you)"
Aside from just holding aggro on monsters, taunts in WildStar will serve an added purpose as well.
"Additionally Taunts in WildStar will also reduce the damage dealt by enemies to all players that are NOT the taunter. For example I the Warrior taunt a boss, it will now do less damage to my group members while the taunt is active. This functionality also works in PvP."
As explained later in the thread, this means that a player can manage when to use his taunts (which have a shorter cooldown than intimidates) in order to strategically reduce the incoming damage to the rest of his party or raid group.
It was also mentioned that as long as you are actively using abilities to generate threat, keeping that threat on an enemy won't be extremely difficult. However, with certain boss mechanics this could change at any given point. Luckily Warrior tanks will have plenty more to make sure their party makes it out of an encounter with limbs fully intact.
"The Warrior does indeed have some cool abilities that allow you to protect your teammates from taking damage from creatures and telegraphs.
Defense Grid, a longer cooldown ability, creates a protective zone that when the Warrior and allies stand inside of it take less damage. This ability is especially useful in group content such as dungeons when you know the boss has an attack that you will not be able to avoid.
Plasma Wall, when tiered up grants a defensive buff to allies when they stand closely behind the Warrior when using the ability.
Sentinel is a targeted passive ability that sacrifices some of the Warrior’s armor and grants it to an ally. This is great for off-tank builds where you are less concerned with pure mitigation."
While Warriors will have a lot of damage mitigation, your tanking style will rely heavily on choice as well as boss mechanics. If a boss requires precise positioning then mitigation might be more important, allowing you to stand relatively still while taking direct damage from his telegraphs. However, other fights may not be as simple. You may have to move around and dodge a lot more, or change areas while avoiding multiple telegraphs.
Another good question, which I'm sure is on a lot of players' minds, was about how Warrior Tanks stack up in comparison to other tanking classes.
"This is really going to depend on the specific encounter and the type of healer that you have. Warriors can mitigate a ton of damage and heal their own shields, but Stalkers are able to avoid so much damage that it keeps them fairly even.
Also…will give Warriors a run for their money as the Main Tank in almost any situation"
So in the end while Warrior tanks have a lot to bring to the table, each tanking class has a pretty strong deck to bring themselves.
While I tried to grab the most interesting bits and pieces from the AMA there is still plenty of information regarding the Warrior and other game aspects that were talked about. Be sure to check out the full WildStar Warrior AMA thread here and don't forget about the WildStar Warrior livestream, this Saturday at 12:00pm PDT. As always, for more WildStar news updates and information, be sure to keep dialed in to ZAM.
See you on Nexus!
Corey "Cyglaive" Jenkins
Follow Corey on Twitter @Cyglaive