WildStar Drop #5 : Classes Changes

Drop #5 Classes Changes Summary

As a disclaimer, individual abilities and AMPs may be altered before going Live, since they will continue to balance and iterate based on your feedback.

Esper Changes

Wildstar Esper Classdrop

The major focus for INVASION: Nexus Esper updates was to reduce the current DPS rotation of 7-8 abilities for maximum damage down to a manageable 5-6 ability rotation.
We also wanted to target a few support and utility abilities and amps to make them more desirable and increase their functionality.

  • Mental Overflow has been reworked to grant 1 stack of Mental Overflow when gaining a Psi Point while at full Psi Points.
    When casting a Finisher the Mental Overflow stacks are consumed and the Esper gains Psi Points equal to the Mental Overflow stacks that were consumed.
    This buff can stack twice.
    • This change was made to alleviate the requirement of needing to move to grant Psi Points from the old implementation of MO and in turn it will help keep a higher uptime on Tactician or T4 Telekinetic Strike.
      Additionally, it will help with Psi Point management for those who may be less skilled in Psi Point management.
      For Espers confident in their ability in PP management they can skip over Mental Overflow for an AMP that directly increases DPS.
  • Haunt has been updated to be instant cast at base while above 2 Psi Points and generates an additional Psi Point at Tier 8 but it now shares a cooldown with Pyrokinetic Flame.
    This change was intended to shift the requirement of running Pyrokinetic Flame in a DPS rotation but also give a viable alternative in Haunt that can be tiered up to increase power.
  • Bolster now requires your Support Power to be higher than your Assault Power to generate a Psi Point.
    This will remove the use of Bolster in a DPS rotation and free up an additional LAS slot but still gives Support access to instant PP generation.
  • Reap has been updated to generate a Psi Point at base.
    This change was made to compensate for the loss of Psi Points from the Bolster change. While there is slight loss of initial Psi Point generation the change to Reap will actually result in an increase of Psi Points generated overtime.
  • Tactician has been updated to grant an Empower after 1 second of being stationary down from 2.5 seconds.
    This change will allow Espers to get more uptime on Tactician on fights that require more movement but it will also kick in before the first cast of Telekinetic Strike.
  • Warden’s Tier 8 bonus has been updated to grant Absorb on Wardens expiration.
    This functionality has been update to act similarly to T8 Spectral swarm.
    This change was a direct Quality of Life change to increase the viability of T8 Warden.

Stalker Changes

Wildstar Stalker Classdrop

In addition to these changes we have a lot of quality of life and bug fixes for many of the Stalker abilities.
Overall, we are happy with the current state of the Stalker and feel like they are performing well as both DPS and Tanks.

Updates to the Innates

With the update to the Stalker Innates we wanted to bring them more in line with other classes to give a more powerful feeling when using your Innate.

  • Nano Skin: Lethal has been updated to grant 50% Critical Hit Chance for 3 seconds when exiting Stealth.
  • Nano Skin: Evasive has been updated to reduce damage taken by 25% up from 15% for 5 seconds when attacking from Stealth.

Updates to improve Utility and Build variations

Our more major ability changes for the Stalker were intended to target Interrupt viability, increase the variety of tanking LAS, and PVP utility.

  • Stagger has been updated to destroy 2 Interrupt Armor at Tier 4.
    The cooldown reduction has been reduced to 3 seconds from 7 seconds when attacking from behind to compensate for destroying 2 Interrupt Armor.
    This change was intended to make Stalkers more reliable interrupters in PVE when fights required it.
  • Frenzy has had its Tier 4 and Tier 8 bonuses swapped.
    Tier 8 Frenzy has always been a very mandatory skill and because of this it severely reduced the amount of build variation and utility Stalker tanks could bring to the raid.
    With this change we hope to increase the build variety for fights where the increased Deflect Chance from the new tier 8 may not be needed as well as give more options to spending Ability Tier Points in other abilities.
  • Nano Virus has had its cooldown slightly increased to account for higher damage on the initial hit and the mark damage.
    In addition to the increased damage it also has its base threat increased to 175% up from 110%.
    This change was made to help give Stalkers a more viable Snap Threat ability.
  • Cripple has had its Suit Power cost removed and the GCD has been reduced to .5 seconds down from 1 second.
    This change is intended to make Cripple a more viable option for PVP action sets by reducing the GCD and removing the Suit Power it gives the Stalker more sticking power and a viable ability to use between the initial burst.

Medic Changes

Wildstar Medic Classdrop

This patch focuses primarily on the Assault spec for Medics.
Primary goal for the Medic is to provide consistency and reliability, and also to introduce build variation.

  • Gamma Rays : We want to retain the ability to cast Gamma Rays back to back, but not at its current rate (1 Actuator per cast). Furthermore, we don’t like that the current Tier 8 doubles down on the reliance of Strikethrough - not to mention that it falls apart in high latency environments. Consistency and reliability is what we’re aiming for.
    Gamma Rays new Tier 8: Every 3rd cast has no Actuator cost.
    With this change, and a small bump to the base damage of Gamma Rays, we expect the overall DPS for builds involving T8 Gamma Rays to remain relatively the same.
  • Quantum Cascade : With its Tier 4 adding an additional tick, the biggest problem with Quantum Cascade is the time spent channeling the spell. Reducing the channel time would have resulted in a standard Build then Consume rotation, so instead…
    Quantum Cascade at base : has a 0.5s GCD, and other spells may be cast during the channel.
    Tier 8: The second tick has no Actuator cost, and grants an Empower while channeling.
    The result is that you can Build (or drop fields!) while channeling. We’d love to have you guys test this on PTR and provide feedback.
  • AMP: Empowering Aura : We don’t love that the most optimal raid formation is to bunch up within 10m of a Medic. This AMP has been redesigned as Critical Priority.
    Critical Priority: Dealing damage to foes applies a mark. When your allies deal damage to the marked target, grant an Empower to the ally.
    This is a straightforward change, but is worth mentioning as it highlights one part of our efforts to address group buffs.

Regarding build variation, we’re introducing more methods of building and consuming Actuators – specifically, Collider Tier 4 can build Actuators, while Annihilation consumes, and Fissure Tier 4 no longer requires full Actuators to provide the refund.

We hope that these changes will promote new viable and competitive builds, without forcing players to completely relearn the class.

Spellslinger Changes

Wildstar Spellslinger Classdrop

The major focus of INVASION: Nexus for the Spellslinger involves Void Pact, and the Utility AMPs that lead up to it.
This highlights the major changes; there are plenty of smaller changes worth checking out (i.e. Charged Shot).

Void Pact Changes

As an AMP unlock ability, Void Pact should be a game changer - not the passive, auxiliary spell that it currently is.
Thus the goal behind Void Pact’s redesign is to promote a new playstyle for Slingers that opt into it.
We’ve made a number of bug fixes and quality of life changes as well.

  • Void Pact
    • Tier 4 : Reduces active Assault and Support ability cooldowns by 50%.
    • Tier 8 : Reduces Void Pact’s cooldown by 10s

Regarding Utility AMPs, we want to provide actual utility that would help performance (i.e. resource, survivability), compared to the redundancy that Spell Armor and Readiness currently provide (i.e. Interrupt Armor after you’ve broken free).

  • Readiness : Increases Spell Power regeneration while Spell Surge is inactive. We’re aiming to make the toggling of Spell Surge more meaningful.
  • Speed of the Void & Spell Armor have switched Ranks, and redesigned with a focus on survivability and mobility.
  • Speed of the Void : Also restores health over time.
  • Spell Armor : Grants an absorb upon getting CC’d, and provides a CC Break upon the absorb being removed.
  • Frost Snap & Focus Stone have switched categories, with Frost Snap becoming useful for Healslingers as well.
  • Frost Snap (Assault/Support) : Now grants cooldown reduction when foes under the effects of your Chill or Flash Freeze take damage.

Additional Utility changes - Gate and Arcane Shock

  • Gate : While we love the dual nature of Gate, using it for mobility completely negates the effectiveness of its current Tier 4 bonus.
    Because of this, we’ve redesigned Gate’s Tier bonuses.
  • Arcane Shock : To accompany the Gate changes, Arcane Shock is now a straight Interrupt, and its Tier 4 now destroys 2 Interrupt Armor.

Warrior Changes

Wildstar Warrior Classdrop

Innate Abilities

We wanted to streamline Warrior Innates and remove the active penalties to give them a clearer purpose. Several AMP updates also allow for further customization of the Innates.

  • Juggernaut has had its passive shield mitigation and active damage penalty removed, so it now grants an actual 25% threat boost. To compensate, it no longer affects Kinetic Energy decay, and its duration is now 8s to match Onslaught.
  • Onslaught’s active component has had its incoming damage and healing penalties removed, and damage buff reduced from 25% to 20% compensate.
  • Impenetrable now heals 12.5% of your shields every second for 8s on using your Innate.
  • Shock Absorber now grants 2 Interrupt Armor for 8s on using your Innate.

Kinetic Energy

With INVASION: Nexus, we’re beginning to make Kinetic Energy a more meaningful resource by altering abilities to drain it over time.

  • Power Link is now a toggle that drains KE while active.
    We’ve increased its range to 25m at base (40m at T8), and uncapped its max targets so that ranged characters gain equal benefit from it.
    Since it’s now possible to maintain 100% uptime with a single Warrior, its damage buff has been reduced to 8%.
    As a bonus for the Power Link carrier, the T4 reduces the cooldown of your Innate while active.
  • Augmented Blade has been reworked into a toggle that drains increasing amounts of KE over time.
    While active, it increases melee damage and lifesteal, making it ideal for personal DPS and self-sustain.
    The T4 increases crit chance by 5%, and the T8 deals AoE tech damage on a crit with sword attacks.
  • Can’t Stop, Won’t Stop will affect these drains, and has been rebalanced to 20%.
  • Kinetic Burst can now proc every 4s, down from 8s, to assist with KE management.

Tanking/sustain AMP improvements

As a direct result of your feedback, we’ve made a number of AMP improvements to smooth out Warrior tanking variance and provide more self-sustain, while making neglected AMP trees more attractive. We’ve also condensed Warriors’ incoming healing buffs to make them more reliable when needed without getting out of control.

  • Reserve Power now converts 20% of incoming healing to shields, to help with Fortify management.
  • Fortify has lost its top tier (75-100%), and been rebalanced slightly to compensate.
  • Indomitable has replaced Spiked Armor and now grants 2.5% increased armor for 5s when damaged, stacking up to 5 times, which should make the Hybrid Support/Utility Tree more attractive.
  • Vigor now grants 10% incoming healing, and an additional 2% per enemy within 10m (up to 5) for a reliable healing buff that doesn’t require constant dashing to maintain.
  • Health Sponge now increases max health by 12%, opening up future avenues of itemization and stat customization.
  • Energy Banks passively restores health each second while above 50% shields, allowing Warriors to recharge more quickly out of combat, or gain additional healing if they can maintain high shields.

Reducing passive/RNG/burst DPS

Since Warriors are currently performing above expectations in raids, we’re aiming to lower overall DPS slightly to bring them closer to other classes. We’ve tried to limit this mostly to passive or RNG focused sources to maintain the powerful feel of the class overall.

  • Power Hitter has had its crit severity boost reduced from 7.5% to 5%, and stack count reduced from 5 to 4.
  • Breaching Strikes T4 has had its reset count capped to 2 in a row (3 casts total). Its T8 armor pierce has been reduced from 100% to 80%
  • In order to reduce burst, Detonate has been replaced with Berserker, which increases damage by 10% and damage taken by 5% for 8s on using your Innate.

Giving abilities their own niche

Several Warrior abilities were being generally ignored since they competed with more powerful alternatives. Our long term goal is to make each ability a viable competitor for LAS slots.

  • Whirlwind has had its damage buffed to be on par with Rampage for 2-3 target fights, and ahead for higher target counts. In addition, Whirlwind now grants 25% movement speed while channeling, and the T8 pulls enemies to you, making Whirlwind a competitive choice for PvP.
  • Savage Strike now has its own identity as a highly telegraphed, high damage attack with a new animation and FX. The new version synergizes well with both Rampage and Whirlwind, and the T8 converts it into a pseudo-Leap.
  • Ripsaw was underperforming as a simple DoT and didn’t add any interesting gameplay or choice. In INVASION: Nexus, we’ve converted it to a PvP focused healing debuff and snare with fairly strong scaling per tier. This should allow Ripsaw to become a viable alternative to Kick against teams with heavy healing.

Engineer Changes

Wildstar Engineer Classdrop

Update to Innate (Mode: Eradicate)

The original intent of the innate is to create a brief period of time in which the class feels super awesome.
Somewhere along the line, we came up with the idea of adding negatives to the activation of some innate skills.
The idea centered on using the negatives to either inflate the positive effects of the innate or to force a strategic decision.
Ultimately, using negatives on the innate to achieve a situation that can create bad choice is against the original intent of the design.
So we’ve made changes to Mode : Eradicate to bring it closer to original design.

  • Removed Healing Penalty while in the activated state.
  • Slightly reduced the damage contribution to the proc.

Updates to Improve quality of life

We’ve adjusted a few skills based on analytics and feedback.

  • Urgent Withdrawal
    • We have been monitoring Urgent Withdrawal and want to build it up again as a solid PvP utility skill.
    • We are improving the up time by reducing the recharge time down to 12s.
    • We are adding the root break back to the T4 bonus.
    • The snare value no longer increases per tier and it applies a flat 30% that stacks twice.
    • The intent of the skill is an escape and kiting tool, so we have lowered the damage output of it.
  • Ricochet
    • We are removing the Ricochet T8 bonus and replacing it with a self-damage reduction bonus.
    • This is to increase its value in PvE content as a builder and a defensive tool.
  • Thresher
    • We have adjusted Thresher due to the T8 providing the same bonus. Thresher will now leach 30% of the damage done at T8.
    • This will provide the kind of self-sustain we intended for the in your face playstyle we expect with this skill.