Wildstar hosts six unique classes but right now, we're going to examine the Spellslinger, a precision-focused, skill-based, dual-wielding, space cowboy mage class who brings pistols to a magic fight. Try putting all that on on your resume' and yes, I mentioned guns. Who said the game was fair? Sure, it is cool to rain down fire and ice from the heavens and stuff, but why not actually make them accurate and more deadly through enhanced weaponry? Oh yea, our firearms heal allies and did I mention we have teleportation too? Boo-yah, bet you didn't see that that stuff coming.
Having been given access to Wildstar's Beta, my immediate reaction was to make a Chua Spellslinger. It was all planned from the moment I heard about this race and class. There was just something about the daring combination of skillshots and healing that intrigued me enough to try it out. Oh, and using dual-handguns never hurt anyone either, except for those who opposed me. I dove in face first into a class that not only fit my personality, but ended up being more fun than I could imagine. It also helps that I was a Chua, the master race, Chuehuehue.
Once you begin the game and acquire your first set of weapons, your starting skill is "Quick Draw" which for awhile is going to be your bread and butter. Like many of the skills you will acquire in the future, Quick Draw can be used while moving and deals multiple barrages into your enemies. We Spellslingers love multiple barrages of things and movement. Gotta maintain those calves, ya know?
But yes, a great majority of your skillset will be run-and-gun from maximum range. You do have options for burst damage but almost all of it will be stationary and charge based so pick and choose wisely.
Spell Surge Steroids
Aside from the run-and-gun, maximum range, and mobility mechanics, the base class mechanics lye in your ability to effectively utilize a resource called "Spell Surge." It's your class' innate ability and when it's active, ALL of your abilities have a secondary effect whether it be more damage, more utility, or a faster charge up time. While maximizing your skillset, you must plan ahead on what skills you plan to openly use spell surge on.
You roughly get three spell-surge procs per activation but the innate can be de-activated anytime to recharge.
Bringing the pain... with bullets
Spellslinger is a very effective ranged DPS class. They can stay at the farthest possible range in the game and have a slew of powerful barrages, utility spells, and DoTs. You're not really known for your burst damage but you definitely can be. You can opt to run a more stationary Spellslinger complete with charge-based burst spells but it sort of doesn't fit the speedy-dual-wield motif, but hey, the option is there for you.
As a Spellslinger DPS, you may not be directly mobile like a Stalker is but of the available ranged classes, you are the most mobile, mechanically at least. You have a ton of range which means you have more effective kiting space and when you do finally get caught, you have spells like Gate, which is a short-range teleport, to leviate any pressure.
Spellslinger DPS has a lot of AoE spells but the arc of there telegraph is much more narrow, meaning while the skills themselves are AoE, you are less-likely to hit bunches of targets due to the slimmer hitbox. This means you have medium burst barrages but not as much heavy burst like the Esper or sustained DPS like Engineer and Medic. The brightside is you can move around and a lot of your skills have secondary effects like Burn DoTs and Movement Reduction.
Tending the wounds... with bullets
Yes, we heal with our guns. Bite me, but I wouldn't because Chua teeth bigger. Anyways, yes, Spellslingers can also play a healer role, and an effective one at that. Of all the classes in the game, we have options that allow us to be similar to the more traditional MMO healer.
One of our main heals, early on at least, is a single-target channel heal called Runic Healing. You have to target your desired target and then use the skill much like your typical tab-target heal. It's a very skillslot safe pick and can be channelled while moving. You also have a secondary heal called Astral Infusion that is a target based on-demand burst heal with long cooldown. You can use these 2 healing spells as primaries and then fill your other slots with utility and crowd control and in know time, you'll be in a comfort zone in-terms of healing if you've been a healer in past MMOs.
For those looking to spice up their healing experience, there are skill-based heals for you to choose from as well. Astral Infusion is a skill-shot burst heal that requires you to be stationary to charge up its power. However, with Spell Surge, you can full-charge it in only 1.3 seconds making it a very effective spell in the phases of the game where creatures begin to hit harder. You also have Dual-Fire which is a hybrid-based healing-dps spell that heals allies or damages opponents. This too, is a free movement skill shot. And with that, we're reaching a point I can no longer talk about, heh.
All in all, the spellslinger was a very enjoyable class right from the get go because it really fit the games style of action-combat. The run and gun. The Pew Pews. The issue with Spellslinger, is the shots are more narrow which might be tricky against targets that move fast but it's ok because you're a badass if you selected this class and I believe in you.
If you have any questions, comment below!