Of the six classes available in WildStar, only two of them are focused on up close, in your face melee action. One of which is the Stalker, but we will get back to talking about them later in the week. The other is the Warrior, and like their name implies, they are all about the waging of war on everything that moves. Whether it is taking down intergalactic bad asses or running a package to the next town, the Warrior sees every problem as a block of butter and their massive Greatsword as the red hot butter knife of indiscriminate justice.
From the very beginning of his/her/its adventuring career, the Warrior has three essential tools that help in their quest to separate limbs from bodies (or body chunks from other body chunks, in the case of those odd creatures that have no limbs). First, there is the aforementioned Greatsword, a six foot long slab of nuclear powered metal that is 85% blade, 10% handle and 35% attitude. Secondly, they (along with the Engineer) are one of the two classes that can make use of Heavy Armor, which helps keep the knicks and scrapes off their delicate skin as they wade through all manner of chaos. Thirdly, every Warrior sports a multi-function Battle Gauntlet, an arm mounted Swiss Army Gizmo[TM] that in a moment's notice blasts a hole through enemies as an arm cannon, deflect incoming attacks as an energy shield, or cook a small woodland critter until it is golden brown and delicious.
Of course, while you start off with this magnificent gear, you don't actually get direct use of it from the moment you set foot in the WildStar introductory area. This is an MMO, and by standardized MMO rules you start off with as limited a power set as functionally possible. As a Warrior, this means your action bar will have only two abilities: Relentless Strikes and the class ability Onslaught. Relentless Strikes is your bread-and-butter slash attack combo, while Onslaught hops you up on power steroids with a two minute cooldown. Its only as you go through the tutorial area that you start gathering some actual armor and useful abilities like Kick (a swift boot to the head that can temporarily knock down your foes) and Power Strike (a strong slash that can be used 4 times rapidly before cooldown).
Completely the tutorial levels, you finally get to stray from the starting starship and set your first steps on terra firma - or on this case, the planet Nexus. Depending on what race you have chosen, there are several different places you could land on Nexus, but that's something I will get into when discussing Social Systems in another post. Wherever you end up touching ground, you will quickly find yourself OVERWHELMED with quest options, and at this point in the game you are going to want to complete as much as you can to level quickly. As a side note, the Warrior class works particularly well with both the Soldier and Explorer paths, and both will add even more quests to your rapidly filling quest log. My best advice is to grab your cold beverage of choice, get any bio breaks out of the way, and settle in for a lot of slaughter.
As you progress, you will find yourself unlocking more abilities than you can actually fit on your action bar - this is by design, and you can setup abilities "sets" similar to the original Guild Wars. For example, my main set includes abilities that have increased Taunt like Plasma Blast and Menacing Strike, so that I can attempt to tank some of the creatures away from the rest of the party. At higher levels, you can build alternate sets which would let you focus on different types of DPS (sustained, burst, AoE, etc) if you felt like it. Or you could ignore all that and just use the one main set. Your call. I wont judge (much).
In addition to abilities, you also have the Amp system, which is WildStar's version of the Talent system in other MMOs. Selecting a node in the Amp system will increase your secondary abilities (things like Taunt, Strikethrough, and Assault Power) by a small percentage. While I am sure these all add up at higher levels, when you first get them they feel a bit ineffective as there is no visible difference directly in the combat. This is the exact reason World of Warcraft recently revamped their talent system in the Cataclysm expansion - they didn't feel adding a percentage here and there was a fun game decision, and I can strongly understand now that I'm seeing the older style of talents here in WildStar.
Upon achieving Level 10 you are finally presented the option of learning Tradeskills, several of which work really well alongside a Warrior's skillset. In my case, I ended up choosing Weaponsmith and Miner, mostly due to my deep rooted love of blades that directed me towards the Warrior class in the first place. Other Tradeskills you may want to consider are Armorer (also paired with Miner), Architect (paired with Survivalist) or Technologist (paired with Relic Hunter). Outfitter and Tailer would both mostly be a waste, as they create armor types you wouldn't have much use for. There is also Runecrafting, but that is a "hobby" Tradeskill that opens up for everyone at Level 15, so it's pretty much a given.
Overall, I feel that what I've played of the Warrior class does a good job of bringing the "Warrior-ish-ness" that I've come to expect of the sword-and-sweat archetype. It could be said that Warriors are fairly ubiquitous to the MMO scene - it is rare to see one launch without a Warrior (aka Fighter or Soldier) class, and they can often be used as the easiest way to introduce yourself to a new world and new set of game mechanics before learning the more detailed or nuanced classes. What WildStar brings to the Warrior table is it's action-oriented game play - combat is less about standing still and keying in the proper "rotation" of action keys/attacks, and more about dodging, diving, jumping, aligning your target area and *then* unleashing your attack. This makes the Warrior class a very thrilling and interactive experience when the pressure is on, though it only minimally mitigates the tedium of experience grinding. Still, if you want to pick a fight in the world of WildStar, you could do worse than to have a sword almost as tall as you are strapped to your heavily armored back. Just don't try to pass through any metal detectors.