During the past month, I was able to try out one of the six classes that Wildstar has created, the guy with the claws. No I am not talking about Wolverine, though he has giant claws too, I am talking about The Stalker, the rogue-type class that stealths around and strikes at the right moment. They also get a hand full of James Bond-esque gadgets and a sexy looking nano suit armor to wear.
While they may be the most assassin like class of them all, they can also play the tank role. Through cunning movements and constant dodging of incoming, hard-hitting attacks, you'll definitely give your healer such a sigh of relief. Did I mention that they get claws?
Stalkers can use Claws and wear medium armor. DPS stalkers should aim for gear with brutality and finesse and moxie second while Tank stalkers should aim for gear with tech with grit and insight second.
Skills Using Those Claws
The first skill you get is "Shred." This move is a frontal cone, area-of-effect skill that will cleave down anything in your path for the first ten levels. Not saying this is the only skill you get between one to ten but it's going to be the one skill you use a lot while leveling. Reason for this is that is while it doesn't do a lot of damage, it help fill in the gaps while you wait your nano suit to recharge.
Next skill you will get is "Impale." This costs Nano Suit Power but does tons of damage and your hits will hit like a trick if you are in stealth or hit the target from behind, sort of like a back stab. However, this skill only hits one target.
Shortly later, you will get "Stagger" that is a aoe stun. This combine with impale make a nasty combo. Let me show you what I am talking about.
Example of nasty combo:
Step one: Engage a group of foes
Step two: Stagger them
Step three: Roll behind them
Step four: Use impale again and again and again
Step five: Profit
There also other skills that you will unlock later on. Some of these skills will use nano suit power and do aoe damage around you. While others help you get into right spot to blow things up, or get skills that will get you out of sticky situations.
Beside stalkers having Wolverine's claws to shred things up, they also get their very own nano suit. This allows stealth (some skills get bonuses while under stealth) and allows for the use of James Bond like gadgets that can do multiple of things. These things can range from attack, like nano dart, to utility, like tether mine that snare target that walk over them.
Every nano suit is equip with it very own stealthing unit. This allows you to move around foes without being detected but watch you distance, you might stumble over someone's toe and then they will know you are there. Stealth allows some skills do more damage before you even start a fight. You know what they say, getting hit by something that you didn't see coming is going to hurt a lot then the once you do see coming.
Stalker's nano suit also allows them to tank. Though stalker tanking would be more of an evasion tank rather then a meatshield that can take a hit due to the medium armor they wear. This is were the nano suit comes into play. Some of the skills you get from your nano suit are: a nano field that gives you a shield and constant health regen, nano virus that poison foes and helps you take less damage, and decimate which weaken foes. There is also reaver, which is a aoe taunt.
When comapred to other tanking styles, I can see stalker tank lean more towards kiting: a dude that can hold aggro on a group of foes and move them around while DPS kill them. After all, you do get some skills that bounce you around the battlefield, making dodging annoying telegraphs such a breeze. Looking back at my playing experience, it reminds me of the monk tank in World of Warcraft. If you've played Tera, this class is also simialr to the Warrior, where they are best suited dodging slower, harder-hitting targets because typical shield-tanks would get spiked down too hard.
For your everyday damage-dealing purposes, the nano suit allows you to do burst damage, but this leaves your suit empty. Don't worry though, you get skills that will help you replenish your energy. This includes anytime you crit strike as well.
Of all the classes, Stalkers are definitely your king of single-target super burst and you can thank Impale for the title. Impale does crazy damage; however, impale cost 35 of out of the 100 energy your nano suit holds. Three impales will take out all your suits power and you only gain about 4 power a second, so it takes time to recharge. Which leads to why you get skills such as punish that gives back energy when used.
With the slow energy recharge but having attacks that hit hard, I felt like I was playing a rogue in World of Warcraft. There it came down to almost doing the same thing as a stalker, come out of stealth on top of the foe and kill him before he can do anything about it you being in his face.
What did I think about stalkers?
I enjoyed playing my stalker. At first when I was leveling, I felt like all I did was use shred. I also could two or three packs of foes and aoe them down without any trouble. After about level twelve, it start to even out. I couldn’t pull big group of foes together. I had to start playing the class at it was intended to do. Stealth around, open up on a foe. Kill him really quick and move on. Like a rogue you would see in any other game. I wasn't able to try out tanking but it looks fun and it does not seem hard to figure out.