WildStar got a website overhaul not too long ago, giving those of us watching the game a bit more information about the class setup. All four classes have their limitations on display along with the roles that those classes will play — meaning we’re now sitting at two healers, two tanks, and two more class placeholders that have yet to be revealed, which did nicely shoot my speculation about the class/role division in the throat, but I’m not exactly complaining.
Of course, knowing who can be what means that we have a clearer picture of WildStar’s structure, and that means we can speculate about how the rest of that structure will be filled in. So with full knowledge that I might turn out to be wrong before the week is out, I’m going to guess at what’s coming around the bend in terms of the game’s classes and how the classes will play in their respective roles.
Spot the holes
Let’s start with the most basic speculation possible. One of the two unrevealed classes will be a tank and the other one will be a healer.
As it stands now, each of the classes has two roles: DPS and either tanking or healing. It stands to reason that the last two classes will be able to fill two roles as well, and allowing them to choose between two types of DPS seems a bit silly. So I’d wager that these last two unknowns will fit into this same structure.
Are we sure there are two more? No. Technically, the sidebar on the class pages can fit eight classes in total. But for the time being, I’m going to guess that we’re looking at six in total, one more healer and one more tank.
The tanky trinity
Tank is a single role, yes, but there are three types of tank that crop up over and over again. They’re called by many names, but their core elements remain the same. One type has massive health or armor or other sorts of soaking mechanism, one type dodges hither and yon with much lighter defenses, and one type is specifically designed to hoover up enemies that the other two types are not good with.
Warriors, from what we’ve seen, are going to be the first type. Stalkers are most likely going to be the second. Both of these things make perfect sense with what we already know about these classes. So that leaves one more spot for a class that can tank at range against magical damage and the like, someone designed to have strengths the other two don’t.
But what evidence exists to suggest that the last tanky class will be ranged? The Mechari.
Mechari like guns. We know this — watching the initial video introducing the Dominion makes it clear that these are robots with a great fondness for firearms. But at this time there’s only one class that uses guns, and that class is off-limits to the Mechari.
So imagine that there’s a third class that falls firmly in the physical side of things, without any magical traits. One that can use guns. You have to think that this class can’t be a melee class, at the very least occupying a mid-range role similar to the Vanguard/Powertech from Star Wars: The Old Republic. It would also keep the Mechari thematically robotic, unable to quite use magical abilities even as they benefit from them.
Now, do we know the Mechari could be another class? Not for certain. But the Granok currently have a single class available, and we know that the Granok are fond of firearms themselves. (The Exile video made that clear.) A ranged tank would fit nicely with the existing themes of the race.
Limits and distribution
Of course, if the last physical class is a ranged tank, its other option is to be ranged DPS. That brings us up to three ranged DPS options and two melee DPS options, which implies that the last class in the equation would be a melee DPS/healer. This is very unusual, in a good way — not many games go that route, and where melee healers exist, you can find adoring fans.
A melee healer certainly fits in with the Granok philosophy, which would bring that race up to three classes. But it doesn’t seem to be in line with the Mechari, Draken, or Aurin, which leads me to speculate that each of the non-human races will wind up with a grand total of three classes to play. That’s enough for a fair amount of variety but also enough that humans are notably more varied. Personally I don’t like the idea of limiting classes to races anyway, but I’ve obviously been overruled here.
And the last?
So in following this line of crazy speculative logic, we’ve got two more classes, Rangetank and Fistheals. That means that aside from humans, the class matrix looks like this for Exiles:
And this for the Dominion:
Warrior: Mechari, Draken
Stalker: Mechari, Draken
This implies that the last race for the Dominion could occupy the two slots that are otherwise empty, while the last race for the Exiles could also be a Warrior and a Stalker (so that the Dominion and Exiles have parity in terms of options). If the last race for both factions can be a Spellslinger, then both factions would have full parity in terms of class options — three races for three classes and two races for the other three classes.
It’s assembled on some shaky evidence. But it does make a certain amount of sense just the same.