WildStar: Beginner's Guide To Gearing

Cyglaive explains how to identify important stats when gearing up in WildStar.

With WildStar’s early access weekend only a few days away, I thought now would be a good time to go over something that I’ve seen a lot of new players struggle with during beta—which stats you should be getting on your gear and how they affect your character.

To the veteran who’s been following WildStar from the get go and dissecting every bit of purposefully—and accidentally—leaked information floating around the internet, this may be something that you no longer struggle with. However, to the new player just jumping in, how stats affect your character isn’t always the most obvious thing in the game. In fact, in some cases there is almost no in-game explanation at all, hence why it’s been quite common for me to join a dungeon with a tank in full DPS gear, convinced that “it’s definitely the healers fault he keeps getting three-shotted by the boss.” Or the DPS who doesn’t realize that stacking support power is the reason why they aren’t getting the “Mad Deeps” they’d expect with their Assault abilities. If you’ve been running any dungeons in beta, I’m sure you’ve had similar experiences with any early dungeon PUG groups that have graced you with their presence.

While it’s quite possible that those players just didn’t take the time to open up their character sheet and hover over their individual stats, the convoluted nature of how abilities and character stats tie together in WildStar can make understanding the system a bit tricky at first. With that in mind, hopefully after you—or your buddy who swears Brutality is the main stat for Tanks—finishes reading this, you’ll be well on your way to kicking butt, taking names and collecting the gear you need on Nexus!

Let’s dive in!

Ability Scaling

The first thing we’ll talk about is ability scaling, which is one of those “pretty simple, but not so obvious” systems I was referring to earlier. As you may already know, abilities in WildStar are categorized into three types (excluding Path abilities). These categories are 'Assault', 'Support' and 'Utility'. Additionally, there are two types of scaling coefficients in the game: Assault Power and Support Power. The way these tie together is actually pretty simple, yet crucial to building your character.

Assault abilities scale with Assault Power, Support abilities scale with Support Power, and Utility abilities scale evenly with both.

Breaking this down using an in-game example means that, as a DPS, since your Limited Action Set (LAS) will consist of mostly high damaging abilities—which come from the Assault Category—and Utility abilities, you’ll want to make sure you stack Assault power. You’ll pretty much ignore gear that offers a higher amount of Support power on it unless it’s a “Support System” gear slot, which tend to only come with the Support Power coefficient, but do offer stats for all roles. Just remember that Support Power will not make your Assault abilities any stronger than their base level.

Conversely, as a Tank or a Healer whose LAS will mostly be filled with abilities from the Support and Utility tree, you will want to make sure you stack Support power on your gear.

Pretty simple right?

While all roles (DPS, Tank, Healer) will end up needing Utility abilities on their LAS, these usually don’t hit as hard or heal as much as abilities that come from the Assault and Support trees, and are more focused on providing useful utility to the player, like the name would suggest.

So that’s how ability scaling works; however, on top of that we also have the actual character stats in the game, which we’ll get into next.

Primary, Secondary and Tertiary Stats

Now that you know whether you need Assault Gear or Support Gear for your character, it’s time to dive into the stats you’ll need to be on the lookout for when getting new pieces of equipment.

There are six primary stats in WildStar, which are:

  • Brutality
  • Finesse
  • Grit
  • Insight
  • Moxie
  • Tech

While Grit will always increase your character’s “Base Health”, the five other stats listed change how they affect your character based on his or her class. For starters, let’s talk about how to go about finding your Main Stat, which refers to the stat you typically want the most of on your gear.

An easy way to figure this out is to open your character sheet and hover over each stat in order to see what it increases. As a DPS, your main stat will always be the one that increases your Assault Power. For a Stalker DPS that would be ‘Brutality’ and for Medic DPS that would be ‘Tech’. Conversely, as a Tank or a Healer your main stat will always be whichever one grants you additional Support Power. For a Warrior Tank this would be ‘Tech’ and for a Spellslinger Healer this would be ‘Insight’.

Again, this plays off of the scaling coefficients we discussed earlier.

Below I’ve listed what the main stat for each class is based on their role.

Main Stats for DPS (Assault)

  • Engineer: Finesse
  • Esper: Moxie
  • Medic: Tech
  • Spellslinger: Finesse
  • Stalker: Brutality
  • Warrior: Brutality

Main Stats for Tanks & Healers (Support)

  • Engineer: Tech
  • Esper: Insight
  • Medic: Insight
  • Spellslinger: Insight
  • Stalker: Tech
  • Warrior: Tech

Now that we have main stats taken care of, we need to talk about Secondary Stats. These are stats that are also important to your role and change their effect depending on your class. Additionally, they will provide Tertiary Stat gains that are vital to your role and can also be found by opening your character sheet in-game.

The Secondary Stats for each role are as follows:

Engineer (DPS)

  • Brutality: +Strikethrough Rating / +Critical Severity Rating
  • Moxie: +Critical Hit Rating / +Critical Severity Rating

Engineer (Tanking)

  • Grit: +Base health
  • Insight: +Deflect Rating / +Deflect Critical Hit Rating

Esper (DPS)

  • Brutality: +Strikethrough Rating / +Critical Severity
  • Finesse: +Critical Hit Rating / +Critical Severity Rating

Esper (Healing)

  • Brutality: +Strikethrough Rating / +Critical Severity
  • Finesse: +Critical Hit Rating / +Critical Severity Rating

Medic (DPS)

  • Moxie: +Critical Hit Rating / +Critical Severity Rating
  • Brutality: +Strikethrough / +Critical Severity Rating

Medic (Healing)

  • Moxie: +Critical Hit Severity / +Critical Hit Rating
  • Brutality: +Strikethrough Rating / +Critical Severity Rating

Spellslinger (DPS)

  • Brutality: +Strikethrough Rating / +Critical Severity Rating
  • Moxie: +Critical Hit Rating / +Critical Severity Rating

Spellslinger (Healing)

  • Moxie: +Critical Hit Severity / +Critical Hit Rating
  • Brutality: +Strikethrough Rating / +Critical Severity Rating

Stalker (DPS)

  • Finesse: +Strikethrough Rating / +Critical Severity Rating
  • Moxie: +Critical Hit Rating / +Critical Severity Rating

Stalker (Tanking)

  • Grit: +Base health
  • Insight: +Deflect Rating / +Deflect Critical Hit Rating

Warrior (DPS)

  • Finesse: +Strikethrough / +Critical Severity Rating
  • Moxie: +Critical Hit Rating / +Critical Severity Rating

Warrior (Tanking)

  • Grit: +Base health
  • Insight: +Deflect Rating / +Deflect Critical Hit Rating

In Closing: PvP Gear and Hybrid Builds

Lastly, I would like to quickly mention how PvP gear works. In general PvP gear works just like the equipment you'll find in PvE, except it can have up to two additional PvP-specific stats. These stats are PvP-Offense and PvP-Defense and, like you may have guessed, PvP-Offense increases the damage you deal to other players and PvP-Defense increases your defense towards them. So if destroying other player's faces is your favorite past-time, this is definitely the gear you'll want to gravitate towards.

That about brings this basic stat guide to a close, but one final thing to mention is that there are definitely viable hybrid builds out there that are a little less “cut and dry” in terms of stat distribution. These, from what I’ve seen, tend to work well in solo play or certain PvP gameplay types, but are obviously a bit more complicated to build around so I won’t be covering them this time around. But hopefully after reading this you'll be well on your way to leading your dungeon or PvP group to victory–with the right gear this time!

If you have any questions or interesting builds to share, let me know in the comments below! For more WildStar news, information and updates, keep it locked to ZAM.

I’ll see you on Nexus!

Corey “Cyglaive” Jenkins

Follow Corey on Twitter @Cyglaive


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