Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Open Beta and a Sneak Peek at the Future

Our wait for WildStar nears its finish with tomorrow marking the first day of open beta! From May 8th to May 18th, if you do not already have access, you may visit Carbine's "Open Beta" page and request a key. This will give you access up to level 30!

On May 13th through the 23rd, pre-orders may also stop on by to reserve one character and one guild name prior to launch on a first-come, first-serve basis and will feature an FAQ with all your reservation queries. Be sure to stop by and save your favorite name!

It's been really exciting to watch WildStar grow from that far-off dream to just weeks before launch and we've made so many friends along the way! And from its humble beginnings, the Scowling Cassian now proudly sports over 37 THOUSAND views! And it has all been thanks to you, my dear readers! Right now I am rolling up my sleeves, keeping my ears to the forums and eyes to the game to figure out the next awesome roleplay help, tips, advice and stories straight from Nexus itself as we gather for the Big Release!

Remember, if you ever have any questions, topic ideas or something you'd like to share here, feel free to email me at, topic: The Scowling Cassian. (Also feel free to just generally harass Agent Hawkens, but don't tell him I told you!)

Speaking of which, the Scowling Cassian has an exciting release of its own coming soon. I would tell you more, but for now....

That information is classified.

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

It's all in the Details: A Revisit to Environmental Ambiance in WildStar (And why it's awesome!)


The Caretaker has taken over WSRP! Come on over and check out the new theme from Patrician and Ender for WildStar-Roleplay, hang out with the community or even try your hand at Caretaker-izing your own WildStar character in our themed art thread here.

Bonus beta weekend starts this Friday, the 25th! Don’t forget to log in for your bonus boxes and get some more last minute testing out there for the Carbine Crew!


You know, it’s pretty crazy to look back and see that the Scowling Cassian has been running for a little over a year now and to see all the changes that have occurred both here and in WildStar. From Devspeaks to roleplay advice, class reveals, beta, and the impending launch, there’s been a lot of variety and excitement this past year.

Today I want to take a look back to one of my first posts: It’s all in the Details: Environmental Ambiance. Back then, I remember watching the same few videos over and over in my excitement for WildStar, scouring them for every last bit of information about this interesting new MMORPG. One of them in particular stood out to me, but not perhaps for the reason some might suspect. Gamespot’s: Now Playing featuring WildStar on February 13th of 2013 showcased the stalker class with a romp through Deradune. (If you don’t remember it, you can check out the video here) At 27.24, something particularly interesting caught my eye.  When the Dawngazer (exciting to now know what the beast is called) hits the ground, you can see a flock of Vulcarrion land and begin to eat it. After a bit of time, the graphic of the corpse changed to show a pile of bones. I was quite excited by this, maybe because I am a bit odd, but also because it was an excellent example of the time and effort put into WildStar as a whole. ( And Jeremy Gaffney commented on that post, so it was even more exciting! )

As I ended the article back last February:

“These sort of details, while entirely unnecessary are almost more exciting in their existence just for that very reason. Here is something that does not further the story, does not further the gameplay itself, but is there for an interesting addition to the world around you to help make it feel more alive. You can see it in World of Warcraft when predatory animals will randomly charge and attack prey critters or where waterfalls will actually pull your avatar over the edge. Not only did these carrion birds in the video react to a "prey" species (in terms of the corpse) they interacted with the fresh kill made by the player AND they also added yet another detail by showing a new image as the flesh was stripped from the bones by the hungry creatures.

Ultimately this proves an exemplary attention to detail on behalf of the development team as well as providing the gamers with a deeper insight to the world around them. Personally I hope to see more of this within Wildstar!”

I was not to be disappointed.

I had the good fortune of being invited into WildStar beta back in Closed Beta Testing Round 2 and while it was very exciting to jump into the rich world of Nexus for the first time, one of the most exciting and rewarding things was being able to watch the growth of WildStar from then all the way up until now, as we near our final days before launch. There have been amusing bugs, interesting discoveries and plenty of crazy adventures along the way, but watching the world grow and flesh itself out into a living, breathing environment was quite fun in it of itself.

For today’s blog I want to call some attention back to the aspects of environmental ambiance in the game that I found particularly fascinating and important to our immersion in the fantastical world of WildStar as well as some other details that I believe really help the game come alive.

To start with, have you checked out those sweet mounts? I know I can barely stand being unmounted when traveling for any length of time, and often times when standing still, I mount up just to stick my Trask’s or Velocirex’s nose in my friends’ cameras and proclaim how adorable they are! ( I blame Hawkens for it anyway )

Hey now…

Trask is cute!                ............right?


Ahem. Right, so anyway, take a close look at those mounts. First of all, the detail work on them is fantastic. Claws, teeth, scales, tire treads, anti-grav cores and so much more all added onto their models in loving detail. But Carbine took it one step further. As I mentioned in my old post, I am a biology nerd and I have an intense love for small details, so this was something I noticed right away. The movements of these mounts are /very/ well done. When you jump, your Velocirex or Woolie will crouch and leap, legs extended only to land back down with enough force to send them into a crouch where their front paws will touch the ground long enough to balance and shove them back upright. I’m not going to lie...I probably squealed and leapt all over Illium for a good fifteen minutes or so. And all the mounts have this kind of intense detail to their movements.

Examples of the detail in the Velocirex's jumping animation

Animal mounts will result in a small kick from your character when moving forwards from an idle stand. Heads will lead creatures before they turn. There are unique walking and running animations as well as forwards and backward animations. Hoverboards will leave rings on the surface of water if you hover or travel above it, and on the back of the Grinder bike, Exile side, there are two brake pads that will snap up at the same time if you brake or if you turn left or right, the corresponding pad will flip up to aid in the turn. How cool is that?

Moving on from mounts, let’s take a closer look at the environmental ambiance on and around Nexus.

The Arkship Destiny and the Arkship Gambler's Ruin respectively

It all begins on the Arkships. Great heights and the sheer number of NPCs in these grand ships really set the scale of the war that you are about to join. Seriously, the next time you create a character, take the time to look UP on the Arkship. The ceiling is waaaay up there, giving you a good idea of the ridiculous size of these celestial behemoths while the tides of “people” that you maneuver your way around give you the sense of just how many individuals these ships can carry. This isn’t some motley crew of a handful of specialized characters coming to explore Nexus, this is a colonizing ship, carrying armies to control Nexus and claim it for their faction and citizens from all walks of life to settle the land. There are other ships on this grandship, far too large to ever land on the surface of the planet itself, tanks, helicopters, livestock, and all the things a people would need to claim a brand new world for themselves. And this is how you start.

It might be a bit easy to miss, or perhaps not quite fully appreciate these details in the excitement to land on Nexus, but I really enjoyed spending time on and exploring the Arkships. Listening to the conversations of the NPCs around me helped lend a tone to the faction I was playing. Desperate calls to help the injured and sick abound on the Gambler’s Ruin while the Exiles seek to sort themselves out and group together for planetfall, and noble Highborn complain to their Lowborn servants and loyal Dominion guards keep a watchful eye out aboard the Destiny.

The best thing about these details is that they simply don’t have to be there. They could have cut down on the number of NPCs wandering the hallways, or kept the rooms on the Arkships small and shuffled you through them quickly to help you get to Nexus faster. But instead each ship gives you some rich insight into the people you are about to join and their unique story through atmosphere and ambient dialogue.

These types of details abound all over Nexus as well. In the Mechari and Cassian starting zone of Levian Bay, thunder strikes leave behind mysterious and eerie arcane eyes that stare you down before blinking out of existence. In the zone of Algoroc, carrion birds swoop down to take their fill of the Roan killed by the local Dagun before flying back into the safety of the low branching trees in the area around them. In Whitevale huge fluffy clouds fade away as night descends upon the land, bathing the endless expanses of snow under the light of the aurora that burns through the sky high above.

Inspecting an Eldan relic site under the beautiful night sky of Whitevale

If you want to see a really amazing amount of environmental ambiance, then look no further than the two capital cities of Thayd and Illium. Early in beta, they were sparse shadows of their current magnificence. Thayd was an empty ghost town and Illium was a flat and boring expanse, now both full of life and rich with the character of their respective factions.

Jumping through Thayd on my Trask, behind me is an entrance into the shopping district

Thayd is haphazard and clumsy, a city built within the towering expanse of an ancient Ossun ruins, repurposed to fit the needs of the Exiles. Sectors of the city are spread all over and give the feeling of an ant hive, full of strange twists and turns that can leave the unobservant quickly lost. There are slums full of litter on the ground and marketplaces stuffed with shoppers. There is also one really interesting section in which the Exile Judges hold public trials to those willing to show up. Since I had seen this section built in stages, I often tended to stop for only a moment to see if anything was new before racing off, but the last time I went through I found a surprise. A choice popped up on my screen, asking me to label the person on trial as guilty or non-guilty. How fascinating! Unfortunately I had missed the rest of the event, but I imagine that there is an entire event for the trial that tells you more about what is going on. When I selected my choice randomly, I noticed a new popup that pronounced the defendant as not-guilty by one of one votes. This means that the event is also based on who shows up which could lead to some fantastic roleplaying and general community opportunities.

Thayd even has a DDR pad. Trask is now trying his hand...err, claws at it.

A view inside the Vigilant Church in Illium
Illium is almost the exact opposite of Thayd and has to be my favorite city of all cities I’ve seen in MMOs so far. This city is majestic, with tall, imposing buildings and neatly organized sectors. Ships line up neatly in its airfield or perch on gilded platforms, while the Vigilant Church claims a grand cathedral that dwarfs the buildings around it. A huge statue honoring the Swordmaiden sits high atop a beautifully sculpted pond while soldiers practice their drills on their very own field and obstacle course. Illium is a proud city, full of personality and presence, from the handsome architecture to the very people that inhabit her walls, that truly breathes life into the capital of the Dominion.

A statue honoring the Swordmaiden

Illium is truly the jewel of Nexus and the figurehead of the grand Empire that will one day call this planet the capital of the Dominion.

It’s probably for the best I cannot log in right now or I’d be going on all day. There is just so much to talk about. Lighting and music set the mood for the zones, bright electronic veins give an alien and eerie vibe in the Eldan exolabs while tiny swarming insects might make you tempted to swat the air around you as you venture near towering hives. Mortar fire signals the presence of warzones, with explosions and thick smoke, long before you arrive, and old bones may warn you of the dangers you approach. None of these things /have/ to be in the game as many of them serve no functional purpose to the gameplay itself. But all of them blend together to set the atmosphere and help gamers to immerse themselves in the rich world of Wildstar. These details really make a game, allowing us the suspension of disbelief so that we can step into this fantastic world and live the adventure and excitement all around us.

Whether it is your first time or your hundredth, take the time to look around you when you log in and really take in the world around you. And don’t wait, start right up on the Arkship, the very introduction to the exciting story you are about to uncover.

And if you look up you just might see your very first breathtaking view of the planet Nexus itself, truly a wonder to behold...

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Scions of the Vigilant Church

The Vigilant Church has a solid presence on the Arkship Destiny
When they first launched the arkship starting zones in beta there was one thing that REALLY stood out for me in my experience on the Arkship Destiny (Dominion). After a short tram ride, you are put through some very basic questing in order to both introduce you to some basic concepts like combat and your paths as well as some lore, which really roots you into the setting.

On the Arkship, you enter into a small chapel for the Vigilant Church, with six shrines each depicting one of the six Scions of the Luminai Houses and the aspect of the Vigilant Church that they represent. To me, this was very important and instantly evolved the way I viewed the Cassians and the Dominion as a whole. The aspects you find here are not evil, greedy or cruel. They are aspects that any noble and intelligent being can respect and get behind.

When you enter this area, you are asked to review and reflect upon the virtues and then select which you feel best suits your personal conviction. What do you believe in? It is an interesting question. Are you answering for your character, or do you answer for yourself? Does your character believe in something other than what you do?

From here, I knew that Agent Hawkens best represented the virtue of Justice, embodied by the Scion Bronos, fair judge to his fellow Luminai. This had a profound effect on his personality and story and it really got me thinking. 

"Justice is dealt in the name of the Emperor. All who oppose the glory of the Dominion must repent and join or perish underfoot. However, there is still justice to dispense even among those considered infallible. For was not Bronos the judge of his own brothers and sisters? Perhaps Justice is merely the means to pursue and enforce the Truth of what should be. And what should not."

Each Scion had their own beautiful stained glass window looking down upon their alter, complete with an object of their faith and brilliantly colored candles. I recorded each one, their virtue and the weapon their image was wielding which I will post below.

Azrion: Scion of Strength
Name: Azrion: Scion of Strength
Virtue: Strength. The force necessary to impose your will.
Icon of Virtue: Sword of Strength
Candle Flame Color: Blue Candle Flames
Weapon wielded in image: Two-Handed Sword

Korol: Scion of Devotion
Name: Korol: Scion of Devotion
Virtue: Devotion. The fusion of your being with a singular purpose.
Icon of Virtue: Flowers of Devotion
Candle Flame Color: White (Yellow?) Candle Flames
Weapon wielded in image: Staff

Tristan: Scion of Courage
Name: Tristan: Scion of Courage
Virtue: Courage.The clarity of mind to see past your fear.
Icon of Virtue: Chalice of Courage
Candle Flame Color: Green Candle Flames
Weapon wielded in image: Two-Handed Mace

Galen: Scion of Knowledge
Name: Galen: Scion of Knowledge
Virtue: Knowledge. Exploring the depths of reality and collecting its marvels.
Icon of Virtue: Tome of Knowledge
Candle Flame Color: Red (Orange?) Candle Flames
Weapon wielded in image: Spellcasting (?)

Bronos: Scion of Justice
Name: Bronos: Scion of Justice
Virtue: Justice. Judging fairly and distributing consequence.
Icon of Virtue: Judgement of Justice (skull)
Candle Flame Color: Violet Candle Flames
Weapon wielded in image: Sword

Evindra: Scion of Purity
Name: Evindra: Scion of Purity
Virtue: Purity. Noble intentions guiding a flawlessly honest spirit
Icon of Virtue: Orb of Purity
Candle Flame Color: Pink Candle Flames
Weapon wielded in image: No weapon displayed

Now that you've seen these, what would your Cassian choose if asked and even more importantly, WHY would they choose this? Or, what would your character choose if they were a member of the Dominion? Would you choose any differently?

It's some great food for thought in character development! And, since blogger is sometimes difficult, feel free to stop on by WSRP to my thread there with this same question to drop your answer. And be sure to check out all the other fantastic characters and articles there!

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Release Date announcement and NDA lift!

Just today, Carbine studios announced the news we've all been waiting for! WildStar will finally see its glorious launch this year on JUNE 3rd 2014. With pre-orders opening on March 19, players can earn some sick loot, including the Rocket House, a three day head-start and many other exciting bonuses.

On top of this, future Nexus adventurers can choose from both a regular and digital deluxe editions, which feature the following perks!

And, of course, the NDA has now been lifted which means the Scowling Cassian is finally free to share all the amazing things I've seen in beta thus far. (Heads up, it really is as fun as you've been hoping!) Vast, colorful zones, fun quests, nifty outfits, badass skills and amazing mounts are all in store as well as a whole treasure trove of exciting lore.

At the moment, I am patching back up the client so I can collect some beautiful, non-watermarked screens to show you guys some of the highlights of my adventures with Agent Hawkens, so keep your eyes peeled over these next few days for the last of our beta window prior to the March 16th alterations for some awesomeness.

You know, it's hard to believe that the Scowling Cassian is just over a year old and to look back at all the excitement we've been through and all the friends we've made. Thank you so much to all of you, dear readers, for your continued support. From all the emails, to the comments, from watching the views slowly grow and even the amazing generosity that repaired my poor computer, I have been utterly blown away by this fantastic community. And now I am even more excited to soon share some cyberspace with you guys too!

Until then, I'll leave you with these *to be updated soon*:

Hawkens with his beloved steed on his housing plot, complete with the Rocket Ship House and something burning in the background. I am using the aurora setting for the lighting on my plot here, which is by far my favorite.
"Leap of Faith" When Carbine added in a new mount selection, I fell instantly in love with the Velocirex. And so, of course, Hawkens and his pal ran instantly to Deradune to capture this photogenic wonder.

Friday, March 7, 2014

Class MegaPost Introduction (Plus Links!)

After lots of hard work and a lot of support from my fans, the Scowling Cassian Class Megapost is finally ready! Before I get started, I want to take a quick moment to give a brief introduction of what to expect, a nice organized set of links to all the articles and give acknowledgement and thank yous out to all of those who helped out with art and commentary for this project.

I would like to dedicate this entire Megapost to Sushi, who passed away just before I finished. His offer of art for each article came out of nowhere and was so very kind and he was probably the most enthusiastic with poking me almost each day to see the next article and urge me to finish it up. Thank you for all your help and enthusiasm Sushi, may you rest in peace <3

And without further ado, the Class Megapost:

While each article outlines the basics of each class for easy access and reference, the purpose of each article is to provide some ideas of what each of these classes represents at their core as well as some common stereotypes of character personalities. Each also comes with some generic ideas or some good examples found in popular media from books to movies and television shows.

Aside from these ideas, each article also contains some ideas to roleplay these classes specific to the races and lore of WildStar while also including a few “breaking the mold” ideas to help encourage more creative thought processes.

The articles also features commentary from one of’s fine inhabitants, using their character to showcase the particular class and add a bit of flavor and each will be thanked in their particular article. In addition, each article also contains a piece of fantastic artwork from either Sushi or Pyra of WSRP which shall be acknowledged at their post.

Here are the links to each article, in the order they were written, plus their core representation:

As always, feel free to comment on any or all posts and offer up you opinions or suggestions. And since blogger can sometimes be difficult, feel free to head on over to the WSRP forums to check out the Megapost thread there!

A thank you again to all my fans and friends for your support and patience in this long project and an extra thank you to those of you who helped me edit, commented and/or created art to help bring these posts to life!

Even Hawkens cannot scowl at this one.


Art by Kinderegg of WSRP

The Willful Warrior: Personal Strength

“When all magic fails, rely on three feet of steel and a strong arm…” -Diablo I Manual

Gaius Caster: Warrior (Art by Sushi)
THE WARRIOR: Featuring guest commentary from Gaius Caster (OC for Evion of WSRP and awesome artist!)

The warrior has long been a beloved figure in both our past and in the gaming world. From the annals of history to the stories of today and from tabletop to cyberspace, the idea of the strong, indomitable individual has long charmed the hearts of the people.

As a stereotype that has appeared again and again, why is it that we still love the “simple” idea of the warrior? Because the warrior represents an avatar of self-empowerment. Whether they are a young individual learning the art of the blade or an old veteran striking out on a quest of revenge, the warrior represents an individual who relies on their own personal strength and will to see things through. In a crazy world where our lives may often time be plagued by uncertainty and chaos, the concept of the warrior who heads into the fray with confidence and the strength to back it up is an attractive pull.

Gaius: "An' don' forget our winnin' personalities! Charm AN' face-beatin'!"

With one fell swoop, a warrior can completely change the favor of the battlefield.

WildStar has certainly not overlooked this old favorite, adding some unique and interesting sci-fi touches to this class. Before I delve into some roleplaying ideas and food for thought for the warrior, let’s take a quick look at this powerful class!

First of all, if you haven’t seen the official warrior class video, check it out here! As well as this link to the official class page.

And a quick breakdown:

Weapon-Power Sword
Resource-Kinetic Energy
Innate Ability-Juggernaut/Bulwark
Armor Class-Heavy
Tools-Arm Cannon

The Warrior is one of the two heavy armor classes who runs on a resource known as kinetic energy. This energy is built up by the warrior’s basic attacks and depletes over time. Many of the warrior’s more powerful moves consume this energy, taking all that stored rage and focus into a terrible weapon of mass destruction. Wielding a formidable power sword which is the loving and deadly union of the traditional blade and a fusion accelerator, this class proves that it isn’t about to be left behind in the technological arms race for the control of Nexus.

Gaius: "Ya ain’t wantin’ to neglect proper care’f yer sword. A bad fusion core usually results in stories gettin’ told ‘bout ya that begin with “So, I used t’ know this warrior…”

But the warrior isn’t limited to just their sword. A powerful and versatile arm cannon lies as their disposal, adding a variety of lethal skills to their arsenal. Pissed that your opponent is out of your grasp? Why not shoot them with a shot of pure plasma and take them down from afar?

Or maybe yank them in with your 40M retractable battle harpoon and pull them into your welcoming embrace?

Or pull them into your welcoming...buzzsaw of death? Awww yeah!

Gaius: "The best part is the look on their faces when they see ya whip out those blades!"

And these aren’t your only tools of the trade! In the end the warrior is, themselves, a powerful engine of vengeance. Slap foes aside with your mighty fist. Kick them to the curb with your ferocious feet! You didn’t get this far by having tea parties and picking flowers, oh no! You got here through blood and sweat and tears and a little bit of TLC. Tender Loving Carnage.

Gaius: "Kickin’ ain’t just for Dominion goons neither! It works on all sorts ‘f stuff like turrets, rock monsters, vendin’ machines…."

Use these strengths to wade through your enemies or protect your allies. Set yourself up for massive damage as DPS and use your innate ability for a burst of frenzied strength, or play as an impenetrable fortress as a TANK and use your innate ability to give yourself a surge of threat and reduce your energy drain. Or mix and match your favorite skills on the fly and play however you like.

Remember, you are the Warrior. Nexus is your battlefield. YOU are in charge. Everyone else is just. In. Your. Way.

Examples of some Warrior-like RP personalities: Master Piandao: Avatar, Space Marine: StarCraft, Donnel and Lon'qu from Fire Emblem Awakening

So now that we have an idea of what the warrior is in terms of gameplay, let’s explore what the warrior means in terms of roleplaying. To start, I’ll share a couple of stereotypical personalities that I have found through my years of reading and roleplaying, talk about some ideas for character building specific to the WildStar universe and share some food for thought, for some more unusual personality/background ideas.

Keep in mind that you don’t have to be 120% unique in order to have a good character. Stereotypes are there for a reason and sometimes that can be a good thing! What is truly unique is the way you play your character. There can be hundreds of people playing the dumb as nails, strong as an ox type but no one out there will play them quite like you will. So choose what is fun, take a little time to explore and round out your character and maybe even do a little research to add some more plausibility to the mix and you will be the most beloved of the battlefield in no time!

In my opinion, there are six main stereotypes to the personality of the Warrior: The Loyal Brick, The Scarred Veteran, The Path of Vengeance, The Noble Knight, The Wise One and Dog Eats Dog. Keep in mind that these are not exclusively all there is and can certainly be mixed and matched. They’re simply the most common stereotypes that I can think of.

The Loyal Brick- This stereotype is not that bright, but that doesn’t take away from their strength of character. While not necessarily as dumb as rock, intelligence was most likely their dump stat, cast aside in favor of their impressive strength. But even more important than their physical strength, is their strength of character. The Loyal Brick is loyal to a fault, coming to the defense of their allies and loved ones without hesitation and always willing to defend what they believe in. Sometimes this can result in a narrow minded view that can get them into trouble when more complex politics and situations arise then simple black and white. While gentle to their companions, their rage can be terrible to behold when you hurt that which they care about. Easily contented with good drink, hot meals and good company, they can teach other characters to respect the simple things and to enjoy life to the fullest. Their simple minded goodness often inspires and humbles those around them.

Examples- Country Born Fighter, Simple Soldier, Gentle Giant

The Scarred Veteran-This stereotype, while not necessarily exclusive to the warrior, is certainly commonly seen with this class. The Scarred Veteran is a survivor of many battles, who has grown world weary and hardened. Perhaps they are a higher rank in the military, teaching the fresh-eyed recruits about the reality of war, smacking those stupid grins off their faces in the hopes that they might actually listen and that they might save a few of them with their wisdom through experience. Perhaps they are simply an old tough warrior, who’s traveled and fought their way through their entire life. Many times this veteran started as a wide-eyed soldier of fortune and has become hardened by the struggle of survival. While not necessarily humorless or a total killjoy, the scarred veteran tends to be overly practical, dry and often times is difficult to get close to. They tend to carry about a mysterious air that invites others to ask them about their past experiences and stories of their former glory.

Examples- War Commander, Guard Captain, Ex-Soldier

The Path of Vengeance-While many characters may have a reason to seek vengeance for a past wrong, this character is entirely consumed by this. They will never forget that tragic event that happened long ago, whether it be the death of a loved one, humiliation at the hands of a rival, the loss of their squad or even simply the history of their faction and they will not rest until they have defeated this enemy. Often time their goal is difficult, or even impossible and they are weighed down with bitterness and restlessness. Sometimes they defeat their tragedy, only to find a sudden lack of purpose in their lives. Sometimes they realise their goals are simply part of their driving force and while they never forget their calling, they use that energy to aid others on the way.

Examples- Wandering Warrior, Relentless Hunter, Avenging Angel

The Noble Knight-This character is strong of heart and noble in deed. They use their strength to defeat evil and defend their comrades. Similar to the Loyal Brick, they tend to be slightly more intellectual but not always so. Brave to a fault, they may often rush into overwhelming odds without thinking and are prone to attempting to solve the problems of others. While some people may be in awe of the Noble Knight, others may often find them annoying and overly bothersome. While the Loyal Brick tends to contain a simple and gentle strength, the Noble Knight can often be boisterous and chivalric to a fault. Even so, their intentions are good and their heart is set in the right place. While the companions of the Noble Knight may occasionally roll their eyes at their presence, they certainly appreciate their strength and dedication.

Examples- White Knight, The Noble Noble, The “Hero”

The Wise One-This warrior tends to be more a warrior of virtue then of pure power. Often depicted as a wise old hermit, hiding away in the wilds to meditate on the wisdom of the sword, this character tends to draw their weapon only as a last resort. They can be spiritual and meditative, often focusing on art like poetry, paint or music to calm their temper and gain tranquility. In roleplay these characters might offer up their wisdom to fellow warriors or a new generation, attempting to teach balance and peace in a world of war and chaos. Sometimes they may be eccentric and might even be viewed with a bit of suspicion or even fear from their people or they can be viewed with awe and respect for their well honed skills.

Examples- Holy Warrior, Wise Hermit, Warrior-Poet

Dog Eats Dog-This warrior is not noble, gentle, simple or kind. They are ruthless and greedy and put their own personal gain and survival over any other’s. Perhaps they had a rough upbringing that taught them to fend for themselves or they simply prefered to look out for Number One, but these warriors tend to inspire fear and unease wherever they tread. They use their strength to bully, extort and savage those who oppose them, perhaps squeezing protection money out of small villages for protection or waylaying travelers on their journey. Or maybe they run a small gang who run frequent raids on anyone they can steal supplies from. Maybe they are ruthless bounty hunters who care not who they are hired to kill. While these characters are not always evil, they are typically resigned to their life. Those that are not necessarily mean or cruel, may still be coarse and selfish, such as a neutral hunter-for-hire or a wandering fighter who takes care of themselves before any others.

Examples- Selfish Mercenary, Highwayman, The Bully

These are just a couple ideas that could be used with the warrior class, but they are not the only ones! WildStar alone has an incredible pool of lore to pull from. Instead of something more generic, why not try something straight from the world of Wildstar?

  • -Perhaps your Granok Warrior still seeks to uphold the “Way of Stone” the best they can, even as an exile from their home planet.
  • -Maybe your Mechari Warrior constantly seeks to improve themselves into the perfect weapon that ever existed.
  • -Your Cassian Warrior wishes to keep the tradition of the legendary Sword-maiden Tresayne Toria in honor of her sacrifice for her people
  • -Maybe your Exile Warrior is a loyal soldier who signed up to fight the Dominion and protect their people so they can finally find a place to call home.
  • -Perhaps your Mordesh Warrior uses their strength as a way to prove that they are still a force to reckon with despite their crippling fear of the Contagion stealing their mind away once and for all.
  • -Your Draken Warrior loves the thrill of the Hunt! Swinging around a massive sword and beating their foes to a pulp is the only way to truly live!

And how about some additional food for thought that breaks the mold a bit?

  • -Your warrior is actually a very intelligence scientist. They just preferred to rely on their own might rather then hire some foolish bodyguard who would only get themselves killed.
  • -Your warrior has picked up a sword and cannon more so because every hand is needed in the war for Nexus. They are really more at home busing tables at their faction’s restaurants or mucking the stables.

Gaius: "We're more'n just a bunch'a meat-heads. Well, yeah, our heads are made'f meat an’ stuff... Unless y'er a Granok or Mechari... But I mean, there's thinkin' involved in our fightin'! Just some folks do more’f the thinkin’ than others."

The Warrior is as versatile and moldable as they are powerful, lending a wide variety of personality types and career paths to consider when building your very own character. However, as with all classes, remember that your class choice does not have to strictly influence every single part of your character. If you just plain enjoy warrior, but you rather focus on your character’s path, or even something else entirely, that’s okay!

Otherwise get out there, have fun and kick some ass!

The Savvy Spellslinger: Personal Freedom

“Do you feel lucky, punk?” -Clint Eastwood

Paksara Phillips: Spellslinger (Art by Sushi)
THE SPELLSLINGER: Featuring guest commentary from Pax (OC for Packetdancer of WSRP and talented fan mod builder for WildStar)

The spellslinger is a unique take on the traditional gunslinger trope, combining the free-spirited individual with the sorcerous ability of a powerful spellcaster. Like the warrior, this figure has been seen again and again in stories and games. So what is the pull of this character?

Personal Freedom.

Pax: An’ guns.

The figure of the cowboy from the Wild West comes to mind. A rugged individual who roams at will, blown along on the winds of fate, answerable to no one but themselves. In our lives, we are often tied to our jobs, homes, families or other responsibilities that we dedicate much of our time and effort to. So it comes as no wonder that we romanticise the individual who is held down by nothing, who is free to choose their own path and walk whichever roads suit their fancy. The gunslinger is truly a representative of personal freedom with the strength and skills to back their path. With their trusty guns at their sides, deadeye aim and in this case, powerful manipulation of the void at their disposal, these individuals are sure to garner the respect, if not the fear, of those whose paths they cross.

The fatal last sight of many foolish enough to stand in the way of a spellslinger...

I especially love the addition of magic to this classic trope, adding a very interesting bit of mysticism and an occult vibe. To me, this creates a much more interesting skillset at the player’s disposal as well as opening up so many more imaginative ideas for roleplaying. But before I get to those, let’s take a look at this versatile class!

First of all, if you haven’t seen the official spellslinger class video, check it out here! As well as this link to the official class page.

And a quick breakdown:

Weapon-Dual Mag Pistols
Respource- Spell Power and Focus
Innate Ability- Spell Surge
Armor Class- Light
Roles- Healer/DPS
Tools- Magic Sigils

The Spellslinger is one of the two light armor classes who runs on two different resources: Focus, which replenishes over time and is consumed by most abilities and Spell Power, which is consumed to give certain abilities additional bonuses when Spell Surge is activated such as making your skillsets more efficient while prolonging the hurt you bring to those who dare cross your sights. Two deadly mag pistols, powered by magic from “The Void” ensures you never run out of ammo and never have to reload.

Pax: Which doesn’ mean y’ can’t end up in a tight corner sometimes.  Infinite ammo ain’t th’ solution t’ ev’ry problem, jus’ most of ‘em.

And those double barrels of love are not your only tools of destruction, the spellslinger also has the mysterious powers of The Void at their fingertips, utilizing a variety of magic sigils to make sure they always have the edge in every fight. Magical bullets not enough for you? How about a fireball!

Pax: Gotta admit they’re useful.

Your mastery of the occult doesn’t just stop there! Amaze friends and foes alike by tearing holes in the fabric of time and space, teleporting yourself through the air with ease or use it to yank your opponent through The Void, switching places with them to leave you in the optimal position to lay down the hurt on their confused existence.

Pax: An’ th’ best part is, shootin’ holes in th’ fabric a’ space an’ time doesn’ even violate th’ galaxy’s warranty!  Leastwise, Ah don’t think so...

You can use these tools to mow down your enemies and bolster and heal your allies. Tweak your skills for maximum damage as a DPS, utilizing your range and ability to kite enemies to cut them down from afar or take on the role of a sorcerous HEALER and use your uncanny aim to focus your regenerative and empowering skills to keep them in the fight. Or mix and match your favorite skills on the fly and play however suits your fancy.

Remember, you are the Spellslinger. Nexus is your new frontier. YOU are in charge of your own destiny!  Everyone who tries to tell you otherwise will be left behind six feet under.

Examples of some Gun(Spell)Slinger-like RP personalities: Jigen: Lupin the Third, Clint Eastwood as the Man with No Name, Vash the Stampede and Wolfwood: Trigun, The Sniper: Team Fortress 2

So now that we have an idea of what the spellslinger is in terms of gameplay, let’s explore what the spellslinger means in terms of roleplaying. To start, I’ll share a couple of stereotypical personalities that I have found through my years of reading and roleplaying, talk about some ideas for character building specific to the WildStar universe and share some food for thought, for some more unusual personality/background ideas.

Keep in mind that you don’t have to be 120% unique in order to have a good character. Stereotypes are there for a reason and sometimes that can be a good thing! What is truly unique is the way you play your character. There can be hundreds of people playing the rugged cowboy type but no one out there will play them quite like you will. So choose what is fun, take a little time to explore and round out your character and maybe even do a little research to add some more plausibility to the mix and you will be the most beloved of the battlefield in no time!

In my opinion, there are six stereotypes to the personality of the “gunslinger” trope: The Desperado, The Sharpshooter, The Gun for Hire, The Thrillseeker, The Sheriff and The Vigilante. Keep in mind that these are not exclusively all there is and can certainly be mixed and matched. They’re simply the most common stereotypes that I can think of.

The Desperado- This stereotype represents the baddest of the bad, and not just in the “cool” way. These notorious scoundrels are mean and they have no qualms with using brute force and deadly aim to get what they want, even if that means leaving body bags in their wake. The Desperado always looks out for number one, whether operating in a group or on their own and will often manipulate the battlefield to suit their needs. Crafty and resourceful, this desperate individual will do almost anything to ensure they see their next sunrise.

Examples- Scoundrel, Train Robber, “Respectable Businessman”(with ties in the community)

The Sharpshooter- This eagle-eyed stereotype eats, sleeps and breathes their guns. Their entire lives have revolved around honing their aim and their skills at wielding their firearm, whether for show or for their own personal perfectionism. The Sharpshooter is rarely, if ever, seen without their trusty ballistic sidekick and they tend to spend a lot of their time, effort and money on their weapon, sometimes to the detriment of their other needs. Some Sharpshooters may be garrulous and cannot resist any opportunity to show off their amazing skills and talk about their guns. They may enjoy entering into competitions for the pleasure of showing up all their opponents while winning fame and fortune. Or other Sharpshooters may be quieter and more reserved. The magic of the gun is a personal passion and they keep it to themselves or even use their skills to help others. Still others can be military or warlike by nature, using their skills to drive fear into the hearts of their enemies while boosting the morale of their comrades. Many times this stereotype tends to mix and match the qualities of their most common iterations, but each time their lives revolve around their guns.

Examples- The Sniper, The Gunsmith, The Competitor

The Gun for Hire- While the Sharpshooter focuses solely around the art of the gun, the Gun for Hire tends to use these skills as a means to an end, utilizing their talents specifically for affluence. While they may be very skilled at shooting, their only focus is to be good enough to keep up with the competition, or eliminate them from the picture, to ensure a steady stream of business. They may be outspoken and advertise themselves freely either with charm or with bombastic posturing. Or they can be deadly and forceful, burying their competition and pressuring their services on others. Though the Gun for Hire is often a free agent, they may carry with them a set of morals that they adhere to, refusing to work for certain factions or races that have wronged their people or that they just simply don’t like.

Examples- Bounty Hunter, Selfish Mercenary, Bodyguard

The Thrillseeker- The Thrillseeker is exactly as their name describes. These characters are constantly seeking out new adventures and will do anything to find that next thrill and get their blood pumping. Whether climbing tall mountains, searching for secret caves, fighting new foes or seeing how far they can fall before chickening out and tearing through The Void to keep from becoming the newest Nexus pancake, these characters are...well, quite the character and tend to infect energy in those around them. The Thrillseeker is usually cheerful and motivated while in the field but can become restless and easily bored when stuck in one place for any length of time. This personality tends to use their guns as more of a convenient weapon for a lifestyle of mobility and exploration, allowing for easy storage unlike the bulk of a Power Sword or a Launcher. The combination of occult magic with their usual skills only opens up even more opportunities for these individuals.

Examples- The Daredevil, The Explorer, The Scout

Pax: Hey, that’s me!

The Sheriff- This stereotype is a protector of others who operates by the law and is driven by a sense of duty. They tend to settle in one place, or tie themselves to a particular community  which they dedicate their services to. The Sheriff might best be described as a “paladin with guns” upholding the code of the people and defending them against all opposing forces. Often times they are found in a position of leadership either of a small party or even of a large group of armed forces or civilians. They can be polite and friendly, becoming a force of inspiration for those around them to take courage and reassurance from. Or they can be gruff and irritable, showing themselves as a tough and stoic force of indomitability.

Examples- Mercenary Chief, Party Leader, Town Sheriff

The Vigilante- While the Sheriff operates under the Law of the People, the Vigilante operates by their own sense of personal justice, often times outside of the confines of the law. They carry no official legal authority and are not tied to any particular group, but tend to seek out perpetrators and ne’er do wells and bring them to justice. They may occasionally find themselves at odds with those of the law, but are often viewed with respect and sometimes fear or awe by the people as hunters of evil who refuse to turn a blind eye to injustice in the favor or protocols and due process. The only jurisdiction they need are the twin guns at their side. They aren’t the Spellslingers that Nexus deserves, they are the Spellslingers that Nexus needs.

Examples- The Crusader, The Lone Rider, The Judge without a Badge

These are just a couple ideas that could be used with the spellslinger class, but they are not the only ones! WildStar alone has an incredible pool of lore to pull from. Instead of something more generic, why not try something straight from the world of Wildstar?

  • -Perhaps your Exile Spellslinger has just finally received their first set of mag pistols and can’t wait to prove their mettle on the battlefield
  • -Maybe your Aurin Spellslinger doesn’t draw their energy from The Void, but from their belief in The Weave 
  • -Your Chua Spellslinger is a Tester for DREDD. As the lowest mook on the totem pole, you get all the latest and greatest in experimental technology. Hopefully they don’t blow up in your face…
  • -Your Mordesh Spellslinger loves trying out all their newest and deadly concoctions as experimental ammo for their mag pistols
  • -Perhaps your Draken Spellslinger is a professional game hunter. They don’t look down upon technology so long as it makes them the biggest and the baddest hunter on Nexus.
  • -Maybe your Cassian Spellinger is a sharpshooter for the Dominion military, proudly supporting their squad with their keen eye and fast draw

Now you may have noticed that I didn’t touch terribly much on the more sorcerous side of the Spellslinger when going through the stereotypes. In this section I wanted to talk more about ideas that break the mold for the more traditional concepts of the class. But honestly, I think that the magical addition to the Spellslinger itself /is/ a “breaking the mold” concept to the more traditional gunslinger class concept. Not only does this help alleviate the issues with sorting out what is usually an ammo reliant class, this also opens up a wealth of additional roleplaying opportunities!

  • -Perhaps your Spellslinger is obsessed with The Void and everything pertaining to it. They are constantly studying it and testing their limits, trying to figure out just how well they can manipulate it to serve their needs
  • -Maybe your Spellslinger is an adventurer who is constantly on the prowl for artifacts that might contain the knowledge of ancient magics
  • -You Spellslinger belongs to a cult of the occult, worshipping The Void

Pax: ‘r mebbe y’ jus’ really like explorin’ things.  Hard t’ go wrong with teleportin’ and dimension-hoppin’ fer any’a y’all who’re a mite curious ‘bout everything.  ...not that Ah’d know anything ‘bout that ‘r nothing.

The Spellslinger is as versatile and moldable as they are powerful, lending a wide variety of personality types and career paths to consider when building your very own character. However, as with all classes, remember that your class choice does not have to strictly influence every single part of your character. If you just plain enjoy spellslingers, but you rather focus on your character’s path, or even something else entirely, that’s okay!

Otherwise get out there, have fun and make them Eat Lead! Or magical hell know, whichever.