Hello! This will be a loose guide directed towards those new to Wildstar. While leveling my Esper to 50 in beta, I took notes of things that worked, things that didn’t, and things I just plain screwed up on. This is going to cover a lot so bear with me. Also, some of this is focused on efficiency rather than fun, if you’d rather level while exploring the world (arguably more fun) then some of these tips might not be for you but there’s still plenty of good stuff that will make your life easier.
Any feedback would be appreciated as I want this guide to be the best it can for new players, thanks!
Note: I don’t touch on PvP at all but after unlocking it at level 6 it provides a good alternative to questing. Efficient questing will still be faster, but not by a huge margin (at least in my experience).
Wildstar, like other themepark MMOs, uses quest hubs to help streamline the questing process. Simply put, go to a town, get every quest, they will all be sorted in your quest log by distance to objective. On top of this, there are quests you’ll get by entering certain regions via calls, from npcs/items out in the world, or even from items dropped by mobs (more on those later). Unfortunately, it can take a bit to get used to recognizing what the game actually wants you to do.
Things to be Aware Of
- You will still get quest credit by doing damage to a mob even if you didn’t “tag” it like in WoW. Credit is relative to the damage you did so hit em hard.
- When questing you’ll find mobs with a red outline and interrupt armor (the number next to their healthbar). These are meant for skilled players or groups and award much higher quest completion % than normal mobs. They have a small aggro radius and are pretty easy to avoid. If you want to test your skill though, give them a try solo (just don’t be surprised if you die a few times).
- Using an interrupt ability while a mob is casting will cause the enemy health bar to turn purple, making them take 1.5x damage while they are stunned. I recommend running with 2 interrupt skills not only to stop damage from telegraphs, but to increase your Time-to-Kill as well.
Different Types of Quests
Your quest tracker will sort quests into story quests and tasks. Generally, story quests are the ones spawning chains whereas tasks fall under the “kill x skeech” or “talk to x”. Normal flow for a questing region would be doing around 3-4 quests at a time, 1-2 story and 1-2 tasks. My best advice for when you reach a new area is to first talk to anybody you need (who will probably give you another quest for that area), then start focusing on the story quests while attending to task objectives only if they’re nearby/convenient.
The wrong thing to do is see you have a “kill x dudes” task and focus on that, because often you’ll get additional quests for that area as you complete the story so now you’re killing the same dudes and it’s not contributing to quest completion! If you finish the story quests for an area but you’re task to kill the mobs is only at 30-50%, chances are there’s another quest or two in the area for you to acquire. You’ll naturally get better at recognizing how Wildstar wants you to quest in an area as you progress as the formula stays fairly consistent.
There are group quests in the game indicated by the #+ symbol next to it. Try and find groups to do these while you’re nearby but some of the 5 man quests you might have to give up on. Also a fair number of the 2 man group quests are soloable if you equip your LAS right and are a level or two higher but your mileage may vary depending on your class.
In the beginning, simply quest along as you unlock new parts of the game. I’d advise holding off on crafting as it is a huge gold sink and questing gives all the gear you’ll need to level. Pick one or two gathering profession and just focus on that while you level for either some decent cash or free crafting mats later on. While you can only equip one gathering tool, you can attack nodes as long as you’re of the sufficient level instead of having to equip the right tool each time.
Resources: Chief Sarcan’s Guide to Crafting (Wildstar Fans)
Pick up all the quests you can, go to the area closest or most appropriate for your level, and do all the quests you have in that area. Pick the next area and continue till you’ve exhausted most of your quests at which point you’ll have either walked near a new hub or be given a quest to go to a new hub. Some of the early zones like to reuse hubs so for that just focus on completing a region of the map at a time.
Generally, the “appropriate level” means at or 1 level below, this matters less for early levels but if you find yourself 2-3 levels higher than the mobs you’re killing and the quest isn’t part of a significant storyline(world/zone/region), it’s better to drop it and move on. You will receive significantly more exp if you’re killing mobs 2-3 levels higher but unless you’re in a group this can take awhile, I’d recommend trying it out to see if it’s possible with your class/build.
Map awareness is important as sometimes quests out in the middle of a bunch of mobs can get lost (more a problem with orange/red/yellow zones), I recommend zooming the minimap out as much as possible and installing an addon called NavMate. Additionally, you should look at your at your full map as you acquire and complete quests, it will show you how they cluster together and overlap which will let you figure out how to efficiently complete the quests for a region.
At some point you will come across an item that starts a quest. These can be dropped by a random trash mob and they’re easy to miss at first. The notification you have a quest-starting item is a orange “!” over your inventory. Also, if you install an addon called IconLoot it will flash a large-ish notification atop your screen saying you picked up a quest-starting item so you won’t miss it.
Challenges are pretty cool and generally worth trying I believe as they can be a decent source of income and most of the time overlap with what you’re already doing. If you come across a “kill x dudes” challenge and you have a quest for those mobs then you should aim for silver/gold on that challenge. The better you do on the challenge the larger your multiplier which allows you to “prefer” one piece of loot by increasing the chance you’ll get it.
Challenges award some great loot. I’ve gotten basically all of my bags from challenges while leveling in addition to some pretty decent gear upgrades and housing decor. Crafting mats are generally the baseline “average” loot.
There are a few weird challenges that are fairly tedious and distract from what you were doing such as disarming tons of mines or jumping over obstacles and whatnot. Based off the timer either go for bronze, just forget about it, or do it cause it’s fun and will break up the leveling grind.
You will also come across shiphand missions at some point, they award decent exp and give good loot generally, so if you’re of the appropriate level go on in and have some fun with it. There’s 6 in total and shouldn’t take too long to complete. You can also bring your friends along and it should scale to the number of people in your party.
Resources: Locations of Shiphand Missions (Lycati on Wildstar Central)
Next we have AMP unlocks, which is a little weird to have to cover in a leveling guide but it’s so poorly communicated ingame I’m going into it here. AMPs are basically the Skill Trees of Wildstar, the first tier provides boring minor stat improvements whereas the 2nd and 3rd tiers can significantly change the performance of your class. Unlocking the 2nd and 3rd tier amps are done in a few ways. First, reputation vendors at towns will sell you AMPs once you’ve gotten a high enough reputation (if you’re just questing this shouldn’t be a problem). A few quests in the starter zones will also award AMPs, and some more are acquired through drops or PvP. You can find the list of AMP vendor locations here. Once you’re aware of how the system works you’ll be able to make your character much more efficient/powerful so it’s worth investing the time/money to track most of them down.
Resources: All AMP Locations (Skaar on official forums)
Once you hit 14, you receive a housing plot! yay! The simplest house costs 1g, I’d buy that to save some money and upgrade later. Having a house is important because logging off at your house gives bonus rested exp. The more rested exp bonuses you can get at your house the better! There’s 0 reason not to logout at your housing plot because the teleport from your house takes you right back exactly where you were before through the Recall – House ability. Only certain decor items give bonuses to rested exp (indicated when you buy them), and you can only have a maximum of 5 rested exp buffs at one time. This is indicated by the decor types: ambiance, aroma, comfort, lighting, and pride. Some decor items give more rested exp then others, divided into small, medium, and large. Getting 5 large rested exp buffs lets you go from 3x rested exp multiplier (vs open world) to a 4x multiplier. Of course there’s tons more to housing but after getting your rested exp buffs I’d advise just getting to 50 as you’ll acquire tons of decor items along the way for free!
Additionally on your housing plot is the “buff board”. Once a day you’ll be able to interact with it and get +5% exp towards questing, dungeons, or PvP for 24 hours.
Resources: Getting Started with Housing (Nashor on official forums)
Resources: Wildstar Housing Guide (Hidden Arena)
Soon as you hit 15 you get to buy a mount from your capital city, it’s approximately 10g. Obviously, having a mount for about 80% of the leveling experience is a pretty significant quality of life upgrade. At 25 you’ll be able to buy a hoverboard which has a double jump but still jumps the same height as other mounts, it can even float over water, so if you’ve been making some cash it’s a fun, moderately useful investment. Furthermore, you can purchase mount speed increases at 35 and 50 from the same vendor.
Resources: List of Mounts (Wildstar Wikia)
It gets even better too, starting at 15 you’ll unlock the ability to queue for dungeons and adventures! I highly recommend doing all of them as they’re great content and help to offset the lack of quests you’ll find. I had problems early on in Whitevale being 2-3 levels under, part of this was due not having done the group content yet. The other part was due to the weird layout of hubs in the zone. Speaking specifically for Dominion, the terraformer zone in the middle is lower level then the lopp zone up north. However, there’s no quest that takes you to the terraformer and it’s moderately out of the way. While group content isn’t necessary, it is a nice bump to exp and are generally pretty fun! At least do the adventures, they’re much easier than dungeons and are very well done. They can also be a great alternative to leveling as they are meant to be puggable, currently the exp seems to be a little overtuned but that just means faster leveling for you!
At 50, you’ll unlock veteran mode for every dungeon and 4/6 of the adventures (level 15 ones are left out). Having done the dungeons/adventures on normal will give you decent practice for when you’ve hit 50.
Resources: Dungeon and Adventure Locations (VerballyInsane on official forums)
One thing you will also find is that some of the tasks get pretty crazy with the number of mobs you have to kill. You should -not- feel obligated to finish tasks such as the “Big Game Hunters” series in Wilderrun which wants you to kill insane amounts of mobs. If you’re under level this is a great chance to catch up but they really aren’t worth doing otherwise. Another case of this that comes to mind is “The Wonderful One Hundred” quest towards the very end of Grimvault. I actually grinded out a hundred mobs for this quest because I thought it’d be important… nope – just annoying
I ended up finishing Grimvault at level 49 and used the level 50 daily quests to bring me to a nice 50. The dailies are pretty easy and give excellent exp if you aren’t quite 50 yet.
Now I’m going to talk about distractions, also called Paths. Paths used to be fairly rewarding but now I believe them to be quite lackluster. You will get tons of path objectives on your datachron that give you path exp, leveling it up unlocks a few (3-4) abilities and some titles.
Paths can be quite fun at times but this isn’t a guide on how to have fun in Wildstar now is it. Simply put, the less time you spend on your path the faster you’ll level. Optimally, you’d never touch your path’s content. There are a few things to note about each of the path’s abilities in regards to leveling however.
First, settler’s (I normally pick settler in beta) get a fair number of resources just for killing mobs so using those resources to build +EXP or other buff stations is a great way to actually level your path at a moderate rate for very little downtime. What’s even better is that you’ll unlock a portable vending machine every hour to sell all your junk + repair and it can even be used in dungeons! Perfect for saving you or your group time running back to a quest hub because your bags filled up.
Resources: Settler Overview (Gamepedia)
Next, Soldier which is a little tricky because while it has some decent abilities early on, it takes some leveling to make them useful through cooldown reduction. Additionally, I feel the high time it takes to level due to all the holdouts and demolition missions you have to do makes it a poor investment. If you’re up for it though you get an out-of-combat heal to full hp and an escape utility to port yourself to the nearest town if you’re about to die. While the escape can be nice you’re still going to be walking back whether you survived or not. The hp regen starts at 15 min CD and goes down to 5 min which makes it “useful” if you’re fighting strings of tougher mobs but considering food drops frequently enough from mobs, well, there’s not much point to it.
Resources: Soldier Overview (Gamepedia)
Scientist is good if you’re grouping often as they have a summon group ability. Additionally, they can create a portal to your faction’s capital that anybody can use which is on a 2 hour CD as opposed to the 24 hour CD teleport every character has. Their final ability, Holographic Distraction, was recently nerfed but can still provide some use in sneaking by mobs while questing. Unfortunately, I have little knowledge about how efficient they are to level but I’d wager faster than the soldier due to most of their missions revolving around scanning and the occasional monster slaying. I do hear that map completionists will mesh nicely with scientists.
Resources: Scientist Overview (Gamepedia)
Finally, Explorer, which has one useful ability in that they can mark their current location and teleport back to it. This can be great if you know what you’re doing and in the worst case it’ll save you the occasional walk back to town. As Explorer generally revolves around map completion, it can take quite a lot of time to get through. However, by being aware of all your objectives it’s possible to make leveling this path significantly faster as you tie it into your quests. I’d advise against this path unless you plan to do map completion.
Resources: Explorer Overview (Gamepedia)
Now that all four of those are somewhat covered here’s my advice regarding them: pick a path that appeals to your playstyle and how you plan to level. Level it early to unlock the abilities. Pretty much ignore every objective that isn’t convenient or efficient from there on out. Once I got my Vendbot, I basically never opened my datachron again, as a result I leveled my character much faster as I wasn’t distracted by Path content.
Rewards for leveling your path include bags, housing fabkits, and titles. Eventually you’ll probably want to get your path to 30, but it really drags down the leveling process in my opinion.
As a final note on path’s, Carbine didn’t intend for you to do all your path’s content to hit the path level cap of 30. For my settler, being thorough for the first 2 zones then backing off and only building buff stations at settler nodes got me to path level 23 by the time I hit 50. Get as involved in your path as you want, but certainly don’t feel like you’re obligated to level it.
As you get gear for your character you’ll find some interestingly named stats. Generally as a DPS, you want to focus on the stats that grant assault power followed by crit rating and crit severity. Health and shields are always nice too.
Repairing is mostly unnecessary at lower levels as gear gets damaged fairly slowly and you’ll be replacing things so fast it shouldn’t matter.
Resources: Wildstar Attributes Guide (mmorpg-life.com)
One final thing I’d like to touch on is teaming up to quest. It can work amazing if you’re in sync with your mates. It can also be a headache if you don’t know what you’re doing, but if you’ve read this guide then you should be good. You’ll find the fastest people to hit 50 on launch will be the one’s that efficiently group together. Just having 2 people together can make things go a lot faster, with the group multiplier padding your exp nicely. The trick to efficient grouping is keeping everybody on the same page with quests. Picking up quests you get from hubs and in the world should be done in sync. Being on VoIP helps tons as there’s no easy way to see what quests your party members are on. You’ll also be able to tackle some of the harder group mobs mentioned earlier.
Looking for a guild?
The newly formed <Crux> is looking for dedicated members that like to help one another and the game’s community as a whole. Get in touch on our forums at cruxguild.com or message me on twitter @raptiq.
GM of <Crux>