Updated for Drop 6
The following is my perspective on DPS as an Esper. They are a long range attacker, with some survivability due to lifesteal and healing capabilities. They are rather fragile though, so you want to stay out of the fray. I’ve been able to solo 5 man bosses.
Espers work with Psi Points, obtained through builders. They cap at 5 and unless you have a specific AMP, any gained past that point are wasted. They last forever in combat, and about 10 seconds when out of combat.
This section will give you an overview of all the damage skills and their value. While Esper damage is somewhat simple (2 builders + 2 finishers), there are many options depending on the event.
30 second cooldown that gives you an absorb shield, increases output and gives you PP over time. You want to use this at 4 PP, to get to 5 quickly then cast a finisher. You’ll be back at 5 in a flash just afterwards. Get used to using this often as it’s extremely powerful.
It can also be used for movement portions with low combat, such as dodging laser beams. It will give you an absorb shield and enough PP to keep casting a finisher. This skill is required for soloing 5 man bosses.
Telekinetic Strike (TK)
One of two builders and there’s absolutely no downside to using it. T8 gives additional PP generation too, so max this and use it liberally. It gives slightly more damage than PF, though it requires much better aim.
Psychic Frenzy (PF)
The other builder with comparable damage to TK but you must be in melee range to use. That puts you in harm’s way, which is a bad spot for a light armor player. If you are using it, you must be at T4 to get the lifesteal, otherwise it’s not worth it. Works the same as TK at T8.
One of two finishers, this one has a smaller telegraph at long range and is an instant attack. T8 gives you a critical chance buff when used at 5PP. Since this one is easier to aim, and isn’t AE, it’s very useful for targeted attacks.
This is a DoT attack that follows your target and hits nearby enemies. At T4 it reduces armor (useful on bosses) and at T8 it debuffs the target’s deflect chance. The damage is similar to Mindburst but I find that it doesn’t stack very well compared to MB. Only 1 Esper should be casting this per encounter. A small downside is that if you use Spectral Form, you’ll be recasting this spell faster than the DoT expires… this is a slight loss of damage.
Blade Dance (BD)
Does OK damage but you can’t do anything else while it’s channelling. The damage needs to scale a whole lot better for it to be anywhere close to useful, or apply a DoT instead of a channel.
Illusionary Blades (IB)
Deals more damage than other builders but has a cooldown and 3 charges. If you use it on cooldown, at T4, it’s on-par with Spectral Swarm in terms of damage. The T8 snare is useless due to the long cooldown.
Concentrated Blade (CB)
Minor DPS, off general cooldown, gives a PP on hit. No reason at all to invest here, just baseline as a free PP generator. This is the oddest skill, since it’s a set it and forget it kind of thing.
Don’t invest, it’s just used for the passive healing. Great for solo work but should be avoided in group settings.
It’s a so-so skill, at T4 with a magic damage buff for yourself, T8 adds a magic DoT. Use it before a finisher for maximum damage. It’s a decent self-buff and a good choice for a T8 ability.
Spectral Swarm (SS)
Only acquired through AMPs, this generates 2 bugs that attack the enemy. T4 gives you lifesteal as well. An AE boss will kill them quickly, which makes this more of a solo/situational ability. On par with IB in terms of damage output.
Pure PvP skill that snares the target. Horrible damage. Skip it.
This is a decent leveling ability until you get SS, especially if you get it to T4 for the lifesteal. Geist + SS + PF is a decent solo damage output with lifesteal, something to consider. At T8 this sucker will peel off anything attacking you, which is absolutely critical if you want to solo any 5 man enemies.
Crush / Incapacitate
For when you need to break armor. Depends highly on your group composition and your level of trust. Crush at T4 takes 2 armor away. No need to invest in Incapacitate. Note that Incapacitate won’t interrupt, you need to use it first, then use Crush to knock the enemy down.
Shockwave / Restraint
Shockwave destroys 1 interrupt but also knocks the enemy back. Restraint applies an AE root. I really like the way that Shockwave works and use it in solo quite a bit.
A “get out of crap” card that breaks stuns and roots and throws you backwards. Situational but quite useful – aiming can be tricky.
Allows you to sprint forward and give a minor heal. This is meant to put distance between you and the target, not anything else. On high movement bosses, if you have the room on the LAS, this is a decent skill to have.
A decent solo ability that can heal you on the move, or top you up after a fight. Not useful for group content. Spam it for decent healing without PP generation.
Assault all the way, with a touch of strikethrough. BINGO is up in the air as it doesn’t work with all builders and if you’re already at 4+PP, the extra PP is wasted.
There are 2 core builds, a pure damage output and a sustainability option.
Pure Damage – TK + MB + IB + CB + Bolster (My Base Build)
Sustain – PF + MB + SS + CB + Bolster (My Base Build)
The rest of the skills are highly dependent on your preferences and the actual event. Crush at T4 is very powerful, and combined with Incapacitate can make quick work of bosses. Geist at T8 allows you to solo 5 man bosses.
Psi Point Management
- This is where the real skill level cap is found, managing optimal PP.
- You want to always use a finisher at 5 PP, for the damage buff.
- You don’t want to overlap on PP generation as you can’t get more than 5PP (without an AMP).
- Spectral Form gives you 1 PP instantly, the rest over time, so cast it at 4PP.
- CB takes ~3 seconds to hit your target. Cast it at 3+PP so that they land AFTER your finisher
- Haunt, Reap, Spectral Swarm, Spectral Form and your Gadget should be cast on cooldown.
- Runes were redone in Drop 6
- I also suggest you read my post about how runes work
- You can only complete a run set in a single piece of gear (pants for example), so you’ll need high quality runes and at least 4 slots to complete a level 8 rune set
- You can use the same regular set in other pieces (better stat optimization), but not class sets
- Class sets require ilvl 100, which is raid quality gear. Then you’ll look for Fiendish (ilvl 120) or Mental Prowess (ilvl100)
- Regular sets should be either Devastation or Onslaught. They also have ilvl requirements.
- Fusion runes are gear specific, can fit into any rune type slot, and provides an AMP-like effect:
- Weapon: Venom
- Gloves: True Strike
- Head: Barrage
- Chest: Flurry
- Until you’re in full dungeon gear, it’s not advisable to spend more than 50g per regular/set rune, and 2p for Fusion runes.
- Class sets are on raid gear and you should know what’s going on by then.
- Stats were completely redone for Drop 6.
- When I list a cap, it’s a soft cap. Meaning that past that point, the returns are drastically
- Crit Hit Chance caps at 30%, Crit Hit Severity at 250%
- Multi-Hit Chance (for 1 attack to hit again) caps at 60%
- Strikethrough allows you to hit tougher enemies (12% needed for first raid)
- Vigor (do more damage the more HP you have) caps at 30%
- Stat priority gets a little wonky.
- First you want to have enough strikethrough for the content (~5% for dungeons, 12%/16% for raids).
- Crit Chance > Crit Severity > Vigor > Multi-Hit are a solid, if you can manage to stay healthy.
Learning to DPS
The first rule of DPS is that a dead player deals no damage. Wildstar is especially unforgiving in this regard, so you need to learn to dodge, dip, dive, duck and dodge. In all cases, you should move and re-cast rather than take the hit. Thankfully the Esper is rather mobile class, so this shouldn’t have too large an impact
Next to learn is Moments of Opportunity (MoO). When you see an enemy casting (a purple bar) and you are able to interrupt it when they have no armor, they get knocked down and take extra damage. This bypasses all shields and increases damage by a solid 25%. This is the key to beating veteran content. A group should set up an A team and a B team, then rotate through. Unless your attack can kill the enemy in 1 hit, a knockdown is always the best option. If you are DPS, you must learn to interrupt.
Third is learning to circle strafe and attack. You need to move around the target, in a circle, with mouse look (hold right mouse) and keep attacking. Once you get that down, include some dodges in the attack pattern. Learning to move and attack makes a huge difference. Having the option to hold a button to continue attacking also improves quality of life.
Finally it’s about learning the attack dance. Cooldowns are generally synchronized to patterns. TK + TK + SS + CB x2 is sustainable for a long time. It’s about practice to find the optimal sequence of button presses and practicing so that it becomes more natural. Slotting those attacks in sequence in your LAS is a good bet too. Getting a programmable mouse (or multi-button at least) is also a smart bet.
#I’ll try to keep this guide up to date.