You’ve hit level 50 and started gearing up. You’ve hoarded Elder gems to purchase your Genesis Key. You’re slowly working your way through the attunement process for Genetic Archives, but you’re not quite sure what you’re doing. You’re all alone in a sea of strain-infected creatures and have no one to turn to. (ENTER GUIDE FROM STAGE LEFT)
This guide will give a general overview of what you’ll want to take care of before setting foot into raids in Wildstar. It is by no means a series of hard and fast rules, but more actual… guidelines. Specific builds, gear setups, runing, stat priorities, and playstyles will mandate slightly different approaches for preparing for the 20 man raid, Genetic Archives, but this should give you all a good start. So… run through each item, and treat this as your pre-raid checklist!
This one may seem a bit obvious, but the very first step to raiding is to purchase a Key Slot item from the Elder gem vendor in your capital city. This means Exile players will want to head Northeast of Fortune’s Ground in Thayd, while Dominion players will want to head West of Fate’s Landing in Illium with 150 Elder Gems in hand to purchase this bad boy.
Once you’ve purchased the Genesis Key, there is a series of 10 Imbuement quests that must be completed before you can enter the Genetic Archives 20 man raid. The key holds a total of 13 Imbuement quests total, wherein completing the final quest will unlock the 40 man raid, Datascapes. Multiple guides detailing these Imbuement quests have already been produced, so that will not be covered in this writeup.
A big component of preparing for raiding in Wildstar is to get your character appropriately kitted out. There are a number of general milestones that you’ll want to hit specifically for your role (DPS / Healer / Tank), and these can all be achieved through a mixture of Adventure, Dungeon, PvP, and crafted gear. Many players have produced “best in slot” lists for gearing up your particular class/role combination for raids, and I’d advise looking into them. You can get an entire set of purple gear prior to setting foot into a raid, but this isn’t entirely necessary. Run dungeons and adventures, and supplement your core set with crafted gear and reputation gear to make sure you are properly equipped to set foot into raid content.
Once you’ve got all the shiniest items, it’s time to lock in your current set and improve your stats via runes. Runes are additional items that can be crafted and placed into elemental sockets appearing on your equipment to provide additional stats and combat bonuses. Everyone’s runes will look different, as rune slots are generally randomized on each item when the item is created. Even so, there are a few sets and stats to aim for specifically when you are runing out your gear.
DPS: Look for the Assassin, Weapon Specialist, Technophile, Spellweaver, and Fusion Blast rune sets
Healers: Look for the Focus Regen, Team Player, and Fusion Gorge rune sets
Tanks: Look for the Preservation, Shield Specialist, Protect Your Neck, and Fusion Guard rune sets
Round out your equipment set by applying runes and aim to hit certain milestones to ensure that your gear is up to par, making you “raid ready”. These are relative breakpoints for what you should aim to achieve before entering the Genetic Archives:
DPS: ~5000 DPS on a housing plot training dummy, 12% Strikethrough
Esper / Spellslinger : ~2400 Assault Power self-buffed, out of combat
Medic / Stalker: ~2200 Assault Power self-buffed, out of combat
Engineer / Warrior: ~1500 Assault Power self-buffed, out of combat
Foes in the first raid dungeon have roughly 12% deflect chance, which needs to be entirely overcome by each player to avoid a major DPS loss. Multiple options exist for boosting a player’s strikethrough via buffs, or reducing a target’s deflect via debuffs, so individual players should focus on getting themselves to 4% – 6% strikethrough, with the rest being compensated for by raid buffs / debuffs.
General DPS Stat Priority should be: Strikethrough to cap > Assault Power > Assault Power Stat > Critical Hit / Critical Severity > All else
Healers: ~2200 Support Power, with the ability to heal multiple targets simultaneously for several minutes on end.
Focus recovery can be achieved via Utility skills, Focus Regeneration stats, AMPs, and gadgets, such as Recovery.
Being able to heal for extended periods of time without running dry on Focus is extremely important.
Tanks: ~1700 Support Power, 15% Deflect Critical, 12% Strikethrough, then max damage mitigation stats Armor > Health > Shield Capacity > Deflect / Grit / Etc.
Threat Generation is the number one priority for tanks. Once you are certain you can hold aggro when paired with your highest DPS teammates when they are fully raid buffed, then you focus on damage mitigation.
The general stat priority for damage mitigation is: Deflect Critical to 15% soft cap > Armor > Health / Shield Capacity > Deflect > All Else
Tanks also need to hit the strikethrough cap, as every hit that is deflected deals zero damage, and therefore generates no threat. Foes in the first raid dungeon have roughly 12% deflect chance, which needs to be entirely overcome by each player to maximize threat generation. Multiple options exist for boosting a player’s strikethrough via buffs, or reducing a target’s deflect via debuffs, so individual players should focus on getting themselves to 4% – 6% strikethrough, with the rest being compensated for by raid buffs / debuffs.
Make sure you’re running a build that most appropriately suits your raid group composition. Often this means individual players will be tasked with boosting the group’s overall performance at the cost of maximizing their personal performance. This means running Tier 8 Telekinetic Storm as an Esper, Power Link as a Warrior, Empowering Probes as a Medic, and many other specific skills and AMPs that will greatly increase the damage output of the raid for a small premium on your own numbers. Raids are about teamwork, and generally small individual sacrifices yield massive gains for the group as a whole. Coordinate with other members of your class and with your group in general to see who is running what abilities as well as when, so you can aim to achieve 100% uptime on powerful group buffs.
Do not engage in unique snowflake syndrome. We know you love your build, and it’s really fun and totally awesome, but if it’s unoptimized… you’re not pulling your weight. Everyone is responsible for bringing as much to the table as they can when it comes to raiding.
Always carry interrupts. DPS classes should generally have 2-3 interrupts (Stun / Knockdown / Blind / Pull / Disorient / Incapacitate \ Knockback) on their bar, as most encounters in raid content require a large number of crowd control skills to interrupt dangerous casts. Tanks and healers can get away with carrying fewer interrupts, but should also try to bring 1-2 to aid in stopping casts and invoking Moments of Opportunity.
To give everyone in the raid an extra bit of oomph, everyone should bring along consumables for the fights. This can get costly, so try and keep crafting materials within the guild and have everyone chip in to make sure everyone has what they need for raid nights. The big things to make sure you’re carrying are:
Food - Level 50 foodstuffs can increase your primary stats by up to 67 for 30 minutes at a time. Healers should take Insight food, tanks should take Tech food, and DPS should take Brutality, Finesse, or Moxie food to boost their Assault Power. Every player is capable of crafting or purchasing these meals without levelling up cooking at all.
Boosts – An additional 61 increase to your primary stat can be obtained for 15 minutes at a time via Expert level boosts created by Technologists. These are cheap should be used for all boss fights.
Field Tech – Various small buffs or extra “on hit” chances can be granted through Field Tech items. These are generally unnecessary, but can be very helpful on some encounters to give a temporary burst of movement speed, or an extra little shot of critical hit chance.
Medishots – Consumables that restore heath or shields instantly or over a small length of time. Medishots are cheap and should always be carried to help ensure your survival and lighten the load placed on healers, allowing players to recover from unexpected spikes of incoming damage.
All of Genetic Archives has been cleared at this point, and guides for all of the bosses are available through several of the top raiding guilds. Make sure you have read or watched the boss encounters in advance to familiarize yourself with the mechanics of the fight. Every raid group will go about things a little bit differently, so don’t try to emulate another group entirely, but learn what successful strategies are out there, and make sure you’re not the one causing raid wipes.
A large component of raiding is to be social and communicative with your teammates. Make sure everyone is having fun, understands what is going on, and is able to recognize and learn from their mistakes. If someone is struggling, pull them aside and discuss what can be done to improve their performance and experience. Figure out who is tanking, who is healing who, what skills to interrupt, where to position yourselves, when to cast buffs, and anything else that is relevant to hashing out a strategy in order to progress through the content. If you have a question, ask it!
That’s about it! Once you’re geared up and have a group of like-minded players, you’re ready to head on out to Western Grimvault and kick some strain-infested booty in the Genetic Archives. Hopefully this checklist will get you ready to raid, but raiding itself is an entirely different ballgame. If you have any questions or comments, please feel free to post them below.