Wolcen: Lords of Mayhem Starter Guide

Gaming article by Jackson Wery on Monday, March 9, 2020 - 10:30
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Beginning Your Wolcen Adventure

You’ve taken the first steps into Wolcen: Lords of Mayhem, a massive new action RPG. This starter guide will serve as an introduction to the basic mechanics in Wolcen. Though it has an easy barrier to entry, Wolcen can quickly ramp up in difficulty if you aren’t expecting it. Despite an intimidating first look, the core premise and gameplay loop is simple: fight creatures, get loot, fight stronger creatures, get better loot. Repeat.

Wolcen: Lords of Mayhem Character Creation

At character creation, you’ll be given the option to play a male or female PC. Gender has no bearing on the character’s ability in Wolcen, so pick whatever you want. You can customize their face, hair, and eyes. When you finish, you’ll be asked to select a starting weapon: sword, bow, or staff. This only affects your starting weapon and skill, nothing else. Go through the tutorial tunnels to see how the weapon feels. One of the bodies early on is guaranteed to drop a bow, staff, and sword. Upgrade or change your weapon as you see fit.

What are the Stats in Wolcen: Lords of Mayhem?

Equipment has archetypes for players to judge whether it would be a good fit for their character. You have four different stats, in Wolcen, as well: Ferocity, Toughness, Agility, and Wisdom. Your three highest stats will determine what scales your damage most. These can be reset at any time from the character sheet for a scaling amount of money. Each level grants one point in each stat and 10 more for you to allocate freely.

  • Ferocity determines your attack and spell critical chance. This is useful for any class.
  • Toughness affects max health and force shield (recharging health). This is best for melee types who will be in the thick of things. Consider adding a few points to survive if you’re a mage or ranger, but don’t invest heavily into it.
  • Agility is your attack/spell speed stat. Pump it up for lightning-fast attacks and spellcasting.
  • Wisdom impacts the chance your attack or spell will land an ailment. Useful for freezes, burns, and other DoTs.
Wolcen Stat Page and Inventory
Items are sorted by rarity. You can also reset passives and attribute scores for a fee.

Wolcen's General Mechanics

Stash

Once you find yourself in town, immediately unlock the first page of your stash for 100 gold. You can now use this to hold any extra inventory items. Anybody who has played Diablo or similar games knows how it works. Since you’ll constantly be upgrading your gear in the main campaign, don’t get too attached to anything you pick up. The Stash also lets you transfer items between characters. The first two tabs can be unlocked as part of the main game, with more available after the main campaign is completed.

Damage Types

Damage is sorted into three different categories, each with three types, for a total of nine types of damage.

  • Material
    • Physical
    • Rend
    • Toxic
  • Elemental
    • Fire
    • Frost
    • Lightning
  • Occult
    • Sacred
    • Shadow
    • Aether

Many pieces of equipment will enhance damage of one type or the other, so lining these up with your active skills is key to taking on enemy hordes.

Primordial Affinity

Collecting additional copies of Enneracts (skills) and using them gives you Primordial Affinity. Even if you can’t use the skill with your main weapon, collect and use them to gain more.

Inherited Damage/Ailments

Weapons and skills in Wolcen can stack multiple elements on each other. If a weapon doesn’t have a base element or ailment, it will take the ailment type with the most damage. For instance, if you have a Physical weapon that deals Frost damage, the weapon has a chance to freeze enemies. If you equip a ring that does more Fire damage than the base Frost damage, however, the weapon can instead have a chance to inflict Burn.

Skill Tree

Wolcen Skill Tree Example
In general, red signifies warriors, green for rogues, and purple for mages.

Three rings form the Gate of Fates, your passive skill tree. To begin, you can access Sentinel (Rogue), Scholar (Mage), and Soldier (Warrior). As you creep along the tree, you can branch out into other colors. In general, the trees correspond to red for melee, green for rogues, and purple for mages. You can rotate the tree to access other parts of the wheel and hybridize, as well. In order to gain any benefit from passives, they must be lit up and link together. Rotating parts of the tree also allows you to change to different builds.

Equipment in Wolcen

Weapons

  • Swords, Axes, Maces: These are your basic melee weapons. They use a single hand and can be combined with other 1-handed armaments.
  • Greatswords, Greataxes, Warhammers: Two-handed melee weapons. Use the same skills as their one-handed counterparts.
  • Dagger: Used by rogue-type builds. Can use many of the same skills as pistols and bows.
  • Pistols: One-handed ranged weapons. Can be combined with other armaments.
  • Bows: Two-handed ranged weapons.
  • Staves: Magic weapons used to channel spells. Standard attack generates Willpower instead of Rage.
  • Shields: One-handed shields improve your defenses. You can slot gems in them, as well.
  • Catalysts: Effectively mage shields. These allow you to use spells without a staff, though their stats are typically poorer.

Armor

There are no class or stat restrictions regarding gear, only levels. That means you can mix and match fairly freely. There are slots for a helmet, armor, footwear, legwear, two shoulder pieces, two rings, an amulet, a belt, and two hands. Jewelry and belts only take up one slot, but all other equipment takes up a 1x2 block in your inventory screen. Note that when armor pieces are dropped, you don't know anything about them aside from their rarity and equipment type, such as "Gauntlet" or "Helmet."

  • Sorcerer: Classical mage gear. Often focuses on shields and Wisdom.
  • Rogue: Gear for rogues. A solid middle ground, offering bonuses to health and Force Shield. Tends to give Agility.
  • Bruiser: Melee DPS gear. Focuses on health. Often gives Ferocity.
  • Heavy: Melee Gear focusing on defenses and resistances. Typically gives Toughness.

Tips and Tricks for Wolcen

  • You can rotate skill trees. Open the passive skill tree and find the wheel on the middle-left of the screen. Rotate it using the left and right arrows just below it. Use it to access skill trees that aren’t next to each other and create hybrid builds. You can rotate any part of the wheel (inner, middle, and outer).
  • Red skull icons on the minimap indicate elite enemies. They’re much stronger than the enemies around them. Larger skull icons indicate bosses. Usually, that means better loot.
  • Bosses have a blue bar underneath their health that indicates their “guard” strength. Whittling down the bar can leave them vulnerable to attacks for a brief while, giving you a good chance to pour on hurt.
  • Weapons that add a damage type on attacks/spells are potent, especially in the early game. This can also be used to help puncture material, elemental, or occult shields on enemies.
  • Stacking Material, Elemental, or Occult damage quickly helps you tear through opponents. Equipment that adds flat damage bonuses tends to outperform other types of damage boosts. The bonuses are lower, but since it is easy to stack multiple elements in Wolcen, these general increases apply to each damage type.
  • Objects such as chests and bodies with a yellowish aura can be looted for items. Things outlined in red can be destroyed, often containing gold for your trouble.
  • Using Enneracts (skills) you’ve already unlocked gives you Primordial Affinity, which lets you level up your skills. Be sure to add modifiers through the Skill menu to improve them with more damage, area of effect, change damage types, and so on. Level and duplicate skills in your hub. Keeping skills slotted also allows you to level them up, even if you can't use them with your current weapon.
  • Master dodge-rolling out of bad situations. Each use consumes a Stamina orb but gives you a brief window of invulnerability. Use this to dodge attacks and reposition. Keeping a movement power slotted is a good emergency tactic as well.
  • Offering Fountains allow you to pick from a selection of items. These include rare (yellow) and even legendary (red) pieces of equipment.
  • Holding Left Shift allows you to attack/fire in place. Good for small, evasive enemies or using a ranged weapon when targeting enemies from far away.
  • Many DoTs will eat straight through your health. Mages specializing in Force Shield should consider picking up the Warlock’s Resilience to Corruption skill so that DoTs target their Force Shields first.
  • Being able to pierce enemies/affect an area is very useful. Wolcen often sends a lot of weaker enemies at the player at once with a slightly stronger leader. Try to prioritize skills that let you quickly mow them down.
  • Dead enemies do no damage, but don’t neglect survival. Some enemies, especially bosses, can burst you down quickly and tank quite a few hits. If slain, you can gain up to 3 Second Winds by holding down Space by default. These replenish when returning to town and don’t count as deaths.
  • A calculator is available for passive stats which can be found here.

What do you think? What sorts of guides would you like to see for Wolcen? Let us know your thoughts and suggestions in the comments below.

About the Author

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Jackson Wery

Staff Writer

I'm the diviner your GM warned you about.