I started playing V2 after release and playing legend after the kerillien nerfs, with 100+ legend games behind me (mainly playing waystalker, also shade and sienna pyro with fireballs staff). Waystalker class feels underpowered to me compared to other ranged and/or anti-special/elite classes.
Longbow underperforms compared to most of the other ranged class’ weapon selection, and even some of the melee class’ weapons (Handgun, single shot crossbows). It requires charged headshot to deal with specials (multiple in case of strangler) and stormvermin while the others only take a body shot (might need additional weapon bonuses but so does longbow for many enemies) sometimes without zoom.
I’m usually fast at headshoting most elites and ambient stormvermin and even able thin their numbers if pulled, if there is any other ranged specialist or a more agressive melee team I usually fall behind in speed (even if only a split second).
Boss damage is very low (with longbow) compared to bounty hunter, or huntsman, while these classes excell at dealing with both elites and specials, and even with hordes depending on the weapon (volley crossbow, kruber longbow). Shade can deal with both specials and have insane burst dps against boss with repeater crossbow.
Can’t be used effectively in melee against armored enemies like repeater pistol, volley crossbow, or single shot crossbow.
Even with ammo regeneration shooting into hordes can make you run out of arrows.(This is okay it just feels weak compared to other weapons.)
Also i can take care of the special hunting on my own with shade with little to no downside with shade and I think i could do the same with handmaiden (longbow or repeater).
I don’t have much experience with swiftbow and hagbane. Swiftbow was fun but useless (too slow at clearing specials, minimal damage to armor, trash/horde clearing isn’t needed), it has decent boss dps and better at killing maulers. Hagbane requires much more experience to talk about, I was abysmal at clearing specials with it is useless against armor, it has high boss dps and decent stun on enemies.
In melee I mainly use glaive or 1h sword and it deals great damage even against armored targets and chaos warriors. Waystalker’s survival on the other hand is insanely low, having 1/3 effective health compared to any tanks with no defensive option with +20% health and 33% curse resistance(in a 2 grim situation), you can still go down in a period of half a second in bad situation, and most of the time even if you can see something happening if your reaction isn’t perfect you are basically dead (it mainly happens in mixed marauder/fanatic hordes that clip into each other).
This problem is even worse in a melee focused team when you have to look out leftover enemies creeping up on you (they usually make no sound to indicate they are there) and hitting you in the back (it can take out around 2/5 of the health pool from max health, and near oneshot when on 2 grim). In these situations building white health pool can be a challenge (shooting into melee can be hard if you dont want to friendly fire).
Trueshot Volley is okay but falls short compared to burning head in most situations. It can is a oh s**t button for specials in danger with moderate ammount of success (it works as you want 70% of the time). It can also clear specials behind cover and it is homing. The main use I found for it is clearing shielded stormvermin (if they were pulled), and clearing berserkers if agroed. From my experience burning head is better most of the time, the only time it is worse is when you try to quell the number of stormvermin after a bad pull. It has too long cooldown to shoot it into hordes or to clear out trash.
Talents and passives are underwhelming.
No range penalty is meh, it usually takes 1 less shot to clear really far targets, but even that only happens a in few games (every 2nd/3rd game). Health regeneration is close to useless on legend, the main use for it is that it slows down temporary health loss, half health on 2 grim is 1 hit from most enemies (from all enemies if only 1 attacks you).
Attack speed or Crit % is really nice, most classes get something like this. Headshot bonus is close to required to do good(+crit damage is nice with swift bow).
Ammo regeneration is subpar to most of the other ranged class’ ammo regeneration options (that are free). health regeneration is useless on legend (might be useful for tanks and melee in your team but if they fall below half health it is usually healing time).
I personally use -30% cooldown on ult (this is okay but nothing special) i feel +20% ammo is nothing, and gaining some temporary health is meh.
I think some of the waystalkers talents and abilities need some rework and not just buffs. I heard that health regeneration was too powerful if it regenerates to max health (it’s bit hard to belive playing on legend but it might have to do something with shared regeneration). It might need ranged damage boost for the class or some other ranged boost mechanic, as it is now the other elf careers are as good at dealing with threats at range as waystalker (they are a bit less forgiving if you are bad at aiming/headshots).
TL;DR Waystalker is one of the squishiest characters in melee and subpar in ranged compared to other ranged characters, with close to useless or absolutely required class talents.
I hope other players have a more positive view of this class, maybe I wasn’t using the class correctly.