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6.3 Stealth Discussion Megathread


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Hi everyone,

I'm doomstove, an officer in a stealth doctrine guild called BAP, and I'd like to talk to you today about the stealth mechanic and sensical changes to improve the way that non-stealthers and stealthers interact with one another.  Many players erroneously think that we support a strong, undetectable stealth mechanic; however, that couldn't be further from the truth.  In this post, I will lay out three things for you to consider: areas where the current stealth implementation cheapens gameplay, ways to improve stealth gameplay for both parties in Crowfall, and bugs and poor design that negatively impact stealthers 

First, I want to start by indicating some areas where the current implementation cheapens gameplay:

  • Losing a kill target to a stealth ult with no way to detect them.  Since everyone has a VGS bank during harvesting activities, this means that getting a clean kill on a stealther is nigh impossible unless you're a very capable brigand or ganking a very dumb VGS. 
  • Innate promo/skill based perception doing nothing without an unavailable domain locked activatable like Heads Up (Vandal, as an example).
  • Assassin/duelist ult cleansing targeted Faerie Flames feels bad and makes targeted Faerie Fire almost useless.  This should not be the case with AOE methods of Faerie Fire (barbed stakes with Ranger talent.
  • Stealther vs. Stealther matchups are absolutely stupid outside of Brigand, no way to detect one another without getting lucky with fan of knives or go for broke.  
  • I'm sure other commenters will provide many other examples.

Bugs and poor design that affect stealth that each stealther plays around daily:

  • Design (but might be bug): DoT damage on thorns targets removing stealthers from stealth (video from a previous post.)  This issue has actually caused all of us to abandon VGS (due to Buckshot knockdown bleed on ult) and the bottom line of Duelist talents that make us bleed out of stealth.  Despite the fact that they're great talents we'd love to use, we are avoiding them like the plague due to the negative interactions with Blood Rose which every healer runs due to almost limitless value as only a minor discipline.  
  • BUG: Desync on flares, making them invisible in large fights.  
  • BUG: Faerie Fire still sometimes locks out the stealth cooldown for 40 seconds, much longer than the duration of the debuff.
  • BUG: Assassin ult breaks when a targeted ability is "in flight" during an ult.
  • BUG: Cheap shot/kidney shot are based on elevation, which means targets on a slight incline in melee range do not register the ability.
  • BUG: Vanish does not break aggro against non-detecting mobs.
  • BUG: Rat stealth dust cloud invisible for players who play on low graphics.

Here are some ways I could see improving stealth gameplay for both parties:

  • Set a perception value threshold for passive perception.  If someone invests in blue/epic perception eyes and has an alertness/heads up perception buff, they should be able to passively detect stealthers at minimum range.
  • Alternatively, allow perception to be a toggleable stamina drain to allow others to detect at a minimum range with no perception modifier.  
  • Allow Heads Up to be run on any class.

This is definitely not an inclusive list of ideas, but I would like to spur the community to try to generate some ideas about how to improve stealth gameplay for both parties.  

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For some ideas, I'll just analyze a few stealth systems from other competitive games I know and try and tease out why they worked (if you think they didn't work, please let me know why!). Hopefully we can apply similar design principles (though, not the exact same systems) to Crowfall.

 

1. World of Warcraft (vanilla)

  • How did it work? : Permanent stealth with slow movement available to 2 classes. Short front-facing detection cone would reveal stealthed players and allow them to be damaged out of stealth. AoE and detection abilities (flare) also revealed targets caught in them.
  • Why was it good? It allowed any player to potentially detect a stealthed opponent by looking at them, but also allowed the stealthed opponent to avoid this by staying out of their sight cone. It was fair to the stealthed player because detection abilities (AoE, Flare) were visible to them, so they knew where they could safely stand to avoid being detected.

 

2. Guild Wars 2

  • How did it work? : Very short duration bursts of stealth available to some classes. These could be chained to provide longer stealth periods, or even "permanent" stealth, but in general it was limited. Skills that applied stealth left animation clues visible to opponents. Damage did not break stealth, but players could use AoE effects to sometimes tell which direction a player did or didn't go. A stealthed player would break stealth by attacking an enemy.
  • Why was it good?  In general, players not have very much stealth uptime. They would use it sparingly, at key moments in fights - either to open with damage or to break an enemy's targeting and confuse them before reappearing somewhere else. It worked a lot like Crowfall's Confessor ultimate. Opponents knew what to expect and could predict where and when an enemy was about to reappear.
Edited by nihilsupernum
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17 minutes ago, Communist_Puppy said:

Think adding in passive perception and unlocking heads up are immediate changes that could be made that would make stealth feel a lot less toxic. A pitfighter can take heads up. SIN can't. Give us the option to counter stealth if we give up a minor. 

There need to be a disc like head up available for every race or class so everyone has a basicly anti steal mechanic if they choose to use it.

Or having perception alone reveal stealther if u get to close not requiring a skill

Veeshan Midst of UXA

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26 minutes ago, Communist_Puppy said:

Think adding in passive perception and unlocking heads up are immediate changes that could be made that would make stealth feel a lot less toxic. A pitfighter can take heads up. SIN can't. Give us the option to counter stealth if we give up a minor. 

 

2 hours ago, doomstove said:

Here are some ways I could see improving stealth gameplay for both parties:

  • Set a perception value threshold for passive perception.  If someone invests in blue/epic perception eyes and has an alertness/heads up perception buff, they should be able to passively detect stealthers at minimum range.
  • Alternatively, allow perception to be a toggleable stamina drain to allow others to detect at a minimum range with no perception modifier.  
  • Allow Heads Up to be run on any class.

 

I don't think more Heads Up is the answer because Heads Up-style detection is part of why Crowfall's stealth vs anti-stealth is no fun right now.

  • From the stealther's perspective, there is nothing they can potentially do to escape if their opponents (esp. multiple opponents) have Heads Up or similar abilities available. When active, they are just detected. Period. They can try to get out of range, but because stealth movement speed is so much slower, their pursuer will inevitably catch up and see them again. Occasionally it is possible to fake out opponents by using rocks/trees/terrain. This is great when it's possible, but it's not reliable. I'd say when I'm trying to escape, I have that option maybe 5% of the time. Most of the time, fights + chases are taking place in relatively open field and there's nothing to hide behind, or if there is something, it's too easy/obvious for the detector to check.
  • Unless they witness a player use a detection skill, a stealther can't even be completely sure whether said detection is active or not. It would be more fair if Heads Up placed a visible eye above detectors for its full duration.
  • But then from the opponent's perspective, it's not very fun if their anti-stealth has a limited duration and a long cooldown, because once that has expired, their target is going to escape and there's nothing they can do to change that.

This is what I mean when I complain that it's too binary. Either the stealther is detected and can't escape, or they're completely free to move wherever they like without risk.

I think passive permanent detection (very close range, forward facing) is the best compromise here because it gives both sides an opportunity to out-play their opponent and accomplish their goals.

A stealther could out-play a detector and escape by avoiding their sight cone. A detector could out-play a stealther by properly predicting their movement and aiming their sight cone there.

Edited by nihilsupernum
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Interesting post, I do believe get out of jail cards need to work more like the fessor ult where it shoots you back out of stealth. Also perception needs to have it's stat mean something. I like the idea of having more people have access to some type of anti stealth, maybe make it a common major that people could take but have to sacrifice to use it.

The thorn piece people build on to counter stealther attacks. I don't like the ability to negate a minor I specifically took. I would like maybe a certain damage amount to pull you out though maybe 200 damage or something. So it's not the first hit, but being able to stealth off while I tick from bleeds feels bad.

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My main problem with stealth detection is that it is reactive. If you dont know there is someone stealthed there is nothing you can do.

And unless you have both a detection power and the heads up minor you will pass an awfully long time without being able to detect enemies. And that is too steep a price to pay unless you really plan to go around hunting down stealthers.

So despite being a stealth detecting class i am still ambushed by them as much the next guy.

And truly most stealthers dont really need to stealth if they get the drop on their opponent. Which makes it being reactive not that useful.

And good luck trying  to catch a class that can stealth more often than you can detect them. Cough Fessors Cough

I would consider making it so Detection powers had different CDs (or no CD even) out of combat and in combat. Or maybe even make them a toggle OOC if you want to make it simpler.

It would feel a whole lot better if i was ambushed because I didnt look around enough than feeling i wasnt lucky to be attacked with my buff active when i was looking around.

Other than that sound is really underused here. It would be really interesting to hear a rat closing on my back or hear a fessor steps in a certain direction after they ult (Louder if you are "looking" at their direction). Maybe how loud is determined by our perception and distance?

"Is that... burrowing? custard!" *Dodge and pop Detection*

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10 minutes ago, BarriaKarl said:

Other than that sound is really underused here. It would be really interesting to hear a rat closing on my back or hear a fessor steps in a certain direction after they ult (Louder if you are "looking" at their direction). Maybe how loud is determined by our perception and distance?

"Is that... burrowing? custard!" *Dodge and pop Detection*

Oh yeah. Sound!

I linked this on another stealth thread and forgot to mention it above, but sound was a big part of the stealth detection minigame in WoW:
 

 

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Guinea stealth detection, rather than the abysmal moving rocks, should be on par with other races and have a purple outline of an arrow pointing down at their hole.

 

Between clipping and visual bugs, it's a stupendous advantage afforded to exactly one race - alternately since it's a race defining characteristic: keep it as is but add it as a racial bullet and remove another racial like double jump to balance them back out.

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-Guinis can completely hide the stealth rubble by clipping through some rocks/slag and can hide 50% of it by hugging a wall and can hide a bunch of it by simply being on a hill.

-Passive Perception definitely should be a thing, literally jump on your target's head from stealth and they won't know about it.

\If Passive Perception is implemented, it should not invalidate stealth OR stealth detection

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17 hours ago, nihilsupernum said:

Oh yeah. Sound!

I linked this on another stealth thread and forgot to mention it above, but sound was a big part of the stealth detection minigame in WoW:
 

 

I would 100% be ok with a sound que if spotted. It would be interesting. I think toggable perception could be good as well. You can already run 100% uptime on stealth detection in some builds. If stam on stealth was added as well it would nerf the hunter minor spam as well. 

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7 hours ago, Van_Zant said:

Guinea stealth detection, rather than the abysmal moving rocks, should be on par with other races and have a purple outline of an arrow pointing down at their hole.

 

Between clipping and visual bugs, it's a stupendous advantage afforded to exactly one race - alternately since it's a race defining characteristic: keep it as is but add it as a racial bullet and remove another racial like double jump to balance them back out.

custard off, i need my double jump. ITS OP

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17 minutes ago, Communist_Puppy said:

I would 100% be ok with a sound que if spotted. It would be interesting. I think toggable perception could be good as well. You can already run 100% uptime on stealth detection in some builds. If stam on stealth was added as well it would nerf the hunter minor spam as well. 

We can add all of this and I promise people will still be mad about stealth. It will make stealth less *wahh reactive gameplay*, but I promise we still slap barrias cheeks. Then again infected gamer.

Edited by arcticx
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20 minutes ago, arcticx said:

We can add all of this and I promise people will still be mad about stealth. It will make stealth less *wahh reactive gameplay*, but I promise we still slap barrias cheeks. Then again infected gamer.

koo-koo-ka-choo? (Really? You guys censor da-soft-shelled turtle? edit: haha wait. Da-fu-q)

I take Infected gamer is people who stays on Infected? Well, I can say I havent gone to Infected ever since 6.3 dropped.

I dont think people have really experienced how bad stealth can be. We dont have reached enough pop for it to be an issue. Yes, i get ambushed just as much as the next guy, but that doesnt mean I am ambushed all day or even every day. We just dont have that many players that ganking is a real issue.

My only real issue with stealth today is rats hard to detect fxs and Fessors being the worst to catch stealth class. But again, I meet stealthers once in a blue moon with current pop.

All in all poorly made dergsty post. You should be ashamed.

Edited by BarriaKarl
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7 minutes ago, BarriaKarl said:

My only real issue with stealth today is rats hard to detect fxs and Fessors being the worst to catch stealth class. But again, I meet stealthers once in a blue moon with current pop.

 

For rats there should 100% be a better animation. I don't think anyone is arguing there. For fessors the counter is to save perception until after they ult. Here's an example how. 

 

9 minutes ago, BarriaKarl said:

I dont think people have really experienced how bad stealth can be. We dont have reached enough pop for it to be an issue. Yes, i get ambushed just as much as the next guy, but that doesnt mean I am ambushed all day or even every day. We just dont have that many players that ganking is a real issue.

 

This is the entire point of this thread. We understand how toxic stealth is. This is why the stealth guild ingame is trying to push a lot of the changes, We understand a lot of the problems and benefits of stealth. Like Nhil said: Most stealthers want a healthier interaction for all parties. 

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7 minutes ago, ComradeAma said:

Could we think for a second about group and guild engagements and not 1v1 scenarios.

Sure.

In group and guild engagements, detection skills like Heads Up are going to be more effective than in solo fights because they can be staggered by multiple players to increase their overall duration and offset their cooldown.

In larger fights, it's imperative that stealth ultimates grant (at least brief) invulnerability because there is likely to be much more random AoE damage going around and if they break immediately after use, they're not very good ultimates. This is the way they currently work, and that's good.

I don't think close range passive detection would be a problem in larger fights. In general, stealth classes are either far enough away that they wouldn't be seen (duelist) or have other means of closing the gap when engaging (assassin). In a larger fight, players are also more likely to be preoccupied with the opponents they can see and less likely to notice a stealther sneaking up on them even if they could detect the outline.

 

Also, while the game shouldn't be strictly balanced around 1v1, I do think 1v1 balance should be a consideration. It's a scenario that happens very often in this game, when two players meet each other while travelling or when contesting a resource area.

Furthermore, large engagements sometimes become a series of smaller 1v1s or 2v2s as players are peeled away from their focus target.

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