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My issue with stealth, beyond what has been discussed so far, is one of time.  In just about every game I've played so far that had a stealth component paired with a DPS class the stealth ability was instantaneous with no duration.  Every other form of invisibility had a time component.  The spell to become invisible took time to cast.  The spell had a duration limit, and in several cases a random duration modifier.  Who here remembers casting Invis in EQ1 only to have it drop 2 seconds later?  Meanwhile the stealth classes could become instantly invisible and remain that way indefinitely or until they took some hostile action.

 

So becoming invisible should be a process, something that takes time.  By the same token, the application of damage upon existing stealth/invisibility should take time.  As the cast must take time to cast the spell after becoming visible, the stealth class should require a moment between becoming visible and inititiating combat.


An old and grumpy gamer who should have grown up years ago.

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My issue with stealth, beyond what has been discussed so far, is one of time.  In just about every game I've played so far that had a stealth component paired with a DPS class the stealth ability was instantaneous with no duration.  Every other form of invisibility had a time component.  The spell to become invisible took time to cast.  The spell had a duration limit, and in several cases a random duration modifier.  Who here remembers casting Invis in EQ1 only to have it drop 2 seconds later?  Meanwhile the stealth classes could become instantly invisible and remain that way indefinitely or until they took some hostile action.

 

So becoming invisible should be a process, something that takes time.  By the same token, the application of damage upon existing stealth/invisibility should take time.  As the cast must take time to cast the spell after becoming visible, the stealth class should require a moment between becoming visible and inititiating combat.

 

Shadowbane had a good lead in to stealth at first (it later got turned into insta stealth) which I really liked from an overall game balance perspective. You could train up Hide which was an instacast way to get into stealth, but it was stationary. From there you could also have trained up Sneak which was a movement speed debuffed stealth. It took 10ish seconds to cast (if I'm remembering right) and had to be cast from Hide. So you could get stealthed quickly, but if the enemy knew where you were and had a non player targeted skill (AoE) and could get past your defense, they had some time to knock you out of stealth. It made for a good play/counterplay component since you couldn't really just slip into stealth vs all classes and still had to break line of sight. It also allowed for many classes other than the scout to be useful for unmasking rogues. It did make my life easier as a rogue player when they just made sneak instacast, but for game balance it would have been better to just lower the timer to get into sneak to 5-6 seconds. That way it's not a Get-Out-of-PvP-Free card against any group that didn't have a scout immediately present.


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It's not just the realism, but realism is referenced because in reality, "stealth" is very hard to pull off, very slow, and very heavily based on your surroundings. Stealth in MMO's are typically very easy (toggle), very quick (toggle and the "fast crouch" build), and are completely independent of you surroundings or positioning. But i digress...

The main issue with stealth, or specifically invisibility, is the inherent advantage that being invisible grants a person in an MMO and it's effect on the game's balance:

  • Unparalleled control of engagement (and often disengagement) of combat.
  • Ability to often avoid combat entirely without consequence.
  • Complete control of positioning in stealth.
  • The CONSTANT rebalancing cycles caused as a result of the intrinisic advantage BEING INVISIBLE grants players.
  • The lack of couterplay to a single gimmick and the feeling of inaction against stealthers
Those are the real problem with stealth. Realism is a reference point of what stealth is really like and are presented as valid suggestions for reworking how stealth works in video games. Some game shave tried using more camouflaged approach to simulate it, but when it comes to brass tacks, the main complaint for those advocating no stealth or stealth rework are really looking for ways to balance the issues that are inherent with the simple fact if being invisible. Many devs go with nerfing stealth classes in stats, abilities, damage, health, pretty much everything other than the actual invisibility mechanic. By making stealth more realistic, posters are actually trying to limit invisibility's inherent advantages as listed above by introducing the obstacles that discourage or hinder someone hiding or sneaking around in the real world.

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I already stated this but Jtodd has already added the counterplay mechanic and pulled it off very cleanly. The scout. As for all this realism talk, it amazes me that people talk about wanting "realistic" stealth or realistic anything in a video game... This isn't RL... I mean while we are at it let's make everyone die to the first sword slash or arrow hit to the vitals too... Its a game that's not for everyone if people want a real life simulator maybe they would do better look elsewhere.


"He's like Batman except without the moral compass" ~Juror during first innocent verdict 

 

Ghost's of War, PvP gaming community founded 2002

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I already stated this but Jtodd has already added the counterplay mechanic and pulled it off very cleanly. The scout. As for all this realism talk, it amazes me that people talk about wanting "realistic" stealth or realistic anything in a video game... This isn't RL... I mean while we are at it let's make everyone die to the first sword slash or arrow hit to the vitals too... Its a game that's not for everyone if people want a real life simulator maybe they would do better look elsewhere.

You must not have read the post through, otherwise you wouldn't have used my above quote (though I do explain why advocating for realism is a valid request). And frankly, while I played an aracoix in SB, hardly thought it was as "fun" or "balanced" as everyone seems to remember to play a class whose origin was to justify an already unbalanced mechanic (i still say that while SB had good intentions, no game has been able to truly balance the inherent balancing issues of the "invisibility toggle"), but there's no fighting nostalgia. Can it be balanced? Maybe, but maybe limiting the mechanic itself instead of everything else around it might be the way to go (using, maybe, idk, realism as a point of reference)

Edited by RKNM

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And there is kind of the point of the matter. Where you didn't find a scout fun I had some of the most fun ever playing a scout, being a forward recon for my guild and working on providing not only safety from assassins and other unseen baddies but accurate information on the deployment of forces by whoever's city we were trying to burn down at the time. And as far as an unbalanced mechanic? More like a rock paper scissors mechanic... It gives a counter to generally high burst/high mobility characters that a tanky or slow damage dealer may have trouble closing with or engaging on, but I digress and its not the point. The game isn't built or balanced around what you or I like, its built around the creators vision. So while its fine to talk about what we like and dislike the game already has its form and outside of something completely game breaking what you like or what I like has no real consequence on development.


"He's like Batman except without the moral compass" ~Juror during first innocent verdict 

 

Ghost's of War, PvP gaming community founded 2002

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I already stated this but Jtodd has already added the counterplay mechanic and pulled it off very cleanly. The scout. As for all this realism talk, it amazes me that people talk about wanting "realistic" stealth or realistic anything in a video game... This isn't RL... I mean while we are at it let's make everyone die to the first sword slash or arrow hit to the vitals too... Its a game that's not for everyone if people want a real life simulator maybe they would do better look elsewhere.

 

You didn't really read his post.

 

And the (over used) complaint of " . . this isn't RL . . . it's a video game guys . . . what's wrong with you" mindset is most often just smoke.

 

Yes, it's a video game.  Intended for a human audience.  Which means the ONLY frame of reference for the intended audience is . . . RL, and RL artifacts (e.g. stories, legends, culture, myth, etc.).

 

The "but this isn't RL" isn't really an instant win argument.  It's empty FUD far too often.  Otherwise any coder can just code up ANYTHING . . . and it's OK, just because they compiled some code.  Yes, that's exactly what that stance says if you turn it on and run inputs through it.

 

There ARE global expectations we all have as humans.  Walls in video games are expected to work as walls.  If you jump off a cliff you expect to fall.  If you have a levitation SPELL you can expect to levitate instead of falling, otherwise you expect to FALL.  If you jump into water you expect a simulation of swimming to occur.

 

And if a game is going to have "Stealth" in it . . . yes, it's far better to find SOME mode, some frame of reference that makes sense.  Otherwise lets just hire any old hack of a coder, or hacker, to simply blink everyone into invisibility. 

 

Myself, I much prefer Stealth have some grounding in something more "realistic", whatever Art+Craft deems that to be, because it provides for a broader range of play and counter play for that type of skill, target versus stealther.

 

Again, the poster you responded to was clear about his point-of-reference stance.

 

And there is something to that.

Edited by Bramble

“Letting your customers set your standards is a dangerous game, because the race to the bottom is pretty easy to win. Setting your own standards--and living up to them--is a better way to profit. Not to mention a better way to make your day worth all the effort you put into it." - Seth Godin

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You didn't really read his post.

 

And the (over used) complaint of " . . this isn't RL . . . it's a video game guys . . . what's wrong with you" mindset is most often just smoke.

 

Yes, it's a video game.  Intended for a human audience.  Which means the ONLY frame of reference for the intended audience is . . . RL, and RL artifacts (e.g. stories, legends, culture, myth, etc.).

 

The "but this isn't RL" isn't really an instant win argument.  It's empty FUD far too often.  Otherwise any coder can just code up ANYTHING . . . and it's OK, just because they compiled some code.  Yes, that's exactly what that stance says if you turn it on and run inputs through it.

 

There ARE global expectations we all have as humans.  Walls in video games are expected to work as walls.  If you jump off a cliff you expect to fall.  If you have a levitation SPELL you can expect to levitate instead of falling, otherwise you expect to FALL.  If you jump into water you expect a simulation of swimming to occur.

 

And if a game is going to have "Stealth" in it . . . yes, it's far better to find SOME mode, some frame of reference that makes sense.  Otherwise lets just hire any old hack of a coder, or hacker, to simply blink everyone into invisibility. 

 

Myself, I much prefer Stealth have some grounding in something more "realistic", whatever Art+Craft deems that to be, because it provides for a broader range of play and counter play for that type of skill, target versus stealther.

 

Again, the poster you responded to was clear about his point-of-reference stance.

 

And there is something to that.

I absolutely read his post I just didn't agree with it. Yes there are global physics expectations, like I said there also points of realism we actively ignore or disassociate from the game like getting killed in one hit. You can debate "what you or I liked" until you're blue in the face but let me reiterate the devs already have the direction they are going more or less finalized and outside game breaking bugs or exploits what you or I want and what will be are completely different... In paraphrasing Jtodd remember you are a backer not an investor.


"He's like Batman except without the moral compass" ~Juror during first innocent verdict 

 

Ghost's of War, PvP gaming community founded 2002

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