Improving PvE Stealth

| Wednesday, June 23, 2010
Spinks correctly points out that stealth is tricky to balance, and not so great in group in WoW. Unless of course you're trying to sap one, ambush the other, and blind the third, which is merciful because then they only hear the screams while the sapped one has to watch.

What's so bad about stealth in WoW? With the amount of AoE, it's trivial to get knocked out. It can be tricky to get back into stealth in PvP, but short of vanish, it's effectively impossible in PvE.

I propose two simple changes to improve stealth in PvE.

1) If a rogue or druid is not the current target of any mob and has avoided combat for however long (whatever the criteria would be in PvP to drop combat), they can stealth. If they've generated any aggro they can still be attacked, but only after non-stealthed players. This means that PvE combat doesn't start with sneaky backstabbing and end with standing right out in the open stabbing away with absolutely no sneakiness. Clearly assassination rogues would need retuning of their energy generation, since the regen increase would be up much more often.

2) Stealthed players will not be attacked by mobs unless they are specifically stealth-detecting or there are no non-stealthed players around. This is brought on by halls of reflection, in which I like to stay a bit away from the group so I can take out a mage, but then a footman inevitably attacks me.

Rogues need more reasons to be in stealth, reasons beyond just damage. Imagine if cheap shot was a stun and a 50% damage output reduction for two seconds, similar to how hammer of justice has an interrupt component. This would be a huge help on many bosses and shift rogues a bit away from being a pure damage class, standing around looking like an enhancement shaman with fewer spells.


Dorgol said...

The Halls of Reflection thing is frustrating as I like to stealth on my Resto druid between waves... thinking that I might save myself during those early few seconds of the waves.

But no, they just come right to me.

The bastards.

Dwism said...

Sounds really cool to be honest. Personally I'd given up on rogues being anything interesting in pve other than melee hunters or warriors in leather.

Klepsacovic said...

@Dorgol: Maybe we haven't considered that the mobs are using the same techniques to spot stealthed players as we use to spot black holes, including their distortion of everything near them. What I'm trying to say is you're fat.

@Dwism: If you've played TF2, you might see that I'm trying to adapt a bit of how the spy works. In direct combat they are garbage, but they excel at disabling and destroying structures as well as backstabbing otherwise hard to kill enemies.

Tesh said...

I always played D&D Rogues as toolboxes; they had a lot of things they could do, not just be slight and sneaky backstabbity machines. I'd love to see some of that noncombat utility in MMOs... or even some expanded combat utility like your interrupt notion.

I'd also like to see shadows being useful as a real environmental mechanic, like the Thief games... but that's perhaps asking too much for an MMO.

Klepsacovic said...

Shadows might be a bit too complex/restrictive. We already have stealth-detecting mobs (which I dislike) and sometimes unpredictable aggro ranges. Incidentally, I love the shadow-named talents like shadow dance and shadow step.

On the other hand, maybe shadows, making stealth more difficult, would allow it to be more powerful.

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