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A different tack: Scouts - do they NEED stealth?

TumblebutzTumblebutz Henderson, NVPosts: 322Member

The battle over stealth rages on and, as a warrior amidst the carnage, I find myself wondering, “Are we fighting on the wrong battlefield?” 

Let’s approach the issue from the perspective of the Stealth Class, rather than the Stealth Ability, itself.  The question then becomes: Can a Scout class succeed without traditional stealth? 

I will post a separate thread to address concerns for the Assassin class here:

http://www.mmorpg.com/discussion2.cfm/post/5616589/thread/379632#5616589

First, let’s define the terms.  For our purposes, I will use the following terms:

-Stealth: In the “traditional” sense, an ability which allows a player to become undetectable or “invisible” to enemy players.  Think DAoC stealth, toggles on/off, player is able to be detected at close range, susceptible to AoE damage, movement is impaired while stealthed, etc.  This is often referred to as “perma-stealth” in other threads.

-Modified Stealth: Any modified version of Stealth making it more difficult to use or less powerful in its effectiveness.  Duration based, casting times, cool down timers, limited availability, etc.  Any of these characteristics might qualify as Modified Stealth.

-Scout: Any class who lists among its primary functions the ability to observe and report enemy movements.  I tend to consider the Archer-archetype to fall in this category, but that is a personal view and subject to criticism.

Perhaps we can begin a discussion with a poll indicating which “level” of stealth is appropriate for the Scout class:

 

Emeryc Eightdrakes - Ranger of DragonMyst Keep - Percival

RED IS DEAD!

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Comments

  • Plastic-MetalPlastic-Metal Highland Heights, KYPosts: 405Member

    The other thread is getting some feedback, but we don't want this one to feel left out.

    When you mention "Scout" are you referencing the ability to use a bow?  If so, I feel like Archers do not have to have stealth in order to remain successful and viable.  Hunters/Rangers/Scouts had stealth in DAoC, but I felt it was more used for scouting and getting into place in order to do their jobs.

    I can't believe I'm referencing this, but Hunters in WoW didn't rely on stealth in order to be successful in PvP (although the class now has access to camouflage, which is a form of stealth).  

    Should Scouts/Archers be able to fire their bows while moving?  Without further derailing the thread, you can look at the ancient/classical warfare to see that bowmen on horses were extremely deadly and shocking.

    My name is Plastic-Metal and my name is an oxymoron.

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  • TelondarielTelondariel Ottawa, ONPosts: 1,001Member
    I don't mean to sound negative, but rather than creating a dozen stealth discussion threads maybe stck to one?

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  • TumblebutzTumblebutz Henderson, NVPosts: 322Member

    As I said, I usually consider a "Scout" to be an Archer-archetype class.  But I don't think that is etched in stone.  I do enjoy the Archer/Scout archetype class, but that is a personal preference.

    I believe a Scout-type class would be best built with a mixture of modified stealth and mobility.

    If the class was also to server as an Archer, I do not think the stealth should assist the archery in any way.  Can they fire arrows from stealth? Yes.  Would doing so increase damage or otherwise improve the shot?  No, other than providing the advantage of surprise.

     

    EDIT: Here's a larger question:  Can the Archer-archetype be part of the "physical DPS" genre?  More like a "ranged-light-tank?"

    Emeryc Eightdrakes - Ranger of DragonMyst Keep - Percival

    RED IS DEAD!

  • TumblebutzTumblebutz Henderson, NVPosts: 322Member
    Originally posted by Telondariel
    I don't mean to sound negative, but rather than creating a dozen stealth discussion threads maybe stck to one?

    Not negative, at all.  The reason I started two is becuase the issue of stealth has more than one facet.  Scouts and Assassins are disparate classes... to lump them into one thread does a disservice to fans of either type.

    Emeryc Eightdrakes - Ranger of DragonMyst Keep - Percival

    RED IS DEAD!

  • rojoArcueidrojoArcueid hell, NJPosts: 6,783Member Uncommon
    scout dont need stealth unless the scout class is a hunter. If so, then yes, hunters are sneaky so they can catch their pray undetected. (even in real life it works that way with felines and other predators). I would say a chameleon like ability or camouflage with the environment. The typical invisibility skill from rogues is also an overused and crappily used mechanic, rogue stealth should only work in the shadows, while scouts (if they are hunter class) should have a camouflage that only works in the wilderness, not just in front of everyone else like "now you see me....puffffff, now you dont...." kind of crap. They arent magicians

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  • meddyckmeddyck Athens, GAPosts: 1,140Member Uncommon

    The poll question almost answers itself. If there is a scout class with less than semi-permanent stealth, then it will be seen and killed by enemy players and unable to scout (unless the devs make the map full of ultra-realistic forests dense with huge trees to hide behind).

    In reality in DAOC stealthers used their stealth to camp chokepoints and heavily traveled areas either to kill easy targets (solo casters) or to fight each other. What scouting went on was simply the byproduct of their being in the right place at the right time and letting the realm chat know, "Hib zerg inc AMG from Crim Valley."

    But stealthing is fun and even if the scouting they do with stealth isn't their main playstyle, it's valuable. So some level of stealth needs to be in there.

    Camelot Unchained Backer
    DAOC [retired]: R11 Cleric R11 Druid R11 Minstrel R9 Eldritch R6 Sorc R6 Scout R5 Healer

  • Plastic-MetalPlastic-Metal Highland Heights, KYPosts: 405Member
    Originally posted by Tumblebutz

    As I said, I usually consider a "Scout" to be an Archer-archetype class.  But I don't think that is etched in stone.  I do enjoy the Archer/Scout archetype class, but that is a personal preference.

    I believe a Scout-type class would be best built with a mixture of modified stealth and mobility.

    If the class was also to server as an Archer, I do not think the stealth should assist the archery in any way.  Can they fire arrows from stealth? Yes.  Would doing so increase damage or otherwise improve the shot?  No, other than providing the advantage of surprise.

     

    EDIT: Here's a larger question:  Can the Archer-archetype be part of the "physical DPS" genre?  More like a "ranged-light-tank?"

     

    Ha!  Man, there's my idiot moment..  you clearly described the "Scout" in the OP.  Doh!  I feel like most players that gravitate to archers don't feel stealth is an important determining factor in their success, but it most certainly is for players that have always hidden behind the shadows as an "assassin" style class.  Hot button issue at its finest.

    My name is Plastic-Metal and my name is an oxymoron.

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  • VargurVargur OsloPosts: 143Member

    All depends upon the role archers are to play in the game and how the developers wants to see RvR unfold.

    If archers are designed to be ranged dps, what distinguishes them from casters? What additional abilities should they get to make them valuable to a group? Should they get snare-shots or other forms of CC? Should they have bows only, and no melee capabilities? I have no problems with non-stealth archers, but then their role changes quite significant, and the designers have design decisions to make.

    The other part of the issue is regarding how scouting will be done. Will we have in-game maps with fires popping up like in the NF, or rely on stealthers reporting to chat their observations. Would a super-speed class zipping around work better as a scout? I think it all depends upon how the designers want RvR to take place. Will there be "designated" 8vs8 spots, or do they want zergs to roam aimlessly in search of each other?

  • OdamanOdaman Satesboro, GAPosts: 194Member
    Very high out of combat mobility is all a "scout" really needs. 
  • Set_in_InkSet_in_Ink Saint Louis, MOPosts: 48Member
    Originally posted by Plastic-Metal

    I can't believe I'm referencing this, but Hunters in WoW didn't rely on stealth in order to be successful in PvP (although the class now has access to camouflage, which is a form of stealth).  

    I see nothing wrong with referencing WoW.  It may not be everyone's game and is definitely not the peak of RvR/PvP, but many of the abilities and mechanics are very decent in their own right, and if used in other games could become an even greater mechanic with  slight modification.

     

    The reason I say all that is because of the mention of camouflage.  I personally am a huge fan of the timed stealth mechanic (TF2, WAR, WoW camouflage) and the semi-invisible stealth mechanic (TF2 Cloak and Dagger, WoW camouflage).  As you see, the Hunter's camouflage fits into both categories and could be a potential 'fix' to the mechanic of stealth.  A possible way to appease both the stealthers and the non-stealthers, for example:

     

    •Camouflage (WoW) has a one minute duration and a one minute cooldown.  You can be permanently stealthed if you just sit there and recast the ability when the cooldown ends and just before the ability drops.  However, you can't just go into camouflage, attack a second later, finish off your opponent within twenty seconds and go immediately back to stealth, you have to wait for the cooldown, leaving you in a state of vulnerability.  I would like to see this part of the mechanic added to CU.

    •Camouflage (WoW) allows you to move while stealthed, but doing so will cause you to be semi-transparent.  The amount of transparency in WoW is a bit too much, but, if toned down, can provide a mobile form of stealth that provides the risk of being caught by anyone (even from a distance) while still being able to be invisible if you use the ability intelligently (moving in the shadows, near buildings, or in forest areas).  If you were to stand still while camouflaged (WoW) you would be completely invisible unless someone uncovered you by being very close.  I would like to see a slightly modified (read: sneakier/less obvious while moving) version of this part of the mechanic added to CU.

    •Camouflage (WoW) , while allowing you to be seen while moving has the perk of not letting ranged attacks hit you until your semi-stealth was removed.  I highly DO NOT want this part of the ability added to CU.

    •Camouflage (WoW) allows the player's name to be displayed while moving in your semi-stealth state.  While in WoW this may not be a large issue because of the highly visible graphic of being in the state of semi-stealth and the ranged damage protection, in a game where the stealth is meant to be more sneaky, but still with the potential of being caught, nameplats being shown would ruin the whole point of semi-stealth.  I DO NOT wish to seem nameplates visible on stealthed players until after they are removed from stealth/semi-stealthed states.

     

    This is my personal thought on how stealth should be managed, for both scouts and assassins.  I would like to see a scout class that has a decent mixture of light melee/light range (whether magic or physical)/high mobility that allows them to be a scout instead of just a powerful archer with stealth/camouflage.  While I will in all likelihood main as a healer/support, this sounds as if it could be a brilliant alt for me to play when I don't feel like being part of a zerg or group, but still wish to help other players.

    Typing this in an iPad which is not friendly with this particular website, please excuse any errors.

    'I think that there are certain crimes which the law cannot touch, and which therefore, to some extent, justify private revenge.' -Sherlock Holmes

  • ZiftylrhavicZiftylrhavic GrenoblePosts: 222Member
    Originally posted by Odaman
    Very high out of combat mobility is all a "scout" really needs. 

    No it's not. Here is a couter example :

     

    You want to do an ambush. You'll need scouts to tell you if there are enemies incoming your way, their number or any other information about them. If your scout is seen, the enemy will know there is probably an ambush on the way and will prepare for it, either by sending their own scouts that'll just get by you, count you and then go back. At best, you get only one kill, at worse, they are more than you and you get killed, and they can also be able to all escape and take another path if they know they have only little chances to win.

     

    Scout isn't only about knowing the enemy position and number, it is also about knowing them without the enemy knowing than you know, or else they will adapt.

     

     

    EDIT:

    About the WoW like camo partly-invisible that ward off ranged attack, you could change it as an increased chance of missing instead, as the enemy still have a little difficulty to pinpoint your exact location.

  • TumblebutzTumblebutz Henderson, NVPosts: 322Member

    Haven't played WoW in years so that camouflage mechanic is new to me, but it sounds interesting.  I also like the flare arrow to reveal hidden players.  WoW wasn't ALL bad... just most of it.

     

    Emeryc Eightdrakes - Ranger of DragonMyst Keep - Percival

    RED IS DEAD!

  • fanglofanglo Virginia, VAPosts: 290Member

    I don't think any range class should have stealth. Especially if the range can be longer than the average visible range class. In DaoC it's this way, archers can shoot farther than most spells and the damage currently is about same as caster. When a stealther shoots from farther range than a visible and hits just as hard then it is OP'd. Even if you nerfed the sustained dps but allowed them to keep the burst it would still be OP'd and lead to archer duo's one-shotting people. 

    IMHO if archers get stealth they must have range nerfed. Maybe make it so that range is cut in half for 30 seconds after they unstealth. This way they can still perma-stealth but their enemy would have the range advantage for the initial part of the battle. It would force them to get a bit closer exposing themselves a bit more, allowing the caster more options to counter.

    I healed Mistwraith and all I got was this stupid tee-shirt!

  • TumblebutzTumblebutz Henderson, NVPosts: 322Member
    Originally posted by fanglo

    I don't think any range class should have stealth. Especially if the range can be longer than the average visible range class. In DaoC it's this way, archers can shoot farther than most spells and the damage currently is about same as caster. When a stealther shoots from farther range than a visible and hits just as hard then it is OP'd. Even if you nerfed the sustained dps but allowed them to keep the burst it would still be OP'd and lead to archer duo's one-shotting people. 

    IMHO if archers get stealth they must have range nerfed. Maybe make it so that range is cut in half for 30 seconds after they unstealth. This way they can still perma-stealth but their enemy would have the range advantage for the initial part of the battle. It would force them to get a bit closer exposing themselves a bit more, allowing the caster more options to counter.

    While I don't agree with your claim, you do propose an interesting thought.

    (I never played DAoC when Archers' DPS was even close to that of Casters.  Yes, Archers could hit for large chunks of damage, but at a VERY slow rate.  And, technically, if it's a duo, it isn't "one-shotting.")

    At any rate, having Stealth restrict your attacks could temper its power... hmmm...

    Emeryc Eightdrakes - Ranger of DragonMyst Keep - Percival

    RED IS DEAD!

  • VargurVargur OsloPosts: 143Member
    Originally posted by fanglo

    I don't think any range class should have stealth. Especially if the range can be longer than the average visible range class. In DaoC it's this way, archers can shoot farther than most spells and the damage currently is about same as caster. When a stealther shoots from farther range than a visible and hits just as hard then it is OP'd. Even if you nerfed the sustained dps but allowed them to keep the burst it would still be OP'd and lead to archer duo's one-shotting people. 

    IMHO if archers get stealth they must have range nerfed. Maybe make it so that range is cut in half for 30 seconds after they unstealth. This way they can still perma-stealth but their enemy would have the range advantage for the initial part of the battle. It would force them to get a bit closer exposing themselves a bit more, allowing the caster more options to counter.

    I haven't played DAoC since the archer patch with the new system, so I don't know what it is like today, but when I retired caster damage and archer damage might have dealt the same amount of damage, but casters did it three times as fast. Also, there were tons of stuff negating melee (ranged melee a well) like Blade turns, Brittle guards, Tank Guard abilites, anyone with a shield, while magic damage usually hit hard.

    I remember back in OF, Scouts could AE pretty far with indirect fire, but other than that most archers did not have significantly longer range than casters. Don't remember the exact ranges, but it was negligeble.

    If range is halved after unstealthing, then damage needs to be adjusted to a higher sustained dps. To me, it don't seem logical to half the range suddenly, but it could be made to work.

  • OgreRaperOgreRaper Detroit, MIPosts: 376Member
    Originally posted by Tumblebutz

    Haven't played WoW in years so that camouflage mechanic is new to me, but it sounds interesting.  I also like the flare arrow to reveal hidden players.  WoW wasn't ALL bad... just most of it.

     

     

    Overall, I think WoW has great combat. The problem is that combat takes place within an awful PvP system (instances). If WoW instead had an RvR system like DAOC, and progression system like Realm Ranks, it would be an amazing game.

    But there is some interesting combat mechanics in WoW worth looking at.

  • RealLifeGobboRealLifeGobbo Yorktown, VAPosts: 218Member
    P { margin-bottom: 0.08in; }

    I loved the old DAoC stealth meta-game!  Playing a stealth class was a whole different experience than playing either a caster or melee.  Some of my fondest DAoC memories were playing them, since you were effective in groups (high dps), go solo, hang out with the zerg, stealth groups, etc.  In WAR, they were great with limited stealth (30 seconds I think), then horrible.  My WE used to be able to take out IBs (grant it, I had to wait for them to be solo) and a few nerfs later, I could MAYBE kill a healer.

    They were extremely versatile and fun, but I think maybe a combination of the proposed. 

    Here's what I am thinking:

    Ranged: While moving, make it so you are translucent, but can be seen if look for it.  Once you stop, you could go perma-stealth and can't see them, unless you are near them or another stealther (think DAoC).  Combat breaks stealth and a cooldown is initiated, until they can stealth again.

    Melee: Perma-stealth, until they enter combat then it will like above.

    Just a couple of thoughts.  Any suggestions, comments, concerns?

    Aspiring Game Musician <<>> Inquiring ears, feel free to visit: http://www.youtube.com/user/vagarylabs

  • FearumFearum Cinnaminson, NJPosts: 1,166Member Uncommon
    A simple camouflage ability that you can't move while using it would be perfect. No extra damage abilities will work with it, its only function is to be hidden in shadows or bushes to stay out of sight while trying to spy on what is going on with whoever you are watching.
  • ZiftylrhavicZiftylrhavic GrenoblePosts: 222Member

    Then the enemy would only have to walk around the bushes in sight range to find you.

     

    EDIT : unless you are too far away to see anything and so are useless

  • FearumFearum Cinnaminson, NJPosts: 1,166Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by Ziftylrhavic

    Then the enemy would only have to walk around the bushes in sight range to find you.

     

    EDIT : unless you are too far away to see anything and so are useless

     It should be more tactical and stratiegic where you set up your post, not just stand in the open sunlit area invisible to anyone.

  • GravargGravarg Harker Heights, TXPosts: 3,332Member Uncommon
    Before they changed bow damage, Scouts were Overpowered.  It was actually my first character to make it to the frontiers.  I used to sit on keep walls in stealth and wait for someone to come in range and pew...dead if they didn't have my arrow resistance up, or were a tanky type.  The main reason why I think scout/hunter/ranger had stealth was so that they could get up on the walls and get thier 1 shot off before a wizard shot them with fireball that would 1 shot them lol.  In a group archers were deadly.  We would use assist and when called out, all let loose an arrow, pretty much instant killing anything.  My guild had hunters set up in sets of 3, it was a blast!
  • Set_in_InkSet_in_Ink Saint Louis, MOPosts: 48Member
    Originally posted by Gravarg
    Before they changed bow damage, Scouts were Overpowered.  It was actually my first character to make it to the frontiers.  I used to sit on keep walls in stealth and wait for someone to come in range and pew...dead if they didn't have my arrow resistance up, or were a tanky type.  The main reason why I think scout/hunter/ranger had stealth was so that they could get up on the walls and get thier 1 shot off before a wizard shot them with fireball that would 1 shot them lol.  In a group archers were deadly.  We would use assist and when called out, all let loose an arrow, pretty much instant killing anything.  My guild had hunters set up in sets of 3, it was a blast!

    I miss the old bow style so much.  Once they changed the classes to use the special shot styles, I never played my Ranger again.  The old style was simple, but it was much more interesting and fun for me.  Yeah, off-topic, but I wanted to share my nostalgia.

    'I think that there are certain crimes which the law cannot touch, and which therefore, to some extent, justify private revenge.' -Sherlock Holmes

  • tleartlear Toronto, ONPosts: 142Member
    Then they would have to use actual skill to scout, like approaching for unexpected angle or hiding behind trees, staying out of tab range. Can not have that got to waltz through the open field while invisible!
  • PRX_sklurbPRX_sklurb New York, NYPosts: 167Member

    TL;DR:

    MAGES, do they NEED ranged/snares? Make them short range and/or duration.

    TANKS, do they NEED mitigation? Make them wear leather & lower their resistances.

    BARDS, do they NEED tights? Give them  a couple 3-second duration speed buffs and a jock strap.

     

    *******************************************************************

     

    Stealth classes are a completely useful, diverse, and NECESSARY option, IMO, as is stealth tactics in all warfare real or pixelated.

    Scouting/Ambushing is a viable combat style (like ranged having snares and distance to overcome their targets, or a warrior having heavy armor and resistances to sustain damage to get close enough to inflict crushing blows), with players given the ability to employ counters either with skill, sticking with the team, stacking stats like stam/armor/crit resistances. 

    I have played Stealth classes in every game since Ultima Online through the years and we bring a mechanic that  is tactical and useful. Both sides of the fight typically employ stealth tactics and scouts (no one side is experiencing it without the other also). In GW2, we position scouts forward of the zerg, behind the zerg, and on either side of it to call out incoming zergs ahead of time that the team might not see. Our necks are way out there without stealth and escapability! We are responsible for monitoring siege weapon damage, traffic at control points, and hostile movement. We are opportunists who wait for the zerg to leave to retake areas. We give you a reason not to fall behind as you will likely be attacked for doing so. 

    Each person has the ability to equip skills, learn tactics & enemy skills/timers and group or equip accordingly to counter stealth tactics. Would we decrease the range of a mage because a Stealth class character can't reach him in time before he is dead? In my eyes, personally, I would rise to the challenge, scrutinize my build for skills that counter snares and range. Maybe I need more elemental resistance, or stamina, etc.

    On the flipside, we don't wear much armor, are susceptible to ranged attacks, aoes, snares, DOTs and often have to be very dexterous with our keyboards to compensate for Warrior-type toe-to-toe combat. We die easily if we are not careful. We are often exposed and usually on our own when discovered.

    To those on  the receiving end of a stealth attack, I think no one should ever have to deal with one-shots, or nearly instant deaths, but we all should learn the tools of our trade and counter enemy classes in kind. Learning how to play and equip your class WELL is the best way to be able to counter stealth classes.

    Love us or hate us, stealth/scout classes contribute in very positive ways to the overall flow of the fight and they bring excitement and danger to the battlefield and an epic feeling of "KILLED THAT @#$%';ing SCOUT!!!!"

    (Map chat rejoices)

    We make it necessary to leave a small group behind to DEFEND.

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  • PRX_sklurbPRX_sklurb New York, NYPosts: 167Member

    PS: heavy emphasis on the term "option" in my previous wall of text.

    For people who dislike stealth classes, I would like to try to put it in the perspective that personally I hate ranged/snare classes as a stealth player in every game I play, but I couldn't imagine a RvR game without some kind of ranged class. Or tank for that matter. They have anti-stealth abilities, stats, builds at their disposal too. For me, I just have to overcome my own obstacles with skill, gear, builds, etc until I can match them.

    People like to have options when playing a RvR game. Not having a stealth class would significantly change the amount of money I would back CU with. I mean if we had Ranged, Tank, Buffer, Healer and Stealth classes, and removed one of them, that's 20% of your options gone. Sometimes we all need that 20% to try something new and see how the enemy classes fight. Maybe that 20% translates into subscription retention for many accounts.

    Would love to hear more constructive opinions on the topic.

    CLICK: »»» http://CamelotUnchained.net «««

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