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never thought of Stealth as a good mechanic, a good game will not have stealth.. the problem with stealth in current games is the victim has no involvement in the process. You simply find your self down 1/2 health and under attack, and no amount of real-skill can really stop this. In a game like Team fortress, people say to defend against spies by spy-checking, but what they are really doing is spamming. the dreaded pyro spam. While TF2's mechanic for the spy is actually not that bad, it kind of falls apart with the instant death back stab. there is no real skill that can counter this other than maybe keeping your back to the wall at all times. ( hardly a skill , but you know what i mean )
but since i am not going to win this battle, here is how I think it should be handled. ( in an MMO ) Basically, I think stealth classes should actually have to act like a stealther would in real life, you should have to hide in the actual shadows, darkness, and behind objects. You should not be able to stealth in areas where in real life you could not do it, as in, you cant stealth in a open field.
so how would I implement it in a video game, since that what makes making stealth class hard to deal with in games.
1) I said i would only allow players to enter stealth when in a shadow, and I mean literally in a game rendered shadow, these could be little shadows from local trees, to big shadows created by large forests with trees overhanging, or large mountains, or buildings. You would have a small cool down time where you could leave the shadow and launch an attack on passing player. maybe 3-5 seconds. I would possibly allow players to enter even without a shadow or darkness, but it would be still limited by the 3-5 rule
2) Some areas are just plain dark, dungeons, nigh time, these would in effect make large ares and zones that are full stealth, to limit abuse here, there would be the traditional global timer of maybe 30 seconds of stealth before you must drop invisible and recharge.
so if you combine 1 & 2, you essentially get two limits. your stealth time is limited by the first of to conditions, 3-5 seconds of time out of shade, or 30 seconds total. don't worry about the exact numbers, these can be tuned later.
3) the best suggestion i think I got. people have always asked, how do I simulate the ambushing that the stealth classes really do in real life. My suggestion here is, long before the player uses stealth to close the gap on a enemy, the stealther should have to use and ability that simulates him being able to hide behind something, but yet see his enemy coming. i thought, how could you simulate a player hiding behind an object, waiting for the victim to pass undetected. Why not give the stealther an skill that allows limited ability to see though objects when the skill is active. maybe wire frame vision of other players within a certain radius when activated. ... this would simulated the steather hiding behind a tree, but just ever so slightly poking his head around to see where is victim is, the stealth can then maneuver around the tree as the player approaches and get in behind without the victim knowing....
4) NO instant kills, does this really need explaining, its no fun at all.
if you combine all 3/4 points in the way I am in-vision, what i hope for is this....
1) stealther see a victim long range, hopes that victim has not seen him ( maybe stealthers could have longer range vision )
2) stealther asses areas where he can hide, also considers shadows bonuses
3) moves into position, activates his "see though ability" ( also has a cool down so he can not use all the time
4) player gets close, stealther still with his see though ability makes final maneuvers to to get in behind, he has to be careful though, while see-though is nice, if he does not maneuver well, the other player night see you standing behind that small object. moving while keeping out of the line of site could be difficult behind a tree.
5) stealther activates stealth mode, stealth is essentially the skill to use to close the final few feet on the victim
6) launches back attack
why i think this is a better way to do this. The reason is simple...
a) it simulates real hiding and promotes spacial awareness. Your environment now has to be considered when launching an attack. its no longer just a button, or just a quick button mash you do to get behind someone. now its actually involves the terrain.
b) it gives the victim small feedback as to what areas could be dangerous. instead of just getting frustrated about be 1 shotted anywhere outside the safe area. now you know you are pretty safe in a field, but you start to feel nervous when walking in wooded areas. you experience the real feelings of fear when you walk in dangerous areas. In the end, you really experience the feeling of the victim, the victim is almost playing the class along with the stealther .
c) of course, all the good loot is going to be in areas where stealth happens more often. Did you expect anything but ! hahahahah.
comments welcome, bring on the RAGE! just kidding, you know what, I am not trying to start anything, at $775 spent, I will be dam happy if the game simply uses standard mechanics, I am just making a suggestion that i think could improve the role of stealth.