Stealth. It’s a bad word among the avid ex and current DAOC fans who are eagerly waiting for Warhammer Online where stealthing is actually considered a very poor game mechanic. Mark Jacobs (Long time President and CEO of Mythic, now GM/VP EA Mythic) puts his thoughts on stealthing very plainly for all to see:
“My thoughts on stealthers (invisibility kind), as per other posts:
1) Love them in a PvE game. Can be a lot of fun to play, who cares about the feelings of the NPCs they butcher.
2) Hate them in a PvP game. Can be a lot of fun to play, generally hated by other players.
I see no way to reconcile the situation in a PvP/RvR. If we tone down stealthing, then stealthers are pissed and if we make them powerful, everyone else is pissed. I’m not saying it can’t be done but I’m yet to seen it done well in PvP/RvR. The same is true for archers who want to one-hit kill everything because they saw Orlando Boom do it in the movies and thought it was sooo cool.
And as usual, most players just want to be uber and when you combine the “Hunt for Uber Hood” with a stealthing class, bad things can happen.” – Mark Jacobs
Stealthing as it’s currently known in MMORPGs won’t be present in Warhammer Online. There are no stealth classes and from everything we know I don’t think stealthing of any kind will be in the game. As I said at the beginning of this entry, stealth is a bad word for WAR fans. It’s right up there with macro, exploit, buffbot, and WoW on the list of all great evils. I agree to an extent that stealth classes are overdone and I agree with Mark Jacobs that they can be a lot of fun but generally are hated by others. However, I want to be a bit more clear on why I personally don’t like them.
I used to be really into playing a caster and standing at the back nuking. I also liked playing a support roll. That was until I started getting 1 shot (or close to it) by stealth classes who could sneak past my team mates and take me out. It essentially made my playing a caster completely worthless. Others who share this unfortunate view of stealth classes then often times reroll as a stealth class thinking they are “uber”. This leads to design decisions being made erratically to compensate for the overplayed classes. Nothing good ever comes from this.
Since WAR won’t have stealth classes I’m excited to see how casters and healers take on new more involved rolls in RVR combat. Collision detection and line of site should also add to the new dynamic style of pvp we can expect. Maybe casters won’t be designed as glass cannons in WAR (maybe they are, I don’t know). One thing’s for sure though, they won’t have to constantly worry about the unseen.
Aside from WAR and DAOC, I’m getting tired of the stealth concept for both archers and rogue types overall. I’m happy to see change. If it works with WAR then maybe it will work with future fantasy models. Avoid the gameplay mechanics that comes with a stealth class and the stigma surrounding the “type of person” who plays a stealther. Kill two ‘S words’ with one stone. 😉