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Mark Jacobs on the recent Stealth debacle

Uh oh, he looks pissed.  Picture from Gamasutra.The Paris event from last week has caused a lot of controversy and stirred up a hornets nest of PR problems for Mythic. Right now there are fingers pointing every-which-way but rumors are that GOA is to blame for the leaks about stealth, CTF, and whatever else is causing the uproar. Personally I don’t care who is to blame. I’m somewhat irritated that the “no stealth” stance Mythic adopted early on in development has been scrapped, but I’ll talk more on that this week in a blog post I’m working on. For now here’s what Mark Jacobs had to say this evening regarding stealth:

“Folks,

I’ll comment more when appropriate on this issue but for now what I’m willing to say is simply this. The stealth that we had in DAoC or that can be found in WoW and/or other games is not in WAR now and I still have no intention of allowing it into the game. As some people have commented here and in other places, what they have seen is a system that allows for two of the lightly armored classes to close quickly with a target. There will be no combination of stealth + long-range damage dealing in the game. Two quick FYIs for ya. Some of the leaks regarding stealth have been, quite frankly, BS. During our last phase of testing there were some bugs in the implementation (“Gee, really Mr. Wizard, you had bugs in a Beta Test? I’m surprised!”) of the classes closing/survival ability. Second, as our beta testers know, I have said that I will take out any system or sub-system that I believe is a net negative in terms of RvR enjoyment. And this is one of those sub-systems that would certainly be looked at amazingly carefully before we committed to it. One of the best parts of beta is the ability to iterate on existing systems as well to try other systems to see what works and what doesn’t work.

The FYIs are the big reason I don’t want to go into any more depth regarding what we are doing with this system. It is subject to change based on what I see over the next few weeks. Considering that we are about to begin a couple of major RvR test cycles, nobody should get worked up about what we have, don’t have, might have regarding this issue, it’s truly pointless.

Mark”

Whether or not stealth is here to stay appears to be up in the air. The feedback has been extremely negative so far regarding how the information was delivered to the public and the fact that stealth is in the game at all. It doesn’t look pretty any way you look at it. For what it’s worth, at least he’s saying it’s not going to be like DAOC or WoW stealth.

I’ll keep you guys updated on any interesting tidbits I find.

PS Mark: I approve your choice of cold beverages. mmm Diet Coke.

Update #1: Another quote tonight from Mark. Click that “More” button to see the updates.

I get it, I truly do but to me there is a world of difference between feedback and concern and things getting ugly way too soon. Hating the idea and letting us know that is one thing but some of the stuff I’ve read about what we might do/are doing/etc. is way, way off base.

As far as sneaking stuff in, well, if us testing a system qualifies as that than anything we beta test would also fall into that category as well wouldn’t it? And since we are showing it around a bit, it’s pretty hard to say that we were trying to be sneaky. Now, if we waited till the game launched to lift our NDA and had a full stealth system like DAoC or WoW in there, well, then I think you would be absolutely correct in saying we were trying to sneak it through the system.

Again, I’m happy to hear feedback, pro and con for any system we have in the game or are even talking about putting into the game but let’s keep the conspiracy theories down to a down roar, the rotten fruit in the dumpster and tar and feathers for down the road a piece. I’m sure we’ll do something much better than this to get worked up over, it’s part of the MMO development bizz especially when you are working with a licensed property. happy

Mark

I still think GOA screwed up and showed stealth too soon. 😛

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Drakorn - April 7, 2008

This is what happens when a game gets over-hyped. Sites are too busy trying to one up each other so they start passing out rumors and Youtube videos and calling it “news”.
It’s still in beta with no firm release date for pete’s sake! I’m going to wait until I actually get in the finished game before I start passing judgement.
I’ll be more disappointed if they allow people to jump during combat, but that’s an old pet peeve of mine.

Keen
Keen - April 7, 2008

The news sites were just posting information shown publicly at the Paris event. 😉 Mythic, GOA, or whoever were the ones allowing their game to be played and taped by the press with information they may or may not have been ready to divulge.

I’m reserving my judgment on the mechanics of stealth itself for when I play or at least see more in-game footage. It’s just the fact that stealth is in at all that bothers me at this point.

Drakorn - April 7, 2008

Ah ok. I misunderstood your post. I thought you meant that GOA had just broken the story based on a Youtube video. 🙂
I think “stealth” done right is a valid “power”. For example a caster using a spell to hide his group from enemy sight. Or perhaps a group setting up an ambush for the enemy they know is coming to attack their keep. A scout gathering intelligence on the enemy uses some degree of stealth in his duties.
I firmly agree that stealth in WoW and DAOC, more so in WoW was more what I’d call Invisibility. Nothing is more frustrating than some rogue in WoW stun-locking you as he bounces around you in a circle until you are dead. 🙂

I’d rather see Mythic put some thought into it and make it a valid and valuable power/skill than to say “no way will this ever be in the game”. That kind of statement tends to come back and bite them.

Stealth: The Phantom Controversy « Waaagh! A Warhammer Online Blog - April 7, 2008

[…] has some passionate thoughts as to the topic as well, and I recommend you checking them […]

Glen - April 7, 2008

No big deal says I. As Drakorn points out there are plenty of ways you could do stealth which wouldn’t be as annoying as the WoW version but still provide some nice utility. Throwing out stealth is like throwing out the baby with the bath water.

KingMob - April 8, 2008

I’m with Glen here, the angry feelings about stealth were way too much and too soon.
As long as stun-lock and moves that take down a squishy way too fast aren’t in the game, stealth is a good positioning mechanic.
So far as I’m concerned, open beta will be the best time to tar and feather them for imbalanced mechanics. Till then, nothing is really set in stone.

Graktar - April 8, 2008

Well, as I said in the other post about WAR stealth, every indication is that it’s not going to have anything close to the utility of stealth in WoW or DAoC. You won’t have witch hunters suddenly appearing behind a fragile character, backstabbing them to death, and then vanishing again. It sounds like the stealth will only work for a short duration, will only work at range, drops immediately upon attacking, and can’t be re-engaged for a while after use. It’s almost more like ‘cover’ than stealth, giving the melee dps class the opportunity to close to melee range. They could just as easily used a sprint or teleport mechanic, but the former has been done to death in the game already, and the latter doesn’t fit.

If stealth turns out to be as annoying as it is in WoW, or as horribly overpowered as it was in DAoC I’ll be screaming with everyone else, but right now I’m not too concerned.

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