Stealth - revisited

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Blades Runner

Posts: 613

Joined: Thursday, 25th October 2012, 03:19

Post Saturday, 5th June 2021, 04:07

Stealth - revisited

I'd like to talk about another game aspect that has been fun for a long time, but seems to fall out of balance a bit after the opening and mid game: Stealth. In my opinion, this has always been a very tricky subject to balance. Too powerful and it can dominate the game with not enough challenge, too weak and it's just useless. I do have a disclaimer on this subject that my proposal is a bit half-baked and I also don't see stealth on the whole as broken as some other things, but, I think it has so much potential for fun and a depth of mechanics (sound and positioning) tactically that it's worthy to maintain. Without further ado:

I propose that stealth is buffed in the following manner: When a creature spots you and shouts, or generally brings attention to other monsters about the stealthy player (I'm talking about fairly all-out stealth focused builds, not with just a touch) that instead of getting swarmed by packs of then fully aware monsters the monsters that were given an alert more often move to an in-between state rather than dogpile the player. Sure we have some things sort of like this, moving out of LOS and monsters forgetting, but I'm talking about the scenarios where the stealthy player simply has no choice but to proceed to attack something in the way of progress where it's going to get 15 more monsters immediately attacking. If the player is doing something where the noise is focused on them (they start making loud noises themselves instead of continuing to attempt stabbing tactics with light weapons and silent spells) then they wouldn't receive as much grace.

Here's an example flow: player approaches a monster with 10 near it and tries to kill it, but is discovered. The other 10 are no longer asleep, but perhaps in a confused state more often than currently. They know there is a threat, but just knowing doesn't mean they start advancing and targeting right away. They should act more as if the player is invisible because their knowledge that a threat is lurking about isn't the same as actually clearly seeing the threat.

I think the game already somewhat operates this way, but I'd like to see it enhanced. What's the point? Simply extending the shelf-life of stealth like tactics into the more crowded situations. Light armour and light weapons have a more difficult time dealing with large packs. A change further in this direction would make the strategy more viable and fun without it getting overpowered by being buffed to the point of instant sleep-kill stabbing everything (silly), or rendered a useless strategy for many of the most dangerous situations.

What about running away you say? Yes, there's hit n run, but it doesn't work well with so many creatures that move the same speed or faster than the player. I can't think of many creatures that move more slowly than most players. There could be a risk of introducing too much luring, but I think as long as there is an opportunity cost of the monsters gradually becoming more aware over time, that it could be kept in check.

I think at least the topic deserves some attention and more discussion. It's complicated to balance well, but worthwhile to spend time on considering. I don't think I have all the answers for this topic by a long shot, but wanted to present some of my thoughts.

Zot Zealot

Posts: 929

Joined: Thursday, 16th August 2018, 21:19

Post Saturday, 5th June 2021, 11:42

Re: Stealth - revisited

I really like this proposal.

I really enjoy sleep stabbing stuff, but in the late game sleep stabs are often unwise because you can end up in the middle of a pack of chasing monsters. With this proposal you could escape from those situations more easily, provided you invest enough into stealth.

Lair Larrikin

Posts: 17

Joined: Sunday, 15th September 2019, 06:21

Post Saturday, 12th June 2021, 05:49

Re: Stealth - revisited

Scrolls of fog should be replaced by smoke bombs, which have a stealth-dependent chance of making monsters lose track of you in addition to their previous behavior.

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