Stealth stealth nerfed

cov[City of Villains] Every game has the mission of “go click on x.” City of Heroes/Villains does that quite a bit, usually combined with “and beat up some stuff.” Actually, that summarizes the gameplay of almost every MMO: run, click, kill. I have a discussion of that I occasionally toy with. Anyway…

The latest patch keeps you from clicking glowies while stealthed or phased. That is, you cannot steal things while hiding. You must stop hiding, defeat anyone who can see you, then go back to sneaking around. This is one of those interesting decisions that makes sense in some cases: how do you pick something up while intangible? Actually, heroes partially unphase all the time. Can you just pick something up and hide it under your invisible shirt? I recall Harry Potter doing that several times. Wouldn’t someone notice your opening the chest and taking things out? Okay, you have a point there.

This change did not make the patch notes, although they noticed that later. Hey, they replied to me! So I guess it is no longer a stealth nerf of stealth.

Some players proposed just taking the experience points out of glowies. That was done, too, as it turns out. Cryptic has frequently taken a thorough approach to nerfs: if there are several ways to fix a problem, they will implement all of them. The classic example is Shadowhunter’s wolves: they were farmed massively. Several options were proposed to fix this: make the mission timed, give them a stackable stun to punch through herders’ defenses, reduce herders’ defenses so they could not herd, or reduce AE attacks so they cannot wipe out groups. Cryptic did all of these. So people farm Dreck’s mission now; Freakshow got a sleep attack to go with their stuns, and now that mission is timed, too. The farming will move on. Battle Maiden, anyone?

An interesting alternative (or somehow implement both?) was to have clicking a glowie suppress stealth rather than needing to turn off powers to click; when the stealth has a long recharge, this is an important distinction. Alternately, have glowies radiate +perception, so that enemies will see through stealth. Something other than “cannot click while stealthed” will become important, because not every stealth power is a toggle. If I cast invisibility on someone else, there is nothing they can do to make it wear off faster. If someone with an AE stealth power is standing on a patrol mission objective (outdoor clicky), no one can click it. Also, a couple of missions give passive stealth powers. You cannot turn them off. How cool would it be to give someone a mission of sneaking into the base in disguise, then take away the ability to steal what you came for?

I look forward to seeing some justification for this change, both in gameplay mechanics and just the logic of “you cannot steal while hidden.” I also look forward to what change actually goes live (with no predictions).

Link: someone’s PnP take on it.

In more positive news, the test notes include new (weak but interesting) temporary powers for new characters until level 10 and some new villain contacts. New options are good. The newbie powers even give a little more meaning to character origin, since each of the five has a different power.

: Zubon

3 thoughts on “Stealth stealth nerfed”

  1. That guy’s PnP take perfectly describes Statesman.

    The sooner his games fail, the better for the industry. He has no idea how to make a fun game for players.

  2. I would not go that far. It is still a fun game. I would not say that all the marginal changes have made the game more fun, but it remains fun. I do not believe this change, taking away an option of how to play beyond “kill all,” would make things more fun.

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