Stealth in MMORPGs has always been a controversial subject but having stealth in my MMORPGs has always been a focus (sometimes “Yes, let’s do it” and other times “Oh god, my head hurts just thinking of it!”) of mine. Dark Age of Camelot is regarded by many as having the best stealth system in any MMORPG, and I think that Warhammer Online: Age of Reckoning also had an interesting stealth system. However, before, during, and after the Kickstarter, I was clear that we wouldn’t have a stealth system in our game unless I believed it was a great system, one which added a lot to the game, and that the stealth mechanics had to meet a number of criteria.
The most important criteria for having stealth were that it was fun, not OP, wouldn’t promote/encourage stealther gank groups, no stunlocking, no easy on/easy off stealth, no unlimited stealth + strong opener + vanish, as well as other goals that I have talked about on the forums since day one. In other words, stealth can’t be seen as an “I Win” button, or “Easy Mode” for players. As you might imagine, the “how” of achieving these goals was the hardest part. And beyond that, I wanted, no, needed, to make stealth work within the entire framework of RvR in Camelot Unchained, and not just for individual/small group encounters. Stealthers in our game must be seen as a vital part of the “big picture,” if they are worth the effort that we must put into them, just as we would for any other class.
The design goals for this Stretch Goal can be summarized below –
Goal #1 – Design a fun, interesting stealth mechanic, and classes that are not seen as “Easy Mode” by non-stealthers.
Goal #2 – Do not design a class that is centered around a strong opener, stun, and vanish with long/unlimited stealth, nor a class that can hide, one-shot, vanish again
Goal #3 – Design a class that has the ability to be very active and sought-after, either in RvR groups or as roamers
Goal #4 – Design a class that some non-traditional stealthers want to play
Goal #5 – Design a class that requires skill to play well, and not just unlimited patience
Goal #6 – Design a system where a gank group of stealthers is not possible
Goal #7 – Design a system that doesn’t affect the launch date of the game
For a full explanation of how we are going to do this, accompanied by 6K words, lots of great concept pieces and more fun stuff can be found here.