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Camelot Unchained is a counter-revolutionary RvR-focused MMORPG from Mark Jacobs and CSE set in a post-apocalyptic yet familiar world.
Camelot Unchained is a counter-revolutionary RvR-focused MMORPG from Mark Jacobs and CSE set in a post-apocalyptic yet familiar world.
14,873 backers pledged $2,232,933 to help bring this project to life.

Evening Update April 25, 2013

Folks,

Okay, it's time to take a ride on the BSC train but before we do that, a couple of quick bits. First, another great day for our Kickstarter! We're on track to one of our highest daily number of pledges and pledge totals! If we can keep this up, we'll be in good shape for our final few days. Second, there was an amazing piece by Robert Purchese over at Eurogamer here.  

BSC Stealth

Stealthers and I have a long and interesting history, dating back to Dark Age of Camelot, which had the most robust and interesting implementation of stealth in any MMORPG to date. Unfortunately, it also had some serious bugs, and yes, some design errors. Over the years at Mythic, we balanced/nerfed/changed/added elements in an attempt to improve the overall system.

Since then, many other studios have tried to create a “better” stealth system. Most of these attempts resulted in “dumbed down” implementations. Speaking solely as a player, I love stealth and have played numerous stealth-based characters in MMORPGs. OTOH, speaking as a designer, especially of an RvR-focused MMORPG such as Camelot Unchained, I’m deeply concerned about them and their effect on the game.

I don’t want to add a class that drives away as many people as it attracts whether due to the real or simply perceived power of stealthers. Nor do I want one that has to be continually nerfed to try to find just the right balance and to stave off the anger of non-stealthers.

While in an RvR game, while we will always be balancing classes, being killed by a stealther seems to generate more angry comments and e-mails than other classes. When the discussions here at CSE began to coalesce around an MMORPG, I did not want to repeat those bad old days of constant complaints (some valid, some not) and angry forums due to stealthers and the changes that we made to them. I did, however, want to find a way we might possibly bring them into Camelot Unchained because if we can do so in an innovative and fun way, we could add another interesting dynamic to the game.

IMO, some of the problems with stealth, from both a designer's and a player’s perspective are:

  • 1) A lot of potential stealthers, most likely the vast majority, want long duration stealth, but most victims hate it.
  • 2) Most stealthers hate moving slowly in stealth mode, while the victims love it.
  • 3) Some stealthers, like any other class, do want to be OP, but many welcome the challenge of a more difficult system that rewards smart play and skill, not just patience and stunlock (which is hated by the majority of victims because it removes their ability to actually fight back) and/or extremely powerful opening attacks.
  • 4) Some stealthers don’t want to be part of keep sieges or mass RvR, but others really want to be involved and help out in more ways than simply picking off lone players (wounded or not). 
  • 5) Most people dislike being killed by a stealther, but almost everyone hates being killed by multiple stealthers acting in concert.
  • 6) “Easy on” stealth is widely despised by the victims and laughed at by some stealthers, and is usually a bit of a disconnect from most games' physical laws.
  • 7) Some stealthers really want to play the role of a scout, while for others, the role of an assassin fits them best.

The problem was and is how to resolve these and other issues and make this fit together nicely. I don’t want to simply implement Dark Age of Camelot’s system even if I could. Too many other developers have tried, and frankly, this game is about taking risk. It’s about making choices matter, it’s about this world and this lore, but most importantly, it’s about RvR and the Veil.

The Veil, the term that plays such an important part in CU lure and to which some people’s early reaction to was to see it as “fluff” or even trite, is so much more than just a bit of inter-dimensional detritus. As I discussed in my lore update, it is a living and sentient being that exists in the space between this world and that of the Emissaries. What if we could tie the Veil into the game at an even deeper level and make that a core mechanism for a stealth system? It’s light bulb over the head time, Wart. For weeks I’ve been talking about a BSC (Bat S**t Crazy) idea for stealth, and here it is, in all its glory or folly.

What if we used the Veil as almost a different world for stealthers? What if being in it allows them to move normally through it, but also comes with some significant downsides? After all, the Veil is alive and sentient, and it’s in a real pissed-off mood these days. How could we implement a system utilizing the Veil that both makes playing solo stealthers feasible and allows them to contribute to RvR, but can also act as a shadow world? For the consideration of our backers and comments from those waiting in the wings, I present my concept for VeilWalkers and VeilStalkers.

A VeilWalker is a being that can, as the name suggests, move through the Veil in much the same manner as we move through our world. They do pierce it, but not in the same manner as the apocalyptic event, and they do so almost undetected by it. The world around them shifts as if they were seeing it through gauze.

While within its “body”, they can move at normal and sometimes heightened speed.
Like our bodies, however, it also has its own defenses, so VeilWalkers must always be on guard. Think of the scene in the movie Fantastic Voyage when the anti-bodies attack both the sub and anyone outside it. That’s only one of the ways the Veil fights back against invaders, and it can also throw other challenges at a VeilWalker plying his/her craft. For example, there are also the spirits of dead VeilWalkers who seek to consume their living counterparts' souls to ease their painful existence.

Speaking of pain, walking through the Veil hurts VeilWalkers and can change them over time. This pain is also greater the more stealthers are in proximity to you and the longer you stay close to each other. In addition, the Veil can send out illusions to confuse VeilWalkers, especially less experienced ones.

Now, what do you get for all this risk? Power, movement speed, a game within a game and a challenge like no other. VeilWalkers won’t make great scouts (our archers would be a better choice) and they aren’t great at sneaking up and going all stunlock or stabby/stabby, but they can move through unprotected walls, levitate over objects, learn to control aspects of the Veil’s defenses and use them to their advantage, and so much more.

There is no easy on button for entering the Veil so it can’t be used as an escape valve. Also, the more stealthers that are together in an area, the more that the Veil fights back, especially when they are all from the same realm. Forming and maintaining a “gank squad” in the Veil will not be an easy task, and frankly, it will be less rewarding for stealthers than soloing.

The BSC train still hasn’t stopped. To make it even more interesting for stealthers, I added the concept of a VeilStalker. This class cannot move within the Veil, but its powers are geared to hunting VeilWalkers from outside. They can detect them, lay down traps and prepare other defenses. They are best at dealing with VeilWalkers and protecting other players/areas from them. Walkers/stalkers are two sides of the same coin.

But wait, there’s more! Remember when I said that VeilWalkers' best abilities are useful within the Veil? Well, there are a couple exceptions. One is being attacked by a VeilStalker. When a stalker reaches into the Veil to attack a walker, you guessed it, the walker can fight back, and when he does, his powers can extend into the world. Think of it as a perpetual feedback loop. They can also attack outside the Veil but they are at their best within it.

The Veil holds mysteries and power, but it comes with a price. Within it,the walkers are deadly, with special abilities and powers that cannot be used outside. An “easy on” stealth button so you can hunt down single players? Meh. Hunting other hunters within a sentient body that wants you dead while stalkers on the outside are looking for any signs of your presence... now there’s a challenge worthy of a great player. So what do you say people, BSC or not? Fun or not?

-Mark

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Comments

    1. Creator Jeremy Bennet on May 4, 2013

      @Mark Jacobs: Your summary of the problems of stealth are spot on.
      I'd like to add this: no stealthier, no matter how good, should be able to take down a tank.

      I think you need to illustrate with examples what you mean by the post.

      I really don't like the idea that they can walk through walls or levitate over objects. Scratch that idea.

    2. Creator Ryan Ingram on May 2, 2013

      You shouldn't discourage stealthers from grouping. Groups of 2-3 stealthers should be perfectly fine. In DAoC I always played with another nightshade in a duo and it was fun. The largest problem with stealthers in DAoC was the buff bot issue.

      Making a class that completely relies on being solo is a bad idea in an MMO. Also how do you expect all the stealthers in the area to be aware of distance to eachother when ultimately there will be quite a few in the area. You'll have to make a lot of landscape to accommodate that...

      Also having the distance thing count against fellow realm mates just brings in a perfect opportunity to troll other veilwalkers of your own realm you don't like. For example: A player says something in chat that really makes me angry but hes a realm-mate so I cant kill him/her... next best thing just follow them through the veil all day to make them take damage and die easier. I can already see myself doing that either out of retribution or just to ruin someones day for my enjoyment.

    3. Creator Steve Gonzalez on May 1, 2013

      I'd like to see stealth in the veil, camo in RvR, maybe only partial invisibility near environmental objects (trees, buildings, etc) outside of the veil. Maybe stalkers/walkers are less effective DPS-wise outside of the veil and instead provide more utility. Also, I'd like to see stealthers be able to group up outside of the veil but again have it be balanced in the sense that if you know where they hang out you can avoid them and on top of that, if you do run into them, they're not an extreme threat to deal with. I love the idea of the veil but I don't like the idea that these classes be relegated to a solo experience. I enjoyed running around with other stealthers in the various mmos I've played, including DAoC.

    4. Creator Jeffrey Paquette on April 30, 2013

      Really love this idea. It sounds like it will be BSC fun to play both a walker and stalker. Please make it so the walker can do something in large battles. One of my biggest complaints of playing a stealther is I feel "weakend" almost in times of large battles and I feel like the only thing for me to do is try and pick people off going to/returning to the main battle.

      I know there is still more info to be released on this subject but a few questions:

      1. What and how will the walker play a role if any in combat when they are not veilwalking?

      2. What role will the walker play during sieges or large battles?

    5. Creator David Escalona on April 29, 2013

      Awesome and innovative concept, it will be like playing 2 different games at the same time. Also, with a parallel world you have balance control over stealthers/veilwalker classes, simply amazing.

    6. Creator TJ Crews on April 28, 2013

      I know this is subtle, but can we have impossible objects in the Veil (ie- Penrose stairs, M.C. Escher-esq architecture)? As well as some chutes and ladders kind of things where you take a turn and end up somewhere other than where the next step would actually be?

      I really like the ideas though, really interesting concept...kinda brings thoughts of soul reaver to mind. Totally BSC but...not in a bad way.

      Keep up the good work!

    7. Creator aztalante on April 28, 2013

      I guess the veil as in "The Lord of the Rings" when "frodon" puts the ring on his finger!
      when we pass to the other side, we see the mystical creature and other!
      walkers can fight them without leaving the veil!

    8. Creator Triandkilmi on April 28, 2013

      If you want to be original.. DON"T PUT IN A STEALTH CLASS. Annoying to balance and play with/against. Overall, stealthers are more harm then good

    9. Creator Matthew Houghton on April 28, 2013

      Well, I've pledged due to this, I wasnt going to until i knew there was a stealther option in the game.
      the main classes I play are stealthers casters and healers.
      What you tend to find is "easy mode" isnt always as easy as it sounds, picking your fights is the main factor of a stealther, if theres a caster running around by himself then that person is asking for trouble, however you tend to find casters can kill stealthers very quickly if they see them first also, so what comes around goes around... If you made a game where people wouldnt moan about this then A of course it would be good at first but then probably been dumbed down to such an extent that its no longer fun. Personally I think promoting solo duo play should be the key factor, any more than that then it can be frustrating.

      An idea could be if your all together instead of the viel fighting back there stealth could get weaker and weaker so there visible from further away, or there swords and dmg output get less due to the disturbance within the viel? I dont know, thats just off the top of my head.

      However I did like the idea of being a realm player in dac climbing into keeos helping srtting up seige etc being a part of the push scouting number etc. ideas liek this are very good and need to be used as an insentive to play.

      Evading arrows would be nice bringing this back also, but maybe the miss factor for stealthers attacks might be increased slightly to help balence things a little bit. (not massivly ofc.. dont want them not be be able to kill anything with speed, skill and timing should be rewarded, but also not to the extend you can 1 shot a caster. as lets not forget, thats the main reason for stealth in out clean and precise) if a caster on daoc for exampe can 4 shot a stealther, you'd expect the stealther to be able to 4 shot them... i'd consider that (from the basics of course) to be "fair" 4 for 4.. however being a stealther isnt easy as i have said, yes if there is 8 of you it is, but im refering to solo play here. maybe you could just limit it.. eg only 2 of a certain class can be in the same group or 3 or 4, this would be a way to alter and control this ganking maybe, as it would stop people running 2 lots of 4's as RP's would be reduced and not worth a dime.

      Anyway looking forward to the next update here.

    10. Creator Doug Nordwall on April 27, 2013

      As a long time runie player in DAOC (and thus targetted by stealthers a lot) and as a pyro player in TF2 with over 1000 hours as pyro, and thousands of spy kills, I dislike this notion of stealth quite a bit.

      Just put in counters. Speed. Single shot blocks (like the 'bubble' in DAOC). etc etc etc.

    11. Creator Daniel A. Danner on April 27, 2013

      So... This is sounding interesting... Just a few grey areas for me...

      Mainly, how do VWs interact with the "normal" world?
      Say your VW is being played as intended and is roaming one of the vast RvRvR areas while in the Veil... This player happens to come across a non-veil'd class of an opposing faction, lets say one of a tanky disposition, how does this go down?
      Do neither of them see each other (leaving me to believe "stealth" will only bring a shadow war to this game)?
      Will the VW get to freely attack this poor sap while he just stands there wishing he played (or brought along a VS)? (If that's the case, this is BSC, emphasis on the S.)
      Or is it a bit more "classic stealth"? With the VW's big opener, which allows the tanky guy to then retaliate... Outcome up to skill/equip/luck...
      Or maybe something like DAoC's Necro class... The VW interacts with the "normal" world via some median... When/if that median is destroyed/disrupted they get pulled from the Veil in a greatly weakened state...

      Let us know some more details. :)

      =D

    12. Creator Jonathan Lipps on April 27, 2013

      Well so they only take up one class, they could both be under the stealther title, even though one is the "anti-stealther," but you could train into the walker or the stalker from within the class. Create some story how the stalkers have some form or ability from the Veil, so they still do possess power and they fit into the stealther class, but can't fully access it. They absolutley despise the walker's because they can't fully access, and they'll forever be the second best younger brother of the stealthers.Than that leaves room for the dps mage, tank, healer, crafter.But, I think there's just going to have to be a couple more classes at launch.

    13. Creator Thorwan on April 27, 2013

      As someone who plays lots of stealth games and tried quite a few rogue classes in MMO's, I really like the concept of using the veil as a way to balance stealth. I also like a challenge to pull off a perfect strike, as Mark said.
      Going to up my pledge :)

    14. Creator Khraag on April 27, 2013

      I haven't read all the comment before and some of my comment will probably have been said previously, but some of them might be new so I'll take the time to write it down here:
      1. I think the basic idea and concept are very nice.
      2. CU only has 4 classes (I am not counting the crafter obviously) per realm to start with and dedicating half of them for the stealth system (1 Stealther, 1 Stalker) is too much I think.
      3. I am not a big fan of the Stalker. If we need a specific class to kill stealthers, this mean other classes won't have much of a chance against them and then it falls under the same problem as before. If Stealth can kill anyone 1v1 then I don't think this is a good choice.
      4. High risk / High reward. While I like the concept, over the years and how this has been implemented and how the players go with that. Usually most players going for this class will know how to minimize the risks after playing it for a while. In most MMO I have seen the high risk / high reward quickly becomes a medium to low risk / Very high reward making the class too powerful again (also comes with the fact that as they can pick their fight it mitigates the risk).
      5. I think core classes would need more attention as only 4 fighting classes are available per realm and personally I am not a huge fan of stealthers. I know some player love them and they probably have their place in CU, maybe not as a basic class though.
      6. If stealthers are implemented, I'd like them to have a real specific role in the game, not some kind of super strong class that can kill anything one on one.
      In mmos, we have always seen stealther as being DPS that can be invisible, I'd like to see something different.

      The veil walker and all the concept is nice, but to me it does not change how the stealthers work and will be. I personally would prefer if they were a later implementation in the game.

    15. Creator Tanos on April 27, 2013

      Reading all this comments on and on i found it a bit weird reading MJ's statement in Update 29 that reaction was "overall good". Maybe for the basic idea of using the veil and the way of using it to limit stealther squads, but not for the VW/VS design.

      Yes, i know we have two years to get that up and running. Yes, we know little about the real class design. But as this a central point for not so few players to back this game i think there should be at least some clarifications about having noticed their concerns and not talking about an "overall good" reaction.

      To get this right, i say this with deepest respect for MJs and CSEs work, their ideas, creativity and engagment. MJ presented a great idea, but if it is not want the players wanted he should be open to alter it.

    16. Creator Aredhel on April 27, 2013

      "That means if I don't pick a really good moment I should loose" - the issue that every non-stealther class has with this is that *you* get to pick that moment. You have all the time in the world to do that (well, in most stealther class implementations so far anyway), while the player on the other hand has next to no time to counteract. Add massive opener damage and stunlock to the fray and you'll see why the majority of players loathe stealther classes.

      The idea MJ has come up with is not ideal, I'll give you that, but stealth has to come at a cost. How about entering and leaving the veil takes away a percentage of your health? The more forcibly the veil is "ripped", the more health you lose. So, if you enter stealth while not in combat you get a smooth transition, if you pop out of stealth with a massive attack you take a modest hit yourself (for ripping the veil by force). Also, being in stealth drains your power bar, so you can't hide in the veil indefinitely. You have to time your actions well in order to have enough power left for your opener. If your power falls to 0% you drop out of stealth. Re-entering stealth is impossible while at low power (say < 10%). This should make for a much more challenging stealther than what we've seen in other MMO's.

    17. Creator Ixnatifual on April 27, 2013

      Sounds like a very interesting system. I think the major problem with the traditional implementation of stealth is how stealthers get to pick and choose their fights 100% of the time, while their opponents are always caught by surprise. The proposed kind of system helps balance this out at least somewhat, since stealthers also face a bit of risk rather than only everyone else having to always face the constant threat of invisible opponents.

    18. Creator Giavena on April 27, 2013

      I'm not a great fan of the stealth concept as described here. First off because I feel there is still so much room to improve the 'primary' RvR part of the game with more classes which should get more attention. Besides that though I see flaws with the veilwalker design due to the what you'll be fighting as a veilwalker, NPC's and the game.

      To me the most important part of the challenge in the PvP / RvR game is that I'm challenging other players. The way MJ describes the veil walkers here the most important thing the veilwalker is fighting is the veil. Although you can make a very challenging veil environment in the end players are still fighting NPC's / mechanics which are inherently less diverse and challenging then what other players throw at you.

      Furthermore the way I see it described here (and this is interpretation) is that if a veilwalker can play the veil well they become an unstoppable machine of death for non-veil classes. So as a none veilwalker (or stalker) the strength of my opponent and if I stand any chance depends on how well they can fight NPC mechanics which I have no influence or awareness off, for me that just doesn't cut it.

      I'd say if you want this to be succesfull remove the veilstalker class (as a class who's strength lies in doing normal things and fighting stealthers will entice too few players and always cause issues with balance I suspect) and put the primary focus of what challenges veilwalkers encounter with all non-veilwalker classes.
      Let there be a link between terrain in and outside of the veil, ensure that spells cast outside of the veil also have an impact inside the veil. In other words, ensure that the challenges a player encounters in the veil depend on other players and not just the NPC game mechanics.

      Finally something on balance and intent of the veilwalker class. With my stealther / assassin in Dark age the primary challenge was finding the right moment and position to strike, which was tricky if a player knew what he was doing. They wouldn't wander off alone, they wouldn't sit out in the open to heal up (but keep moving), and if you attacked someone at the wrong time, meaning when they were at full health and ready, as a stealther you were supposed to be at a disadvantage and likely die. Please keep this in mind if you decide to implement this when it comes to balancing. As a stealther I get to pick the moment for the fight, that's my balance advantage. That means if I don't pick a really good moment I should loose. That's what assassins do. It's the most important thing about stealthers (and something none of them like ;) ) but it's what differentiates an assassin from an unkillable god of death.

      Second of all, if you do implement a shadow world in the veil, how do you want the people there to influence RvR. The easiest idea is (obviously) to just have them pick off people, but is that really the best thing they can do? How about manipulating the veil to make areas of the battlefield more or less effective for spells (or melee), how about redirecting (not blocking) fireballs or reducing movement speed in areas. In short, do you want them to be assassins in the big RvR fights or rather an extra utility source that either side can master and use?

    19. Creator Cezary Sr. on April 27, 2013

      I am extremely mixed with the idea, just like I hate and love stealthers.
      MJ's proposal may leave lots of implications for the future.
      What kills any games and discourages others is not stealth class, but mechanics and their abilities.
      Leave all abilities what stealthers need, with exception of:
      • attacking from stealth directly (0.1-1.0s CD in order to use any attacks, 3.0s restrictions to use any stun locks if implemented)
      • if group with more stealthers, than: group move slower?, CD to attack from stealth increased by %?, reduced power (dps) by %?

    20. Creator SnakeNtheGrass on April 27, 2013

      Forge had a simular Stealth system. It would be cool to borrow their idea that the "VeilWalker" could bring an enemy player to the Veil for 30 secs, for a short 1 vs 1 fight.

      Also will VeilWalkers be able to enter the Veil then re-emerge inside a castle or tower?

    21. Creator Kemper Townsend on April 26, 2013

      @Justin Castaneda

      Well said. I more than concur!

    22. Creator Harry Torque on April 26, 2013

      Oh I'm so going to try out VeilStalker - to avenge myself for all the times my gnome warlock was stunlocked while questing :)

      I love the concept, it fits the world the little we know of the lore perfectly.

      It's unclear how this BSC stealth idea fits in with the normal world, though. Is the only interaction between the two available to only VeilWalkers and VeilStalkers? If so, that will be a rather limiting gameplay mechanic, essentially pitching two classes against each other, while others are left to do RvR amongst themselves.

    23. Creator Valandur on April 26, 2013

      After having watched the video, I'm a bit confused about how these stalkers/walkers will be useful in RvR. If you can traverse a dangerous area and pop out say behind the enemy, that might be useful, but other then that I'm hazy on how useful they will be, but I am not against it.

      CSE, you guys need Forums!! We need Forums! ;)

    24. Creator Galiand on April 26, 2013

      I'm quite jacked about this game. Haven't had a game really tickle my fancy since good old DAoC. The Veilwalker/Veilstalker mechanic seems pretty slick so far as well.

      Coming from a 10 year Alb/Inf Hib/Ranger player - I'll be rollin' Veilwalker myself.

    25. Creator Valandur on April 26, 2013

      As someone who always rolls a Thief type, most often I reroll in disgust, I'm feeling mixed about this new idea. I'm curious as to how Ranger types will work? Bards got a limited stealth as well...? I'm willing to give it a go though. If it doesn't work out I really hope you guys will change it to a more traditional form of stealth.

    26. Creator Steven Bahniuk on April 26, 2013

      Neat idea. But i feel this will take way to much resources that could be spent on something else.

    27. Creator David Schrank on April 26, 2013

      I would rather have a Stealth that actually adds to the RVR experience, not one that pulls people out of it for another mini game. Stealth isn't an issue if its not always on and if the stealthers can't see each other.

      The point of the game is for all classes to gank people in an organized fashion. With collision and formations and giving non stealth people a range to see them, I don't see what the issue was.

      The solution just seems like a mini game that will take a class that as a rule tends to avoid RVR immersion and make them even more myopic. Make stealthers have to coordinate with the rest of the attack force not play their own game please.

    28. Creator Snohomie on April 26, 2013

      I've been chewing on it for the past 16 hours. I think I like it (as someone who doesn't usually MAIN stealthers, but I alt them), but I think there is a lot of risk in the implementation.

      I think it will encourage more grouping. It adds a different strategic element to RvR (better put a Valestalker near your casters and healers). It also allows solo players to have some fun as well as a role in bigger RvR battles.

      It'll be an absolute (badword) to balance, but it has the potential to be really fun even for non-stealthers. Most people who have been killed more than a couple times by stealthers usually love the chance to return the favor. Don't you love killing Twitch or Eve in League of Legends? I've made some silly decisions to make sure those two die, and I'd make them all again because it is so (badword) satisfying to kill Twitch.

    29. Creator Elric on April 26, 2013

      I must admit I'm somewhere between intrigued and annoyed. The concept itself is amazing, and *perfectly* fits with the lore of the game. I really like the idea of an alternate plane of existence that has it's own benefits and negatives to deal with.

      Playing a stealther (Ranger) in DAOC was easily the most fun that I had in that game. I had a number of max lvl characters, but my Ranger was the most fun to play. I remember many nights with a friend or two, just stealthing around in DF and taking out small parts of a larger group using hit & run tactics. We had smaller numbers against a larger and often more experienced force - but the stealth was enough to tip the balance in our favor (most of the time).

      The proposed system would almost make that impossible. My concern is that there are just so many negatives that make it very worrisome to me:

      - constant periodic damage limits how long you can be in the Veil (basically just a more deadly version of a timer)

      - even if you do get to an enemy to attack, your health is likely going to be so low from veil damage by then.... you will get killed easily. If you can't stun lock, more than likely you are going to be at an immediate disadvantage as soon as you unstealth.

      - having to fight Veilstalkers, NPC's, and periodic damage all at once? You just KNOW that right when you're about to get in a big 1v1 with a Veilstalker - two NPC's are going to pop up and take you out.

      I really loved DAOC, and it will be forever etched in my mind as the ultimate PvP game. No other MMO that I have played has ever come close to how awesome the RvR was in DAOC. This particular system sounds awesome when it comes to the lore, but the negative effects of it sound like the "challenging" aspects are just going to be a lot of negatives piled on top of each other. I know the system is a long ways from being "set in stone", but as it stands I unfortunately would not want to play a stealth character.

    30. Creator Sean Davis (Wolvan of Perc-Mid Forever) on April 26, 2013

      @Justin Castaneda
      You nailed it bro. I'm right in line with you. @Aaron I totally agree with you on the excitement.

      Hopefully they can recreate the feelings and give us a class worth playing.

    31. Creator Aaron O'Brien on April 26, 2013

      To me the stealth advantage was always the surprise factor that comes along with it. There was nothing better than when I popped up in front of someone and they panicked because they thought they were safe. Even when I played a non-stealth class when people surprised me half the time I was able to fight back and win because of the adrenaline created from the surprise. With all the fun and frustration that I've had with stealth classes, I think they are a very important part of games like this.
      Using the Veil as stealth sounds like a great idea. Maybe the way to enter the veil is through a spell. Although, when they come out of the Veil they bring a little bit of it back with them. That little of the Veil will linger for a while and as long as the Veilwalker is in the piece of the Veil they have an advantage. Maybe even after the Veil dissipates the atmosphere from the Veil stays inside the Veilwalker until their body expels it leaving them with a short time where they still get the benefits of the Veil. Since the spell brings back a bit of the Veil with the caster it would be like stabbing the Veil, and when the caster tries to go back into the Veil shortly after they have left the Veil can possibly reject them, send defense mechanisms to where the caster is entering, or whatever else the Veil can do to keep out invaders. (I'm not saying that the Veilwalker should be a casting class, just that it's a spell they utilize to travel between worlds).
      I know nothing is set in stone right now but it sounds as if the the Veilwalker class would have a rough time, especially with one class that's out to get them. With the difficulty of walkers being able to group up, the stalkers with no difficulty getting a large group together to go hunting makes me a bit nervous. When I play a stealth class I usually want to be the hunter not the hunted.

    32. Creator Justin Castaneda on April 26, 2013

      As a player of Dark Age of Camelot for over 10 years, as well as Warhammer Online for 2 years, WoW for over 4, Rift, Age of Conan, etc etc... I have come to weigh on the notion of stealth.
      First of all I want to say that since this game is going to be Tri-realm there are going to be times where one side is disadvantaged. People are like cock-roaches and if their side is winning, they're sure to join the fray, but conversely, if their side is losing or disadvantaged, they're likely to alt. In a game like Dark Age of Camelot, when you're side was losing, disadvantaged, or being zerged by a realm, your options were usually to log, or alt. If you didn't feel like PvE, one avenue was to play a stealth class.
      Playing a stealth class allows you to compete against a large number of enemies by strategically picking your targets. This is a notion that is entirely lost to the MMO scene now, and I'll explain why in just a moment. I just want to weigh in and say that without stealth, people are going to be far more likely to rage quit when the odds are overwhelming against them. Furthermore, stealth provides a unique balance, by punishing those who run off solo with a God-complex. This notion that every class has to be the avatar of a living God has got to stop. It completely destroys cooperation, and makes for a game that is easy mode. One of the best features of Dark Age is that you didn't dare run off without your group as a squishy caster, because you knew there were hidden people hunting for you. This feature, if nothing else, led to cooperation.

      Rogue vs. Assassin:
      The single largest issue facing every MMO that tries to implement a stealth class is the fundamental difference between a rogue and an assassin. A rogue is basically just a light armored fighter, who can hold their own out of stealth. They use tricks like stun and evade, and that is their way of fighting. An assassin on the other hand relies on tactical strikes, often conditional or position based. Not only does this add to the difficulty and skill in playing an assassin, but it allows "victims," to counter their fighting style, by let's say; not turning their back to them. Outside of specialized attacks, the assassin is an average fighter, and this is what gives visibles the advantage. If, as a visible, you have the correct strategy when fighting an assassin, you will win. In Dark Age for instance, saving purge for the moment when you got stabbed, would disable the assassin's poisons, giving you a great chance to kill him.
      Personally, I blame WoW for bastardizing the concept of a rogue. In the attempt to make a PvE friendly class, WoW essentially made the rogue a fighter, and then gave them stealth to boot. The result was a fighter from hell on crack with the advantage of stealth and poisons. As a result, many people got into stun-lock battles with rogues where they couldn't so much as swing their weapon.. Like I said, a rogue is a warrior in leather, who has stealth, or as I would call it; total bullshit, and a complete oversight.
      Warhammer was no better, for the exact same reason. They made a perfectly capable fighter, and gave them stealth. The problem is, when you give that fighter utility like crazy, it doesn't matter that they wear light armor. Not only did they have crazy abilities to evade and crit, but they also had abilities to half the enemies armor, effectively making the enemy exactly the same as far as armor, but with far less tricks. The result was that you turned heavy tanks into gimp rogues in a battle, and they could never hope to win.
      For an RvR based system, there is no need or a rogue.. Ever. Stealth classes on Dark Age served the purpose of allowing someone to escape from the rigmarole of every day zerging, perfect 8 mans, heavily fortified keeps, etc. It allowed a person to test their skill and wit by giving them a special set of tactics that, if used correctly, were incredibly deadly; but when used incorrectly, were completely pointless.
      Now, current Dark Age is a bit of a sham because of how high realm ranks have affected the game. In essence a high RR assassin on Dark Age becomes a rogue. This was something that wasn't seen until the post-ToA era, and even shortly after. Pre-ToA saw a different kind of assassin that didn't join gank groups because their kills were so far and few between that they wanted the realm points all to themselves. This was the glory of stealthing.

      The Balance of Dark Age Stealth:
      Historically the balance of Dark Age stealth was that as an assassin you were incredibly vulnerable, squishy, and basically useless out of stealth. There's no coincidence that a stealther who got popped ran like hell to try to get back into stealth. Out of stealth, they were absolutely useless fighters. Furthermore, stealth was slow. While some people don't like the notion of moving slow in stealth it is a necessity.
      In Dark Age, there was the unique concept of "speed." WoW toyed with the idea slightly, but not so much as Dark Age. In DAoC, having speed in your group, or speed as a class meant that you were difficult to follow, reach, and engage.. It was a masterful notion counterbalanced by stealthers who had a speed disadvantage. Having a slow stealth speed added to the difficulty of playing an assassin. For instance, lining up a PA on a moving target was a masterful act that should, by all means, be considered a work of art. My greatest memories of Dark Age were setting up incredible PA's, or utilizing keeps, and surrounding areas to pull off masterful kills. Some say that this notion of overpowered, and yet to this day I would say that the stealth you find in a place like Molvik on DAoC where RR is capped, is not overpowered, and is right where it should be. Bridge camping was another past time, that is often shunned, and here's the news flash.. If you're solo..Don't cross the bridge - we are waiting for you... Stealth forced people to strategize beyond the run and gun mentality that you see in WoW. Even on WoW when I play a subtlety rogue I am amazed by the number of idiots who run off alone. They're not trained - in Dark Age, we were - and that was what made it challenging.

      VielWalkers and VeilStalkers:
      Veilstalker = Vampiir... Anyone else get that vibe? lol. While I do love the notion of the veil, and I feel like these two classes are just another set of rogues, who will inevitably be overpowered. The VeilWalker having to fight off NPC's while trying to strategize a kill sounds maddening, and will make the Veil a very secondary strategy - which again, lands us at a warrior in leather with tricks - garbage. The Veil, or stealth, or whatever you want to call it should absolutely be primary for any stealth class. Otherwise, what makes you a "stealth" class, and not a Merc with a fancier version of Dirty Tricks? Nothing, that's what.
      On that note, I believe that the notion of a penalty in the veil when stealthers are close can almost completely solve the issue of gank squads. Also, if you don't make realm points, or whatever currency will come from killing people, easily accessible, it is likely that stealth classes will not want to group.

      Lastly to Re-iterate:
      Without specialized attacks out of stealth, you cannot have a stealth class. Without those, you just have a rogue with tricks. Rogues are over-done, overpowered, and universally hated for employing tricks instead of skill. Case and point, the rise of rogues was accompanied by the rise of circle-strafing, even in a game like Warhammer where they had a back style that hit twice as hard! Without PvE, there is no reason to create a rogue. So instead, I beg you to please find a way to make an actual assassin, an actual stealth class.

    33. Creator Barn Bocock on April 26, 2013

      So as a Walker running around in the blurred & grey LoTR style “ring” mode within the Veil, do I get to see players in the real world (greyed out through “a mist”) and when I strike do I enter the real world or draw them into the Veil? Or am I only fighting other Walkers & NPC’s inside of the Veil?
      Just not sure how long I’d like to be running in a weird ghost world if it doesn’t offer tactical or positional play with a view of the happening on the real world battlefield. Also, not sure how Stalkers really counter Walkers if they don’t enter the Veil (how do they track and fight each other?). Need plenty more info on their roles and inner workings.

    34. Creator blitzkrieg on April 26, 2013

      pls DAoC Stealth ;)

    35. Creator Shawn T on April 26, 2013

      The issue of stealth as a mechanic is not solo vs multi-player, or even easy mode for kill stealing or ganking. Stealth is an element of subterfuge, reconnaisance and tactics. The biggest problem I've seen with stealth in past games is the one touch invisibility mode combined with the insane CC/DPS that most stealthers have, as well as regular characters having no means to hide from an enemy if they are outmatched. Stealth has its place, but as I said before, it's something that should be spread through all classes, and never a total invisibility. The veil walking really does have a lot of potential for multiple styles of play and options to run with, not simply as a system of stealth, or a mini-game.

      Ideal stealth would mean no kind of mechanic to make you harder to see outside of the environment, and things you can hide in, such as grass, trees, shadowed ledges, etc. However, in this kind of game, where vegetation and hiding places will likely be somewhat sparse out of necessity (or where people wanting to see everything around them will just turn them off in their graphics options), and simple character contrasts against the world will be more pronounced than in real life, and where third person view makes awareness of ones surroundings so much easier, sneaking around should have its fair helping hand.

    36. Creator Sean Davis (Wolvan of Perc-Mid Forever) on April 26, 2013

      I hope this works, but I admit I am being cautiously optimistic. Its my believe that a small percentage of stealthers in DAOC screwed the rest of us with their ganking and of course the squeaky wheels got greased. I played a Shadowblade on Percival for years and very very rarely ever went out to "gank" like I knew a few people did. I played a defensive stealther, eliminating enemy gankers and scouts and I scouted, reporting enemy movements, counting troops inside of keeps etc for the realm. I spent a vast majority of my time in the Midgard frontiers (in OF, NF was ick...no scouting needed). Rarely did I run in full stealther groups, usually just 2-3 people sometimes with a visible (bait) player in the group. And yet we got the boot to the head due to the actions of a portion of the stealther community.

      So now, at least with the early impressions of the veilwalker, veilstalker and archer with camo...I have no idea which to play for my preferred play style. Hopefully one of them will work out to be a good combination that I can enjoy.

      I am holding on to faith that the team will end up with something fun and exciting to play without turning them into harmless annoyances. IMO, many of the people who got ganked by stealthers where poor/stupid players wandering around alone, sitting down in the open, going afk in vulnerable spots. (I had multiple characters, both stealthed and not). Knowing a stealther could be stalking me was exciting and kept me on my toes. I miss the sweaty palm, nervous twitch excitement of that type of game, both being the stealther AND being the visible player.

      Wolvan Ebonmyst, Long time Shadowblade of Percival
      (Hunter, SM, Healer, Warrior, Shaman etc etc)

    37. Creator Andy Bendorf on April 26, 2013

      Ok this update has drawn me out of my usual lurker mode for my first comment. I think this concept of the veil as a means for "stealth" and cc is completely brilliant. I had to take the time to think about it and read everyone else's posts and replies from MJ to wrap my head around how it would actually function in the game. I hope everyone can take some time to think about how it would actually work and realize how fun it could be, and improved from past mechanics. This is exactly what I want from this game, not daoc again, something better!

    38. Creator Josef on April 26, 2013

      The stealth system sounds cool... I really like how stealthers are at a disadvantage when they run in packs. Overall however I think it sounds a little unfair for the stealthers having to deal with periodic damage (which I think is fair) AND enemy NPCs at the same time.

      I don't play stealthers, I kill them. Let's be honest - the only time stealthers are a problem is if you suck, or you're really squishy (probably because you do sh!t tons of damage or heal), or you're AFK, or if they are running in packs. Otherwise it is just a DPS balance issue, or them just being slightly better or luckier then you, or you just can't fight without a team backing you up.

      Limited stealth is preferable... but don't make stealthers useless because of whiners who think everything should be an easy kill. Sometimes you just lose. If all else fails Warhammer stealth was perfectly balanced. It took a lot of skill and manipulation of the environment to jump a target from stealth. Assuming equal skill you had a 50/50 chance of winning. (Hell, there really was only four horrible imbalances in the game's entire life and one of them wasn't related to classes but RR90+100 gear. Bright Wizard overlapping dots, witch elf damage compared to witch hunter damage, and Get to d' Choppa if there were a dozen choppas.)

      @ Wes Roach

      If you don't play solo you can't understand why people play solo. Solo is the ultimate test of your skill... you have no one to back you up. You have to use every tool you have - including the environment - to stay one step ahead of your enemy. There is nothing more satisfying then cornering and beating someone with a lot of skill or jumping a group of players and killing them, or kill a few before you die. Solo players are participating in the massively multi-player element of the game - it's one against the world. It's not our fault you can't fight without your friends backing you up. Solo PvP is a major aspect of world PvP... and most of us aren't stealthers. Stealthers are only good in packs or when kill stealing. When I am running around in your territory swarming with groups of enemy players - without stealth - and get kills - that's on you guys. I'm just playing the game the way I personally am supposed to play it...

      Just me...

      By myself...

      Straight faced...

      On your block...

      Holdin' it down...

      Gun at my waist...

      Straight faced...

      All day...

      This is not a game...

    39. Creator Wes Roach on April 26, 2013

      Why even have stealth? If people don't want to group or participate in the multiplayer aspects of a massive multiplayer online game, then maybe they should play a different style of game - they're called Single Player. I get really tired of MMO game dev's catering to this solo play style. I ran a DoL freeshard for a few months with stealtehers disabled. It was great. Half the server wasn't occupied with people waiting around to leech other's fights.

      Admit it MJ - this is a last ditch effort to garner finances for the kickstarter. Sad.

    40. Creator Christian Young on April 26, 2013

      Played DAOC forever still my favorite game EVER. Loved the stealth interaction there. I know you said you wouldn't do the same for this game but here's a thought, do the same for this game you had it almost perfect at the end why reinvent something different? :)

    41. Creator Anthony Charles Butterfield on April 26, 2013

      It reminds me of something from Sergei Lukyanenko's Nightwatch series. ;)

      And that's praise, not criticism. The deeper you go, the faster and more powerful you are, AND the more likely that you'll never make it back out. That's a good mechanic.

      But it does sound a bit cut off from the rest of the RvR game...

      Maybe rather than having a dedicated anti-stealth CLASS, have it as a learnable skillset for other classes?

      Perhaps the paradigm to look at is submarine warfare... the Veilwalker moves below the 'surface', trying to detect and attack players in normal space that are almost as invisible to them as they are to the surface players. Players with high stalker skills could detect them and attack from outside the veil... and perhaps make their groups less detectable. Again, think submarine warfare with sonar and depth charges. ;)

      One thought for how a veilwalker might attack... without giving them assassination-style skills... would be to allow them to drag players or groups into the veil, temporarily removing them from the surface battle. They're stronger in the veil... and the veil defences might even work in their favor. To bob back to the surface, the walker's 'guests' would have to kill the walker or get out of its area of effect...

    42. Creator Anonymous on April 26, 2013

      WTB combat system info... still..

    43. Creator Shawn T on April 26, 2013

      I've read many of the comments, and I've been thinking that perhaps instead of making veil walker and veil stalker separate classes, perhaps make them branches of a single class, or variations on a mage class? The reasoning is that messing around with the veil is something that mages would tend to be silly enough to do, with all their limit testing and power grabbing, and whatever stereotypes we can throw at them. For example, mage A might be an elemental master, while mage B focuses on the veil, and harnessing its abilities, perhaps turning them into a logistics/mobility specialist. The Veil specialist could use the veil to get mobility around the field, as well as perhaps a limited ability to transport a party into the veil, where they would get a countdown timer to travel as far as they can before being popped out again. I know this is possibly encouraging gank squads, but if it's limited enough that it was short range, such as move within 100 meters, they would have to get close enough to be seen by the target they were going to gank, thus reducing some of the gank factor. In a battlefield situation, this could be used to transport a small party into a keep to try and take the defenders from the rear.

      This could be countered by another veil specialist mage, who could put up barriers against such travel, as well as traps that might cause problems to someone exiting the veil at a given location (but invisible to those in the veil, so they have to take a chance in such a battle). It would allow for more felxibility within the caster type class, and with the mechanic of veil walking in general, by bringing more players into it on a tactical level. You would have this meta-stealth technique with small scale portal abilities (keep the random dangers of the veil, so such an attacking squad could enter the veil and meet some kind of hostile NPC that could change their entire plan). Mesmers in GW2 had a limited portal ability, and it became very valuable to have in a battle if you could get a mesmer into the enemy fort.

      I would also consider this an adequate way to impliment some kind of summoner class, that calls creatures from the veil to really mess with an enemy. The same skill trees could include elements of veil walking/logistics, veil stalking/traps/warnings and defence, and a pet class. You mentioned that a person's soul/essence might imprint or be left behind on the veil, so a veil pet class could make use of the souls of fallen foes, much as a necromancer might make use of the physical corpses, by claiming a location within the veil so that all souls released into that location in the veil get torn out into the physical world to wreak havoc. Such a character might even be able to call upon the NPC enemies that are innately in the veil, drawing the nearest ones to a location where they spawn and begin attacking the enemy faction, or targets at random. You could thus make a single class, or branches within a class, that allow for a lot of diversity within that class, but also impliment this very interesting aspect to the game.

      This would still leave the way open for a more traditional/mundane stealth mechanic, such as half-transparency camoflage, either dedicated to an archetype, or specific classes, or possibly open to all classes, as I mentioned in a previous post. Stealth could be kept away from the full invisibility of most games, as well as the instant hide in plain sight abilities to break combat that people who hate stealthers hate so much. If it required that you had to actively mouse target or physically aim at someone in stealth to hit them, then assuming there are no flashy nameplates to give a person away, stealth would be much more dependent on a person's general awareness than on tab targetting or cheap use of name plates. Making stealth concealment based on movement would be another possible choice, allowing for very good concealment when still, and less effective concealment when moving, up to full speed. I picture it as something akin to a shimmery haze/cloak when perfectly still (like in the predator movies, or the chameleon spell of Elder Scrolls), with less and less concealment as you move, to about 1/3 transparency if running all out while stealthed. You wouldn't be limited in speed by using stealth, but stealth would be limited by using speed, and by the terrain you are in, as running full speed in heavy cover would mean that you'd still have decent camoflage with a fade/chameleon effect, but it would be far less useful in an open field, where you'd have to creep up to your target to catch them.

      As I mentioned in my previous post, I like the ability to use stealth without being stuck in assassin or thief mode, and not necessarily being dependent on having to be stealthed to be effective in combat. I personally think that requiring stealthers to be dagger or bow wielding glass cannons, with stuns and sneak attacks as their main attacks, is far overdone, and I've played far more interesting characters in D&D using rangers and paladins and fighters skilled with stealth, but not dependent on it. It's my personal opinion that a blanket access to long term stealth for all classes will give stealth lovers in general much more variety in terms of how they play with stealth, while also reducing the idea of classes having to be nerfed/balanced/whatever, depending on the fact that they can simply go unseen. I would still give penalties to stealth for using higher weight armour, but allow a warrior to play sneaky if they want, perhaps by using lighter armour and focusing on fast movement and damage. I would also allow access to stealth to be instantaneous, if more than 10 meters from the nearest enemy, and if implimented as a kind of transparency gradient, and not full invisibility.

      I know a lot of this is rehashed from my previous post, but it's not the middle of the night this time, and I've had the chance to think about some of the aspects mentioned. On the whole, I think the game would benefit from implimentation of the following (mostly summarizing the above):
      1) Stealth is a required mechanic, but it needs to be accessible to everyone, since in real life everyone can hide.
      2) Stealth should not, in my opinion, be invisibility, but rather an effective camoflage.
      3) Veil Walking and Stalking has a very interesting set of possibilities with its implimentation, particularly in conjunction with some of the more standard ideas of mage classes, but condensed into a single class with specializations, rather than two separate classes.
      4) Elements of chaos should be strongly tied to veil piercing abilities, allowing for the scales to tip either way in large scale encounters with veil manipulators present.
      5) Targetting a stealther manually should remove them from stealth (and remove any sneak attack bonuses).
      6) Any sneak attack bonuses (damage x 1.5?) should not be class based, but rather based on the fact that they are in stealth, and then used up on that opening attack. The element of surprise is valuable because you surprise your enemy, not because your weapon is suddenly 5 times more powerful for 10 seconds.

      I still love the veil walker idea, and I hope I'm not the only one who likes to use stealth and not be required to play an assassin.

    44. Creator Jongood on April 26, 2013

      I have an idea too: Portals for no Veil classes.

    45. Creator Chris Brenes on April 26, 2013

      ***** IDEA *****: Entering the Veil is an ability for all classes. I attack someone and if either of us hit this ability it will be like a ring in LOTR where we fight 1v1 and no one else can enter combat with us? We basically disappear from visibles like the ring did for 60 seconds or until someone dies or something. The 2 fighters can see everyone but they can't see us as we fight on - to avoid ads/zergs. (maybe they see us as ghosts - not sure) This can happen with either grouped stealthers or not... the visi can hit it to avoid 5 stealthers attacking them and fight 1v1 with whoever they're attacking. Once the fight is over, either the visi or stealther has 10 seconds before they "pop" back into the real world. A stealther could stealth during this time so they pop back stealthed. A visi could potentially hide if a zerg was inc or regroup with his group if they're still there. This will ALSO allow stealthers to potentially fight in large zerg/siege situations and play a role in warfare instead of taking stragglers only.

    46. Creator Marco Brogi on April 26, 2013

      I have an idea to mitigate different positions about Stealthers (New school vs Old school). Veil is the place where stealtehers can hide, but (that's my idea) Veil it's not present everywhere. So in certain areas Stealthers can fight as usual (Old school), thanks the presence of the Veil. In different areas where the Veil is ...(not arrived yet, or rejected, or... what ever), Stealthers can not vanish, so are more vulnerable and have to fight with different rules (New school). People who are soooo scared by the bad rogues have just to stay far from the Veil... that's it.
      Respectfully
      Gasolio (Midgard) Shadowblade

    47. Creator Greg Vettel on April 26, 2013

      Love the concept. It's a new, interesting and vibrant take on stealth mechanics. I have concerns about it's implementation, the focus, and making sure the veil-based classes are well-rounded enough in other areas, but overall I think it could be a very interesting part of the game, helping set it apart from more traditional stealth mechanics.

    48. Creator Gehirnschlacht on April 26, 2013

      Thanks Marc!

      Sounds a bit like the different Umbrae(in this case Penumbra,Hollow- or Mirror-World) in WhiteWolfs "Werewolf the Apocalypse",where the Garou can shadowstep to.
      U can meet some interesting Banes(i.e.ElementalBanes,Souleaters or Nexuscrawler) who really dont like that u penetrated the Gauntlet

      Would be a very interesting feature with alot of new "GameInGame" possibilities.

      P.S.Dont forget Europe.We still need PP to Pledge more!;)

    49. Creator Bas Tijs on April 26, 2013

      I dont like the stealth idea, sounds like a difference instance to keep stealthers away...Will you still be able to see the other players in the normal world? Or is it really another instance where you can even attach other stealthers? If so, that sounds like a bad idea.

      I like the camouflaged archer that was mentioned.