Stealth is far too big for my little piece of internet real estate so I will have to cover it in a couple of articles. In this first piece I want to talk about the Archer and the Soul Walker. Both classes interest me but as an alt-a-holic almost all classes do in some way or another so that might not be saying a lot. Among my alts the archers, stealthers and jack-of-all classes tend to log a few more hours that the rest so the recent update from CSE about stealth was a big one. Stealth tends to be loved or hated with few in between and it’s never an easy concept to implement. In fact it seemingly wasn’t until recently that CSE decided they had a system they felt comfortable enough with to unveil to the MMORPG universe.
What was the secret answer to stealth in Camelot Unchained that we have all been anticipating for years now? To give it to everyone! No not really, but everyone will have some kind of “camo” with archers having a superior version in order to fill the role of sniper! “Will you be able to do that and ‘one-shot’ someone? No, not unless you are picking off one of the little sick ones!” Doh! Well, I do generally target the little sick ones that are looking the other way so that works for me. As someone that has a history of falling in love with his archer I like the utilitarian camo concept. It appears to be based on real world use of camo, but with some magic touches to enhance the hiding capabilities. In games that have allowed for custom armor I have utilized it in an effort to better hide my characters. This makes both the armor and the archer even more exciting to me.
It’s about time a PVP MMO sat down and thought about the utility of armor and camo in a real way. In fact I find it odd that it hasn’t been done more frequently prior to this point, I guess key mashers don’t hunt? Unlike some of my archer brethren I’m actually glad all players will have the ability to use some camo: these are war times, everyone on the battlefield should be trying to blend in as best they can because it just makes sense (which is something I find myself saying a lot about the design of CU). Will it make archer camo less special? I don’t think so. At first I was worried it would but after digesting it a bit more and after re-reviewing the concept art I foresaw a pretty clear distinction between archer camo and regular camo. So much so that I think archer camo is on a level of its own, above the standard but not quite stealth, just where it should be. I might be letting my love of archers and Star Wars sway me a bit, some of the armor concept gave me some serious Endor feels!
The second version of stealth is called “Soul Walking”. Players cannot kill while soul walking, they can only watch. It is a bold attempt to create a true scout path, one that I’m guessing could cause a bit of a stir. You sit down somewhere safe and cozy and spirit walk out of your body (leaving it vulnerable) while you run around the world spying on your enemies as a ghost. They can also cause mischief but not the friendly kind. While they cannot actively engage enemies they do have some abilities that allow them to move or trigger things to cause some chaos but they can be captured or killed while in this form. They happen to be the best at infiltration, which shouldn’t be a surprise, and the distance they can venture from their bodies will increase over time and practice.
Did I mention to recharge in spirit form your friends would need you to jump into a lantern that they could then carry around. Yes you read that right and yes at first I also thought it sounded bizarre, but then I thought a bit more deeply about it. Depending on how the lantern works it could have multiple uses and frankly I find it interesting to be carried by my friends in a little container! Think of the possibilities. What happens if my friend dies? Can the enemy capture me? If he drops me to fight can I escape the lantern on my own? What if they hauled me to a point and hid the lantern so I could stay charged then pop out later to infiltrate a castle? There are a lot of fun scenarios that could come from such a unique mechanic.
As Mark Jacobs noted this is a very early concept, as such I see several issues that will need adjusting before it could function in the game. I worry about the range from the body and if it will be too great or too small. Maybe the lantern helps with that? The aspect of the class that I love the most is the ability to cause a little chaos while soul walking. It’s also the aspect that I think will be the most challenging to balance without making it useless or enraging your entire non stealth player base. How do you counter such a class? Will we have a ghost buster spec line for another class? I am 100% behind that idea!
Regular camo, Archer camo, Soul Walker, Veil Walker and Veil stalker! We went from no stealth to a stealth for every taste in a single stretch goal! I will be watching this stretch goal approach with anticipation. For better or worse these concepts are too interesting not to see them attempted.