“Hiding the halfling”, sure you are, we know what you really mean.
Except no, I really mean hiding the halfling. As in, a halfling, a real one, or at least as real as a game character can be, really hiding. From everything.
I am not changing my mind about stealth by the way, I think it is still broken as a play style, except for those characters that are willing to dedicate themselves to it and to play a slow, sneaky, flower-sniffing sort of private game.
But I have to say, the slow, sneaky, flower-sniffery can be kind of fun. Depending.
My Gamer Girl and I have been working her rogue, and my Intel Commando, back up into the epics. As a pair, we are pretty stealthy, each able to get into the 70s in our Hiding and Moving Silently skills at level 20. Lately we’ve been trying to see just how sneaky we can be, experimenting to see where it is helpful and where it is not.
Our first target was the Druid’s Deep series. Except no. Stealth was utterly useless in all of the quests in this series. Each quest insisted on having us kill everything in every encounter before we could advance. All of the monsters were plants or incorporeal or otherwise immune to sneak attacks. Just a painful slog through one semi-identical fight after another. No stealth, no tricks, no innovation, no fun. The epitome of “grind”.
Four quests, an entire adventure pack, no useful stealth opportunities. Not even one.
Stealth: 0. Grind: 4.
But we didn’t give up, even after such a discouraging start. The next target is the heroic quests in the Stormhorn Mountains. Not all of them, we are working on Sagas and plan to skip two quests. So no What Goes Up and no Breaking the Ranks. That still leaves us with three, plus The Riddle which we’d somehow missed. Heroic, but on elite, meaning they’d all be level 21. We are level 20.
A guildie joined us on his rogue. Now we are three. Sneaky three.
Stealth is all kinds of awesome in three of these four quests. In each one, we are able to sidestep dozens of bad guys. There are places where we have to fight due to magical barriers or quest objectives, but still, we are skipping a lot of the grind. The Riddle is the hardest of the three, featuring a long uphill fight that seems designed to trigger Red Dungeon Alert. I personally believe that quests should never trigger Dungeon Alert on purpose. Also, I hate Dungeon Alert.
But I digress. This is not about Dungeon Alert, it is about stealth. For those keeping score (and I am always keeping score) the Tracker’s Trap, A Break in the Ice, and the Riddle are all made much easier by sneaking past most of the quest. Lines of Supply is not, but that one is unique in that it is not grind either. I am not sure how to categorize Lines of Supply; it is a special case.
Stealth: 3. Grind: 4. Other? 1
Too early to draw any conclusions, other to reinforce my belief that stealth is broken as a play style. But it is important to bear in mind that stealth can still be fun to employ, and in some situations, may be more efficient that a non-stealth slog attack.
🙂 😀 🙂