Larian Studios

Why is sneaking not a viable combat option?

Posted By: Snizl

Why is sneaking not a viable combat option? - 17/10/19 12:30 PM

This kind of frustrates me. Why does sneaking not work in a way that it makes it a viable option for combat, while the way to make it such is so painstakingly obvious:

Sneaking should allow you to leave combat.
Sounds overpowered? I don't think so.
1. Sneaking costs 4 AP, 3 with guerilla, that is quite expensive.
2. It is a risk: you need to know where enemy vision cones would be before you enter sneaking, otherwise you just lose 3 AP.
3. If you enter combat late, you will be placed at the end of the round, so sneaking does not allow you to skip rounds.

So a round with a sneaking character would look like this:
1. Enter sneaking before the fight, maneuver into position, attack.
So as it already is currently, you get one free skill, that will still be on regular cool down. You cannot buff yourself or allies, because this would break sneaking.
Therefore you will usually gain 3 free AP, potentially more, but I actually think there are not any non source skills worth more than 3 AP.
2. Everyone else performs there turn, until it is your. You now have 4 AP. There are two ways this could have turned out:
a) Either enemies will not have moved towards having vision on you,
b) or they will have vision on you.

In case a) you can now use your 4 AP to enter sneaking again, position yourself again and attack again. The upside of this is: you can position yourself for free (or rather for any distance at the cost of 4 AP) and get cooldown on all your skills. So you can use your 3 AP skill again from the same, or a different position and the cycle begins again.
In case b) you would be stuck there, having to fight, or spend a round to potentially get out of position.

The start of the round anybody can do, so let's just assume the complete in combat cycle:
Normally you would have 4 AP to spend. With sneaking you would have 3 AP to spend + full cooldown on all skills + free mobility + armor regeneration

Now the thing is, you can boost this with guerilla, so that sneaking only costs 3 AP. Meaning you would have 4 AP in both cases + 30% damage on your base attack
+ full cooldown + free mobility + armor regeneration
It would be a viable option to add glass canon because, it gives you more options to what you want to do during the round, and you are less likely to be hit because of your positioning, but that still equates to 6 AP vs 6 AP + the other boni
Now this seems quite strong, but you would need two talents in this for it to work well, while coming at the risk of getting into a position where you cannot sneak anymore, because you are in vision of enemies.

So there is only one thing that is making this an over powered tactic:
Full cooldown + armor regeneration.

Now, this is a super strong benefit, however easy to fix.
Make sneaking a soft out of combat, and not a full out of combat.
Meaning: If you have entered battle, and do manage to perform sneaking, because you are outside of the vision cones of your enemies, according to your sneaking talent, you can move around freely at 0 AP costs, while the fight continues without you, but you do not regenerate armor, and your skills do only cool down with rounds ending.

This way the only benefit would be the 30% damage bonus and the free mobility, while you have the risk of wasting 3 AP, and without guerilla talent you have even 1 AP less available and if you do not have any skills that are worth more than 2 AP you still have 1 AP less available if you enter sneak during the round vs if you do not, plus you still get put at the end of the round.
So sneaking would still require 1 talent to make it viable at all and points into sneaking to be actually able to use it properly. It would be far, far from over powered but might be a viable strategy in some cases, especially on ranged characters.
What makes it so frustrating is, that the whole thing already seems to be designed around this being a viable non overpowered option, but it simply does not work that way...
Posted By: LostSoul

Re: Why is sneaking not a viable combat option? - 17/10/19 08:23 PM

With poor AI sneak is OP especially if you can sneak in and of combat.plus add cloak.
High wits.kill an enemy. Go invis.
Move out of sight cone.
Next round sneak then wait until cloak is ready or use potions
Repeat.

If the game allows attack then hide (not at risk) then repeat you win every combat.
Gets boring.
Plus if you can leave then return to combat you can get infinite turns...

So can be hard to balance
Posted By: Snizl

Re: Why is sneaking not a viable combat option? - 17/10/19 09:57 PM


The cloak option would only work once, as I stated that it would be easily introducable, that skills do not cool down in this kind of "soft" out of combat mode.
Sure you could use potions, but if you keep using potions in every fight, it seems like quite a lot of effort, and I am sure there are already other potion exploits that don't really lead to the game being broken until you force it.
Originally Posted by LostSoul

If the game allows attack then hide (not at risk) then repeat you win every combat.
Gets boring.
Plus if you can leave then return to combat you can get infinite turns...
So can be hard to balance


Well neither of these are true. If you enter combat after sneaking you only get that one action and will be placed at the end of the turn. So every enemy gets their turn until you can use yours. They can move in too close, stun you, kd you etc. Alright, you could stay in sneaking until the end of the round, use your attack, sneak again, adding to the boni that you become basically unkillable. I can see that this would be an exploitable tactic together with glasscanon, making the balancing not so obvious anymore.
© 2020 Larian Studios forums