As the PTR starts to roll out patch after patch it’s time to talk about the unavoidable stealth changes that are coming down the pipe. The changes will affect us all whether or not you play a stealthy so it’s worth your wild to pay attention.
So what’s going to happen? Well in the simplest terms the *shader* for stealth units is being changed to the point where it will be significantly easier for everyone to see a stealthy coming. In compensation for this, all stealth characters are getting some much-needed special attention. Many of these are quality-of-life changes that are often associated with power spikes. They’re not all new, and some are even just previous talent choices now given baseline in one form or another. But they’re coming and we should be prepared.
So what? Doesn’t sound so bad for us right? Well, it’s much more complicated than that no matter who you are. Personally, I sort of hate stealth. Period. Not just in this game but in any game. I hate how it feels to be jumped by one or several stealth characters. I hate how they get that added element of surprise and the ability to choose their fights. I get it, but I just don’t like it. I know that it’s like a balancing act and that it really isn’t so black-and-white but I don’t care. I agree to have it in games creates some much more interesting encounters and gameplay, but deep down I just have a burning resentment for that sort of style. It just feels cheap.
But I digress, the main reason as a non-stealth player that you’ll need to pay attention is because encounters are going to feel different now. So long as you’re with or against a stealthy, whatever you were used to before has now altered. You can’t expect your stealthed ally to sneak up on unaware Heroes as well as before. You can, however, expect much better ambushes from and against them due to the fact that now after a few seconds (currently 1.5sec) a stealthed Hero will become completely invisible. They will have no outline and will not be visually detectable until they move again or are somehow revealed.
That is scary. Can you imagine? So long as that Zeratul gets into position for the shrine ahead of time he could be right beside you and you’d never even know. Never. Even. Know. Now ironically, I’m ok with this. If they’re going to keep stealth in the game (I know, I know, that wasn’t ever off the table) then they need to be able to provide some of that stealthed fantasy power back in their hands. In fact, although I’ve already stated by deep-seeded hate for them these changes are going to make me try them again. If for nothing else then to learn them better so that I may better kill them. Oh yes, I do that. It’s the only reason I ever even played a rogue in WoW.
These changes are supposed to be a double-edged sword. They are aimed at those who are on the receiving end of stealthed attackers and the frustration that can come about if you didn’t see them coming. As well, they want stealth Heroes to not have such a dropoff in representative play. At the low tier, stealth Heroes are very abundant due to the fact that it’s often an eye contest as to whether a player sees them or not. Conversely, at the high tier, they are rarely ever seen to the point where they’re almost a liability to have on a team.
These changes are still on the PTR and therefore subject to change. In fact, they haven’t even finished implemented so much more could still happen. However, One thing is for sure. No matter who you are or play this will affect you. So hunker down and get ready, s*** just got a whole lot scarier.