If you have ever played a stealth class in an MMO, you will know the feeling well when you pick out your next mob and sneak up behind for that perfect backstab … only to have an arrow/ spell/ ranged attack hit it first.
It’s frustrating. Partly because it was likely done in all innocence; you were stealthed after all. How were they to know? So chances are that in PvE, you quickly avoid stealthed attacks unless you know you are alone and you really need that added punch. (Or the devs kindly give you some kind of ranged stealthy attack or a teleport, or somesuch.)
It’s equally annoying if you’re duoing with a ranged class and they get aggro all the time, which means that the mob runs off towards them and you have to peg it after them. (Maybe GW2 with its position based aggro will avoid this trap.)
Traditionally, stealthers have been penalised in PvE because they’ve tended to be strong in PvP. But I wonder if it would be better if every class could stealth, and then more stealth based PvE would be opened up for everyone.
I sometimes wonder how well stealth classes really fit into MMOs. And that’s a shame because it is a very fun play style. And seems to offer a lot of possibilities that MMOs don’t cater to well because they wouldn’t be accessible to non-stealthers and one has to be fair. And also, in a gogogo era, who has time for sneaking up carefully to a mob when you could just sling a dagger at it?
LOTRO is actually not a bad game for stealthers in PvE. This isn’t because the dynamics are any different but because they do throw in a few quests that ask you to go scout out enemy camps. Clearly you could do this the ‘scouting via full frontal assault’ method, but as a burglar I just sneak in. Job done. Stealth is a great ability for explorers.