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Theorycrafting: A change to Stalker Secondaries


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Disclaimer: This isn't an actual suggestion for Homecoming to implement. Stalkers are currently a fun, solid AT and for that reason alone, there's no real reason to rock the boat. This is just had an idea that I wanted to share and get feedback on. That said...

CoX has four melee/armor-based ATs. They have mostly all the same powersets, and mostly the same powers within those sets, and therefore, similar play styles and roles on a team. Clearly Stalkers see the most changes to the melee and defense sets to foster the inclusion of their key powers like Hide and Assassin's Strike, but, is that enough to truly differentiate them? With Tanks, you stand in the middle of a group and hit them. With Brutes, you stand there and hit things. With Scrappers, you stand there and hit things. Stalkers sneak up, kill a dude, then proceed to... stand there and hit things.

My proposed change for Stalkers is this: Get rid of the current secondaries, and replace them with all new debuff/light control based sets! Kind of like cranking Ninjitsu up to 11 and having the other sets follow suite.

If you look at comics, movies, TV and games, the types of characters Stalkers are meant to imitate, like Batman, the Predator, some iterations of Spider-Man, and the protagonist from ANY stealth-based game, all tend to use use tricks, traps, and subterfuge against their foes, because they themselves lack any significant protection. The character has to set up the battlefield to their advantage, whittle down their foes, and then strike when an opening presents itself.

The new Stalker Secondaries would look like this:

T1: Hide; increased Melee/Ranged defense, but no AoE defense (Being invisible doesn't stop a nearby explosion from hurting you)
T2: A single-target "soft" Mez: Immob, Sleep, or Fear. No Holds or Stuns. Just something to keep a troublesome boss or LT off you until you've whittled down their men and are ready to engage.
T3: A Light defensive/resistance armor of some kind, which would be thematic to the set. Stalkers ARE still a Melee AT and need some protection, but it won't be as layered as before. The defense numbers would vary based on the effectiveness of the rest of the set (usually between 7.5-12.5%).
T4: An AoE -ToHit/Perception Debuff of some kind, like a smoke bomb or a flashbang effect. This provides a bit of extra protection not just for the Stalker, but their whole team.
T5: "Key" power. This is where each set would be radically different. Some get a sleep/slow effect, a Knockback effect, a Confuse, or Caltrops, or a repel... or something else that's thematic to the set. They're not all made equal, which is what helps determine the strength of their few armor powers.
T6: Mez protection clicky. Gotta have that if you're going to be spending any time in melee, after all. Short-duration (30 seconds?), low mag (5?), just enough to get you out of a tight spot.
T7: A Light AoE control or debuff: Fear, Sleep, Slow, KD patch, or an additional -Acc to stack with other powers.
T8: A "strong" Single-target Debuff, that would include two or three of the following aspects: -Acc, -Dam, -Def, -MaxHP, -Move Speed, -Regen, -Recharge, -Res, etc. This power would be mid duration and high recharge (Maybe just barely perma-able?), and be tailor-made to take the edge off of things like AVs and GMs, whether solo or on a team.

T9: Agro Redirection: Mass Confuse or Phantom Army clone! These pets (if applicable) would be VERY low damage, and have taunt auras; the whole purpose would be to keep a group's attention off you for about 30 seconds. They'd be thematic to the set, like Fire Imps, Ice Imps, Shadows, clones of you... or, just a slightly weaker version of Mass Confusion.

And here are the Secondaries I whipped up (Names and descriptions only, you can probably guess what kind of powers each set would have using the above as a guide)

Dark Utility: Focuses on -acc and fear debuffs far more strongly than other sets.
Devices: Well rounded, with a bit more in the realm of AoE debuffs.
Earthen Utility: Probably the beefiest set for self-defense over debuffs.
Fiery Utility: Trades some defense and debuff numbers for, what else, a bit of extra damage!
Icy Utility: Utilizes slows more than other sets.
Illusions: Makes your foes see things that aren't there (and not see what IS there)!
Mental Utility: Psionics-flavored set; the ability to see attacks coming gives it the highest defensive numbers of the bunch.
Ninjitsu: A lot like the OG set, but following the pattern set above.
Telekinetics: Or gravity, w/e you prefer to RP it as; focuses on moving stuff around with kd/repel effects
Temporal Utility: Time powers to slow your foes, and the only set to have an actual Hold.
Trick Arrow: Oil Slick ftw!

As you can see, the idea here is two-fold: Make Stalker gameplay feel a little more like other entries in the stealth genre, as well as give them additional ways to contribute on a team. Not that they NEED it, mind you, but I feel that 4 ATs who all play mostly the same is a bit much, and Stalkers were a prime candidate for a shake-up, IMO.

So, again, this is all just theory crafting, I don't see this change ever happening, but I just wanted to share and see what everyone else thought! Would this be something that would get you interested in Stalkers? Would you hate it and delete your Stalker? Should this maybe be a different AT all together that steps on a Stalker's toes the way Brutes step on Tanks toes? Let's hear it!

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8 hours ago, Darkneblade said:

That said it will be better as new AT instead. People hate huge changes.

Pretty much this. While I like the idea, changing Stalkers to be it at this point would achieve little other than irritating every person who enjoys Stalkers as they are. It'd be better as a completely new AT, being as different as it is.

When life gives you lemonade, make lemons. Life will be all like "What?"

[Admin] Emperor Marcus Cole: STOP!
[Admin] Emperor Marcus Cole: WAIT ONE SECOND!
[Admin] Emperor Marcus Cole: WHAT IS A SEAGULL DOING ON MY THRONE!?!?

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