Something Smakendahead wrote about Witch Elves reminded me about stealth classes. I’ll make a bold statement that probably has many exceptions, but we have to start somewhere:
Any class that gets stealth will get gypped, to some extent or other, in almost all other areas.
It’s been a long time since I’ve played EQ2, WoW or LOTRO, so maybe things have changed there. But I remember in Vanguard, rogues had lovely stealth and utterly crappy survivability, and less damage than some supposedly lower-DPS classes. Now, in WAR, Witch Elves and Witch Hunters get a variant of stealth and ka-pow, their damage is occasionally less than impressive for mDPS types, not to mention the giant “Kill me, I’m easy!” neon signs above their heads. I don’t see Chosen losing a bunch of armor or anything just because they have 5 zillion auras they can twist about.
I get that in order to have a “special” ability, you usually have to give up something else. My opinion now, however, is that I’d rather NOT have incognito on my Witch Hunter and have some of my old, long-gone beta damage back, especially for the executions. Those were somewhat overpowered when I first joined the beta (making the WH a crazy-fun class to play, sadly), but I think they went too far with the damage-smackdown bat.
I guess if I had a choice, I’d make stealth a part of one of the mastery trees — let the folks who want to use it have it, give them some nifty extras they can do with it (like, er, special siege-engine destroying moves or something), and let those who *don’t* want it avoid paying the price for a “special” ability they may neither want nor very often use.
Losing damage output all round while still being made out of spun glass is not, in my view, adequate payment for being able to occasionally go almost-invisible. Half the time when I come out of it I *still* get killed, because I’m so squishy. Which is okay, because if stealth were an “I win!” button, then that would suck too. But right now, we have a dicey, very situational special ability, for which we pay a huge price in terms of overall damage, and even if we use that ability chances are that magus we’re aiming at will get off a big spell in our faces and kill us anyway. If you’re a witch elf, just sub bright wizard for magus.
Incognito schmincognito, I say. At least we look good.