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All About Being Sneaky

Last Modified: August 7, 2010

If you've been reading this in order, you already know about my embarrassing Noob moment when I thought I invented sneaking through missions. You have to understand, it's pretty exciting to learn that you can just run straight to the end and complete a mission in a few minutes and reap the bonus like that.

There are several reasons that you would want to do this which are as follows:

  • Time

    If you're Squishy and can't or don't want to form a team, sneaking saves a lot of time. Trying to clear a mission without stealth powers can take hours or end up being impossible depending on your Mission Difficulty (Noteriety) level.

    At best, if you pick the right path in a mission, you can skip some groups of enemies and still complete the mission, but using stealth, you can often fight only the end boss or almost no one at all if it's a Glowie mission.

  • Time in task forces

    A long time ago, I recommended that a casual gamer skip TFs and trials, but that was bad advice. Not only are TFs great experience, but they are a lot of fun. They do, however, take a lot of time.

    To make a TF more manageable, you can use your stealth techniques to cut down on the time it takes to complete some of the missions. This works even better if you have Recall Friend to teleport the whole team to the end for "Kill Leader" missions.

    For some task forces, this can cut the time for the trial in half (or more).

  • Mission and TF Screen captures

    I would never have been able to take this shot without stealth powers (and fly in this case)

    Stealth will allow you to take awesome screenshots that you could never do otherwise. Many missions and most Task Forces have special zones or missions. If you want to see them again, you have to redo the TF or in the case of missions, find someone else who has the mission so you can join them for the screenshots).

Stealth In Zones

Besides missions there are a few other reasons to take stealth powers.

  • Safe Travel

    Good thing they don't know I'm here

    As you travel around, you may go through areas with much higher level enemies than you. While you can usually avoid them, sometimes they'll be standing right next to your contact or the door to your next mission.

    Each travel power (except fly) has the disadvantage of accidentally jumping, teleporting, or running into a group of enemies that you didn't see. Adding stealth to any of these will help.

  • Outdoor Screen Captures

    Hanging out with a sorceress

    As with missions, there are some shots that you can take with stealth powers that you wouldn't be able to otherwise. Stealth will let you get close to the enemies or sometimes stand in the middle of them to take screen captures. When combined with emotes, this can be a lot of fun.

  • Player vs Player

    You can be seen a LONG way in PvP if you don't have any stealth power at all.

    Stealth is really useful in PvP not just for fighting other players, but for avoiding them. Again, screenshots or just missions. For example, if you want to get from one missions to another in a PvP zone or if your mission involves outdoor activities (like in Bloody Bay), stealth will be nearly essential (unless you want to log on only at the strangest hours that you hope will make you the only person in the whole zone).

Concealment Powers

Powerset Invisibility

Even though I'm close, they can't see me

Some characters have stealth or invisibility naturally. For example, Storm people have Steamy Mist, Dark Miasma has Shadow Fall, Illusion controllers have superior invisiblity, and of course Stalkers have Hide.

For the ones that don't provide full invisibility, there are ways to combine stealth powers to make it full invisibility (Described below).

Stealth Power Pool

The stealth pool consists of Stealth, Grant Invisibility (nice, but only for teammates), Invisibility (you can only affect yourself = suck), and Phase Shift (a short term intangibility effect). You aren't invisible, just untouchable and still can't interact with anything.

Powerset Stealth Powers

Using Warshade stealth+SS to slap a void around (Video: 1.8Mb)

Some powersets have stealth powers as well (such as Shadow Fall from the Dark Maisma set for Defenders, Shadow Cloak for Warshades, and Cloaking Device from the Devices set for Blaster). They usually work the same way as Stealth and have the catch that they can't combine with other stealth powers.

In these cases, remember that SS does combine with stealth powers to create full invisibility (in regular zones and missions only, not in PvP).

Stealth Procs

From stealth to full invis by adding a stealth proc

With the introduction of Invention Origin Enhancements, new powers can be obtained, not by having to level or get a temp power, but by invention. One such power is Stealth that can be given by unique procs that can be slotted into any power that takes run, jump, fly, or teleport enhancements.

If you slot this into a permanent power, you will have a permanent stealth effect (which I don't recommend because you'll never be able to take a good screenshot of you character again since they'll be partially see through and it can mess with escort missions). Instead put it into sprint or fly, or some other power that can be toggled on and off. When the power is on, you're stealthed (and for 2 minutes after you turn it off).

But, per usual, the stupid drones can still see me 🙁

The neatest thing about this is that the combination of a stealth proc and a powerset stealth power (and, though I didn't try it, probably stealth from the power pool too) gives you full invisibility in non PvP zones!

In the pictures I took here, I put a stealth proc on my fly power so when I'm flying and have Shadow Fall on at the same time, I'm fully invisible!

When I first discovered this, I was able to Repec several characters where I was using Super Speed only for the invisibility aspect and reclaim two powers to pick out of my main powersets instead!

Sneaking Techniques

Besides having full invisibility (either with the power or with a combination of powers, there are other ways to get to the end/target of a mission which are as follows:

  • Fly

    Sneaking through a warehouse with stealth and fly (Video: 1.6Mb)

    For open air missions such as train missions, you can simply fly to the end with no problems.

  • Stealth + Fly

    By using any stealth power to lower the distance that enemies can see you, you can generally hug the top of warehouse or office missions without being seen. In some tight hallways, you might take a few hits or have to fight your way through, but it still gets the job done.

  • Stealth + Teleport

    Usually you can use teleport similar to fly to stay near the top of warehouses or just port right past an enemy group. This isn't the preferred way to go, but it can be done.

  • Brute Force It

    Tanks or anyone with invincibility powers like Unstoppable, Phase Shift, or Light Form (Peacebringers) can just run to the end without worry. Even if you piss off every enemy on the map, because of adjustments made to the limit on aggro (to prevent full map herding), at best only a few will follow you.

Sneaking Tips

  • Super Speed has no stealth effect in PvP.
    Super Speed has a stealth effect in pve, but not in PvP. Even though Stealth powers plus SS makes you invisible in regular zones and missions, don't expect the same in PvP.

  • Taking a screenshot
    Oops. So much for being invisible...

    In this particular instance, I ran off to sneak through the mission and stopped to take a screenshot when suddenly everything started attacking me. I realized pretty quickly that I forgot to dismiss fluffy and he faithfully followed me while I was sneaking thus aggroing everything around me.

  • Whether for greater realism or because people like me were able to get through missions without fighting a single enemy, the devs changed the way glowies work. Now, when you grab one, your stealth is reduced or disabled. That means that if there are enemies near a glowie that you need, you'll have to fight them or distract them (using a pet summon is a good distraction).
  • Some AVs and all Giant Monsters can see through Invis. So can many Nemesis enemies, Rikti Drones, and Crey Sharpshooters. Keep that in mind as you run around.

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