The Big World milestone launch was really a giant distraction meant to conceal the real secret brewing in the back offices of ArtCraft Entertainment. A conspiracy so big, that it nearly implicated our entire crew here at Obsidian. What could be so big as to take down both an indie developer and the foremost experts in Crowfall stealth warfare? It comes down to a single power, Recon.
“Carefully studying a target from the comfort of your Burrow, you apply the Exposed debuff to reveal weaknesses you and other specialists may capitalize on.”
It’s obvious: we’ve been colluding with the developers to give ourselves the upper hand come Crowfall’s release. This is simply too good to be true.
Many have found themselves enjoying the new milestone test, dubbed ‘Big World.’ Some arguably, not so much. This release finally gave us a hint of what crafting looks like and we plan on covering this topic extensively here. Yet the most paramount of all mechanics, Stealth, was finally introduced. With such a pivotal moment in the game’s development now upon us, we felt obligated to not only start testing in force as a guild, but also to relaunch our site to talk about it.
Obscured within the Big World test, hidden behind crafting and a chance to see what Crowfall could become, was a juicy secret that not a lot of people picked up on. Not only was the Duelist getting stealth a surprise, but so to was the tool-tip we highlighted earlier. Within this power, lay the future of the specialist role that has thus far been mostly overlooked. What do I mean by that? Roles are pretty obvious when one looks at the words, “Tank”, “DPS”, and “Support”. Yet when you look at the word “Specialist”, it’s not immediately clear what that represents.
We have the advantage of knowing the archetypes that will make up this role: Duelist, Ranger, Assassin and Forgemaster (yea not sure where this guy came from…). The problem is, without the context of these archetypes, the word is pretty general and could mean just about anything. Some consider this role mere leftovers. That’s possibly why they were so unspecific. If you removed Forgemaster from that lineup, one might assume the presence of stealth as the unifying feature. Yet, it’s right there, and its been right in front of us since this milestone launched. Specialists are experts of exposing weaknesses in our foes and taking advantage of them.
Let’s take a look again at the tool-tip. Clearly the keyword debuff of “Exposed” is going to be the mechanic by which Specialists can key off of one another. The Duelist’s own powers are significantly increased in effectiveness by targeting an individual with the debuff. Take for example the power, Go For Broke, which causes a stun if the target is exposed.
“Leap from your Burrow with full commitment, unleashing a deadly hail of gunfire assaulting up to three targets in a cone multiple times for 415-622 + 52% Weapon Damage before returning to your Burrow again if you can avoid damage. Striking Exposed targets causes a guaranteed critical hit.”
What if all of the archetypes within the Specialist role can apply the Exposed debuff and receive some sort of tangible benefit for targeting an individual with it? That’s called synergy and it’s got a lot of implications for Crowfall’s combat system. Not only is this synergy the first of its kind to be introduced even as a concept (I haven’t seen it anywhere else yet) into this game, it’s been given to players like myself who created a whole guild around the specialist role!
Of course speculation is all we can do at this point. The existing Specialist, the Ranger, had its current powers developed long ago. At the time it was pretty contentious as the Ranger’s web profile even to this day indicates it as a Specialist: Stealth. Yet, despite this assigned role, it remains without any ability to hide or stealth. We do know from previous comments made by the development team that Rangers are due for a revisit; they are destined to get hide added to their powers list. This means eventually someone has to go back and tweak the powers list.
Until we can see these revised Ranger powers (they don’t currently represent anything relating to this mechanic), and the complete reveals of the Assassin and Forgemaster, it still remains to be seen to what level this synergy might look like. It’s pretty clear, however, that all of these roles will be integrated into a highly efficient and synergistic ball of Crowfall death. What more could we ask for?