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Heroes Community > Heroes 4 - Lands of Axeoth > Thread: Is stealth better than I thought?
Thread: Is stealth better than I thought?
Planeswalker
Planeswalker


Famous Hero
Chaotic Good
posted February 04, 2003 06:01 AM

Is stealth better than I thought?

I often play with Chaos, and first I thought that the Thieves' STEALTH SKILL was rather bad (can only hide himself and so on)

However, after reading the manual one day, I found something interesting.
It said that:
As a special bonus, a hero who sneaks past their enemies using the stealth skill gains a portion of the experience they would have got if they had fought the army.

If this is true, it's pretty awesome. But I think I've never noticed anything like that happening to me before. How do you actually use this "special feature"?


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splat
splat


Adventuring Hero
posted February 05, 2003 06:01 AM

stealth

Very simple. First you need enough stealth skill: to sneak past level 1 creatures, you need advanced stealth, and so on, for level 4 creatures you need grandmaster stealth.

To get the experience, just step next to them, and take another step if it doesn't work yet.

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pepak
pepak


Adventuring Hero
posted February 06, 2003 03:10 AM

However, it's next to useless now. In pre-2.0, there was a bug that awarded a Thief one halt of the experience he would get if he fought the army on Normal difficulty. That made Stealth extremely useful on higher difficulties, especially champion, where he could get more experience sneaking around than fighting. As of 2.0, this bug got fixed, and a thief gets one half of the experience he would get if he fought. Unfortunatelly, that's so little on Champion that it's not worth it to bother to rise high enough in Stealth (especially considering that Stealth doesn't help you at all in combat)

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rychenroller
rychenroller


Promising
Supreme Hero
posted February 06, 2003 03:37 AM

But scouting provides pathfinding, the most necessary skill in heroes4 so you are gonna get stealth anyway.

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splat
splat


Adventuring Hero
posted February 06, 2003 07:26 AM

Stealth is not just good for the experience. You can also flag goldmines behind strong guards, surprise enemies who leave their towns undefended, and steal relics from strong level 4 stacks.

A thief who also develops some combat, can attack towns with some level 3 and 4 creatures inside, unexpectedly.

But I play on advanced level, not champion.

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Medusa
Medusa


Famous Hero
Yeah, right
posted February 06, 2003 09:28 AM

Is stealth better than i thought?

I think yes it is VERY useful in the GS campaign with nature; you won't win without it..
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BeastGrandMa...
BeastGrandMaster


Hired Hero
posted February 21, 2003 09:05 AM

What Are U talking about!

Hi, just noticed you all giving praise to the stealth skill! Thatís nonsense, its pants. Just a waste of valuable level ups! I admit willingly that Grand master path finding and expert + scouting are very useful but ultimately the whole scouting skill is just a drain on experience. To be really useful you have to get at least master grand master pathf, in the time it takes to get that U could have expert any magic (Nature best obviously) including the pathfinding spell for nature eliminating any terrain penalties. Scouting is very useful for discovering numbers and devising strategies. But if you are that deperrate to know your chances just sacrifice an L1 to find out exact figures. Sailing is almost pointless unless there is a very water oriented map, and removing an entire skill is simply not an option!

Stealth can indeed gain good experience for example the Bard campaign in Gathering S: 5000 odd experience in advance regularly handed out. Just for disembarking from your army, walking next to a dragon band or whatever, getting the free experience then allowing the army back on (a little loss of movement but with GM Pathf not too grave) and having the battle. This way you can really advance up.

But the paramount point here is: just to get grandmaster stealth you have to expend 6-7 gained ranks which are simply too precious to waste advancing up a fairly redundant skill. Its very rare I wouldnít benefit from the movement bonus gained by having a high mover in the army (30+ movement) so I never have need of the stealth. (I always win every battle also so I donít need to hide!).

So for scouting there are 2 less useful or wasted skills: theres little point in having it (possibly develop pathf and scouting as a tertiary skill up to expert or master (too much effort to get higher).

Donít get me wrong I absolutely love pathfinding at GM level 50% extra move, my heroes & armies have moved more than 80 per turn with some good management and artefacts. (30+eq gloves (25%) + boots (50%), + stables (8 (75%+ from artes), trough (11 (75%+ from arte)). That makes 70 odd. Moving with a fast army and GM scouting gives you an unbelievable 105 movement, with no terrain penalties, effectively thatís total victory, U can traverse the entire map in 1 go.

My fav skill in HOMM 2 & 3 was logistics, but it simply isnt as necessary here. And you need the skill spaces for more important additions such as tactics, combat on top of the main choice (99% Nature). After he essential additions Nature up to GM, Combat to GM/expert level, tactices at expert/adv, and life at expert/adv. It would be almost impssible to develop a further skill!

(that is ideal above, kind of finishing hero stats)

Hope I havnít contradicted too many people. & this is just certainly my opinion (developed after 1000s hrs overplay).

Speak soon

BGM

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Kuma
Kuma


Promising
Famous Hero
u can type so much text in her
posted February 21, 2003 09:16 AM

u play H4 Rych??
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splat
splat


Adventuring Hero
posted February 21, 2003 01:22 PM

I put the scouting skill only in seperate thieves, not in my main spellcaster.

If you let such a thief join your army you have nice wide view etc and 50% extra movement. You can make him very useful in battle by giving him some low-level spells like bind wound, confusion, wasp swarm.

But you can also let him go alone and steal artifacts, resources, mines and castles everywhere. It depends on the map you play whether that is useful.


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Vlaad
Vlaad


Admirable
Legendary Hero
ghost of the past
posted February 21, 2003 04:03 PM

In addition, Thief looks coolest on the adventure map.
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dale
dale


Known Hero
posted March 06, 2003 03:22 AM

Hi Guys

 I haven't been here in quite a while, but have been playing through some downloaded maps.  

 I used to agree with those who say that stealth is not worth much -- until I realized what a hero with good stealth can do when all by him/her self.   The thief is not really a lot of help in a group, but when alone can really wreck havoc and gather lots of rewards for the team.  

 Especially on big maps, I will hire a thief early on and train him up with the main force until he is at least level 2 in stealth.   Then I send him out on his own, paying careful attention to the levels of creature stacks.  Walk him up to any creature stack that is one less than his stealth level, and he is invisible and gains XP.   Doesn't really take long for him to get up to expert or Master level in Stealth.  Once you get him to GM level, he is invulnerable (almost).  He can flag mines, gather artifacts, go sailing for fun and profit, etc.  All the while he steadily grows in strength.

 My best thief character had GM Stealth, GM Archery, some rings that doubled HP, some rings/armor that regenerated HP per turn, and also a few of the special arrows (stun etc).   He could single handedly defeat a fairly large stack, even of shooters.
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EmperorSly
EmperorSly


Known Hero
Destroyer of Liver
posted March 06, 2003 05:19 AM

stealth is way better than anyone thought

... and not so much because it gives experience but because it nearly replaces everything you need.

quoting beastgrandmaster: " just to get grandmaster stealth you have to expend 6-7 gained ranks which are simply too precious to waste advancing up a fairly redundant skill."

how wrong... You can easily "waste" even much more ranks and still be better off. A simple thief with GM Stealth basically does the job of a full grown archmage with mighty army. After all, getting as good fighting hero as possible is not an end in itself. Even killing those hapless wandering critters is not an end in itself. For most of the game, the goal is to move around, take the mines, take the artifacts, take the towns, f*** the enemy in the ass and get your imperial economy going. Its cool to take a dark-champion-guarded goldmine with the help of four weeks worth of army and level 15 archmage. But its even cooler to take the same goldmine with your GM thief alone, leaving those darkchamps alive and GUARDING YOUR MINE.

If you play on easy, then its ok to just kill anybody. But on champion difficulty stealth becomes THE BEST. Firstly, the neutral stacks are bigger and you would need too much army to get past them without stealth. Secondly, neutral stacks are bigger and you get more exp for avoiding them with stealth. Thirdly, resources are scarce and that makes getting the huge army you need instead of stealth much harder. Fourth, resources are scarce and stealing some mines gives you a considerable competitive advantage over others.
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pepak
pepak


Adventuring Hero
posted March 07, 2003 11:27 AM

Quote:
If you play on easy, then its ok to just kill anybody. But on champion difficulty stealth becomes THE BEST. Firstly, the neutral stacks are bigger and you would need too much army to get past them without stealth. Secondly, neutral stacks are bigger and you get more exp for avoiding them with stealth. Thirdly, resources are scarce and that makes getting the huge army you need instead of stealth much harder. Fourth, resources are scarce and stealing some mines gives you a considerable competitive advantage over others.


That's not true anymore. The huge experience boost of pre-2.0 made Stealth worth having, but that's gone forever. As it is now, you would have to waste about 13 level upgrades on mostly worthless skills (and before you go on with Pathfinding, a level-1 nature spell does its work well enough) to get a hero that is only good for grabbing mines and artifacts, but not much else. On the other hand, a similarly trained combat or magic hero should be able to beat those guardian armies easily enough, with the added advantage of being useful against AI and player opponents as well. Stealth might be OK if you have experience points to waste on a third or fourth hero, but on a main hero it's worthless.

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Djive
Djive


Honorable
Supreme Hero
Zapper of Toads
posted March 07, 2003 11:47 AM

The value of Stealth is not the XP gained. It's the sneak ability which has to pay up, and that means that the Map maker has to make it worthwhile when desigining the Map.

The Map Maker can make it impossible for the Thief to take that Gold Mine or relic artifact wihtout fighting the guards. On such a map stealth is not worth the cost. It will still have some value when terrorizing the opponent but that will likely not compensate the cost.

The Learning skill in H3 gave 15% on gained XP, Stealth gives 25% on creature stacks. On one count, you gain XP without having to fight a possibly superior army, on the other hand you don't get any plus percentage on XP from trees, teachers or stones. Overall, the benefit are comparable.

The sad truth is that 25% equates to about 1 level (because of the exponential XP chart), and you need 5 levels to get to GM stealth. Just ask yourself how useful you thought learning is in H3 and you will arrive in how useful XP gain of Stealth is in H4. To be worth the price in itself you would need 100% XP gain or thereabouts. (Even then it only gives four levels.)

Scouting is not only usable for predicing outcomes of battles and inspecting enemy parties and cities. You can also see spells taught by shrines, contents of what a ship-wrecked will give you, or a medicine wagon, skeleton and so on. And that might come in handy at times.
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EmperorSly
EmperorSly


Known Hero
Destroyer of Liver
posted March 07, 2003 01:29 PM

the value of thief

quoting pepak "As it [stealth] is now, you would have to waste about 13 level upgrades on mostly worthless skills.  Stealth might be OK if you have experience points to waste on a third or fourth hero, but on a main hero it's worthless."

Actually, you "waste" much less. Firstly, you need a separate hero to do the thieving. You can still develop your mage or whatever to do the fighting as usual. But right, in the beginning, the thief has to jog alongside the fighter and learn. He can't really go to the wide world before Expert Stealth. That he can get at Lvl 7 - 8. If there are no learning stones, that means your fighter has to give up about 10 000 xp. This (and 1500 - 2500 gold) is the maximum investment in thief. That means by the time your thief goes solo, your fighter is Lvl 8 instead of being Lvl 11. 3, not 13 lost upgrades. Further on in the future, the lost 10 000 xp mean only the difference between being lvl 16 or lvl 17. Just 1 lost upgrade.

Starting Lvl 8, your thief goes solo, and earns his further upgrades. True, he has to visit 2 (or was it 4) times as many stacks as the fighter to get the same experience. But lets not forget, he might be twice as fast walker. Most importantly, he can gain experience from the stacks that would "crush the Fighter like a bug".

Because the thief doesnt kill anybody, the fighter can still fight as much as normally, and gain xp. But... Because the thief has flagged a load of mines, fighter has more army to take along. Beacause thief has stolen good artifacts, the fighter is better equipped. Because thief has discovered territory, the fighter knows exactly where to go. And most importantly, since thief does all the goods-gathering, fighter doesnt have to waste time going around swamps chasing mines, but can walk right up your castle and kick the butt. Already in month two, the movement of your main army is probably the most valuable resource of your empire, and thief makes sure you dont have to waste it on minor business.
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