Stealth - The current meta for 2v2

TLDR? just look for bold

Stealth in its current state feels like it's pushing all 2v2 multi-player matches (at gold league and up) in to elusive frigate hunt matches. This current state and lack of other game modes or objectives is getting stale very fast.

If only one side picks a brawling fleet with some picket ships:
-They get picked apart. Deserved if you took no counter scouts. However, probes are a largely ineffective counter to stealth in the volumes you're dealing with, as are fighters for scouting. Only escorts can answer the hunt for escorts (and light cruisers) with their scan. So be a sitting duck and wait to lose. Not fun
-Maybe you kill the enemies line ships, spend a large amount of time hunting the last frigates and point swapping (sitting around). Even if you win or lose this way, the time spent chasing and sitting is not engaging. Not fun

If both sides pick stealth fleets:
-The match can take a very long time with no particular incentives or pay outs scaling to the increased length of match time. You spend time trying to scan each other, then either disengaging to get stealth back or trading pot shots with light weapons and small ships. You may win, you may lose, but it will definitely take a long ass time. Not Fun

If only your side picks a stealth fleet:
-Fire on sitting ducks while your ships don't even open them selves to return fire! Fun
-Spend a lot of time running. Not fun

What I'm getting at is due to the lack of game modes there is only one full proof meta, and its perma stealth. This could be very easily addressed in many many ways!
Keep in mind these are all just possibilities, I'm by no means suggesting all of these be done

Possible Fixes
-Stealth ships become visible for a few seconds after firing any weapon. Not just a silhouette you can't do anything to
-Limit Stealth duration
-Add new match types Like in the first game, you didn't know what game mode you would get so you needed a well rounded fleet. Stealth was not the best for all objective types (even though it was different back then, still applies).
-Make other counters to allow people to hunt this strategy, like allow bombers or boarding craft to be able to patrol an area like a cap point. This could keep lone escorts off for a limited time. Or simply rework the probe admiral skill to something more effective.
-Change the point value of ship kills. You get half its value, and the enemy loses points = to half its value. This means main fleet losses are as much a set back to your foes victory as it is a acceleration to your victory.
-Reduce the point gain rate of a team that has lost its admiral (make them more worth hunting?)
-Reduce the number of cap points from 5 to 3 (could make for less chasing after a main fight is resolved)
-Make escorts unable to cap
-Add an option to do death match (kill line ships)
-Line ships earn extra points for sitting on central cap point (king of the hill to force a fleet fight?)

Thoughts? Am I simply slipping into the madness of the warp or are other people noticing this too?

I appreciate that your post is well thought out with suggestions and not just screaming about eldar like most people 🙂
There are some issues with stealth but i dont know how it could be helped, i mean if you have a sure fire way to force a stealth faction like corsairs to fight you then its very one sided, corsairs cannot rly win a straight up engagement, takes multiple hit and runs etc.
And then there are factions that have no issue catching stealth factions, but i agree that it makes taking GC/BS for some factions a big handicap when fighting them which is why i think most competitive builds tend to be mostly cruiser spam, which with AAF etc can catch even corsairs quite easily.

I do like your king of the hill idea and think that could work, maybe something like, after a certain time in the match, 5 minutes maybe, 1 or 2 cap points become king of the hill style, granting double points if you sit on it, but only for line ships,(maybe only cruisers and above?) and those points have perma stealth reveal around it so you cant sit on it in stealth either. This i think would give more brawler type builds a way to beat fast stealth factions without making it unfair for the latter.

Your post is very close in sentiment to what I've written about here https://forums.focus-home.com/topic/36087/suggestion-on-alleviating-stealth-escort-abuse

Although yours is more eloquently put.

I do think that it's way to easy to cap points and avoid damage with stealth and there needs to be some bone thrown to larger ships in that regard. However, I also think that fast and stealthy ships have a place in the game and pay a price in hull and damage for their gimmick (well apart from some notorious exceptions like DE battleships). So in my opinion it should just be made harder for a stealth spam to cap points and easier for big brawly bastards to defend them - I like your suggestions on king-of-the-hill-like rule and more effective counters to stealth. Probes are rather useless and could use a rework, as well as something could be done to increase the inner detection range (the one that identifies stealth), because the outter one is pretty useless against the amount of stealth you usually have to deal with.

Edit: maybe even something like a new stance with the idea of 'power to long range scanners' that would increase both detection ranges at the cost of your typical reload dps buff. Make that available only to cruiser+ tonnage to not overpower escorts scouting ability. Though that would be harder to implement than some numbers tweaking.

last edited by B3anMarine

@ltsmash

You hit the nail on the head for me: Firing should automatically eliminate stealth for a couple seconds.

@b3anmarine

I like the idea of tonnage changing cap times, makes a lot of sense. But I don't think this alone will solve the issue, but a good step for sure. I really like the idea to have a boost sensor state for heavy ships. The fact that it would require your bridge to use would make it counterable too. If the sensor boost could up your stealth detection range to your general scanning range that would be good. Or even just an admiral skill that ups the flag ships stealth detect radius.

The main focus though of everything I'm trying to get across is there should be a time and a place for all builds/ships, in the current state it does not feel like that is even remotely the case. Pretty sure 90% of players would agree that mid to high tier play totally revolves around stealth.

you only need three escorts to have continously marked enemy ships and stealthed ships show there exact location if they fire. the advantage of stealth is mostly to get a good initial engagement and to keep your escorts safe while they go back-capping. btw it helps a lot if you keep your scanner escorts behind your line-ships. if you go with a full carrier list, you can keep tabs on many parts of the map. the hangar cd is short enough to have several charges at the same time on the map.

the meta builds in the game are brawlers (AP ammo, high macro dps with low range, burst damage if possible) and there is only one brawler build with silent running LCs.

@fosil said in Stealth - The current meta for 2v2:

the advantage of stealth is mostly to get a good initial engagement

If this statement were true people would shift out of stealth, you rarely see that happen

@ltsmash corsair shadow cruisers builds shift out of stealth to brawl, dauntless builds shift out of stealth to brawl and DE builds shift out of stealth to brawl. there is no competitive long range perma stealth build (18.000 range voidstalker admirals are an edge case, but it is not a competive build. tzeentch acherons have not enough dps to be competitive and shroud zapp orks are not perma stealth and are a hybrid build anyway (long range crits combined with close range hulking)). if you have to get to 13.500 range or closer to be effective, you get scanned.

Stealth has basically 3 benefits:

  1. Favorable engagement from a blind side.
  2. Forcing the opponent to split up (or lose on caps) and then fighting half or less of the enemy fleet with all of the stealth fleet.
  3. Shooting at the opponent without being shot back.

Tzeen cloud 22.5k Archerons on Chaos can only use #3 because the stealth is temporary and has an obviously visible indicator. The fleet completely relies on scanning and sniping enemy escorts every time they scan the Archerons so the enemy runs out of scans early. It loses to large numbers of enemy escorts or 240+ speed line ships, ESPECIALLY if those line ships can stealth themselves (like LCs). So this fleet isn't oppressive except to enemies that lack stealth, are slow, and are all short range / lack sufficient numbers of escorts.

Tyrannid and ork stealth fleets use stealth mainly for #1, because they don't have the mobility to split up themselves to cap without risking losing escorts / line ships if they get scanned. They also struggle to catch and kill enemy escorts that blunder into them. So these fleets can be countered to an extent by taking 3 points with escorts and then positioning the line ships in the middle with an escort / probe / fighter screen around them.

Drukhari, Corsair, and IN/SM/Necron LC fleets use stealth mainly for #2 and to a lesser extent #1, because they DO have the mobility to split up and still safely cap, while quickly picking off any enemy escorts they meet. This makes them extremely difficult to counter if they start the match by picking up 3 points (which they can usually do because of their mobility). If the non-stealth player tries to cap one of their points with escorts / 1-2 line ships, the stealth player can kill them. If the non-stealth player tries to cap one of their points with their whole fleet, the stealth player can maneuver around to capture 1, maybe even 2 points since the non-stealth line ships are nowhere nearby. Unless the map features 3 points that are so close that line ships roughly in the middle are close enough to protect line ships capturing / recapturing one, it is very difficult for the non-stealth fleet to win if the stealthy one doesn't make mistakes.

last edited by Jamodon

@jamodon said in Stealth - The current meta for 2v2:

it is very difficult for the non-stealth fleet to win if the stealthy one doesn't make mistakes

Thank you for agreeing with me. The bulk of your reply highlights the fact that a brawler fleet (in your number 2 scenario) suffers greatly and ends up spending the game chasing/flying in circles with slow ships. Not fun. This kind of game play is the very reason for this post, also take note that your paragraph on the "#2" scenario is the longest and encompasses the most amount of fleets. But regardless this is a huge range of benefits you just listed for ONE tactic. Can the same be said for brawlers/open ship combat in general? This all in my opinion is leading to stale game play which is the core I'm trying to address. Agree/disagree?

last edited by LtSmash

At the moment stealth isnt really the issue, it can be countered, its the abilities that make stealth so powerful, vortex from Eldar/DE and torps, MWJ for instant shot etc. if a faction has total stealth on all its ships then it should not have an ability that stops you from catching them, which is bloody difficult against a good player or an ability that stops you from moving at all (which vortex does against orks, tau and other very slow fleets).

Remove these abilities or make them one use only.

that de vortex (and other similar skills) need only one thing - CAST TIME - game was supost to be "skill shoots" not "blunt drooping spells" with out warning for opponent....you simply cant avoid that nor counter right now(well i assume it u play mirror then u can somehow counter but meh).

last edited by lord_kanar

How about enforcing some kind of fleet composition standard like in the tabletop?

I know some whiny ass little stain is going to bitch about it limiting options, but the irony is that by forcing some mild limitations you can in essence, force people to come up with creative workarounds.

My suggestion is a Crusier Limit that is in part defined by your flagship.

Kind of like how we currently have Escort Limits.

I'd suggest 3 crusiers plus your flagship.

A BC would raise this by +1, a GC +2, and a BB +3

@jamodon splitting up (without recall) is an auto-lose against any decent stealth build.

if you have one of the rare VP placements, where you can't defend three points reasonably, your only choice is to blob cap and wait for a chance to hunt a part of the stealthed fleet. your escorts always stay in support range of your line ships, if you don't have tabs on the enemy main fleet.

reload stance ships can catch silent running ships as long as the speed difference is not too high (I am too lazy to try to calculate the threshold atm). that's why you can't stealth out-cap a slaughter fleet without giving it a bloody nose first.

in general your fleets needs mobility or accurate long ranged dps to be viable. viable not only against stealth builds, viable at all. you don't need stealth at all to out-cap a slower fleet without long range damage, if the VP placement is funky.

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