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Thus far I've been playing a thief/mage hybrid class in KoA, but I rarely find it advantageous to sneak or go for sneak attacks. Moving while sneaking is extremely slow, and most of the time I find I can resolve battles quickly by just jumping right in with my daggers and chakrams. Enemies also seem to notice me quickly.

This all combines together, so that when facing off against a group of enemies, I might sneak for 30 seconds and perhaps, if I'm lucky, I'll surprise one and do a bit of extra damage compared to my normal attack. Then the rest tend to immediately notice me, and I must dispatch them in "normal" combat.

I believe through a combination of Skill and Ability points, I could eliminate many of the drawbacks and disadvantages to sneaking and sneak attacking, but this has a significant opportunity cost. Is there really much of a benefit to these skills and abilities? Does it ever make more sense to sneak than to just rush in, weapons blazing?

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Are you casting spells for your attacks? I know with daggers if I am swinging them and doing say, 15 damage a hit, a sneak attack has been doing around 750 damage. –  James Feb 9 '12 at 23:51
I'm approaching them and hitting the "X" button which performs some sort of "sneak attack" with my weapon (faeblades or daggers) that seems to not always kill them. –  agent86 Feb 9 '12 at 23:58
Maybe I am just not far enough into the game as of yet I guess. –  James Feb 10 '12 at 0:20
I've found the game's combat, even on Hard, to be too easy so far to justify the time it takes to get a sneak attack in. –  Sterno Feb 10 '12 at 2:01
@agent86 I believe it's a chance to backstab. I've had it fail too. –  Raven Dreamer Feb 10 '12 at 3:18

3 Answers 3

up vote 8 down vote accepted

Does it make sense to sneak? Not until you've thrown 35 points into the Finesse tree and unlock Smoke Bomb.

You're right about the early levels - you have no way to regain hidden status once you've lost it, so your best bet is to sneak in (you can dodge/roll while sneaking to give you a little bit extra speed), stab one or two enemies if you can, then fight the rest of them in normal combat.

Even with heavy investment into the Stealth skill, it's still likely you'll have trouble sneaking up on every mob.

But Smoke Bomb gives the potential for so much more. Every time you use it, you re-enter the "hidden" state. This means you can backstab enemies mid combat. Suddenly, all those points investing in +backstab damage are relevant outside the first second!

Bottom line?

Stealth is underwhelming at low levels. It doesn't make sense to focus on it until you have the levels to support it.

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For earlier levels, it would be a good idea to focus on something like finesse/might so you don't get too engrained in a fighting style too dissimilar from pure finesse chars. –  Tarkenfire Feb 10 '12 at 7:43
+1 for smoke bomb –  viktor Feb 13 '12 at 13:39

I'm only level 7 and have a Finesse/Sorcery build and sneaking has worked well for me. You need to be more aware of your approach and the pathing of your enemies but it is very doable. I've snuck up on creatures that were a complete pain and taken them out with a backstab attack.

I'd say it's a play style choice; it doesn't always pay off, but when it does it works out nicely. Took out a group of 4 Red Blades, etc. just a matter of finding your way in cleanly.

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It really does not worth, if you preffer effect and straightforward gameplay. Even with smoke bomb, it is really a veeery big pain in the a**. You are supposed to sneak each mob and your stealth goes away as soon as you hit. So if you are facing a group of mobs you either have to "smoke bomb -> normal battle (while waiting cooldown end) -> smoke bomb" or use normal attack and don't bother with useless sneak. On the other hand, stealth may be helpful for thievery, but in most cases it does not worth - loot from most chests are much below average and picpocketing tens of gold coins (or even 150-200) is a waste of time. I have level 28 char with 1.5 mil. I made it without picpocketing at all. So, in my opinion, it simply does not worth. If game had different mechanic, if it was not so casual, if monsters would not attack in groups etc. - it might be a good investment, but now it is just a waste of time. Have in mind, that most case you will have to deal groups of monsters (in some cases, large groups) and sneaking at them just to kill one mob is useless... and pathetic. If this game had mechanic, like morrowind, it would be quite different matter.

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