The point of alpha testing has always been to test and get feedback. That's especially valuable and needed on ideas that are hard to test internally, and ones that need to be experienced to judge.
As such, we sometimes will go forward with testing something that people respond negatively to on paper, to see if that response remains the same once it's actually been tried. That can be concerning, and feel like we're not listening or caring about your feedback, but it couldn't be any further from the truth. We hear you, loud and clear.
The idea of a Rogue
that got to do the full Opener-Builder-Finisher-Vanish cycle repeatedly was an extremely compelling fantasy to us. But it also was a scary one, from a balance point of view. Because of that, we were quite timid about it, reducing the stealth to not be actual stealth, taking away more CC to compensate for the potential of many Cheap Shots, initially taking away Shadowstep to compensate for incredible mobility potential of Shadowstrike
, and felt tentatively OK with the reduced flexibility of the new Deepening Shadows
due to its sheer uptime. Additionally, there were some bugs and tuning issues in the currently live alpha build that make Subtlety seem worse than it is, such as Nightblade
doing less damage than Eviscerate
, which we'll get fixed.
Feedback has been clear. The core issue is that the Opener-Builder-Finisher-Vanish cycle doesn't feel distinct or special; Shadowstrike
feels remarkably like Backstab
and it's easy to not even feel a difference. The upside isn't there, and the downsides are many and strong. And, the gameplay is not engaging enough overall.
So, a future alpha build (not sure yet if it'll be the next one, or the one after that) will have significant changes to Subtlety. It'll include things like Deepening Shadows
returning to being an active ability, the addition of a new opener, and the return of some more CC. Stay tuned for full details when the build is ready.
Thanks for all your constructive feedback, and we look forward to reading more of it when you are able to try the next version.
Yeah. Angsty moments aside, this feels like a pretty nice victory for the alpha testing process as a whole. This was the right time to test a major spec-gameplay change like this, and the quality of player feedback in this forum (as well as a couple of threads in other public venues) was high. Personally I much prefer having had a chance to playtest a different Sub design in this sandbox over only seeing and reacting theoretical changes on paper. And I think it's helpful that everybody, both playtesters and onlookers alike, got to see that testing and feedback play out.