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