Theatricality and Deception, Part 2

Ninja_crouchBefore Update 19, I spoke of the gameplay skills and tools of the trade to make ninjas emulate as much of the tactical and gadget prowess as illustrated by non-powered superheroes and master spies.

With the new Ninja Spy enhancements and general changes in the game, I wanted to touch on some important changes that really add to the Ninja Spy lifestyle.

  • Rather than debuffing with elemental damage, ninjas gained a trademark ability from their lore: poison. This stuff is bad going in and going out if you use skills that magnify the damage. It’s not an instant kill effect but a great way to add damage-over-time to tougher bosses.
  • The Ninjitsu effects (which replaced the elemental debuffs that are now part of the Henshin Mystic tree) can inflict or withdraw poison, boost your HP and ki temporarily, or give negative levels to enemies en masse. These effects are toggled at will, individually, and activated when you let loose a Touch of Despair finisher. Happily, Update 19.2 has fixed the Wave of Despair negative-level finisher from giving negative levels to your allies.
  • Flash Bang. My favorite new toy will stun and/or blind a group for 6 seconds if they fail one or both saves. Compare it to Batman’s smoke bombs that can be used in a similar way. Great for ninja escapes and first strikes.
  • Jumping and tumbling while in stealth adds loads to mobility, allowing you to circumvent mobs more effectively than simply walking between them.
  • Faster sneaking makes sense for a good ninja.
  • Escaping a mob that detects you, using stealth or invisibility, is a bonus. One new tactic I use against small to medium-sized mobs in a wide or long dungeon with some nooks and crannies and turns is to purposefully attract the whole mob against me, then go emergency stealth, let the mob pass by, and continue ahead.
  • Ninja Master. As noted in a recent post, any centered weapon that gives piercing or slashing damage will also slice a head clean off (or give 100 damage) by a fully trained ninja.
  • Shuriken. Holy moley. Do you know how deadly even the weakest of these are now when thrown by a full ninja?
  • Flash stepping: A quick move every Monk gains with Abundant Step to quickly bypass a mob or trap as if you’ve teleported around them (unchanged, but thought I’d remind you of it)

One humorous addition in the Ninja Spy tree is Deception–an emergency escape trick. Use a turn of Meditation to bring a training dummy into existence with a huge hate-magnet signature, simultaneously making yourself invisible. From there, a Ninja should go immediately to stealth, using Abundant Step to escape the mob that came close to overwhelming you.

The funny part of Deception comes from the dummy’s appearance.

Overbearing swagger. Pompous hat. Yep, looks like a pirate to me.

Overbearing swagger. Pompous hat. Yep, looks like a pirate to me.

Somebody on the developer team knows of the enmity between ninjas and pirates, so it was logical to make enemies go after a fake pirate (is that an oxymoron?) and not an actual ninja.

These three kobolds just outside of the entrance to the Searing Heights from the Marketplace were itching for a fight anyway.

They still hate us.

They apparently hate rogue wooden pirates more. Yay, kobolds!