Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Thief Overview

A master of stealth and surprise, the thief is deadly in single combat—particularly when catching enemies off guard. Thieves compensate for their relatively low armor and health by being quick and evasive. They can move through the shadows, vanish into thin air, or steal items from their opponents and use them as weapons. Enemies should watch their backs, or the thief will watch it for them.
-from GuildWars2.com

The thief is a versatile, fast-moving profession that is capable of seamlessly switching between melee and ranged combat. Thieves can deal large amounts of damage, especially against a single target or while using Stealth. While this profession lacks in support abilities, it more than makes up for it with a wide array of control abilities, such as immobilization and stuns, as well as numerous ways of inflicting conditions through bleeds and poisons.

Armor
The thief is one of 3 adventurer professions (along with the Engineer and Ranger), meaning they wear medium armor.

Weapons
Main Hand weapons available:
Sword
Dagger
Pistol
Off Hand weapons available:
Dagger
Pistol
Two-Handed weapons available:
Shortbow
Aquatic weapons available:
Harpoon Gun
Spear

Compared to other professions, thieves are very limited in the kinds of weapons they can use. However, they do still have access to both melee and ranged abilities. A thief's array of skills, in part, lies in the specific combination of main hand and off hand weapons, giving them more versatility with the selection of weapons they can use.

Dual-Wield Skills
Skill 3 on a thief's hotbar depends on which combination of main hand and off hand weapons are used. These skills are called Dual-Wield skills, which are unique to thieves. There are currently 9 such skills. For example, equipping a dagger in both the main hand and off hand will provide Death Blossom as skill 3, but if a pistol is equipped in the main hand instead, the ability will change to Shadow Strike.

Like other professions, skills 1 and 2 are still determined by the main hand, and skills 4 and 5 are determined by the off hand.

Steal
The thief's unique Profession Mechanic is the Steal ability. By default, it's bound to the F1 key, and has a 45-second recharge. Using the Steal ability creates a random environmental weapon based on the target. For example, stealing from a Moa bird will provide feathers that can be used to blind enemies. In PvP, a thief's Steal ability does not remove a specific item from another player's inventory. Stealing simply generates an environmental weapon that is based on the target.

Initiative
Weapon skills do not have a recharge time; instead they cost Initiative ( ). A thief typically has 12 points of Initiative, but it's possible to have up to 15 Initiative with certain traits in the Trickery trait line. Initiative regenerates at 0.667 per second (or 3 Initiative every 4 seconds).

Different skills use varying amounts of Initiative, but assuming the thief has enough Initiative, the same skill can be used twice in a row in rapid succession. Skill 1 and skills 6-10 on the hotbar (the auto-attack and the Healing, Utility, and Elite skills) never cost Initiative and have normal recharge times.

Stealth
Thieves have several skills and traits that allow them to disappear, becoming invisible to enemies. While in Stealth, the thief can still be damaged by certain abilities, such as AoEs. Damage will temporarily reveal a Stealthed thief, and any attack made by the thief will end Stealth. However, using the Steal ability will not end Stealth.

While in Stealth, Skill 1 will change into one of 4 Stealth skills, depending on which weapon is equipped weapon in the main hand. Unlike other MMOs, Stealth is typically on a rather short timer, meaning a thief must make strategic use of this ability.

Shadow Step
A notable amount of a thief's mobility comes from Shadow Step, which is a teleport that allows them to instantly travel through shadows. Multiple abilities utilize Shadow Step, allowing the thief to quickly advance on a target or abruptly retreat from a threat.

Traps
Thieves also have a few Utility skills that lay traps that can be used in ambushes or crowd control. Traps will not affect allies, and each trap skill can only be used in one location at a time. All traps are currently triggered when an enemy comes into contact with it, and a trap will disarm itself if a new trap is placed, or if the player moves too far away from their trap.

See the Thief Skills guide for more info on these abilities.

Trait Lines
Deadly Arts - focuses on poisons and venoms (increases Power and Expertise).
Critical Strikes - focuses on benefits from signets and crits (increases Precision and Prowess).
Shadow Arts - focuses on Stealth and trap use (increases Toughness and Compassion).
Acrobatics - focuses on Endurance and Initiative (increases Vitality and Concentration).
Trickery - focuses on the Steal ability (increases Malice and Cunning).

For more info on the effects of different attributes, check out this article. General information about Traits and Trait Lines can also be found here.

Complete lists of Major and Minor Traits coming soon!

By Mothyames
http://www.guildwars2journal.com/_/gw2-class-guides/thief-guides/professions-thief-overview-r145

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