A little while ago I was challenged, if you could create a support spec for thief, what would it look like?
Well I pondered that question myself, and actually I decided to take it up as a bit of a challenge. I knew I wasn't going to settle for a half complete spec, I knew I wanted to create something that was balanced but strong and I knew I wanted to create something that was realistic. S.M.A.R.T. is probably the best way of describing my ambition.
I'd seen a lot of elite specialisations that recommended crazy things like totally new weapons and complete reworks of pre-existing design elements, and I decided to completely steer clear of that and instead work within the constraints that presented themselves to me from the design of existing elite specs.
One thing that surprised me was not just the amount of effort I somehow managed to put into this, but also the result of my effort. What was originally just going to be a bit of a collaboration of ideas, also became a deep analysis of the decision making process itself. After I'd designed what I thought would be great, only to inevitably trash it, and redesign it a few times over; I found myself becoming really engaged in the thought process. I started asking myself questions like:
Why this skill?
What's the point of this?
How would a player feel if they used this or had this used on them?
What are some skills that have a similar implementation?
How could this go wrong?
How can this be better? etc.
Unfortunately much of that design process was lost along the way, because it wasn't until the end that I really started to dedicate additional time to exploring these questions on paper. However I did spend the time to revisit every skill, trait and idea that I could think of, to create a number of small individual discussions relating to this topic. If you would take the time to explore, comment, criticize and feedback on the specialisation recommendation itself, I would ask you also to explore the discussion I have compiled that accompanies the specialisation. Just as much as I am interested in a discussion about the proposal itself, I am also interested to hear about your opinion of design principles that I discuss in the following document.
Shadow Consort Elite Specialisation Recommendation:
I'm grateful to anyone who reads this, more so to anyone who would also share their ideas and opinions and especially to anyone who would pass this on to share with their friends.
Also a big thanks for my friends who have given tonnes of input into this, especially to @SpaceRaccoon.9684 who sat with me for hours to correct me when I'd written stupid things.