Curennos.9307 Posted February 6, 2022 Share Posted February 6, 2022 Thief's dependence on the Trickery traitline and shortbow#5 has gone on too long - it will be extremely difficult to justify better long term changes to thief that allow it more role flexibility while shortbow enables huge map mobility, and Trickery...Is just far too necessary. It contains some things that, based on the rules anet has set across classes, some things in Trickery should not exist because it subjects thief to cost-benefit rules other classes operate under but without some of the benefit. TLDR at the bottom. Context I am primarily a sPvP player. I don't really touch WvW because I'm lazy and the thought of actually wandering around looking for fights sounds like too much effort. I also do some PvE, but honestly PvE will always have a meta that the majority will run because snowcrows posted this or that build, so I don't really care too much about that as long as DPS there is 'viable'. This is primarily sPvP focused, so I apologize in advance if any of these sound like absolute madness from a PvE or WvW perspective. First, Trickery and other key mechanics 1) Thief no longer has a weapon swap cooldown. All things that involve a weapon swap cooldown, such as Quick Pockets, will remain unchanged. Other classes have weapon swap cooldowns to create interplay between what skills they have available at any given time, and in exchange they have a total of two different auto attacks and 8 skills, which they can cast in any way they please. In comparison, thief has max 12 ini (3 with trickery, we'll get to that later) they can use to cast any skill multiple times in a row. Thief does not fit into anet's weapon swap mechanism the same way other classes do and has the drawbacks without any of the benefits. This change will also give thief more access to weapon swap cancel options, which would be a nice side benefit. That said, I do think there should be a mitigating factor, and because I'm feeling especially unimaginative right now - weapon swapping will cost 1 initiative, with the first weapon swap every 9 seconds being free. This may be unnecessary, but good to toss that in there. Planned, well thought out weapon swapping should be rewarded, but being able to swap cancel anything and have access to any weapon skill almost instantly is still very strong. This may make the Quick Pockets GM trait (which is horrendously designed, extremely boring, and should be changed to retain its core function while having a bit extra sprinkled on top) more attractive, too. Alternatively, remove the ini gain from quick pockets and just make it eliminate the weapon swap cost. 2) Steal giving initiative (landing steal - I don't think missing steal gives ini but if it does, it shouldn't) is now baseline. Steal now steals 1 boon baseline with the same priority as bountiful theft, and interrupts with a 1/4 second daze. Preparedness maximum initiative is baseline. I don't care enough about this minor trait to suggest additions to it. Moving on. Lead Attacks steal recharge reduction is baseline and reduces steal cooldown to 25 seconds (because 26 irritates me). Stacking damage increase moved over to Critical Strikes because having a single traitline be both the go-to for boons/boonrip/interrupts and have a solid damage increase is ridiculous. Replace it with something boon related - making it give +1 to boonrips would be interesting, especially if it applies to the weapon sigils, but that's for someone else to think up. I don't want to impinge too much on Spellbreakers, they've been abused enough. Slight of hand: Unchanged**, kind of. Good option for extra daze duration and steal CD reduction. Imo, grandmaster traits should be more playstyle defining and thief has...almost none of that. It could be changed to play into the interrupt playstyle, where successfully interrupting gives Steal a larger cooldown reduction or some other benefit, but I don't want to poke it too hard. Bountiful Theft: Stays the same, but increases boons stolen by steal to 3 (total - as there is 1 stolen baseline). This could easily be made into a GM trait where it granted you exact copies of boons stolen, encouraging thieves to target the highest boon generator in fights. Shortbow#5 and thief F4/5 skills I won't touch on any other shortbow skills here except #5. In short, I'd reduce shortbow#5's distance by half, decrease the ini cost to 6, and adjust the 5 second blind on ending location to a 2 sec blind +1 sec weakness + 1 ini gain if it hits a target. Buff as needed so it's useful for engaging, but less so if used to escape or rotate quickly. Weakness would help the thief engage without immediately imploding, but the blind duration is ridiculously long. Next, add two skills: F4 and F5. F4 is a teleport and F5 is stealth. They function on a shared ammo system - the thief will start with 2 charges. The first charge has a cooldown of 8 seconds and the second charge a CD of 16 seconds. Or 10 and 15 seconds, or 10 and 18 seconds, or...whatever works. The shadowstep is a 2 ini cost, 450 unit range skill while the stealth skill gives 2 (or 1, if needed) sec of stealth for 2 ini. These skills will be CORE THIEF ONLY and vanish when switching to an elite spec. These will cement core thief's rotation speed superiority while still allowing shortbow 5 to accentuate the travel speed. The napkin math would be to nerf shortbow 5 by like...1/3-1/2, put that power into core thief f4/5 so that core thief rotates somewhat faster than other thieves, but elite specs can still fill the role. My napkin math: Shortbow5 never should've been made 8 ini, so I'm going to pretend anet was reasonable and adjusted it to 7. This makes the skill worth approx 128 units of movement per second/per ini. 450 range and a 6 ini cost puts it somewhere in the realm of about half that. The other 450 units of range per 7 (or 8, rather) seconds would be held by the thief's f4/5 skill(s), totaling a slightly higher time/ini cost than currently but having an option for burst movement as compensation, + a bit of stealth to be used in combat as well. Further, 2 charges of a shadowstep would give thieves access to Shadowstep (the utility skill) stomp functionality if need be, because that utility has also been basically required since...ever? Honorable mention: Shadow Arts Change every single thing that says 'gives X benefit in stealth' to give said benefit in a burst when coming out of stealth. Also remove the stealth duration increase in Meld With Shadows. Ex: Shadows Rejuvenation: No longer gives health and initiative while in stealth. Instead, gives a 1-2k heal (or barrier) + 1-2 initiative when coming out of a stealth. Can be adjusted as needed to only activate when coming out of stealth when revealed, and only when revealed by the thief's own actions to prevent weird interplay between revealing say, a rev revealing a thief and giving 'em a heal + ini. Cloaked in Shadow: Blind duration reduced to 2-3 seconds, blinds when coming out of stealth, and change sword's stealth attack to not conflict with this somehow. Honorable mention: Critical Strikes This traitline needs more damage without adding more burst. Let's steal something from Guardian, because why not - guardian GS has...a power damage based DoT. I think it's the only one in the game, unless you consider pulm impact the same thing? Anyway... The traitline should give 100% uptime of Fury. Not sure how but it should. The lil traits, blast I can't remember what they're called but they're the hexagons, not the squares. They should add a mechanic that involves stacking some kind of power DoT on an enemy - single target only, except for a GM trait that helps with AoE - then add a few 'boom' effects in the GM traits. If Lead Attacks was moved over here, it could be a 1% damage increase per stack of the power dot on an opponent, up to 15%, and being able to consume them somehow for a bigger bonus. Similarly, Invigorating Precision would give healing, then a bigger heal when consuming the stacks on an opponent somehow. Hidden Killer is...If I recall correctly, it has a dedicated fanbase and should be preserved, but idk. Maybe make it a hexagon trait? And then fill in with a trait that does somethingsomething AoE boom. Who knows. Overall, this traitline needs to give more damage that isn't bursty, more consistent, and less boring. +300 ferocity from Fury is the most boring thing I have ever seen. I mean, it's nice but...MEH. Stolen Skills Some of them are game changers and tilt a matchup heavily in thief's favor, some of them are absolutely worthless. Well. Only two off the top of my head are bad - ranger stolen skill and engineer. Engineer is just...I don't know. Make the radius bigger? It's so small and would be nice to have some more threatening AoE pulses. Ranger's stolen skill is nice, but whenever I use it it seems to go on a cooldown for some unfathomable reason. Also, I think it only cleanses 1 condi? Having this be the go-to steal target for thieves in a fight looking for more cleanse would be great, but it currently only cleanses 1 condi. Bump the cleanse up, cut the duration a little, all good. Others are varying levels of good/okay, and could use either a trim or small change to fit in better. Mace Head Crack is nice, but could use a bit of a trim. 3 sec daze is bonkers and could easily be 2 sec, or 1 sec + a boon (aegis or prot if it lands?). Essence Sap seems overall 'meh' and I'd like it if it was less power damage with more focus on the Slow. Consume Plasma is..actually I forgot this was nerfed, it looks like it's in a pretty good spot now. TLDR Nerf shortbow 5, move the removed power into a f4/f5 skills for core thief + a lil extra stealth for the core thieves, as a treat. Trickery has too many things that should be baseline because thief feels AWFUL without them (and specter would feel even worse). Fix it, but preserve the strongest aspects within trickery - everyone else gets Trickery lite so that ppl are no longer forced to run it, but Trickery is still the tricksiest for trick related things. Builds that use trickery now should be relatively unchanged, while builds that didn't use trickery (aka, all zero of them) no longer feel kitten without it. Fix Shadow arts to stop encouraging ridiculous stealth stacking, shorten stealth durations, etc, encourage dipping in and out of stealth quicker. Fix Critical Strikes to be less 'here's some flat out damage, here's a little more damage, and you know what? I'm feeling generous, so here's some (still kind of uninteresting) damage'. Thoughts, also a note on numbers. Anet isn't paying me, so these are numbers off the top of my head in however long this took and I put almost zero effort into organization. Are the numbers wrong? Probably. Are the concepts wrong? Also quite possible. I am 99.99% sure, though, that something has to be done about Trickery and shortbow for thief's long term health. I am also 100% sure that Throw Gunk sucks and I hate it. Anywho, have a nice Sunday everyone. 2 2 4 Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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