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Class Crisis - Guardian or Thief? Pve.


Atreyix.9124

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Hey all,

I just need some outside opinions on which class I should stick with, I just returned after a LONG hiatus. I played POF last, didnt play any EoD. Technically my main is a guardian(Power DH), but I have seen some gameplay of thief(Spectre) and it's really drawing me in. BUT, I can't decide if I want to make a whole new character or not.

Opinions? Just need some side opinions from others... may push me one side or another.

Thanks.

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What are you looking for in a class? I have played both Spectre and Guardian classes.

(PVE) Spectre at the moment, does not function well as healer. The healing mechanic requires another player to do proper positioning, the numbers aren't great either. As a damage dealer, it is great and effective doing condition. Plays more mid to close range due to scepter (900 range) and wells (600 range). But the rotation can be a bit boring (Scepter 3 - shroud - repeat).

I've been enjoying both Firebrand and Willbender as well. Both are well rounded specializations. 

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11 hours ago, Blood Red Arachnid.2493 said:

Just make the character.  If you find yourself not having fun, switch back to guard.  

One complication there is that if OP is interested in specter specifically, that requires a bit more investment than trying out thief more generally.

Mind you, the OP probably has experience scrolls from their guardian's birthdays and might have enough tomes of knowledge to make up the difference, if the OP doesn't have (or want to invest) a level 80 boost. So it might be possible to get up there quickly that way, and then go collecting some of the easier-to-obtain hero points in EoD, PoF, and HoT to get started on specter quickly.

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The initiative mechanic of Thief profession is really fun and quite liberating to use. I believe they compensate that by making Thief have the squishiest HP and defensive mechanics of all classes, which is fair. The unfair part is how low the non-cleave damage of this dps class is, getting hit constantly by the nerf hammer for no sensible reason.

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Thief imo is the best class for open world exploration and achievement farm due to Stealth, Portals, Teleports, Dash and the ability to Vault across ledges. If you want to sacrifice some of that but have easymode for combat encounters you'd go Engineer.

As for group content though, the community has an unhealthy drug-addiction-like dependancy on Guardians and often refuse to do things without them present. Thief just kinda exist and isn't really asked for. 

Edited by Doggie.3184
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On 9/5/2023 at 8:40 AM, Atreyix.9124 said:

Hey all,

I just need some outside opinions on which class I should stick with, I just returned after a LONG hiatus. I played POF last, didnt play any EoD. Technically my main is a guardian(Power DH), but I have seen some gameplay of thief(Spectre) and it's really drawing me in. BUT, I can't decide if I want to make a whole new character or not.

Opinions? Just need some side opinions from others... may push me one side or another.

Thanks.

Brace yourselves, a wall of text is coming! 🙂

I felt compelled to share my thoughts on this matter because, to put it simply, I find the Thief to be the most exhilarating class in the game. And I don't say that lightly.

First things first, "most exhilarating" doesn't equate to "most powerful" or "meta". What it does mean is that this class has an unprecedented level of depth and nuance that's waiting to be discovered. You'll need to invest some time, read up on various guides, consult with knowledgeable players (who are proficient and making significant progress with the class), and, most importantly, give it a fair shot to fully appreciate its intricacies.

Playing a Thief is not just playing a class - it's engaging in an intricate, ever-changing dance that demands your full attention and finesse. Imagine each skill rotation, each stealth maneuver, and each strategic swap of gear or build as a complex choreography. But it's not just any dance, it's one where you're both the leader and the follower, one where you not only respond to your partner's moves - be that the boss, the mechanics, or your team - but also take the initiative to steer the direction. Each dodge is a twirl, each backstab a swift tango dip, each stealth move a moonwalk across the battlefield.

Once you're past the steep learning curve of this exhilarating dance, Thief becomes more than a mere option - it becomes the centerpiece of your game experience. For me, other classes and specs simply faded into the background, becoming almost like wallflowers at a dance hall.

Drawing from personal experience, my knack for adaptability serves as my ace in the hole. With eight different ascended gear sets at my fingertips (including Berserk, Celestial, Ritualist, Viper, Plaguedoctor, Harrier, and more), I'm poised to recalibrate my tactics between encounters. Whether the next engagement calls for potent ST damage, sweeping AOE that erasing mobs from the game engine, or specialized healing, including some of the most effective targeted healing techniques, I adjust my gear and build to optimize not just my own capabilities, but the overall efficiency of the group as well. While this can sometimes mean switching to a max-survivability mode to accommodate a less-than-stellar party, more often it involves fine-tuning my approach to meet the specific challenges at hand.

The Thief's versatile toolkit extends beyond just DPS or healing roles - it offers invaluable utilities like stealth skips, shadow steps, portals, and more, making it a jack-of-all-trades that can masterfully execute a variety of functions. It's this flexibility, akin to a dancer's ability to shift tempo and style, that makes the Thief such an engaging and irreplaceable asset to any team.

Mastering the Thief class does take time and patience, and I'm still very much on that learning curve. Despite having a deep understanding of various builds and their applications, I'm continually refining my skills. Whether it's reading new guides, watching videos of other Thieves soloing fractals/legendaries/dungeons or diving deep into healing guides, speaking with elite Thief players - I'm always in learning mode. And this learning journey isn't just about knowing which abilities to activate in most scenarios - it's about optimizing my gameplay to derive even more enjoyment from this class and to provide maximum utility and profit to my group.

And once you've truly felt the Thief, here's what you can expect with your other characters.

So go ahead, give Thief a try, and I promise you won't look back, believe me, because playing a Thief in Guild Wars 2 is more than just choosing a class - it's adopting a philosophy, articulated through every mouse click and keystroke. It's not just a set of attacks and skills, it's an art! Art form that demands a multifaceted understanding and a deep sense of intuition. Much like in life, you can't simply memorize sequences here - you have to feel the rhythm, understand the timing, and adapt to the unexpected.

In conclusion, what I've shared is profoundly personal - a unique perspective on the Thief class in Guild Wars 2 that delves into its specifications, its philosophy, its versatility, its complexity, and its sheer excitement. While some may disagree with my sentiments, that's perfectly okay! The game is vast and open to multiple interpretations. After all, where would we be if we all thought the same way? And it's not just my experience that affirms this, I've encountered Thieves who've performed masterpiece that I couldn't even dream other classes accomplishing - literally creating miracles on the battlefield that defy my understanding of what's possible in this game. Like many before me, I've reached a point where the prospect of switching to another class feels almost unthinkable, no matter how hard I might try to do so.

Everyone's experience is valid, and what makes the game truly special is the richness of our collective interpretations and strategies. For me, Thief isn't just a class. It's a lens through which I experience the world of Guild Wars 2. A world that continues to engage me deeply and rewardingly. And it's a lens that I don't foresee changing anytime soon.

P.S. If you're concerned about the class not being in high demand in certain LFG groups, don't worry too much. It's important to remember that every class has its unique value, and the Thief is no exception. Sure, you might come across party listings saying "HFB or kick!", but don't take it to heart. Over time, as you become more acquainted with the class and really get to know its intricacies, people will recognize your value. They'll add you to friends list and invite you to parties. So there's no need to fret - everything will fall into place as you grow more skilled.

Edited by Antrix.4512
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To reinforce and add to the italicised part above: Balance in group PvE is a bit of a moving target, but at present, anyone who kicks a specter outside of specifically needing something else (like a heal quickness) is saying more about themselves than spectre itself. Spectre is pretty effective in group content both as a condi DPS and alacdps, and Arenanet will probably keep tweaking the healing capabilities until healalac spectre becomes competitive. Which makes it a good complement to guardian, since guardian shines well in roles that spectre doesn't, but alacbender is a lot further away from being an accepted build.

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