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Canthan Thief Elite Specialization Concept

Shin Ryu.5802

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Following a few basic guidelines for previous elite specializations:-No completely new weapon types not already in game--but re-skins (staff as a scythe) or re-imaginations of how to use existing ones (how a revenant uses a hammer) are fine.-It has been expressly stated that new elite specs are often one profession seen through the "lens" of another, such as spellbreaker being a warrior with a thief/mesmer twist.-Function, animation, or graphic-wise, use and modify what exists instead of begging for something that has to be built from the ground up.

Going out on a limb, I'll guess any upcoming expansion would see a return to Cantha, so new elite specializations should reflect that Far East "flavor." The current thief profession seems to be the great-grandchild of the assassin from the original "Guild Wars," having access to many of the same skills and abilities. So the challenge is to modify that profession in a way that still fits in with its in-game cultural ancestry AND gives players something they have expressed interest in already--greatsword as a thief weapon.

"Shinobi" comes to mind...

For a new weapon, the greatsword has competed with the rifle at the top of player wish lists for new thief elite specialization options since the earliest days of these discussions, and the rifle wish was already granted with the deadeye. Skinning the exotic starter greatsword (and later, the optional hard-earned ascended version) as a katana isn't even much of a stretch; Belinda's Greatsword Skin already exists as a katana variant. To maintain the thief's "feel," greatsword skills should have more movement built into them. For instance, an attack that momentarily evades while moving or shadowstepping behind an enemy to attack, or perhaps a counterattack skill that shadowsteps above an enemy and delivers a sudden somersaulting strike downward (much like the springer's Cannonball engage skill, animation-wise), optionally leaving a log behind where the skill was initiated. To differentiate between how thief and other professions, thief greatsword skills should be generally faster and have lower cooldowns, and reward good situational reactive timing over spamming a set skill rotation. The idea is not to necessarily replace the current dps metas, but to have something that looks awesome in motion and is just plain fun to play.

A thief in the role of a shinobi opens up the possibility of clone skills, meditations, mantras, or a new category invented from scratch a la "Physical" or "Rage." "Jutsu?" Whatever.In my humble opinion, this is a rare case where the new weapon being granted will eclipse any other new addition to the profession. Thief already has a wide variety of "ninja" mechanics, traits, and skills--it's just been waiting for access to THE weapon.

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I like the ideas for the greatsword. You're right, i think it's better if the new weapon feel different from its previous use. Especially like the idea of counter-attack by shadowsteping. Very cool.

On the other hand,... okay I'm going to be the annoying History nerd here but it is not meant as an offense. You can skip if you want to. Just need to say that the thief currently has no "ninja" skills currently... because... well, ninjas ("shinobi" to be exact, glad you use the appropriate term) were not primarly fighters. And certainly not the absurd gun-fu crappy masked thing everybody likes. And though they could use katana, katana is not even close to the greatsword. It is simply too short. The japanese version of greatsword would be the nodachi, but it is a battlefield totally innapropriate for shinobi.

Shinobi were SPIES. A dimension of the thief that has never been explored actually (daredevil being more of a brawler/fighter and sniper being an assassin/bounty hunter). So I'm much more in favour of mesmer-like skills (as you said: clones and mantra could be nice), centered around deception. But it go a bit against the cool idea of a thief wielding a greatsword.

I encourage you to developp about it. Have a nice day.

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the problem with greatsword for thief is that alot of it hinges on it being a katana like sword which has the issues that there's only one katana skin (and a gemstore skin at that) in the game (did a quick check and didn't find one) compared to many "precise" looking rifles (including a legendary). and let's face it thief withmost gs skins would just look dumb. (also i kinda wanna see some new dual wield skills)

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True; I'm aware shinobi were primarily spies and our concept is largely cinematic--but you have to admit, those conceptions have a pretty powerful influence on fantasy entertainment, so why not capitalize on that in a fantasy game? So perhaps a simple name change would appease the history buffs. "Shadow," maybe? Assuming that doesn't get taken by whatever the new mesmer elite concept might be...

Thief already inherited a lot of the old assassin skills AND the ability to dual-wield daggers, so if the new elite spec inherited the name "assassin," perhaps it could reflect that heritage via the revival of "lost" Factions assassin skills and showing a bit more love for D/D thief in the new trait line. There's no reason that couldn't happen without excluding access to a new weapon.

And yeah, most current greatsword skins are going to be awkward-looking (which is easily remedied with new skins). It'll definitely be a challenge to have a profession that wields a traditionally over-sized weapon with anything that resembles finesse. There was already a thread on the "Executioner," which simply abandons finesse in favor of making a greatsword wielding thief another flavor of dps-beast.

A supporty hammer thief? That would definitely expand the thief's current functional horizons. Thief is a bit selfish by nature and design, so on its face, the idea seems to violate the core concept of what the profession is all about. To be honest, I'm not sure how well "thief through the prism of a guardian" concept would play out, but I'd encourage you to put up a post about it--good or bad, I like reading these ideas!

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Even then a massively oversized nodachi is pretty far from what would be wielded by anything pertinent to the thief even in Japanese lore.

GS on thief is strictly an anime weapon and I'd rather see OH sword or a proper ranged spec with longbow over something that just camps stealth.

The gameplay of a GS on thief could be fun to toy with, but it really makes no sense.

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  • 10 months later...

It's been several months since I last reviewed the forums. In the course of looking at Cantha, I'll likely re-visit new elite specialization possibilities for the professions, but in (what I hope will be) a more brief and general way. Thief with a greatsword is one of those ideas that initially seemed okay in concept, but I'm forced to admit is more likely than not to be awkward-looking in execution without making an exceptional effort to make it look "right."

A longbow-weilding thief elite spec doesn't sound bad... I'll definitely give that more thought.

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I present the Assassin from Cantha as the next elite specialisation. Inspired From Guild Wars 1 this will bring back weapon combos with a new mechanic for thieves called combos. Lead attacks, off-hand attacks and dual attacks will come with the new weapon set dual swords. Focused around knocking down the target with the lead attack leading into more powerful attacks with the off-hand like dealing extra damage when the enemy is knocked down and finally finishing off with a dual attack to deal more damage if all other combos have landed. Changes steal into a lead attack teleport which can be followed up with off-hand attacks and finally dual attacks. Utilities focus on weapon combos and conditions. These dual swords replace existing weapons as a stand-alone weapon set.

Dual swords:

1: (A) Autoattack begins with a lead attack called Leaping Mantis Sting (Range: 130). Hit target foe to cripple them.

(B) 2nd part of autoattack is an off-hand attack called Trampling Ox (Range: 130). If target foe is crippled knock them down (1 second).

© 3rd part of autoattack is a dual attack called Impale (Range: 130). If target foe is in down state stomp them (similiar to https://wiki.guildwars2.com/wiki/Finishing_Blow).

2: Teleport to target foe (Range: 900). Temple Strike: Inflicts Daze for 3 seconds (Costs 4 initiative). This counts as an off-hand attack.

3: Dual attack Combo skill. Starburst Stream: 16 hits: Horizontal slash, Uppercut slash and full circle spin, horizontal slash continuing spin, horizontal slash with both swords, downward X-slash, upward X-slash, 2 opposite direction diagonal slashes, lift swords up and turn away reversing grip, reverse grip downward X-slash, Corkscrew attack and shift swords into forward grip, downward X-slash, upward X-slash, Diagonal slash and spin, horizontal slash, uppercut slash with both swords, downwards vertical slash, downward diagonal slash and spin, downward diagonal slash, forward thrust and forward lunge. (Costs 10 initiative; Open to balance by Arenanet.)

4: Shroud of Distress: You have 75% chance to block but no effect unless your health is below 50%. (Lasts 3 seconds and costs 5 initiative).

5: Flashing Blades: For 5 seconds while attacking you have a 75% chance to block. (Costs 8 initiative).

Heal: Dark Escape: Take 50% less damage as long as you're not attacking for 5 seconds and heal over time.

Utility skills:

Iron Palm: (Range:130) Causes knockdown (3 seconds) if target has a condition. This skill counts as a lead attack and off-hand attack. (20 second cooldown).

Shroud of Silence: For 5 seconds your critical hits remove boons. (50 second cooldown).

Moebius Strike: (Range: 130) Gives you 6 initiative back If you have just used a dual attack skill. This skill counts as a lead and off-hand attack. (30 second cooldown).

Way of the Master: For 10 seconds you cause a new type of condition called Deep Wound (This lowers the person's health by 20%) for 3 seconds with your attacks. (40 second cooldown).

Elite skill:

Shadow Form: For 5 seconds Hostile spells targeting you fail and attacks against you miss. (60 second cooldown).



Minor: Steal becomes Wastrel's collapse: Teleport skill (1200 range) If target is not using any skill then target is knocked down. This skill counts as a lead attack. (Same cooldown as Steal affected by Trickery traits). Access to Dual swords and combo skills. Lead attacks must be followed by off-hand and then dual attacks.

Critical Hits: For each autoattack chain you finish you gain 1 initiative.

Sword Mastery: There is a chance that your autoattacks will gain quickness.

Assassin's Promise: Your utility skills cooldown is reduced by 20%. (This does not affect Shadow Form).


Minor: Starburst Stream now has a 20% increased chance to critically hit.

Critical Defenses: You gain Dark Escape on being affected by any crowd control (60 second cooldown).

Aura of Displacement: Wastrel's collapse has a shorter cooldown by 20% which stacks with trickery traits.

Assassin's Remedy: Your next 10 attacks you use remove 1 condition (30 second cooldown).


Minor: Gain Flashing blades for 5 seconds when your health drops belows 50% health (40 second cooldown).

Way of the assassin: Shadow form can be shared to allies for 5 seconds. (60 second cooldown).

Critical Agility: Shroud of Distress now triggers when your health drops below 50% health (30 second cooldown).

Way of Perfection: You are healed for every critical hit and remove a condition.

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@"Shin Ryu.5802" said:It's been several months since I last reviewed the forums. In the course of looking at Cantha, I'll likely re-visit new elite specialization possibilities for the professions, but in (what I hope will be) a more brief and general way. Thief with a greatsword is one of those ideas that initially seemed okay in concept, but I'm forced to admit is more likely than not to be awkward-looking in execution without making an exceptional effort to make it look "right."

A longbow-weilding thief elite spec doesn't sound bad... I'll definitely give that more thought.

i think a better aproach would be to try to add a new playstyle to thief instead of a new weapon. just a thought

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Hmm... The resurrection of Assassin? Very interesting. One possible addition: "delayed effect" attacks similar to pulmonary impact effect introduced with the Daredevil elite . Creating openings to exploit 1-3 seconds later would one way to change how thief can be played while remaining completely true to its nature.

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@"Shin Ryu.5802" said:Same, but adding new weapons kind of became a "thing." Warrior in particular is in danger of running out of warrior-appropriate weapons, but that's another story.

perhaps, but what i was insinuating was that when you make an espec you should choose a weapon that fits a playstyle rather then find a playstyle that fits a weapon

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Assassin makes the most sense to me for an Elite spec.. gaining off hand sword and it's primary unlock skin being either a Kodachi or WakizashiCould also make it so that the default sword auto skills and animation changes when duel wielding swords.. instead of just slashing with one the thief will slash with two blades.Something like a high to low right hand diagnal slash followed by left hand slash into a low to high left hand slash followed by right hand slash then into a double stab or something.Each attack being a double hit, the two double slashes hitting multiple foes but the double stab being a single target that can hit enemies directly behind the target for reduced dmg.I also really like the idea of a block with a twist.You seen in movies where someone goes to stab someone in the back and they do this cool move where they face a sword towards themselves and then stab around their side and kill the guy sneaking up behind them.. that! I wanna be able to do that xDSo thief would essentially have a block that deals counter damage to enemies attacking from the front like most counters but deals far more damage if it blocks an attack from the back.

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Somehow, it completely escaped my attention that thief did not have access to off-hand sword. O_O;Sold! Only being able to rate your comments as "helpful" OR "thumbs up" (but not both) doesn't really do them justice.I highly recommend those of you with dual-sword "Assassin" concepts (and who haven't already done so) to re-post them as threads so they'll be more likely to catch Arenanet's eye.

Now that I've done some forum searching, the ideas of the "Assassin" proponents are far superior to the previous off-hand sword thief concepts. You have no reason to be intimidated.

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