SB as main weapon?
Of course you can have SB thieves. Spam 4 in not pvp for Condi or Rupt, or spam cluster bomb for a strong power burst.
The chinese client also used to have an SB meta in wvw where thieves would drop Choking Gas all over and the zerg would combo through that.
I wouldn’t want to lose any of shortbows utility to balance. It has a nice range of actions like staff and feels as natural.
My WvW condi build is pretty much a shortbow build, P/D only really comes out if I can guarantee a kill and it’s 1v1. If you build for immobs, poison and interrupts it’s pretty nice.
If you are condi with 100% poison duration, you can pretty brainlessly take out most enemies that rely on melee only. Even ones with access to resistance if you slot sigil of absorption.
It’s not a good main choice if your opponent has any ranged/kiting pressure, though.
Like others have said it can be used as a primary for a lot of condi specs for the poison, and I have even fought power thieves that start shortbow as primary to steal/cluster bomb. Believe it or not that kitten can hurt when you catch all the explosions point blank (7-8k total?). I think it’s just the fact it’s a difficult weapon to use makes it seem less appealing to use primary, but with some practice you can blow people up.
Stay Low. Move Fast. Kill First. Die Last.