Actually removing Initiative would be a massive undertaking, and I don’t see it happening. None the less, I think it needs to happen.
It was a spectacular mistake to include it in the first place for many reasons.
It doesn’t make Thieves overpowered, it just makes them stupidly broken in as many bad ways as good.
1) Here’s a biggie that gets on everyone’s nerves; it lets us spam stealth skills back-to-back.
You can’t really cheese out and win a fight this way because of Revealed, but you can sure as hell troll people.
Some defensive builds will even use it to reset the fight with various means of healing in stealth any time things start looking bad, making them insane to actually kill. Not that they can kill you either.
This is also the entire reason they had to introduce Revealed after release, which causes problems of its own. Like turning the 1st Shadow Arts Minor trait into pure liability.
2) We have far fewer offensive options than other classes.
Initiative recharges more slowly than skills recharge for other classes in general, resulting in us attacking less frequently. On top of that, Initiative is shared between weapon sets, so unlike everyone else we can’t swap and double up on our attacks. Effectively cutting our attack frequency further in half.
Swapping only provides new attack choices in place of others, but still suffers the same massive recharge locking us into that set, severely limiting said choice.
Basically, weapon swapping borders on useless for Thieves outside of abusing Shortbow #5 outside combat for getting around. We’re like Engineers without kits, turrets, or a utility belt to make up for it.
Certainly we’ve been balanced around this lesser skill usage, but it isn’t fun. I find myself constantly using the same couple attacks ad-nauseoum. Particularly in PvE.
The simple fact that offensive and utilitarian skills share the same resource also means that we have to choose one or the other; deal damage or do anything else.
Needless to say, this makes for incredibly shallow gameplay.
3) Chill does not affect us properly.
The main benefit of Chill is reducing skill usage while active, but Initiative ignores it completely. And hell, even if Chill did reduce Initiative regeneration, that would just severely exacerbate problem #2. Especially since we can’t swap weapons to use different attacks like other classes.
4) Our traits suck.
Other classes just get a simple yet effective “X Skills recharge 20% faster”.
We get Initiative gaining traits instead, but they’re all incredibly weak because we have the option of stacking them all together, which would otherwise be terribly overpowered.
They can’t just give us “+X Initiative regeneration with Y weapon” similar to what other classes have, because all weapons share the same resource. What would happen if you took the trait for both daggers and pistols, and equipped a dagger and a pistol together?
So the compromise was to just make them all terrible, so you’ll choose something else instead. God help you if it happens to be an unavoidable Minor trait, like the one in Critical Strikes.
Stuff like 1 Initiative every 10 seconds, which is equivalent to a 10% increase in attack frequency, when many other classes get 20% + another effect all on a single trait. Like Might on criticals.