THIEF – THE BLACK SHEEP
Guild Wars 2 was a game with combat designed around the player anticipating an opponent’s moves and appearance by reading the opponent’s actions and gear, then either preparing a plan of attack or actively counter-playing properly after the opponent had engaged.
Then there’s the Thief.
The Thief is a profession so innately crippled; with such a one-dimensional and predictable play-style that it requires evasion tanking, blind spamming, direct-to-target teleports and super-high damage on every attack in order to compete with any other class in the game in its only function: kill the selected target. In order to be remotely functional in GW2 combat, the Thief has to break every single rule in the “How to balance combat in GW2” book. This isn’t to say that other classes don’t break these rules in their own ways, but the Thief is founded on breaking those rules, making the entire class a mess that goes against the fundamental conventions that govern balanced GW2 combat.
Furthermore, Thief attacks, thanks to their universally high base damage in addition to whatever other effects come with them, force an opponent to face the issue that getting hit with any Thief attack typically bears an enormous consequence. This, combined with the lack of Thief skill cool-downs, has the potential to turn fighting a Thief into guess work and twitchy skill spam rather than clutch counter-play governed by quick, conscious decision making.
To fix this issue and give the Thief a real place in GW2, I’ve made many changes to rebalance its damage, increase its base survivability, introduce more combat utility outside of just stealth/blind spam and also to give the Thief a unique condition that would give it a more defined role in both PvE and PvP. With such changes as a whole, we can bring the Thief back down to a level which allows opponents counter-play opportunities without stripping the Thief of its ability to contribute to a fight.