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Guild Wars 2: Are Thief Critical Hits Really Overpowered?

By icarasDate: 06-15-2012 Views:

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Something I have to stress before I even begin talking about this subject is that whenever we discuss a class being over powered, or under powered or even balanced is it's in the medium of structured PvP. Not PvE, not W3, not dueling. Structured PvP, tournament play to be specific. That's 5 players' vs. another 5 players. This is where the thief excels, Thief in BWE1 was all about picking off a player, running back and capturing while your cool downs popped and bursting down another player. This was problematic for Arena Net, how do you balance a class that is entirely designed to do massive spikes of damage? The way they've done it seems to be having nerfed not the class, but the sigils that made the class over powered. But let's talk more about the problem first.

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Thief in essence is a high burst high condition squishy class. Despite having medium armour, it has the smallest health pool of all of them and has no real survivability skills besides the invisible proc on a few skills. The rest feature poisons and bleeds with high damage and high crit. In BWE1 players were hitting up to 17,000 damage that's 6k more HP than the thief has themselves so 1-combo'ing the squishys of the game and then stealthing away was a very frustrating problem. However after a sigil nerf and a small ration change for crit percentage and crit damage, the damage is still high, but not ridiculously anymore, so the 'one-combo-run' build has pretty much been taken out for the count.

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However with the death of one OP build (dual daggers+crit chance+damage) has come another powerful build, but is it OP?

Currently now the meta of structured PvP is most of the team rushes the boss nearest to them which gives them so many points and a buff, one person capture near and them everyone rushes keep (the middle point) so you would be holding 2/3 of the points and have a buff to fight. The objective of structured PvP is to get to 500 points before the enemy team. Kills give 5 points, boss kills give 45 and captures give 15 and for every point you have more than the enemy team, you get 1 point a tick. So obviously the best things to go for are point control and boss control. This is where the new thief build has come alive, it usually comes with a couple of tanky players and a controller. The poison thief is a menace that destroys most teams. Using all it's utilities as poisons, extending poison duriation and effectiveness through the bonuses, you have a very potent class that completely shuts down everyone it fights. Using a pistol and dagger combo, it doesn't need to be in your face and can shut you down no matter where you are.

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We've experimented pretty hard with this build and we've found it's pretty flawless and does the shutdown-roamer job very effectively. If you're looking for a roamer class on your team comp and wondering who that could be, make it a thief.

Whether or not Arena Net will nerf this build really depends on the other classes, I guess. In Guild Wars 1, it was very common for builds to become 'meta' and be the only true way to play a class, but I imagine as it's still very early days that the meta will expand and grow into something enjoyable and strong. The thief is a very well designed class and I'm glad they decided to turn Assassin into the thief as it's made the class a lot better rounded and feels better to use entirely. Short bursts of stealth and high damage is way more fun than long stealth and stagnant game play. Wouldn't you agree?

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