QFT: First Thief Interviews

March 5, 2011 at 5:17 pm | Posted in Guild Wars 2, mmorpg | 11 Comments
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That is some high quality norn face!

Blah blah blah, the thief was leaked and now we’re getting interviews. Here’s a few quotes and commentary on those quotes.

The first interview is from IGN.

The Thief can equip any combination of guns, daggers, swords or a bow

Like I said in a previous post, this is a pretty short list. I keep wondering if the thief ability to steal an item from virtually any monster is meant to make up for that short list. Certainly it broadens the skill list extensively.

The Thief uses a resource called “initiative” in addition to mana. Thieves have a maximum of ten Initiative. Most Thief skills cost some amount of Initiative, with more potent abilities costing up to five, and none of the Thief’s weapon abilities have a cooldown. Given the small maximum of Initiative, managing the resource is the main challenge with the class.

I’m not sure whether this is a boring mechanic or quite clever. Certainly naming the ability to regain initiative “Roll For Iniative” is a stroke of utter genius, but I’m not sure the actual unique mechanic is all that interesting. It’s just another energy resource. It doesn’t seem particularly awesome by comparison to the mana pool if you ask me. We’ll see I guess. I mean there is the no cooldown thing, and the ability to be constantly using skills, but it just doesn’t seem all that special.

With two daggers in hand, the Thief has the ability to backstab, dive in for an attack and immediately stealth (but only for a short time), and a very potent ability called Leaping Death Blossom. Leaping Death Blossom sends the Thief spiraling over its enemy, dealing damage with every twist.

Backstab. I was surprised to see this mechanic in there. It’ll combo well with stealth and shadowstep.

If the Thief is double-fisting swords, he plays much more defensively, with moves that send him leaping back as he strikes, and another that causes him to leap straight back into battle. With swords, the Thief becomes very agile.

This is essentially the only evidence I’ve seen for dual wielding swords. I haven’t seen any videos showing it, yet, nor seen other articles saying you can. In fact I’ve only seen some other mentions of not being able to dual wield swords. Oh well. It’ll be cleared up eventually.

The Thief is capable of launching an explosive shot to hit an area for high, focused damage, or a cluster bomb to hit a much wider area. The cluster bomb can be detonated whenever you want, which means you can detonate it close to the ground for a tight impact, or high in the sky to split the bombs everywhere. A separate ability poisons the ground (which can be combined with other skills) while another teleports the Thief wherever he targets.

Gunpowder has changed the world of Tyria. I can see even now turning down my volume to avoid the constant bombast of explosions. Strange that these are bow skills.

But what would a Thief be if he didn’t steal? That’s why, regardless of weapon, the Thief can target an enemy and steal an item from them. Each enemy in the game has a small pool of possible items to steal (this includes opposing players). Items function as temporary weapon skills, and can be immediately used for a range of effects. I was able to steal an egg from a Moa and had the option of eating it for health or throwing it as a weapon, while I stole Gunk from a worm-thing that inflicted random status effects on my opponent when I used it. I was told that the Thief will always use the items he steals in a Thief-y way. Like, if I steal a shield from a Warrior, I’m not likely to use it to block — I’m much more likely to throw it like a Frisbee for extra damage.

This paragraph is the epitome of awesomeness. A small pool of items for every character? I can steal a shield and use it as a frisbee? The list of possible items must be huge. From a moa we know we can get feathers, and an egg. Now all we need is a secret recipe. How is stealing not the unique mechanic?

And now Gamespot.

But unlike the assassin, the thief can steal; specifically, thieves can steal away powers from their enemies to use them in battle. Stealing is a skill that appears on a thief’s hotkey bank (much like the teleporting shadow step spell and the profession’s various combat abilities), and when thieves successfully steal a copy of the powers of their enemies, thieves are considered to be holding an item pack that temporarily replaces their current hotkeys with stolen powers. These powers will generally be abilities that thieves don’t normally possess on their own (and in some cases, belong to some of the game’s other professions). Stealing from the game’s ostrichlike moa birds will yield the ability to stun enemies by hurling a fistful of feathers in their faces; stealing from a skull-belted ogre will yield one of the actual skulls, which can be used to trigger a fear spell normally reserved for necromancers.

This is actually a really confusing, and I suspect misleading, paragraph. I haven’t seen any actual “copy” of a skill stolen. I suspect it’s just a misunderstanding. Plenty of other interesting details here but hard to put much faith in them. I love that you can steal a skull and use it to fear an enemy though. That is an excellent touch by Arenanet.

Their homes are built of rough-hewn logs, and for fun, they launch heavy kegs of ale high into the air and challenge their youths to catch them–or they just fight each other.

Is this a hint of an activity of some sort? Or just NPC interaction. Sounds cool whichever it is.

the snow leopard quest area is focused on a shaman who will change you into the shape of an actual snow leopard (with a brand-new set of snow leopard abilities). Then you must perform leopard-like activities, such as hunting down vermin or comforting newborn leopard cubs. The raven quest area is a mountain with row after row of raven statues that simply asks you riddles, and the more riddles you answer correctly, the closer you get to completing the quest.

Gamespot also put up a a video entitled Norn shape changing video, or something to that effect, but it was showcasing the above quest, not the actual norn forms that we’ll likely see at higher levels of the game.

The Gamespot video interview with Eric Flannum

So if the pirates aren’t stopped from burning the town then the town will burn to the ground and players will have an event where they have to protect the workers who are trying to rebuild the town. Now if the players stop the pirates from doing that they can follow it up with raids on the pirates base

Just another great example of dynamic events. Okay, so that’s all the interviews for now.



  1. For my third slot, I planned a Charr/Thief and try and seed run the game, I’m now much more tempted at taking it slow.(Or just spending hours stealing from people to see what I get)

    • i haven’t thought anywhere near that far ahead.

  2. I think the initiative mechanic is a great balance for this profession. It allows you much more control over your attack pattern and for zero cost. Your weapon skills do not share the same energy pool as your dodge, which essentially encourages thieves to dodge more (which, of course, they really have to to stay alive). I think the combination of the “steal” and “initiative” mechanics make for a pretty unique playstyle. I’m excited to give this one a try. Sadly, I’ll have to wait until the box is in my hand. Looking forward to more gameplay videos.

    • it just seems like you’re getting two resources which isn’t all that impressive or innovative to me.

      thief really has a lot of interesting stuff going on with it though.

    • I believe that weapon skills do cost energy in addition to initiative to use. It’s just that dodging cost so much more energy it looks like it doesn’t cost anything. I think you can actually see the energy bar move when unload is used.

      • yeah i was thinking it isn’t entirely clear if thats the case but didn’t have any details to offer.

  3. Initiative looks to me like it’s just a mechanic to prevent the thief from doing to much burst dmg in a short period of time. With having manapots in the game you can’t balance that via energy and it’s still much better than doing it via cd.
    Still I don’t like the name Initiative. I don’t know how often the word get’s used in english but in german it get’s used like all the time in politics and tv and stuff like… yeah, just too much to be a word which fits for a supernatural ability in a fantasy world.

    And something I discovered in the new videos: It seams to me like they just let play the interviewers for their own videos cause the skilluse and movements just seams somekind of nooby or just like if someone who gets his hands the first time on the game. That in fact lets the thief look like a less awesome profession to me till you get other information like the stealing mechanic. Now I like the thief ^^

    • Uhm it is used commonly but not so much it would get confusing. I admit it doesn’t sound very fantasy.

      I can appreciate they wanted a different way to use their resource with the thief, but, replacing man with initiative doesn’t impress me much.

      • Hum it’s not actually confusing it’s more like it would be called calories instead of mana ^^ (I like, from now on I am OOC, out of calories ❤ ).

        I think it's better they didn't manage it via mana cause there are enough games where assasins are epot eating monsters. Example AION: As Spiritmaster I more or less never need epots but the assasin is using it on recast and still gets energy low. They have to spend loads of money on pots while other professions don't have to.

        • The GW2 Thief being able to go into stealth during combat, as opposed to Aion’s pre-combat only stealth, is different. Should be interesting to see how that works in GW2’s PvP; less ganking? 🙂

          I think in Aion they made one of each general class more dependent on potions than the other (sin, glad, sorc & cleric) while the related one isn’t so much (ranger, temp, spirit & chanter), although the assassin does use the most overall, being both squishy and a close-in fighter.

          I wasn’t real thrilled about mana potions in GW2, but will see how it goes. Not a big deal in Aion as I always have tons of them: HP, mana and food.

          What I’m liking about the GW2 Thief are the skills as it looks much easier to do hit and run attacks on mobs than Aion. But do they have the ‘stun, rune carve and mass damage’ type of the Aion Sin or will be more like the GW1 Sin; get in, damage and run away? I’m thinking the latter: stab, stab, steal, use stolen obj, kite, PEW PEW PEW!

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