Thief Skill Video Breakdown

March 11, 2011 at 9:32 pm | Posted in Guild Wars 2, mmorpg | 23 Comments
Tags: , ,

After each Guild Wars 2 profession reveal I try pick through their skill videos to scope out anything I can. In the past I’ve pretty solidly nerded out and gone ultra specific but as thief videos have been out for a while now, and because a lot of the things I’ve tended to notice in the past are downright old hat, I’ll try to go a bit lighter with the thief.

Scorpion Wire

Maybe I’m a bit strange, but the first thing I noticed in this video was that she is on a roof. She jumps from roof to roof. I get to jump on rooftops people! There’s something about being able to jump on a roof in a MMORPG that I love. I remember in Runes of Magic doing it for their Snowflake festival and it was the most fun I ever had in that game. Roof jumping.

The next thing I noticed was the running and jumping animation. I thought it was just about the most realistic animation I’ve ever seen for jumping in any MMO. Mind you, I specify MMO.

The thief quickly uses Unload and it’s a pretty impressive skill animation. It’s not just some stupid puff, there are billowing flames flowing out of these guns as they go off. The trajectory path of the bullets is clear and well illustrated as well. Very visual.

The skill itself seems to be a sword skill, as the thief switches back to sword and pistol to use it. A great way to get up close to the mob. Again, I like that there is an actual visualization of the wire, most games would show little to nothing.

I can’t quite tell if she is pistol-whipping the grawl in that final barrage of attacks, but at the very least it looks to be mostly sword attacks.

I am pleased with the blueish grey of the sword attacks skill animation.

Her tattooed face is quite awesome, the tube top I can do without.

Not sure what the sword attack skill is exactly, wish I knew more about it.

Cluster Shot

Two things strike me from the first moments of this video. One, it is one of the few times so far we’ve seen an asura in action. Two, the audio of the white skritt is hilarious.

The addition of an asura to a skill video seems to suggest they’re finally getting the race down. I suppose this means that an asura week, rather than a charr week might be in the cards but I’m not getting my hopes up.

Still aside from him using his skills we don’t see much. Jostling from one foot to the other much as the other professions sometimes do, in the vein of Bruce Lee. Sheathing and unsheathing his bow.

The skill itself is much like the warriors Arcing Shot except it appears the thief can set off the explosion from it at will. Since skills in these videos are showcasing the skill and overpowered for demo purposes, it’s hard to tell how effective each will be in practice.

The first shot the thief seems to let hit the ground, setting it off, while the second cluster shot he sets off in the air above the crowd of skritt. I wonder, aside from damage, if the effect has any difference? In any case it seems to take some elements from fireworks, sound effects in particular, and I noticed both Cluster Shots set the ground on fire. The second seems to send shrapnel of some kind to hit the ground as well.

The other skill shown is a shadowstep. The thief aims his bow at a spot on the ground and fires, teleporting himself there. The thief has some nice blueish black themes going on and I like the wispy ribbons that appear and fade.

I’ve been complaining a bit of late about the pop culture references apparently taking a back seat in Guild Wars 2. I’m unhappy with their stance on that. However in this video, the skritt’s cries of “Quick, kill it!”, “Run away!” and others reminds me deeply of something pop culture related. Would be in debt to anyone who points out specifically what that is from.

Leaping Death Blossom

I actually really dislike this skill video. In a video supposedly showcasing Leaping Death Blossom you barely see any of the actual leaping part. The player character jumps out of the shot, but surely they could have pulled back to better demonstrate the athletic acrobatics that the character is pulling off?

We’ve seen plenty of the skill in other thief videos but as a showcase of this skill in high quality video, this does not do the job.

The first skill she uses is some kind of boomerang dagger skill. For some reason they seem to be crippled after it’s used, despite it not really going anywhere near the legs.

Apparently a lot of thief skills have the added skill animation of blurriness whenever you go into the skill. It doesn’t look cheap, or like they’re trying to cheat, I think it’s actually a fairly well done animation effect.

Is that a backstab at the very end?

Shadow Shot

What jumps out at me for this video are a few small things.

We’re finally hearing a bit more charr audio, though no spoken words. Grunts and growls. Along with heavy breathing, which I picked up on in a few videos.

The Ogre death cry was very… creepy. For some reason, perhaps just to me.

I think Shadow Shot itself is a great skill, and well animated. What I really liked in this video was the animation for Caltrops and the sound effect. Subtle yet distinctive. Love how they spread out across the ground.

That charr is all black, and I’m glad, nothing like a black cat to spoil someones day.

Setting appears to be burned out ascalon. I am going to love exploring ruins like that.

There is a continuing skill animation of a white octagon type shaped thing in the air that crumbles to the ground. No idea what is causing it but I’d like to know more about it. I’ve seen it in a few different places.


Love the cinematic feeling they try to put into some videos. Scorpion Wire and Steal both had a lot of work put into them I think.

I keep wondering what the thief uses to move around like that, don’t think I’ve seen it stipulated elsewhere exactly what is going on.

Love that he gets absolutely flattened by the ettin’s club. Painful.

Not sure screaming aloud when you’re trying to enter a stealth mode is appropriate. YYYYEEEAAAHHHH! Uhm… no.

As I said in my last post, it’s interesting that stealing doesn’t break stealth, goes back to some RPG roots there I think. Sparkly effect for the win?

He steals a branch from an oakheart and absolutely sends the ettin flying with it. No ordinary branch?

Can’t see exactly what is going on with the ettin’s club, but there is definitely a skill effect on it at one point.


Hopefully that is a less detailed but still interesting version of my skill video breakdowns. I don’t feel like covering the armours, weapons, settings, etc in each video is entirely necessary. Particularly since we’ve seen much of this before from other sources.



  1. that would probably be Army of Darkness staring THE CHIN in all his glory

    • perhaps, been over 10 years since i last saw it. i’ll have to check into it.

  2. I loved most of the thief videos, but I agree the leaping death blossom video could have been better. Also the black/ribbon-y teleports are great.

    Now as to the asura thief’s bow attack the player can cause the shot to explode whenever they want. Allowing the cluster shot to hit the ground causes the damage to be focused on a very precise area (higher damage over smaller area) while detonating it in the air makes it cause less damage but affect a much larger area (there might also be a crippling from all that shrapnel but don’t quote me on that bit).

    • i’m going to assume thats in an interview or demo somewhere. thanks for the tip.

  3. The “Run Away!” dialogue is from Monty Python’s Holy Grail. The killer rabbit scene amongst others.

    • ah yes i do recall them saying that. such a good movie.

  4. The skritt are quickly becoming my favorite ‘bad guys’. A bit of the minions from the Overlord games about them. I believe in character creation we’ll be able to pick a monster race we have an affinity for, if I remember correctly. I hope the skritt will be an option for that, I think I’d have fun helping a pack of them get up to some mischief, especially with a thief character.

    • their voice work seems really well done. i keep wondering if their retreat was ochestrated or somehow an actual part of the game. something else i forgot to mention.

  5. Wondering about that bow/shadow step. It seems as though the shadow step automatically moves to where the cluster shot landed, so it didn’t need to be aimed – sounds like it may be similar to the shadow trap they are describing when they talk about traps.

    • I doubt they’d make it so you could only go to your last shots target.

      • I think the bow shot -is- the shadowstep.

  6. This was a really well written breakdown post. Your blog seems to consistently add to GW2 info and I think I sometimes get more from your breakdowns than the actual press releases. Thanks for writing it. 🙂

    • well thanks slothbear, appreciate it. Essentially thats exactly what i’m going for with my posts.

    • +1

      I agree with slothbear’s statement.

      Excellent breakdowns, I find myself coming here after info reveals more than anywhere else now

      • again, very much appreciated. Thanks for commenting guys.

  7. I’m afraid Roof Jumping will not be possible, at least not as a regular feature for Thieves. If you can’t walk or climb up to a roof you won’t be able to get there at all. This video just upped the awesome for dramatic effect.

  8. …?
    Not trying to be a spoilsport but regarding the awesome sound design in the skill videos Anet repeatedly stated that sounds are generally enhanced. I really love the Skritt’s voices and the echo Anet adds to many situations. It saddens me to no end but I have no hopes that any of the sounds, especially monster- and environmental sounds, will be in the final game like that.

    • I’m pretty certain that while I’ve seen them talk about adjusting things for the skill videos, they wouldn’t go through the trouble and expense of recording audio that they won’t use in the game. Nor am I certain that they’d show things like roof jumping while making it impossible in the game. I’m sure the extent of roof jumping could be limited, but it doesn’t make much sense to show it if it isn’t at least sometimes possible.

  9. Hey, apparently playcast blocked the video on copyright grounds. Is it just for thief skills… cause that’s diffidently ArenaNet’s video

    • thats weird, still working where i am?

  10. Nice breakdown, Hunter.

    I love the “predator” esque stealth visuals. I expect to be lurking in the shadows of a tree one dark evening waiting to ambush a group of revelling raiders drunk off their ill begotten gains.

    • yeah, its going to be interesting to use stealth in a more mobile MMO than most MMOs seem to be.

Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.

Blog at
Entries and comments feeds.

%d bloggers like this: