Thieves Of Guild Wars 2

March 11, 2011 at 5:38 pm | Posted in Guild Wars 2, mmorpg | 4 Comments
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I think the name will grow on people.

Once I saw the above art, something like a year ago now, I knew there would be an assassin class. I wasn’t convinced that a name change was in the cards, and was pretty surprised when the thief was leaked.

It’s still a very similar profession of course, it has shadowstepping, daggers, tight leather armour, and even some of the same skills.

We’ve seen some of the new abilities the thief has to offer as well, but now it’s time to get the official Arenanet perspective on just what the thief can do in their official reveal and new thief page at

Going back to some of the predictions I made about The New Assassin, I felt confident that either shadowstepping or stealth would be the unique mechanic. Well last week that dream died a sad death when Initiative was shown.

Initiative is a resource mechanic which allows a pretty steady stream of attack. Their weapon skills don’t cost energy or have cooldowns so as long as you have initiative, you’re golden. Their utility and heal skills cost energy instead making their use unaffected by the constant use of Initiative.

As I’ve said recently I’m not a huge fan of this mechanic. It just seems like another resource management game, which may please traditional Guild Wars fans, but for me is kind of old hat and played out. I’ve yet to actually play the thief of course, so I’ll have to reserve judgment, but replacing energy management with Initiative management doesn’t impress me.

Moving on to stealth, as seen in various videos, there isn’t much to talk about. It’s the same old stealth. Reduced (hard to say how much though) movement speed, backstab bonus, and invisibility. Don’t get me wrong, I like stealth and the predator style visual effect is nicely done. It will also play out nicely in PvP for a lot of PvP fans. However, while I’m not saying it is bad, it doesn’t seem particularly innovative.

Predator much?

Shadowstepping is a welcome and expected return to the Guild Wars assassin style of gameplay. In Guild Wars 2 there appear to be some very interesting additions to the simple teleport of the original. There are multiple examples of weapons being integrated into the mechanic. Weapons that provide skills that literally fire you at your target. Not to mention there seems to be some addition of skills that aren’t quite shadowstepping per say, but move your player character around the battlefield nearly as quickly. Shadowstep seems much more varied in Guild Wars 2.

The list of weapons indeed rules out swords for both hands. As I’ve said before it is one of the most limited weapon lists we’ve yet seen. Only the elementalist has fewer. Still, with the addition of Steal, I can hardly complain about a lack of attack choices.

Steal is pretty intensely awesome so I’ll just quote their page.

Above their skill bar, all thieves have a special skill called Steal that can be used on enemies. It does not actually steal a real item from an opponent, but rather generates an appropriate environmental weapon based on the target. Stealing does not break stealth, and cannot be used often. When a thief steals, it can open up a range of support and control options that are less prominent in his basic skills.

A moa might produce an egg which you can eat for health or throw as a weapon, or it might produce feathers which could be thrown in the face of a moa to cause blindness and daze. It’s interesting to note they say it will open up a range of support and control options. The thief apparently doesn’t have much in the way of those types of skills otherwise. I guess they’ll be applying a lot of conditions.

It’s also interesting that it doesn’t break stealth as in the Steal skill video. Going to be interesting to see that in use a lot.

The only other thing I hadn’t heard much about is the dual skill. Unlike other professions where the third skill is steadfastly determined by your main hand or two handed weapon, it’s different for the thief.

When using a main hand and off-hand weapon combination, the thief differs from other professions. Their first two skills come from the main hand weapon, while the last two skills come from the off-hand weapon. The final skill, called their Dual Skill, is determined by both weapons. For example, a thief with two daggers will have Leaping Death Blossom as their Dual Skill, but a thief with a dagger and a pistol will have Shadow Shot as their Dual Skill.

I guess this is a shout out to all the people who beg and plead to dual wield weapons. Not only can you wield two weapons in Guild Wars 2, we’ll give you special dual wielding skills.

Overall I’m pretty happy with the thief. The Steal mechanic alone makes trying out the profession a must. It is innovative, new, clever and interesting. Combine that with a host of other cool features and so far it is beating out most of the other classes for my first character. I still want to see the mysterious 8th profession, and even without knowing anything about it, I’m kind of leaning towards it as well.

Truly excellent art right here.



  1. Thief is indeed looking good! The videos were all interesting and I really like the armor in the Steal skill vid, as well as being able to steal (while in stealth) from one target and use on another.

    Also liked the Asuran vid: “Run away!”

    • yeah I covered that a bit more in depth elsewhere, although I should have took note of using one monsters environmental weapon on another.

  2. As for the “8th profession,” are you referring to the mesmer or even sparcely informed “engineer” class?

    • mesmer is a sure thing, but we have only speculation on the 8th class.

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