Pulled From The Shadows – An Early Thief Review

The thief, waiting in the shadows for his reveal, was brutally pushes into the light last Thursday. Together with some footage of the Norn starting area and guardian, the thief, the sixth profession, was revealed. Shocking for some, exciting for others. But whatever we think, he is here. The thief jumped out of the shadows.

Personally, I find it sad that the profession was revealed. I found myself in the same situation on multiple occasions. You want to keep your project, that you worked so hard on, a secret until the right time for maximum excitement and effectiveness, and then someone comes along, takes your project, and puts it out there for everybody to see. How would you feel. And now, ArenaNet has nothing new for PAX East. No big reveal, just a sad, sudden pop-up. Although…

Maybe we should be excited about the things yet to be discovered during PAX East, like maybe some new attunements, weapons and skills. We didn’t get to see an elite skill for the guardian and the thief, so maybe that’s going to be a part of the demo. Also, we are going to find out what the 5 weapon skills for the guardian and thief are. This would be a huge discovery, making it possible to consider the professions even more and make a final decision.

Now, with the thief released, I might as well tell you what he’s like. The five weapon skills of the thief have no cool down. Instead, they are balanced by ‘initiative’, a wannabe mana bar that allows you to use skills. The stronger the skill, the more initiative it takes. You have a total of ten initiatives and it regenerates by one each second, making skills sort of spam-able, but still keeping them at bay. But don’t worry. One or two attack skills won’t be life-threatening, but make sure to get rid of the thief fast if you want to survive.

The thief has medium armor and low health, making him extremely vulnerable. When you take a look at the demo, you notice the novices have a hard time keeping their character alive. A thief is meant to hit and run, not stay until he dies. His position is more important than any other profession. It is unlikely for a thief to survive on his own while attacking more than one foe and even more unlikely if he doesn’t dodge the multiple enemies.

Another new ability of the thief is ‘stealth’. Thieves are able to become (partly) invisible for a period of time if they don’t attack. Stealth can be handy when you want to surprise your enemy or make a desperate retreat. Either way, it makes up for the low health of the thief. Now, if you want to use stealth to escape, there is one last ability that might interest you.

An already known  ability that made it into Guild Wars 2 is the famous ‘shadow step’. Teleport yourself right to your target, catch him off guard and kill him in a blur or disappear in the shadows.

The last ability of the thief is a new one. ‘Stealing’ enables the thief to steal a weapon from its opponent and use it against him. For example, when fighting a moa, you can use the steal ability and you steal some feathers, which you can then throw at him, which will temporarily blind him.

For the time being, I find the thief to be the most thought-out profession yet. Spam-able low damage skills and low armor and health in combination with stealthy moves that can get you into safety fast make up a nice, balanced profession. I don’t think I’ll become a thief myself, but I’ll be glad if I had to fight next to one.

The thief, a very nice profession while still a bit in the shadows. But what might become of him when he steps into the light?


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