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Minion's Invincible Thief Build

thief death blossom glass cannon spam

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#31 Kyomi

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Posted 31 August 2012 - 08:59 PM

Quote

but it is also true that there is no reason to run sword over the daggers.

How is that true? I get that you have fallen in love with LDB Spam and dodge with RFI but I find it bad that you sell it as the only valuable build while we thieves have a lot of alternatives to choose from.

No reason to take Sword over Dagger?
What about the blind and daze on the stealth attack on Sword?
The sword auto-attack not only hits 3 targets it also applies cripple and weakness
Infiltrator's strike can be used even from above or beyond and easily get you back to safety.
Pistol Whip is just insanely good. Again, it makes me think that you haven't really played S/P since after the initial stun you flurry for a lot of damage while evading during the whole animation. Much like LDB except PW does much more damage minus the cond damage spam you can apply if specced into cond damage.
On top interrupts and blinds with Headshot and Blackpowder.

You have much more tools to control a fight and keep yourself out of trouble with a S/P build. Again, not saying it's better then anything else but it's certainly not inferior to your build.

Specially strongly specced into venoms S/P is a killer build and definitely not any weaker or less powerful then a D/D LDB build.

#32 sync

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Posted 31 August 2012 - 09:49 PM

View PostMinion, on 28 August 2012 - 11:57 AM, said:

Upon entering a mob, you run in,  use Death Blossom twice, then Steal, Death Blossom another two times (maybe wait a second for a third) then use the Steal skill and activate Assassin's Signet and go for the Heartseeker.
When I see you can stand in melee combat for seven consecutive skills it makes me wonder why thieves are considered to be squishy.

#33 Minion

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Posted 31 August 2012 - 10:26 PM

View PostKyomi, on 31 August 2012 - 08:59 PM, said:

How is that true? I get that you have fallen in love with LDB Spam and dodge with RFI but I find it bad that you sell it as the only valuable build while we thieves have a lot of alternatives to choose from.

No reason to take Sword over Dagger?
What about the blind and daze on the stealth attack on Sword?
The sword auto-attack not only hits 3 targets it also applies cripple and weakness
Infiltrator's strike can be used even from above or beyond and easily get you back to safety.
Pistol Whip is just insanely good. Again, it makes me think that you haven't really played S/P since after the initial stun you flurry for a lot of damage while evading during the whole animation. Much like LDB except PW does much more damage minus the cond damage spam you can apply if specced into cond damage.
On top interrupts and blinds with Headshot and Blackpowder.

You have much more tools to control a fight and keep yourself out of trouble with a S/P build. Again, not saying it's better then anything else but it's certainly not inferior to your build.

Specially strongly specced into venoms S/P is a killer build and definitely not any weaker or less powerful then a D/D LDB build.

I'm not saying you can't run sword/dagger/pistol whatever, but in my opinion, it's not as powerful. all-round. Of course there are several options for all classes, and I can't deny this. I really liked Pistol Whip when I played BWE3, but it was nerfed so you could only shadowstep backwards if you hit the target in melee, making it pretty meh.


View Postferv0r, on 31 August 2012 - 08:52 PM, said:

I recently rolled a thief alt and I've been browsing this subforum for some basic info.

I don't understand this build.

1.  What do might stacks / signets have to do with spamming DB or getting more initiative?
2.  Steal has a 45s cooldown, right?

Might increases damage, simple as that. You're aiming for high DPS constantly, while having all the signets improves power, increased maintenance of Might and you don't have time to use any other skills when you're focusing on dealing damage. Steal's recharge is a non-issue really; you will be destroying full mobs at a time and Steal is only really used to buff your Initiative bar when running low. This is also where Roll for Initiative comes in.

Edited by Minion, 31 August 2012 - 10:32 PM.


#34 Fayne

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Posted 31 August 2012 - 10:43 PM

View PostMinion, on 31 August 2012 - 10:53 AM, said:

If you think hitting three targets=AOE, maybe you haven't used DB... Alright, it hits multiple foes... Who are infront_of_you_and_adjacent. The range of DB is massive, but clearly there are a few misconception to how amazing sword/dagger is...

The sword's "autoattack", indeed, hits all foes directly in front of you, but the rest of the skills, including the dual attack, are easily lower DPS, no matter what size the mob you're fighting is. This is largely because as you progress through the game and are able to maintain a high Initiative regen-rate, you can spam Death Blossom to out damage both the sword's evasive, AoE damage and single-target capabilities.

The sword's dual skill has a nice evade, but it's damage is not as powerful as DB in terms of DPS, since while evading, you aren't actually dealing damage, as is the case for DB. Half the skill animation for the sword dual is wasted by running up to your target.

Speaking of waste... That random shadowstep on the sword bar couldn't be more redundant. There is no possible reason in PvE you would want to shadowstep away from an enemy without killing them beforehand. If you've killed it, you want to advance, not return.



Please, if you think I am wrong, by all means, show me your theorycraft as to why swords are better, because I am not seeing it in-game. I have now finished off my theory for level 80 traits and will edit the OP later.  

FYI: Currently level 49, did Catacombs story mode at 36 and all went smooth. My survivability was higher than our ranger and elementalist, and they were ranged. It quickly became my job to simply spam dancing dagger on the melee foes before being able to get into melee range, because our team kept dropping apart from myself. Note to all; necros are a pretty cool guy for done-djinns.

Well, I am not saying swords are better, but I can point out at least a number of places where you are wrong or missing information.

You are right about DB doing more damage than Flanking Strike, but you focus all of your attention on the dual skills.

If you are using sword/dagger, the use of C&D+Tactical Strike and then your autoattacks is amazing for survivability because you can lock down all of your enemies big attacks for a huge percentage of the fight.

The shadow step does an immobilize, which is very handy, and also gives you the opportunity to remove a condition or gtfo if something goes wrong and you need to switch to your SB.

You have tunnel vision and are comparing the way you would play the S/D combo to the way you would play your D/D combo.  They have to be played differently.

I don't deny that Flanking Strike is kind of a PoS dual skill.

Edited by Fayne, 31 August 2012 - 10:45 PM.


#35 Minion

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Posted 01 September 2012 - 03:20 AM

View PostFayne, on 31 August 2012 - 10:43 PM, said:

Well, I am not saying swords are better, but I can point out at least a number of places where you are wrong or missing information.

You are right about DB doing more damage than Flanking Strike, but you focus all of your attention on the dual skills.

If you are using sword/dagger, the use of C&D+Tactical Strike and then your autoattacks is amazing for survivability because you can lock down all of your enemies big attacks for a huge percentage of the fight.

The shadow step does an immobilize, which is very handy, and also gives you the opportunity to remove a condition or gtfo if something goes wrong and you need to switch to your SB.

You have tunnel vision and are comparing the way you would play the S/D combo to the way you would play your D/D combo.  They have to be played differently.

I don't deny that Flanking Strike is kind of a PoS dual skill.

I'm glad we could come to the same conclusion. If we're talking about whole skill bars from weapons, I would say the greatest skill is from the off-hand pistol with the blind.. It's very powerful for team play in dungeons, but I was swapping to dual pistols for that, since I was using all my initiative on spamming blind anyway.

Here's a question... Say your team can kite properly, what is better; cripple spam or blind spam?

#36 Awoken

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Posted 01 September 2012 - 04:32 AM

View PostMinion, on 28 August 2012 - 06:53 PM, said:

There is nothing in the Thief's repertoire that deals more AoE damage and AoE bleeding than death Blossom on the dual dagger set. If you're after single-target, sure, switch to sword. In most cases in PvE, that's not the case.





These are what I would call the necessary traits to enable DB spam. The rest is up to you.

You're wrong here. Dagger is more single target than sword. All attacks with a sword hit all targets in front of you. Daggers only hit one. Yes dagger has DB which is AoE, but sword has two AoE attacks. One that costs no initiative, and one that is a stun, which is absolutely nescesary to survive higher levels.

View PostMinion, on 01 September 2012 - 03:20 AM, said:

Here's a question... Say your team can kite properly, what is better; cripple spam or blind spam?

Cripple. A lost of mobs in instances that needs kiting are immune to blind. (Or at least, it is only 10% effective)

Edited by Awoken, 01 September 2012 - 04:34 AM.


#37 Minion

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Posted 01 September 2012 - 04:40 AM

View PostAwoken, on 01 September 2012 - 04:32 AM, said:

You're wrong here. Dagger is more single target than sword. All attacks with a sword hit all targets in front of you. Daggers only hit one. Yes dagger has DB which is AoE, but sword has two AoE attacks. One that costs no initiative, and one that is a stun, which is absolutely nescesary to survive higher levels.



Cripple. A lost of mobs in instances that needs kiting are immune to blind. (Or at least, it is only 10% effective)

What level are we talking? Because I just hit level 50 and my play style has not required altering. Much the opposite, it has flourished since I have new trait skills that buff my damage immensely. When I get to level 80, I will have +5%dmg on dual attacks and +5% damage on daggers along with +7% damage on side/backstab with 20 Trickery, is just going to make the damage the sword's AoE can output pale in comparison.

You are also forgetting there are no recharges on Thief attacks, I feel. There is no relevancy on how many AoE attacks a sword has compared to dagger. Also, the cost of initiative is irrelevant unless you are a bad player.

#38 DaiTheBear

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Posted 01 September 2012 - 05:05 AM

Minion. I can't honestly decide between a Ranger, a Thief and a Warrior but how has this build worked out for you so far? Have you run into any problems whatsoever during your time playing with this build?

#39 Zerj

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Posted 01 September 2012 - 05:05 AM

You obviously don't want any input on your build/playstyle so why make a forums thread?

#40 Minion

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Posted 01 September 2012 - 06:46 AM

View PostDaiTheBear, on 01 September 2012 - 05:05 AM, said:

Minion. I can't honestly decide between a Ranger, a Thief and a Warrior but how has this build worked out for you so far? Have you run into any problems whatsoever during your time playing with this build?

Don't know about warrior, but the fact that you're forced to use a pet in Ranger builds turned me away from them immediately... The AI is probably going to be just as bad as it was in GW.

The only problems I've had with the thief and this build is when Death Blossom sends you hurtling off a cliff. I'm now going to add a footnote, after testing, that a weapon swap to dagger/pistol is favourable for certain big boss and dungeon fights where you can spam blind and daze and still have access to high single-target DPS.

View PostZerj, on 01 September 2012 - 05:05 AM, said:

You obviously don't want any input on your build/playstyle so why make a forums thread?

There's a difference between not wanting input and arguing/discussing the flaws in mechanics and common misconceptions. I have already made improvements since this thread's creation based on suggestions (such as blind/daze from pistol off hand sometimes being necessary). I still hold that the sword sucks compared to the dagger, though. If you want to get arsey about that, not my problem.

So why am I posting? Because I want to share my thoughts with you all.

Edited by Minion, 01 September 2012 - 07:05 AM.


#41 SPS

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Posted 01 September 2012 - 09:38 AM

Clearly S/P and D/D both require different play styles to be effective. So I suggest if you enjoy playing D/D take Minion's advice (as it's worked well for me) or look else where for sword builds. Otherwise this sword vs dagger debate will just keep going back and forth :)

#42 Flynnscifo

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Posted 01 September 2012 - 11:54 AM

I'm still low lvl and learning the class but so far I like your build, Minion. Thanks for sharing it!

#43 lilaznboi0617

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Posted 01 September 2012 - 08:08 PM

is this pve or also works as pvp?

#44 Minion

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Posted 02 September 2012 - 04:38 AM

View Postlilaznboi0617, on 01 September 2012 - 08:08 PM, said:

is this pve or also works as pvp?

I honestly doubt it... Humans aren't as stupid as bots. They won't ball up or let you hit them. You'd get ganked to hell by conditions.

#45 Snikt

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Posted 02 September 2012 - 10:46 AM

I tend to go pre-prep the Shortbow when I expect I'll need to lay down AoE. Other than that, I run around with D/D and S/P for the benefits of both.

I love to lay down Death Blossom then Steal (I traited for Mug first, then Thrill as I leveled), and bring the sword and black powder out as needed. If I can get away with Death Blossom and Backstab, I stick with D/D, but I love having the sword mobility and pistol control in my back pocket.

I'm only leveling, so I try to gear for power, condition, and crit. I have to say learning to keep Initiative topped off and balancing the weapons is even more fun than doing similar things on my Mesmer.

My only comment to the Sword camp is a question on the Evade:

After the Daze, I have been hit as I swipe. At what stage of the move is the Evade kicking in? I might be too used to the Evade-O-Rama of the Mesmer's sword attack, but I'd love to master the sword so I can weave it in with the Lotus evade.

#46 Minion

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Posted 02 September 2012 - 04:30 PM

View PostSnikt, on 02 September 2012 - 10:46 AM, said:

I tend to go pre-prep the Shortbow when I expect I'll need to lay down AoE. Other than that, I run around with D/D and S/P for the benefits of both.

I love to lay down Death Blossom then Steal (I traited for Mug first, then Thrill as I leveled), and bring the sword and black powder out as needed. If I can get away with Death Blossom and Backstab, I stick with D/D, but I love having the sword mobility and pistol control in my back pocket.


What's the damage on Mug like? It doesn't say and I've always been put off trying it. Steal is 40s recharge, so it better do a hefty amount to be worth it. Otherwise, my Deadly Art specs would be all the +5% hits; which also requires finding out if both +5%damage traits stack. ( +5%dmg^dagger +5%dmg^dual skill)

#47 Snikt

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Posted 02 September 2012 - 07:19 PM

It hits pretty hard in my opinion. When you put it like that, I'm not sure how it breaks down, but off hand it breaks down as such (copying from my last three single target fights here):

Steal hits for 418
Double Strike for 109
Double Strike for 71
Wild Strike for 209
Lotus Strike for 286
Death Blossom hits for 49
Death Blossom hits for 49


Steal hits for 564
Double Strike for 109
Double Strike for 70
Wild Strike for 210
Heartseeker for 764


Steal hits for 380
Double Strike for 68
Double Strike for 106
Wild Strike for 270
Death Blossom hits for 49
Death Blossom hits for 49
Death Blossom hits for 49
Death Blossom hits for 49

Edited by Snikt, 02 September 2012 - 07:24 PM.


#48 Minion

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Posted 02 September 2012 - 09:22 PM

View PostSnikt, on 02 September 2012 - 07:19 PM, said:

It hits pretty hard in my opinion. When you put it like that, I'm not sure how it breaks down, but off hand it breaks down as such (copying from my last three single target fights here):

Steal hits for 418
Double Strike for 109
Double Strike for 71
Wild Strike for 209
Lotus Strike for 286
Death Blossom hits for 49
Death Blossom hits for 49


Steal hits for 564
Double Strike for 109
Double Strike for 70
Wild Strike for 210
Heartseeker for 764


Steal hits for 380
Double Strike for 68
Double Strike for 106
Wild Strike for 270
Death Blossom hits for 49
Death Blossom hits for 49
Death Blossom hits for 49
Death Blossom hits for 49

Not bad, comparatively speaking. That's a big buff of single-target damage.

#49 Snikt

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Posted 02 September 2012 - 11:00 PM

Between that and the items you get for Stealing and the poison touch on Steal, it helps out single target and multi-engages a lot. I feel naked when I run a build without Mug.

I wouldn't say it's necessary with a Lotus focus, it's just the first thing I gravitated to on my Thief. Today I dropped it and am running Furious Retaliation and Thrill, and my only hang up is Furious is also on a 45 second CD, so it might be a wash. I've never been a huge number cruncher; stuff is dying fast, I'm living. Hurrah. It's just fun to experiment.

#50 Minion

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Posted 03 September 2012 - 12:53 AM

View PostSnikt, on 02 September 2012 - 11:00 PM, said:

Between that and the items you get for Stealing and the poison touch on Steal, it helps out single target and multi-engages a lot. I feel naked when I run a build without Mug.

I wouldn't say it's necessary with a Lotus focus, it's just the first thing I gravitated to on my Thief. Today I dropped it and am running Furious Retaliation and Thrill, and my only hang up is Furious is also on a 45 second CD, so it might be a wash. I've never been a huge number cruncher; stuff is dying fast, I'm living. Hurrah. It's just fun to experiment.

Well, Back Fighting can be good if you're not great at evading or playing solo and no one to pick you up. I don't know how useful vulnerability really is, but Sundering Strikes may be worth it (would cause near-perma vulnerability) but I think it's only +3% damage, so meh...

My ideal trait skills for deadly arts line (which is the line I'm working on speccing to max now) would be the +5% damage on Daggers and Duals, either with Mug or Sundering Strikes.

#51 panica

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Posted 03 September 2012 - 02:15 AM

Minion, I changed from yesterday my S/P build to yours, and retraited, and so far after 10 levels (I'm lvl 51 now), I really fell in love with it. I rarely run out of init, all works great, and now I tweaked my DB jumps, I addapted and can use it in strange slipery places as well.

Please update the OP with your findings as you level up.

#52 Snikt

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Posted 03 September 2012 - 03:33 AM

Death Blossom is always good for group morale: when my pernacious pirate pirouettes over the edge of a high, narrow walkway while trying to show off for friends, it makes everyone feel good.

Bonus if the pack of mobs you were bleeding dry drop dead anyway.

#53 Snikt

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Posted 03 September 2012 - 03:40 AM

View PostMinion, on 03 September 2012 - 12:53 AM, said:

Well, Back Fighting can be good if you're not great at evading or playing solo and no one to pick you up. I don't know how useful vulnerability really is, but Sundering Strikes may be worth it (would cause near-perma vulnerability) but I think it's only +3% damage, so meh...


Don't forget that Exposed Weakness on your way to maxing out the line gives you 10% bonus damage as long as the foe has a condition. I know we've already got the poison from Steal and bleeds from LB, but Sunder might pay out, somehow, from time to time.

I'm not sure how the behind the scenes math would work, but with the +3% on top of the +10%, do the bleeds and poisons scale with that?

Edited by Snikt, 03 September 2012 - 03:41 AM.


#54 Soki

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Posted 03 September 2012 - 03:45 AM

I've been doing that to breeze through - but I hardly think spamming DB is a quantifiable "build" - particularly when it's so front-loaded and assumes short fights.
When you're in fields, it works a lot better than it would in, say, a Dredge-infested cave

#55 malikah

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Posted 03 September 2012 - 09:35 AM

Hey Minion,

thx for sharing and of course for the more detailed one :P
Got the same idea as you and i really like this type of playstyle!
Try it, it makes fun and its works ^^

#56 Minion

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Posted 03 September 2012 - 10:01 AM

View PostSoki, on 03 September 2012 - 03:45 AM, said:

I've been doing that to breeze through - but I hardly think spamming DB is a quantifiable "build" - particularly when it's so front-loaded and assumes short fights.
When you're in fields, it works a lot better than it would in, say, a Dredge-infested cave

How is stacking 12-15 bleeding (DoT condition damage) front-loaded? Especially when your initiative rarely runs out.

Comparatively, it would work better in fields because everything is nabbish. Fighting Dredge is interesting, because there are a lot of ranged Dredge. You would have to abuse AI mechanics to try and ball them up for ease of hitting them all. You can pretty much always do this. When it's 1v1 or 1v3~ it's still easy if you know what you're doing. Tricky part is surviving after you got dazed once or twice; they lock you in a chain of daze until you're floored.

#57 Soki

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Posted 03 September 2012 - 04:26 PM

View PostMinion, on 03 September 2012 - 10:01 AM, said:

How is stacking 12-15 bleeding (DoT condition damage) front-loaded? Especially when your initiative rarely runs out.

Comparatively, it would work better in fields because everything is nabbish. Fighting Dredge is interesting, because there are a lot of ranged Dredge. You would have to abuse AI mechanics to try and ball them up for ease of hitting them all. You can pretty much always do this. When it's 1v1 or 1v3~ it's still easy if you know what you're doing. Tricky part is surviving after you got dazed once or twice; they lock you in a chain of daze until you're floored.
My point was that it's a bit simplistic to call a "build". It's more a tactic I took as a given when romping around getting hearts and events.
Going in on Dredge like that is safe 'till your diamonds are gone - and, just like anything else in non-dungeons, it's easy to kill packs of Dredge - but Dredge sure do like chaining knockdowns on Melee-range.

Edited by Soki, 03 September 2012 - 04:28 PM.


#58 Kyomi

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Posted 03 September 2012 - 05:30 PM

My mug hits up to 2k at the moment.

#59 Trelari

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Posted 03 September 2012 - 07:34 PM

Minion - If I might ask what order are your stat priorites when chosing armor and weapons for this build. TY :)

#60 Minion

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Posted 03 September 2012 - 08:04 PM

View PostTrelari, on 03 September 2012 - 07:34 PM, said:

Minion - If I might ask what order are your stat priorites when chosing armor and weapons for this build. TY :)

You're primarily aiming for condition/precision, but by the end game you can get condition/precision/power armour and jewels which work perfectly.

View PostSoki, on 03 September 2012 - 04:26 PM, said:

My point was that it's a bit simplistic to call a "build". It's more a tactic I took as a given when romping around getting hearts and events.
Going in on Dredge like that is safe 'till your diamonds are gone - and, just like anything else in non-dungeons, it's easy to kill packs of Dredge - but Dredge sure do like chaining knockdowns on Melee-range.

Well here's the problem, Soki; a lot of people have a strange fear of playing a melee Thief due to either word of mouth or just from dying a lot in early game and immediately switching to perma-ranged and shadowy playstyles... Which often suck to play because your DPS begins to die with each dodge. I really enjoy Thief how I play, in a flamboyant, flashy way where you barely see your character standing still. This finesse is lost on the ranged play.




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