Shadow; what are these malevolent nerfs of which you speak?!
@rest; It depends where you are. In structured PvE (dungeons or playing with others in general) you're doing more good using the single-target damage from your pistols and the daze/blind which someone else in your team can abuse. A lot of people keep touting "shotgunning", but that still requires you to get into melee range for maximum effect but doesn't offer an evade while casting. This makes the shortbow less appealing to me, but they are completely different, so it's best seeing what your whole team has before deciding.
The whole CnD > Steal (Mug) > BS thing. Supposedly they are toning down the damage even further and supplementing us in some other way. Not sure what exactly. I'm sure it'll be a massive fail though. There's a thread about it somewhere, Thief PvP section mayhaps?
It does depend on your party and the dungeon as you say. In a lot of dungeons I don't think it's possible to survive without the use of Cluster + SoM. However many of them are also geared towards single-target bosses so it really does depend. I just don't like D/D and P/P in unison because;
1) Glaring lack of AoE.
2) Lack of mobility.
3) I feel it's impossible to use them both to their maximum efficiency in the way of traits. You're essentially becoming a Jack of all trades. Whereas Shortbow and D/D fit in well together when just speccing to further the potency of D/D.
As for the whole AoE versus Support thing. There is that to consider. But personally; I'd rather build towards D/D and SB. If I find myself in need of /P be it for the daze (unlikely) or BP I would rather go D/P (still fairly good damage grace de HS through combo field) while also offering that additional support. If the situation gets too sticky (and in some situations it does), you have the SB lying there to quickly get out and potentially revive other party-members and what-have you. There are different ways of offering your team support. Staying alive to live another day via the careful use (not "Shotgunning", though there is a time for it) of the SB is one of many ways in which we can offer it, though arguably, in a more round-and-about way.
Edited by The Shadow, 04 November 2012 - 11:24 AM.