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thief getting rocked by groups

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#1 sty0pa


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Posted 10 November 2012 - 05:52 AM

Any tips?
I'm lvl 42, and while I can kill almost anything 1:1 without much effort, I'm absolutely getting ownd by groups.

Running D/D and now P/P (was SB), and I'm so bloody brittle it's crazy....*particularly* when the combats (as many seem to be lately) on bridges/catwalks, etc so DB spam isn't an option (whups, 500' vertical fall...sorryy...).  If I can't DB (and can't freely evade, either) I'm in crap city, basically.

Even if both are an option, 3-4 mobs just rip me apart.  What am I doing wrong?

Typically I'll open with Dancing Dagger, then when they get close (hopefully in a group) DB into the bunch, then DB out of the bunch...evading immediately back to try to delay to gain some initiative.

I just did the lvl 30 durmand priory story quest (the fight on the bridge vs the device - don't want to spoiler) and I think I died 3 times.

Getting frustrated, especially since I rocked through this quest when I've done it on Necro, and on Guardian.
Any advice would be appreciated.  Running minion's condition build.  I have appropriate level gear.

#2 Wordsworth


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Posted 10 November 2012 - 05:57 AM

Switch to a SB and run around.

#3 Al Shamari

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Posted 10 November 2012 - 06:16 AM

Other than a couple skills, with both dual pistols and dual daggers you're pretty much confined to attacking a single target.

Short bow on the other hand has an auto-attack that bounces between enemies, a high AoE damage exploding projectile that can stack bleeds on an entire group, a build in evade that can be run with initiative, an AoE poison well, etc.

It's probably the best multiple mob focused weapon in the game, with utility to boot. Use it, strafe, kite and evade. Prosper my friend.

#4 NachyoChez


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Posted 10 November 2012 - 10:09 AM

Thanks so much for the breakdown on SB.

Like the OP, I was not enjoying any pull more than 2 mobs.  I was P/P-S/D for good multi-target, but my fragility was just too much to melee anything more than 2 at a time.  Taking the advice here I switched to SB-P/P and just a few minutes ago soloed and event with 3 mobs and three adds without going down once (did have to pop stealth a lot though!)

It doesn't make the class faceroll by any means though; still have to mind my dodges and timings, but overall SB has proven invaluable for me overnight!

#5 Madtobiass


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Posted 10 November 2012 - 10:17 AM

When I was levelling my thief and developing skills I found  the skill "caltrops" useful in taking on groups. it cripples and bleeds them and combined with SB a group goes down fast. If you get caught you more than likely get a rally off them.  I dont use caltrops much now but when getting skilled with the SB it helped.

#6 NachyoChez


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Posted 10 November 2012 - 10:20 AM

I use the Seed Turret racial skill; great damage (at the moment) and it tends to draw most of the fire.

#7 Kovares


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Posted 10 November 2012 - 10:22 AM

Try a d/d bleed build if you want to rock pve. Equip condition damage gear, slot caltrops and signet of shadows and trait caltrops on dodge. Your primary means of attack should be ldb and dodging in a caltrops field. With this, you can literally pull as many mobs as their aggro radius allows, you only have to watch out for ranged attackers among them.

#8 musibatkhan


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Posted 10 November 2012 - 11:15 AM

put 30 points into shadow arts and kill up to 6-8 mobs with out any issue no matter what weapon you are using.

I had same problem as you when i was around that lvl but since i have changed to 30 in shadow i have no problem. even at full 3 sets of exotics i still cant let go 30 in shadow.

this gives you loads of survivability. higher healing and heal Plus HOT if you go into stealth.

you can have up to 4 stealths on your bar if you want thats a lot of heal.

#9 darkk zhaitan

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Posted 10 November 2012 - 01:50 PM

Try using caltrops and ambush in your utility slots.  I find they are the best skills when dealing with mobs.  Also, how well you deal with multiple enemies depends on your armor/accessories.  If you find you engage mobs of 2+ in size often, then invest in vit (or less likely; toughness) bonuses, or go the other way and go really glass cannon and hope you take out the mobs quick before they deal much damage.  It might also be a good idea to invest in that trait which regenerates endurance with each dodge, thus allowing you to dodge more.

Personally, I find d/d to be very good at dealing with mobs at lvl 80, but whilst levelling from 1-80, I used d/p exclusively due to black powder.  It let me take on huge mobs at once and blind everything near-permanently whilst allowing me to pick off each enemy one by one.

#10 funnyguy12345


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Posted 10 November 2012 - 02:01 PM

go S/P. highest auto attack dps, black powder makes you pretty much immune to melee damage, pistol whip does massive pbaoe damage and procs signet of malice 9x each monster while also evading.

D/D is good for single target but that's it. DB as an aoe is horrible outside of dungeons because normal monsters don't last 10 seconds. Why would you use a skill that takes 10 seconds to take effect?

SB's damage comes from it's range. Use it in events where there are a bunch of enemies and they are too spread out for you to melee. It's actual damage numbers are not too great so stick with S/P if there are only 2-3 enemies in your face.

Edited by funnyguy12345, 10 November 2012 - 02:02 PM.

#11 sty0pa


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Posted 10 November 2012 - 03:12 PM

Thanks all, great tips.  Much appreciated.

#12 Heart Collector

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Posted 11 November 2012 - 10:15 PM

Dunno if things get harder after lvl 40 (I'm 32), but I'm enjoying d/d on my thief even against multiple mobs. But it's indeed a pain in cramped spaces, bridges, ledges and the like. Definitely a "great outdoors" weapon :D I use my shortbow when all else fails, and I also use stealth utilities a lot (maybe that helps). I'm really liking the look of the Shadow Arts tree and plan to invest in it heavily (and if it doesn't work out for me I'll just respec so no big loss there).

#13 mofogie


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Posted 07 December 2012 - 12:32 PM

i had no probs lvling as DD  I only switched to SB on packs of 3 or greater, or included a veteran.
I also was always lacking in gear, never buying upgrades.

the key is to time your deathblossom on a mob hit, so you almost never get hit.   there is a rhythm to it.  you can either 1-1 deathblossom, or 1-1-1, put weakness on your enemy so you take less damage.

there's also dodging, which you must utilize.

for slot skills, having ambush is a must, as it's baically your 'pet.'   The pets have great crowd control abilities which will keep you alive.

#14 Loperdos


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Posted 07 December 2012 - 07:37 PM

View Postfunnyguy12345, on 10 November 2012 - 02:01 PM, said:


D/D is good for single target but that's it. DB as an aoe is horrible outside of dungeons because normal monsters don't last 10 seconds. Why would you use a skill that takes 10 seconds to take effect?


Not to be confrontational or rude, but I'm gonna have to disagree with you there.  Given the correct build (a condition damage focused build to be exact, which is what the OP mentioned he was running), DB can be an exceedingly viable AoE...just not a direct damage bursty AoE like you'll find on some other classes.  The biggest benefit to DB as an AoE is its ridiculously large range for a melee skill.  Does DB have relatively low direct damage on it? Absolutely, but that's not where its strength lies.  Its strength lies in the bleeds that it can drop on multiple targets, ease of use and built in evade, all which make it more viable than some of the other class skills that drop more condition damage.  Take Eruption or Churning Earth on an Ele, for example.  6 stacks for 12s (3060 dmg, unbuffed) and 8 stacks for 8s (2720 cond dmg unbuffed), but both of them are ground target abilities, which means that the enemy has to stay in that area in order to get hit with all the bleeds.  No such requirement for DB.  The other other two abilities that come close for straight-up bleed damage are Impale and Riposte on a warrior, but these too fall short in utility compared to DB.  Both Impale and Riposte are single-target (unless I'm mistaken, which is completely possible :D), and drop 4 stacks for 12s on their target (2040 dmg unbuffed).  Riposte requires that the warrior get hit in order to apply these bleeds, which makes it even less reliable as a bleed application skill compared with DB.  DB the only requirement is that you be close enough, which given its range, isn't that difficult to fulfill.

D/D can and is a viable source of multi-target combat, in fact, its the type of combat I prefer when running on my thief (and what I usually run into, given the population density of the Risen in Orr :D) because it really shows the strengths of a DB bleeder build, rather than just against 1 or 2 enemies.

More to the OP's point, I would say that caltrops is a viable way to help deal with a group.  If you are using a condition build, you may want to avoid using Dancing Dagger, especially after its damage got reduced since that makes it a less viable skill considering how much init it takes to use.

I will say that I didn't start using a condition build until later on in leveling, so I honestly can't say one way or the other how it is while leveling up, but I found one of the easiest ways to level up was focus on getting your stealth skills buffed up and get as many as possible, especially when dealing with a group because the de-aggro of stealth is invaluable in taking out larger groups, especially on catwalks/bridges.

Edited by Loperdos, 07 December 2012 - 08:00 PM.

#15 SlizeTT


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Posted 07 December 2012 - 07:54 PM

Lol ye, DB SHINES when theres 3+ enemies.

But to OP. like someone mention, try SB, first stack up some DB's on them, then evade>sb drop some caldrops and kite them around. Your also a low lvl wich means u cannot fully use this build, so try to experiment with Utilities, i liked to use shadowstep, becouse its one utility that can get you in long range twice ( shadowstep+shadowreturn when enemy is close to you again), then when i was lower lvl i used Ambush aswell, this summoned thief is decent dmg and draws aggro.


#16 Orpheo Lyra

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Posted 08 December 2012 - 03:37 AM

It comes down to how your traits are built, you need to invest in Trickery for the condition damage plus it gives you extra initiative and also  you gain initiative when you steal, this means more DB and more bleeds

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