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Usage of a thief in higher Fractals and Dungeons


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#31 Kurr

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Posted 09 January 2013 - 04:39 AM

I've run every single dungeon path as a Thief and despite not having good DPS I do pretty well overall, though I do understand your feeling about not being that important. I have exotic armors, but only rare weapons because I'm cheap and I'm a support character anyway so my damage isn't as imporant --- I'm spec'ed for condition damage though. Still, getting exotic weapons really wouldn't up my DPS that much, and my role would be the same.

To be honest, Thieves can useful mostly for running, stealth and resurrecting. The odd occasion when it's useful to do something else with Scorpion Wire or Smoke Screen (ex : TA Boss fight when the tree throws projectiles) is fun but not really necessary. For a while I would spam blind from pistol #5 during boss fights but found it's mostly useless as a lot of bosses have huge AoEs that ignore blind and otherwise the fact that I'm not attacking brings down party DPS too much.

I think beyond support they really aren't too useful. Right now I use a d/d condition build (p/p on switch for blind/unload if too risky to go in) with Shadow Refuge, Roll for Initiative and Signet of Agility to allow me to run and spam initiative skills/stay alive. I know you can do different builds, such as a venom build (which I think could be mildly useful, but never really tried it) or full berserker d/d (which granted could work for DPS if you're good enough to dodge, but less survivability than warrior or guardian).

I also think Thieves get a bad rep in dungeons because every time I run a dungeon with another Thief they die so often. It's like they don't realize evade exists... I do die once in a while but in general I rarely wipe in dungeons. Thief is a popular newbie class that isn't easy to play for newbs unfortunately.

All in all, I feel that Thieves have 2 options to do decent in dungeons, and be useful in comparison to other professions :
-Full Berserker completely DPS role (with good dodging)
-Condition spec with support role such running/rezzing/etc

I don't feel it's really useful to do S/P (pistol whip leaves you standing there to get hit, even after the small stun) or D/P, P/D (dual wielding either is just better IMO). I used shortbow for a while, but D/D is better for condition/AoE and P/P better for single target, blind, vulnerability. Cluster Bomb was better before it was nerfed but even there, it's still a slow attack that you can't spam (one of the main appeal of the initiative system for Thieves) --- even if the damage is decent, the attack rate makes it pointless. I don't recommend it outside of WvW as a switch weapon vs large groups.

I've never really tried S/D, but it seems more like a solo weapon set for fighting champs/vets alone so you can dodge a ton and deal a bit of damage (might work with venoms for example), but doesn't offer a constant source of damage overall.

I really feel D/D and P/P are the only acceptable weapon sets for Thieves in dungeons, either for Berserker or condition damage builds (even if Shortbow makes it easier to spread conditions).

#32 Rachmani

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Posted 09 January 2013 - 08:51 PM

I haven't made your experience Kurr, and I've - so far - used every set in more difficult to rather difficult dungeons (arah explo, fractals beyond 20 and with the exception of P/D and actually D/D also beyond 30), and found multiple ways of getting much use out of them.
In fact, the rather pure dmg sets I've found to be worse the more & more difficult fractals became.

#33 Rabenfeder

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Posted 10 January 2013 - 12:18 AM

View PostKurr, on 09 January 2013 - 04:39 AM, said:

To be honest, Thieves can useful mostly for running, stealth and resurrecting. The odd occasion when it's useful to do something else with Scorpion Wire or Smoke Screen (ex : TA Boss fight when the tree throws projectiles) is fun but not really necessary. For a while I would spam blind from pistol #5 during boss fights but found it's mostly useless as a lot of bosses have huge AoEs that ignore blind and otherwise the fact that I'm not attacking brings down party DPS too much.
That's one aspect of PvE Thieves.
Bosses got Unshakable, making Blind only 10% effective. Pistol 4 is much more interesting.
Against e. g. vets, you can blind while keeping DPS up. Pistol 5 remains some time, and you can use it with HS to gain stealth.

Quote

I think beyond support they really aren't too useful.
Very decent DPS, strong AoE with SB, weakness spam, blast finisher spam, dazelock / getting rid easily of defiant stacks.


Quote

I don't feel it's really useful to do S/P (pistol whip leaves you standing there to get hit, even after the small stun) or D/P, P/D (dual wielding either is just better IMO). I used shortbow for a while, but D/D is better for condition/AoE and P/P better for single target, blind, vulnerability. Cluster Bomb was better before it was nerfed but even there, it's still a slow attack that you can't spam (one of the main appeal of the initiative system for Thieves) --- even if the damage is decent, the attack rate makes it pointless. I don't recommend it outside of WvW as a switch weapon vs large groups.
P/P got the problem of being a weapon set with no clear goal (condition damage? direct damage?).
SB is superior due to free dodges (3), spammable blast finisher (2), weakness and poison on demand AoE (4), mobility (5) and overall good AoE.
P/D is a good condition build in theory, but got the problem of having do melee for stealth with CnD.
I know some people are still playing S/P with good results, but I'm not playing it myself - can't say anything.
D/P is decent for spammable mobility and blind (e. g. against Jade Maw tentacles or in Cliffside), combining that with the good DPS of a main hand dagger. Can get rid of lots of defiant stack. Is playable.

Quote

I've never really tried S/D, but it seems more like a solo weapon set for fighting champs/vets alone so you can dodge a ton and deal a bit of damage (might work with venoms for example), but doesn't offer a constant source of damage overall.
Sword 1 deals lots of damage, it's really good. S/D is useful for solid, kinda safe DPS (Sword 2) with the ability to remove some boons and spam a lot of long dazes through CnD. Definetly playable.

Quote

I really feel D/D and P/P are the only acceptable weapon sets for Thieves in dungeons, either for Berserker or condition damage builds (even if Shortbow makes it easier to spread conditions).
I really disagree.

#34 sanctuaire

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Posted 10 January 2013 - 02:25 AM

while not a firm user of builds: i change weap sets and builds so often depending
on what will i'll be concentrating on for the moment: farming/ dungeons, ect.
--- even swapping sets midway through dungeons depending on which part it is.

interestingly enough, as i was progressing from 26-30+, found i was using
a SB + P/P setup more often.

.

#35 Cannot See Me

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Posted 10 January 2013 - 07:49 PM

First off I will just say I will restrict this discussion to high level fractals, more specifically 30+ because this is where things actually starts to get interesting. In other dungeons or general PvE there is no reason to say thief is not useful because that simply isn't true, needless to say in WvW and s/tPvP.

The feeling of thieves as not so useful is mostly in my opinion a problem of perception, both from thief players and others. High level fractals pushes thieves to play in a style that is not popular prior to fractals, ie. fully utilizing agility, stealth, blind and weakness, DEFENSIVELY. Usually thieves focus on direct damage in previous PvE, and it's not due to support being bad, just that the situation never really called for it before. I honestly think that thieves has some of the best support abilities in the game. The problem is that these support are a lot more subtle, compared to more conventional support such as block or heal. Most noticeable amongst which are blind and vulnerability. you definitely notice that aegis that guardian gives you, those might stacks a warrior gives you, or the heal an elementalist gives you. But those vulnerability stacks or all those misses from mobs attacks players don't really realize they come from a thief. Needless to mention blast finishers and stealths, but I think they get enough attentions already.

So here is the catch, I think the most useful thief in high level fractals are support oriented, this, and also the nature of fractal encounters really limits the dps aspect of a thief. Melee single target dps really has no place most of the time in high level fractals, which means one of the best dps weapon for a thief, the dagger in main hand, is out of the question. This leaves the sword and pistol for mainhand. Melee combat itself for a thief has problems, thieves are just not as durable in those situations, which means in mass fights where perfect evade timing doesn't mean much, surviving is a big issue. That's why glass cannon doesn't really fair well in high level fractals. Then there is the problem with aoe and range dps, thief doesn't really shine in these situations as well.

I actually think that fractals are pushing the thieves play how I think they should play. More of manipulating the background than in the face damage. I really want to urge thief players to explore stacking vulnerability, and aoe stealth blinding, personally i think these 2 areas have a lot of potentials but overlooked by a lot of thieves. One of the biggest issue for thieves is in order for a playstyle to be affective, you have to be very extreme in terms of build. Unlike many other classes, if you orient your build more as a support, you really can't compensate your damage via some other mechanic (ie warriors with might stacks, elementalists with aoe). Therefore a team with many thieves gets a lot harder in fractals.

But at the end of the day, people who say thieves have no place in high level fractals are pretty much delusional. In my imaginary perfect team there is always a spot for thieve, but just one though.

Edited by Cannot See Me, 10 January 2013 - 07:58 PM.


#36 Rachmani

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Posted 10 January 2013 - 10:40 PM

View PostCannot See Me, on 10 January 2013 - 07:49 PM, said:

-snip-

This, pretty much.
Once your teammates realize how strong clusterbomb blast finisher is, and all the other subtle, little things thieves can do, they percieve you and your role differently.
I wouldn't rule out dagger mainhand in general though, as I consider D/P to be rather good - at least situationally good (in my opinion the strongest weapon on jade maw, for example).

#37 Red_Falcon

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Posted 11 January 2013 - 06:55 PM

Anyone saying Thief is just a DPS class is still, as a matter of fact, a complete utter noob to the class.

I run 25/30/15 and Smoke Screen / Blinding Power / Shadow Refuge.
3.2k atk, 15k hp, 2400 armor, 50% crit chance 90 crit dmg - aka high dps high survivability.
The focus is stealthing team members in dangers and stealth-rezzing, blind/perma-weakness and/or shielding team from ranged fire,
D/D as main weapon, SB for permaweakness on masses/heavy hitters, switch to P/P when facing ranged boss fights.
With this setup I prevent a ton of damage, save members that would otherwise die for sure, rez members that others wouldn't be otherwise able to rez.
These abilities are unique to us and the survivability of any team involving such a Thief increases by a very large degree.

Stealth used correctly makes the target take zero damage and downed people can be rezzed safely, there is no support that's better than this.
Of course it requires a brain, good ping and quick-thinking.
I feel really bad when people question my skills "because I'm a Thief" just because a portion of Thieves just deals DPS and nothing else.
DPS-only Thieves are terrible in dungeons, because they could deal the same DPS while also triplicating team's survival.

#38 curbs

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Posted 12 January 2013 - 12:53 PM

Alot of people say that D/D is the best build we have. I don't know if that's true but I definitely wouldnt recommend running it with a zerker set.

You can do high single target damage (which I personally love) but noone seems to appreciate anything but AoE damage nowadays. I would say if running a power/crit build you want to go for either S/D or S/P. S/D is the one I personally use, and it has some great utility for dungeons. Every now and then you encounter enemies within dungeons that spit out extremely owny spike damage - and I reckon Thiefs excel at keeping a mob stunlocked & reducing the effectiveness of multiple mobs.

Now I always run 30 or 25 SA for the constant cleansing on stealth, and AoE blind. But just 15 points into Deadly Arts, and youve also got AoE poison & weakness. If this isn't party support, I don't know what is. Offensive support it may be, and I know some classes can dish out the conditions better, but thieves can definitely do that job-  and with so little investment.

I'm currently at fractals 14 and doing well, but I had to eventually resort to transmuting just a few bits of gear to Valkyrie. Sure you're squishy, but you can use your 'sissy' shadowsteps and cloaking :) to ensure you can outsurvive any party member. It's not really a bad thing to go ranged, some situations require it and these tools are perfect catalysts for that.

But yeah, would definitely recommend the sword over MH dagger anyday, unless running condi. At my 3.2k attack power, its 3k per hit against up to 3 enemies and 4k on the finisher! Makes the damage crazy good and especially with quickness.

I also totally agree with you Red Falcon. As I say Thieves sacrifice so little to be able to pump out their offensive party support. You have to hit the mobs to apply the conditions anyway, so it would be silly for a dungeons Thief to give this utility up.

Edited by curbs, 12 January 2013 - 12:58 PM.


#39 CepaCepa

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Posted 27 January 2013 - 01:08 PM

View PostReikou, on 03 January 2013 - 04:06 PM, said:

1. Nothing in the game does more single target damage than 30/30/0/0/10 D/D full berserker thief.

2. Not many viable builds can put out more AoE damage than a 30/30/0/0/10 full berserker shortbow Thief, or Sword/Pistol thief.

3. The reason you bring a thief for high level fractals and dungeons is for damage output, thus, the only thief build to bring at high level fractals and dungeons are glass cannon builds.  Start diluting the glass cannon and the more and more useless a theif becomes.

4. Full glass cannon mesmer damage output pales in comparison to thief.  Full glass cannon dagger thief auto attacks crit for 3k per hit,  There really isn't much else that can do even comparable damage.

I understand that you're trying to defend your own profession with passion, but in your process of fervently doing so, you're denying some of the experience that we've gathered through hundreds and hundreds of fractals, so here is me trying to defend for these experience.

1. There are many dps comparison threads on guru, some using coefficients + formulas + numbers, some using dummies (PvP lobby or LA dummy), some using numbers taken from various runs. Optimal single target damage, highest is full berserker mesmer with 3 phantasms out (either iWarlock or iSwordman) and attacking in Sword himself (due to a greatsword bug, otherwise greatsword comes slightly ahead). At one time (I say one time because I don't know if the numbers have changed too much since then) thieves were very close at second assuming you stay fully in melee doing optimal rotation (CnD + backstab) while managing initiatives and having 100% damage uptime. Thieves would win over mesmer for single target fights shorter than 25 seconds due to mesmers needing 16 seconds to setup the phantasms. Other than that, mesmer wins.

2. Shortbow AoE is DECENT, but that's DECENT. Do you really want number matches with elementalists / necro / engineer? Are you that confident that you'd do more aoe damage than a 100B or Axe warrior? Or how about Greatsword Guardian? So really you're just talking about ranger and mesmer then, 2 out of 8 professions?

3. We're talking about "high level" fractals right? That means 40+, 50+ and 60+ fractals? Where warriors stay 80% in rifle and guardians stay 80% on scepter? I don't know which groups you're referring to, I can practically count the number of people LFG at those levels on North American server and probably have either grouped, seen, or heard of most of their names. Because there aren't many, you keep running into the same ones. And as far as I know none of those thieves are glass cannon. And thank goodness they're not. Unlike a mesmer who's offensive trees are possibly also their best survival trees, a glass cannon thief going 30 30 0 0 10 without any points in shadow arts or acrobatics? I don't want to take that risk. I've seen, too many times, how badly things can go wrong.

4. AA critting 2K - 2K - 3K in a 1.7 second chain = 4.1K dps. 3 iWarlocks critting for 10K each and casting every 5 second = 6K dps, while the mesmer takes off the weapon and /dance. Pales in comparison? The point is, the 3K means very little unless you put it into perspective --- Thieves are definitely very formidable single target dps at melee, no one is arguing that. And of course mesmers can't pull off 3 phantasms all the time, especially on trash. But the problem is that: for high lvl fractals, as a thief you simply can't stay in melee for more than a few seconds at a time, what you see in explorable dungeons is no longer true, your numbers plummet, your play style needs to change. While mesmers lose next to nothing switching from sword to greatsword and stay happily at 1200 range doing almost identical dps to their explorable dungeon numbers. That's why the OP asked: where then, can the thief shine in higher lvl fractals. To which my own answer is similar to many ahead of me --- support, stealth, lockdown, mobility, and doing all of these without completely sacrificing damage due to initiative system.

View PostReikou, on 03 January 2013 - 05:36 PM, said:

1. Mesmers with Sword cannot do anywhere near the same amount of damage as a D/D thief.  Try it yourself.  The numbers don't even come close.  A Mesmer sword crit goes for maybe 2k.

For range, Mesmers have Greatsword which deals slightly more single target damage than Shortbow, but loses in AoE terms.  Staff doesn't even compare in terms of damage.

2. And for your last point.  If you cannot keep up as a full glass cannon in higher level dungeons then this is more of a player-skill issue than anything, so literally, please L2P.

1. If your mesmer just sits there spamming auto attack and wishes to compete with ANY profession in the game at all, you really should just stick with your other professions. No really, not trying to be sarcastic, maybe the mesmer play style does not suit you well. No matter the spec, phantasm is a major damage component of a mesmer, and in many situations the absolute top priority over even 20K shatters and completely overshadows the mesmer's own weapon damage. That's where staff is strong, other than its utilities, its phantasm hits like a truck in group play.

Now for aoe: This is an example of how you do a group of mobs on a mesmer. NOT casting auto attack and wonders why it doesn't hit more than 1 target. Start by casting GS #2, bounces on 5 targets hitting 2-3K each, create a clone that temperarily attracts the mobs attention so your up coming phantasm can do it's attack. Cast GS #4 and summon iBerserker, whirling for about 7K AoE + cripple + bleed on those mobs. Cast GS #3, that's an ground target aoe hitting 3K on each mob. Dodge into the mobs, now you should have 3 illusions out, if you got bad luck one of them (the first one) is killed and you only have 2 left, but you can make up for the lost illusion by using instant utility skills. You press F1 as soon as you dodged into the mobs, voila 20K shatters. Immediately you either switch to staff and press #2 to teleport out of mobs to save yourself, or if you have sword equipped, switch to sword and #2 to do 8K aoe damage while evading attacks. All of this should take you less than 3-4 seconds (minus the sword #2 which lasts 2 seconds). Bottom line: you don't stand there and auto attack, that's for when you absolutely have nothing else to do.

Mesmer isn't the best sustained AoE, that's known. It's one of the best AoE BURST though, for things like cliffside this really helps. But all in all comparing thief's AoE to a mesmer's is ridiculous, you might as well add the ranger in there and it's a party. A party that will amuse all the engineers/elementalists/necros.

2. I assume he's talking about fractal, and that your answer is directed to higher level fractal players in general. If you're not in 50+ fractal yet, please wait until you get there to make these kinds of conclusions. If you are in 50+ fractal, please let me know who you are if you often LFG either through website or through /map on North America servers --- Like I said there's really not that many people once you get there. You keep grouping with the same people. And I'd like to know which one of those thieves are dying because they need to "L2P", maybe you can enlighten me since you probably have played with them as well.

Edited by CepaCepa, 27 January 2013 - 01:27 PM.


#40 Jan Roman

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Posted 28 January 2013 - 02:49 PM

I agree ^.

D/D backstab build can deal massive amounts of single target damage, but it is not even close to good while running high level fractals. As a thief, you will have periods of times when you simply can't attack, you have to back off and regenerate while switchin to a ranged weapon. Even at level 1 you can't stay in a melee range (what's more, behind the boss) for too long, not to mention with a zerker set you will have very poor HP.

I would advise to run a build which will help to survive as you don't really deal damage while you are dead. I found out that thief is actually quite a nice support and is very versatile in the means of group cooperation. Glass canon builds work in lower tiers and it doesn't really matter if we're talking about PvE or PvP. The worst thing is that Glass canon builds give bad players illusions that they are actually good.

Edited by Jan Roman, 28 January 2013 - 02:50 PM.


#41 The Shadow

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Posted 31 January 2013 - 02:44 AM

View PostCepaCepa, on 27 January 2013 - 01:08 PM, said:

snip

I'm curious. Do any of the Thieves you come across in lvl 60+ fractals run condition builds?

I assume most would opt for crit builds and get their survival/ support from traits/ gear/ weapon selection. Would I be right in that assumption?

I disagree with one point of yours. The Shortbow isn't just decent. It's probably the best weapon in the entire game. Only problem with it is that it only really shines when your team lays down useful medium-long duration combo fields in a coordinated fashion (so basically, you need a proper team/ guild). Also it may not achieve the most DPS. Said DPS isn't even achieved through conventional means.

I really fail to see any actual counter-argument here. Sustainable and spammable blast finisher is just crazy. Is there anything that even compares to that in terms of party-wide DPS-ing, buffing, healing? The amount of offensive/ defensive support you can sustain is honestly ludicrous.. and yet so often overlooked. Pair that with the damage you already get from SB (decent) and I'd honestly find it very difficult for any class with any build/ weapon to trump it.

It would be literally impossible to quantify how much of a difference in terms of party-wide DPS an SB wielding Thief would make as there are simply too many variables/ party compositions/ skill chains that would need to be considered. That being said; I think it's pretty safe to assume it's definitely "up there".

I personally have been using D/P + SB recently. Zerker jewelry and mostly Soldier armor with Divinity runes (considering swapping to Eagle for Precision) as well as some Zerker in some of the higher level Fractals. I know a few guys who use Knight jewelry, Soldier armor and Emerald orbs to make up for the loss of Precision. Can't really say how well that works, or if the added survivability makes the loss of DPS worth it. That being said I think I've found the best balance between survival/ DPS for me. Then again I haven't done lvl 50+ Fractals either so what do I know.

I tried 30 today for the first time with my Guild though and didn't find it overwhelming. I change builds daily but I was using 15/30/0/25/0 in this particular instance. It just took some learning of mechanics. I think there comes a point when individual build/ gear just stops making a massive difference. Let's face it... if your team sucks, it's gunna suck... regardless of whether or not you decided to equip an extra piece of Soldier armor. You're not going to be able to carry 4 useless people. That being said.. It would be wholly wrong to suggest that a 30/30 build in full Zerker gear is optimal or even viable in this context regardless of player-skill. I'd say it's more about knowledge and communication, everything else matters... albeit to a slightly lesser degree.

Edited by The Shadow, 31 January 2013 - 03:15 AM.


#42 Rachmani

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Posted 31 January 2013 - 09:35 AM

@Shadow

You basically misread him :P.
He said SB AoE compared to said mesmer (and not only mesmer, to be honest) is barely decent. SB overall is an amazing weapon, but Reikou was arguing damagewise and specificly 30/30/0/0/10 or some garbage like that. And damagewise it's well... only decent.
So he is in fact not counter-arguing in anyway but arguing against Reikous misconceptions in terms of damage.
Besides, in proper groups (for thieves) you'D rather blastfinish something anyway, or put down a poison (actually "weakness" ;) field to reduce incoming ranged damage. So no, SB AoE is unfortunately not "up there" :/ but good enough given the other benefits SB has.
As for your question regarding condition damage, I'm not beyond 50 (actually barely beyond 40 now, 43 to be precise) but from my experience the short answer is: I've never met another thief up there that was speced for conditions and the few times I tried it beyond 35 (I think, and I'm not new to condition specs :/) the lack of decent synergy was just frustrating.
Basically you've got no AoE - you can't afford to spend all your energy on clusterbombs and we all know how close you'd actually have to be to make clusterbomb explosions worthwhile. DB gets yourself killed. Power builds at least have said decent SB auto-attack and the utility goodies ontop of it.
You've got no decent melee attack either as it just doesn't exist - condition thieves just suck on jade maw - well compared to what other thief specs can provide at least.
But you've also got no decent ranged attack, as P/ autoattack is pretty weak, and you have to be at least somewhat in melee range for Sneak Attack.
P/D playstyle is nice and somewhat fluid. But it's a ranged set with melee(ish) gameplay that lacks at least DECENT (:P) AoE and that tends to suck in fractals.

P.S. Which actual fractals did you get on 30? They vary rather drastically in difficulty. Though once you get downed a few times and realize which attacks you now HAVE to dodge it ain't so bad anymore.

#43 Cannot See Me

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Posted 31 January 2013 - 05:33 PM

View PostThe Shadow, on 31 January 2013 - 02:44 AM, said:

-snip-

CepaCepa's argument was mainly going towards:

"Not many viable builds can put out more AoE damage than a 30/30/0/0/10 full berserker shortbow Thief, or Sword/Pistol thief."

This statement is extremely misleading if not plain false. Grenade engineer, staff elementalist and aoe necromancers can put out much sustained and reliable AoE damage.

So if we are talking about strickly AoE damage, shortbow's damage is really just decent, The damage output all sounds good on paper, first attack multi-target, second attack 3 hits with bleed. However there are a large number of limitations. The prime one is with the said 30/30/0/0/10 build. This build have abyssmal initiative pool and recharge rate (12 to start with, 1 per 1.33 seconds regen), hence best for builds which use initiative primarily as a side tool. After the initial 4 shots, cluster bomb is effectively on a 4 seconds CD, and that is assuming that all the initiatives goes towards it. Second problem is it's travel arch. Cluster bomb as aoe damage is most effective at short distance where the time between firing and detonation is relatively short, so when the range are greater than around 600, the projectile path is extremely long.  

Shortbow is a great weapon, there is no arguing with that, but that point was mainly made towards the AoE dps aspect.

As for condition build for fractals, are you thinking more on the line of just traits or full out condition build? (as in gears are all going toward condtition)

#44 CepaCepa

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Posted 31 January 2013 - 07:41 PM

View PostThe Shadow, on 31 January 2013 - 02:44 AM, said:

I'm curious. Do any of the Thieves you come across in lvl 60+ fractals run condition builds?

I assume most would opt for crit builds and get their survival/ support from traits/ gear/ weapon selection. Would I be right in that assumption?

I disagree with one point of yours. The Shortbow isn't just decent. It's probably the best weapon in the entire game. Only problem with it is that it only really shines when your team lays down useful medium-long duration combo fields in a coordinated fashion (so basically, you need a proper team/ guild). Also it may not achieve the most DPS. Said DPS isn't even achieved through conventional means.

I really fail to see any actual counter-argument here. Sustainable and spammable blast finisher is just crazy. Is there anything that even compares to that in terms of party-wide DPS-ing, buffing, healing? The amount of offensive/ defensive support you can sustain is honestly ludicrous.. and yet so often overlooked. Pair that with the damage you already get from SB (decent) and I'd honestly find it very difficult for any class with any build/ weapon to trump it.

It would be literally impossible to quantify how much of a difference in terms of party-wide DPS an SB wielding Thief would make as there are simply too many variables/ party compositions/ skill chains that would need to be considered. That being said; I think it's pretty safe to assume it's definitely "up there".

I personally have been using D/P + SB recently. Zerker jewelry and mostly Soldier armor with Divinity runes (considering swapping to Eagle for Precision) as well as some Zerker in some of the higher level Fractals. I know a few guys who use Knight jewelry, Soldier armor and Emerald orbs to make up for the loss of Precision. Can't really say how well that works, or if the added survivability makes the loss of DPS worth it. That being said I think I've found the best balance between survival/ DPS for me. Then again I haven't done lvl 50+ Fractals either so what do I know.

I tried 30 today for the first time with my Guild though and didn't find it overwhelming. I change builds daily but I was using 15/30/0/25/0 in this particular instance. It just took some learning of mechanics. I think there comes a point when individual build/ gear just stops making a massive difference. Let's face it... if your team sucks, it's gunna suck... regardless of whether or not you decided to equip an extra piece of Soldier armor. You're not going to be able to carry 4 useless people. That being said.. It would be wholly wrong to suggest that a 30/30 build in full Zerker gear is optimal or even viable in this context regardless of player-skill. I'd say it's more about knowledge and communication, everything else matters... albeit to a slightly lesser degree.

People above me have answered for me. :D

Shortbow needs to be one of your weapon set, or at least always sitting in your bag ready to be swapped, of course. That was not a dispute, I'm not arguing about how useful shortbow is ---- It is a GREAT weapon. #3 and #5 alone will make it necessary. And I can't argue that #1 and #2 are not aoe skills, in fact they're the best that a thief can do save for sword cleave.

But if a thief wants to compete with elementalist aoe dps using shortbow, that just doesn't cut it. I mean, it is already a thief's best bet, but it just doesn't compare to the aoe specialists. My argument was toward the claim that "shortbow thief is the highest aoe dps in the game", which is obviously not true.

Shortbow blast finisher is wonderful, but it is not as wonderful in fractal 60+ than it is in explorable dungeons. By that I mean you shouldn't go out of your way to blast finish for others, water field heal is situational unlike in explorable dungeons (since most players go from 100 to 0 in 1/2 hits anyways), aoe might is great but people are usually scattered, since bunched up together often means a quick wipe. I LOVE thieves who blast finish my ele's fields or my ranger's spring in explorable dungeons, but those are simply not as effective in higher fractals. Having said that, if your group is on Skype or Vent and you guys have great synergy together, even in higher fractals you can pull off some great combo, not denying that.

lvl 30 is very different from lvl 60, at lvl 30 you can still take a few hits and agony doesn't wipe you straight to the ground. At lvl 30 mobs still die fast so you can afford to slack off the dps a little bit. Going forward, you'll find that as a thief, dps becomes less and less of your priority --- You'll be rezzing downed/defeated players a LOT, you'll shine as the most mobile player in your group (get around places, step on buttons, things like that), but you'd be leaving most of the heavy damage work to others. You can still use dagger/dagger and sword/pistol quite a bit at lvl 30, going forward those melee opportunities are very, very rare, especially on trash mobs. So you end up competing aoe damage with elementalists/engineers, obviously your priority should be to keep those cannons in your group alive through blinds and smokescreen and stealth and all that, rather than concentrating on doing damage yourself.

For conditon build, I suggest that you shouldn't go all the way, or at least bring another set of gears and trait flexibly so that you can swap in between. Keep in mind that one single engineer or one single necro can cap bleed AND poison, leaving you effectively useless, not to mention the things that people above me have said.

And when I was talking about the risk of taking a glass cannon thief, I don't mean just gears --- But more importantly, acrobatics and shadow arts are just awesome trees! Having 4K more health in fractal likely won't save you. You'll get one shotted anyways even with 1K more armor. But, extra dodge, longer stealth, deception CD reduction, things like that can save you OR your team mates a lot. So you don't need to stack your vitality or toughness to sky high, but you need to at least trait for some survivability and support, a 30 30 0 0 10 thief in my opinion is very risky.

Edited by CepaCepa, 31 January 2013 - 07:48 PM.


#45 The Shadow

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Posted 31 January 2013 - 11:41 PM

View PostRachmani, on 31 January 2013 - 09:35 AM, said:

snip

No, I got that.

My counter-counter-argument was;

While SB's AoE DPS output in itself does not compare to a Mesmer's AoE DPS, as a whole, due to the nature of spammable blast finisher, we end up increasing our whole party's DPS, depending on circumstance (as Cepa stated, circumstance may not always be preferable), due to might, to such an extent that the difference a Mesmer makes to a party, in terms of DPS, is incomparable, regardless of the actual physical DPS from SB.

Similarly 20 stacks of vulnerability, an extra 20% damage dealt by every party member, increases party DPS far more than individual DPS, in full damage build or whatever else.

So in theory, depending on instance/ circumstance/ organization SB can definitely be "up there" in terms of DPS in the sense that the Might you can stack (a surprising amount) will achieve far more party-wide DPS than any other individual/ weapon build can.

I say in theory because as I mentioned earlier, it would be impossible to calculate party DPS when taking all the variables into consideration.

I hope that makes sense. It's a fairly convoluted point. No doubt I'm also really bad at explaining it.

And yeah. I agree that Reikou is wholly wrong. 30/30 sucks.

tl;dr

SB = Blast Finisher : Might/ Retal etc... on party (+ direct AoE DPS from SB) > AoE DPS of Mesmer (or any other individual class) - in theory.

Edited by The Shadow, 31 January 2013 - 11:51 PM.


#46 Inervia

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Posted 03 February 2013 - 05:13 PM

I had a question about gearing for Fractals 30+

I'm not quite at that level yet, I'm hoping to find a good guild that runs dungeons exclusively or at least a set group of people so I don't have to pug. Anyways my question was what kind of non-zerker gear set I should look into getting. I want to have a zerker set for regular dungeons that may need it, and then a more tanky set. Right now I have a set of Valkyrie but I was wondering if that was good for 30+ fractals or if I should look into a Soldier set instead.

I suppose I could keep both a Valky set and a Soldier set, but even then I wanted to know what would be best to use in situations where you want the survivability rather than the pure dps of zerker. Is one better for fractals/survivability? Does one set sacrifice too much dps to be useful?

This would be for a power/crit build rather than condition with no Shadow Arts traits and either 15 - 20 in Acrobatics

Edited by Inervia, 03 February 2013 - 05:14 PM.


#47 LLYASGTM

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Posted 06 February 2013 - 05:01 AM

I've got some questions for the mid teens up to level 30 fractals.

As a heavy D/D BS user in Spvp and PVE, I've changed from pure zerker 25/30/0/0/15 to 15/30/0/25/0 to accommodate for a more survival playthrough with fractals. I've also toyed around going 0/30/20/20/0 with S/D, but my experience with it is quite limited at the moment.

Would I still be able to function well with a S/D build, using D/D? As I see the 15 points in DA, mandatory for Poison/Weakness

And is it worth it to invest in some Valkyrie or Soldier's gear as I level up through the fractal?

I'd like to hear some D/D user's experience running the fractals between the 12-30 level range.

#48 Songbringer

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Posted 19 February 2013 - 04:03 PM

Okay, so I didn't read all the responses but I did read the one where the guy listed out all the fractals and said what a thief could bring. I run 2 guards, 1 mes, 2 warriors in my party for fractals. However, we recently have decided to switch out a guardian for a thief and it was pretty much for all the reasons he listed.

I also wanted to point out that the thief does have a projectile reflection skill.

http://wiki.guildwar...ki/Smoke_Screen

Smoke screen says it reflects and that was one of the big reasons why we were comfortable bringing a thief. We plan to run a venom thief with shared venoms and that skill that makes them last 1 extra hit. I believe the control from a venom thief will be amazing and make everything smoother.

Now currently I am leveling my thief(he is about lvl 35) so we haven't tested out a thief in fractals yet but I think it will go very well.

#49 Vysander

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Posted 19 February 2013 - 04:49 PM

I think the whole idea that anything is not "usefull" in anything is this game stems from the antiquated thought that you have to have a certain combination of classes to complete a dungeon.

Could also stem from people having bad experiences with PUG's.

View Postsanctuaire, on 10 January 2013 - 02:25 AM, said:

while not a firm user of builds: i change weap sets and builds so often depending
on what will i'll be concentrating on for the moment: farming/ dungeons, ect.
--- even swapping sets midway through dungeons depending on which part it is.

interestingly enough, as i was progressing from 26-30+, found i was using
a SB + P/P setup more often.

More people should do this. And to be precise, you're not a user of "forum" builds.... everything is a "build" :P

I always carry a sword, two daggers, two pistols, and my SB. I know which fractals i can use D/D on, which are better for S/d or S/p, and when it is best to use p/p and SB (cause fk grawl shaman). Between flexibility  and knowing when and how to do things that other classes have hard times with (as someone mentioned, dredge bombs, and many others) There's really no reason to question a Thief's usefulness in anything. Or any classes usefulness in anything for that matter.

And for my final note, don't listen to Reikou. There is absolutely no *need* to go full class cannon berserk armor/jewelry with rubys and 30/30 whatever trait set. I dont care how good you think you are, you cannot go full glass and expect to continue going toe to toe in high lvl fractals. Even running P/P SB you will die from a random gust of wind from time to time and would be better off with at least some survive-ability.

Edited by Vysander, 19 February 2013 - 04:50 PM.


#50 hatchet

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Posted 23 February 2013 - 11:17 AM

View PostDarthemporer, on 03 January 2013 - 12:41 PM, said:

Still my question is, what role can the thief fit in, in higher dungeons?
Ropes782's post on the first page was good in covering it. Good dps with some nifty utility.
For example uncategorized fractal @lvl62.


The same group had completed grawl at lvl80 with 2 thieves and one of guardian, warrior and ele. Video from the guardian point of view though ( youtube.com/watch?v=zP0avYvVGX8 ). So thief in the right hands/group is definitely capable of holding their own in high level fractals.

Edited by hatchet, 23 February 2013 - 11:21 AM.





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