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Member Since 31 Mar 2012
Offline Last Active Dec 22 2012 03:58 PM

Topics I've Started

Thief vs Ranger Sword/Dagger comparison

17 June 2012 - 02:09 AM

I debated heavily posting this,especially as my first post on the GURU forums.  Just some of my thoughts on my favorite weapon set by concept, and not so much execution.  I'm not interested in playing Ranger, and I don't think Thief is either the worst thing in GW2 or the best.  Just a class in real need of feedback and whatever we as players can give it before launch.  

I played a mixture of PVE and PVP, slanted to PVE for both BWE's and the stress test. Mostly on the Thief with a big dose of time on the Ranger.  

I'd love to hear the thoughts of others, not really a fan of flames.  :)

Cut and pasted from elsewhere:

A comparison between Ranger Sword/Dagger and Thief Sword/dagger

This will exclude any utility skills or traits and focus on the weapon skills themselves.  Note that Initiative regen is calculated to be 1.66 seconds per point as of BWE 1.  Base Init is 12

Ranger (slot one skill chain)

Slash:  Normal attack, nothing fancy, everyone has it
-->Kick: A Kick that sends the target back, and cripples
--->Pounce: Jump at your foe for another attack, grants might to your pet.

Thoughts: Not only does it look cool, leaping in and out of combat like an acrobat but is practical for getting into and out of trouble quickly.  It’s not on a CD either

Thief (slot one skill chain)
Slice  Normal attack, nothing fancy
-->Slash: Also nothing fancy, same as Slice
--->Crippling Strike: Last skill in the chain.  Adds cripple to the attack.

Thoughts:  After playing both I don’t recall much difference.  Besides this, on the Ranger not only are you highly mobile, your inflicting cripple on your second strike and knocking them back thus interrupting, but on the third strike granting a buff to your pet.

Ranger (slot two skill)

Hornet Strike: Attacks target then leaps away 8 second CD
-->Monarch’s Leap: Jumps back in and cripples your target.  

Thief (slot two skill)

Infiltrators Strike:  2 initiative. Shadow step to target and strike them.  
-->Shadow Return: 1 init Shadow steps back to the original position.
Note: Without a target selected you can place a shadow return spot,  attack something, then port back to that spot.

Not bad, IS does nice damage, but it’s a charge move with a tactical edge to it, letting you retreat.  Hornet’s strike does it all as apart of one move and chains into another attack that gets you back into the fight + adds the cripple condition.  Making it a good escape skill that lets you avoid the incoming attack, and lets you get back into the fight rapidly without a CD or resource to worry about.

Ranger (slot three)

Serpent’s Strike: 15 sec CD Roll around your target and strike them, inflicts poison.  Poison lasts 6 seconds,

Thief (slot three)

Flanking Strike: 4 init.  Evades around the target and strikes them twice

Normally I’d say FS wins, and probably does, but it was broken as of the last stress test.  It does much more damage and includes a defensive evade.  It’s hard to judge the the skill though since it wasn’t working properly, the second (hard hitting) attack wasn’t connecting most of the time.  However this is the S/D heavy hitting skill.  Serpent’s Strike is no joke though, it’s evade was working, the damage is decent and the poison felt to me like a great bonus for an otherwise valuable skill.  Problem was it’s on a 15 sec CD, but with the first and second slot skills it wasn’t needed for defense as much.

Ranger (slot four Off hand attacks)

Stalker’s Strike: 10 sec CD.  Stab’s target w/ poison and evades.  The poison lasts 10 seconds.

Thief (slot four off hand)

Dancing Dagger: 3 init.  Throws a dagger that hits a target and enemies nearby (between 3 and five) causing crippling and doing decent damage.  Has the same range as a thief pistol skill.

Thoughts: ranger gets yet another evade + attack skill and one that lets them keep poison on the target indefinitely.  The thief skill is nice too though, being a minor AoE to keep targets from running away fast, or getting to you fast.  It also does more damage than Stalker’s Strike.

Ranger (slot 5)

Crippling Talon: 19 sec CD. Throws a dagger to bleed and cripple your target.  I’m not certain what the damage is like, but it’s mostly to assist in gap closing, and by stacking two different conditions, it’s harder to cleanse

Thief (slot 5)

Cloak and Dagger: 6 Init.  Stab’s target and vanish into stealth.  The stealth is only three seconds.  The wind up animation is about two seconds (maybe three, but at least 2) and the damage is poor.  Leaves a ‘revealed’ debuff on the thief that makes it impossible to stealth again for a few seconds.

Thoughts: Well, CnD might seem powerful at a glance, what with being an in combat stealth.  It doesn’t however do much damage, the length of stealth means you won’t be able to escape anyway (without the aid of swiftness + dodge or dodge abilities.) and the wind up takes forever.  Besides even if the target can’t see you, they can still swing their weapon and hit you anyway.  It can be good to set up a stealth attack though.  Which is a blind and if behind, 1 sec daze for the sword.  Crippling Talon is like a single target + more condition version of Dancing Dagger.  Whereas dancing dagger is a nice ranged attack for a melee set, the ranger themselves is already a ranged weapon with it’s first slot skill.  

I’m not here to say which set is better than the other, but I will lay out a few more facts as I know them.  The ranger skill set is much more mobile, gives less damage than the Thief version in straight skill output, but also adds conditions and buffs their pet.  

My suggestions going forward.

First, take a look at the Thief spear skill set.  It is pretty awesome.  I’ll try to keep it to what I think is realistic.

The first skill I think should be combined with infiltrators strike similar to the ranger’s first slot skill.  This would give the set the utility of a gap closer and free up slot 2 for something else.  The combo could proceed as: shadowstep in & lunge -> Spin kick/ off hand weapon hit/slash (one of them) and shadow return ->shadow step back in + attack + applicable condition. Perhaps poison to synergize with the Deadly Arts tree.  Note, I don’t know which condition would be best, I’m just suggesting.  The reasoning though to have anything beyond movement and damage, is that the Ranger first slot skill contains a cripple on the second attack, and a pet boon on the third.

It is another similarity between the ranger set and the thief set, but aesthetically it should come across as much different, and I believe the ranger set was done very well.

That leaves us with an open slot 2 for the sword.  This is where I think the spear skill set should be looked at.  In that skill set, the second skill functions like Sword/Dagger’s flanking strike.  This skill should be adjusted slightly, in that it should deliver one strike instantly, use the evasion move, then strike with the second blow.

Third slot, also utilized by the spear, is a guard -> counter type skill.  Another great skill for a duelist, swashbucklery thief.  Have them block and if struck counter with several one two stabs of sword and dagger.

I’d also like to throw my hat in for off hand sword for a thief.  A sword dual skill could be a two bladed frenzy (such as Shadow Assault) or something more like the Blurred Frenzy skill of Mesmers.   Aesthetically something more graceful than a frenzy of blows might fit the thief better, or a rapid shadow stepping attack.   The off hand skills could be a parry counter, the other an aoe of some sort?  A pistol/sword could be throwing the sword to pin the target (immobilized) followed by a pistol shot.  Dagger/Sword feels trickier to me maybe strong damaging move with a daze, or something that grants a boon.

Infact I think in each dual skills case, it could grant some kind of boon to the thief or others, giving them at least one support weapon skill.  Through a feat of daring or shock and awe (how’s that for a dual skill name?)  

Some of the ranger skill observations were based on BWE 1, but what I wanted to focus on, and I hope got across, was the functionality of each skill rather than numbers.  Sword/Dagger for the Thief class was supposed to be given a pass over and though it didn’t happen for BWE 2 I expected it for the next one anyway.  One last thing, and this might be a separate point entirely and should be apart of a separate thread, but melee combat this weekend, sword specifically seemed slower than last event.  There was a much greater ‘sense of hitting’ and I think that was pulled off quite well, but swing for swing, my one handed sword experience seemed much more ponderous.  

If you’ve read all this, I thank you.  And I hope the feedback is useful.