Preface: I know how to fight thieves. I have a level 80 thief who I use in WvW and I know how to combat thieves, how to guess where they go. I know all of their stealth options, and what they gain from different weapon sets.
Stealth is an unbalanced effect in GW2 that until this last patch had 0 hard-counters to it.
Thieves have the ability to endlessly restealth when traited properly
Thieves have the best overall mobility in WvW especially over broken ground. They are challenged only by Rangers and Warriors (since the ele nerf) in speed travel over open ground.
The current hard counter to stealth counters only the STEALTH portion of thieves, not the Mobility portion.
Thieves are designed with mobility and stealth in mid and as a result they are a severely *unbalanced* class. For the most part they cannot go toe-to-toe in combat well due to this design philosophy and as a result their entire build is skewed toward stealth and teleports. Repeated Stealth and teleports and that's where I think they are flawed. Part of the problem is the design behind Initiative. Let's forget for a moment that the only other class that has a weapon skill that can grant Stealth has it on a 30s cooldown, and that thieves are the only class that gets a ground targetted teleport as a weapon skill.
Untraited, a thief can be expected to be able to use ANY of their 6-initiative moves (the most expensive move they have) every 8 seconds. Granted this means that a thief may have to sacrifice their other weapon options, but the fact remains they essentially have ALL of their skills set to an 8 second GCD. It's actually better than that since not all thief skills cost 6 initiative but it's food for thought. Imagine for a moment if a Necromancer with a staff could use Reaper's Mark every 8 seconds. Or a warrior using Tremor. That's right an Axe/Mace warrior who could Tremor every 8 seconds. Think about it. An Axe/Mace Warrior, using the thief initiative model, would be able to tremor twice instantly, still have Eviscerate available, and be able to repeat a tremor every 8 seconds of combat. That is what the thief class is allowed to play with right now.
Now let's think again on the strengths that have been granted to a thief. They can Teleport at 900 range, Or go invisible. Every. 8. Seconds. Off their weapon skills alone. Without Traits. This is why many people consider thieves to be overpowered. I personally don't think they are but I can definitely say they're highly skewed and unbalanced. That and because a lot of non-thieves don't understand how thieves play but that can't be applied universally.
What can fix this? Honestly it's hard to say. More available counters to stealth would be nice. Maybe as utility slots forcing people to consider utility over builds. Revamping Initiative? I'd say so yes. I'd propose the easy fix would be reducing the intitiative regen rate, but increasing the base initiative pool. Make spamming skills ineffectively more dangerous, with a longer wait if you bottom out. Or revamp the system even more and make it an acquired resource, like Adrenaline. I'm no game designer but I feel either of those solutions would be a long step towards balancing out the class. Granted they'd have to tweak the viability in straight up combat too but I think it'd be a step in the right direction.
And maybe they should put the 4-second reveal back in WvW. I understand why 3 second is there for PvE but WvW is a lot more like PvP than PvE.
Forgive my wall of text.
SnapalopeMember Since 21 Sep 2012
Offline Last Active Jan 29 2015 01:06 PM
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