GW2 – September Feature Pack – The Thief

It’s time for another GW2 update that adds another wound to an already bleeding and dying profession — the Thief.

ArenaNet obviously have already made decisions about the update long before they ever announced it. Thus, as feedback in response to the announcement will not affect the upcoming update. Time and time again, players have expressed their opinion on how certain update will ruin their build and playstyle. Time and time again, players have expressed how shallow those decisions were and that many of them were not well thought of.

The problem with this scenario is that, if it takes ArenaNet 5-6 months for a balance update (noting that the last major balance updates were December 2013, April 2014), it will take them another 5-6 month to implement the feedback gathered from this September 2014 update. Which means, throughout this next 5-6 months, the gaming experience of the players will be crap until the next update.

Did the updates came with rebalancing of the PvE mobs? Of course not. As far as the mobs are concern, the game is still in GW2 1.0 and all other new encounters revolved around that old version (build) of the game. Why should they? The last April 2014 update didn’t even rebalance the mob when they changed Critical damage and introduced Ferocity. The critical damage in PvE has been crap ever since, yet I don’t see that being addressed in this update.

So let’s take a look at the September update and what exactly did ArenaNet do in the last 5+ months.

Panic Strike:

Reduced the immobilized duration from 4 seconds to 2.5 seconds. Reduced the cooldown of this trait from 30 seconds to 20 seconds.

– First of all, this is not a very good GM trait to have. If anyone will put 6pts into DA, that point would have to go to Revealed Training. For a non-stealth build, there’s no reason to put 6pts into DA. This update doesn’t change that.

Invigorating Precision:

Increased life steal from 5% to 8%.

– This trait assumes that the Thief will have a consistent critical hits, thus the crappy percentage. Even in a perfect condition, a 10k crit will only grant 800 health — there’s nothing invigorating about that since to get a 10k crit, the Thief has to sacrifice a lot of survivability and this trait is not a reward for their risk. Besides, this trait is competing to the same GM slot with Executioner and Hidden Killer. Which do you think will take the spot? Surely not Invigorating Precision.

Black Powder:

Increased the interval between pulses to 2 seconds. Reduced the duration of blind to 2 seconds.

– I took this out of order to give a context for the following updates. This update to BP is a direct result to the popularity of D/P build. Thus in order to balance D/P, ArenaNet tries to make this build more risky by nerfing BP. However, this change also affects P/P and S/P builds that doesn’t deserved to get nerfed.

Ricochet:

This trait now increases the range of all pistol skills by 150 in addition to giving bullets a chance to bounce to another target.
Fixed an issue that caused tertiary bounces to travel a much shorter distance than intended. These will now travel the full distance.

– As a compensation for nerfing BP, ArenaNet throws in a “Straw Man” by making Ricochet look good but still useless since the question still remains, “What the fuck does Ricochet has to do with survival for P/P set?”

Unload:

Increased the speed of this skill by 20%.

– Here’s another “Straw Man” that ArenaNet has thrown at us that also begs the question, “What the fuck does Unload has to do with survival for P/P set?”
– This update to Unload doesn’t even address the underlying problem with this skill that the damage is lacking and the casting and after-cast delay is too great. All this update will ever do is drain the Thief’s Initiatives even faster as if P/P doesn’t already have an initiative problem.

Signet of Malice:

Fixed a bug that caused the passive healing amount displayed on the skill fact to be lower than the actual healing amount.

– There is no passive healing in this skill. What it has is a triggered effect. A passive healing is what Warriors have with their Signet of Healing. Warriors get healed for more for simply standing and doing nothing. Thief gets less healed for actively doing something. Do we need more proof on how skewed ArenaNet’s understanding about balance?

Assassin’s Equilibrium:

Increased the stability duration from 1 second to 1.5 seconds.

– This was a center of a joke when it was first introduced and someone in ArenaNet was convinced that the joke reason was actually reasonable. /facepalm

Venomous Aura:

This trait now maintains condition ownership when venoms are shared, using the thief’s condition damage and condition duration attributes instead of the condition damage and attributes of the player that poisoned the creature.
The thief may trigger secondary effects off of these condition applications, such as weakening an enemy with Lotus Poison when an ally poisons an enemy with a shared Spider Venom.
Healing effects, such as those from Skelk Venom or the Leeching Venoms trait, will use the thief’s healing power and power attributes but will continue to recognize the attacking player as both the healing source and healing target.
Basilisk Venom still treats the attacking player as the source. This was done to maintain the ability for other classes to activate on-control and on-interrupt effects such as Halting Strike when using a thief’s Basilisk Venom.

– This aura needs to go. No matter how much make-up ArenaNet put on this shit — it’s still shit. If we take a look at the history of this trait in the GW2Wiki, it’s mind boggling how much ArenaNet wants this trait to work. The trait is horrible, give it up already.

Instinctual Response:

Fixed a bug that caused this trait to grant fury and vigor when triggered on cooldown.

– This does not work anymore. This trait along with Last Refuge was added when Revealed was non-existent. ArenaNet needs to really understand how their mechanics work. Ever since Revealed was added to balance stealth, a lot of the Thief’s traits was left broken. And to see that they actually “fix” this trait without addressing the main problem makes me really angry towards their incompetence — deep breath — let out —– ok, I’m fine now.

Whirling Axe:

Fixed a bug that caused this skill to continue to channel while dodging.

– I never seen this before nor have read about this so I’m skeptic if this is actually real or something they just made up. So please excuse me if I don’t believe this.

Double Strike, Wild Strike, Lotus Strike:

This attack chain now hits up to 2 enemies.

– Dagger main-hand is mainly used for single target damage and making it cleave doesn’t really buff its primary use. All it will do is create an unnecessary aggro in PvE.

Choking Gas:

This skill now deals a small amount of damage on the initial impact.

– This is the proof that ArenaNet can’t tell the difference between 2 truths and a lie. It is true that this skill doesn’t cause the Thief to be revealed and it’s true that P/D condition build uses this to spread poison on the field. The lie is, this update was based on a joke that was made in the forum that ArenaNet took seriously. The truth of the matter is, this doesn’t change the behavior of P/D since this only deals damage on impact, not on ticking poison. And that ArenaNet wasted time on this update when it does nothing for balance’s sake.

Flanking Strike:

This skill now must successfully hit a target before giving the thief access to Larcenous Strike. Initiative cost has been increased to 4.

– This is the skill that I’m most pissed off about. Not only the skill is not proportionate to the cost, this skill is blockable and is a pre-requisite for Larcenous Strike. The fact that it is blockable does not justify it’s cost that if this skill will have to cost 4 initiative, it should be unblockable. Even though I do not agree with this update and that it pisses me off, I do understand why they did it. I still believe that the cost of this skill should have stayed with 3 init.

Larcenous Strike:

Initiative cost of this skill has been reduced to 1.

– A good skill that is now trapped. Before Larcenous Strike, S/D Thief has access to both strike in one cost and one animation. Why introduce LS if they are only going to keep it behind a blockable skill?

The Ripper:

This skill now pierces. Increased the damage of this skill by 40%. Increased the speed of this skill by 50%.

Deadly Strike:

This skill now cleaves, hitting up to 3 targets. Increased the speed of this skill by 33%.

– They have announced that they are removing underwater combat in PvP, so why buff these skills at all? This does nothing in PvE and rarely anyone fight underwater in WvW. Another set of wasted time and effort.

Needle Trap:

Increased the damage of this trap by 10%. Added 3 stacks of bleeding for 3 seconds on hit.

– 10% is not a great buff. That will only add 8 base damage. See how crappy this trap is? Even with the 3 stacks of bleeding, it doesn’t change the fact that this is crap and will not encourage anyone to take it over other alternatives. If ArenaNet thinks that this is the saving grace for P/P due to the BP nerf, they should need to re-evaluate their team.

Ambush:

Increased the speed of the ranged thief’s unload skill by 20%.

Thieves Guild:

Increased the speed of the ranged thief’s unload skill by 20%.

– They just added this two on the list to make the list look longer. They could have covered this under Unload.

Hidden Thief:

Fixed a bug that caused the stealth from this trait to be applied before the attack from Mug, causing this trait combination to always reveal the thief.

– At this rate, we can expect a meaningful bug fix every 2 years. This bug was first posted back in 2012.

Part of this update are the introduction of new runes that I will not talk about since I know nothing how they work. For instance; Rune of the Trapper:

Superior Rune of the Trapper:

  • +25 Condition Damage
  • The duration of conditions you apply last 10% longer.
  • +50 Condition Damage
  • When you use a trap skill, gain 3 seconds of super speed.
  • +100 Condition Damage
  • Gain 3 seconds of stealth when using a trap skill.
  • This to me encourages P/P and P/D condition build to use traps as their way to control the battle. It has merit, but it needs to be tested. A new rune that I think is dumb is Rune of Evasion:

    Superior Rune of Evasion:

  • +25 Ferocity
  • When executing a dodge roll, you gain 3 seconds of swiftness.
  • +50 Ferocity
  • When executing a dodge roll, you gain 3 seconds of fury.
  • +100 Ferocity
  • When executing a dodge roll, deal a crippling strike to nearby enemies.
  • This is the type of rune that trolls uses, but why Ferocity? It would be nice if it is Toughness or Vitality. I really sure hope that someone competent take charge in the balance department because all these updates for the Thief are nothing but crap.

    Author: Enzovic

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