GW2 Thief/DD April Update – Commentary

This is what I’ve posted in the Thief forum and I’ve added some more comments to clarify my take on the changes to the profession. Overall, it’s a buff to the profession but it’s not the buff that the profession needs.

Vital Shot: Reduced the aftercast delay of this skill by 0.6 seconds.
Body Shot: Reduced the aftercast delay of this skill by 0.16 seconds.

The problem with these skills is the pre-cast delay, where the Thief aims before firing.

The aftercast delay of Unload plus the pre-cast delay of Vital shot makes the whole P/P set really awkward to use. There should be on extended delays between these two skills.

The effectiveness of Body Shot is not based on the second shot but the first shot, thus reducing the after cast really means nothing. To immobilize someone with Body Shot, the pre-cast delay plus the projectile’s slow travel time makes the skill a waste of initiative.

I’ve actually brought my P/P build for a spin and as I’ve expected, there is no difference because the after cast delay, as I’ve mentioned, is not the problem.

Unload: This skill now grants 1 stack of might for 8 seconds when striking an enemy.

This to show that the balance teams really knows nothing about the Thief profession. The P/P weapon set needs more defensive options, not more DPS. The nerf to Black Powder really crippled this set and it is yet to recover. Increasing damage output of pistol doesn’t change the fact that the Thief has very few defensive options specially when this weapon set has no access to stealth nor shadowstep.

It would be nice if they added stealth at the end of Unload just to trigger the pistol stealth attack as part of the rotation. And even if the Thief has Revealed, it can also take advantage of Revealed training, thus improving its damage output. No need to buff this skill whatsoever.

Heartseeker: This skill is now able to be affected by quickness and slow.
Weakening Charge: This skill is now able to be affected by quickness and slow.

Woop-di-doo. We can HS farther again because that’s the only way to be really speedy in capping nodes. Rather than giving us more defensive options, they simply continue to encourage a boring gameplay for Thief. It encourages that the Thief’s one and only role is to cap nodes — nothing else.

Dust Strike: This skill now applies 5 stacks of vulnerability per hit. Fixed a bug that caused this skill to strike more than once. Fixed a bug that caused this skill to blind for only 3 seconds instead of the full 5 seconds.

Tsk. This kind of bugs is what makes me question the competence of the quality assurance. They make a brand new skill that doesn’t function as the design intended. It begs the question on how did this get pass the QA? But then again, we’re talking about the Thief here, which really at the bottom of the list in terms of quality. But hey, it now applies vulnerability which will increase the frequency of QQs because Vault now deals an even more insane amount of damage. gj balance team — you really know your stuff — not!

Larcenous Strike: The number of boons stolen by this skill has been increased from 1 to 2. The initiative cost has been increased from 1 to 2.

Ok, sure it steals 1 more boon but that doesn’t warrant an increase in cost. The total cost effectiveness of FS/LS is nerfed in this case because it is now one of the most expensive Dual-Wield skill along with Pistol Whip. This only delays the reuse of this skill for another 1s and the net result is not even very productive.

Withdraw: This skill now removes torment in addition to its other removals.
Hide in Shadows: This skill now removes confusion in addition to its other removals. Increased the duration of regeneration from 4 seconds to 6 seconds.

These are not buffs. These should have been part of the skills in the first place or when torment was introduced. To intentionally leave them out further reinforce the notion that Thief is really at the bottom of the list in terms of quality. They just forget about updating a skill and later on call it a buff. Even the update on Withdraw for the 10% heal increase was delayed for months then later on call it a buff. That’s very dishonest.

Skelk Venom: The base healing modifier for venom strikes has been increased by 40%. The healing contribution for both the initial heal and venom strikes has been increased by 50%.

I don’t use this skill nor I’m even intrigued of using it now. The problem with this skill is not the amount of healing, rather it’s the 40s CD. Seriously though, if you’re going to buff this, the CD should be the first to get the improvement. I understand the fact that they want to normalize the CD of all venoms, but we’re talking about a healing skill here not a damaging skill.

Expeditious Dodger: Increased the swiftness duration from 4 seconds to 6 seconds.

Utterly unnecessary. What needs fixing is Feline Grace.

Pain Response: The internal cooldown of this ability has been reduced from 20 seconds to 16 seconds.

Now this is an improvement, but how come this still doesn’t remove Confusion?

Vigorous Recovery: Increased the vigor duration of this trait from 7 seconds to 10 seconds.

Sure why not. I mean the whole trait line used to increase buff duration, so even though this is the only one that received the duration extension, it’s fine.

Upper Hand and Pain Response regen buff should have also received a duration boost.

Swindler’s Equilibrium: Damage while wielding a sword has been increased from 5% to 7%.

Not worth it! As long as the total initiative cost of both Sword weapon sets are so damn high, no amount of buffs to the Sword will make it more effective.

Just a simple comparison;
D/P = 17 init total cost
S/D = 20 init total cost (used to be 19, thanks LS “buff”)
S/P = 21 init total cost

With 12 initiative pool (15 max), both Sword weapon sets are not worth it. Stop the damage buffs and reduce the initiative costs.

Lead Attacks: This trait has been reworked and now grants 1% damage and condition damage per initiative spent for 15 seconds. This effect has a maximum of 15%.

I can already see that this is going to be problematic with the DD trait stacking damage boost using Lotus Training or Bound.

lol at 25% damage boost — time to buy some buckets for QQ tears.

Did they even test this one out?

Bountiful Theft: The number of boons stolen has been increased from 2 to 3 in addition to applying vigor.
Consume Plasma: This stolen ability now grants resistance for 2.5 seconds, but it will not apply quickness. Updated the skill facts.
Throw Gunk: This skill is now ground targeted. Added the radius to this skill’s description. Added an allied combo-field effect and enemy ring effect to this skill.

No comments here. Not really that impactful and they are very situational.

Author: Enzovic

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