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The Price of Progress #5 : The Evolution of the Thief First and foremost, I would like to apologize for the day late post, as I was feeling the funk this past day and could not gather the motivation to sit down and pour my ideas out into cyberspace. Regardless, I hope all of you had a wonderful competitive and casual experience in the latest Guild Wars 2 Beta, and it was a pleasure playing with the masses. That being said, the cloud has lifted and I'm looking forward to the next few paragraphs of depth seeking build deconstruction at its finest, in order to determine the aesthetics of our future "Nautilus" like build. The League is set, and off we go! Pre Beta #1 Speculation Weapon Choice Pre Beta #1 Speculation Post Beta #2 Speculation: With the second Guild Wars 2 in the past and the major kinks worked out in the newly revised trait system, it has come to my attention that the source of a Thief's damage can come from multiple places, with the replacement for Deadly Arts becoming the condition damage focused, but not entirely constricted to, Trickery tree. Because of this drastic change in traits and tiered skill selection, the amount of possible weapon combinations for the Thief has reached new heights, and viability across multiple platforms of ranged and melee weapons are now possible due to the lack of completely conditional traits in a given grouping. Let's move on to the all new traits! http://www.vvv-gamin...ass-discussion/ Trait Selection Psst.. Still with me? Pre Beta #1 Speculation: Post Beta #1 Speculation: Beta Weekend #2 Speculation: Fixing the tiered trait selection and respective bugs following this flawed system of selecting passive buffet, caused the entire metagame to be corrected in a very real and tangible way. One of the side effects of this massive revitalization to the system was the viability of alternate damage trees, as opposed to being drowned in a trough of swine food for not going 30/10/10/10/10. In order to take aim and even the iron sights on our ultimate goal of achieving maximum streamline and ultimately Ezio Auditore status, let's delve into the major behind the scenes overhaul that this new B2 build offers, and discover what new dynamics are knocking at the door of viability. NOTE: THIEVES GUILD SHOULD BE DAGGERSTORM, THE AI ON THIEVES GUILD WAS BROKEN WHEN USING PISTOLS AS OF BW2. The "Take Initiative" Build : http://gw2.luna-atra...u8p8u9m9njpjrjv 20 in Critical Strikes Critical strike chance increased by 5% when over 90% health Fury for 10 seconds when you reach 50% health Critical Strikes have a 10% chance to restore 1 initiative (1sec cd) 50% crit chance when in stealth 20 in Acrobatics Swiftness gained on dodge Gain Might whenever you dodge Dodging returns roughly 20% of endurance used on the dodge Gain 2 Initiative every 10 seconds 30 in Trickery Stealing gives you 3 initiative Leave behind caltrops when you dodge Increases maximum initiative by 3 When you steal, you and allies gain fury, might and swiftness Increases damage by 2% per initiative You recieve 4 initiave from using a healing skill I'm not even sure that I have to delve into the differences and advantages of the Trickery tree vs the Deadly Arts spec. Trickery gives us an unconditional pool of damage that is free form between both sets of our weapons, P/P and D/D, and it allows us to regenerate that saved up initiative instantaneously between the 4 per heal skill and 2 per 10 seconds. The change from Vanishing Stealth to Withdrawal allows us a 15 second cooldown to fuel our initiative regeneration engine, as well as giving us an awesome transition into pistols. This damage has no strings attached to it, and passively increases our sneaky bleeds and vulnerability debuffs respectively with the condition damage caused by being in the Trickery tree itself. Executing the "CC and Move" mentality in our build Pre Beta #1 Speculation: Post Beta #1 Speculation: Post Beta #2 Speculation: This builds execution is going to require a whole new dynamic, which could be broadly labeled as finesse, in the form of our pistol switching to D/D and vice versa at key points in a fight. Aside from some familiarity issues with the new play style, i would like to think i displayed this idea in some amount of clarity. The link to the BW #2 video can be found at the tail of this article, but to finish this week's blog off, let's get a vague idea of what we should be doing in particularly problematic match ups. Predicting movement inhibiting cool downs in the Guardian match up is key, try to fake out the healing skills with false pressure, via a switch to daggers from pistols, then back to pistols and evading out. Recognizing invulnerability cool downs and transitively trying to fake them out with key timings on our rolls, much like the baiting of defensive cooldowns. Evading as soon as warriors try to pressure with hundred blades, and evading again afterwards to avoid a punish on your first roll. Kill phantasms with pistols before going in on Mesmers and killing your self involuntarily. Stop trying to 1v1 Necros. Similar tactics to the Guardian matchup can be applied against rangers with the faking out of traps and pet attacks. http://www.dailymotion.com/video/xrhvx0_vvv-rinzler-guild-wars-2-beta-2-thief-pvp_videogames As we've learned, the versatility of this build is endless, and I fully intend on using it as much as possible and finding potential kinks in the armor. I challenge all of you reading this to please tear apart my video and get down to the nitty gritty, pointing out not so proper engagements and sub optimal cool down usage. On this same note, I would love to hear your ideas on particular match ups and any experiences you may have had in the beta that would result in you reaching such a conclusion. I'm here to be a resource and competitor, so use me to better your knowledge of any given match ups, and if you would like to run the 1v1 gauntlet contact me before the next beta. As per usual, I'm typing this at an absurd hour of the morning and can no longer feel my butt, so I'll skim this over in the morning. Thank you all for reading this, and as always, fight for the user. http://en.gw2codex.com/build/1532/show <-- Please go drop a comment and what not on this page. <3 Give me feedback minions! @vVvRinzler