Author Topic: How to play a thief  (Read 3058 times)

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How to play a thief
« on: May 17, 2018, 07:33:37 AM »
Was hoping someone could clarify some thief stuff and how they're supposed to be played. I feel like I'm misunderstanding some of the skills. I'm currently level 26 and am struggling to do stuff my shaman did at a much lower level - I know shamans are good at solo stuff but I've read that thieves are really strong solo when played right as well.

My typical gameplan is envenom both my weapons, stab the mob, fade in a direction (when i just fade out of the fight i seem to get attacked again right away), env both again, go and stab, rinse and repeat. This works pretty well when it DOES work, but half the mobs in the game seem to instantly attack me when I go back in to the room even though I'm sneaking and my sneak is at very good.

Gearwise right now I have most of the woodsman set and am trying to get the last couple pieces, and a pretty decent prime/offhand, I think.

I'm rank 7, and currently have 2 strength ranks (wanted to offhand some heavier stuff/do more dmg) and the fly/waterbreath. Am probably working towards nightvision.

So any advice would be greatly appreciated, but here's some more specific questions:

1) Does fade automatically make me sneak if successful?
2) What kind of actions "break" sneak? Sneak is probably the skill I'm most confused about. It's at very good, I have no glowing equipment, and my recalls are in a pouch, but it seems like the sneak never really does anything. Could also use some clarification on exactly how hide works and a good way to level it.
3) Do envenoms stack? Sometimes when I'm stabbing/envenoming over and over in a fight it will repeatedly tell me they're weaker, I'm not sure if its stacking or just refreshing.
4) Case seems to have completely stopped leveling no matter how much I use it, do I need to use it on stronger mobs? Is this skill useful? Is plant ever useful?
5) I'm guessing evade is mostly a grouping skill, is there any way to really level it and unbalance without grouping?
6) Is light the only thing I need to worry about wearing when I'm sneaking?
7) Good ways to level pick/disable/detect? They're slowly levelling but its kinda painful (though pick is getting up there).
8) Are some locks unpickable? Or is my skill just not high enough yet?

That's all I can think of for now but I'm probably forgetting some things. Love this game but I really wish some information was easier to obtain. Hopefully this gets some replies, this forum is a ghost town :(



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Re: How to play a thief
« Reply #1 on: May 17, 2018, 09:48:01 AM »
This may be outdated, I don't think I've played a thief seriously since before they even had fade, and anything here is just stuff you can figure from normal playing, I can't give any specific info about the effects or zones/items.

A lot of your problems with sneak may be because of awareness and mobs reactions to being stabbed (unless you happen to be running around in metal armor or with something humming).  Some mobs are just naturally aware and will see through sneak and hide all the time, but even ones that aren't have the chance to become aware when backstabbed.  Generally stabbing things that are standing up is bad and should be avoided if possible, this also goes for the initial attack. Try hitting mobs for your first attack instead and only backstabbing when they are resting (or sitting) in subsequent attacks.  Some mobs are smarter about this than others.  You can get used to the way it works by attacking something that doesn't have aggressive memory and seeing what sets it off to stop resting when you sneak.  In some fights your best option may be to keep fleeing and attacking the mob as if you were stabbing, but just evenoming and hitting it rather than stabbing.  Being patient can also help a lot if you're struggling with sneaking in on things, instead of just fading out and running back instantly, fade out and leave a room further for a few seconds, then sneak back.  If you failed your original fade, or if the mob was aware, it will never rest and trying to re-enter immediately will cause it to instantly attack because it is standing and ready.  If you move another room away where it can't see you, it will rest (unless it never rests- which some mobs don't) and when you re-enter, if you failed your sneak or if it went aware you will still have a second to react while it stands back up.  I'm not sure anything aside from major actions breaks sneak, sitting/resting/attacking/etc.  Not even sure about fade, again though finding some non aggressive memory mob is an easy way to test this stuff.  Just get a horse from a stable and hit it with your hand, then fade away and come back, see if it rests, or sneak in on it and when it rests try a command you want to test, then walk back out and in, see if it gets up.  If you are missing a lot of stabs on a mob that never seems to stay resting, it's most likely become aware.  With sneak at v good you should be sneaking like 90% of the time, so there's something you're doing or wearing that's disrupting it.

Easiest way to level hide is to find a place where there are non aggressive mobs that scan, there are a lot of guards that do this.  You'll notice them by the way they will quickly move into your room if you are one room away from them, they tend to walk out and immediately re-enter.  Take something like a horse with you and hurt it (probably not in front of the guard), then take it to where there are guards and hide until the horse rests.  The guards moving in and out of the room will make you learn.  This will work with anything that moves around but if you can find a spot where there are scanning mobs, or just a lot of wandering non aggressive mobs it can go fast.  Ungrouped players can also make this go quickly, if you do the same thing but outside of an inn or something, so long as they don't kill you.  Hide can help with backstabbing things, it's a kinda situational skill though, most times it serves the same purpose as sneaking in on something but has greater risk.  The best use for it was usually against other players, has somewhat limited use with mobs.  Can be useful in some spots if you are waiting for mobs to separate or for something to move to a specific spot and don't want to be in combat, but if you aren't sure about whether the mobs are aware or sense life you can be in for a bad time.

Envenoming your offhand as far as I remember does nothing, I don't know if that has changed in the last few years, but envenoming your primary weapon before each attack is generally good practice, it will stack up somewhat, mobs that hit hard make it more noticeable.

Evade I think will skill from any mob casting area, problem is if you are soloing you don't want to be fighting something long enough for it to be doing that.  You might be able to find some stinky rooms that can help you out though, or a weak mob that does something similar that you can fight for a while with your bare hands.   Unbalance- if you don't want to group you're going to have to either find mobs that will fight eachother, or find some charmie, there's plenty of easy to get ones out there that are summoned through items but you do need to know where to look.

Pick/disable/detect are just a grind really, I would just have a routine to run through in between whatever else I was doing each time I recalled.  Disable is the one that's a real pain, there used to be some extremely easy spots to skill it but the ones I knew are all long gone, now it's just a bit of a slow process unless you run a big gamut through specific places.  Pick, there are some trick spots out there still, look for locked doors that have a key nearby that is re-usable and you will have it to superb in no time.  Detect can go quickly if you find an area where there are lots of mobs that like to hide, and especially where they move around a lot, rather than just trying to detect traps (kender, faeries, thieves, things like that).  If you can get something that hides and follows you around trying to steal, you can lead it into different rooms and detect in each room.  Also when detecting traps make sure you detect the room itself and the trap itself to get an extra use of the skill.  There are spots in a lot of older low/mid level zones with shady descriptions or areas that are specifically designed to help you get through this part of thieving.  Some locks are totally unpickable, so it's not just you (possibly)

Case used to have to be used on ungrouped people to skill up past poor, most people never bothered because the use of the skill wasn't worth the consequences anyway.  It may now learn from using it on mobs that are strong and will go aggressive but I'm not totally sure about that, I think it has some perks to being used now, maybe helping with backstab or something but I'm not actually sure about that either.  Plant I have no idea if there's any use for it other than bothering people.  It's technically possible for it to be used in questing things but I have no idea if any quests ever implemented it.

Nightvision on thieves is excellent, true seeing is better if you get the ranks for it.

Thieves are extremely strong solo, but they do get a lot of that strength in the last few levels and at the peak of their skills, as well as having a massive jump in strength when given the right equipment and gadgets.  To play one really efficiently it takes a lot of game knowledge, but they can be very fun to play when just skilled and leveled up with ok gear.  Playing one at legendary is on a whole different level, probably the most broken thing ever in the game.


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Re: How to play a thief
« Reply #2 on: May 17, 2018, 06:01:29 PM »
Can't answer all of your questions but I'll attempt to poke at most of them and give what I think is some solid advice.

Thief is very easy to level to 25. Its after 25 and getting to 30 that I truly believe a thief class sucks the most and you die/have the most trouble. Once 30/legend your good.

Fade will not auto make you sneak if successful however the higher your sneak skill, the better the chances are you can fade to a new room and not get insta agro'd. At legend this becomes a non issue as legend fade has 0 lag.

Your skills are super grindy and it honestly blows to skill a thief but at legend you become such a god if they made it any easier thief would truly be broken.

I've found the best way to do pick/disable/detect is to macro out a list of traps you can speedrun to every 30 minutes or so to skill. Balifor/Delphon/Kalaman/Newport make an excellent skill run for these skills.

Plant is a stupid skill and I hate the way you have to skill it. The 100% best way to skill case is on real players and shop keepers like the ones in kalaman. You will never get case past (poor)** if you don't train it this way.

As far as pick goes, yes some locks can not be picked however you can usually tell which locks these are by examining/looking at the lock in question.
The 100% for sure way to know if a lock is not pick able is to legend a thief, buy legend pick and just spam pick on a door for 15 minutes. IF it doesn't open probably not pick able. Best place to train Pick is Balifor Jail.

Envenom from my own personal testing only seems to stack and hurt at legend.

Not sure which actions break sneak other than combat of course and it just being random.

When trying to sneak/hide , you don't want to have any glowing/humming/metal on all this makes it worse if not impossible.

Evade isn't a group skill and can be trained up to excellent before hitting the superb timers in less than 10-15 minutes.

If you want more infomation on this class, PM me.


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Re: How to play a thief
« Reply #3 on: May 23, 2018, 06:25:03 PM »
1)  Fade, as I understand it, has two types of success.  One, you successfully flee that direction, two, you do it stealthily. 

2)  Glowing stuff does not necessarily break sneak, it just inhibits it.  Same with humming. 

3)  At legend, envenom certainly stacks to a point.  It is incredibly powerful.

4)  Case shopkeepers or people.  I'm a scumbag so I case random players, but some won't like it.  But it doesn't give you flags.

5)  Evade just means you evade area, like prism or...for instance, stinking cloud.  If only there was a way to find a place to train it that had lots of stinking clouds.  Unbalance you can solo train with two mobs that are fighting each other.

6)  No.  Some mobs are aware, more mobs there are, harder it is.  Obviously metal/glow/hum.

7)  Those are always painful.  Some people just run an alias to train it quick when they log-on in a place that has a lot of traps/locks.

8)  Some locks are no_pick


Fade/sneak is a critical skill, along with envenom, because it allows the thief to run through zones and score tons of prep in a fraction of the time it might take a full group.  That's what allows thieves to be monster soloers, even with mediocre eq.  I never grouped but still was able to do zones that people might bring a full group to.  The key is figuring out all the zones where you can score prep, but if you search my old posts you can see some of the zones was able to do. 

I would also recommend getting the plain silver ring enchantment going, thieves can absolutely run through that and it gives them more space for ranks.

Also, +regen and regen rank is good, means you will sometimes generate 200hp a tic when resting, which is critical for soloing big mobs.