Help for Thieves

The Thief class' strengths lie mainly in stealth and speed. They get fewer attacks and hitpoints than warriors do and, despite the mana reserves they have cannot cast spells unless they have a prior casting class. Their skills lend to fleeing and re-attacking in a fight. Current-class thieves are unique in that they get a chance at a "twist" each time they use the skill, scoring more damage. They do have a much better melee attack - both quantity and effect - than either of the spellcasting classes.


Equipment

A thief relies, mainly, on the backstab skill to deal a massive blow to a foe. The effect of this attack is massively improved by higher hitroll and damageroll statistics, so those must be considered to be a priority. You will have to remain in combat for some time so balance this with some AC (armor class) improving and some Hit Point increasing equipment. Dexterity and Strength are also important for reasons outlined below, so keep an eye on these statistics. You can easily look at mana reducing equipment as a single class thief as you just don't need it.


Stats

Strength - like the warrior, a higher strength will allow you to hit harder and more often in combat, as well as carrying more items. Dexterity - affects the frequency of your successful attacks, your backstab and the success of your use of some other thief skills. Hit Roll and Damage Roll - very important for melee combat and backstab. Hit Points are best kept as high as possible to survive the backstab lag, but if you are a single class thief then Mana reducing gear can often bring great benefits. One often overlooked aspect of equipment is the -ss (saving spell) bonuses - having this as good (the more negative the better) as you can is something to aim at.


Skills

There are several overlaps between the thief and warrior class with regard to skills, but there are some distinct differences as well. Please note that these skills are not always guaranteed to work, even if you have practiced them fully.
  • Backstab - this is a thief's primary method of attack and can only be used when not currently in combat. Occasionally you will find a non-player opponent that cannot be attacked like this. It carries three rounds of lag after it's used, so be prepared to stay around for some damage.
  • Ambush - similar to backstab, but more powerful, ambush inflicts massive amounts of damage with a three-round wait state. To ambush, you must be hidden in a room before a mob or player enters.
  • Dual - gives you the possibility of attacking twice with both a backstab and ordinary melee. It is advised that this skill is learned as soon as possible as it always has a chance of working automatically if learned.
  • Sneak - allows you to enter the room without being seen. This allows you to attack an opponent, flee and return unseen for another strike. Most of the advanced difficulty zones require you to have this skill.
  • Imbue - allows the thief to coat his or her blade with a deadly toxin, made by a mage's skillful alchemy. A single blow from the thief has a chance to deliver a dose of toxin into the enemy's system, often with catastrophic results.
  • Dodge - when this is learned, you gain the ability to dodge the melee attack of an opponent. Like Dual, this skill will automatically work in combat if learned. Unlike Parry, the warrior's equivalent, a dodging thief does not need to have a weapon wielded.

Other Thief Skills Explained
  • Pick - allows you to open a locked door without a key, although there are many doors that do not allow this.
  • Hide - you can hide in a room, as long as your light is removed, and not be seen by other players or monsters. This skill is not a guaranteed way of escaping from mobs in the game, but if running from other players it is advised to try this where there are hiding mobs.
  • Scan - allows you to see monsters in the rooms surrounding you. Very useful to check the surrounding area for creatures or players, as long as they or the room has a light source.
  • Meditate - identical to the warrior skill, it allows you to regain hit points when alone in a room and resting. It does take some time for each usage of this skill, but it's a lot faster than just resting.
  • Disarm - disarms an opponent at least temporarily. A disarmed opponent will generally deal less damage to you in combat, although many mobs do not have weapons.
  • Throw - an underused skill that allows you to throw a weapon within certain restrictions (read HELP THROW for details). Different throwing weapons can be found in plentiful quantities in most areas of the game.
  • Track - allows you to "hunt" other players, albeit one at a time. When you enter a room they've been in, track can tell you which way they went, but it will slow your movement considerably if you are not a thief.
  • Steal - steals things from a monster's inventory. You cannot take equipped items and you are unable to steal from other players. Some items cannot be stolen but an observant thief can often lighten a mob's load. If you are unsuccessful in your attempt, your target will attack you.
  • Trap - allows you to set a trap into a room that a wandering or pursuing mob can get caught in, rendering them immobile for a while. Also, if the mob is aggressive, it can't initiate an attack against you while it's trapped. You need a trap in your inventory to use this skill and a maximum of three can be set in one room.
  • Trip - tripping an opponent. If successful it sends them to the ground where they cannot cast or use other combat skills. Some opponents cannot be tripped and you cannot trip from horseback. Although it is similar to the warrior Bash skill, these aspects make a significant difference.
  • Offhand - allows the player to wield a weapon (dagger only) in their shield hand, negating any shield usage they may wish to use. While this is very similar to a warrior's usage, a thief can only be wielding a dagger in their main weapon slot instead of a sword when using this ability. Best considered for extra damage when you have a very good AC without using a shield of sorts.
  • Peek - not a learnable skill but automatically gained. When looking at a character or mob everyone else will just see what someone is wearing. A thief is sometimes also able to see what someone has in the inventory as well.


Strategy

A solo thief will often find themselves using nearly all their abilities. The standard attack on a foe is to backstab them, flee when your backstab lag is ended and return while sneaking to administer another blow. Having a trap or two can be handy if you are being chased by a foe, but they are heavy and cannot be taken from the ground until they have exhausted themselves (see HELP TRAP for details). Occasionally you will have to trap and repeatedly backstab a very tough opponent. Always bear in mind that you have to survive the three combat rounds after combat at the least, and that backstab will not always work to the effect you'd like. Sometimes your ordinary combat will finish an opponent off so you may not always have to lose experience points for fleeing.

In formations a thief will usually be placed in the front ranks as their dodge skill will help them avoid some incoming melee damage. They have reasonably adequate hit points and good melee attacks, and their trip skill can be very useful when not mounted. The sneak ability is often useless if in a formation as the rest of the party will be noticed.

Without the spellcasting abilities of a mage or cleric, you will often have to rely on potions or artifacts to mimic certain spell effects. Green potions allow faster healing, misty potions allow you to see the invisible and so forth. Crimson rings of regeneration allow you to regain your stamina and hit points faster, very useful when combined with meditation.


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