I like how MithraDoom phrased the last part
Perhaps with all the recent discussions of gear and merit and DD and such over the past few years it's become easy to lose focus on thief's role in the game. We used to feel inferior because everybody gave us the shirking to events no matter how well we played or were geared, even as simple as merits. We were viewed as a weak job and we didn't like that, but time has healed this image. It took a while, but with the dagger adjustment post 68+, assassin, collaborator/accomplice, Feint, a better understanding of mechanics as well as more thieves actually HAVING homam + heca (this matters, and required time for said gear to come into existence from many runs) we have been able to fix this.
Thief still holds the same role as it always did and I like that. The job of the thief appealed to me back as a newbie player. The hate line alteration fascinated me, as did huge spike numbers. Well guess what? we can still do that!! The only thing I have any problems on is mobs level 85-90+, but I can still help with stuff here, everywhere else is fair game. When I stack a TA + DE or SA + de it will always outperform the other melee's spike weaponskill damage, piercing or no given a large enough sample size. That's just how stacking works, and I still enjoy doing this. I spiked a SATA + ass charge/hide dancing edge to 2459 at birds a while ago and it made people /jawdrop. On salvage gears I can push 2000+ when geared, in besieged I can end up tanking >.>. It may lose efficiency to trying to go all out, but it's fun and it helps with stuff. ABSOLUTE MAXIMUM damage is never attainable, I stopped trying and enjoy what I do.
I will reiterate that status bolts have not gone away, nor has spike damage. I advocate the bomb parts at merit because the bolts are useless at both camps. At events I will shoot bolts if I can hit. Does this lower my own DoT by not having dagger drawn? yes. Is it a worthwhile tradeoff?? HECK YES!! Knocking off 12.5% defense for the other melees just makes them smile, I use feint liberally too. I LIKE seeing dark knights/monks/samurais/rangers/blu's/drgs in action, I LIKE seeing them go nuts and tear stuff up, and my presence helps that happen. If I take damage and shoot a few bloodys I'm sure the mages will appreciate the effect of me spamming cure II, even if they still need to step in it saved them MP and that matters.
I said I view thief as a utility/support DD and that's fine. A good thief is the grease that makes all the gears spin smoothly at events, helping everyone hit harder, self cures, controlling hate, blink tanking, spike DD, respectable DoT to get there, and I'll say it.. sac pulling and TH adding. Treasure hunter is NOT a bad trait, I'm sure you want stuff for yourself and it's awesome at farming (I like my droprates everywhere I go thank you very much!!). Reraise is cheap, mages will R2 or R3 when applicable, at events death happens anyway (sometimes in mass quantity). And the coup de gra, sleep boolts act as an emergency OHSHI-STUN. I've stopped a few thundaga III's in my time with a lucky bolt so even then, that's awesome and people will thank me for it. I'm a good dd, but nobody cares if I'm the BEST DD. I don't have to be, and when other melee's have no purpose EXCEPT DD it stands to reason that my place is right where it should be. And to boot... if I ever get Mandau the fun just gets even greater. Edited, Mar 31st 2009 11:57pm by Melphina