To be fair, we have WAY more tools for all kinds of things than say.....a war.
All DDs can DD. All of war abilities are aimed at increasing their damage (except lolWarcry is group and lolDefender that sucks anyway). What does a war really do for the group? damage and has voke. Thats really it. So they do LOTS of damage with a side of voke. If all thf had was collaborator i would agree with you (ghetto wierd voke thingy on a 2x timer that also absorbs hate). But we dont. War can use lots of weapons, also something that A: is just more DD, B: isnt better than just focusing on their main weapons.
*We have higest eva in the game (kiting specialist among other uses)
*Feint. Nuff said.
*TH. Our gift and curse
*MULTIPLE ways to manipulate hate.
*Low hate DD (we can choose to DD but transfer the bulk of it therefore making us "low-hate")
*Most GOOD skillchain options of anyone in the game. Frag/Fusion/Grav. And DE has decent properties too (dovetails very nicely with SATAWS for hate)
*Moderate /ra power (gun/archery)
*status bolts (Xbow)
*Other stuff im forgetting
These arent just a list of abilities like you could on war. These are specialized actions we can perform that are NOT just "MOAR DAMAGE!". Some overlap other jobs. EG Sam can SC almost as well (rana kinda lame) and has /ra DD but lacks anything to really give to the group besides skillchains. Wars dont have anything to give to a group besides DD+Vokes+lolTomahawk. Drg has better low hate DD+angon(instead of feint) but lacks much else. (/mage is a different bst but sucks for endgame, the topic of discussion). Rng has better rng DD but lacks any other tools at all really.
Anyway you get the idea. We really have a LOT more going for us than most beatstick DDs. I have long considered us the "Rdm of Melees". We can do almost everything most other DDs can in some capacity and a few things better than anyone. This really is a VERY versatile job. Can a Mnk really do so many different things? Can a war? Sam?
Anyway, i dont mean this all as a "OMG THFS FINE GUYS!" but just to point out there IS a reason we got gimped DD compared to the more straightforward DD jobs. We have a multitude of abilities, but the only things that are strong enough that dont "sift out" on HNMs where jobs become specialized is Feint/TH and "hate control". Just that hate control is not nearly as useful in practice as it is on paper. Why would you have a Thf+DD to steal DD hate so they can go balls>Wall when you can instead have DD+DD ball>wall, eat it then replace with 2 more fresh DDs and stick the thf in at 5%? You wouldnt. In limited resource situations (low man etc) thf kicks ***. But in large scale events, there is no need for the finesse thf adds. SE just needs to either up our DD, or give us some really powerful skills aimed at big game fights that are a real reason you want them. People WANT me to go drg to HNMs not because i do nice damage, but because i have capped angon, do REALLY nice damage and shed my own hate. My rng is desirable not because it just does damage, but because it does damage outside of AOE range.
I cant say that about thf. "My thf is desirable because it does bleh damage but has feint/TH/Hate control" becomes "My thf does bleh damage and has feint/TH....um nvm just stick it in at 5%". That has to change to either more damage or DESIRABLE support skills. Either way works. But just have to commit to one side or the other.
I guess I'll address those in the same order..
Kiting masters? I can't see it, we have a choice of no shadows or no hate gaining abilities outside of collaborator, and if your ranged DD can kite it long enough for collaborator to firmly plant hate, they could do it easily without you. Our tanking ability is good in low man hard target situations where the DD allow us to tank via helping with SA and collaborator.
Feint? Touche, it's an extremely good ability, sadly most players only use their feint sets on BV2 and dyna lord it seems, as seeing "[Feint] [Just used it.]" in party chat never seems to make a difference to DD who were capping accuracy. (man you can tell I'm a THF main, I had a seperate TP set for my SAM when A THF hit his feint macro. :\)
TH? I think we know how it turns out when people put alot of importance into that trait.
We have one way to manipulate hate outside of TA; collaborator/accomplice, the end. Not multiples, and TA 1.) Is rather pointless with current hate caps in most big fights outside of the extra damage and 2.) Some LS prefer bringing the "Real DD" as /THF if it's that necessary as (Ask Shamaya about this too) a great SAM's SATAWS will beat a perfect THF's. Very sad, but true.
I wouldn't count our "low hate DD" as a good thing really, I would love to put that evasion to some real use by pulling hate, not stealing other people's hate. (Again, this is on high def targets, we all know well that on anything VT or lower THF is win)
Dispel ability.. Yeah, I personally don't count aura steal as a form of dispel in a group event. I'll use it for sure in hopes that I get the buff and save the RDM's 25 MP or the Bard's 2 second cast time, that's it, once every 5 minutes to boot.
Our RA power is debatable, with Xbow we get status bolts, the end, the same ones a DRK and WAR could use effectively on low stuff, and on high stuff a THF isn't landing the effects either. We get a **** Hand-Cannon but it's not exactly feasible to use currently other than a few special scenarios; cannon shells are not always in high stock and most can't afford to buy them when available and store around the things. ***** my 17 equipment sets for THF)
Ultimately, if hate was a huge issue having your melee sub /DRG and shedding hate is better for prolonged fights, having them /THF for hate planting is better for shorter fights, and our versatility I would dare say not as useful as "The real DD" who can provide alternate support types while "hitting big"
Once again, the examples are while in high defense target, group events, not lower level targets or low man scenarios. Bolts are great for those scenarios, but also not exactly a THF specialty.
Hate management is I think the sticking point though. SE would have to make our hate management GODLY in order for it to be more of use than just the current tactics used to ensure the tanks are the only ones being hit. The DD boost might just be easier on SE's end.