I don't think thief is terribly
broken against HNM's, it's just that the one fatal flaw is so large it cannot be overcome. By level 99 we should have dual wield II and I'd be OK with that for damage. Thief/war with dual wield II and berserk/aggressor won't stand toe to toe with the heavy hitters, but it's close enough for me to be satisfied. Dual wield is a start to fixing our handicap at HNM, but the biggest underlying issue is not our damage but our TP feed. If I was allowed to melee a HNM like the 2 handers are I could throw out some pretty nifty weaponskills alongside average/passable DoT. That would be enough for me. However THIS
is the REAL problem problem I'm stuck with
I don't agree it's going to be as big of an upgrade as you think it is, and I do not agree that Dual-Wield is the area SE needs to focus on adjusting for balancing Thief in the HNM department at all. I think more utility is needed so that we have a unique place on HNM besides "hey you thief make sure you hit it at least once for TH but we could care less about your damage when there are decked out 2 handers here that trump you, or BLM, or SMN, or RNG...or GET OFF THE MOB OMG STOP FEEDING TP".
As quoted on the wiki here
Enemies gain TP in the following ways:
* When attacking a player, TP is calculated normally based on Delay. Most enemies have 240 Delay, and gain 6.4 TP per hit.
* When hit by a melee attack, enemies gain the attacker's Base TP + 3.
* When hit by a spell that does direct damage, enemies gain 10 TP.
* When hit by a physical Blue Magic spell, enemies gain 10 TP for every hit that connects.
THAT is the problem. My melee DoT strikes don't deal significant damage but they DO feed tp at an alarmingly fast rate. If a 2 hander hit a mob 5 times to tp to 100% the mob would have approximately 90-100% TP. The 2 handers get a 5 hit with sTP traits which don't interfere with the mob's tp gain thus it's almost a 1/1 ratio. However when I hit the mob I will feed approximately 2 more tp per swing than I get even with sTP gear and I'll take about 18 swings to hit 100%. That's an additional ~~40 tp fed to the mob beyond what a 2 hander would have fed while dealing about 30-50% the amount of actual damage to do it. It's inefficient and these bad boys pack a punch. Their tp attacks are DANGEROUS so I'm often forbidden from engaging for this reason.
Now I would have argued before that some job traits are defining characteristics of XYZ job so giving them to ABC job would be unfair, but s-e has broken that with the level increase. Sub job convert/refresh 1, dual wield IV on dancer and now DW 1 on thf and blu (via spells), old traits added to other jobs, etc etc. So I'm just going to say it. I want subtle blow, and I want a lot of it. The highest subtle blow trait is 25% and subtle blow caps at 50%. Another idea is a stance that Lobi has proposed in the past. I would be all for a stance to reduce our attack speed in exchange for significantly reducing the amount of tp fed to the mob (a reasonable
attack speed reduction). This isn't game breaking because less attack speed is akin to adding slow, thus it would be a HNM stance only. THIS is the type of utility I think thief needs in order to be allowed more action at hnm. Even if it doesn't improve our damage if we aren't a threat to causing a wipe from our tp feed at least we may be allowed to fight the battle. There are many well geared thieves who could still put up reasonable numbers at HNM if we were only allowed to engage. Summarizing that:
I think dual wield II (@99) is a good start to help fix thief at HNM and that thief is not THAT broken. However dual wield isn't enough, S-E needs to address the bigger underlying problem that we feed too much tp to warrant our DoT. If we had a significant amount of subtle blow or a stance that reduced our attack speed (reasonably) while significantly decreasing the amount of tp we feed to the mob (or both!!) it would be a really big step in the right direction. I am well geared; I CAN
deal respectable damage if I have proper buffs but I will feed too much tp to make it worthwhile. If the only updates thief were to get from now until level 99 were Treasure Hunter 3, critical hit attack bonus increases, Dual wield II, and both a stance to trade speed for tp feed reduction and subtle blow V I'd be satisfied. I'll never be the ideal DD against a HNM and that's FINE. As long as I'm allowed to engage
the mob I could still put up decent numbers and I'd have a lot more fun fighting alongside my colleagues. If it meant people would still joke about my damage but actually let me fight... well I could live with that. Edited, Sep 1st 2010 11:53pm by Melphina