Rogues are one of the premier melee DPS classes. They are situationally the highest DPS class, although in some cases berserker will clock in ahead of them. Rogues do need to be able to reach the back of the mob to cause their best damage, but in most cases, this is not a problem.
Rogues receive a number of burst DPS utilities, meaning that they can temporarily achieve an amount of damage much higher than their average. Rogues also have the Razorarc line, allowing a powerful first hit at the cost of endurance. High level rogues consistently using their disciplines ("discs") and abilities can use quite a lot of endurance, but have the Second Wind line of discs to help them regenerate endurance.
In addition to their damage-dealing abilities, rogues have several other class-unique abilities.
They can develop their abilities to Sneak and Hide to very high levels. Other skills include crafting and applying poison to their primary weapon, sensing and disarming traps, picking pockets, and picking locks for doors that may or may not have a key.
A rogue with highly developed skill levels for Sneak and Hide, coupled with their Shroud of Stealth alternate ability, this allows them to make fantastic scouts and corpse-draggers. This is primarily due to not relying on spells or potions that specialize in keeping the user invisible to either living or undead mobs. Additionally, mobs that would normally see a character using a spell or potion are much less likely to see a sneak/hidden rogue.
There are a variety of poisons that a rogue can create through the unique, class-related skill Make Poison: snare poisons, direct damage poison, and death-over-time poisons are the most common.
Most traps are not visible. If a rogue is actively attempting to detect trap, and one is within the range of a rogue's ability to find, he will be pointed in the direction of the trap. Once a trap has been sensed, it can be disarmed. This can be helpful in parts of Ssraeshza Temple, or LDoN instanced zones.
The pickpocket ability only allows the rogue to steal items that are not no-trade and coins, and can only be used on NPCs. A more highly developed ability to pickpocket reduces the chance that the NPC will catch the rogue, which can be very helpful in the rogue 1.0 epic.
The need for the ability to pick locks has been significantly reduced after the Kunark and Luclin expansions. Certain locked doors, such as the entrance to The Ruins of Old Paineel, the entrance to the city of Paineel, or the doors in Charasis, can be opened by a rogue with a lockpick set and a sufficiently high enough skill. There are certain zones, such as the City of Mist or Vex Thal, that require a rogue's ability to pick locks, as there are no keys.
|Skill||Gained at Level||Notes|
|1H Blunt||1||One-handed blunt weapons (hammers).|
|1H Slashing||1||One-handed slashing weapons (swords, whips).|
|Apply Poison||18||This allows a rogue to apply poisons to his primary weapon.|
|Archery||1||Bow and arrow; useful for tagging and pulling.|
|Backstab||10||A devasting hit from behind unique to rogues; a piercing weapon is required. Double Backstab becomes available at 55 automatically, and Triple Backstab via AA. Assasinations (32k point backstabs) become available at 61.|
|Bind Wound||1||As the skill develops, you can heal yourself with bandages. With health regeneration as it is now, this skill is pointless.|
|Disarm||27||Disarm an NPC's weapon.|
|Disarm Traps||15||After sensing a trap, utilizing this skill disarms it.|
|Dodge||4||Avoid an attacker's incoming attack.|
|Double Attack||16||This skill doubles your number of attacks per round.|
|Dual Wield||13||This skill allows you to carry weapons in both hands.|
|Hand to Hand||1||Bare fists; no use for anyone other than monks and beastlords.|
|Hide||3||At a high enough skill, this prevents you from being seen from both living and undead creatures.|
|Intimidation||22||The rogue shows a series of weapon maneuvers that may scare an enemy. It does not work consistently; it may be considered a "proc" that works on your dexterity level, as well as your skills in intimidation, piercing, 1H Blunt, and 1H Slash.|
|Make Poison||20||This is a tradeskill available only to the rogue class.|
|Parry||12||This is a defensive meaneuver with your weapon.|
|Pick Lock||5||With a pick lock set, this allows you to open doors for which you have no key. You must train up to skill level 10 with a trainer before practicing on locked doors.|
|Piercing||1||Piercing weapons (daggers). You must have one in your primary hand to backstab.|
|Riposte||30||This skill allows you to parry and attack.|
|Safe Fall||12||This allows you to fall from high areas safely without taking damage.|
|Sense Heading||1||This skill immediately starts at 200.|
|Sense Traps||10||This skill allows you to detect traps in your general vicinity. Some traps are very difficult to detect, even with a highly developed skill.|
|Sneak||1||This skill greatly reduces the aggro radius of mobs. With merchants that refuse to interact with you, you can sneak up behind them to do business.|
|Swimming||1||This is a slow skill to work on, but can be done in large bodies of water.|
|Throwing||1||Much like archery, this is good for tagging and pulling with darts. Rogues can perform critical hits with throwing darts.|
The ability to sneak and hide simultaneously while unseen through high level zones is something that makes a rogue very popular for scouting. They are able to pass by both living and undead creatures unseen and unscathed to check on raid encounters that may reside beyond a ranger's ability to track from a safe location, or to drag corpses during a raid where summoning them isn't viable.
While non-rogue wood elves and Halflings are able to develop some ability to sneak and hide, they are limited to a cap of 50. Rogues develop their abilities in Sneak and Hide equivilant to their caps for weapon skills. At lower levels, sneaking causes rogues to walk or run very slowly. At level 51, you begin to speed up (gradually with each level) to an unnoticable difference at level 60.
Even with a well developed ability with both skills, there are still a number of NPCs that can see a sneak/hidden rogue, such as liches and banshees in Plane of Hate or skeletons in Acrylia Caverns. However, rogues can obtain the Shroud of Stealth AA. This is a passive ability that enhances the hide ability, and greatly reduces the number of NPCs that can see you.
Sneak and Hide can be broken in many of the same manners that an invisibility spell can be dropped. If a rogue is hit by an area-of-effect spell, conventional trap, attacks an NPC, or is attacked, he ceases to hide. Sneak must be broken (dropped) manually. However, a rogue that is sensing and disarming a trap before it has the chance to "go off" will not become visible. With mob-spawn traps, where simply crossing a certain part on the floor causes mobs to spawn, Hide is not dropped when the mobs spawn. As these types of traps are undetectable, one must simply remember their locations. Mob-spawn traps are happily limited to Akheva Ruins and Vex Thal.
Rogues may also want to strongly consider obtaining the Escape AA. This alternate ability completely clears a rogue's aggro from any mobs. This can be a life saver in the rare occasions that a higher level rogue simply forgets to sneak and hide while scouting, especially in raid areas. It is important that a rogue both sneak and hide immediately after escaping, as to remain unseen after clearing aggro. It has a 72 minute reuse timer, but this can be reduced through other AAs.
Rogues are able to employ hiding during battle into another unique ability: evade. While this is not a skill in the sense of a monk's ability to feign death, the result is similar: it reduces aggro generated by the rogue. This is very beneficial if the group's tank temporarily loses aggro on a mob.
Evade becomes available as soon as Hide does, and isn't actually a skill itself, but rather, you evade by using the Hide ability during battle.
To evade, simply press the hide button while your character isn't moving (without AAs to enable hiding while moving).
When to Evade
When exactly a rogue should use Evade is up for debate. You will likely find yourself using evade differently depending on the encounter and your tank's ability to hold aggression. Here are some possible scenarios:
After a big hit: