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Is the thieves level progression is a bit weak in the late game or are fighters too strong?

Backstab multiplier 3-5 is pretty good at the time that you get them, but I don't think that is quite good enough on it's own. Putting it into some context, there are fighters who can hit everything for high 30s to low 40s. A top level kensai will do more than 50 damage a hit. Critical strike will double that damage, and they will do that damage 10 times per round for more than 1,000 damage. Even the average fighters like Mazzy will reach more than 100 damage per second, and Valygar can do that with a triple damage backstab. None of them will ever put as much damage as a theif into one backstab, but I think 80-100 damage 10 times per round is quite adequate when your group has something like 3 or 4 fighters capable of it. I play in SCS and often manage to kill any spellcasters before their defenses have time to activate.


  • masteralephmasteraleph Member Posts: 122
    Also, if we’re talking HLAs, Spike Trap needs to enter into the conversation.

  • DinoDinDinoDin Member Posts: 1,182
    edited October 27
    As Thaco says, you can't really think about the thief in terms of damage dealing. 2nd ed is not like later editions where thieves got a lot of damage-related abilities.

    The key for thieves is that they can expand their toolkit beyond the basic lockpicking and trap finding. Detect illusion is an incredibly strong skill in the late game. The ability to stealth in the IE games -- go invisible at almost any freaking time and walk right up next to a target and still say invisible, that's just an absurd ability. Other threads have mentioned how pickpocketing is just broken and can generate infinite gold for your character.

    And lastly of course traps, which are especially strong in ToB even if they're somewhat situational. They break through almost all immunities and protections. And of course the use any item feat is huge.

    Single class thieves struggle with damage because they never gain more attacks. And unlike a cleric or wizard they have fewer options for self buffing. But if you were to make a solo single class character just to take on Throne of Bhaal (speaking of late game), you'd be much better off with a thief than a fighter. Especially on some kind of challenge run, like a no reload.

  • dunbardunbar Member Posts: 1,568
    I don't have a strategy for the final battle in ToB that doesn't involve a thief setting traps and/or using a Wand of Spell Striking (thanks to UAI) - thieves don't need to do melee damage when they are so strong in their specialist areas with late game HLAs.

  • gorgonzolagorgonzola Member Posts: 3,678
    I don't play SCS so part of what I say can not be true with it, but I find the thief class very useful and the most fun to play, I almost always have a good thief, charname or Jan, in my party.

    Stabbing can pack up a lot of damage and also a very useful one, a thief that manages to approach the enemy hidden and has in his inventory one invisibility potion or one of the items that grant an invisibility charge/day can do 2 stabs in a row right at the beginning of the battle taking out of the equation the most problematic variable straight at the beginning.
    When he gets UAI and can use the SoTM he can even hit a protected mage to dispel his protections and then go invisible and stab him.
    And if he becomes a master in using corners and low light areas of a dungeon a thief can take away powerful parties by himself, even at low levels. All he has to do is to stab, run away, pass a corner that break the sight for a split second and hide, good timing is needed, then he can stab again and repeat over and over.

    Hiding in shadows is also very useful to deplete enemy mages spell books, all you have to do is to go invisible at the edge of their sight field, throw them an arrow to break invisibility and as they begin to cast a spell at you step back and hide in shadows, the spell will fizzle as there is no more a target for it (simply disappearing because you are out of their sight field does not work, you have to go invisible hiding or in some other way to have it working),

    Hiding in shadows is also super useful to spot the enemies if you don't want to rely on metagame knowledge, there is no reason why the party should buff if they don't know where the enemy is and which enemy will be found, your scout is the tool to do it in a "fair" way.

    This is about hide in shadows, my opinion on the other thief perks in an other post to avoid a text wall.

  • gorgonzolagorgonzola Member Posts: 3,678
    edited October 27
    Traps, there are not only the HLA spike traps, also the regular ones are really useful, a thief can prepare a carpet of traps then lure the enemy in them, with good timing and hasted this can be very effective.
    One of my preferred tactics vs beholders is to do so ( I never use the anti beholder shield that imho makes those battles boring), and i have also my mages drop skull traps on the path right after the thief has passed by, it is very satisfactory to see a bunch of beholders and gauths explode while they try to chase the thief or if they survive reach with very low health the point with the whole party is ready to kill them before they can react with their ranged weapons.
    Trapping can be a very lame tool, when you use traps vs still blue enemies or on known spawn points, but can also become a super powerful and fair tool if the thief learn how to master them.

    detecting illusions is a free true sight how many times/day you want, freeing your casters from using their spells for the purpose and bypasses SI divination.

    And pick pocketing?, not only you can have a regeneration ring right out of the starting dungeon but is one of the keys of the early game party power, weather you like to use it or to abuse of it.
    In my book to abuse of it is to sell and steal a single valuable item from a fence many times for infinite money, but stealing from shops and fences in itself is something implemented in the game, so nothing wrong in doing it.
    You buy a valuable item that can not be pick pocketed like let's say the robe of vecna? Then why not selling it to a fence, just a single time, getting back part of the money you spent, then steal it from him and give it to your mage? This is true for all the items you can not steal, is true for all the loot you don't plan to keep, you can sell it to a regular merchant, then steal it and sell it again to a fence.
    It is not infinite money, but combined with the fact that many useful items can be stolen from the merchants is a very well equipped party a lot earlier then not having a thief.

    At ToB levels stabbing becomes way less effective, even if in some situations still useful, and money there is no more an issue, but the hla traps and detect illusions are still very useful.

    I would say that the role and task of a thief is not to deal a lot of damage during the battle, even if hasted and with tools to go invisible he can perform 2 stabs/round with the staff of the ram, that are almost as good as a fighter's GWW, it is to spot the enemy and soften it before the battle, stabbing the mages, luring away the fighters and killing them with multiple stabs using the dungeon features and setting traps.

    Some players that are more point and click oriented then me can find all this very boring and under whelming, for me is the best way to have fun in the game, only the magic battles came close to it.

  • DinoDinDinoDin Member Posts: 1,182
    gorgonzola wrote: »
    I don't play SCS so part of what I say can not be true with it, but I find the thief class very useful and the most fun to play, I almost always have a good thief, charname or Jan, in my party.

    Strongly agreed with this part. Any BG2 run I do where I have to rely on Imoen or Nalia instead of Jan, Hexxat or a made character for a thief always feels significantly less fun.

  • lollerslollers Member Posts: 66
    Some good advice here. I'll check in when I redo BG as a cleric/thief multi-class. I like the idea of a bhaalspawn that doesn't need any of the NPC clerics or theives of which there are at least 10 in the saga.

  • ilduderinoilduderino Member Posts: 714
    The problem with single class thieves is the crappy attacks per round even with a swashie, but as others have said they get great mileage from traps and use any item is excellent

  • gorgonzolagorgonzola Member Posts: 3,678
    The task of a thief is not to go mlee, or even fight with ranged weapons, with good Thac0 and apr.
    Who tries to do it is misusing the thief, that can instead do a lot of other things giving a lot of utility and damage to the party.

    If thac0 and apr are wanted much better to use a FT or FMT, the FT has plenty of thieving points, the triple class get them slower but still is very powerful.

    Single class, double and triple class need completely different play styles, even if all can cover the thief task well beyond the basic door and trap tasks that Nalia and Imoen grant.

  • SirBatinceSirBatince Member Posts: 835
    my only gripe with thieves is nearly everything is immune to backstab later on in the series.

  • iosfrustrationiosfrustration Member Posts: 144
    Also, if we’re talking HLAs, Spike Trap needs to enter into the conversation.

    Gameplay Balance has left the chat

  • jsavingjsaving Member Posts: 965
    SIngleclass thieves are great fun as they can scout, backstab, rinse and retreat. With enough time and patience they can handle most encounters. That said, fighter/thieves can handle encounters faster because they have the APR to dish out sustained APR, and fighter/mage/thieves can handle them faster still as they combine APR with near-invulnerability, negating the need to ever retreat from battle.

    But they all get spike trap so they're all strong in ToB.

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