I always had a Thief (pure, multi or dual) in my party in every playthrough save for a solo one. However, I always only used them to find and disarm traps and unlock stuff until my last BG2 playthrough where I had a F/T and realized just how fun and versatile they could be with good backstabs and eventually late game with the several cool HLAs and special traps.
I'm not focusing on Thief this time around because I already have a Blade (can pickpocket), a Stalker (scout and backstab plays) anda C/T mostly for utility in BG1 (I can't afford the stealth, traps and detect invis since I needed to max out the trap detection and unlock with my party setup).
I was very curious about the thief kits or kits into dual class. I only use SCS and some few extra items mod (and Ascension for ToB but I'm not there yet) so the kits aren't modified or buffed.
On paper, they seemed quite bad but since I haven't played that much with thieves, maybe I'm just lacking some knowledge or imagination for it.
This is the one I was mostly excited for (for the huge backstabs). The +1 for dmg and THAC0 is nice, mostly early game but not enough for the Assassin to be able to be a proficient melee sustained DPS.
The poison I feel is lackluster (same poison as BlackGuard). Many enemies are immune to poison (undead), then they can still save against it to prevent most of its damage (especially bad later on in the game when enemies get better saves) and it doesn't last very long for interrupt purposes. The best use I can think for it is vs casters but with SCS, the thief will not land a hit through a caster defenses and if I manage to strip those defenses, the caster is normally going to die shortly after no matter what. I think that I read that the poison can stack which would be the big highlight for it?
As for the backstab, it seems very interesting but comes late into the game. By the time you can play with it, I'm guessing you're late into SoA (unless maybe you're soloing?) and by the time you hit ToB, a lot of the stronger enemies are immune to it. My F/T also could activate Critical Strike before backstabbing for massive damage that would normally already kill enemies that aren't immune to it in 1 shot so the x7 backstab damage might be wasted?
Since you need lvl 21 to unlock the full Assassin's potential, I'm guessing a Kitted Assassin is kind of out of the question (needing to reach lvl 22 in a different class to reactivate it would take forever)? If I understood Dual properly, I don't think someone can Dual INTO Assassin as 2nd class.
2- Bounty Hunter:
The penalty isn't as severe as for the Assassin but all you get are extra traps. If you start one from BG1, I guess this means you need someone else to disarm/unlock because you'll have to spend most of your early thief points into set traps to make use of its specialty. The early traps seem to do good damage but all of it can be negated by saves which seems bad. Then you've got a trap that just takes an enemy out of the fight for a while (if they fail their save) which doesn't seem very good and finally you get the Maze trap (no save?) but still, I'm unsure how useful those traps would be if some random trash mobs walk into those. Once again, the strong traps come very late meaning that Dual Class for this kit also might not be viable?
The bonuses seem more interesting for possible Dual class and there are no thief skill points penalty. However, not being able to backstab is kind of big as I feel like it's one of the only direct combat advantages thieves have. I'm not sure what to think about this one. I guess it's a bit like weaker fighter that could take care of disarm/unlock and maybe lay some traps?
Bonus to hide and move stealth are ok (but only 10%). Being able to hide in plain sight might be good, mostly to save on having to use invisibility spells/items/potions but I normally can get the stealth opener and have more than enough of these items if needed so I'm not sure how big of a deal it is. +1 saving throws is alright but nothing major. Fewer thief points, no traps (does this include HLA ones?) but above all, weaker backstab.
The main thing that seemed great about this kit at first was to be able to stealth back during fights and chain more backstabs.
Shadowstep seems interesting but you can't attack or cast spells (so no backstab?) so is it only to reposition yourself or are there other things you can do with it?
Overall, this kit seems interesting and might have potiential for a lot of fun plays but since I've never used it, I don't know what it can be good for. Also, can it be good for specific Dual Class combos (mostly due to Shadowstep)?
When do you use the different kits? In which situation do you manage to make the most out of them or what do they excell at? Are there some good Dual Class combos to make with some of them?