Yesterday, for April Fool’s, NCSoft detailed this amazingly bad ass and obviously fake Commando profession for Guild Wars 2.  However, the profession that is amazingly bad ass and thankfully very real - is the Thief.  Want to know more?  Of course you do, but first – check out this video:

That’s right, dual wielding pistols and shadowstepping for the win, baby.

I got a chance to see the Thief class in action in a recent meeting with NCSoft.  Now, as someone who plays nothing but Rogue/Ranger/Thief type classes in almost every RPG, I must say I was impressed and totally wanted to see more.

Said meeting wasn’t just about the Thief class, but the rest of it went more or less like “Blah blah dynamic gameplay, blah blah innovative content, blah blah blah.”  But when they got to the Thief demonstration – I was full on!!

However, before I get all gooey over this, check out what NCSoft has to say about their latest (and imo greatest) profession:

A master of stealth and surprise, the thief is deadly in single combat—particularly when catching enemies off guard. Thieves compensate for their relatively low armor and health by being quick and evasive. They can move through the shadows, vanish into thin air, or steal items from their opponents and use them as weapons. Enemies should watch their backs, or the thief will watch it for them.

While other professions rely on recharge rate for their weapon skills in combat, thieves rely on Initiative. Thieves have ten points of Initiative to use, and they gain back one point every second. Weapon skills cost Initiative points, but they have no recharge time, so thieves can use them back-to-back. This allows the thief to keep their options open at all times or unleash a rapid flurry of powerful attacks.

Thieves make use of a special skill called Steal, which generates a useful environmental weapon in the thieves’ hands based on the monster or player that they stole from. For example, when stealing from a moa bird, a thief might get a handful of feathers that they can throw to blind enemies around them.

When using a main hand and off-hand weapon combination, the thief differs from other professions. Their first two skills come from the main hand weapon, while the last two skills come from the off-hand weapon. The final skill, called their Dual Skill, is determined by both weapons. For example, a thief with two daggers will have Leaping Death Blossom as their Dual Skill, but a thief with a dagger and a pistol will have Shadow Shot as their Dual Skill.

I’ve also been told that thieves will even have a skill that is actually called Roll For Initiative.  That’s right, an amazing DnD pun if there ever was one – this skill will literally let you roll/evade to gain initiative points back.  Word.

Anyway, Thieves have a number of special skill types:

Stealth—Thieves can disappear into the shadows. This allows them to become invisible to enemy players and to ignore aggro. When in Stealth mode, the thief can still be damaged, which temporarily reveals them. When a thief is hidden, attacking will break the deception.

Shadow Stepping—Thieves can get in and out of battle quickly by using a technique called Shadow Stepping. This skill allows them to disappear from one location and then instantly appear at a different location by traveling through the shadows.

Traps—Thieves use traps to ambush unsuspecting enemies and control areas. For example, Shadow Trap is a trap that puts the thief into Stealth and Shadow Steps them back to the trap’s location.

However, what impressed me the most about this profession was not just their sweet skill set, but how fluid and downright sexy the movement and animation was.  Rogues in other MMOs tend to have all the right skills, but the stiff animations always just make them seem like warriors with daggers.  There’s no fluidity, no flair.  Not so in Guild Wars 2.

I can’t even begin to describe how gorgeous it looks when you shadowstep and spin over an enemy’s head, then slice him to bits from behind, only then you roll backward, pull out your pistols and fire away to finish him off.  Oh yeah, somewhere in between all that, you robbed him blind.

This is an MMO thief class the way it was meant to look and play and it’s also what has put Guild Wars 2 on my radar.  I mean look at all these awesome skills:

Yes, she just dragged him over here like Scorpion.  Yes, he just teleported to where he shot his arrow.  Yes, her dagger just hit three enemies at once, and YES he just went invis, stole a branch off a treant and then used it to beat down an ogre. Show me another MMO with a class that looks and plays like this, and I’ll give you a cookie.  Not some healthy little Snackwells cookie either, one of those big soft mushy ones like you get in a combo meal at Subway.

If Guild Wars 2 wasn’t on your MMO radar before (I’m not sure why it wouldn’t be) it had better be now. And for all you WoW Rogues out there who are tired of herp derping around throwing fans of knives, I think you’ve found your true calling.

See more at the Guild Wars 2 website.