Where are the Thief Classes in MMORPGs?
Since the dawn of role playing games, classes have followed age old archetypes - the Mage does a lot of damage over time, the Warrior soaks a lot of damage, and the Rogue usually does a lot of burst damage from behind the target. Now, this wouldn't be so bad if there was even one thing to spice it up between MMORPGs, but it's the same across the board. You can't really play a Thief in most MMORPGs, you can only play a rogue wielding two daggers that is called a Thief.
While searching for "thief classes in MMORPGs", I came across a forum thread where one user posts his gripes with the current status of the stealth / rogue classes in MMOs:
In my experience, every single MMO out there treats the "thief" class(es) as a lightly armored fighter who usually inflicts extra damage against an opponent when he is attacking from behind. Sometimes these so-called thieves also know how to use poison, have some skill with throwing daggers or shooting bows/crossbows, can pick pockets (for very small change). But, basically, they are not a true thief class... they are just, like I said, a variation of a fighter.
I'm compelled to agree with these statements, because you can't really steal anything as the Thief class in most MMORPGs, and if you can, it's a really small amount of pocket change -- generally the same amount you'd get if you killed them. In most MMORPGs, stealing from players isn't even an option (unless, of course, you scam them, but this is generally against ToS). So is there even really a point to play a Rogue if you want to play a Thief? Some would say no, some would argue about the philosophical morality problems of in-game theft, while some others would point you to Iron Realms.
Thief Skills in Iron Realms Games
In the MMORPG Achaea, there are multiple classes which are perfectly capable of being a Thief -- not attacking from behind, not fighting with daggers, stealing, and stealing a LOT of stuff. Serpents are one class that are capable of hypnotising their targets to give them their things -- of course, there are counters to this, but what game has a more stylish system of theft than that? Even in the extremely popular game The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion, theft is simply looting items that don't belong to you. No hypnotism there.
Rather than commanding them to give you their things, you can even get creative with it. You can have them put their things in a hat that will magically reset to you, or if you're in a postal office, have them put their things in a letter and mail it to you. Stalk someone who is bashing and order the target to remove their pack the second they go to offer their corpses to their favorite Deity! With timing, there is little your target can do! There are countless strategies just waiting to be thought of and used.
But wait, some might argue that isn't really theft. It's just having them give you their things. This is somewhat true, but that is part of why it is balanced in Achaea. It would hardly be fair or even remotely balanced if a thief class could just slip into your pocket and take all of your gold or your precious items. By allowing players to force their target to do something in order to steal, Achaea opens theft up and makes it available to any class with an ability to force their target to do things (which is quite a few). This is part of why in Achaea, you may play your character how you want to, rather than being suffocated by class archetypes.
Author: Rean Moliuvia