Where are the Thief Classes in MMORPGs?

assassin thief

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

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such a huge pity the system changed in achaea. Now theft is only possible from serpents, monks, occultists, jesters, shamans are not able to steal any more.. and have to add stealing gold is not as scary as checking your keys and see your stockroom key is missing (or from the other hand end up with a key that opens who knows what)...

to thieves please



Thievery in Midkemia online is awesome, pickpocketing everyone I see made my pockets fat with coin.

Thieve's lame.

Personally I think the best RP use for a thief is the intrigue aspect, sneaking around spying, info gathering, etc. I tried my hand briefly at thieving and wasn't too good at it, not to mention I spent all my other chars time being ticked at how often people got thieved and the sheer amounts that were lost (prior to pickpocketing changes mind you) so I couldn't really get into the whole serious theft that some people have.

It's ridiculous. The ability to permanently take something from another player is obscene, especially considering most of the more infamous thieves intentionally steal only from people who are hunting, AFK, or new to the game.

Because the goal in MMORPGs is not to create a "thief" class. It's to make a stealthed, lightly-armored speed fighter. Because allowing players to steal from other plays is an easy way to lose a potential playerbase, and their goal is to make money.

In most games, the thief class was a little harder to play than other classes because it was light on decent fighting skills, with the exception of backstab, which everyone loves.

Right here in MKO, baby!

Should check them out

But theft is really screwed


Thief classes are fun sometimes. But they usually end up way to OP

I love the creative stealing ideas. Will have to see about putting some of those to work! Very funny.

I think adding the element of stealing really helps to liven up the game and make it interesting. Albeit it will make some people upset, but that is exactly what I am talking about. Carebear worlds get boring fast.

Obligatory Guild Wars 2

well, achaea has no theif classes any more either

Now theiving doesn't work well in achaea

...is in Dragonrealms.  Where critters you hunt dropped boxes, strongboxes, chests, etc...that had locks that had to be picked. The higher the level critter, the better treasure in the box...gold, gems that can be sold for gold, etc... and also the better chance the box would be rigged with a trapped that can harm or kill the lockpicker. Lockpicking skill would figure into the equation of course, but always a random chance to get blown up, cut, poisoned, etc..

Go go Serpent! :D

"Since the dawn of role playing games, classes have followed age old archetypes - the Mage does a lot of damage over time,"


As far as I know, this is not true.




Hey guys :)


Hey guys, Steuern is just AMAZING! :D

stealing ur credits

Infiltration by Monks are OP >.> Nerf Penwize.

Jokes aside, it's somewhat sad that Monks are better at theft and infiltration than Serpents are, so I would like to see a change in how that works unfortunately. That doesn't seem particularly easy considering how it's balanced, but would be nice.

Credit comment.

Thieves are why I stopped playing achaea.

and now that theft is gone from achaea too, it all matches!

I was never a fan of theft in most games, as it's just petty theft or mugging. I'd rather serpents have the opportunity infiltrate some place and steal something like a house or city object and gold from a vault rather than just snap and force people hand over journals or whatever.

i got robbed in achaea a while back... I was pretty much a noob, so i think the poor thief got a few thousand gold, an empty journal, and the pack it was in. Ha!

Tenebrus was great. One word STYLE.





I think a theif class would be quite enjoyable. Yes when you get your stuff stolen you will get frustrated. As your charater should be upset, if you are roleplaying your character properly. But really theives are a great part of pen paper RP games that I played while growing up. Though I have yet to see a game bring the full potential of a theif class into the game.

It's hard to get people to like parting with their stuff in an MMO.


in achaea item stealing is no longer allowed, so really good thefts are prisms into stock rooms and such, and any class can do that. and pickocketing is only good on denizens from what I am told