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Stealth and Thievery tips after playing a while

Skills and Abilities

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Posts: 3

Stealth and Thievery tips after playing a while

Post#1 » 29 Aug, 2015 5:35 pm

So I've spent some time on the East server trying to play the role of a "traditional" thief, i.e. not an assassin. I figured I'd write up my tips and invite anyone else who's worked on Thievery and Stealth to add theirs as well!


Being a traditional thief focuses on two skills, thievery and stealth. This makes it oddly straightforward. But it's also pretty complicated, since these are two of the hardest skills to level.

You can play with the order of leveling. I leveled stealth up quite high first (to at least 500), then started working on my thieving. But it is definitely possible to mix them, or work on thieving first.

The first thing to do is to get some skill stims. They're very much worth it, even at level I. A 10-20% boost to your skill acquisition rate is a godsend, given how much time this is going to take.

Leveling stealth is a matter of spending non-idle time in stealth mode near (<30m) sufficiently skilled enemies. Low level enemies like Setlangs and vultures are particularly bad for this, because you don't get much stealth and because they have good stealth detection, so you end up fighting a lot. Stealth is a bit more complicated than in other games, and until you have a very high stealth relative to your enemy's skill, you'll need to pay attention to the direction they're facing and the amount of light you're doesn't just make you invisible. Camouflage and crouching (v) can help up your stealth a bit in the moment, and there are some very effective stealth armor fittings. Once you get up to 1000 stealth, for instance, a 60% boost is nothing to sneeze at.

If you're still in the tutorial area, train stealth against stationary invading footsoldiers in the initial valley. They stand in one place and don't turn around, so you can sneak up behind them and generally get 15-30 seconds before they notice you. You can get stealth up to around 10-20 with them without too much trouble, just patience. Once you're out in the world, what you really need are high level enemy NPCs who don't move around a lot, so you can just stand near them but out of their sight while your stealth improves. The trick to this is traveling to enemy cities/villages and sneaking around the NPC guards, which are usually at least level 50. It will take a while to find a good place to approach them from. And it can be hard to get to enemy cities too. I found that joining a rogue nation helped a lot, since I could then take the shuttle directly into enemy cities (once my thievery had turned everyone against me).

Thieving is hard to level for a different reason, because it makes you lose reputation with whoever you steal from (even if you're not caught you lose a little bit, which is weird, but whatever). Personally, I just decided to be okay with both major factions hating me, and living my life mostly in the shadows. But then again, I already had high stealth. If you don't want to worry about the reputation loss you have two options right now. One is to steal only from enemies. I started off doing this. It requires high stealth, but you can sneak or shuttle into an enemy city and find a nice empty room with stealable goods (don't pickpocket, that breaks your stealth and gets you attacked in an enemy city), then just keep stealing as long as you can, and try to run around a nearby corner or behind a wall when you get caught. After about 3-4 minutes the guards who show up to catch you will vanish on their own and you can go back to stealing. The second possible strategy is to steal only in Sept Falls and Kavo Hold. You'll lose reputation with the rogue faction, but unlike FPR and OWON they'll never actually get to the point where they attack you on sight, even after declaring you "an enemy". This would let you pickpocket and steal without having to level stealth first, to your heart's content. I think it's intentional, but that doesn't mean this won't change in the future.

The actual mechanics of stealing are important too. You can steal from shelves/objects, or you can pickpocket. Stealing from shelves/objects has a cooldown timer. You can only attempt it once every 45 seconds (the roll acrobatic ability has the same cooldown, so I use it to time out my thieving attempts). Pickpocketing doesn't appear to have a timer, but it actually sort of does. Once you successfully pickpocket someone, you aren't going to get anything else from that same NPC for a while (sometimes as much as a full in-game day) and I don't see skill gains either. So it helps to move from person to person if you're using pickpocketing to level thievery. There are some people who you just can't pickpocket, however (you will fail all the time and never see a skill gain, leading me to think it's not actually making checks), and others that will oddly insta-kill you. That's left over from the early days of the game and they haven't taken it out yet. You will sort of learn through trial and error who will cause insta-death and avoid them.

Finally, as a way of leveling both at once, you can steal from a shop/building (not pickpocketing, but stealing off a shelf) until you're caught, then run behind a nearby wall/barrier so they can't see you and stealth. The level 50 guard who shows up when you're caught will really help get stealth up quickly.

That's about it. I find that by stealing for an hour or so (and practicing other skills during the thievery cooldown), I can make at least as much money as I would by running missions. Books can be really lucrative, as well as medical and tech supplies.

J.C. Smith

Backer 1st 2nd 3rd 2012 2014
Posts: 5144

Re: Stealth and Thievery tips after playing a while

Post#2 » 30 Aug, 2015 3:32 am

This is a very useful list of tips.

Posts: 69

Re: Stealth and Thievery tips after playing a while

Post#3 » 08 Sep, 2015 3:34 am

J.C. Smith wrote:This is a very useful list of tips.
This is useful information. I played with stealth a bit but wasn't prepared to go rogue so I eventually gave up trying targets.

It might be worthwhile for staff to run some numbers trickery on the enemy "Scout Bots" that show up around the assorted cities to make them useful as lowbie stealthing targets. Make them very unobservant of stealthed figures, and do something to make them a higher-level target for the purposes of stealth only (or increase their rate xp checks, or whatever).

J.C. Smith

Backer 1st 2nd 3rd 2012 2014
Posts: 5144

Re: Stealth and Thievery tips after playing a while

Post#4 » 18 Sep, 2015 11:22 am

As it gives me a chance to bump this thread, here's a list of some container related changes which are upcoming in 15.10.1 for rogue types.

- There are many new types of locked containers. This includes training manuals, rare diamonds, fittings and in some very rare containers ability enhancements.
- Adjustments were made to the skill gain and chances of locked containers. This includes putting a limit on how trivial a container can be for you to get skill points from it. It's pretty loose though and you'll be able to reach 2050 skill from the simplest of containers.
- There is now a chance to destroy some containers when you fail to open them, it's small but there.
- Containers can now be trapped. Trapped containers will check your Trap Knowledge skill the first time you attempt to hack them. If you are successful it will disarm them, if not you will be afflicted by the trap. There are numerous different types of traps.
- The difficulty to hack the lock will be displayed in a tooltip, it isn't an exact difficulty but it will list things like Trivial, Simple, Complex, etc.
- Containers will be a more common reward than was previously the case.


Early Access
Posts: 112

Re: Stealth and Thievery tips after playing a while

Post#5 » 20 Apr, 2017 6:44 am

The guards in Kaavo Hold do turn aggressive if you lose faction rating with them. I know since they shoot me constantly. If the lone guard at their shuttles could be moved so he did not immediately start shooting me when I arrive it would be nice, btw.

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Early Access
Posts: 18

Re: Stealth and Thievery tips after playing a while

Post#6 » 09 Sep, 2017 12:10 am

Ha Ha.. another skill set to add to my list as I start leveling all over again on a new server.

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