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This article was written by the god Dentin, and was posted on Oct 02, 2013. It was last updated on Oct 02, 2013.

The Thief class on Alter Aeon is a bit of a specialist class, with several sets of unusual, niche skills. It can be harder to play than other straight combat or healer classes, but can also be very powerful when used correctly.

One common complaint about thief is that it relies more on preparation and collected knowledge than other classes. As examples, when stealing from towns or other areas, it's best to scope out targets in advance and know where the most profitable, least dangerous areas are. Similarly, when attempting to fight very dangerous creatures, you must prepare the items and attack strategies you'll be using. If you're not willing to put in some thought and planning, you probably won't be able to use the class to its full potential.

This article goes over the various thief skill groups and their general usage, as well as talks about different playing styles.

Combat Oriented Skills - Day to Day Combat

In general, it's best to divide combat into two different categories: every day combat, such as for experience runs or as a side effect of your other actions, as opposed to fame hunting of large, very dangerous creatures.

For day to day combat, the thief 'Fighting Skills' and 'Shadow Disciplines' are the primary skill sets. The relevant combat skills are:

When combined in battle, these can help you take care of any small fry and increase your average damage output. Keep in mind that with any kind of melee combat, it's worth reading and understanding The Mechanics of Melee Combat.

Combat Oriented Skills - Fame and Large Creatures

While it's always good to have various base skills for doing damage, the default thief melee skills aren't very good at handling extremely powerful creatures. For these, thieves have a few extra, specialized tools.

The first of these specialized tools is poison. Poisons must be brewed in advance, and can be bottled for future use. While there is an up front investment, using poisons against large creatures can dramatically reduce regen and can sometimes be sufficient to kill the creature on its own. There are also type specific poisons, such as dragonbane, which are extremely effective against certain types of creatures. For more information about brewing and using thief poisons, see our article on The Black Art of Poison Brewing.

The second specialized tool is the use of thrown grenades. Grenades are built in advance, and can be thrown from afar against creatures that are far too dangerous to face directly. The down side of grenades, other than that they must be prepared in advance, is that it can take a huge number of them against very large creatures.

A final shout-out goes to the thief Backstab skill, which deserves a mention here. Backstab is an extremely powerful combat starting skill, and if it is safe to do so, opening with a good backstab can sometimes kill even the most powerful creatures outright. For more information about backstabbing, see our Guide to Backstabbing.

Non-Combat Experience

All classes have ways of obtaining experience that don't involve combat, and thief is no exception. The three primary non-combat exp mechanisms for thief are stealing, brewing, and tinkering.

Collecting spell components and brewing poisons and antidotes is a mid level option. Thief brewing works very similarly to mage brewing, and you get experience when you manage successful brews. Having a steady supply of ingredients for a few good poison brews can dramatically increase your experience gathering power. For more information on brewing poisons, see our guide on The Black Art of Poison Brewing.

Similarly, tinkering can be a good source of experience for higher level players. This involves finding and using spell components to build grenades. In general, tinkering also requires a small amount of gold for various custom components while crafting grenades.

The final major source of experience is applicable to nearly all levels, and revolves around theft of various kinds. From shoplifting and palming to stealing of both items and gold, theft can be both a major experience and gold source. One down side of theft is that it can be dangerous, with both guards and targets attacking and trying to hunt you down. The other major down side is that theft requires a large area to do properly. You will have to scope out several areas, figure out the best targets, and rotate through them over time so as to let your reputation fade in each area.


One of the major tools that thieves have are those favoring exploration. These skills primarily consist of:

Each of these provides information about the area you are in, lets you navigate it in a stealthy fashion, allows you to bypass various dangerous, or in the case of shadow asylum, gives you a safe hiding location for temporary escape. For more information, please see our articles on the thief Shadow Disciplines, and Stealth and Hiding.

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