Updated Mon, Nov 08, 2010 by gunky
Burglar objecting to having a warg sneeze purple mist directly into his
Soloing with a Burglar is not "easy" in the same sense that it is easy for a Champion or a Guardian. It is easy, but in a different way. Burglar soloing requires strategy and planning, and once you have those down, Burglars have a very high survival rate.
Soloing is slower with a Burglar that with a lot of other classes. They do not have the raw DPS of Hunters or Champions, though they can hit large numbers in small bursts. Stealth can play an important role in soloing, particularly at lower levels, and stealthy Burglars move slower than non-stealthed Burglars. The class has no area-effect attacks - all of their damaging attacks are single-target - and they don't regularly hit staggering numbers like Hunters using Heartseeker or Runekeepers using Epic Conclusion.
Single mobs require little in the way of planning, but the strategy will depend on the mob type and how the Burglar is traited. For example, a Burglar with mostly Quiet Knife traits will get up behind the target in stealth mode, apply a debuff or two and open with a giant Surprise Strike. A Burglar traited for the Gambler may want to try to apply a further debuff by using the Burgle skill if the target is a humanoid, which will make an initial Surprise Strike hit even harder. A Mischief-Maker Burglar may want to Riddle first and ask questions later. However it plays out, the strategy is basically the same: acquire the target, apply debuffs, attack, apply more debuffs.
all Burglars are rotten, devious sneaks who will steal your loot and
stab you in the back. Some of them don't use Sneak at all.
For groups of mobs, the same tactic applies: select one target, apply debuffs, attack, apply more debuffs. If the mobs are humanoid or dragon-kind, at least one of them can be kept in check with Riddles, and can be "locked down" for as long as needed if the Burglar is attentive and careful. If the mobs are beasts or other creature types that cannot be affected by Riddle or Confound, they can be kept partially controlled by other types of stuns and roots - Exploit Opening, Startling Twist, A Small Snag or the gamble from Mischievous Glee/Mischievous Delight, among others, can all be used in this manner. However, since Burglars have no area-effect damaging attacks, group fights will need to be more carefully planned than one-on-one fights. The Burglar always needs to know the quickest way out, and for particularly tough fights he will want to have his "panic button" skills ready to go at a moment's notice. It is usually a good idea to take out the more difficult targets first and save the easier ones for after, saving long-cooldown skills until they are absolutely needed.
There is not really one trait line that is "best" for soloing - all three have their merits, and trait selection is highly subjective among Burglars. Quiet Knife makes stealth- and positional-based attacks stronger, Mischief-Maker improves crowd-control and the Gambler line adds more debuffs to the Burglar's already-powerful arsenal. Selecting traits is going to be a matter of personal taste according to the strategies that work best for the individual player. Some Burglars do not really use stealth much at high levels, even for soloing, and equipping traits that improve stealth and stealth-based attacks doesn't make much sense for them. Others use stealth heavily and don't much care for Gambler debuffs, so will trait for devastating sneak attacks.
Planning requires preparation - Burglars need lots of potions and other consumables. The class comes with a good assortment of self-heals, but power consumption can be problematic when soloing. The critical chain in particular burns through a lot of power fast, so if the fight looks like it's going to run long, use those skills sparingly and space them out.
With careful timing, it is possible to land a small string of other attacks in between the tiered crit-chain attacks - once the chain is unlocked, the Burglar has a few seconds to use the attacks before the timer expires on them. After hitting a critical, the Burglar can hit Cunning Attack and Subtle Stab before using Burglar's Advantage. Burglar's Advantage unlocks the 2nd tier of the chain, and he will have a few seconds to land another Subtle Stab before hitting Double-Edged Strike. Again, this will burn a lot of power quickly, but the DPS spike makes up for it somewhat.
One area where solo Burglars are lacking is
the total lack of damaging ranged pull skills. All of their ranged
skills are "soft pulls," applying a debuff or a mez but doing no
Addle can be used as a ranged pull skill, but then the Burglar will
have to wait 15 seconds before using it again, during which time the
mob may decide to use an induction skill that should be interrupted.
Hobbit Burglars can slot the racial trait Stoop for a Stone, which
gives them a short-range damaging attack and has a small chance to stun
the target for a few seconds, but the damage is miniscule and not
significantly better than pulling with Addle or Riddle. Race of Man
Burglars don't have this option, and when Addle and Riddle are not
viable methods of pulling they must engage the mobs directly.