| You look around you. Everywhere in Felucca
you see menacing figures lurking in shadows, sense thieves stealing past
you, see thugs brazenly standing in the daylight, known criminals laughing
at justice. By the bank, linchpins of the very economy, the situation
is even worse. Some banks are infested with scum training and practicing
their craft. British's guards sometimes intervene, but often miss the
nefarious activities of the more skilled scoundrels. And, of course, outside
the small protected zones, the thief operates with impunity.
Every day there are more. Attracted by the exhortations of the Secret
Society, or lured by the scent of an easy profit.
Few stop them. Few are versed in their ways yet hate them. But you are
an exception, you are a detective, licensed to detect crimes, hunt criminals
and exact whatever justice you see fit.
You will have few helpers. The guards will ignore you. The citizenry
you seek to protect will largely spurn you. And the art itself, the
skills of being a detective, have been mostly forgotten. Let me, Heathwalker,
explain how you can help repel the tide, and teach you a little of the
half-forgotten profession of Detective.
And never forget, there is one basic job at the heart of the detective
Detect the crime, find the thief, apprehend (kill)
Where to start, and what to do.
Britain is the most common place to find thieves, but for starting
off you will be no match for most thieves. Far more important is to
train hard for the initial period, and, perversely, the company of thieves
will help you learn more quickly. And, the closer you are to them, the
more you study their ways and habits, the better a detective you will
become. Thieves are everywhere, but, depending on the shard, there are
particular concentrations in Moonglow and Britain.
Most detectives aim for strength of between 90 and 100, dexterity of
between 90 and 100, and 25 intelligence. Set these attributes accordingly.
You need to be strong enough to kill thieves when you find them. Hence
the need for high strength and dexterity. There are two basic categories
of thieves you will come across, Scoundrels, or pure thieves, with limited
resistance to your halberd, and Thugs, thieves with GMed fighting skills,
who are usually Despicable. Beware the latter. They kill many a detective.
However against both you will need the following -
There are three important detective-specific ones, plus an array of
additional generic skills. Full details on how to raise skills in-game
can be found later in the essay
For other skills it is recommended that you pursue a combat skill, rather
then magic. As most of your work is involved inside town, magic is normally
a disadvantage here. This is only a recommendation. If you choose a sword
or fencing skill, it is a great advantage to have an ally who can provide
you will deadly poisoned weapons.
- Detect Hidden
By far the easiest to raise. You should start with nothing here, and
buy the skill. Training it higher is simple.
- Forensics (50) Fairly
hard to raise, and an essential character skill
- Tracking (49) Used to hunt thieves. This is not easy to raise, and
starting with 49 will help.
- Other (1) To get a newbiefied item, try 1 point in, say, healing,
to provide you with scissors. Not crucial
My own character has
Anatomy - Improves damage
and helps with healing. It also helps you size up your opponent before
dealing with them.
Swords - Helps swinging the Halberd (more on that later)
Tactics - Part of learning
Healing - Bandages are
cheaper for healing, slightly longer but can also handle poison later
on (which some thieves prefer to use). Healing people can also help
you later on when you need backup.
Many recommend low level magery to help you move around, and some swear
by archery as a distance-based combat skill.... Many thieves are able
to disarm you in hand-to-hand combat.
Raising detective skills.
Enables you to reveal hidden objects, or in this case, thieves. An
easy skill to raise, but it's advisable to buy it up to 20 from a thief
guildmaster NPC so you can get rid of the 10-second delay when you target
objects instead of areas. It is simple to GM, mostly because when it
is used it checks all available items in range. It can be GMed in several
power hours simply by going to the box room in the West Brit Warriors'
Guild... put on circle of transparency, and you will see a small room
just through the west of the entrance. Any provisioner's will do too.
If you get 'stuck' in the Warrior Guild, you need to leave for awhile
and come back, and crossing server lines helps. You can GM this in less
than 45 minutes from 20 if you hop from one server to another! Some
use houses that have locked down trapped chests you can practice on.
This skill is relatively easy to raise to 90, if tedious, with apparently
marginal incremental benefits. Raise it by use on anything that has
had a crime committed on it. Simple. So, go to the box room in the Warriors
Guild in Britain, or anywhere where urchins open boxes, steal etc. Try
it on corpses, animal or human. It is a pain to raise, boring etc.,
but will work. Also try beggars, NPC thieves and thief guildmasters.
Why raise it? Firstly you fail less. Secondly, you are a detective,
it's a kind of have-to-have skill. Thirdly, at higher levels you can
blow thief disguises. Don't kill yourself to GM it though.
It is best to set up a hot key to automatically use this skill in conversation
etc. It just needs lots of use. Alternately you can get on a boat and
keep trying it... this works well, though is hardly in the spirit of
With higher skill levels you can track further afield, As simple as
that. I personally have mine set at 70... more than enough for most
situations. To use in-game, when you want to track someone, use the
skill while they are still around. A screen appears, allowing you to
select human, animal or monster. Choose human, then scroll through t
select the individual. The game will then keep track of the individual,
telling you which direction the target is in.
What the thieves say
Stolen from thief FAQ:
How can I avoid those few Detectives/Thief Killers
Why would you want to avoid them? They spice up the game! If you must...
Beware stealing when you think someone is using Forensics Evaluation
on you, you can be noticed a lot easier 2 minutes after it's used
on you. Any aspiring Detective can just use FE on all the Thieves
around the bank and be a great assistance to all the players. If anyone
is chasing you using the Tracking skill, you pretty much are in trouble
unless you can use Stealth. If the tracker is beside you and they
move through you, stealth away in the opposite direction. When the
tracker starts to move again in your direction, move off to one side.
They will think you have moved off their tracking compass at that
location. Maintain that direction until they start moving towards
If the pursuant is looking for you while your are hidden, and they
already initiated combat, hit Tab twice to get yourself out of combat
mode and turn off Auto-Defend. If you know there is a detective around,
you can always ask a Guard where the person is by their name, i.e.:
"Guard, where is XXX?" If the guard has seen him or her,
he will tell you.
It is strongly recommended that you wear a guard's costume when working.
For this it is more of an advantage to be female then male, as female
guards wear leather, where as male guards wear plate armor (which slows
Carry one or two newbie books and one or two other newbie items, and
one or two empty pouches. Also carry more than one sword...... Many
thieves have the ability to disarm you. I also carry several potions,
of strength, dexterity, healing. Beyond that carry little else. If a
thief tries to random steal they have more chance of hitting a newbie
item and failing. Don't forget that if you carry any weapon bar a halberd,
disarm thieves can disarm you and steal it, and use it on you. With
a halberd they disarm but cannot steal.
Where do I find thieves?
Because of the changes in perma-grey, it is very hard to catch them
in town, unless they are gray, in which case they are fair game for
Try all lowlife outside town... with sufficient forensics you will
see if they are thief, in which case attack at will.
Thieves also hang around a lot just outside guard zones, to avoid, obviously,
Try player events/player towns, again sources of pickings away from
Try dungeons, particularly popular Felucca places like Deceit
Try the major moongates, particularly Moonglow and Britain.
Lastly, and an absolute staple, find and kill the noble killers. Thieves
and other scum regularly kill nobles and seekers of adventure by luring
them just outside a town and robbing and killing them. Though a change
has recently been implemented to give these bloodsucking aristocrats,
err noble souls, protection with henchmen, they need to pay the mercenaries,
so if the thief robs the noble's gold first he can kill with impunity.
This is such a common pastime, but beware, noble killers are often stronger
than town thieves. Which brings us on to types of thief......
Thug (combat) thief.
By far the most deadly. This thief trains in combat and most if not
all will rip you to shreds. Most combat thieves tend to have a good
weapon in hand, as they know anyone who tries to attack isn't going
to get their hands on it easy. Using anatomy as well helps detecting
these. Also watch out for poisoned weapons.
In some cases as hard as the combat thief. Only hard to catch or kill.
This thief excels in hiding, stealth and running. In most cases your
best chance to kill them is surprise and running them to ground (hard).
This thief is a master of disguise (they don't just slap on white wig
and can have non standard karma). They may also be a defensive or combat
thief, but in general can lose you by changing their disguise. These
thieves may be few and far between, but as they are hard to find it's
hard to count.
Skilled enough to disarm your weapon if you attack him, and steal it
from you to. This type is likely to try to provoke you, but rarely has
any combat skills.
Non guilded thief.
These are people who steal but have not yet joined the thieves guild.
These are sometimes the most easy to find and kill. Most do not bother
hiding their Karma so you can pick them off that way. Make a note of
their name as well. If they do take up the professional stealing you
know their name. Don't forget that only guilded thieves cannot give
you a murder count.
NOTO Killers (not a thief)
If someone is wandering around town or country gray, there is a good
chance they are waiting for someone to attack so they can kill them
without getting a murder count. This is where Forensics comes in handy.
Normally a NOTO killer is lot more dangerous then a combat thief and
should be avoided. (Strange but in this case Thieves help keep the town
clean of NOTO killers as they can loot them blind and the NOTO killer
can do nothing to stop them).
Other things to note.
The disguise kit used by thieves gives them bright white hair and a
NPC name. But don't assume that someone with white hair and a NPC name
is automatically a thief. Some thieves tend to wear black clothing as
well, or have a large set of newbie clothes (for disguises).
Making notes of dead gray bodies sometimes tell you the name of a thief
working the area.
Perma is short for "Permanently Gray". When someone steals
from a blue character (NPC, Player or pet) they turn gray for two minutes.
Everyone may be able see this. After the two minutes are up they appear
blue to everyone EXCEPT the person they stole from.
Because of recent changes, it is now impossible to tell if a character
is a thief in town AND then attack him. You can tell he is a thief of
course, simply by using the Forensics skill on him, but this DOES NOT
give you any in-town privileges. To reiterate, even if the skill tells
you "This individual is a thief" you cannot attack him in
town, unless he is otherwise gray or perma. You WILL be guard-whacked.
Outside town, of course, you can pick a fight, sure in the knowledge
that there will be no count, but it is of course at your risk.
Inside town, you cannot prosecute the criminals any more than with
any other character.
Perma gray from the thief's viewpoint.
1) You are blue, but perma-grey (Thus gray to the one you stole from)
Detective is blue, to you and others
2) Detective attacks you (outside town), he turns gray to you, but stays
blue to others. You will turn gray to the detective, but will stay blue
to others (except the one you stole from)
3) Another player joins in, he is blue. Then he attacks you, he turns
gray to you, but stays blue to others, as you are
"perma-grey", you will turn gray to him too.
4) If you die, your corpse will be gray If you get away, you will be
blue in 2 minutes after the last attack.
5) if you see the detective again, he now has to make a choice, either
attack again (and if you are still perma-grey, all starts again from
the beginning. If you lost your perma-grey, he will turn gray to others.
The most important factor in fighting is surprise! A combat thief will
kill quickly if warned, and a defensive thief will outrun you. This
is where dressing up as a guard helps. When you are dressed as a guard
you put everyone at ease. It allows you to wander around and close to
You should have the following actions bound to keys (in your macros)
||Yell "You will regret thine actions! Swine!"
This will scare the living daylights out of the thief letting you
get in the first few whacks and they will sometimes sit there for
a few seconds thinking they are being guard whacked
|Macro #4, #5
||Should be a yell saying something like "Stop
thief!" or "Freeze Police!". You should yell this
occasionally when chasing the thief so as to let people know what
you are doing (some will help, others will hinder you).
||Attack Last Target
Now the fun begins.
The thief now knows you are not a guard, but in fact a detective. Some
will call the guards, some will run, some will attack (and some will
just sit there and take it). If they attack, then backing off or letting
them chase you can be an advantage as you can get them to a more remote
location (which helps). Never continue combat if you can't win, you
can always get them again.
If the thief is a defensive thief, they will start running trying to
lose you to hide then stealth. When chasing them Yell for them to stop
(Macro #4, #5) Also if they turn a corner keep hitting "Attack
Last Target" as it helps stop them from hiding easily (it's still
possible for them, just not easy). The attack last target will help
sometimes force them to break hide by defending.
When chasing a defensive thief, try to run them to areas with fewer
people. This keeps others from interfering (to others you will both
If the thief manages to hide do not do detect hidden straight away!
Do tracking first. Once you have the person tracked it will be nearly
impossible for them to lose you while stealthing. Also if they change
their disguise while hidden you can find them straight away.
In a crowded area in town, where tracking can be difficult, you can
always ask a town guard "Guard, where is [name]" and the Guard
will give you directions if he has seen the thief.
When tracking it's important to know that the furthest away appear first
in the list. This is why secluded areas are helpful as you have less
to scroll through. If you are sure you are standing right beside the
thief who is hidden, they will always be last in the list if no one
else is near.
Once they are tracked, start the detect hidden. Another trick to try
is to have low level purple potions. Stand where the thief is hidden
and double click the potion but do not throw it, it will explode hurting
you and the thief, but will force the thief out of hiding.
If the thief manages to lose you and comes back a few minutes later
check their status bar. If their health is low it's possible they killed
themselves to lose their perma. Either way check their perma gray before
Looting the bad guy:
When you catch people, for sure take their weapon. There is nothing
like a bad temper and a weapon. It keeps people from direct attacking
you again once they are ressed and healed. Also take all their gold.
If the corpse is "gray", try to loot as much as you can. Put
it in a spare bag in your backpack. When the criminal returns and acts
nice. (No shouting, No Noob calling, etc.) return their items if this
is your style, minus the gold and the weapons. Remember if you are to
be a successful detective, you will become well known, and acting like
a licensed player killer may not be in your own best interest.
Sometimes people offer you money for not attacking. I only accept money
from people I have killed before and killing them again can become boring
(to both of us). Most noble thieves and killers have plenty of money,
so we don't make it too cheap. I (have asked for) was given 500-2000
gp for a half-hour of peace.
Death and interaction.
Never carry more then you are prepared to lose. Wear GM armor and carry
a GM weapon and some bandages. If you die, chalk it up to experience
and re-equip and get out on the streets. You will never win every battle,
but never give in. You will get them eventually. When chasing a thief
never give up unless you are near death or exhausted.
Most thieves are lazy and easy (from no one dealing with them full time).
But the expert ones are more deadly or harder to hunt then other dangers
in the world. A skilled thug thief is one of the most menacing foes
you can face.
Over time you will gain fame amongst the underworld, so expect traps
Those thieves who are abusive, ignore. If they say they are going to
get someone to kill you (their other character), suggest that they take
up a different profession if they can't handle the heat. In all cases
be civil, protect the innocent and uphold the law.
Don't think of thieves as 'scum'. Some are of course annoying, some
deliberate griefers, but most are skilled players. Many of the thieves
I come across are characters of long-established UO players, and will
be pleased there are active competent detectives after them. Don't gloat
when you kill them, and don't let the irritating habits of the minority
cloud your judgment. If you are 'lucky' you will come across powerful
thief guilds such as the pan-shard Secret Society. You may find it rewarding
to cooperate occasionally with such types. In their ranks you will find
experienced players you can learn from, find out about habits etc.
If you come across other detectives, try to work with them. Share information
on hangouts, strategies, known ringleaders. There are few enough of
you to fight to tide of crime... don't see your fellow detective as
I wish you every success in the relentless struggle. I hope these words
help you to detect, chase & catch the thief, find and execute justice.
If you need more information, or help, please feel free to ask questions
on the The
Heathwalker, Grandmaster Detective, Europa.