There is a few abilities that bother me in the rogue tree and I would like to know if some people find them some uses : Smoke cloud & upgrades, Positioning, Ring the bell, Shadow Step & Flurry of blades.
Smoke cloud feel costy for applying Distracted when you can get persitant distraction. If you need a panic button, just better to use invisibility (that you must take). Applying Blind could be more interesting (alternative to blinding strike and in AOE). Smoke grenade upgrade make the ability a persistant AOE.
Another option, make smoke cloud a persistant AOE that distract & Hobble. People stuck inside the cloud have hard time to get out of it. Give you more CC. The dot upgrade add a DMG effect to the AOE.
Positioning : An inferior version of Escape that you unlock at PL7... As far I love my rogue to have more low cost abilities, I find this ability just uninteresting.
You could add a self buff to it (Rogue have none outside of PL 8 and it's a PL 7 ability!), if you switch with an ally you buff him too, with an enemy you debuff it.
Ring the bell : I find Pierce the bell fine (2 guiles for +45% dmg & +5PEN with ranged weapons), but the one handed melee lack luster. It's stuck between crippling strike (1guile) and Toxic strike (3guiles) that apply a more potent DOT. Just better to spam 2 crippling strikes or use one more guile and do more dmg?
Withering Strike : for a 3 guiles cost, I would boost the DMG to 40-50% or make the ACC bonus +20. The description say you strike a vital point, you could expect more chance to critic or more dmg. BEfore the up of all other rogue attacks, withering strike was the only ability with a dmg boost.
Shadow step : I don't see lot of people talking about it (or using it?). 3 cost to paralyse a target for 6sec? It's very situationnal. And flurry of blades is the ability that do lot of things (teleportation, buff, paralyse, aoe dmg) but nothing well?
I would just kill to get a separate flurry of blades ability that work like a buffed ghost blades at PL 7. Or make flurry of blades the first upgrade (you unleash an AOE ring of dagger before teleporting, with the hobbled effect) and the last upgrade (at PL8) Paralyse enemies hit by the daggers. For a PL8 ability at least you do an AOE paralyse.
About the bombes, I just wonder why obsidian created a specific skill. Compared to alchemy & arcana bombes offer less options. thematic wise the bombes feel at home with the rogue, I just wonder why they didn't use mechanic or sleight of hand to handle the bombe. The thief archetype is taxed with 3 out of combat skills, why not give them some combat use?
Same with stealth, only usefull at the start of the combat and some scripted events just block you from using this skill. Why not, like athletic, give a 1 per encounter hidding ability that allow you to restealth in middle of the combat?