A devastating melee attack from behind the enemy. Backstab is unique to Rogues and requires a piercing weapon. Double Backstab becomes available at level 55 automatically, and Triple Backstab is obtainable through Alternate Advancements (AAs).
Backstab is one of the more mechanically complex abilities from the classic attack skills system.
Effects of PositioningEdit
Backstab can only be used while in melee range and facing one's target.
If a rogue uses Backstab on the frontal arc of the target body, the Backstab skill will automatically "fail" with a message telling the rogue to get behind the target.
If a rogue uses Backstab on the rear arc of the target's body, an actual Backstab attempt will be executed, resulting in a melee swing that deals tremendously amplified damage if it hits.
A rogue who has purchased the level 59 Chaotic Stab AA will still execute an actual Backstab even when attacking the frontal arc of the target, but such a Backstab will always hit for its minimum possible damage value.
In the case of Backstab, the ability scales specifically with the "Backstab damage" value on the weapon equipped in the rogue's primary hand.
The backstab damage value is displayed between the Damage and Delay values of all one-hand piercing weapons. In most cases this value is equal to the weapon's actual damage stat, but on some higher-level equipment the backstab damage value is lower, presumably in an effort by the developers to curb backstab damage from scaling too high as weapons grow more powerful.
(Stub, insert actual math about how backstab damage scales.)
The fact that Backstab deals effective damage only when executed from behind a target is one of the major factors motivating players of rogues to constantly be partnered either with a tank or with a class like a wizard or necromancer that can both snare targets and kite effectively while holding aggro.