Thugs are workers specialized in the dark side of the trade business, and thus one of the many ways the player interacts with the community of shopkeepers inside the game Swords and Potions. Their functions include defending your shop from other players' attacks, as well as directly threatening and damaging or compromising rival shopkeepers through spying, vandalizing, theft, and intimidation. They become available for hiring after the newbie protection status is lifted off.
It is however recommended not to hire a thug untill this becomes really useful, at around the time the shop is level 40.
Thugs who offer their services at your shop have their levels based on your shop level. Generally speaking, the most offered thug levels range between 35 and 60% of your shop level. However, sometimes they go as low as 15% of your shop level and reports have been confirmed that 92% of your shop level is also offered once.
The thug, as other crafters, comes with learning and cooperation skills. It is rumored that the cooperation skill gives a bonus to the defense, against other thugs, for members in your guild. The learning skills seem a bit distorted because other workers tend to be able to increase a lot more in skill than a thug does on average.
Thug's tasks no longer require real-time waiting, instead they take a number of game days for each task. If you stop playing while the thug is gone, the thug cannot protect your shop.
Except for Spying, the tasks will be unlocked at different shop levels (unless a player has purchased a Starter Pack).
It's the first task unlocked when hiring a thug. If successful, it will be easier to perform other thug tasks on the target shop for a set period of time. The number of stars show under the green arrow indicates how difficult it will be to successfully attack the target player. 0 stars = easy, 4 stars = very hard. There is randomness involved though, a 0 star can fail and, if you are very lucky, you might succeed on a 4 star. The player owning the attacking thug will also get a summary of the enemy playing time, money, top ten largest stacks of goods, top ten highest priced recipes, worker levels, guild affiliation, and 3 names of people who are enemies of the target. Spying takes one whole work day.
This operation is unlocked at shop level 15 or unlocked for 50 tokens. If successful, the user from the attacking thug will gain more customers (and questers?) for 1 game day. In addition, one of the target's improvements will be damaged, requiring gold to fix. Furthermore, the target will lose customers for 1 game day. This takes 4 game days to complete
Intimidation is unlocked at Shop level 25 or unlocked for 100 tokens. If successful, the shopworkers' from the attacking player have their stats enhanced by 25% for 1 game day (does affect learning [research] but not necessarily by 25%; does not affect cooperation). In addition, the target's workers lose morale. Intimidation takes 4 game days to complete. (The old negative effect may still apply: a direct reduction of the target's workers' stats by 25% for 1 game day.)
Unlocked at Shop level 40 or unlocked for 200 tokens. If successful, you will steal 2-10% of the target's gold or the whole stack of one of the target's items. There's no cap on how many coins/items can be stolen.
Item stack stolen is completely random selected. Even if noticed, name of the attacker is not revealed. The attacker's name is only shown (sometimes) if the thug is caught and/or sent to prison.
Burglary takes 7 game days to complete.
Failure & Locks (+ cooldown)Edit
There are two types of failures: simple failure and prison. While in prison, the thug continues to offer no protection to the shop and his salary is not paid; The thug can also be replaced by a newly hired thug without penalty. Moreover, the name of that shop has a high chance of being revealed to the target and the target's guild. It is then shown in the newsfeed. Time in prison for burglary is 4 game days but may vary depending on level differences and/ or difficulty of the operation. For other tasks chances for detention as well as times detained are smaller. A thug can be released immediately from prison for 100 tokens.
Except for spying, if one of these tasks succeeds or fails, then it is not possible to take further action against that same target again for 48 real-time hours (sometimes less when an operation failed). This is indicated by a red lock on the same line of the player's name in the Select Target or Search window. The cooldown against further action is not initiated by spying itself, but does include further spying.
Inter district targetingEdit
In general, you can only target players in the same district as you. Players in other districts will appear locked in the search menu, or with a blue shield if they are in the countryside (see image). The one exception to this rule occurs within guild challenges, where all players within the same challenge are targetable UNLESS they are in the countryside.
The guild challenge list is different from the search menu and does NOT indicate if a player is in the countryside. However, if the player you are trying to target happens to be in the countryside, you will get an error message saying you have recently attacked the player (similar to the message you get when you try to attack a recent target before the cooldown period is over).
There are a number of achievements specific to taking thug actions.One should not confuse thug employees with the special NPC thug that demands 2k gold and later 20k gold from you. The NPC is a special quest line offered by the game, and is not the result of the actions of other players. In particular it is recommended that one pay, although reports suggest that perhaps this is the unique quest line where not paying could be a good choice.
If you hire an applicant thug while your current thug is out on a mission for you, the mission will cancel as if nothing happened. The new thug stays in the shop, and you can give him the same mission immediately.