This cannot possibly go badly.
I was expecting to get one decent hit, and then promptly get flattened.
Instead, my rogue was fast. Very fast. He got off a solid hit, then followed it up with a slash and a finisher, with the giant dead before it could respond.
He's certainly squishier than the paladin I hope to make someday, for which I have low expectations (melee and healing don't seem to mix well, ever). While he has more armor than my mage, he's stuck in melee for damage and is less mobile (no fast bow movement yet), with pitiful healing as well. It's not all bad news. Shields seem to actually do something, not just blocking, since the bash ability has many uses, from interrupt to set-up for counter-attack.
It's the stealth that ruins rogues. In WoW it is the absurdity of combat, that strangest of mechanics which gives mobs the amazing ability to always know my exact location, regardless of line of sight, light, and noise. Once in combat it is often impossible to get out until one side is entirely dead. Being in combat negates stealth and sneaking. If you're not sneaking, why are you a rogue?
Skyrim actually pulled it off. Enemies may be alerted, without being omniscient, though I have noticed that they are sometimes at the opposite extreme, searching in the exact wrong direction: "I think I saw something! Over here in this brightly lit corner behind me, nowhere near those suspiciously well-placed shadows where if I squint I can just barely make out the silhouette of an elf." Even if they spot me they are not permanently on my tail. But I might question why, if someone next to them just died to an arrow to the chest, they would ever revert to a fully relaxed state. I'm not saying they would be permanently hunting for me, but the order of events should never go like this:
1 - Fellow bandit dies to arrow in the chest (knee wounds, while notoriously debilitating, also also rarely fatal)
2 - "What was that?"
3 - NYD bandit wanders around a bit, looking for something.
4 - NYD bandit returns to corpse of dead fellow bandit
5 - "I guess it was nothing."
My rogue feels right. He can sneak around and pick of targets here and there. He avoids groups when possible, waiting for wandering members to be isolated. He can, if things get really bad, go toe-to-toe with enemies, but it is not a pretty process. When fighting wolves, one of the finishing moves is to kick them before stabbing them. It really helps reinforce the idea that my character is a huge jerk.
This one time, he killed an entire instance full of bandits, except one guy, patrolling near the middle. Now he can finish his patrol and know that not only is everyone dead, but that he's surrounded by the corpses, and surrounded by his own failure as a guard. I'm imagining him as an utterly broken man. Or, if he's like me, he's looting their corpses and throwing out the bits that have a low value/weight ratio. I hope he's not like me. I frighten myself. It's pretty hit or miss if I kill everyone in a place or if I only kill the one and only one target, leaving all the rest leaderless and shocked. I killed a woman at her wedding. Then I stole her wedding dress. My first ever murder was a bard who charged too much for his awful singing. When told to pick who should die in order to join the Dark Brotherhood I killed all three of them, but picked the woman with the family first. Sometimes I beat rabbits to death to steal their souls, in order to recharge my mace that steals souls, which was gifted to me by a definitely evil demon prince.
Oh yea, screw stealth, what's the point of being a rogue if you can't be an utterly evil person? Maybe I should try this Star Wars game; I've heard it has some unsavory classes.
22 hours ago