|Basic (4 pt): Increases your lockpicking interaction speed by 25%.|
|Ace (8 pt): You can now silently crack safes by hand. Further increases your lockpicking interaction speed by 25%.|
The 25% bonus from the basic skill and from the aced skill stack additively to grant a total speed bonus of 50%. Players with the skill aced will be able to pick doors and deposit boxes exactly twice as quickly as players without it. Players with the aced version of this skill are able to lockpick safes, as well as other special items, like the counting machines in Big Bank. Lockpicking safes, regardless of size, takes 45 seconds. Titan safes cannot be lockpicked.
Lockpicking safes is a very useful skill when a safe must be opened stealthily. The money safes on Nightclub, the manager's safe in Big Bank, and the FBI safe on Firestarter Day 2 are ideal candidates to be picked because stealth is paramount on those missions. Technicians with the Silent Drilling skill provide an alternative stealthy method of cracking safes, but without the speed and mobility of a player with this skill.
On loud missions, Lockpicking Expert can also be useful, as the 45 second picking time is still faster than any drill. For large sized safes, the rapid lockpicking speed compared to a drill is even more noticeable. A technician with Shaped Charge aced is likely a better candidate to open safes, as the charges can easily open even large safes in half the time of a ghost with Lockpicking Expert aced. However, should the technician run out of charges or have a desire to save them to use as trip mines, this skill provides an excellent alternative.
Generally speaking, though, this skill mostly confers benefits only to those who prefer to pick locks in stealth and/or with a crew. As picking a lock takes time and camps the player at the immediate area adjacent to the lock, they are left vulnerable should an enemy walk in on the picking. The process can be interrupted but will reset the progress meter if one chooses to do so. Lastly, this skill is useless against Titan safes.
Since there are other faster methods of getting through safes/locked doors (i.e. a Saw, Shaped Charges, shooting the locks...), one should only pick this skill if they would like to handle the heist in stealth, are somewhat proficient at managing their surroundings, are confident that they can pick a safe/door uninterrupted and need to use those skill points for a non-technician tree (eg: Fugitive-Ghost). Using a Silent Drill is indeed slower, but it also frees up a player to watch out for guards and/or handling other objectives while the drill is underway, and is far lower in its respective skill tree.
- This skill is rendered less useful for most heists in Death Wish difficulty, since it replaced pickable safes with TITAN safes. It's aced safe-cracking ability is also oddly useless in the two stealth-only heists of the game; Shadow Raid and Car Shop, although the increased speed on regular interactions may still assist.