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Cipher Weapons


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#41
Boeroer

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Both (melee or ranged) works well with a cipher. When ranged there are three approaches which grant good focus:

1. Quick Switch + multiple guns or arbalests or crossbows: you want to get as many weapon sets as possible (Island Aumaua + Arms Bearer talent = 4 weapon sets) and fill them with your weapom s of choice, e.g. arquebuses. Once you want to focus you switch to an unfired weapon set and shoot. This can give you immense focus bursts when you need them, but only 4 times until you have to reload. Another variant is to use a bow or implement for the 4th weapon set and use that after all guns got fired.
Pro: very fast focus gain at the beginning of the combat
Con: slower focus gain once you used all guns, intensive micromanagement because of manual switching
Special feature: there's a crossbow in the game that works with every weapon focus and shoots two times before you have to reload and it also gives +3 extra focus per shot for ciphers.

I would recommend 4 arquebuses.

2. Bows:
Yeah and that's basically it. :) Bows have higher sustained DPS when the fights are longer. Hunting Bows are faster and do better against foes with low DR, war bows also work ok against armored foes but are slower.
Pro: higher DPS
Con: sometimes takes a few more shots to get enough focus against high DR foes.
Special feature: there's a Hunting Bow in the game that works with every weapon focus causes -6 shock DR on the target and does shock damage (works with Heart of the Storm talent).

I would use war bows.

3. Implements:
Same as bows basically, implements have a bit less base damage but two damage types which can be a big advantage against foes who are resistant or immune to pierce damage as well as meeting foes who are vulnerable to crush or slash. There's also an implement with the speed enchantment fairly early in the game (Engwythan Scepter) which will be the best ranged DPS (or better: focus per second) option overall for a cipher - at that point in the game.
Pro: very flexible, better DPS when meeting pierce resistant foes or foes who have a certain weakness.
Con: a bit less DPS against foes with no special resistance to pierce damage
Special feature: there's a rod in the game that shoots two projectiles instead of one and it can proc a spell on hit that lowers enemies' DR by 5 points and debuffs their defenses.

I would aim for the Golden Gaze (rod, ruffian) or stick to the Engwythan Sceptre (scepter, noble). The good thing with wands rods and scepters is that they are both in the same weapon group and thus you can cover all physical damage types (crush/slash/pierce) with a wand rod and a scepter in your weapon slots.

All those approaches work well. At the moment I like the implements best.


Edited by Boeroer, 19 April 2017 - 04:16 PM.


#42
dgray62

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Aren't rods Noble weapons, like scepters? I thought only wands were different, Adventurer, I think.



#43
smjjames

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Aren't rods Noble weapons, like scepters? I thought only wands were different, Adventurer, I think.

 

Yep, says so on the wiki.



#44
Ensign

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Scepters and Rods are the ones that share a weapon focus, so you get the Engwithan Scepter early, and later can mix in Golden Gaze or Pretty Pretty's Rib.  It's a solid choice, especially since you get reasonable options both early and later in the game.

 

War Bow does have the advantage of sharing a mastery with Wands, so you can always stick one of those in your off-slot for pierce immunes (though there aren't any sexy unique DPS wands in the game) - but you don't get the really good War Bows until late (unless you opt to ally with the Dozens).  Of course, unless you're swinging at a pierce immune a vanilla warbow is going to perform similarly to the Engwithan Scepter at the points in the game where those are the relevant choices.

 

 

I have a preference for War Bows on high Dex Ciphers and a preference for Scepters on high Might Ciphers, which more or less splits the difference between the two - but YMMV.



#45
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Yes, sorry, it was rod + scepter that are in the same weapon group. Not wand & scepter. Thanks for pointing out. 



#46
dgray62

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I always found it a bit strange that rods, wands & scepters do not share the same weapon focus. It seems counterintuitive; once you specialize in one type of implement it should be pretty easy to use any type of implement. But I'm sure all of the Eothasian priests out there are happy that wands share the Adventurer focus with flails!



#47
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Why is that?

#48
smjjames

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I guess for balance reasons?

 

Though it does seem slightly counterintuitive, yeah, since wands, scepters, and rods, are all things you shoot magic out of. Though Durance prefers to hit things with his (yeah, I know, it's a staff, not a wand/scepter/rod).



#49
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No, I meant: why should all of the Eothasian priests out there be happy that wands share the Adventurer focus with flails?



#50
Blades of Vanatar

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Scepters and Rods are the ones that share a weapon focus, so you get the Engwithan Scepter early, and later can mix in Golden Gaze or Pretty Pretty's Rib. It's a solid choice, especially since you get reasonable options both early and later in the game.

War Bow does have the advantage of sharing a mastery with Wands, so you can always stick one of those in your off-slot for pierce immunes (though there aren't any sexy unique DPS wands in the game) - but you don't get the really good War Bows until late (unless you opt to ally with the Dozens). Of course, unless you're swinging at a pierce immune a vanilla warbow is going to perform similarly to the Engwithan Scepter at the points in the game where those are the relevant choices.


I have a preference for War Bows on high Dex Ciphers and a preference for Scepters on high Might Ciphers, which more or less splits the difference between the two - but YMMV.


You don't have to ally with the dozens to purchase Borresaine. Just do Osric's quest and the store becomes available. I think Borresaine is the by far the best early game now do to its special ability.

#51
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Well, Borresaine can be bought from the guy at the market. Named Irgrun or so - not the Dozens. Cloudpiercer is the war bow you'll get from the dozens if you do "The Bronze beneath the Lake", and that's indeed the second faction quest which will lock you out of the other factions. However, you can also simply kill Wenan (and all other Dozens) and loot the bow from his corpse.



#52
Blades of Vanatar

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Well, Borresaine can be bought from the guy at the market. Named Irgrun or so - not the Dozens. Cloudpiercer is the war bow you'll get from the dozens if you do "The Bronze beneath the Lake", and that's indeed the second faction quest which will lock you out of the other factions. However, you can also simply kill Wenan (and all other Dozens) and loot the bow from his corpse.


Derp! You're right, my bad. Mixing up my bows. Cloudpiercer is meh though. Borresaine rocks.

Never tried this.... if you kill Irgun what does he drop?

#53
smjjames

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I fully expect the merchants to be level 16 fighters or whatever. lol.



#54
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Hehe, no - they are mainly wussies.



#55
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Never tried this.... if you kill Irgun what does he drop?

Nothing special. And all of Copperlane turns hostile. Wouldn't do that. ;)

 

The dozens however are such idiots - I really like to wipe them out.

 

Cloudpiercer is not bad, too. It is rending (3 DR bypass) and has a spell striking (Jolting Touch). But I also think Borresaine is better because of the stunning enchantment.


Edited by Boeroer, 20 April 2017 - 07:01 AM.


#56
MasterCipher

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Having come back to the game in prep for POE2 and booking up properly on lashes.

 

Cipher Weapons

I used to be big on ranged weapons, but if you like strategizing for risk/reward, I think the melee payoff for damage output and focus gain is worth it.

 

Duel Bittercuts are great, but you have to wait a long time before you can clone a legendary with the mold.

Same is true for duel wounding daggers, but worsened by fact that wounding doesn't generate focus.

You don't need duplicate Tidefall, but the damage mechanic itself for wounding doesn't work as intended - more INT results in less damage and a Cipher can't afford low INT.

Knockdown and Annihilation greatsword is solid all around, but the prone affect is short and redundant for most parties and obviously useless against prone immune.

Firebrand gloves, quite frankly are top weapon dps for cipher. It's "only" Damage III, but the base damage is much higher than a regular 2 hander. Damage modifiers benefit significantly from higher base damage. I'm hoping scion of flame results in the base damage being boosted by 20%. Either way, Firebrand is available early, but the drawback of course is you only get 3 uses per rest. This is worth doubling to 6 with the helwax mold.

 

Weapons 2 and 3 are Twinsting and the haste quarterstaff from floor 3 of endless paths (haste + legendary + flame lash - you can't squeeze these enchantments on other 14 slot 2 handers and you can't durganize soulbound). The qstaff lets you hit 0 recovery with Time Parasite in padded without gloves of swift action. You won't hit 0 with Firebrand, but the damage makes up for it.

 

 

Question on duel wielding, if you kill a target with the primary hand can you attack a new target with the offhand without having to wait to swing the primary again? Basically, I'm curious if there's a loss in DPS if you kill with your primary swing.


Edited by MasterCipher, 20 April 2017 - 06:28 PM.


#57
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Yes, Scion of Flame boosts Firebrand's damage. It also is annihilating, giving you +0.5 crit damage.

 

Dual wielding: since you are using auto attacks with a cipher the main hand and offhand will always alternate no matter if you killed a foe or not. This is not the case with Full Attack abilites - but ciphers don't have those.


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#58
dgray62

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No, I meant: why should all of the Eothasian priests out there be happy that wands share the Adventurer focus with flails?

 

Boeroer, what I meant is that if you're playing an Eothasian priest, and probably using a flail and shield for your main weapon combo, you have two nice possibilities for a ranged weapon for your other weapon slot, warbows or wands. The former may be better in most cases, but there are also some interesting wands out there, which your wizard (with noble weapon focus most likely) probably won't be using.



#59
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Ah, ok. But Hope Eternal gives you +10 ACC for flail and morningstar only. Your wand or war bow would lack 10 ACC. If you'd want the best combo of melee and ranged you would need to take a flail/morningstar + the soulbound scepter. That works with every weapon focus and with Hope Eternal as well.

This also works with Firebrand, Nightshroud, Steadfast, Unlabored Blade, Abydon's Hammer and Grey Sleeper. Summoned or soulbound weapons all can be used by a priest and will get both ACC buffs: Weapon Focus and also the specific talent of the deity (like Hope Eternal). Sadly, only magran and wael grant ranged weapon bonuses.

#60
dgray62

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Boeroer, you are right about the soulbound scepter being the best ranged option for an Eothasian priest. In my current game, with a melee cipher MC and a ranged cipher, monk, paladin, priest & wizard, I gave the soulbound scepter to my priest and am having Aloth use Golden gaze.

 

To return to the cipher weapons topic, my MC is currently level 7, and is dual wielding Bittercut and Resolution. He already has the Biting Whip, Draining Whip, and WF Ruffian talents. I presume that Two Weapon Style would be the best choice to maximize DPS at level 8, right? I am also toying with going for Spirit of Decay at level 8, and having him use a shield instead. He's been sturdy so far in Sanguine Plate. I'm just not sure if would be better to dual wield or go with weapon and shield in the long run; I fear he might be bit too squishy to handle the hordes of nasty creatures in and around Durgan's Battery. [Edited to correct spelling mistake]


Edited by dgray62, 21 April 2017 - 09:08 AM.





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