All my playthroughs had 2 ciphers so far. In the last one, I used a melee mc (plate; dw sabres, focused on damage powers + occasional cc) plus a ranged one (glass-cannon, warbow, focused on cc). It was great because:
Two ciphers is an interesting idea. My worry is whether the melee cipher would have much to contribute throughout the game until the hits the top-tier spells. Ciphers do not have that many direct damage powers, IIRC.
- the ranged one was providing enough control such that barb and the rest could get more MIG&DEX instead of CON/RES.
- the initial build for barbarian was the interruption tank. But already on lvl 5+ I started noticing that I actually don't need these extra interruptions, plus he doesn't get low. So I have respecced him into a burst dpser: 17/10/14/13/18/6 with dw sabres. Plus with high MIG/INT he became even better wielder of Shod-in-Faith boots.
- stuns/paralyzes were greatly reducing enemy deflection, allowing for higher focus generation for both ciphers. Also it was amping carnage damage.
- there are many damaging powers: echo, mind lance, scream and especially detonate. Majority of them target reflex, which was already heavily debuffed, resulting in a lot of crits. Heh, even through barbarian was dishing out tremendous amounts of damage, this cipher always was 5-10% ahead of him.
But even through I liked this setup, there were few things that were not completely optimal:
- the ranged cipher was a 17/6/18/18/16/3 glass cannon. And since he was the first one responsible of cc, his might was a bit wasted during spell casting.
- I've found out that some cipher powers have really weird cast time / recovery time. For example Eyestrike, Whispers of Treason, Mental Binding and Ringleader have longer cast time than they should have, but also have really low recovery. So they can easily be casted by a plate encased cipher almost at the same rate.
- a cc cipher doesn't need might for cc-powers, yet he should still be able to generate focus fast enough. This brought the idea of using melee weapons (which almost always have higher dps), plus some DR penetration and TwoHanded Style to compensate for the lack of might. Basically BotEP.
Next time I am definitely going to reverse their roles. I.e. use melee cipher for cc, while the ranged for damage.
P.S. Even through that melee guy is going to primary cc, he will still dish some decent auto-attack dps (comparable to a dps fighter without charge).
The already mentioned: 17/10/14/13/18/6 human with Shod-in-Faith boots, dw sabres and Swadling Sheet (unless you give it to your priest).
What would you recommend for the barb? I am not a great expert but I figured the barb would have to stack those abilities that cause AoE afflictions on foes as well as pump carnage. I was planning to have high might, int and decent perception on a CC barb, the rest is average. What would change for a dps barb?
There are several per-encounter factors that heavily buff barbarian's effective accuracy:
- Brute Force + Painful Interdiction (good vs shades/spirits)
- AoE stuns and paralyzes thrown by ciphers
- Aspirant's Mark
So there is no real need to bump his accuracy to the max. Latter there will also be Gaze of Adragan, Swadling Sheet, Ring of the Ancient Forge.
I would also recommend the following formation:
plus making your priest a moon-godlike with 3 RES / Pierce-proofed armor, while wizard and cipher with 4-6 RES / Frost-proofed armor. This way enemies that don't have special targeting preferences will flock around your barbarian, while enemy barbarians and teleporting spirits will usually rush towards your priest. It will be easier to cover them with aoe cc, and shred them to pieces.
Edited by MaxQuest, 06 May 2017 - 04:23 AM.