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Cipher class general feedback discussion


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So it seems that Cipher class is like super strong, and needs to be nerfed. But for me this class is just ok. So it is interesting to discuss how powerful the class is.

It does not spawn many forum builds, but is common pick(telemetry), epecially rogue/cipher multiclass. It is setting specific class, and such are often popular, as something new for gamers.

Judging by some patch changes devs may estimate too much from telemetric data or tweets.

 

General class mechanic encourages focusing on few powers, since our focus could be either spend on high tier power or low level. And it is better to pick the best power. Which is different from Wizard style, where in longer combat we may need to use low level spells. Ciphers need to choose, your low level power or high level. This results in spamming 3-4 powers over and over.

 

Multiclassing is generally good with martial classes. More dps from other class->more focus-> more casting power. Even better if we have burst dmg, like FoD or Backstabs., Not much could be done to change that, other than giving cipher tier 8 passive which greatly increases focus gain.

 

Ciphers could be charming. Charming, domination scales with difficulty very well. Use OP monsters against themselves.

 

Ascendant, could result in powerfull plays with time parasite and spamming high level powers. However reaching ascession without MC takes a while. And if you already have 300 focus 0 cost powers are not that impressive.  On the bright side, suffering -1PL is not that bad. This subclass could be better with MC, even if it suggests dedicated Cipher.

 

SoulBlade, great for MC, since you could really ignore powers, and just take some cipher passives, and focus on other class. Single class 200 raw dmg is generally good. Unfortunetly the more you use anihilation the less you use powers. So there are some real tradeoffs.(note Sould Anihilation could be nerfed in 1.1, however subclass drawback is not severe).

 

Beguiler, a lot of effort for what? Range is not that important, not as important as duration or area. Payback is nice, but it applies to very limited number of powers. With ring leader being the major one. Single target deception are sometimes good, but payback on single target is low. It is fun to earn focus on Eyestrike, but it is not expensive power to begin with. Other deception powers are  not worth casting time. There is not so many deception powers, and soft CC into infinity does not win encounter.  So small gain for sever drawbacks, since being cut off whip dmg and focus gain puts us in dead end. Rogue multiclass saves us, since we want to sneak attack anyway.

 

How to buff beguiler:

+20% Duration, since duration is important part of deception.

Gain sneak attack dmg and bonus focus gain from sneak attack (scales with power level). So it will be a lot of effort but some results

Buff many of deception powers, so it will be something more than Ring Leader

 

***

Passives, are generally as good as could be. With some being great (whip and penetration) and others being just ok.

No access to elemental penetration bundle, even if ciphers deal elemental dmg. (no frost)

But it is good to have some passives, or at least more than Priests.

***

Abillities.

 

Generally with active abillities, there is a thing that some are ok, or as good as casters cast. But there is pleanty of total garbage. Which will never be used since it is either garbage or something useful. It really suprised me how many of powers are in trashcan.

There is no big nukes. Like AOE deal 120 to enemies.

Unfortunetly cipher debuffs are not that worthy.

Powers heavili compete for focus, soul shock would be ok wizard spell, but we can spend our focus on Amplified Wave. We have to choose.

Apparently ciphers have very few end game dmg spells. Leaving ciphers with A Wave, not because it is so great, you just dont have other options.

There is factor of casting time, Eyestrike is nice, but only debuff, but it has very long cast time. And with that 4.5 casting time, you migh cast+recover something else.

 

 

Mind Wave C - longcast, weird shape, low dmg. Raw is nice.

Whispear of Treason A - cheap, scales well with difficulty, works as charm

valorious Echos C - quickcast, cheap, some duration, could be used to overwrite affiliations. Cant be self buffed. AI setup does not cooperate with specific party member.

Antipatic Field D - dmg is almost good, but catching someone in fire could be hard or luck based.

Soul Shock C - cheap, good range, ok dmg, easy to use. Main problem is that it is outshinned by higher level powers.

Teneous Grasp D - fast, could enable sneak attack, but single target, short duration. There should be better ways to spend levelpoints

Eyestrike C - ok blind, cheap, multitarget, but longcast. Also there is many spells with Blind + dmg so this one is less impressive. Very long casting time, for power which is just blind and nothing more. Very small circle.

 

PhantomFoes A/D - For beguilers it is something, since nobody is immune to flanked, so it is good, quick enabler, big aoe. Opens sneak attacks for /Rogue MC.

MindBlades B - Quick, ok dmg, ok penetration, could rebounce in 2 targets. Easy to use

Recall Agony B - this could be very good against bosses, since it buffs your whole party

Psychovamp Shield C - it could be viewed as +10 accuracy for party. But it is very situacional.

Amplified Trust C - medium dmg which we cant pick target (no snipping casters)

Mental Binding D - longcast single target paralyze with minimal aoe immobilize. You do not get much out of it. And migh as well charm.

 

Sacred Horrors D - short duration, not that great effect

Soul Ignition E - longcast, singletarget, takes long time to come to effect

Pain Link E - short duration, hard to find good target

Ectophysic Echo C - could be good, since we can control our position, could be used on summons, or ranger pet. Has potencial, just not easy to use.

Fractured Violition E - single target? no dmg?

Puppet Master B - more expansive Whispers of Treason, also shorter range, not so clear upgrade over Whispers

 

Wild Leach F - tier 1 random single target

Mind Lance E - low dmg, weird shape

Silent Scream C - stunning is good, raw dmg also, Just it is either this or Amplified Wave

Pain Block A - quick, long duration and tier 3 buff. As good as it could be.

Body Atumed A+ - very good, very useful, but it is only single target.

 

Borowed Instinct A+! - super good with buff to everything we care about, and debuff to enemies.

Detonate B - this would be good on low health targets (for destruction effect). Situacional.

Ring Leader A+ spam alot. could really solve mob problems since it is one of few hard CC + dmg to enemies

Echoing Shield B, as good as aoe buff could be,

 

Mind Plague E. long cast, short duration, meh effect

Ampliefield Wave A, foe only, good range, ok dmg (not big) and bonus prone effect. Spam alot (you dont have anything else anyway)

Desintergation A, good single target dps

 

Ancestor Honor X?, no idea how it could be useful

Screaming Sous C, very situacional, distracted non important, but raw dmg could overlap

Stasis Shell C, this could be good for mages, but CC mobs and killing mage is better

 

Defensive Mindweb D,  at least it have some effect, requires Paladin in party, but it pops at dmg, which gives very short duration.

Repeaing Knives D, summoned weapons are not very good, you might use your legendary sticks of doom at this time.

Time Parasite A!/A, very good on Ascendant, otherwise depends how many enemies there are. Cost a lot, but you gain a lot.

 

Driving Echoes C, single target buff, generally leading to overpenetration. spell is good, just cost a lot.

Haunting chains E, so tier IX mighty power, almost as good as tier 5 Ryngrims, but now single target, and with useles hobbed. If enemy is already terrified hobbed does not add much. Weakened is better (kill faster)

Death of 1000 Cuts A, spell is good, problem is existance of Witting Wind. Do not go pure cipher for this one.

 

So that is my list.

***

How to improve:

At tier 8th add passive "You generate +100% more focus" this would be a strong case to not multiclass.

Buff everything with D or worse. Raise dmg, duration, change single target to multi, or improve variety of buffs (like giving tier 3 inspiration). If something is C, buff a little. 

Make Cipher Powers more like Chanter invocations, with ability to upgrade low level powers to something worth end game cast time. Like SOul shock -> increase dmg and area and add stun effect, but increase cost. However, you are paying 2 level points for one spell, so this must be very good.

Introduce Cipher MetaPower Modals. Which are modals on/off. They work on all cipher powers when active increase: damage, duration, area, accuracy, add special effect. But each one adds % to power cost affected. So you can take basic soul shock and then increase area, dmg, accuracy and add stun to it, but it will end costing like 50 focus.

 

***

And how do  you value cipher power?

Edited by evilcat
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I dont know if it's true , i dont have the beta , but i read on the patch topic that Soul Anihilation get nerfed , the person said , sorry i dont remember the name , that he was doing 200 damage before and on the patch he is doing 80.

 

Also Body Atumed and Time Parasite get nerfed to , so yes , i think Cipher is very far from OP. And your list its pretty much spot on. 

Edited by Whitewolfsp
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I find that the distribution of Cipher spells is very strange. Most of the absolute essential spells are in Tier 4/5/6, but everything else is situational in comparison and/or are largely as is because they were carried over from PoE1 (aside from Time Parasite, of which the nerf to that is something I don't comprehend, as I was under the assumption that the majority of players played multiclass Cipher rather than singleclass). I skip over all the Tier 7 spells especially. If Ancestor's Honor actually granted another empowerment use in combat, then it'd be worth using as opposed to just resting - although that would make it worthy of being moved to Tier 9, swapping places with Haunting Chains.

 

I would rank Amplified Thrust a little bit higher, as I think the value of that is mainly a quick way to safely toss an enemy away from one of your backliners. Although you can simply just charm them instead.

 

Ectophysic Echo is actually really good as a damage spell early-game since it's enemy only, it's a reliable source of crush damage that continues ticking once activated, and the crush damage ticks at a very fast rate. I find it's better for ranged Ciphers though, as it's usually easier to macro the beam around your melee/summons than the Cipher themselves. It can act as a sort of defensive/offensive AoE against enemies trying to rush down your backliners too, and to wreck everything in between as your melee/summon goes for the enemy backline.

 

I feel Reaping Knives now mainly exists for Soul Blade and Ascendants as an extra source of focus generation. But I hardly use it because I find my cast time better spent using other spells. I honestly haven't bothered using it at all since the Time Parasite nerf.

 

Ringleader feels more like a Tier 7/8/9 spell to be honest, but it was also a Tier 5 spell back in PoE1.

Edited by Saito Hikari
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I have completed a playthrough in PotD as a pure cipher (no subclass) and here are a few thoughts:

 

Charm/Dominate effects are very strong from the start. Whispers of treason is a dirt cheap way to get you through early encounters (or even later encounters, really). Ringleader is a complete battle changer and can be cast as an opening move without generating any focus very early (I think character level 8 ).

 

Time Parasite is broken af, and i think it will still be extremely potent after the nerf. usually, I open a fight like this: (Starting focus is 75 with the two passive that increase passive focus) My watcher is wielding the scoedeo set (sabre and gun). I shoot with the gun, even a graze gets me over 80 focus. I immediately cast time parasite (no recovery from guns). Ennemies are now 50% slower. My watcher is 200% faster. I run in melee, attack 5 times in 3 seconds, it usually kills an ennemy and gets me a lot of focus.

From there I can cast body attunement, psychovampiric shield, gets me unkillable. I can cast ringleader for an instant "I win". I can use pain block if any ally is in trouble. I can cast mental wave for aoe damage and prone. Or death of a thousand cut if I am fighting a boss, then cheap shred spells.

Or really, at this point, I just use spells for fun because I like the visual effects. The fight is won anyways.

 

If focus gets low, I re-attack a few times in 2-3 seconds. When time parasite is about to run out, I re-cast it.

 

With the passives, Will spells have great acc and hit>crit, and the will defense is really high (in addition to stunning anyone attempting a will attack on you). 

 

 

I do not understand how people could find that ciphers are underperforming. They probably just looked at it on paper, or the few first steps, or were trying to focus on damage spells which I agree are mostly meh.

Edited by Myrtillo
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honestly i thought cipher before was at best "ok" not great...most of the good cipher abilities come very late and are single cipher only... a multiclass cipher has very few good buffs...now even fewer after the changes - basically you have whispers of treason and borrowed instincts and not a lot of good passives.... before i thought cipher was okay...now i think they are just unappealing.

 

Cipher was my favorite class in POE1 cause its "new and fresh" but i am having the hardest time finding any use for them now besides spamming whispers of treason

 

take away whispers of treason and time parasite - what do you have left?

Edited by Nemesis7884
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AT this point Cipher is basically a legacy class from the first game. Most of their powers are sub-par, which was needed in the first game to balance out per-encounter/per-rest disparity.

 

The general shift to per-encounter bypassed the Ciphers, and then a lot of other across-the-board changes (to casting times, effect durations, Afflictions system, etc.) have hit the class en passant, without much thought apparently given to how the changes impacted CIphers specifically.

 

The net result is that most of their powers aren't that great in comparison to similar tier spells from other classes (compare cipher powers vs wizard or chanter or druid powers), and their former star powers have gotten badly nerfed or broken (who here remembers when mental binding was a star power, before its cast+recovery was equal to its duration?). There's enough left to keep the class sortof minimally functionall -- the charms, amplified wave, time parasite -- but there's very little active positive reason to play the class. The Tier VII powers especially -- the capstones for a multiclass!! --  are almost obnoxiously worthless. 

 

Net result, the few decent powers (eyestrike, antipathetic field, etc.) mean the class makes a decent multiclass choice, but if you're trying to play a pure caster and you don't want to cheese things with time parasite, there's just not much there there. Any other caster you can find two or three good solid powers per casting level; with wizards you can swap out grimoires and cast all sorts of things. Single class Ciphers, you're stuck picking the one good active power at any given level and then a couple passives, and the rest of the time you just autoattack.

 

There's a fifth tier wizard spell they can swap in a grimoire for that is better in every single way than a tier 9 cipher power. It's even an AoE while the cipher capstone is single-target.

 

 

All that said, revising your list:

 

1) Nice thing about Mind Wave is its an interrupt on hit, in an AoE. One of the better 1st tier powers really,

 

 

2) Mind Blades is redundant with the entire rest of the party because it's slashing damage; you don't need it for anything. Phantom Foes seems nice at first because it has a large AoE, but eyestrike is a better debuff in every way and also gives flanking. 

 

3) Ectopsychic Echo is very easy to use once you get the knack of it and consistently useful even at high levels, excellent power.

 

4) Body Attunement got nerfed down to -2 armor debuff in the beta patch, which would be reasonable if it were an AoE like Expose Vulnerabilities or Hel-Hyraf's. Sicne it's single-target, it's now objectively worse than a first level Chanter power and a second-tier Wizard spell.  

 

5) Wild leech has never been useful not even in the first game. 

 

6) Ancestor's Honor is a joke and "ciphers are bad" is the punchline. Screaming Souls would be a decent spell in a wizard's grimoire but is godawful as a locked in cipher power because it's too situational. 

 

7) Defensive Mindweb was a star in the last game but pops like a soap bubble on PotD in the new beta patch because it pops on any damage, i.e., including a graze. 

 

8) Haunting Chains is the same joke as Ancestor's Honor, except this time the punchline is "play a wizard instead." 

Edited by Dr. Hieronymous Alloy
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AT this point Cipher is basically a legacy class from the first game. Most of their powers are sub-par, which was needed in the first game to balance out per-encounter/per-rest disparity.

 

The general shift to per-encounter bypassed the Ciphers, and then a lot of other across-the-board changes (to casting times, effect durations, Afflictions system, etc.) have hit the class en passant, without much thought apparently given to how the changes impacted CIphers specifically.

 

The net result is that most of their powers aren't that great in comparison to similar tier spells from other classes (compare cipher powers vs wizard or chanter or druid powers), and their former star powers have gotten badly nerfed or broken (who here remembers when mental binding was a star power, before its cast+recovery was equal to its duration?). There's enough left to keep the class sortof minimally functionall -- the charms, amplified wave, time parasite -- but there's very little active positive reason to play the class. The Tier VII powers especially -- the capstones for a multiclass!! --  are almost obnoxiously worthless. 

 

Net result, the few decent powers (eyestrike, antipathetic field, etc.) mean the class makes a decent multiclass choice, but if you're trying to play a pure caster and you don't want to cheese things with time parasite, there's just not much there there. Any other caster you can find two or three good solid powers per casting level; with wizards you can swap out grimoires and cast all sorts of things. Single class Ciphers, you're stuck picking the one good active power at any given level and then a couple passives, and the rest of the time you just autoattack.

 

There's a fifth tier wizard spell they can swap in a grimoire for that is better in every single way than a tier 9 cipher power. It's even an AoE while the cipher capstone is single-target.

 

 

All that said, revising your list:

 

1) Nice thing about Mind Wave is its an interrupt on hit, in an AoE. One of the better 1st tier powers really,

 

 

2) Mind Blades is redundant with the entire rest of the party because it's slashing damage; you don't need it for anything. Phantom Foes seems nice at first because it has a large AoE, but eyestrike is a better debuff in every way and also gives flanking. 

 

3) Ectopsychic Echo is very easy to use once you get the knack of it and consistently useful even at high levels, excellent power.

 

4) Body Attunement got nerfed down to -2 armor debuff in the beta patch, which would be reasonable if it were an AoE like Expose Vulnerabilities or Hel-Hyraf's. Sicne it's single-target, it's now objectively worse than a first level Chanter power and a second-tier Wizard spell.  

 

5) Wild leech has never been useful not even in the first game. 

 

6) Ancestor's Honor is a joke and "ciphers are bad" is the punchline. Screaming Souls would be a decent spell in a wizard's grimoire but is godawful as a locked in cipher power because it's too situational. 

 

7) Defensive Mindweb was a star in the last game but pops like a soap bubble on PotD in the new beta patch because it pops on any damage, i.e., including a graze. 

 

8) Haunting Chains is the same joke as Ancestor's Honor, except this time the punchline is "play a wizard instead." 

 

Body attunement also buffs you, it does not only debuff the ennemy. I think the nerf is too hard, but having played a full pre-patch PotD playthrough with it, it was honestly very strong as it was and deserved one. Maybe +3/-3 armor would have been better.

 

I do agree that the per rest/per encounter is a problematic legacy from Poe1, however, druids and mages can only cast the same spell twice. Ciphers can cast them at will if they have the focus. This is to be taken in consideration. You can charm ennemies every 4-5 seconds.

 

The real problem of the cipher is that a lot of powers are bad or even jokingly terrible (looking at you haunting chains), but the ones that are good are really good.

It doesn't make the class weak. But it is dramatically unbalanced and poorly designed.

 

I still maintain that ciphers are OP, and might be even more with ennemies getting tougher (charm/dominate potency scales with ennemy power). They do not need a buff but a complete rework of 70% of their powers, a nerf to charm/dominate accuracy, and probably an even bigger nerf to time parasite than what is coming in 1.1 if they keep it stacking the way it works.

Edited by Myrtillo
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I play Beguiler/Rogue, and I WANT to multiclass.

 

How to buff beguiler:

 

Gain sneak attack dmg and bonus focus gain from sneak attack (scales with power level). So it will be a lot of effort but some results

 

So... make Rogue worthless as a multiclass for Beguiler? AKA ruining my preferred build? No thanks, friend! :p

 

This post kind of highlights how players look at Rogue more than anything else. It's a vehicle for Sneak Attack bonus damage and that's it...

 

On the subject of focus gain - I tried my preferred build with both Draining and Biting Whip. I did not have any issues gaining enough focus with Biting Whip. I use a "fast" one-handed weapon (rapier) so maybe weapon choice can negatively impact how much focus you gain.

 

I supplemented the damage from Biting Whip and Sneak Attack with Dirty Fighting, One Handed Style, and any hit-to-crit conversion equipment I could find. At the end of the game and level 20 every other hit my character made was a crit.

 

Once I am able to open every fight with Phantom Foes, bonus damage from Sneak Attack is not hard to achieve. PF has a HUGE AoE.

 

One of the first passives you can pick for Cipher extends the durations of Afflictions caused by their spells. I pretty much ALWAYS take that right away as a Beguiler.

Edited by CENIC

Aloth massages his temples, shaking his head.

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Ciphers are much more than legacy class, since archetype "fighter with occasional powers" is the good one. Also Psions are not exacly standard fantasy, so are fresh. Ciphers have good lore connection to the whole soul thing which runs Eora.

Mechanic "hit things to get resources to use powers" is the good one, very convinient.

 

There is strong competicion among powers which is worth levelpoint, casting time, and focus.

Ciphers are similar to chanters, however chanters have more versalite effects i suppose. Summoning, healing cc or damage are more different.

It is similar that both chanter and cipher low level dmg are practically meh, since you might as well cast high level.

Chanters have interesing gimmick of upgrading low level powers to something bigger.

If i could take Soul Shock and upgrade it for larger area, MOAR damage, and stun. And this new spell would cost 50 focus, that would be alternative for Aplified Wave.

However if you spend 2 level points on single power the effect need to be very very good. And the upgrade need to be from 10 focus to 50 focus.

Not everything need to be "balanced" around hipster druid spell which nobody uses.

 

Making Beguiler great again is easy if they tried to.

Give 20% bonus to duration, since deception loves duration.

Buff all trashcan deception powers to golden garbage status. So it will be more than just ringleader.

Add small dmg bonus and big focus generation if you qualify for sneak attack. So this whole deception could be very profitable. Just dont out sneak attack rogues, that would be overkill.

MC Rogues gain like 60% sneak attack, so getting bonus 15% from Beguiler is not big deal.

Rogues are much more than sneak attack maschines. Devastating Blows, some crit passives, escapes are all fine addition. Also for Rogue/Beguiler being able to trigger sneak attack with resource outside cipher, that is a good one.

 

At level 8 and 9 there could be some extra passives like:

Gain more starting/max focus like +50 per passive

Get +100% focus from strikes

All your Shred powers add more dmg, but cost more.

 

MC with ciphers will always be tempting, since such is class mechanic. But there could be good reasons to stay pure.

 

The greatest challenge is to buff individual powers. All this tuff like Mental binding which could be good if it had duration and reach.

Edited by evilcat
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1) Spells with "allied" effect can be turned self.

 

So 1 allied target + a bounce on Caster. A way to increase all buff.

 

With that, you have not an Area BUT an intermediate status between personnal and AoE.

 

2) A passive which allow Accuracy +5 for all offensive or debuff spells.

Edited by theBalthazar
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I do agree that the per rest/per encounter is a problematic legacy from Poe1, however, druids and mages can only cast the same spell twice. Ciphers can cast them at will if they have the focus. This is to be taken in consideration. You can charm ennemies every 4-5 seconds.

 

 

 

 

 

A chanter skald can cast an AoE charm invocation repeatedly also ("the lover cried out to the beloved, I am yours!"), and also have party heals, summons, etc. Ciphers are not the only class who can cast repeatable intellect afflictions. Cipher charms are potent, sure, but it's ok to let classes be powerful. Let players have nice things! Cipher charm durations are a little long -- you could reduce their durations by a quarter or even a third without hurting much -- but we have a whole first game that let charm effects work and they worked fine, there's nothing inherently too powerful with charms as such, they just seem powerful compared to the rest of the crap that's filling the cipher toolbox currently.

 

Past that, I don't think it's all that valid to cite the focus mechanic as an advantage because the per-encounter limits are very rarely all that meaningful after the first few levels. Fights rarely last long enough for a higher level caster to dump his spellbook, and if they *do* last that long you can burn an Empower. More importantly though, casters can open the fight with their strongest powers, while ciphers can't, which is a huge difference in tactical strength, because the opening moments of the fight are the most tactically valuable. 

 

I'll agree that "legacy class" is inexact. A better descriptor would be unfinished, which is odd considering this is a sequel. Playing a cipher right now feels like cooking in a new kitchen the day after moving houses: all your tools are in the wrong place or broken, and half of them are still missing. 

Edited by Dr. Hieronymous Alloy
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i think ciphers are great. even at low levels, a fast unencumbered ascendant cipher can absolutely spam amplified thrust, it basically gives enemies no breathing room whatsoever. charm is great, and domination is even better than since it can charm enemies with resistance to intellect afflictions (resistance just downgrades domination to charm). desintegration is great as a reliable damage source, especially against fampyrs, since they dominate you when you hit them, and with disintegration you only have to hit them once. mind lance is a good ultra-fast interrupt. and a fast ascended cipher under time parasite is basically a game over. 

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I do agree that the per rest/per encounter is a problematic legacy from Poe1, however, druids and mages can only cast the same spell twice. Ciphers can cast them at will if they have the focus. This is to be taken in consideration. You can charm ennemies every 4-5 seconds.

 

 

 

 

 

A chanter skald can cast an AoE charm invocation repeatedly also ("the lover cried out to the beloved, I am yours!"), and also have party heals, summons, etc. Ciphers are not the only class who can cast repeatable intellect afflictions. Cipher charms are potent, sure, but it's ok to let classes be powerful. Let players have nice things! Cipher charm durations are a little long -- you could reduce their durations by a quarter or even a third without hurting much -- but we have a whole first game that let charm effects work and they worked fine, there's nothing inherently too powerful with charms as such, they just seem powerful compared to the rest of the crap that's filling the cipher toolbox currently.

 

Past that, I don't think it's all that valid to cite the focus mechanic as an advantage because the per-encounter limits are very rarely all that meaningful after the first few levels. Fights rarely last long enough for a higher level caster to dump his spellbook, and if they *do* last that long you can burn an Empower. More importantly though, casters can open the fight with their strongest powers, while ciphers can't, which is a huge difference in tactical strength, because the opening moments of the fight are the most tactically valuable. 

 

I'll agree that "legacy class" is inexact. A better descriptor would be unfinished, which is odd considering this is a sequel. Playing a cipher right now feels like cooking in a new kitchen the day after moving houses: all your tools are in the wrong place or broken, and half of them are still missing. 

 

 

I mostly agree 

 

When I proposed to nerf acc of charm spells it was actually to indirectly nerf the duration (graze more often) and create a higher risk of failure/high reward. But I think it might actually need both. -10 acc and -25% duration. It is ok for players to have nice thing, but to have every fight terminated because every ennemy is charmed for 30 seconds and you have to force attack on green circles one by one is not fun.

 

Chanters do not generate phrases as fast as ciphers generate focus. And their charm duration is much lower. And ringleader is a dominate on main target, which is a big deal on mages. I do agree that in the current state of the game battles are not long enough to give a real edge to renewable ressources. But this (hopefully) might change post-patch.

 

Once again, cipher is for most of their abilities poorly designed, there is no denying that. What I try to correct is the conception that it is weak, when it is not. It is actually brokenly overpowered just because it has access to time parasite and ringleader.

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Nerfing few good cipher powers will encourage MC even more, we spend few points into cipher anyway.

Or increase ilussion wizards as alternative. Why use single target terrified at tier IX when we can have it on V.

 

Buffing low use powers is more long term solution.

At least it will give legit choice and opportunity to build, not just pick whatever doesnt sucks.

 

There is an issue with low tier damage powers. If it cost 10focus it cant be end game ready.

Solution to that is more utility low tier powers or passives, could be neutral one. Use low tier power for leveling, and then...

add high level copy improved version with better dmg, range and secondary effects but for higher cost.

LIke Soul Shock -> Soul Storm, with double area, double dmg and small stun.

At least there will be more than one damage spell at levels 13+

 

Charms: could be longer cast time, charms are powerful, at least similar to summons, and 6s cast time for aoe charm is not bad deal. Better than random nerf. They could also gradually lower base duration for aoe charm (single target are less issue). A lot of effort put into nerfing every paralyze, stun or even immobilize. But charms rule untouched.

 

Some buffs which could be considered:

Antipatetic Beam , beam+target, longer duration.

Tenecious Grasp, 30sec duration for single target

Eyestrike, lower cast time, it is small aoe, no dmg only blind. Could be faster to cast than meteor shower.

Mental binding, 20s immobilize, 2.5m range

Sacred Horrors, 30s duration

Soul Ignition, burns also in 1.5m radius against target, since soul is leaking

Pain LInk, longer duration

Fractured Violition 30s duration

Wild leach 30s duration, and tier 3 inspiration

Mind Lance, double damage for first target, keep for behind

Silent Scream, double damage

Mind Plague 30s duration + shaken, it is just a debuff, nobody will die

Ancesor Honor, restore class resources like spending empowerment, single ally

Repeaing Blades, higher dmg and or attack speed, cleave

Haunting Chains, Terrified, Hobbed, Sickened 20s aoe 2.5m

Screaming Souls, mortals are distracted and get small damage, vessels are dealt double damage, and could be destroyed or paralyzed (this power is very situacional)

 

Generally Deadfire is slower, so 12 sec for buff is like 3 attacks, not really an effect. Also death is best cc and debuff.

Generally CIpher powers are very low damage, but there are few which are not.

Edited by evilcat
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Technical point, but a Skald chanter can actually generate phrases very fast. 

 

I think an accuracy penalty to Charm would be dramatic overkill. Something like four years of balancing work went into the first game; let's not throw that out. Take the current cast+recovery times of the current charm powers, add the durations they had in the first game, you get a sixteen second or so base duration for most charms, which is long enough to still be useful but about 25% shorter than the current implementation. (Note that if you do the same thing to Mental Binding, you get a 14 second duration, more than double the current duration. Why were charm durations lengthened but paralyze durations halved? The World May Never Know). 

 

To be clear though I'm not saying the Cipher is unplayable or anything. It's possible to build a strong Cipher character. They're just lackluster compared to other classes that actually got new toys for the new game.

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The proposition to reduce the accuracy comes from actual observations I made over the full playthrough as a Cipher:

 

I never missed, rarely grazed, mostly hit, and sometimes crit. With the strongest CC in the game and for a great duration. On PotD. This felt really OP.

Ringleader in its current state is a "I win" button that can be cast in three seconds at the beginning of the fight.

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The proposition to reduce the accuracy comes from actual observations I made over the full playthrough as a Cipher:

 

I never missed, rarely grazed, mostly hit, and sometimes crit. With the strongest CC in the game and for a great duration. On PotD. This felt really OP.

Ringleader in its current state is a "I win" button that can be cast in three seconds at the beginning of the fight.

 

That may have been more a feature of old-potd than anything else. I mean, if you build your characters for high accuracy, then yeah, they should usually hit -- misses suck! 

 

I do agree the duration on Ringleader is way too long -- it goes beyond overpowered and into annoying, with every fight ending in a minute's worth of green circle bashing. On the other hand though it's really annoying to build the focus for a good power and then repeatedly miss with it. I'd rather Ringleader hit reliably, but for a short duration. It's a potent AoE, it could have a fairly short base duration and still be very worthwhile. 

Edited by Dr. Hieronymous Alloy
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What Ciphers really need is an exploding head animation.

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Everyone knows Science Fiction is really cool. You know what PoE really needs? Spaceships! There isn't any game that wouldn't be improved by a space combat minigame. Adding one to PoE would send sales skyrocketing, and ensure the game was remembered for all time!!!!!

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The proposition to reduce the accuracy comes from actual observations I made over the full playthrough as a Cipher:

 

I never missed, rarely grazed, mostly hit, and sometimes crit. With the strongest CC in the game and for a great duration. On PotD. This felt really OP.

Ringleader in its current state is a "I win" button that can be cast in three seconds at the beginning of the fight.

 

That may have been more a feature of old-potd than anything else. I mean, if you build your characters for high accuracy, then yeah, they should usually hit -- misses suck! 

 

I do agree the duration on Ringleader is way too long -- it goes beyond overpowered and into annoying, with every fight ending in a minute's worth of green circle bashing. On the other hand though it's really annoying to build the focus for a good power and then repeatedly miss with it. I'd rather Ringleader hit reliably, but for a short duration. It's a potent AoE, it could have a fairly short base duration and still be very worthwhile. 

 

yeah, reduced accuracy sucks, it turns it into a coin flip (and a pretty expensive one). shorter duration makes sense, and probably more enemies immune (not just resistant) to it. also, i don't understand why they decided to remove de-charming on damage. de-charming made charm/domination at least in some way a trade-off compared to other afflictions, while now it's just unconditionally superior.

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I dont like reduced accuracy for specific spells.

Already perception is critical abillity.

Even more, i would welcome passives to increase accuracy with spells, to give some alternatives to max percepcion (Empty Soul).

For Ringleader: longer cast time 6s + shorter duration 12s is worth trying.

 

But give ciphers something in return, other than nerfs, nerfs, nerfs.

Edited by evilcat
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Phantom Foes and Sacred Horrors deserves much more credit.

They are cheap, fast and good AoE.

Phantom Foes gives -1 armor rating, it's really good.

Sacred Horrors can be used to debuff and scout the target before charming, performs so well that doesn't need any tuning.

 

Antipatic Field's duration and recovery probably needs a check.

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yeah, reduced accuracy sucks, it turns it into a coin flip (and a pretty expensive one). shorter duration makes sense, and probably more enemies immune (not just resistant) to it. also, i don't understand why they decided to remove de-charming on damage. de-charming made charm/domination at least in some way a trade-off compared to other afflictions, while now it's just unconditionally superior.

 

 

 

 

My *guess* is that because first-tier Confusion affliction turns off friendly fire limitations, charmed enemies would too frequently de-charm themselves by hitting each other; also it makes the paladin ability of de-charm on hit redundant.

 

 

What they should do is implement a check where if charmed enemies are the only remaining active enemies, they de-charm. 

Edited by Dr. Hieronymous Alloy
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The problem with ciphers is that they are one trick pony's , take away the domination spells , that in my opinion is the trademark of ciphers , and they have very little to offer , all they can do the other casters can do better , and now that soulblade have 50% of his main ability nerf , belinguer was always meh , the only good cipher is ascendent , the only great spells ciphers have aside for the charm/domination branch are Borrowed Instinct , Desintegration and Body attunement ( That i think they overnerf ) , and time parasite if you go single Cypher , the rest of the spells are ok or bad  , why cast eyestrike ( 4.5 cast time ) when a Wizard can cast curse of blackened sight in 3 seconds or if you know how to position , chill fog that not only blind but do freeze damage ?

I really like ciphers , my main char on POE1 was a cipher , but i think in Deadfire they are pretty average , maybe when the 1.1 hits and the fights get longer they shine more , but i dont know , they feel bland compared to the other casters.

Edited by Whitewolfsp
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yeah, reduced accuracy sucks, it turns it into a coin flip (and a pretty expensive one). shorter duration makes sense, and probably more enemies immune (not just resistant) to it. also, i don't understand why they decided to remove de-charming on damage. de-charming made charm/domination at least in some way a trade-off compared to other afflictions, while now it's just unconditionally superior.

 

 

 

 

My *guess* is that because first-tier Confusion affliction turns off friendly fire limitations, charmed enemies would too frequently de-charm themselves by hitting each other; also it makes the paladin ability of de-charm on hit redundant.

 

 

What they should do is implement a check where if charmed enemies are the only remaining active enemies, they de-charm. 

 

i don't think making confusion just a low-tier charm was a good idea to begin with. confusion shouldn't end on damage, while charm should (enemies might still switch to attacking you on damage though, based on general damage-based aggro). that will also make confusion at least sometimes more useful than charm.

paladin's de-charm would still work, since automatic de-charming should only happen when attached by the faction that charmed you.

Edited by Rumpelstilskin
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Yeah it is a problem with team building.

 

Why take a druid with his relentless storm at 4.5s, when chanter stun and paralyse for 6s+ at 0.5s.

 

Why take a cipher, when you have a wizard far better on all others C.C. and damage spell.

 

I hate cipher since POE1. 0/6 in POE1, 0/5 in the team in POE2. The trues know cipher add nothing to a team in POE1, and also in POE2.

 

In team building, EACH class must have a speciality AND to be efficient with others domains.

 

That's why fighter is dead now : he was average in all and you cut his performance in DPS. End of the game. Optimal never will take this class again. All classes must have a trump card (here charm+domination) AND stay close in others domains.

 

The second point is essential.

Edited by theBalthazar
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