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Ciphers are perceived as one of the weakest classes by many, builds that still work rely heavily on a few select spells ( mostly whispers of treason).

 

Some said they are weak because their biggest benefit in poe1 - their unlimited resource pool - is no longer an advantage now that most classes have per encounter spells.

 

But I haven't seen any good suggestions how to fix them. By changing individual spells? Or is there something that could be done as a general measure?

 

Some ideas:

Start with full focus (except ascendant)

Bigger damage bonus?

Faster focus generation?

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What is the issue with Ciphers in 1.1?

They were among the weakest classes in several polls even before the patch, 1.1 weakened some of their few decent abilities.

They are not only (perceived as) weaker than many other classes, many of their spells seen to be hardly worth casting (if an ability that stuns someone for 6 sec blocks you from doing anything else for 6 sec as well, you've not gained much).

Furthermore, ciphers only somewhat shine as crowd controllers, but don't have viable tools for other roles (DPS, tanking, buffing, healing, ...)

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I would say the biggest problem, compared with PoE1, is the nerf to afflictions in general. Ciphers had serviceable damage, but truly excelled via alpha strikes and tossing out long-duration debuffs early in a fight. I'm not sure they can be fixed in a way that makes them distinctive from other classes without tuning up afflictions.

 

The only other thing that spring to mind is letting them self-target with Echo spells, but that seems wrong.

 

What is the issue with Ciphers in 1.1?

The only reasons to use one are (a) Charm/Dominate, and (b) Soul Annihilation.

Edited by gkathellar

If I'm typing in red, it means I'm being sarcastic. But not this time.

Dark green, on the other hand, is for jokes and irony in general.

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What is the issue with Ciphers in 1.1?

They were among the weakest classes in several polls even before the patch, 1.1 weakened some of their few decent abilities.

They are not only (perceived as) weaker than many other classes, many of their spells seen to be hardly worth casting (if an ability that stuns someone for 6 sec blocks you from doing anything else for 6 sec as well, you've not gained much).

Furthermore, ciphers only somewhat shine as crowd controllers, but don't have viable tools for other roles (DPS, tanking, buffing, healing, ...)

I am curious because before that patch I found ciphers to be hilariously broken (at least the ascendant). Very solid CC, good buffs/debuffs. I won’t be checking 1.1 before it s finished, but I was curious because from my experience ciphers were in a need of a major nerf.
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Would it work to give them full focus at the start of combat? Most other casters also start the fight ready to blast after all...

 

Regarding subclasses, soul annihilation was nerfed anyway, so using it right away might not be too much, even for mindstalkers.

 

Beguilers would be get the desperately needed buff, and their fathers make more sense at the beginning of a fight anyway.

 

Ascendants would get the same amount of starting focus as the others, making their path to ascension shorter while not making them OP

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What is the issue with Ciphers in 1.1?

They were among the weakest classes in several polls even before the patch, 1.1 weakened some of their few decent abilities.

They are not only (perceived as) weaker than many other classes, many of their spells seen to be hardly worth casting (if an ability that stuns someone for 6 sec blocks you from doing anything else for 6 sec as well, you've not gained much).

Furthermore, ciphers only somewhat shine as crowd controllers, but don't have viable tools for other roles (DPS, tanking, buffing, healing, ...)

I am curious because before that patch I found ciphers to be hilariously broken (at least the ascendant). Very solid CC, good buffs/debuffs. I won’t be checking 1.1 before it s finished, but I was curious because from my experience ciphers were in a need of a major nerf.

 

 

Dr. Hieronymous Alloy gave a good list of reasons why Ciphers are underperforming here.

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The OP part was mostly subclass-abilities (ascendant state and Soul annihilation, the latter making most other shred spells redundant) and some individual spells (Time parasite especially, eyestrike probably too low powerlevel). I personally think that especially high-level Cipher powers are lackluster - weak, very situational, and generally just too few. Early level shred abilities never felt worthwile to use in the mid game, because the damage was too low (especially if you play as a soulblade; in the later stages I only used soul annihilation or desintegrate) - for this I don't understand why they didn't introduce upgrades for abilities, like they did with many other classes (for exaple chanter).

 

I think some abilities need to be reworked and redistributed in the powerlevel-scala (including maybe some upgrade paths); a few new high level abilities should be added; ascendant state and soul annihilation need to be reworked.

 

I don't think we need faster focus generation (esp. not with the option to take biting whip).

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What is the issue with Ciphers in 1.1?

They were among the weakest classes in several polls even before the patch, 1.1 weakened some of their few decent abilities.

They are not only (perceived as) weaker than many other classes, many of their spells seen to be hardly worth casting (if an ability that stuns someone for 6 sec blocks you from doing anything else for 6 sec as well, you've not gained much).

Furthermore, ciphers only somewhat shine as crowd controllers, but don't have viable tools for other roles (DPS, tanking, buffing, healing, ...)

I am curious because before that patch I found ciphers to be hilariously broken (at least the ascendant). Very solid CC, good buffs/debuffs. I won’t be checking 1.1 before it s finished, but I was curious because from my experience ciphers were in a need of a major nerf.

 

They did get nerfed - Body attunement got a hard nerf(+5 to +2) , soul annihilation damage nerfed by 50% , time parasite nerfed by 50 % and some minor nerfs , no buffs

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Dr. Hieronymous Alloy gave a good list of reasons why Ciphers are underperforming here.

 

 

aww =) 

 

 

 

 

I am curious because before that patch I found ciphers to be hilariously broken (at least the ascendant). Very solid CC, good buffs/debuffs. I won’t be checking 1.1 before it s finished, but I was curious because from my experience ciphers were in a need of a major nerf.

 

 

To answer your question more specifically, Ciphers are in a weird place post-1.1 where they're basically a one trick pony (that trick being the Charm powers -- whisper, puppet, ringleader). There are a few other useful tricks in their repertoire (pain block, amplified wave, time parasite is still a bit absurd if it still stacks with itself) but overall they just have a really short list of powers and most of the powers on that list, especially from Tier 6 on up, are situational at best (screaming souls) to literally useless (Ancestor's Honor).

 

Said another way, you can still make a perfectly functional cipher, especially if you multiclass, but overall there aren't enough good powers above Tier 6 to justify playing a single-classed Cipher; you're pretty much always better off multiclassing instead, focusing on the other class, and then just grabbing Ringleader in passing. 

 

I made a detailed list of suggested changes to the class here: 

 

https://forums.obsidian.net/topic/101756-cipher-class-general-feedback-discussion/?p=2049921

 

Goal isn't so much to increase CIpher's power as to give them added versatility and allow them to fill addtional roles in the party beyond "charm bot." 

Edited by Dr. Hieronymous Alloy
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Ciphers are perceived as one of the weakest classes by many, builds that still work rely heavily on a few select spells ( mostly whispers of treason).

 

Some said they are weak because their biggest benefit in poe1 - their unlimited resource pool - is no longer an advantage now that most classes have per encounter spells.

 

But I haven't seen any good suggestions how to fix them. By changing individual spells? Or is there something that could be done as a general measure?

 

Some ideas:

Start with full focus (except ascendant)

Bigger damage bonus?

Faster focus generation?

 

I always multi cipher with my tank (fighter usually)

 

Ditto for chanter, I always multi it with one of my ranged strikers

 

Makes the game very easy though.

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With the nerfs to Time Parasite and Ascended there's really no reason to go single class Cipher now. Feels bad, man.

 

Am I the only person who thinks Driving Echoes is the best buff to your party's casters in the game? By a landslide?

 

 

 

Yeah, but that's just one good power, and by the time you get it, the game is mostly over.  The last three tiers are all like that -- one good active power and a bunch of dead buttons that aren't worth pressing. 

 

Tier VII, Stasis Shell is the best option and it's basically just a crappy paralyze for paralyze-immune targets.

 

Tier VIII, Time Parasite is good, reaping knives should be redundant if you've built correctly (spending 80 focus to get back focus is usually a bad trade), and defensive mindweb is nerfed into the ground

 

Tier IX, Driving Echoes is good, Haunting Chains is worse than a fifth-level wizard spell, 1000 cuts is . . .well, not awful against a boss, but compare vs. any wizard damage spell?

 

The class is playable. It's not utterly broken. But the current implementation is always gonna be the weak link in the party.

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With the nerfs to Time Parasite and Ascended there's really no reason to go single class Cipher now. Feels bad, man.

 

Am I the only person who thinks Driving Echoes is the best buff to your party's casters in the game? By a landslide?

 

 

 

Yeah, but that's just one good power, and by the time you get it, the game is mostly over.  The last three tiers are all like that -- one good active power and a bunch of dead buttons that aren't worth pressing. 

 

Tier VII, Stasis Shell is the best option and it's basically just a crappy paralyze for paralyze-immune targets.

 

Tier VIII, Time Parasite is good, reaping knives should be redundant if you've built correctly (spending 80 focus to get back focus is usually a bad trade), and defensive mindweb is nerfed into the ground

 

Tier IX, Driving Echoes is good, Haunting Chains is worse than a fifth-level wizard spell, 1000 cuts is . . .well, not awful against a boss, but compare vs. any wizard damage spell?

 

The class is playable. It's not utterly broken. But the current implementation is always gonna be the weak link in the party.

 

Not disagreeing with you; was only asking re:comment that "there is no reason to play pure cipher".

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With the nerfs to Time Parasite and Ascended there's really no reason to go single class Cipher now. Feels bad, man.

 

Am I the only person who thinks Driving Echoes is the best buff to your party's casters in the game? By a landslide?

 

 

 

Yeah, but that's just one good power, and by the time you get it, the game is mostly over.  The last three tiers are all like that -- one good active power and a bunch of dead buttons that aren't worth pressing. 

 

Tier VII, Stasis Shell is the best option and it's basically just a crappy paralyze for paralyze-immune targets.

 

Tier VIII, Time Parasite is good, reaping knives should be redundant if you've built correctly (spending 80 focus to get back focus is usually a bad trade), and defensive mindweb is nerfed into the ground

 

Tier IX, Driving Echoes is good, Haunting Chains is worse than a fifth-level wizard spell, 1000 cuts is . . .well, not awful against a boss, but compare vs. any wizard damage spell?

 

The class is playable. It's not utterly broken. But the current implementation is always gonna be the weak link in the party.

 

Not disagreeing with you; was only asking re:comment that "there is no reason to play pure cipher".

 

Driving Echoes is a great ability, but like Doc Hieronymous explained, it's a diamond in a sea of mediocrity: as a Cipher, your decisions are largely based on what's not bad instead of what shines.

 

I'd like to see:

Focus pool starts at 50 percent of max; adjust for Ascendant. Focus pool growth feels off compared to other classes.

Soul Whip/Biting Whip scales with PL so single class Cipher isn't gimped on damage.

Self-targeting Echos.

Meme Powers like Fractured Volition, Screaming Souls, and Haunting Chains completely reworked. Buff Mental Binding since Paralyze isn't nearly as powerful as in PoE1. Phantom Foes could use better functionality.

Maybe add Gunner and/or Marksman passives.

Gear that adds +PL or other effects to Power subsets. Correct me if I'm wrong, but I don't recall there being any items that provide specific bonuses to Cipher.

 

Edited by Ophiuchus
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well idk; i actually quite liked my cipher. he ended up with 105k total damage done, in addition to copious amounts of charming. my mighty dexterous fast rogue adventurer with the frost seeker was only second with 88k. maybe those figures are not terribly impressive, but then again i think i cleared almost all hostile encounters in the game, and since there are no respawns, it probably can't be much higher.

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