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On my main party of 

 

1. fighter

2. paly

3. cipher

4. rogue

5. wizard

 

The cipher is by far the lowest drawcard. He harldy even contibutes at all compared to the others.

 

Most of his spell just arent worth casting. The long cast times, short duration effect, mediocre effects and having to accumalte focus just arent dong it for me.

 

Pain block is useful then the next best spell is amplified wave. Time parasite is ok after the nerf. Defensive mindweb is completely useless in its current state.

Edited by antman45454

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Antman chapter III

45454 returns

 

Cipher shred spells are underwhelming, and Ciphers do have spells that seem like they're really **** and not worth casting. But if you pick correct spells it's very hard to lose.

 

Your basic modus operandi should be debuffing enemy Will and raising your accuracy and Will attacks before dominating them. So do not skip on stuff like Psychovampiric shield (flat -10 resolve), Borrowed Instinct (ton of accuracy for u) and of course Ringleader. Painblock you already know, it's so free and cheap it's almost unfair on tanks and frontliners.

 

Technically you can just spam Whisper of Treason and probably win anything provided you do lots of damage to replenish Focus.

 

When you get Disintigration, fun begins as you can probably melt anything with it provided you debuff enemy enough to land an empowered dis.

 

But yeah, can't say Cipher as so hot nowadays.

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Cipher Rogue is strong bet, Ascendant for even more power. You can max focus even quicker using buffed rogue attacks, and still have enought level points to buy all good cipher spells.

 

Nevertheless it is annoying, that there are some good cipher powers, but many of them are total waste of space.

Edited by evilcat

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It’s just for some classes, there are some obvious choice that is much better than other ones.

 

For example, wizard lvl 1 spells, chill fog >> sunless touch, cipher lvl 1 spell whisper >> rest, rogue gambit >> rest strikes.

 

Ciphers are not weak if u spam these very powerful mind-control spells, but it’s very boring, and turn them into one trick pony.

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It’s just for some classes, there are some obvious choice that is much better than other ones.

 

For example, wizard lvl 1 spells, chill fog >> sunless touch, cipher lvl 1 spell whisper >> rest, rogue gambit >> rest strikes.

 

Ciphers are not weak if u spam these very powerful mind-control spells, but it’s very boring, and turn them into one trick pony.

 

obsidian reaction after reading this. ok we've put it on our next mega nerf list :p

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Even the multis are underwhelming compared to most other multis, though. Cipher needs something to set it apart from other caster classes given that it's the only one that has to build up/replenish its resource pool (boon in PoE1, malus in PoE2). Given that most ciphers only reach max focus once per battle, I'd like to see their casting/recovery times halved. They still wouldn't be able to cast spells as powerful as a wizard and are further limited by not being able to cast much of anything early in combat, so they should be able to make up for it either through a uniquely rapid casting effect or higher damage passives. The 10% damage difference between biting whip and soul whip in 1.1 make the former basically useless, for example – either give ciphers more combat viability to fill the striker role or improve casting so they can better fill a CC role, because right now they don't really excel at either.

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Even the multis are underwhelming compared to most other multis, though. Cipher needs something to set it apart from other caster classes given that it's the only one that has to build up/replenish its resource pool (boon in PoE1, malus in PoE2). Given that most ciphers only reach max focus once per battle, I'd like to see their casting/recovery times halved. They still wouldn't be able to cast spells as powerful as a wizard and are further limited by not being able to cast much of anything early in combat, so they should be able to make up for it either through a uniquely rapid casting effect or higher damage passives. The 10% damage difference between biting whip and soul whip in 1.1 make the former basically useless, for example – either give ciphers more combat viability to fill the striker role or improve casting so they can better fill a CC role, because right now they don't really excel at either.

I shaved some action speed and recovery from Powers like Mental Binding and Silent Scream. It makes combat significantly more fluid.

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Antman chapter III

45454 returns

 

Cipher shred spells are underwhelming, and Ciphers do have spells that seem like they're really **** and not worth casting. But if you pick correct spells it's very hard to lose.

 

Your basic modus operandi should be debuffing enemy Will and raising your accuracy and Will attacks before dominating them. So do not skip on stuff like Psychovampiric shield (flat -10 resolve), Borrowed Instinct (ton of accuracy for u) and of course Ringleader. Painblock you already know, it's so free and cheap it's almost unfair on tanks and frontliners.

 

Technically you can just spam Whisper of Treason and probably win anything provided you do lots of damage to replenish Focus.

 

When you get Disintigration, fun begins as you can probably melt anything with it provided you debuff enemy enough to land an empowered dis.

 

But yeah, can't say Cipher as so hot nowadays.

yes im well aware of all this,

 

I have played ciphers alot in POE1

 

IMO they just arent that good compared to other classes,

 

They get better in the later levels though

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Currently playing a Dwarf Mindstalker  Beguiler/Trickster that's pretty fun and effective with a couple other oddballs (in a classic difficulty party). 

 

 Eder & Xoti are fighter and priest respectively and currently Pallegina as Herald (Paladin/Chanter) and Maia as Geomancer (Ranger (gun hawk) /Wizard) . Just hit level 8 and heading to Hasango - :)


Nomadic Wayfarer of the Obsidian Order


 

Not all those that wander are lost...

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Are we playing the same game?  My Cipher/Barbarian Serafen is an integral part of my team.  He deals crazy bonus damage on his physical attacks, he casts good debuff spells, and his charms/dominates win battles.

 

Silent Scream later on is very useful for Raw damage, and Disintegration is insane.

 

He also has infinite casts due to his replenishing resource, which is crazy powerful in longer fights.

Edited by Yosharian
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Different strokes for different folks. I'm having a lot of fun with Beguiler/Assassin -- you can shoot something from stealth, teleport behind your brick wall line and either set up debuffs for your sneak attacks or charm (love when enemies do my dirty work for me and kill themselves),  or charm first and pile on them while they're distracted  -- certainly more interesting and versatile than just swinging some BFS all the time or punching someone repeatedly in the face.

Edited by bugarup
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I think the issue is, most encounters don't last long enough for the Cipher's primary advantage (infinite resources) to matter. Cipher can still be strong, but I've come to the realization that it will only feel that way if you're literally neglecting all of your other party members - and that's exactly what most Cipher mains will do, as Ciphers are already one of the most micromanagement-heavy classes in the game. There are other issues that make this problem something that needs to be tackled at multiple angles, but this is what it essentially boils down to.

 

This is apparent towards mid/late game, where the open nature of the game makes it very easy to overlevel most encounters after you leave the tutorial island, and all the other classes gain more of their per-encounter resources to spend on top of new abilities. Ciphers just gain more spells, most of which are of questionable utility/strength. If anything, Cipher's primary advantage in infinite resources has sort of shifted into a disadvantage since they need to build up focus to use their spells. It doesn't help that there doesn't appear to be any gear in the game that exists specifically to power up Cipher spells in any way (as opposed to the amulet in 1 that was added in White March that drastically increased focus gain if your HP was above 50%), while there are several for Wizards and Druids.

 

Chanters do have the same sort of issue, but their skills are good enough to keep up with the rest of the pack thanks to some skills receiving passive upgrades later on, they have more overall tools to bring to the table that can't really be replicated by other classes, and they always generate a consistent stream of their resources throughout a fight (and it does appear that they enter fights with all or most of their phrases to immediately summon something, while Ciphers start fights with like 25% of their max focus). On the other side of the spectrum, Ciphers need to deal damage via autos/marital skills to generate focus, their skills peak at around power level 4-6, and the long cast times of some of their key spells means they aren't launching autos/using skills to generate more focus.

 

I still maintain that the Time Parasite nerf was a really weird decision that has even further solidified Cipher as a secondary multiclass option more than anything else.

Edited by Saito Hikari

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This is largely wrt single class ciphers, haven't played around much with multiclassing them.

 

I feel like a lot of the point of playing, and preferring, a cipher was lost when spells got moved to a per encounter basis. They used to offer a certain kind of consistency, reliability, convenience that just doesn't really matter anymore. When I was playing an ascendant I'd spend what felt like what was half the fight (it's really not but it felt that way) plinking away with my melee/ranged to get to the real meaty parts (that falls into this awkward space of 1) taking too long to reach for mook mobs 2) stops halfway through decent fights but takes too long to achieve again for that final bit 3) Sisyphusing boss battles) but why bother with that when I can be dialled up to 11 for every fight with a wizard? Yes, the mind control is nice, I just don't wanna spend the entirety of the game running around whisper of treasoning every encounter. Also, it's tedious force attacking them after their friends are dead. The two most powerful spells are DoT and while it's still okay with disintegrate DoaTC takes waaaaay too long, either it'll be dead through more conventional means or you'll be. AoE damage is subpar and you get better CC with the other spellcasting classes (outside of the mind control I mean). They're also kinda squishy, lacking the robustness of melee characters but also not having the same degree of buffs and/or heals the other spellcasters have.

 

It's still very cool class conceptually. I really like the idea of being a psychic (though I wish there was more acknowledgement of that fact, especially from other ciphers) but underwhelming is a good word for how I feel about it atm and I think it needs more than just some spreadsheet rejiggering to make it a compelling option.

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I've been playing with Serafen full cipher. POTD

 

alot of the spells just seem underwhelming in the amount of damage they do...  especially higher level spells that take 1/4 of the fight to actually get to.   Paralyze constantly misses, and the durations seem shorter than they used to.   I avoided the charm/dominate route, just for fun.

Edited by tdphys

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I played two games with ciphers a quick run and full run. one single class one multi. In both cases I think it is safe to say ciphers can be excellent support roles on the team - the second guy who charms enemy mobs and also buffs tanks and frontliners. That is especially true considering they have technically ythe best "heal" in the game in pain block because they can cast it any ammount of times in a set battle. They are not the best choice for for pure dps though even with their soul whip. they are good at control and not damage so if you image you want to be "the dps guy" just play rogue/barbarian or scout. any martial class really lol. 

 

playing them solo in potd is possible though - you turtle up, buff your defensives and accuracy and just use charms to win. 

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I did full playthrough with Serafen as single barb and Witch. Single barb did twice damage, meaning that auto-attacking may be more effective than some of the cipher stuff. Of course I could have built him wrong, but makes you think.

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I would agree if not for the simple reason - Whispers of Treason. 

It is stupid OP IMO and should get the nerf hammer.

But other cipher stuff needs to be buffed.

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Guys im sorry but in POE1 with its resting casting system ciphers had a huge advantage over other casters becasue they could use there abilities all the time every encounter as long as they built up focus,

 

In deadfire with the new changes to casting every class can use spell every encounter and not have to accumulate focus like ciphers do,

 

And on top of that they have nerfed most of the good cipher abilities, eg mindweb, time parasite

 

Im sorry but ciphers really really really really suck at the moment

 

probably second worst class with rangers bottom

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in my point of view, Cipher is powerful to charm enemy for 20 sec by using first level spell for unlimited times.

And yes, Cipher is just so weak in it's most high level spells which are high cost, short duration and low damage.

Edited by Julymio

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I think the issue is, most encounters don't last long enough for the Cipher's primary advantage (infinite resources) to matter. Cipher can still be strong, but I've come to the realization that it will only feel that way if you're literally neglecting all of your other party members - and that's exactly what most Cipher mains will do, as Ciphers are already one of the most micromanagement-heavy classes in the game. There are other issues that make this problem something that needs to be tackled at multiple angles, but this is what it essentially boils down to.

 

This is apparent towards mid/late game, where the open nature of the game makes it very easy to overlevel most encounters after you leave the tutorial island, and all the other classes gain more of their per-encounter resources to spend on top of new abilities. Ciphers just gain more spells, most of which are of questionable utility/strength. If anything, Cipher's primary advantage in infinite resources has sort of shifted into a disadvantage since they need to build up focus to use their spells. It doesn't help that there doesn't appear to be any gear in the game that exists specifically to power up Cipher spells in any way (as opposed to the amulet in 1 that was added in White March that drastically increased focus gain if your HP was above 50%), while there are several for Wizards and Druids.

 

Chanters do have the same sort of issue, but their skills are good enough to keep up with the rest of the pack thanks to some skills receiving passive upgrades later on, they have more overall tools to bring to the table that can't really be replicated by other classes, and they always generate a consistent stream of their resources throughout a fight (and it does appear that they enter fights with all or most of their phrases to immediately summon something, while Ciphers start fights with like 25% of their max focus). On the other side of the spectrum, Ciphers need to deal damage via autos/marital skills to generate focus, their skills peak at around power level 4-6, and the long cast times of some of their key spells means they aren't launching autos/using skills to generate more focus.

 

I still maintain that the Time Parasite nerf was a really weird decision that has even further solidified Cipher as a secondary multiclass option more than anything else.

 

> I think the issue is, most encounters don't last long enough for the Cipher's primary advantage (infinite resources) to matter. Cipher can still be strong, but I've come to the realization that it will only feel that way if you're literally neglecting all of your other party members - and that's exactly what most Cipher mains will do, as Ciphers are already one of the most micromanagement-heavy classes in the game. There are other issues that make this problem something that needs to be tackled at multiple angles, but this is what it essentially boils down to.

 

1) The hardest encounters in the game are those that will last the longest, often.  So Ciphers have a lot of power when it matters the most.

 

2) You don't have to 'neglect' your other party members.  This is a real-time-with-pause game.  Set the game to pause after each ability is cast, and simply issue a new command to your Cipher each time he finishes an ability.  Or, use the AI.

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I think the issue is, most encounters don't last long enough for the Cipher's primary advantage (infinite resources) to matter. Cipher can still be strong, but I've come to the realization that it will only feel that way if you're literally neglecting all of your other party members - and that's exactly what most Cipher mains will do, as Ciphers are already one of the most micromanagement-heavy classes in the game. There are other issues that make this problem something that needs to be tackled at multiple angles, but this is what it essentially boils down to.

 

This is apparent towards mid/late game, where the open nature of the game makes it very easy to overlevel most encounters after you leave the tutorial island, and all the other classes gain more of their per-encounter resources to spend on top of new abilities. Ciphers just gain more spells, most of which are of questionable utility/strength. If anything, Cipher's primary advantage in infinite resources has sort of shifted into a disadvantage since they need to build up focus to use their spells. It doesn't help that there doesn't appear to be any gear in the game that exists specifically to power up Cipher spells in any way (as opposed to the amulet in 1 that was added in White March that drastically increased focus gain if your HP was above 50%), while there are several for Wizards and Druids.

 

Chanters do have the same sort of issue, but their skills are good enough to keep up with the rest of the pack thanks to some skills receiving passive upgrades later on, they have more overall tools to bring to the table that can't really be replicated by other classes, and they always generate a consistent stream of their resources throughout a fight (and it does appear that they enter fights with all or most of their phrases to immediately summon something, while Ciphers start fights with like 25% of their max focus). On the other side of the spectrum, Ciphers need to deal damage via autos/marital skills to generate focus, their skills peak at around power level 4-6, and the long cast times of some of their key spells means they aren't launching autos/using skills to generate more focus.

 

I still maintain that the Time Parasite nerf was a really weird decision that has even further solidified Cipher as a secondary multiclass option more than anything else.

 

> I think the issue is, most encounters don't last long enough for the Cipher's primary advantage (infinite resources) to matter. Cipher can still be strong, but I've come to the realization that it will only feel that way if you're literally neglecting all of your other party members - and that's exactly what most Cipher mains will do, as Ciphers are already one of the most micromanagement-heavy classes in the game. There are other issues that make this problem something that needs to be tackled at multiple angles, but this is what it essentially boils down to.

 

1) The hardest encounters in the game are those that will last the longest, often.  So Ciphers have a lot of power when it matters the most.

 

2) You don't have to 'neglect' your other party members.  This is a real-time-with-pause game.  Set the game to pause after each ability is cast, and simply issue a new command to your Cipher each time he finishes an ability.  Or, use the AI.

 

 

The point I'm trying to get to is that if one macros every party member equally, most other classes are going to naturally outperform the Cipher in every way that isn't a charm bot, unless people have found a way to make the Cipher work as a multiclass. And even then, Cipher as a multiclass in such a case has more of a passive/secondary purpose - which is the entire point of the Soul Blade subclass, now that I think about it.

 

I think what would help the most (outside of redesigning like half of the Cipher's spell selection) is an across the board reduction in cast time for most of their spells. Longer cast times means time you're not spending to attack in order to build up focus again. This is a contributing factor as to why Ascendant seems so much stronger than the other Cipher subclasses/non-subbed, as they don't have to worry abut auto-ing to chain cast for a long period of time.

 

Actually, Ascendant in general seems rather problematic for balance, now that I think about it. The very nature of their 'unlimited focus for 20-30 seconds when at max focus' design means that any buffs to Cipher is going to matter a lot more for them than the other Ciphers, and the impact of any nerfs will negatively affect the other Ciphers much more than an Ascendant. Take the Time Parasite nerf, for instance - Time Parasite in itself costs about 1/3 - 1/4 of a Cipher's max focus, and the nerf was done in a way that it made it much more difficult for the other Ciphers to take advantage of, while Ascendants can chain cast it and pretend that the nerf didn't even happen.

Edited by Saito Hikari

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> In every way that isn't a charm bot

 

Umm...

 

Why would you ignore charm? It's virtually the signature ability of the Cipher.

 

Obviously if you look at everything but charm, the Cipher will be outperformed.

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Serafen sucks as a cipher. His stats are really crappy. He misses most abilties even on Veteran mode. Made me not want to play a cipher. I did play one as a first character. Multi with Fighter, but not for the spells. Just the free stats. Maybe should have picked rogue, but whatever.

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I think the issue is, most encounters don't last long enough for the Cipher's primary advantage (infinite resources) to matter. Cipher can still be strong, but I've come to the realization that it will only feel that way if you're literally neglecting all of your other party members - and that's exactly what most Cipher mains will do, as Ciphers are already one of the most micromanagement-heavy classes in the game. There are other issues that make this problem something that needs to be tackled at multiple angles, but this is what it essentially boils down to.

 

This is apparent towards mid/late game, where the open nature of the game makes it very easy to overlevel most encounters after you leave the tutorial island, and all the other classes gain more of their per-encounter resources to spend on top of new abilities. Ciphers just gain more spells, most of which are of questionable utility/strength. If anything, Cipher's primary advantage in infinite resources has sort of shifted into a disadvantage since they need to build up focus to use their spells. It doesn't help that there doesn't appear to be any gear in the game that exists specifically to power up Cipher spells in any way (as opposed to the amulet in 1 that was added in White March that drastically increased focus gain if your HP was above 50%), while there are several for Wizards and Druids.

 

Chanters do have the same sort of issue, but their skills are good enough to keep up with the rest of the pack thanks to some skills receiving passive upgrades later on, they have more overall tools to bring to the table that can't really be replicated by other classes, and they always generate a consistent stream of their resources throughout a fight (and it does appear that they enter fights with all or most of their phrases to immediately summon something, while Ciphers start fights with like 25% of their max focus). On the other side of the spectrum, Ciphers need to deal damage via autos/marital skills to generate focus, their skills peak at around power level 4-6, and the long cast times of some of their key spells means they aren't launching autos/using skills to generate more focus.

 

I still maintain that the Time Parasite nerf was a really weird decision that has even further solidified Cipher as a secondary multiclass option more than anything else.

> I think the issue is, most encounters don't last long enough for the Cipher's primary advantage (infinite resources) to matter. Cipher can still be strong, but I've come to the realization that it will only feel that way if you're literally neglecting all of your other party members - and that's exactly what most Cipher mains will do, as Ciphers are already one of the most micromanagement-heavy classes in the game. There are other issues that make this problem something that needs to be tackled at multiple angles, but this is what it essentially boils down to.

 

1) The hardest encounters in the game are those that will last the longest, often. So Ciphers have a lot of power when it matters the most.

 

2) You don't have to 'neglect' your other party members. This is a real-time-with-pause game. Set the game to pause after each ability is cast, and simply issue a new command to your Cipher each time he finishes an ability. Or, use the AI.

The point I'm trying to get to is that if one macros every party member equally, most other classes are going to naturally outperform the Cipher in every way that isn't a charm bot, unless people have found a way to make the Cipher work as a multiclass. And even then, Cipher as a multiclass in such a case has more of a passive/secondary purpose - which is the entire point of the Soul Blade subclass, now that I think about it.

 

I think what would help the most (outside of redesigning like half of the Cipher's spell selection) is an across the board reduction in cast time for most of their spells. Longer cast times means time you're not spending to attack in order to build up focus again. This is a contributing factor as to why Ascendant seems so much stronger than the other Cipher subclasses/non-subbed, as they don't have to worry abut auto-ing to chain cast for a long period of time.

 

Actually, Ascendant in general seems rather problematic for balance, now that I think about it. The very nature of their 'unlimited focus for 20-30 seconds when at max focus' design means that any buffs to Cipher is going to matter a lot more for them than the other Ciphers, and the impact of any nerfs will negatively affect the other Ciphers much more than an Ascendant. Take the Time Parasite nerf, for instance - Time Parasite in itself costs about 1/3 - 1/4 of a Cipher's max focus, and the nerf was done in a way that it made it much more difficult for the other Ciphers to take advantage of, while Ascendants can chain cast it and pretend that the nerf didn't even happen.

The problem for ascendants is that they need to reach max focus before you really get the benefits of the subclass. Perhaps I built my witch wrong but I never managed to reach max focus before the combat was over.

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i have restarted playthrough, 

 

this time instead of using serafen as a cipher i am using a priest,

 

man it is like playing on a different difficulty the game is soooooo mych easier now on POTD

 

In pillars 1 the main reason reasons you took a cipher was for : amplified wave, time parasite and defensive mindweb

 

Now defensive mindweb doesnt work (especially on POTD), time parasite has been nerfed to half its effectiveness and i think the prone effect on amplified wave has been nerfed aswell eg they get knocked down and then get straight back up

 

Ciphers use to be my fav class now they suck bigtime

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