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Single class cipher at level 13 

 

aoe wide 100-113 damage on crit (amplified wave) - spammable four times in ascendant state (1x borrowed instinct +4x amplified wave). no cheese just using correct items I would use on any spellcaster nuker. granted that is with champion of barath stats but if I was pre buffing with a certain helm and lightning damage can push up those numbers to 150 damage from 110 easy.

on what difficulty?

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Single class cipher at level 13 

 

aoe wide 100-113 damage on crit (amplified wave) - spammable four times in ascendant state (1x borrowed instinct +4x amplified wave). no cheese just using correct items I would use on any spellcaster nuker. granted that is with champion of barath stats but if I was pre buffing with a certain helm and lightning damage can push up those numbers to 150 damage from 110 easy.

on what difficulty?

potd upscaled with deadly deadfire - just use a bunch of items like griffon blade when casting (+10% spell damage), Kuaro's Prize (+5% spell damage) baubles of the fin (+3%), xoti's lantern (+5%) etc on your party members and it eventually adds up to nice damage. definitely take hearth orlan for minor threat to get more crits. 

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The inspirations/afflictions are also too weak for cipher powers across the board. Take Tenuous Grasp from PoE 1: Frightened for 15 sec, Confused for 6 sec acc+10 vs will. Confused was extremely good in PoE 1, on par with Frightened/Terrified in deadfire. Still not half as good a power overall as other 1st level cipher spells, but way better than Deadfire, where Shaken is a minor defense debuff and Confused is borderline useless. 

 

In addition, it is also rather massive -20 will, long lasting debuff, counts as, I think, deception (of some importance to beguiler) but not as mind (unlike Psychovampiric Shield, which in turn does not count as resolve affliction) and, given how inspiration/affliction system works, it battles against enemies with intellect/reslove weakness gets upgraded and becomes practically instacast 10 focus charm (spoiler):

 

 

 

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EDIT: btw, I just noticed that some changes are coming: https://forums.obsidian.net/topic/103043-patch-120-updates-thread/?do=findComment&comment=2064427

Among other things, Whisper of Treason has range and duration reduced. Also generally hitting charmed enemies will cancel charm. That is drastic, but will put an end to some abuse (see image above).

 

Good points, but Tenuous Grasp is still single target, and you have to hit an enemy in the first place to get -20 will on that one dude. There are also very few enemy types that are weak vs intellect afflictions if I remember. Giant Grub is a hard fight early game on PotD but I usually cast fear then DoT and heavy damage spells on it anyways instead of bothering trying to charm a stationary meatwad.

 

I think the beta patch changes to Cipher are a huge step in the right direction (going off patch notes alone, haven't gotten a chance to mess around yet). Mental Binding's Cast/Duration ratio is much more appealing now (eyestrike as well), and Ciphers can cast Brilliant inspiration with reworked Ancestors Whatever power that used to give an empower point (awesome).  Penetration has been increased for lots of powers as well, which is nice for giving at least some advantage to their damage spells. Plus tactical meld is back!

 

Charm being broken on hit is a huge change but a welcome one for me. Forcing attack on helpless charmed enemies at the end of battles was really annoying. Hoping the changes will reduce the one-trick-pony feel and make the class more versatile, as it should be.

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I still badly miss my PoE release-version Mind Blades, let alone Amplified Wave, which I loved so much I tanked around with me and GM in PoE 1.

 

I was very disappointed in the higher-tier powers in PoE 1, let alone 2 and I spent ages before my first aborted PoE2 run whether to just go "sod it" and go multiclass (I probably will next time.)

 

Sod charm, I just want to mind-blades, dammit! I wanna be Psylocke, not Xavier!

 

C'mon OBS, give us a Tier 7-9 Mind-Blades or something! Please?

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Ascendants are super good even if u completely ignore charm spells. Hordes of enemies - spam Amp wave. Few enemies - spam mindblades. Soulblade is ok

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With the casting speed of a few Powers reduced to .5, I'm having a blast on my Cipher/Ghost Heart. The instant recovery proc on Saint Omaku's Mercy (Galawain's Harry; 50 percent on crit) combines well with stuff like Eyestrike, Mental Binding, Pain Block or Secret Horrors. Driving Flight gives you a second chance to proc the effect and gain additional Focus at the same time.

Frostseeker's probably better at the end of the day but this makes for a nice alternative.

Edited by Ophiuchus

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I have a Beguiler/Trickster. Cipher absolutely thrashes everyone with dominations while buffing herself with borrowed instinct and body attunement to let her rogue-alterego kill just about anything.

 

Just got to level 19 and got Ancestor's Memory - holy molly intellect rank 3 inspiration is mighty. Also that's new in the game, right? The rank 3.

 

 

I'm just glad I chose a flavorful multi-class those 60 hours ago instead of a super-powerful one because the super-powerful ones are now nerfed while I ascended to godhood in terms of usefulness.

Edited by Queeg
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If my post hasn't been edited yet, I'm still looking to find the error I made typing it.

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Cipher/Helwalker is a blast now: might buffs mean more damage/focus while swift flurry + duality gives pumped casting speed and ability duration, so you can basically spam the battlefield with stun lock and charm within the first 15 seconds of a fight. At level 16 each use of dual wield+stunning surge (which refunds resources) will typically give you enough focus for disintegration, so you can replace stun/charm with constantly having 3-4 enemies melting at any given time. Easily as good as a monk/streetfighter, monk/trickster, rogue/devoted.

Problem is, cipher is mainly useful as part of a multi build - take away the casting/duration bonuses and it still doesn't really hold up as a single class (not a problem unique to the cipher by any means, but still disappointing.) Not sure if they can ever balance this class to be effective as a single without then being OP as a multi at this point.

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Problem is, cipher is mainly useful as part of a multi build - take away the casting/duration bonuses and it still doesn't really hold up as a single class (not a problem unique to the cipher by any means, but still disappointing.) Not sure if they can ever balance this class to be effective as a single without then being OP as a multi at this point.

 

 

I think the answer is adding more active abilities, especially at tier 7/8/9. Ciphers have a shorter power roster than the other casting classes already, and multiclasses can only pick so many powers anyway.

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Guest Psychovampiric Shield

I find Eyestrike a bit underwhelming, to be honest. More precisely, its utility is reduced by that it is attack against fortitude.

Compare with Mental Binding, which is attack against will of primary target and then against fortitude of secondary targets in area of effect. As such it benefits from Empty Soul passive and wide array of (not only) cipher int/res (=will) debuffs, some of which are applicable even on foes that have int/res resistances/immunities, because they are direct attribute non-affliction debuffs. So, Mental Binding will be cast with bonus accuracy against potentially reduced will, probably hit and rolls against fortitude of secondary targets will at least be made.

Eyestrike, on the other hand, has no accuracy bonus, selection of fortitude debuffs is not that great and further reduced by might/con/mind resistances and immunities.  Therefore, Eyestrike is more likely to fail and if it does, rolls against secondary targets will not be even attempted.

And utility does not go up significantly in case that foes are either properly debuffed or are low fortitude to begin with, because then it competes with other, more nasty fortitude attacks for action time, so to speak.

Simply put, I think it should be will+fortitude attack like Mental Binding, if not plain will attack, given it is slower (yeah, it is cheaper, but...).

 

Another thing...Fractured Volition. If it was hobbled + distracted, or staggered + weakened,  I would say okay, 20 point reflex (fortitude) debuff, let's take this and follow with some attack against reflex (fortitude) like Ectopsychic Echo (Disintegration). If it was paralyzed + weakened, I would say okay, let's try this instead of Mental Binding, it is just single target, but lasts longer and has weakened as a bonus.

But hobbled + weakened? Eh? What is the use case? Any thoughts/experience?

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At least chanters are the absolute suck this time around. Shame though, seeing as ciphers were a tour de force last time...

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Wait, chanters suck? They’ve been nerfed repeatedly, but I’m under the impression most people still think they’re really strong and that troubador is one of the strongest classes in the game.

 

Cipher is really good now. They have powerful wide area soft cc that weakens groups considerably, ascendants can easily rival or surpass other casters in damage output, soul blades deal excellent melee damage, they have the best single target hard cc in the game hands down and they have access to limited, but powerful support spells. Obviously a single cipher can’t do all of that, but you can specialize in a few domains, say, melee damage and soft control, and be really, really good at it.

 

There are still a few dud powers that just don’t make sense at all, but the class as a whole is great.

 

I agree that targeting fortitude is a real weakness of eye strike, but it’s still great for a level one spell. Blind is a powerful debuff, eyestrike is dirt cheap and it affects a wide area. At higher levels, it starts to last a long time, too. I cast it once after using secret horrors to lower fortitude and if it doesn’t work, that’s fine.

 

Edit, son of edit: wouldn’t complain if it targeted will, though. I don’t think that would be too powerful compared to the access other classes have to blind at level 1, like chill fog and sun ray.

 

I have no idea what the use case of fractured volition is, it seems really weak.

Edited by grasida

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My problems with ciphers are with their design and how they work in new deadfire system and multiclassing.

 

Previous concerns I stated : too small spell selection, no free spells like other casters ( a minor problem, chanter don't have free spells too, but that hurt your spell selection), buffs that are ally only.

 

Replaying with new potd as a mindstalker, there is something I just dislike about cipher. I want to play them but their is something that prevent it for me.

 

- I find early they really lack of accuracy. All their accuracy buff come later (pl 5). If valorous echo could be casted on you you could get a +5 PER, but early it's really hard to land an affliction.

 

- They lack specific gear. Perhaps i've missed them, but even if they have a few elemental dmg I don't think they benefit from +PL for fire & lightning. I don't think there is anything that boost the PL of mind, deception, echo or shred spells.

 

- Cipher are hybrid caster, because they need to use weapon attack to generate focus, they have passive bonus to weapon attack... but you have too few spells that promote martial fighting.

The afflictions? if you consider the cast time + recovering, you just better to have a full cipher in your group that will support you. He can debuff enemies all the time and your other character can benefit from the buff spells that are ally only (brilliant!). Outside of unlimited focus advantage, rogue is better to apply affliction as a martial class because he do it as weapon attack (no cast time & dmg + affliction in one attack).

I find wizard do better for supporting a martial class, because they have instant selfbuffs (like a martial class), summon weapons, a few summons, debuffs.

 

I find soulblade show a really interesting thing that dev should use to expand cipher : spell delivered through weapon attack (soul annihilation). Since cipher are dependant from weapon attack, why not expanding their spell arsenal with some spells that use weapon attacks? That will make cipher really different from other casters.

 

Ciphers need a few more selfbuff spells, specialy early on.

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But compared to a rogue, the afflictions a cipher can apply are either far stronger, or apply to a larger area. And that's not to mention that after one swing, a multiclass cipher can usually cast several spells in succession. A cipher can swing once and use eyestrike more often than a rogue could use blinding strike in an entire fight.

 

Nobody questions that high tier intellect afflictions like charm and dominate are some of the most powerful effects in the game, and the cipher's access to them in untouchable by any other class. But even in delivering soft cc powers like blind and frightened, cipher still maintains a claim to the throne. However, it's really hard to assess how much those are doing for you without hundreds of hours of experience in the game (that I don't have). On paper, blind and frightened are extremely strong, but it's really hard to say exactly how much damage they're preventing, whereas it's very easy to answer that with hard CC. Who knows how much damage you've reduced by dazing your opponent? Sometimes it's a massive amount, sometimes it's almost none at all! This is a big issue with the generally weaker inspirations and afflictions in deadfire compared to the powerful buffs and debuffs in PoE 1, in which even soft CC was usually attached to massive defensive debuffs that enabled your hard CC. So I think it's easy to undervalue powers like eye strike, mind plague or secret horrors, because it's really hard to assess exactly how they're helping you.

 

Another thing that pushes people to dislike cipher is that it's clearly a hybrid class. You deal good damage and your control spells prevent a lot of damage, but you can't do both at the same time. For people who value action efficiency above all else, that makes cipher uninteresting (or they just go ascendant). But for people who like versatility and enjoy choosing between two very different, but powerful options, that makes the class more fun. That's why I like the current state of soul annihilation. It forces a lot of choices. Do I want to drop my focus into melee damage now to kill something dangerous (the best status effect is dead, after all) or is it more important to protect the team through control effects. If I could cast spells with soul annihilation, I wouldn't need to make any choices.

 

I do agree that ciphers could stand to get a good buff power at early levels. They have the best personal buffs in the game by a very large margin later on, but dealing weapon-based damage early can feel awkward. Psychovampiric shield and recall agony are great offensive powers against a single target, but they only work against single targets. Something that gives the cipher a little extra speed or damage early on would help a lot.

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Many if not all classes are better as multi, that’s more an issue of multi classing than a reflection of any one class.

Ciphers are in a pretty good place now, and it’s more a case of toning down the op than buffing the others.


"Those who look upon gods then say, without even knowing their names, 'He is Fire. She is Dance. He is Destruction. She is Love.' So, to reply to your statement, they do not call themselves gods. Everyone else does, though, everyone who beholds them."
"So they play that on their fascist banjos, eh?"
"You choose the wrong adjective."
"You've already used up all the others.”

 

Lord of Light

 

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Many if not all classes are better as multi, that’s more an issue of multi classing than a reflection of any one class.

Ciphers are in a pretty good place now, and it’s more a case of toning down the op than buffing the others.

Well Wizards, Priests, and Druids have some insane lvl 9 spells.

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Ciphers are better as multis.

 

yes and no. Ciphers lack of highter level spells, in particular 6-7 for a MC. Pretty much no braimer selection here. That mean as a MC cipher your choice of spells drop really fast as you level. And for a solo cipher that mean you don't get more interesting spells (outside some at pl 8-9) to spend your points.

 

Cipher is the only class that have some ally only buff, and that punish multiclassing a lot. MC allow you to get more diversity with your party, but a MC cipher can't fully buff his second class. Brilliant make it even more apparent. So a mindstalker can't regain guile with brilliant. You still need another cipher. Why the limitation? Brilliant to OP on the cipher because he can gain back focus? but what about 2 ciphers that cast brilliant on each other?

They could make brilliant not generating focus (or really low focus). Cipher is the only class that loose some functionability when you MC it outside of PL 8-9. Priest, druid and chanter don't have such limitations that force some of their spells to only support others.

 

I have the feeling that cipher is the class you want in your party, but not necessary play it. When you MC a cipher, the second class is more about buffing focus generation/spellcasting, you have less synergy in the other way (only a few spells & passives can buff the second class).

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Well Wizards, Priests, and Druids have some insane lvl 9 spells.

 

So do ciphers. Try death of 1000 cuts with antipathetic field and mindblades. Both spells hit repeatedly in a short time, and each hit reapplies the full effect of death of 1000 cuts. Death of 1000 cuts + recall agony + antipathetic field alone will do hundreds of raw damage in seconds, then you can throw in a mind blades for a couple hundred more. Nothing can survive that for long. And ciphers get time parasite at level 8, which is also absurdly powerful, and lets an ascendant machine gun out top tier aoe or single target damage at lightning speed. Single class cipher has a harder time getting focus, but at high levels, once they do heaven help their enemies...

 

Soul blades are unquestionably better as multiclasses, though. Soul annihilation multiplies your melee damage, so it works best with another class that already deals high damage. It's probably pretty competitive single class at certain levels, like from 9-13, when single class has borrowed instinct and multi doesnt, and from 16-19, when single class has time parasite, but before it gets death of 1000 cuts. But by level 19, soul annihilation just can't compete with deal of 1000 cuts, so you're strictly worse at single target damage than vanilla cipher or an ascendant with good focus gain.

Edited by grasida

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Ciphers are better as multis.

yes and no. Ciphers lack of highter level spells, in particular 6-7 for a MC. Pretty much no braimer selection here. That mean as a MC cipher your choice of spells drop really fast as you level. And for a solo cipher that mean you don't get more interesting spells (outside some at pl 8-9) to spend your points.

 

Cipher is the only class that have some ally only buff, and that punish multiclassing a lot. MC allow you to get more diversity with your party, but a MC cipher can't fully buff his second class. Brilliant make it even more apparent. So a mindstalker can't regain guile with brilliant. You still need another cipher. Why the limitation? Brilliant to OP on the cipher because he can gain back focus? but what about 2 ciphers that cast brilliant on each other?

They could make brilliant not generating focus (or really low focus). Cipher is the only class that loose some functionability when you MC it outside of PL 8-9. Priest, druid and chanter don't have such limitations that force some of their spells to only support others.

 

I have the feeling that cipher is the class you want in your party, but not necessary play it. When you MC a cipher, the second class is more about buffing focus generation/spellcasting, you have less synergy in the other way (only a few spells & passives can buff the second class).

Ciphers "buff" allies through their CC lockdown. They also have fast, powerful self buffs.

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Ciphers are either to glasscannon or they simply lack that damage spike you need.

 

Ranger solo class is also one of the worst classes.  

 

The problem of cipher is that you have some stagnation at mid level that only spike if you're solo at PL8. Unlocking Time parasite is like transforming into Super Saiyan or Golden form. You can get something like +120% action speed, all your spells are close to instant cast. Add reaping knives for more easy focus & 1000 cuts that just magnify all your dmg spells. Ascendant + time parasite is the Ultra Instinct of Deadfire. In a few seconds you can cast brilliant on all your teammates.

 

If you have to rate solo classes, Cipher is on top and Ranger the worst. Perhaps Monk feel the more balanced, with some cool powerfull abilities but the class can still work without them. I don't think there is any class that have a so big boost at PL 8. They need to smooth the power curve.

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Some classes, mainly due to how front loaded they are, are going to be better as multi than others. To be honest, I’m not sure it’s actually possible to fix. And some classes are going to be stronger than others as single, also not easy to fix.

Though it’s not a massive problem, balance at the moment considering all the options they have to take into account is very, very good.


"Those who look upon gods then say, without even knowing their names, 'He is Fire. She is Dance. He is Destruction. She is Love.' So, to reply to your statement, they do not call themselves gods. Everyone else does, though, everyone who beholds them."
"So they play that on their fascist banjos, eh?"
"You choose the wrong adjective."
"You've already used up all the others.”

 

Lord of Light

 

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Martial classes are more front loaded because of their resource system and high level abilities cost. They are more situationnals. Monk & Chanters are more balanced because phrases and wounds can be earned while fighting. Casters (outside of ciphers) got per encounter high power spells uses, so it feel more rewarding to unlock them (they are 'free').

 

I really think they should have built all the classes around generating resources like chanter, monk & cipher. That fit a per encounter system far better. Even caster are 'broken', be able to cast a meteor storm in each encounter right from the star is too much I think, if there was a trade of like building mana/arcana and not casting spells for some time to be able to unleash your high level spells the system would be more balanced I think.

 

About cipher, the problem is that time parasite give a big bonus that affect all ciphers spells. The speed bonus even stack so you 're near instant cast at some point. With ascendant it's even more broken.

Another problem is that you can't build up + x PL as a cipher compared to other casters, you don't have items with mind, echo, shred... keyword. If at least cipher spells got the elemental keyword. That mean the ascendant bonus & PL 8-9-10(passive) are more important than for other casters that can stack more easly power levels. That make time parasite and ability to spam your spells more effective than caster high powered spells.

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