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So I've been scouring these forums for the past week or so, and have been building various characters and second guessing my self, so far the 2 characters I've come up with, is a cipher and paladin. 

Paladin is Human, Goldpact knights (for generally good roleplaying and DOT effect)  and the stats are 17mig, 10 con, 12 dex, 14 int and 13 res. The idea was to make the paladin fairly tanky while still doing decent damage, int might be a little low and may respec later.

 The Cipher is a pale elf planning on going melee with the cipher and respec later on in the game once i get mind web, but i might not if it works out well the stats are 15mig, 9 con, 16 dex, 10 per, 18 int and 10 res, will prob dump res and con to minimum once I respec but again might not....

As you can see on both characters i neglected to dump much, I just don't like my character being too squishy and since both are going to be in melee range need to be able to take a hit. I don't like dumping Dex also because i cant stand when it takes forever to attack, and on a cipher i feel like dex is the most important since your resource is refilled from damage. And the monk I want them to be able to get out some dps.

This is my first time through a game like this and I have been second guessing myself endlessly, I'm going to play through on normal mode, just want to make sure i am geared up for a good first experience. I want my character to use melee weapons, and to deal a decent amount of damage while also having cool abilities and being fun to roleplay which is why I landed on cipher and paladin. From what I read Cipher has the most dialogue exclusive options and just seems like the class who would go through the ordeal of the game, on the other hand i plan to do a lot of side quests and it makes sense a goldpact knight would be helping everyone in town. 

This is my first post on the forum and am just generally looking for feedback about my characters.

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I'm going to pay attention to the cipher as it's the class I know more about. And likely there's going to be a super knowledgeable player that comes in next and tells me how wrong I am, which is fine 😛

I just want to preface this by saying if you're going to play on normal mode, you do not need to worry about optimal stat distribution. 

Your RES is fine at 10, but having your RES greater than your Con for a frontline melee cipher is not going work as well as boosting your con up. Each class has a base deflection, with cipher being somewhere in the middle with 20 starting deflection. RES is so often dumped as a stat because it doesn't increase deflection that much for the attribute investment, and deflection boosts can be gained from other sources. CON and providing +% max HP is always useful on any class that you expect to be regularly taking damage. 

I'd bring up CON to at least 12.

A starting intellect of 18 for a cipher - see, I don't think such a high starting INT is all that necessary. There are items in the game that will boost your INT anyway, and you're sacrificing having better perception, might, and con. For the purposes of scripted interactions, an intelligence of 16 will handle almost all those unique dialogue options. A cipher isn't as reliant on AOE size or duration as something like a wizard or priest, so starting at 18 is overkill.

The rest of the stats look fine to me. Note that final scores I'm talking about are after background and racial boosts.

Personally I'd just give this build a read and call it a day, start playing! There is a danger of overpreparing and overplanning.


Edited by Oloorin
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RES has increasing returns when it comes to deflection. That means every additional point of deflection has more impact that the one before. Not only deflection but every defense. 

It can make total sense to raise RES over CON if you are going for high deflection. If your deflection will end up mediocre anyways (like in this case) there's no point in raising RES though. Unless it's for preventing interrupts or roleplaying purposes and dialogue checks of course. 

In my option CON is one of the least useful stats in PoE if are willing to use a potion every now and then. Its effects are biggest in the early game but high CON isn't that useful later on. It's a lot more effective to prevent damage via high defenses, debuffing and hard CC than trying to soak it. If your health pool drops too fast you can use potions of Infuse with Vital Essence to regain health - just drink it shortly before combat ends.

As a melee cipher you shouldn't rush the enemies together with your main frontliner. Wait a bit until the enemies settled and then go in from the flanks. That way you avoid getting pummeled too hard all the time.

8 or 10... those margins don't really matter that much. PoE's attributes' impact on the effectiveness of your character are fairly limited compared to other systems.

Given the slow power creep that AoE calculation is (AoEs are calculated by altering the radius which leads to exponential area growth - increasing returns again) I usually favor INT over everything else when I want to use AoE abilities primarily. Increased durations come on top. So I would totally go with the highest INT possible if I can afford it. Your Amplified Wave will thank you later. ;)

It's true though that Wizards/Druids' etc. want big AoEs even more than Ciphers in general. But still: and Amplified Wave with enormous INT will nearly always cover all enemies and that's pretty cool.

But again: two points of INT won't make a lot of difference.

Totally agree on the "overpressuring/overplanning" part. Most players will restart after a short while anyway because they start to understand the mechanics better and get a better understanding for what character they really want to play. And if not that's also great, then you have found a character you like right from the start.  


Deadfire Community Patch: Nexus Mods

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Thanks for the feedback, i know the dangers of overpreparing all too well. Also that build you posted is great with the changes you recommended I make to my cipher they are really close already, and you might be on to something about the con and lowering the int, especially early on i could use the health and dont need the int.

Edited by Chrisghast
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In my party I built out grieving mother and use her like the build suggests. However I put belt of the royal deadfire cannonneer on her (best belt in the game I reckon) which you can get fairly early on with free Deadfire DLC. In another thread Boeroer has pointed out that two handed weapons for ciphers works quite well, so I have her do big hits with a summoned firebrand greatsword that she casts using that belt. She paralyses, goes in and does big hits, and then can either CC the enemy, charm them, or do damage with cipher abilities like antipathetic field and ectopsychic echo.

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For higher RES (15 maybe) I would lower MIG and CON to 16 and INT to 15. The rest would be the same basically. 

A not so small part of the Monksterlasher is the burn retaliation from Battle Forged. This will take away from the basic idea of the build. It will still work, but Wellsprng of Life def. isn't as effective as Battle Forged here.  

Deadfire Community Patch: Nexus Mods

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9 hours ago, Desmodeus said:

Well, Guilded Veil has quest with Whooping 17 RES check in one of the easiest early game quests

If you mean Against the Grain then there is a way to resolve this feud peacefully via Diplomatic approach without requiring any attributes. My characters never had base resolve higher then 12 (10 or even 8 usually) and they never had issues to talk down their way with some Res buffs/food/resting bonuses.

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1 hour ago, Serg BlackStrider said:

My characters never had base resolve higher then 12 (10 or even 8 usually) and they never had issues to talk down their way with some Res buffs/food/resting bonuses.

Well here is a thing - Res check outcome and diplomatic outcome are two entirely different results from in universe point of view. So its not a replacement

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