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I can't find Witch or Wild Mind builds for Serafen. Advice?


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1 hour ago, Boeroer said:

Not Furyshaper? It fits Beguiler quite well imo.

Barb/Beguiler works well in general. 

I saw you advocating for Beguiler quite often by now, but never really anyone else xD
What makes it so good in your opinion that you would recommend it over Ascendant?
I find the mechanic quite intriguing, I am just unsure how to incorporate it with Cipher having so many single-target abilities...

And I totally overlooked Furyshaper for some reason, was not on my radar at all.

How do the 2 work together so well?

 

On a side-note: Do you use Unity Console? If so, do I need to update somehow or is it working as intended?

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3 hours ago, SirMirrorcoat said:

I saw you advocating for Beguiler quite often by now, but never really anyone else xD
What makes it so good in your opinion that you would recommend it over Ascendant?
I find the mechanic quite intriguing, I am just unsure how to incorporate it with Cipher having so many single-target abilities...

The Beguiler gains a lot of focus just by casting (cheap) Deceptions spells. You can often fill your whole focus with just one cast of Phantom Foes for example. The funny thing: enemies need to be afflicted for this to work - but the affliction of the Deception spell itself already counts. So basically you will always get focus, no matter if the enemies were afflicted before (because they will get afflicted in the process).

The amount of focus gained is pretty high.

So - the Beguiler doesn't need to deal damage in order to gain focus. Casting stuff like Phantom Foes and Secret Horrors is enough. But at the same time he can also gain focus from dealing damage. So he has two sources for focus: casting and dealing weapon damage. That's why I like the Beguiler so much.

I also like him with a Barb because the Willbreaker is such a perfect weapon for a Barb/Beguiler: it lowers both Fortitude and Will and benefits from Resolve afflictions the Beguiler can apply easily (e.g. with Secret Horrors). 

Ascendant is also very good, especially with Blood Thirst later on and damaging spells. But I almost never pick Ascendant because I find that duality of "Phase 1: fuel up with weapon attacks until full, phase 2: cast cast cast" a bit annoying. But it's just personal preference.

Edited by Boeroer
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15 minutes ago, Boeroer said:

The Beguiler gains a lot of focus just by casting (cheap) Deceptions spells. You can often fill your whole focus with just one cast of Phantom Foes for example. The funny thing: enemies need to be afflicted for this to work - but the affliction of the Deception spell itself already counts. So basically you will always get focus, no matter if the enemies were afflicted before (because they will get afflicted on the process).

Ah, cool, I didn't know that. That is great, I will go for Beguiler/Shaper then :)

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2 hours ago, Boeroer said:

The Beguiler gains a lot of focus just by casting (cheap) Deceptions spells. You can often fill your whole focus with just one cast of Phantom Foes for example. The funny thing: enemies need to be afflicted for this to work - but the affliction of the Deception spell itself already counts. So basically you will always get focus, no matter if the enemies were afflicted before (because they will get afflicted in the process).

The amount of focus gained is pretty high.

So - the Beguiler doesn't need to deal damage in order to gain focus. Casting stuff like Phantom Foes and Secret Horrors is enough. But at the same time he can also gain focus from dealing damage. So he has two sources for focus: casting and dealing weapon damage. That's why I like the Beguiler so much.

I also like him with a Barb because the Willbreaker is such a perfect weapon for a Barb/Beguiler: it lowers both Fortitude and Will and benefits from Resolve afflictions the Beguiler can apply easily (e.g. with Secret Horrors). 

Ascendant is also very good, especially with Blood Thirst later on and damaging spells. But I almost never pick Ascendant because I find that duality of "Phase 1: fuel up with weapon attacks until full, phase 2: cast cast cast" a bit annoying. But it's just personal preference.

Yeah, and you gain extra range for some spells on top of this.

The downside is minor since you will probably start everycombat by debuffing all foes. It might only matter if you rely on AoE attacks (rod, mortars), in this case you're pretty likely to have at least one foe not debuffed. But that's minor.

Beguiler is IMHO the best Cipher subclass overall. Not to say others are bad, but it is just better than the other at... being a cipher ? 

Ascendant's secret is that it also get +50% (additive) focus regen, so it might arguably worth it even if you never ascend. Ascension is still a bit annoying cause you suddenly run out of focus. You can be left without even focus for whispers of treason at the worst moment of fight. Still fun to play, but the lack of flexibility can be painful.

Edited by Elric Galad
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I second @Elric Galad above -Beguiler is the better subclass for me. You generate focus so quickly from casting deception spells, even as a multiclass character, that you always have focus.  I found myself having more focus than I needed, so I think beguiler is the best choice.

 

BTW - this is good witch guide for Serafen 

https://steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/filedetails/?id=1399216139

Edited by mjo2138
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Being rather fond of the cipher class, I must say that I have enjoyed playing all of the subclasses, each of which has their strengths and weaknesses. Beguiler is "best" for spamming deception spells at mobs. It doesn't do quite as well, however, against tough bosses. Psion on the other hand, with their continual focus generation, shines in the boss fights, particularly in parties or solo with good summons to take the aggro. Ascendent is great if you like the DPS caster approach, spamming damage powers while ascended. Their weakness is having to regenerate focus when ascension wears out, but this isn't too much of a problem, since they gain focus so quickly, as Elric Galad pointed out. Soul blade is great if you like the melee approach. I'd say it's "best" simply because I like this play style the most, but this is a personal decision of course. Soul blades can get godlike DPS with the seeker's fang and their potentially very high max focus, which can be extended with the Strand of Favor by those fond of cheese.

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Yes , of course all subclasses are good in their owns. I just found the Beguiler to be my personal 'best' for the base game. Honestly, I don't really like the DLC content, where there are very long battles, not in the base game, are to be found. That being said, I do enjoy the Mega boss fights! I think  Beguiler works well for a caster/support type character. 

 

For a Main Character Witch, you can go in a lot of directions. I think soul blade is an excellent choice. Barbarians run out of 'rage' rather quickly, so I would learn into some key cipher skills. 

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I agree, Beguiler is probably the best subclass for 95% of the game, particularly if you want to play the CC role. I really like how it regenerates focus by successfully landing deception powers. Witches are great, with fury shaper/beguiler being my favorite and most played combo for NPC hirelings. It's great how the cipher side extends the afflictions you cause from your barb abilities. But as a main character, I really like Berserker/Soul blade.

Edited by dgray62
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  • 3 weeks later...

Serafen as a witch is something I'm struggling with myself right now. He's dual-wielding axes but I feel like I'm not using him to his full potential and he generates more focus than he can spend. Then again, this might just be insufficient micro on my part. Or I should set his AI to spam mind blades a lot.

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I use him with Mortar now. not yet 'dual-'Mortar, as I have yet to do Fort Deadlight for the second one, and he works great. I changed his subclass tho (Beguiler instead of Wild Mind, and Furyshaper), so I don't get TPK from using Whisper of Treason Wild surge bull****.
He has a Morning Star for melee engagement, but most fights so far are decided before that becomes an issue.

The thing about mortars is, even if I run out of Focus to cast deception spells, I have a strong source of focus gain via mortar spammage.

But your problem is the other way around I just read again... 
Yeah, Cipher is even more micro-intensive than a full caster imo. 1/3 of a battle is usually me picking targets for Serafen's attacks and spells. Tekehu I can just cast 3 spells and then let him do his thing on his own, Xoti is a buff-bot anyway. Serafen is micro micro micro.

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Superlow micro cipher imo: a Psion with all defensive abilities and item setup (e.g. Brigandine + Gladiator Sword + small shield) and tell AI to spam Puppet Master on everything that's still hostile. :) 

Doing it in my current playthrough with an SC Psion and I almost never have to touch her - still very effective. Most of times she dominates enemies who come too close and could potentially screw up her focus gain. And most ranged enemies don't bother attacking her (too much AR, defenses too high). If they do: dominate! :)

My focus gain is fast enough (and the recovery long enough) that I can spam it without pause (apart from recovery of course).

She has a club + modal for the really tough nuts with superhigh Will but I rarely have to use it. 

Helm of the White Void + Cipher's ACC bonus against Will is a great combo for me. 

The more I played Serafen the more often I made im a ranged SC Barb with a Hunting Bow + modal (pretty awesome attack speed), attacking low defense enemies mainly and aiming for Driving Roar + Blood Thirst + Blood Surge. 

I once made im SC Wild Mind and gave him items with high shock AR so he underpenetrated himself with the occasional shock burst - and used Shared Nightmare with mortars to fire around with huge AoE blasts. Also kept him away from the party... Super big AoE suicide shock nuke is no joke for party squishies. ;) The chance to trigger one isn't high - but if you spam fast, low cost powers all the times it happens often enough. 

Deadfire Community Patch: Nexus Mods

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19 hours ago, MortyTheGobbo said:

Serafen as a witch is something I'm struggling with myself right now. He's dual-wielding axes but I feel like I'm not using him to his full potential and he generates more focus than he can spend. Then again, this might just be insufficient micro on my part. Or I should set his AI to spam mind blades a lot.

i have a really hard time micro-ing ciphers if they're not my mainchar (which i naturally pay more attention to as a personal psychological bias). i put on an AI script, even if it's suboptimal, because when serafen (or ydwin) starts doing something, it's very obvious, and is a great time for me to be like:

  1. do I want this to happen? if not, i pause the game and change what they're doing
  2. if i do, i just let it happen and thank the AI script for using focus that would've just been wasted

so i would personally recommend setting up an AI script, even if it's just the default (though honestly I would copy it and add in an appropriate minimum focus requirement, because by default the scripts are way too spammy and don't let focus accumulate).

though personally i don't know what the big deal with mind blades is :)

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1 hour ago, thelee said:

i have a really hard time micro-ing ciphers if they're not my mainchar (which i naturally pay more attention to as a personal psychological bias). i put on an AI script, even if it's suboptimal, because when serafen (or ydwin) starts doing something, it's very obvious, and is a great time for me to be like:

  1. do I want this to happen? if not, i pause the game and change what they're doing
  2. if i do, i just let it happen and thank the AI script for using focus that would've just been wasted

so i would personally recommend setting up an AI script, even if it's just the default (though honestly I would copy it and add in an appropriate minimum focus requirement, because by default the scripts are way too spammy and don't let focus accumulate).

though personally i don't know what the big deal with mind blades is :)

Mind Blades are just an example here - any offensive power could do. I generally find it increasingly difficult to micromanage everyone on high levels, but AI scripting seems very impenetrable and unfriendly so I have no idea how to set it up.

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46 minutes ago, MortyTheGobbo said:

Mind Blades are just an example here - any offensive power could do. I generally find it increasingly difficult to micromanage everyone on high levels, but AI scripting seems very impenetrable and unfriendly so I have no idea how to set it up.

yeah i would start by just making a copy of one of the default cipher scripts.

 

then, if you find it too spammy or doing an ability that you're constantly changing/cancelling, going in and tweaking whatever conditions are controlling that ability (the default AI scripts probably don't do anything overly tricky and so there's only one obvious rule controlling that ability). that's probably a lot more incremental and less immediately overwhelming approach than starting from scratch. it could even just be a simple matter of increasing the timeout (little number at the top-right of each rule that tells you how many seconds before it tries the rule again).

 

edit: i program for a day job and played FF12 (gambits) so i'm used to thinking in kind of the way that AI scripts force you to think, but even then it's hard to predict what rules might be actually useful in practice. as a result, most of my scripts are honestly just copies and tweaks of existing scripts that have just gradually gotten more complicated over time, incrementally. the plus is that any changes you make to AI scripts are saved separately from your saved game - so sometimes if I'm in the middle of wiping on a fight, i'll make some tweaks to an AI script then, and when I reload I'll be able to try a fight with the changes already in place.

Edited by thelee
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23 hours ago, MortyTheGobbo said:

Serafen as a witch is something I'm struggling with myself right now. He's dual-wielding axes but I feel like I'm not using him to his full potential and he generates more focus than he can spend. Then again, this might just be insufficient micro on my part. Or I should set his AI to spam mind blades a lot.

At first you should spend your focus on Phantom Foes and Mind Blades, later replace Mind Blades with Pain Block (keep it up on the entire party) and finally add Borrowed Instinct and Ancestor's Memory. You start the fight with Borrowed Instinct and Phantom Foes, while Pain Block/Ancestor's Memory can be scripted and left on AI.

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