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So, I have the various pieces of PE concept art cycling through my desktop background, and I was looking at the composite shot of the Monk, Wizard, Fighter and Cleric, and I thought to myself, 'I hope we see some Cipher concept art soon'. But this got me to thinking, what visual cues should the Cipher incorporate? I love the wizard designs we've seen, particularly Aloth and the female elf. They're a nice diversion from typical wizard designs whilst still having an inherent wizardliness. The cipher has much less existing expectation to work with, and its closest kin in other settings - psions - often come out looking just like wizards with a 'head' focus. The difference between the look of a psion and a wizard is often that the psion has a headpiece on or is touching their temples. I'd hope PE could come up with some more distinctive visual language to convey Ciphers. So what do people think would make a good look for Ciphers? What existing character designs would you take inspiration from? Is their anything they shouldn't do? I think I'll be playing a Cipher or a Chanter, and there's a good thread already about Chanter influences. My main desire is that they'll be clearly distinct from wizards, and also I'd like to avoid the cliche of lots of (usually blue) glowy floaty light effects. They're cool but they've been done a lot. Just like the wizard designs have shied away from beard-and-robe without turning against it completely, I'd like to see the Ciphers have a bit more uniqueness too.

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So, I have the various pieces of PE concept art cycling through my desktop background, and I was looking at the composite shot of the Monk, Wizard, Fighter and Cleric, and I thought to myself, 'I hope we see some Cipher concept art soon'. But this got me to thinking, what visual cues should the Cipher incorporate? I love the wizard designs we've seen, particularly Aloth and the female elf. They're a nice diversion from typical wizard designs whilst still having an inherent wizardliness. The cipher has much less existing expectation to work with, and its closest kin in other settings - psions - often come out looking just like wizards with a 'head' focus. The difference between the look of a psion and a wizard is often that the psion has a headpiece on or is touching their temples. I'd hope PE could come up with some more distinctive visual language to convey Ciphers. So what do people think would make a good look for Ciphers? What existing character designs would you take inspiration from? Is their anything they shouldn't do? I think I'll be playing a Cipher or a Chanter, and there's a good thread already about Chanter influences. My main desire is that they'll be clearly distinct from wizards, and also I'd like to avoid the cliche of lots of (usually blue) glowy floaty light effects. They're cool but they've been done a lot. Just like the wizard designs have shied away from beard-and-robe without turning against it completely, I'd like to see the Ciphers have a bit more uniqueness too.

What do you mean? If I equip my character with armor it should look the same on all character classes. I don't like armor especially for one class. also there is a concept art from a cipher. The orlan in this update is a cipher. .  What I want from the cipher is that he doen't have the same spell effects as a wizard only with different names and visual effects.

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I'm picturing ciphers as being very conscious of what others think of them, so they go for stylish attire, good grooming, and polished speech patterns. They may be disdainful of violence and thuggish behavior, so they tend to do battle from a distance and favor armor that provides decent protection against missile file but is light enough to stay out of the reach of heavy fighters. In terms of effects, I think you want them to be distinctive from elemental effects such as fire, electricity, acid, or frost, so perhaps violet-tinted hues with subtle sounds and less violent and/or aural-type visual patterns.

"It has just been discovered that research causes cancer in rats."

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As varied as the rest of humanity, probably dressed in their cultures attire. They should all have hypnotic eyes however, and perhaps a certain disturbing aura.

Quite an experience to live in misery isn't it? That's what it is to be married with children.

I've seen things you people can't even imagine. Pearly Kings glittering on the Elephant and Castle, Morris Men dancing 'til the last light of midsummer. I watched Druid fires burning in the ruins of Stonehenge, and Yorkshiremen gurning for prizes. All these things will be lost in time, like alopecia on a skinhead. Time for tiffin.

 

Tea for the teapot!

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I think the OP is talking about ability/class visuals. So, when my cipher begins his psychic assault on a poor bandit by projecting feelings of guilt for disappointing his mother, what will it look like? Will my eye glow ominously? Will there be a psychic laser death ray firing form my head at his? Will swirling coloured lights begin dancing around my?

 

The concern is making the visuals distinctly different from magic visuals. 

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Actually I was thinking about artwork (out of game, cutscenes, those little interactive titlecard things)! But ability visuals being distinct from the other magic visuals would be of interest too. I had forgotten about that Orlan being a cipher. Whilst I realise it's an effective visual shorthand and gets the point across quickly, I'm a bit disappointed they fell back on 'touching temples and frowning in concentration' for the pose.

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In terms of ability visuals a reaching, organically moving energy tendril with different colours and/or effects to indicate the emotion/effect being conveyed?

Or perhaps an aura around the cipher and target that synchronizes (then triggers a kind of symbol) to indicate the ability used and success/failure, like a one sided Sims conversation. The direct mental powers should be rather covert. Perhaps only another cipher or soul attuned character can see the effect; so if an allied cipher sensitive isn't present you just see a weird guy standing there boldly and text dialogues in the event window describing 'feelings'.  

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Whilst I realise it's an effective visual shorthand and gets the point across quickly, I'm a bit disappointed they fell back on 'touching temples and frowning in concentration' for the pose.

 

It successfully communicated the intent, so it worked. There's no reason to be disappointed with normal non-verbal communication methods.

 

My main desire is that they'll be clearly distinct from wizards, and also I'd like to avoid the cliche of lots of (usually blue) glowy floaty light effects. They're cool but they've been done a lot.

 

You'd prefer purple with pink polka dotted light effects on the ground? Just trying to make sure I understand.

"It has just been discovered that research causes cancer in rats."

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I'm picturing ciphers as being very conscious of what others think of them, so they go for stylish attire, good grooming, and polished speech patterns. They may be disdainful of violence and thuggish behavior, so they tend to do battle from a distance and favor armor that provides decent protection against missile file but is light enough to stay out of the reach of heavy fighters.

According to Josh... somewhere, the first recorded Ciphers were found amongst Orlans, so I'm not sure if they would be the kind to go for 'sophisticated'. We're talking about a race that was so abused in the last centuries that it practically developped ruthlessness and practicality as a part of its genetic make-up!
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I imagine ciphers as well groomed as well. They should be ordered in their lives with a distaste for the chaotic and anarchic nature of others as it requires great mental effort for them to block out the mental dissonance.

 

So when the cipher are using their powers maybe the cipher should depict the behaviour in some way of the creature it is trying to control/influence.

 

For example when trying to use their powers on a lizard maybe the cipher's casts a spectral image (like a ghostly visage) of the appearance of a lizard doing the sort of behaviour the cipher desires; writhing in pain; signs of mental compulsion etc.

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