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Update #65: Ciphers

Cipher Project Eternity Josh Sawyer Vithrack Adra Animancers Class

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#41
WorstUsernameEver

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Well, the Spiderdude is an interesting take on the traditional mind flayer archetype, but I'd hope a race of alien proto-cipher would have a slightly more incomprehensible fashion sense than flowing robes with spider symbols. Perhaps, if you wanted to keep the same silhouette, they could wear a tattered web that vaguely looks like a robe at a distance? To add a sense of grandeur and nobility to it they could also wear jewels and ornaments on it, I don't think it'd detract from the alienness of the design.

That said, I draw like a (very talented, mind you!) six year old and I never studied character design in any great detail, so that suggestion should be probably taken with that in mind.

EDIT: Yeah, I know there's a web pattern on the robe in the concept art already, but it looks just like that, a pattern, something you could see on a tacky halloween costume.

Edited by WorstUsernameEver, 01 October 2013 - 11:20 PM.

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#42
Chilloutman

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Recognizable by the purple flames that engulf a cipher's weapons,

  
facepalm
 

 

pe-vithrack-580.jpg

 


I personaly really dont like this creature. If its spider-arachnid like it missing legs. And why should insectoind have high psychic powers? sounds akward and unbeliveable to me. At least make them bees like with hive mind or something like that. 
 

 

pe-adra-wilderness-580.jpg

 


Nice environment screen, keep them coming and thanks for the update


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#43
Osvir

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The cipher class sounds interesting; especially the melee to fuel magic aspect.  It makes me think that tactical placement is going to be very important and that Ciphers will act as a strong "second line" alternative to archer types.  That is all very good in my opinion.

Yes. Positioning sounds really key, specially with the Mind Wave. I am curious if Ciphers will have any ability to "conceal" themselves somehow, because that'd be a great utility to take down grouped units on the back-rows (grouped up Archers for instance).

So thus far (IIRC and some self-inserted thoughts/brainstorming/analyze):
- Fighters soak up damage from multiple melee sources
- Rogues deal most single-hit melee damage
- Barbarians overwhelm, good at dealing damage to several targets(?)
- Ciphers deal some single-hit and some magical-multi-hit damage

As for Cipher build speculation and inspiration and question:
- Purely close-combat, Psionic Assassin (Single-Target Build/DPS or Close-Combat Debuffer/Psionic Status-Effects)
- Purely mid- to long-range (Wizard Range) Psion Caster (Multiple-Target Mind Mage)
- Combo

Is there a chance that Classes will have "Multi-Paths" (variations within their own Class, the example above) instead of "Multi-Class" (variations with other Classes)?


Edited by Osvir, 02 October 2013 - 12:02 AM.

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#44
Tagaziel

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Absolutely love the update. The secret police of Defiance Bay sounds particularly interesting, I hope there will be an opportunity to get to know them better and understand their methods, maybe even go cave in some dissident skulls. Ciphers sound much more interesting than I thought.

Love the vithrack design, though I have a minor nitpick: the spider shape on the belt, in my opinion, detracts from the design. It's a case of restating the obvious, plus, I'm not sure why the spiderfolk would use a generic wood spider for their symbol. Something more alien, a particular design pattern that is widespread throughout their culture or a symbol alien to all other races and human perception would fit better, in my opinion. As it stands, it's awesome, but the spiderman logo is just, well, a spiderman logo.

#45
Osvir

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pe-vithrack-580.jpg

 


I personaly really dont like this creature. If its spider-arachnid like it missing legs. And why should insectoind have high psychic powers? sounds akward and unbeliveable to me. At least make them bees like with hive mind or something like that. 

I personally think it looks very gracious, not questioning your opinion :) it looks noble and kind of "omnipresent" in a sense (as in "high stature"). I wouldn't be surprised i we could talk and communicate with these things in-game or even in-story. The Illithid that other people in the thread mention just looks menacing and evil in a "I'm going to maim you and then eat you in the meantime as you try to crawl away!! Mwaha!" kind of way. The Vithrack looks more like it would say "Mm I will paralyze you, myees, so you will at least be numb whilst I eat you, my lord".

Here's a pretty messed up article on mind controlling parasites by the way (regarding your "insectoid" statement).

EDIT: We also don't know if this Vithrack displayed what sort of "rank" it has in hierarchy, there might be some with more legs, heck this one might even be hiding legs (being a creature that deals with mind-messing abilities I'm sure it has some tricks up it's sleeve, pun not intended, apart from being psychic).


Edited by Osvir, 02 October 2013 - 12:43 AM.

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#46
Tuckey

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If the Vithrak are anything like the Ilwrath I'm interested.

 

 

Dunryd Row sounds like an interesting institution; I hope I can get recruited there as my cipher. Also group abilities like Ectopsychic Echo sound cool. I hope there are group abilities for other classes also; maybe some are even non-combat group abilities?

 

As for the wilderness picture I see that Obsidian has much improved the shrubbery, they may pass.

 

 

 

 

 


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#47
Ineth

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The fact that they need to fight with a weapon (at close range) to charge their class resource is what turns me off about them

 

Yeah, it sounds a little too similar to the Monk class.



#48
curryinahurry

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The cipher class sounds interesting; especially the melee to fuel magic aspect.  It makes me think that tactical placement is going to be very important and that Ciphers will act as a strong "second line" alternative to archer types.  That is all very good in my opinion.

Yes. Positioning sounds really key, specially with the Mind Wave. I am curious if Ciphers will have any ability to "conceal" themselves somehow, because that'd be a great utility to take down grouped units on the back-rows (grouped up Archers for instance).

So thus far (IIRC and some self-inserted thoughts/brainstorming/analyze):
- Fighters soak up damage from multiple melee sources
- Rogues deal most single-hit melee damage
- Barbarians overwhelm, good at dealing damage to several targets(?)
- Ciphers deal some single-hit and some magical-multi-hit damage

As for Cipher build speculation and inspiration and question:
- Purely close-combat, Psionic Assassin (Single-Target Build/DPS or Close-Combat Debuffer/Psionic Status-Effects)
- Purely mid- to long-range (Wizard Range) Psion Caster (Multiple-Target Mind Mage)
- Combo

Is there a chance that Classes will have "Multi-Paths" (variations within their own Class, the example above) instead of "Multi-Class" (variations with other Classes)?

 

 

I was also thinking of Ectopsychic Echo and Soul Shock as sneaky ways of catching opponents on the battlefield.  Btw, since it seems that skills like sneaking won't be class restricted, I'm assuming that will be the case for hide in shadows type abilities as well; so yes, I think one could create a really cool stealth / ambush build with a cipher.



#49
Oner

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"Soul Shock - The cipher causes an ally's soul to "crack" and violently release energy into the physical world. The resulting explosion of electrical (Shock) energy damages everyone nearby except the target (attacks Reflexes)."

 

The description for this one causes me some problems... the idea that you make an ally's soul "crack" without harming them seems really odd.

Maybe this is explained elsewhere in the lore, but I would expect a "cracked" soul to be a really bad thing.

Maybe this should be used on enemies instead? or maybe the ally should be harmed? (high risk, high reward type thing), or maybe just avoid words with as damaging conotations as "crack"?
Just my thoughts :)

I figured they meant it as the targe soul being used as a flintstone to generate a spark that becomes an electric shock. But that's just my interpretation.



#50
cyberarmy

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Nice update, thanks!

I wonder if we can use cipher powers (or any other classes powers) outside combat to solve quest or such.

Like Jedi Cipher mind tricks, druids getting help from local plants/animals, figthers overpowering the weak, priests giving devout lectures and putting NPCs to sleep etc.


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#51
JFSOCC

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the combat mechanics of the cipher are very different from what I expected, but I like how these abilities are situational and will therefore likely require tactical positioning.
I'm very curious about the non-combat abilities ciphers have, particularly when it comes to their investiagtive abilties, which I've seen hinted at several times. (And well, if a spy service/secret police uses them, clearly they must be skilled in that manner)

I'm also now very curious about the rogue, since some of what I expected would fall in the rogue sphere of class functionality seems to fall to the cipher. (subterfuge, debuffing)

I'm also curious about the dynamics of animancy as a study, in combination with the various classes. In most fantasty settings it is generally considered that it is the wizards who are the scientists, but here it seems that this falls much more to the ciphers. Do other classes contribute to the soul-science known as animancy?

Lastly, I'd like to offer some criticism on the standing stone image. It's not the stones, but the trees/grassland.
I don't like it. I feel it's way too bland, it looks like the first Baldurs Gate, it doesn't feel wild, it doesn't look vibrant, and if this is a wild place, I'd have imagined there would be a significantly higher number of trees, bigger trees, more diverse trees, flowers, mosses, lichen, vines, etc. If it's not supposed to be a forest but a grassland, I'd have imagined that there would be tall grasses, small mounds of earth, more flowers, more hedges etc.
This image feels way too empty for me. Unless this place experiences a lot of traffic, I just don't see how it would look like this.
I realise this is very personal, but I really like to see it redone.

Thanks for the update!

Edit: so, in my email I got a higher res image, and there's much more detail that I first saw, that said, I still think it looks a bit empty. It misses a bit of the mystique of a magical place.

Edited by JFSOCC, 02 October 2013 - 01:54 AM.


#52
Morgulon the Wise

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  • Mind Wave - The cipher violently intrudes into an enemy's mind, Stunning the target (attacks Psyche) and generating a cone of concussive force behind him or her that can knock down anyone in its path (attacks Fortitude).
  • Psychovampiric Shield - The cipher drains Intellect from enemies and uses it to temporarily increase his or her Deflection. The increase in the cipher's Deflection is dependent on how much Intellect he or she successfully drains from victims (attacks Psyche).

 

This looks like a soul tick to me :dancing: --> mindwaving/stunning an opponent, shielding oneself, sticking to them.

 

From what I have read a cipher can be a very defensive fighter who is centered on a 1 on 1 fight. Ciphers could be devastating against monks (no real damage for their abilities) and would gain a lot if they would have ways to regenerate or suck stamina and health.

 

I'd like to play one.



#53
mstark

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Lovely, lovely lore.

@JFSOCC,
I agree with your critique of the environment, I pulled up the original PE screenshot for comparison, and it's more densely populated by foliage. I think the quality of the trees (leaves) is miles better in the new screenshot, though. I hope we'll see areas similar to this dense forest area in a Robin Hood game.

I also find that the stones look decidedly computer generated, compared to the art style of the rest of the world. I know they're meant to stand out, I don't mind their textures, but their general shapes are recognizably computer generated.

I also hope we'll see some awesome way of exploring dense forests with trees that are 25-100 meters tall (where the trees are so large the go beyond the visible screen), as opposed to the 4-10m trees we've seen so far. Might be hard in parallel projection.

 

Finally, I hope we'll see urban areas that can rival the quality of those in Commandos 2.

 

I might be alone about this, but, to this day, I still don't think any 2D game has ever rivalled the graphics of Commandos 2. This. Is. Incredible.


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#54
Malekith

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Will a Cipher PC be able to use his mind tricks outside of combat? Something like Force Persuade in KOTOR2, and being able to find/track souls in the game or something?


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#55
JFSOCC

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Josh commented a while back that he played and enjoyed commandos, which I'll take as a good sign
And yes, incredible. I also loved the mission where you had to help the Ghurkas and rescue the holy man, maybe my favourite commandos mission ever. It proves that urban environments in isometric games can be rich and detailed.

#56
Tuckey

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@mstark I agree with you about Commandos 2 graphics. It's a shame more people don't appreciate them. I think the stone's site is regularly visited looking at the flattened grass, unless their is a phantom gardener who loves mowing the lawn. Good call on the dense and tall trees, that would be interesting and unique for this type of rpg.


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#57
Sabotin

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Well, the mechanics for the cypher look very fun for the most part (that echo thing has the potential to be hilarious to watch even).

 

The spider people look interesting, too, though I'm generally not really a fan of animal people. The fingers make it seem like it would be hard to use utensils, but I guess they use their own variations. I probably don't want to ask what those protrusions on their chests are.

 

The nature shot I like. I don't find it negative for it to be reminiscent of BG1. The simpler environment makes the place seem more a part of the world instead of part of the area.

 

I do have some questions about the lore though. Will it be expanded upon why these stones were broken? It seems like a lot of effort for no reason. And secondly, what's the relationship between psyche and soul, because they are used almost interchangeably in this update. Does being a psion make you able to manipulate other souls or vice versa? Either way it would probably have implications for other classes.

 

And that purple glow really made me chuckle. Would it be so bad if cyphers weren't instantly recognizable? Is that the only function it has?



#58
GhoulishVisage

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It looks like we finally found out what a Watcher is. That's been a niggling little question on my mind ever since the countdown screen.

 

"This world wants to drag us down, it does. It made you a Watcher.
No one asks for that. And the weight, that guilt they want to hang around my neck, you don't have to carry it one more step.
You think they won't let you rest but it's not up to them, it never was."


And at the end of the KS video: "No rest for the Watcher."

 

Concerning the Vithrack, is that thing on the front of it's chest is a web-spinning organ?

 

I personaly really dont like this creature. If its spider-arachnid like it missing legs. And why should insectoind have high psychic powers? sounds akward and unbeliveable to me. At least make them bees like with hive mind or something like that.

This is a very strange complaint. Why should an octopus (Illithid) have psychic powers or a hive-mind either?
Who's to say that the Vithrack have a hive-mind at all?



#59
WorstUsernameEver

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Psyche is one of the four defenses which also include deflection, reflexes and fortitude.

As far as I can tell "psyche" isn't used from a lore perspective in the update.

#60
Greensleeve

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Fantastic update! Lovely to see the lore and mechanics of the Cipher class. Terribly excited to play now, though I still want to play as a fighter the first time around. Looking forward to seeing more. 







Also tagged with one or more of these keywords: Cipher, Project Eternity, Josh Sawyer, Vithrack, Adra, Animancers, Class

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