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I like a lot of what this update tells us about how classes and parties will work. The inclusion of a number of powers that require teammates to be properly positioned suggests that opportunities for teamwork will go well beyond DA2's simple cross class bonuses and the multiple types of damage inflicted by one class suggests that a wide variety of party combinations really will be viable. I know the designers have been talking this one up but its good do see that there really won't be a case where the game punishes you disproportionately for not recruiting a particular class.


 


It looks like the cypher does have to be engaged in close-combat to power their abilities ("short range weapons") which makes me wonder how good their defences are. I'm guessing that they're not going to be particularly tank-y, making them a high risk/high reward option.


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I think it's a good update, with some solid information and nice lore. I'd also long awaited this one since the I was very much leaning toward playing a Cipher, however now that they seem less like psychic telekinetic sorcerors and more like some sort of mental vampires i'm not so sure.

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I like the increased tactical potential that this class represents...feels like a real unconventional fighter/mage that could pose serious problems to traditionally built parties.

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Hopefully it's possible to lose control of your entire party when facing a bunch of Vithrack :devil:

 

And here come the flashbacks to playing through BG as a D&D newbie. (Stupid sirens.)

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Thanks for the update, the class sounds interesting. The melee-fueled magic is a cool idea, similar but different from a barbarian or monk who fuels his abilities based on the damage caused / received.

 

Now, on to the nit-picking (sorry, inevitable). What is going on in that rock screen shot with the little white rectangular (flowers?) things? The green moss covering the top of the largest cairn stone blends in too much with the green grass background. I suggest giving the moss on the rock a brown/yellow tinge or gradient near the edge, to improve the contrast and make it look less homogeneous.

 

That's it, I'm sure my random_internet_goon_critique_042 will drift into obscurity...

Edited by agris

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This class sounds fantastic :D I really like the Lore as well.

Something that spot my attention was "Lady Webb". For some reason I am getting the impression that she might be a Vithrack in disguise. Or working with them "spider-like" creatures in some way (maybe she's manipulated?) ;) or her name is simply inspired by the very creatures that kind of made the Ciphers into who they are (I am suspecting she is a Cipher and a V.I.P in the game).

Very intriguing ideas. I've always been unsure of the Cipher, to be honest, but I was hooked all through this update.

I too think that the Soul Shock is a bit odd not to damage the target in some way. Maybe it'd drain a lot of Stamina or something? Though, is it possible to cast it at an enemy as well? Dealing damage to everything around and to the target as well in such a way... something you've considered no? It also sounds like a mid-range ability when a Fighter/Tank is being overwhelmed somehow. You don't want any allies close by when it goes off basically.

I also get the feeling that the Cipher is somewhat high-maintenance (I like it personally), moving back and forward on the battlefield a lot. Basically jumping into a fight, do some close-range damage then dashing back a bit to cast a spell, then into the fight again, back again etc. etc. because you don't want your Cipher to stand next to the Fighter in melee combat when you unleash the Soul Shock. Not that it is the only tool (Sounds like "use based on situation"), but it does give some insight into the Ciphers capabilities.

Again, nothing I wouldn't mind, but is this what you have considered for the Cipher? (hit-n-run tactics)

 

Liking it a lot. I haven't decided what class my character will be on the first run, time will tell (or rather, character creation and 5-10 minutes of playing each class will tell xD).

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Really cool update.

 

The Cipher class sounds very interesting.

That Orlan is probably doubly disliked due to the fact that he is both an Orlan and a Cipher.

Question:

Are the Vithrak, like the Illitihds, a race that is always "evil" and act as such or are they merely perceived that way because of the lack of the ability to communicate with them and their alien nature?


When in doubt, blame the elves.

 

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Sorry, Bob but Mind Flayers are not my cup of tea as well as other D&D settings. Personally, I'd like more subtle influence on human psychology, like in folklore/Lovecraftian tales but D&D gamist mechanism made it more direct, thus often ending up with cartoon-ish presentations. I hope Obsidian writers will manage to pull off interesting presentations in some quests, though.

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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.

 

With regards to the Vithrack... the art is a bit hodge-podgy.  The hands are a bit odd looking as the attempt was obviously to do something that was alien and dangerous, but not overly powerful; sinewy, and athropod-like.  But they come across as looking like withered branches.  Also the whole pose strikes me to much like a magician and not alien enough.  I know its nit-picking; but this is the first creature that has struck me as meh.

Edited by curryinahurry

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I am an instant fan of these spider-people, the vithrack! Am I sensing a decidedly illithid vibe?

 

Yep. You can thank Bobby for the vithrack.  He loves mind flayers!

 

 

Great work, Bobby - totally my first impression.

 

Lookin' good... how does it bleed, though?


It would be of small avail to talk of magic in the air...

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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
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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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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
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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.


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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
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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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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.


"Some ideas are so stupid that only an intellectual could believe them." -- attributed to George Orwell

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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.

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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.


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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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Nothing is true, everything is permited.
 

image-163154-full.jpg?1348681100

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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

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