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In battles against enemies too powerful or resistant to be harmed by the soul whip, cipher is either unable to use advanced techniques (or even repeatedly use minor powers), or is perhaps left with the option of attacking allies to gather the necessary Focus?

Seems that way. But I would consider that a good thing as powerful abilities should have weaknesses you have to tactically circumvent. If you go against a powerful enemy and minions the cipher will have to attack the minions first and save his focus for the boss. If that is not possible the cipher might have to use an ally, in which case a strategic thinker could hopefully level up a designated focus battery ally by making sure that that ally is not hindered much by that soul whip.

 

 

Oh, I didn't mean to sound like it was a negative aspect of cipher! I merely wanted to get confirmation for something I was hoping might be included :) Not limiting cipher to enemies could have lots of interesting consequences -- and I bet the allies might have a thing or two to say about being used as spare batteries!

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Although I can see how this would appeal to many players... my thoughts: "On second thought, let us not play a cipher; tis a silly class..." To me the abilities listed just sound like sorta standard magical fare- with "mind" or "soul" tacked on to the name of course- very gamey and not particularly profound. As such, I'll probably end up sticking with a utility class, or maybe trying a chanter.

we know little about them outside of combat, maybe that's where they're more interesting.

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Although I can see how this would appeal to many players... my thoughts: "On second thought, let us not play a cipher; tis a silly class..." To me the abilities listed just sound like sorta standard magical fare- with "mind" or "soul" tacked on to the name of course- very gamey and not particularly profound. As such, I'll probably end up sticking with a utility class, or maybe trying a chanter.

 

Isn't that always the case with different kinds of magic? I never really had the feeling that psionic powers or prayers in other settings were different from usual magic. (The difference between sorcerers and bards is usually that sorcerers have a "Bravery spell" while bards have a "Song of Valor".)

The difference for me is that the Cipher powers are magic that you don't see, other than the purple glow around the weapon (and probably a general visualization). There's no fireball flying towards you, no demons being summoned to attack you... it attacks the soul directly. You can't hide from it, you just have to hope that your psyche can handle it, and that's what's scary about it.

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I do think that giving Ciphers an ability to replenish their resource without resting is good, but I wonder if there are other ways in addition to Soul Whip to do so? Perhaps an ability to drain excess off allies, slowly regenerate focus, or a drain attack that gives a large bonus to Focus?

 

Also, will one of the companions be a Cipher?

 

Yes, according to the wiki it's an unnamed detective – a Hearth Orlan cipher   

 

I'm going to withhold judgment on the class until I can see all of its abilities; on the surface it looks interesting though

Edited by kgambit

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That's a matter of point of view, you know. If you're used to having a wizard, then not having one will be perceived as a lack, of course. However, if you just look at the tactical challenges themselves, on their own merits, I'm pretty sure you'll find that having two divine spellcasters instead of one wizard and one divine spellcaster will have the advantage most of the time.

 

Clerics and druids have lots of options for your mage suppression scenario, for example. Stuff like Silence and Hold Person (CLR 2) to take them out of the game straight out, single-target or small-area damage spells like Searing Light, Creeping Cold, Dehydrate, Flame Strike, and Swamp Lung, and area suppression spells that'll, among other things, bork spellcasting, like Spike Growth.

 

Bottom line is I usually don't bother with arcane casters when I play D&D 3 based cRPG's these days. Divine ones are just so much more versatile.

 

 

I'm willing to admit its a point of view, but am still unconvinced by your argument. Its true that divine casters have some alternatives like the ones you mention. Many of them are at higher levels, and most I consider to be lesser alternatives to  wizard spells of the same level. Things like hold person are rather iffy, because many wizards have a good will defence/saving throw. I still think its easier in a big party to have a wizard.

Edited by forgottenlor

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Although I can see how this would appeal to many players... my thoughts: "On second thought, let us not play a cipher; tis a silly class..." To me the abilities listed just sound like sorta standard magical fare- with "mind" or "soul" tacked on to the name of course- very gamey and not particularly profound. As such, I'll probably end up sticking with a utility class, or maybe trying a chanter.

we know little about them outside of combat, maybe that's where they're more interesting.

 

What the heck is "standard magical fare". I have to admit I've never run across it, but perhaps I've just spent too much time in reality. :p


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we know little about them outside of combat, maybe that's where they're more interesting.

 

Yeah, here's hoping.

 

Isn't that always the case with different kinds of magic? I never really had the feeling that psionic powers or prayers in other settings were different from usual magic. (The difference between sorcerers and bards is usually that sorcerers have a "Bravery spell" while bards have a "Song of Valor".)

The difference for me is that the Cipher powers are magic that you don't see, other than the purple glow around the weapon (and probably a general visualization). There's no fireball flying towards you, no demons being summoned to attack you... it attacks the soul directly. You can't hide from it, you just have to hope that your psyche can handle it, and that's what's scary about it.

 

Well, when all systems of magic (arcane, soul-based, nature-based) fulfill the same functions, the classes really do seem to feel like reskins that vary only in aesthetics and cosmetics...

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Although I can see how this would appeal to many players... my thoughts: "On second thought, let us not play a cipher; tis a silly class..." To me the abilities listed just sound like sorta standard magical fare- with "mind" or "soul" tacked on to the name of course- very gamey and not particularly profound. As such, I'll probably end up sticking with a utility class, or maybe trying a chanter.

we know little about them outside of combat, maybe that's where they're more interesting.

 

What the heck is "standard magical fare". I have to admit I've never run across it, but perhaps I've just spent too much time in reality. :p

 

 

AoE damage, debuffs over time, some sort of necromantic life drain spell, etc.

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Although I can see how this would appeal to many players... my thoughts: "On second thought, let us not play a cipher; tis a silly class..." To me the abilities listed just sound like sorta standard magical fare- with "mind" or "soul" tacked on to the name of course- very gamey and not particularly profound. As such, I'll probably end up sticking with a utility class, or maybe trying a chanter.

we know little about them outside of combat, maybe that's where they're more interesting.

 

What the heck is "standard magical fare". I have to admit I've never run across it, but perhaps I've just spent too much time in reality. :p

 

 

AoE damage, debuffs over time, some sort of necromantic life drain spell, etc.

 

Well, to give a mundane analogy, hand grenades, sonic projectors, artillery shells, and mini-nukes all produce AoE damage, but you'd hardly consider them the same, would you? I'd expect the different forms of soul-based magic to vary at the detailed level--in how they are powered, how often they can be used, under what conditions, their targeting methods, special effects, and so forth.

 

What I'm wondering is in what specific manner would you expect the soul-based powers of a cipher to differ from the other classes?

Edited by rjshae
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To me the abilities listed just sound like sorta standard magical fare- with "mind" or "soul" tacked on to the name of course- very gamey and not particularly profound. 

 

On a second thought, yes, a bit more subtlety would immensely benefit the flavor of the class. But that would limit its tactical versatility, I guess, so... meh.

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Well, to give a mundane analogy, hand grenades, sonic projectors, artillery shells, and mini-nukes all produce AoE damage, but you'd hardly consider them the same, would you? I'd expect the different forms of soul-based magic to vary at the detailed level--in how they are powered, how often they can be used, under what conditions, their targeting methods, special effects, and so forth.

 

What I'm wondering is in what specific manner would you expect the soul-based powers of a cipher to differ from the other classes?

 

Well, if those constitute the class abilities in a modern/sci-fi RPG and aren't particularly functionally distinct, I would feel the same way. That said, my priorities are different in playing an FPS, if that is where you mean to draw comparisons.

 

I haven't really given it much thought, but most of the things that come to mind aren't as combat-focused. Maybe I can get back to you on that.

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To me the abilities listed just sound like sorta standard magical fare- with "mind" or "soul" tacked on to the name of course- very gamey and not particularly profound. 

 

On a second thought, yes, a bit more subtlety would immensely benefit the flavor of the class. But that would limit its tactical versatility, I guess, so... meh.

 

Along these lines, one thought that springs to mind is that the ciphers could have invasive powers that don't always trigger combat. I.e. you can see where an arcane missile is coming from so you know who to attack, but if a mental thrust invades your mind you might not know the source. It may make a target more watchful, but he wouldn't necessarily go after the party (unless they are the obvious source). Likewise, the same powers could be used against the party to soften them up before they even know where the attack is coming from.

Edited by rjshae
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In battles against enemies too powerful or resistant to be harmed by the soul whip, cipher is either unable to use advanced techniques (or even repeatedly use minor powers), or is perhaps left with the option of attacking allies to gather the necessary Focus?

....  Not limiting cipher to enemies could have lots of interesting consequences -- and I bet the allies might have a thing or two to say about being used as spare batteries!

 

 

 

 Yes, attacking the monk pre-battle  would buff up both of them. Hmmmm. :getlost:  

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There is a reason, but it's not what you're thinking. I'm in agreement that there's no reason for an actual dagger that magically delivered lightning jolts with every attack to deal less damage than some other bigger, heavier, harder-hitting weapon. But, once you're in gameplay, you've got weapon styles and balancing to deal with.

 

 

That's why they're using percentages, Lephys.

 

Percentages of base damage added as bonus (e.g. elemental) damage, already balance what you think needs balancing. The slower weapons have higher base damage than faster weapons. +20% shock damage on a stiletto isn't the same as +20% on a two-handed sword. So this "problem" is actually already solved.

 

But, like I said, that's the path of least resistance. Percentages should be the last resort. Designing every weapon type to be useful should be the focus instead and I'm sure they're already doing that. Therefore, you could put a stiletto that does 1-4 bonus elemental damage somewhere in the game, but you'd also put a two-handed sword that does 3-5 bonus elemental damage.

 

I'm more concerned about on-hit effects being scaled/distorted based on weapon speed, such as debuff duration.

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I'm a bit worried about the synergy between their abilities. I mean it's cool that i am draining their int and lowering their psyche defense but what use is that when my other abilities are targeting other defenses? Also I'm a bit confused about how recall agony works is it damage taken in a certain amount of time or is it just the last hit they took? I would be pretty pissed if I'm trying to recall some meaty wizard spell and some dinky sword swing gets in the way.

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That's why they're using percentages, Lephys.

 

Percentages of base damage added as bonus (e.g. elemental) damage, already balance what you think needs balancing. The slower weapons have higher base damage than faster weapons. +20% shock damage on a stiletto isn't the same as +20% on a two-handed sword. So this "problem" is actually already solved.

 

But, like I said, that's the path of least resistance. Percentages should be the last resort. Designing every weapon type to be useful should be the focus instead and I'm sure they're already doing that. Therefore, you could put a stiletto that does 1-4 bonus elemental damage somewhere in the game, but you'd also put a two-handed sword that does 3-5 bonus elemental damage.

 

I'm more concerned about on-hit effects being scaled/distorted based on weapon speed, such as debuff duration.

I do understand that percentages accomplish this "problem" I described (which, I don't really understand why it gets demoted to an alleged, quotation-mark problem, *shrug*), and I never said that they didn't. That's fantastic that the percentages of the base damage are some how magically automatically adjusted, completely free from adjustments based on speed -- OH WAIT, the base damage was already set based on speed. So, I honestly don't understand what point you're trying to make that goes against anything I simply observed.

 

I also never said that this is a problem that is obviously existent here, in P:E's design, and that it needs to be fixed. I merely pointed out that game developers usually make adjustments to weapon damage/effect-potency based on the speed of the weapon, so that such a problem never arises.

 

As for not-elemental-bonus-damage on-hit effects and their durations being "distorted," how is this any different from base damage (that you're apparently fine with?) being "distorted"? Or, as you put it, why is it okay for base damage to differ purely because attack speed, but not for any other quantifiable effects to differ for the same reason? If I can hit you every second with a dagger (look, no over the top example, just for you, because I care), and every hit can instill a 5-second debuff, or I can hit you once every 5 seconds with a greatsword, with a chance to instill the same debuff, then you run into the same thing as you do when you don't adjust base damage. ESPECIALLY if the debuff effect doesn't stack (another hit always adds 5 seconds to the duration, rather than resetting it to 5). If it just keeps resetting it to 5 seconds, then you're inherently "distorting" the effect based on attack speed, because the farther the attack speed goes below the duration time, the lesser of an effect each hit is causing. The greatsword, even if it proc'd its effect on every single hit, would never be wasting a single second of redundant effect duration, while the dagger could potentially waste 4 seconds of duration time every hit.

 

Then, of course, you could just let the durations stack, but then you wind up with the dagger being able to generate 50 seconds' worth of poison or slow, and the greatsword only being able to generate a total of 5 seconds' worth.

 

@McManusaur:

 

I'm not saying all the classes and abilities are flawlessly as distinct as they can possibly be, but it's very very easy to start thinking of everything as re-flavored clones of other things. I mean, damage is damage, right? Spinning sword or fireball? They're both an AOE circle of damage, right?

 

But, even two abilities with the same radius and the same damage number (and cast time, duration, etc.) can function quite differently. Obviously, their goal is damage, because damage is the abstracted great equalizer of combat effectiveness. Even if you're not doing damage, you're doing things that help yourself or your party members deal damage more efficiently/effectively to things that are trying to kill you.

 

To be honest, I think they're on the right track with functional differences. I mean, look at the Cipher again. Just the fact that you can't target yourself but can still generate beneficial effects for yourself is a pretty big difference. You're still doing damage, and altering protection, and inhibiting the capabilities of foes, but you're doing it in completely different ways, and under a different set of rules.

 

So *shrug*... I don't know how you could really go about things much differently than they're doing it with P:E. You can only go so far before you've got unnecessarily different roles (such as "you don't deal damage, you do something else entirely"), which don't seem very feasible in a game that demands combat effectiveness.

Edited by Lephys

Should we not start with some Ipelagos, or at least some Greater Ipelagos, before tackling a named Arch Ipelago? 6_u

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Ty for such great update devs it really super that Ciphers are this Update topic i'm very happy to see what you do with Ciphers class.

PS. Sorry for mine bad English.

PS. Is it me or Ci[hers are looking a lot like HexBlade?

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Other than a mention of stunning blows as a monk ability I think we have here with mind wave the first instance of a disabling ability? In fact the effect even seems a bit strong. Squishies hiding behind a fighter is kind of a standard setup and this skill attacks it specifically (the "low saves"). And consider it's largely unavoidable so far.

 

With their reliance on allies or enemies themselves they seem to have a lot of situational potential (i.e. devastating at the right moment, but just enough to pull their weight otherwise).

 

I'm guessing the focus mechanic is there to put a cap on these things, functionally the same as reuse. There's nothing mentioned about this, are these abilities using the same per-encounter/day thing like spells or are they at will?

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I think that Soul Whip on ranged weapons largely eliminates the "too much melee" problem, but perhaps you should also consider a talent which gives a small, but not insignificant amount of automatic focus generation, kinda like fighter ability with stamina?

 

That would clash with the lore of the class, and make them more like the fighter. I guess they could whip their allies, but that would be weird. The basic logic is 'cipher builds focus by hitting' is easy to learn, and quite versatile already.

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...I guess they could whip their allies...

 

 

Kinky. And you know possibly not even a bad idea. The party cypher whipping the party monk seems like it could be a nice combo.

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The lore on Vithrack already has me imagining some really ominous quests/sidequests, but we'll see how much they will expand on that=P

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The lore on Vithrack already has me imagining some really ominous quests/sidequests, but we'll see how much they will expand on that=P

 

I could imagine the Vithrack being able to command herds of insects with their minds. Perhaps they have even domesticated and selectively bred some, so that they start to resemble the insect form of farm animals. Giant bovine-spiders could produce non-sticky silk that can be woven into tough fabrics. Giant beetles repeatedly shed their shells, producing tough materials that can be chemically reshaped into bowls, cups, and so forth. Giant canine-wasps round up the bovine-spiders and serve as watchdogs.

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Great update! Problemly not the first I'm gonna play but will eventually. Loge hearing more about the world. Sigh I'm in at an impasse. I love hearing these updates and learning more about the world, but its making the wait even harder and also hopefully I don't get any info on here that will spoil the actual game.

 

Keep it up though, fantastic work and ideas. Loving it!

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I'd like it if the Psychovampiric Shield had some sort of magical defense. Maybe there could be a feat for ciphers, that provides a defensive bonus for the psychovampriic shield against a special form of magic (that you can choose), that is otherwise hard to come by. 

 

Would also be interesting if Ciphers had some special means to defend themselves against other "psionics", like Vitharcs, or other Ciphers.

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