So I was thinking about doing a playthrough with a cipher as my main character, decided to add some comments here based on my experiences so far with grieving mother.
Cipher is very glassy, the best ways I've found so far to melee with cipher is to either use a reach weapon, or to use mental binding on your target first. If you're generating focus fast enough to recoup the costs of mental binding and then some before you have to recast it, then that would be ideal, just keep them paralyzed and generate focus while killing them. The bonus to this strategy is that your opponent will be easy to hit once they are paralyzed, however since you don't want the duration to expire to soon it might not be wise to dump intelligence. With a reach weapon you can melee in relative safety as long as you're behind your tanks, you might suffer from area of effect attacks though.
Been thinking about what talents I might use if I make a cipher who uses melee frequently. Talentwise two handing has an advantage over dual wielding because you really need vulnerable attack and two weapon style to get the most out of dual wielding, and bows have an advantage over guns/crossbows in that they don't need the reload trait (as far as I understand it). It's not really a problem when you are focusing on one or the other, but if you plan to be a bit of a hybrid then I think 2 hand + bows is the most efficient course for talents. If you were only dual wielding for the focus generation and not the damage you could pass on vulnerable attack.
Options I'm considering so far, note I am trying to stick with only 3 offensive talent options outside of the cipher talent options.
Adventurer's weapon focus+two handed style+marksman: Can freely switch between melee or ranged. Would use the "Drake's Bell" estoc because it looks like a sith weapon, and the Borresaine warbow because it's just good.
Peasant weapon focus+two handed style+marksman: Your melee option is a reach weapon. Your ranged option is a hunting bow. There is a good option for each found in early levels of the endless paths.
Ruffian weapon focus+two weapon style+vulnerable attack: Sabers/stilettos are both good dual wielding options, and blunderbuss could be used for focus generation against targets that don't have a high deflection rating. Blunderbuss reload time would be long and its accuracy low. Alternatively...
Ruffian weapon focus+marksman+gunner: No longer a melee hybrid, but has high focus generation potential.
Soldier weapon focus+two handed style+gunner: or..
Soldier weapon focus+two handed style+marksman: or..
Soldier weapon focus+gunner+marksman: First two options are hybrids using pikes/arbalests, last just uses arbalests. I suppose I could consider taking all 4 talents here.
Pretty sure there is a recovery time on weapon swapping that hurts the melee/ranged hybrids a bit, not positive though. I am having a hard time deciding which option to go with, but I honestly hate using guns and arbalests so I'll probably use either the peasant or adventurer option.
Edited by Climhazzard, 17 April 2015 - 10:43 AM.