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So, my first character is a Pale Elf Cipher Mystic. I'm having fun. Mostly because I'm playing on easy because I care about story, not combat. But then I looked online at all the builds...

 

 

And I noticed I've seen perhaps like, one build that doesn't prioritize the strength stat. (Lets not pretend Might is anything other then strength. If a high might lets you lift people and do strength stuff in conversations, its the strength stat no matter what the devs might say in interviews).

 

As far as I can tell, Ciphers, at least, are basically useless without a high strength. I..... don't play strong characters in rpgs. I never, ever, -ever- prioritize strength. I never have, I never will. I have never played a fighter/barbarian type in any rpg I have ever played. I don't empathise with them. I play thinkers, diplomats, or sneaky-types. Am I @!!#!# out of luck here?

 

I was initially just going to make a cipher archer. I was going to prioritize Int (because from what I can see, the cipher charm ability is so short duration it barely lasts longer then it takes to cast it, and in truth, even with an 18 int I've barely used it in play because of that) and then dex next, with the rest of my points being split between perception and resolv.e. I didn't lower any stats below starting levels. And I'm doing pretty well. But I think thats mostly because I'm on easy.

 

In fact, the more I read about the builds, the more and more annoyed I get that basically you seem to be pushed to play a musclebound character, because everyone is going to want to do damage, and damage, even for thinkers, is strength in this game. Even thinking about it is kinda getting me annoyed right now.

 

So what I did was I took the cipher power that gave me +2 focus with each hit. (Edit: Draining whip) I was going to use a bow, but I found I got way more focus when I stuck with the starting dual-wield build it put me on, compared to anything else I could do, and using my bow was basically pointless.

 

My concept just isn't going to work, is it?

Edited by secretfire
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Dex/int ciphers aren't bad, neither are ranged ciphers. A couple points in might won't hurt, but you can get by without. The perception and resolve are pretty much a waste, however.

 

That said, a couple of things. The dual weapons you started with arent a recommendation: they're cultural.

The charm ability isn't very good. Dominate, later, is much better. The charm takes too long and debuffs the enemies, making them pretty incapable of contributing much. Blind is better for level 1, as is the shock ring.

 

The 2 focus per hit talent with a bow is pretty poor. What you want to do is bump accuracy and damage. Marksman, biting whip and weapon focus: whichever will help a lot more. As will penetrating shot, later. If you want to use the 2 per hit talent, grab a blunderbuss, and as many accuracy buffs as possible.

 

The important thig to remember is that there are many, many traps in character building, and leveling up. System mastery is a pretty hefty requirement to the game (and unfortunately you have to pry into dark corners to get it. Too much isn't told to you up front)

Edited by Voss
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Might is pretty important for most DPS characters, yes, though IMO high dex can work too as long as your weapons and talents can get past opponent's DR. For a low might cipher I would suggest going down the debuff/charm route with high int - that seems pretty viable to me - but perception and resolve are very tanky stats and don't have much value on a ranged character. As far as focus generation goes you perhaps picked the wrong talent - Biting whip scales extra focus based on total damage rather than number of hits and thus favours slower weapons. The talent you picked works *very* well with a blunderbuss (each shot counts as 8 hit chances) and fast weapons/dual wielding. 

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am reposting an earlier post that we has, for all intents and purposes, posted 'bout a dozen times already:

 

we got three characters we is still juggling for our first play o' poe, and all three were more than serviceable in our many bb hours o' gameplay.
 
dual wielding priest o' berath or eothas. (maces or flails)
 
or
 
dual wielding rogue likely to use spears.
 
stat breakdown is almost identical for the priest(s) and the rogue:
 
m 10
c 10
d 10
p 16 (18)
i  16 (14)
r 16
 
priests will take lore and some athletics skill.
 
rogue will choose stealth (fingers-crossed that obsidian fixes stealth) and lore.
 
what made such characters powerful or weak in the beta had less to do with starting attributes and more to do with talent and ability choices... and weapon choice too. 
 
the poe starting attributes are significant, but they are no more impactful than were the starting attributes in d&d 3 point-buy.  is our opinion, stated more than once, that people is getting too concerned about the mechanic impact o' attributes. mechanically, talent and ability choices will quickly eclipse the importance o' attributes in poe. 
 
HA! Good Fun!
 
ps we will note that 3e d&d starting attributes were actual more significant 'cause o' the threshold issues with saves and bab n' such.  an extra wisdom or intelligence point could actual have long term impact that does not similarly exist in poe.  most d&d attribute significance were due to post level 1 inflation, but even so, the starting attributes had more importance than poe 'cause o' thresholds. 
 
end repost
 
we got  over 10 hours invested in the game as 'posed to possible hundred-plus hours from the beta.  am current playing the rogue, but am kinda regretting not going with the priest, for rp reasons.  regardless, while our level is only 4 (the beta took us from 4- 8 ) Gromnir's rogue build is not struggling.  yeah, is amazing just how much our meta-knowledge in the beta made battles simple, but even with the tendency for encounters to develop in ways unexpected, our non-optimal rogue build is hardly handicapped.  
 
genuine annoyances so far is limited to a handful o' bugs, the illogical companion skill, ability and talent selections, and the remoteness o' a place to buy camping supplies.  our lack o' strength is not keeping us from exacting comparative impressive damage on all enemies.
 
do not sweat the starting attributes.  sure, for a tank you need build deflection, and those starting resolve/perception deflection points seem invaluable.  'course eder is doing just fine tanking for us in hm, and with proper talent acquisition, we suspect he will get even better.  also, if you were to build a dedicated interrupter build, perception would, we suspect, be a must-have as perception and a single talent o' dubious worth is your only options to boost your base interruption score.  however, for most builds, the starting attributes is far less significant than many people believe.
 
this is a crpg.  poe is kinda an old skool crpg.  given how important starting attributes is in many old skool crpgs, it is understandable that folks would assume similar importance for poe starting attributes.  the assumption is largely misplaced.
 
HA! Good Fun!
Edited by Gromnir
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"If there be time to expose through discussion the falsehood and fallacies, to avert the evil by the processes of education, the remedy to be applied is more speech, not enforced silence."Justice Louis Brandeis, Concurring, Whitney v. California, 274 U.S. 357 (1927)

"Im indifferent to almost any murder as long as it doesn't affect me or mine."--Gfted1 (September 30, 2019)

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