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KDubya

Why do Ciphers start with full focus?

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I played some PotD with a monk, to use your powers you need to take damage, (I think it is 10, a talent reduces this by 2 ) and get a wound. This seems fine.

 

Wounds only last for 12 seconds and then disappear, this makes some abilities like the wheel (+5% damage per wound) really lackluster. Not sure why they have a timer, you took the damage and earned a wound what would be the issue if they lasted through the combat?

 

Now I compare the monk experience with a cipher.

 

My main character is on hard, level ten, just got the Cipher. Starts every combat with 55 focus, a super awesome self buff costs 40, mind blades costs 15. With the now +25 buff to accuracy generating focus with a few attacks or gunshots is really easy or you can just crank out lots of lower focus abilities and smash everything before you need to worry about focus generation. If I focus my attention on the Cipher and make best use of it's abilities most encounters become even more trivial. Starting with a full focus just feels overpowered. The cipher feels like playing a wizard that rests after every battle and has full use of every spell.

 

What would be the issue if you started with 0 focus and had to generate it? What if you had to take a talent/ability to start with some amount?

 

 

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Yes it's half of their full focus. If Ciphers started with 0 focus, it makes them quite useless as most battles are generally quite short. They are meant to have the opposite playstyle of wizards, being such front-loaded class.

 

What's actually needed is to buff the weaker classes (wiz, monk and ranger), or at least provide them with more versatility.

 

Or on the Cipher side, just need to tone down the OP Mental Binding, and do not allow the blunderbuss to give ciphers so much focus.

Edited by brionkj
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If they started with 0 focus they'd be a garbage teir class.

 

Imagine what monks would be like if they started with 0... oh wait.

 

 

Or on the Cipher side, just need to tone down the OP Mental Binding, and do not allow the blunderbuss to give ciphers so much focus.

 

 

Agreed.  Mental Binding should be level 3, and tenuous grasp should be level 2.  The blunderbuss just wreaks havoc with the game system because it's multi-hit and so interacts in weird ways with some abilities/talents.  

 

I think the above can be fixed with mods, though.

Edited by Daemonjax
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Yes it's half of their full focus. If Ciphers started with 0 focus, it makes them quite useless as most battles are generally quite short. They are meant to have the opposite playstyle of wizards, being such front-loaded class.

 

What's actually needed is to buff the weaker classes (wiz, monk and ranger), or at least provide them with more versatility.

 

Or on the Cipher side, just need to tone down the OP Mental Binding, and do not allow the blunderbuss to give ciphers so much focus.

 

A talent could give them some amount to start with, the amount they get now just seems crazy.

 

Starting with zero would just mean that they need to fire a pistol or blunderbuss to start. I would not view this as useless.

 

Chanters do not really shine until at least three chants are up to get a low level summon. They only get summons out in the big fights as the little fights are over quickly. Starting Ciphers with the large amount of focus that they get just makes the fights end that much quicker.

 

In a simple fight my team uses their per encounter abilities - Aloth drops a few arcane assaults on the bunched up mobs around the frontline, Durance lets loose with an interdiction and then his AoE ability with the acc buff (both saving spells for when they are needed, except for 1st level which are now per encounter) and the cipher lets loose with her most powerful spells not needing to generate more focus as everything gets dropped so fast. I don't see a problem generating focus in the hard fights either.

 

Compared to Wizards, or another per rest spell caster, ciphers get full use of their spells in every fight with no need to hold anything back as a strategic reserve. At the big fights Ciphers are just as strong as they ever were.

 

I understand that there will always be a top tier class, or race for that matter, but the steps between the tiers seem pretty large with ciphers, moon godlikes and for some builds, fire godlikes sitting at the top.

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Was wondering the same. And seeing how quickly they can generate Focus with a Blunderbuss, this wouldn't even be a huge nerf. At least not on PotD, where the fights tend to last longer and you'll go through a couple hundred focus anyway. Would at least get them a bit more in sync with the other classes who need to build up their resources (chanter, monk).

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Starting with zero would just mean that they need to fire a pistol or blunderbuss to start. 

 

You'd pretty much be forced into using multple blunderbusses.  Right now doing that is at least optional.

 

Chanters are pretty weak unless you're running away to cheese the timer (which, coincidentally, seems to be the tactic their class feature is build around).

 

Monk's wound system is pretty terrible.  I wouldn't wish that design on any class.

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Imo if they started with zero focus, they'd be garbage compared to wizards, druids and priests. They are pretty underwhelming already on higher levels.

I imagine they could be changed to start with zero focus and in exchage get increased focus gain along with some increased combat abilities, but imo their are fine as it is.

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Mind Blades and Mental Binding are so ridiculously strong it makes everything else look ****.  Most of my fights revolve around my other characters attacking or doing whatever, and Grieving Mother spamming those two abilities.  As well as Durance's +DR spell, that spell is super important as well, but only in more difficult fights.

 

I get what the Cipher is supposed to be, but right now it feels way too strong.

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I think it would be a bad idea to buff classes to match the OP cipher rather than nerf the cipher.

 

If we had an all-party strength of all ciphers, well, this game would be pretty easy, no matter what you do. That isn't good...


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Mental binding is a pretty stong ability. I'm scared to think how crazy it could get with a party of six ciphers all applying mental binding on a bossfight, but i bet someone has done that already. I love the Cipher class, but that ability needs toning down. Or a higher unit cost to use.

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Mental Binding is a good spell, but it's single target (at least it's never held more than a single foe for me) and resistible, and my low level cipher can cast at most two spells before she needs to plink with arrows. If it were an AoE or fewer encounters were about being swarmed by roughly equally dangerous enemies, I might see it as problematic.

 

The blunderbuss seems to me just silly. The fix for cipher focus regen should be for it to go away, i.e. have all blunderbusses magically turn into pistols.

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Cipher is a hobby-horse class of the designers, hip, setting-specific and utterly over-indulged. It's like a dungeon master's favourite NPC, the one that never dies and pops up everywhere while the players roll their eyes.

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Mental binding is crazy powerful for its level, so something should be done about that.

 

I suspect Ciphers also start battles with a little too much power.

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Cipher is a stronger class than monk atm. That been said, you can't fairly compare the two based on resource only, since monk has much better stats in return for weaker abilities.

 

Making cipher start at 0 focus would make him suck compared to wizards/druids/priests, since they can open up fights with their hard cc spells and damage spells without any issues. Per rest nature of the spells doesn't really matter all that much. That would also be a horrible change from gameplay perspective. People complain about chanters a lot since they can't contribute anything in short fights. That would put Cipher in the same boat.

 

It's funny to see people still complaining about mind blades. They were pretty mediocre before patch, were nerfed for no good reason and continue to be mediocre.

 

Mental binding needs to be toned down, but not too radical. Moving it up a level and/or removing aoe stuck should do. OTOH its higher level alternative (Silent scream) can use an upgrade to aoe CC. Cipher has a lot of garbage spells that need a buff.

 

The biggest offenders are imo L6 spells. Even though they are lategame, they're bit too much. Amplified wave should get a duration nerf. 15 sec aoe prone is ridiculous. Same for Mind Plague.

 

I hope devs won't do anything as radical as removing starting focus though, since it would easily ruin the class. The balance is not THAT horrible so that it needs complete overhaul.

Edited by MadDemiurg
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If Ciphers started with 0 focus, they'd have the same slow ramp-up that people don't like with Chanters and Monks and it'd contribute to all classes feeling the same.  If I were going to tweak anything, it'd be to reduce their focus gain, so they have initial burst but less sustain.

For all that people think Cipher is OP, I think it's simply fast.

My first party was fighter tank, paladin offtank, and chanter, rogue and two ciphers for ranged damage.  Heavy burst and heavier CC.

My second party is fighter and paladin as tank, chanter and paladin as second-line pike wielders with a bit of survivability, druid as support and melee glass cannon dagger rogue who comes in after the tanks are engaged and breaks everyone's damage records.

The first party cleaned up the easier fights very quickly.  The second party is much more effective on more challenging encounters, though.

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I think it would be a bad idea to buff classes to match the OP cipher rather than nerf the cipher.

 

If we had an all-party strength of all ciphers, well, this game would be pretty easy, no matter what you do. That isn't good...

This.

 

Couldn't you just lower the Cipher's starting Focus even more, vs. eliminate it entirely? That is, maybe a flat number starting, so they can cast one tier 1 thing as an opener, say. I don't know...that probably wouldn't be ideal either, tho. I just don't think future tweaks should be balanced around the Ciper's being the current top .. Cipher should be brought down/altered instead.


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Cipher is a hobby-horse class of the designers, hip, setting-specific and utterly over-indulged. It's like a dungeon master's favourite NPC, the one that never dies and pops up everywhere while the players roll their eyes.

 

 

This.

 

It's painfully clear that the developers were playing favorites with the classes. Cipher got all the love cause they invented it. Wizard and Paladin clearly received quite a bit of neglect, comparatively.


"The Courier was the worst of all of them. The worst by far. When he died the first time, he must have met the devil, and then killed him."

 

 

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Yes it's half of their full focus. If Ciphers started with 0 focus, it makes them quite useless as most battles are generally quite short. They are meant to have the opposite playstyle of wizards, being such front-loaded class.

 

What's actually needed is to buff the weaker classes (wiz, monk and ranger), or at least provide them with more versatility.

 

Or on the Cipher side, just need to tone down the OP Mental Binding, and do not allow the blunderbuss to give ciphers so much focus.

 

I do think some other classes need tweaks but the answer can not (or should not, IMO) be to buff all the classes to the power level of the Cipher.  Its a party based game that can be beaten solo on POTD as it stands.   Tossing around major buffs to other classes is going to have a real impact on difficulty for the majority of people who play the game with a party, on difficulties below POTD.

 

Personally I think Ciphers should definitely start fights with less than half focus, and have focus regen cut by 25-33%.  They still would be one of the great classes thanks to their abilities being so damn good.  Mental Binding is OP, because its 2nd level and costs 15 focus but Ecto Echo is even more ridiculous, if you use it well it can trivialize almost any fight.

 

Honestly if you just go down the list of Cipher powers, while there are a couple that are obviously OP and will get nerfed, virtually all of them are good.  Its hard to make a bad power pick when leveling them up.

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How about starting the Cipher's focus at 0, but change the "Greater Focus" talent to give 5*level focus at the start of combat?

They can also change the Monk's Mortification of the Soul to a passive talent that grants 2 wounds at the start of a battle (and remove the limited duration on wounds, too).

They can also add a new talent to the Chanter that gives them 1 Invocation at the start of a battle. You can take this talent six times to start with 6 invocations at level 12. (You'd be sacrificing damage or survivability talents for better support)

 

I'd also like to see the Wizard, Druid, and Priest's "+1 spell level X per rest" talents changed to "-1 spell level X spell per rest, +1 spell level X per encounter". They can remove the per rest to per encounter conversion at level 9 and 12. You would need to spend a talent point for the conversion and its a more gradual increase in power rather than a huge leap.

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Funny again how people are suggesting HUGE nerfs for cipher and buffs to wizard even though the later has much more impact on difficult fights in my experience if played right. Really, cipher gets a lot of its "OP" fame only because most people don't know how to use caster properly and cipher with his spells looks better than auto attack classes (with proper optimization the difference is not as huge as you might imagine though, L6 spells aside).

 

It's like D&D warlock vs D&D wiz/cleric/druid. The former doesn't hold a candle to the later. It's better here, since pure casters are not as OP, but even now are more important overall, and if per encounter spells continue to progress like that in expansions cipher will be garbage tier compared to them by level 15.

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Funny again how people are suggesting HUGE nerfs for cipher and buffs to wizard even though the later has much more impact on difficult fights in my experience if played right. Really, cipher gets a lot of its "OP" fame only because most people don't know how to use caster properly and cipher with his spells looks better than auto attack classes (with proper optimization the difference is not as huge as you might imagine though, L6 spells aside).

 

It's like D&D warlock vs D&D wiz/cleric/druid. The former doesn't hold a candle to the later. It's better here, since pure casters are not as OP, but even now are more important overall, and if per encounter spells continue to progress like that in expansions cipher will be garbage tier compared to them by level 15.

 

I didn't suggest a buff to the wizard/cleric/druid. What I proposed was a CHOICE to reduce their ceiling for an increase to their floor. If you don't choose the talent, then what I proposed is a straight up nerf to their ceiling.

 

Baking the Cipher's starting focus into a talent isn't a "huge" nerf either. Theres an opportunity cost associated with it. You either choose to take the talent for a one time burst of focus at the start, or choose to take a damage talent that not only improves your DPS, but also increases your focus gain per second. Its still a nerf, but its not "huge".

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