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(WALL OF TEXT INC)

 

 

Nerfs are lame, but I assume that Obsidian doesn't want to go the route of buffing all the other Cipher abilities (which is what I'd wish), so I don't see any choice but to nerf certain Cipher powers.

 

1. Mental binding is the biggest culprit here. This is effectively a level 5 spell masquerading as a level 2 spell with level 2 focus costs. This spell is in many situations even better than Amplified Wave, which is supposed to be THE best Cipher spell.

 

I would just remove the paralyze effect on the main target all-together and have the spell just apply Stuck for HALF it's current duration on the target and surrounding enemies. This preserves the functionality of the spell being a clutch CC without it going way way over into a "I win & take no damage" button.

 

I mean, for comparison, Fetid Caress is a spell of the same level from Wizard and it's PER REST, and also has an AOE(rather than FOE-AOE) effect that does not apply CC or deflection penalty effects. It also casts slower.

 

Fractured Volition, a spell that is one level higher than Binding, costs more focus and takes longer to cast, applies an effect only to ONE target, and the effect(-20 to everything EXCEPT deflection, slower move speed,  is basically STRICTLY WORSE than paralyzing ( -40 Deflection, Reflex SET TO -20, CANNOT DO ANYTHING) in 99.9% of situations, and it applies an effect (stuck) that is arguably almost as good as FV on all surrounding enemies.

FV looks like a joke compared to MB.

 

 

2. Very Slight nerf required to Tenuous Grasp. Reason being that it effectively acts completely disabling a target for the duration EVEN when you're hitting it. That's a lot like paralyze. I would change it to something like Confused for the first 4.5 seconds then Frightened for the next 4.5 seconds. It also doesn't really make sense for it to be both Confused (not really attacking anything) and Frightened (effectively a penalty to attacking) at the same time.

 

3. Buff all the janky spells.

 

Man this is a long list, but it includes:

 

A. Soul Shock: I have no idea what the guy was on who nerfed the range on this. This was already doing negligible damage at best. Now it barely reaches anything. I'd change it back to original range AND add short debuff like dazed to it, since the intention seems to be using this spell on tanks that are surrounded.

 

B. Mind Wave: Since it's already pretty hard to line up enemies to achieve the prone effect, players should be rewarded with more than a measly 3 sec prone. It should be something like 5 seconds, with the range drastically increased to make the prone effect easier to land

 

C. Eye Strike: This spell is too good on difficulties below PoTD because no-one has exceptional Fort, and it's kinda crap on PoTD because everyone has good Fort. The core effect though, is actually probably too strong since it applies a whopping -35 accuracy (blind,dazed) to the target and -25 Acc to surrounding enemies.

I'd raise the chance to hit(somehow) to make it viable on PoTD, and lower the effect duration to make it less dominating for a level 1 spell on lower difficulties. 

Alternatively, the smarter thing to do (which would require more work) would be to rebalance the base Fortitude values for many of the enemies in the game - especially kith enemies.

 

D. Psycho-vampiric Shield: First of all I've never played a melee Cipher, to which I imagine this spell is intended for, but if I were I'd definitely want to cast a key defensive buff faster and minimize getting interrupted. I would simply increase the Range of this spell and make casting time Fast to make it a consistently effective tool for Melee Ciphers.

 

E. Recall Agony: There are very few enemies (i.e. bosses) on which you'd want to apply this debuff. Since Bosses already have high resists I don't understand why this only hits with +5 accuracy rather than +10.

 

Making this a Foe AOE would go a long way towards making it resemble a useful spell.

 

Alternatively I'd just have this make the enemy roll a will check each time they get hit by anything and if they fail they get hit again for 100% of the damage. So almost like double damage but not quite. This would honestly still be so-so.

 

F. Fractured Volition: As I explained this is a strictly worse spell than MB.

 

G. Pain Link: After testing I've figured this spell is actually pretty good at doing what it's supposed to. However what it's supposed to do is basically do half-decent Foe AOE damage IF you let one of your party members (hopefully your ranger pet) get pounded TO DEATH. The damage needs serious tuning.

 

H. Silent Scream: There is very little point making a spell focused on Interrupting the enemy when it has an AVERAGE cast time. This spell has major overlapping role issues with Mind Lance and Mind Lance trumps this every time due to having a FAST cast time. 

 

I'd suggest something exactly like the Cean Gwlas ability with the same icon: a short (4 meter) point blank AOE effect. It could be made weaker, so it could just be an auto-interrupt with a 4 second stun vs Will.

 

I. Soul Ignition: Fortitude checks make no sense with this spell. Anyone worth doing a big DoT to will have high hp. Ergo High constitution and a high Fortitude. Also this spell still suffers from doing too little damage to be worthwhile.

 

I'd suggest something cool like "If an enemy affected by this spell is killed, they explode dealing damage equal to a % of their max hp to nearby foes". The name actually hints at something like this... since I expect Ignition to lead to Explosion.. or at least Conflagration.

 

J. Body Attunement: For the effect you're getting could seriously take Mental Binding's place for Mental Binding's focus cost and cast time. It's a good effect, just not something you'd expect from a Lvl 4 spell.

 

K. Detonate: Feels underwhelming for its casting time and range. Buffing both of these would begin to make it usable. Would be nice if it also did something else like synergize with soul ignition in some cool way(because their names suggest this), or applied a strong DOT on surrounding enemies if the target exploded.

 

L. Disintegrate: I had to do a double-take when I first saw this spell. 30 damage... over 15 seconds? So 2 damage per second?

On testing it turned out it dealt that damage on each of its ticks, which still makes it terrible for its massive casting time.

So I thought to myself: "maybe this is supposed to be a fun spell because it makes the enemy melt?", and then I saw the Disintegration animation from this spell scoring a kill... or rather the lack of it. The target just disappears. So no graphical touch that gives any sense of satisfaction. Just... a filler spell because there's only two other Lvl 6 cipher spells.

 

I'd revamp the tool-tip, and just plain make it last a long time (40 seconds?) since you're disintegrating something.

Edited by Idleray
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Mental binding isn't as good as you people put it.

 

Stuck for half duration? Binding base duration is 6s. 3s stuck is nothing. At half duration you wouldn't be able to land a single hit while it still lasts (with the cipher himself). I would agree with removing aoe from it as aoe isn't its main purpose, but not duration nerf or changing main effect. It's one of the few spells that actually fit a single target striker role cipher is supposed to be.

 

You're comparing it with Fetid Caress, but the problem is that Fetid Caress is crap and needs serious buffs. Compare it to Chill fog/slicken/curse of blackened sight/bewildering spectacle.

 

Fractured volition could use a slight buff, but it's already better than MB in some situations as it has over 3x duration and lowers will and fort, which is important for landing some of the more devastating spells.

 

Tenuous grasp is again one of the few spells that makes cipher good at focusing single targets. It's 4s only, no aoe. Again, compare to bewildering spectacle. It doesn't need a nerf.

 

As for buffs:

Soul shock range debuff was weird, but it's still a decent spell, as it hits enemies adjacent  to the target anyway. It does more damage than mind blades for what it's worth.

 

Mind Wave is quite good for a level 1 spell, if you buff it to 5 sec in bigger aoe it will be better than Mental Binding.

 

Eye strike - accuracy penalties do not stack, so -25 accuracy only. I think it's ok.

 

Psycovamp - agreed

 

Recall agony - I'd give it even more than +10

 

Pain link - agreed

 

Fractured Volition - maybe an accuracy buff, I think many debuff spells should get it

 

SIlent scream - needs a serious buff, like and aoe stun with shorter duration

 

Soul Ignition - damage buff is in order

 

Body attunement - I guess it's ok

 

Detonate - damage buff is in order

 

Disintegrate - it deals quite good damage, but I'd reduce casting time to average

 

There are some other spells I'd buff, but I don't want to go through the whole list here.

 

What I'd actually nerf:

 

Amplified wave (8m aoe is too large)

 

Mind plague (duration is too long for an effect as powerful as confusion)

 

Ectopsychic echo (foe only with very high damage)

Edited by MadDemiurg
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The 1.04 cipher was certainly a little overpowered. Spamming Mind Blades/Mental Binding at mid levels reduced most mid-sized encounters to trivialities. But it seems in 1.05 with vastly reduced initial Focus and Blunderbuss/Draining Whip abuse gone, most people seem to think that Ciphers are in a good place.

http://forums.obsidian.net/topic/79244-are-ciphers-garbage-after-105/?mode=show

 

I'm not saying its perfect and I do agree with a good number of your suggestions, especially slightly buffing some of the less used Cipher powers. The Mental Binding nerf that you're suggesting, I find rather harsh though. If you're making Silent Scream more like Mental Binding as a replacement (faster cast, AoE Stuck with Stun/AoE Stun, needs 25 focus instead of 15) then it could work. 

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Well, we're not talking base durations since let's be honest here we're all going to be playing with a Maxed Int Cipher so add ~50% to all those base durations.

 

The problem with Mental Binding (or more to the point, Paralyze and Stuck) it that it applies massive deflection penalties and so serves both an offensive and defensive function. 

 

The main target that eats the paralyze portion may as well be dead for all the Crits that you're about to score on it. The stuck portion is still extremely powerful for anyone that can take advantage of it ( i.e. Barbarians).

 

FV isn't better because that extra duration isn't needed and because it doesn't serve to also completely shut down the enemy's offense. If I see a Caster about to let loose something that's bad news, BOOM paralyze shuts it down. If I see a pack of mobs that might overwhelm my tank if they surround him BOOM they're all stuck. The only situation Fractured Volition could possibly be better is if you want to immediately activate Death Blows....which is kinda pointless since you can easily flank paralyzed targets for the same effect, or you want to soften up something to land a strong spell vs Fortitude or Will..... something like Mental Binding.

 

So the bottom line here is that the paralyze duration from binding is more than enough for you to kill a target dead.

 

 

 

Tenuous Grasp base duration is 6s. With typical maxed int it's 9 seconds. Against single targets it effectively kills because nothing can stand getting hit for 9 straight seconds.

 

I am also just reminded of something about it that DEFINITELY OBJECTIVELY needs nerfing/fixing: it can be cast to initiate combat.

This is huge because Confuse can sometimes act the same way as Charm (Confused target will sometimes attack former allies) and this leads to big shenanigans where you cast TG from stealth and the target sometimes starts immediately beating on its friends, get attacked in turn and most of the time killed: You've just killed one mob in a pack and successfully disengaged for free.

 

I've just tested Eye Strike. You're right the acc penalty from blind and dazed don't stack. It's a very strong spell below POTD, and I would just like to see that it's more consistently useful on PoTD. Perhaps if Binding is fixed it will be automatically better.

 

The thing with Mind Wave is that it's really hard to set up the prone, which is why I thought it needed a buff.

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FV vs MB depends on the enemy. I'd rather have a longer effect on a tough enemy like one of the Thaos statues for instance. Vs a low health enemy, yeah, I'd rather MB and shoot him. FV is also good for combos like FV + petrify for instance (Not FV  + MB as MB is quite short and attacks same save). It also depends on party size and composition. MB is not that useful solo as you burn all your focus just to keep it up, same for a low dps party. It's good in a high dps party that can focus fire well.

 

Grasp is not better than any other disable with comparable length and it still requires you to deal full damage to the target. As for casting out of combat: if anything, MORE spells should be available out of combat. The fact that confusion is abusable has more to do with how retarded AI is and effectively is not too different from pulling or other cheap tactics. Either AI needs a serious upgrade, or it should stay as is IMO.

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I'd just reduce all cipher casting times, in the extreme to 0's across the board.  You're already wasting melee time every second you're sitting about waving your hands, the casting part of being a cipher is interfering with the warrior part of being a cipher.  Also it's annoying to cast, wait for the spell to fire, then manually select your melee target again.  So this would even be a UI improvement!

 

It's not like melee is so powerful that giving the cipher more "hitting people with a stick" time is going to unbalance the class.

 

Agree on binding seeming like a more powerful spell than its casting level would imply.  If that puts me at risk of Exoduss deeming me "unenlightened", I'll somehow survive.  Maybe.

 

EDIT:  A thought... maybe the 0 casting time can be a talent or automatic ability at level 9, so that ciphers get a power jump at the same time as the other casters?

EDITEDIT or... Ha!  making the cipher be able to choose a level 1 (level 2 spell at level 11) spell to cast on strike with the melee weapon!  Base it on weapon class or interrupt, a high-interrupt weapon casts the spell at 80% power, a 0.75s interrupt weapon casts it at 60% power...  Never mind that's too crazy to work... unless you paid 50% of your focus gain or something.   Imagine a mind-blades quaterstaff!

Edited by Manty5
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Well, we're not talking base durations since let's be honest here we're all going to be playing with a Maxed Int Cipher so add ~50% to all those base durations.

 

Actually, I'm playing a base INT Pale Elf quaterstaff cipher now, using only the fast-cast and damaging spells when possible with some pain blocking for my monk after she gets too many wounds.  It's a lot of fun.

 

One question though... does enemy DR affect focus gain?  I haven't been able to find any posts on the topic.  So if I swing my quarterstaff at something with 30 blunt DR, am I going to have almost no focus gain?  Is the DR from guns and estocs going to increase that gain?

 

EDIT: I agree with MadDemiurg below me.  The solution isn't to gimp the spell, it's to make the cost worthy of the effect.  So put it up a few tiers.  People will still USE it, they just won't be able to SPAM it.

Edited by Manty5
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I agree that Mental Binding should just have it's paralysis removed completely and remain an AoE stuck. Or alternatively, if the paralysis has to stay, then cut duration in half and remove the aoe stuck. Most of the time you don't even care about the aoe stuck anyway (much at least), you just want to lock out one enemy and make it easy to murder, which even a few seconds of paralysis can aid in a lot.

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In all fairness, if it's 3s sec paralysis, I'd move it to garbage tier and never pick it again. If that's how you see "balance" then ok.

 

Maybe that'd make it garbage, maybe not. The fact is that right now it's much too good because:

- It is a party game. A well organized barrage of spells/attacks on that massively debuffed deflection/reflex can be devastating. With the current duration, even a graze leaves more than enough time to mangle something severely.

- It lets you lock down the most dangerous enemy at the start of the fight, which is of course the most important part of most fights.

- You're almost always focusing on one enemy at a time, at least in non-trivial fights, so the fact it'd be a single target effects is really not as big a downside as it may seem on paper.

- In addition to being a great help in letting the rest of the party murder something, It's very good for the cipher himself since ciphers depend on targeting (the now severely debuffed) deflection in order to gain focus. Note that other powerful effects a cipher can inflict like charm/domination do not have this kind of feedback loop.

 

There's just so many good things about it I really don't see even the severe nerfs discussed as being a downgrade into the garbage tier, considering what only a level TWO spell should be able to do.

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In all fairness, if it's 3s sec paralysis, I'd move it to garbage tier and never pick it again. If that's how you see "balance" then ok.

I second that. I can keep everybody locked down all of the fight with a wizard and a ring of wizardry. At level 9 I can spam slicken like there is no tomorrow.

 

I felt like johnny one spell with my cipher until level 11 because most cipher spells are trash, at least it felt like it on potd. I had to paralyze to hit to gain focus to cast paralyze again to gain more focus to hit (thats low level cipher for you). I didn't cast mental binding for it's group aoe, I cast that sucker to paralyze that one foe and kill him dead. When you are facing a horde of enemies that paralyze that barely sticks isnt going save you, but it might help out a little.

 

If it wasn't for MB I probably wouldn't even use cipher at all

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In all fairness, if it's 3s sec paralysis, I'd move it to garbage tier and never pick it again. If that's how you see "balance" then ok.

 

Maybe that'd make it garbage, maybe not. The fact is that right now it's much too good because:

- It is a party game. A well organized barrage of spells/attacks on that massively debuffed deflection/reflex can be devastating. With the current duration, even a graze leaves more than enough time to mangle something severely.

- It lets you lock down the most dangerous enemy at the start of the fight, which is of course the most important part of most fights.

- You're almost always focusing on one enemy at a time, at least in non-trivial fights, so the fact it'd be a single target effects is really not as big a downside as it may seem on paper.

- In addition to being a great help in letting the rest of the party murder something, It's very good for the cipher himself since ciphers depend on targeting (the now severely debuffed) deflection in order to gain focus. Note that other powerful effects a cipher can inflict like charm/domination do not have this kind of feedback loop.

 

There's just so many good things about it I really don't see even the severe nerfs discussed as being a downgrade into the garbage tier, considering what only a level TWO spell should be able to do.

 

 

-Graze is 4.5 sec at 20 int. You'll get 1-2 attacks in at best from each party member attacking. Yes, it's a good damage multiplier vs single target. Something that Cipher is SUPPOSED to do well.

-Most fights do not even have "a most dangerous enemy" and are aoe fests on PotD. "Most dangerous enemies" also tend to have high will saves.

-No you're not, see about aoe fests.

-After recovering from the cast you only have so many seconds to get your attacks in and get focus back. Yeah, you can do MB + attack + MB + attack loop vs certain enemies by burning your focus. Is it optimal? In many cases  - no. Dominate/charm do not have this loop. They have the effect of enemies beating up on the charmed target doing both damage and tanking for free.

 

Source: PotD Cipher, Wizard, Priest solos and 2 PotD party playthroughs + a lot of dicking around with different builds

 

 

I second that. I can keep everybody locked down all of the fight with a wizard and a ring of wizardry. At level 9 I can spam slicken like there is no tomorrow.


I felt like johnny one spell with my cipher until level 11 because most cipher spells are trash, at least it felt like it on potd. I had to paralyze to hit to gain focus to cast paralyze again to gain more focus to hit (thats low level cipher for you). I didn't cast mental binding for it's group aoe, I cast that sucker to paralyze that one foe and kill him dead. When you are facing a horde of enemies that paralyze that barely sticks isnt going save you, but it might help out a little.

If it wasn't for MB I probably wouldn't even use cipher at all

 

Well, there's more to cipher than MB (and it is not even my most used spell tbh), but it is true that ciphers have a ton of garbage spells and only a few good ones.

Edited by MadDemiurg
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-Graze is 4.5 sec at 20 int. You'll get 1-2 attacks in at best from each party member attacking. Yes, it's a good damage multiplier vs single target. Something that Cipher is SUPPOSED to do well.

 

Which is fine for a level two spell.

 

-Most fights do not even have "a most dangerous enemy" and are aoe fests on PotD. "Most dangerous enemies" also tend to have high will saves.

 

 

Which doesn't matter when a graze is perfectly sufficient time to toss some nasty reflex spell and/or have your rogue shank their face off.

 

-No you're not, see about aoe fests.

 

 

Well obviously the caster classes will be aoeing but you are always choosing one target as the thing you kill first with the guys who aren't aoeing.

 

After recovering from the cast you only have so many seconds to get your attacks in and get focus back. Yeah, you can do MB + attack + MB + attack loop vs certain enemies by burning your focus. Is it optimal? In many cases  - no. Dominate/charm do not have this loop. They have the effect of enemies beating up on the charmed target doing both damage and tanking for free.

 

 

Right, so if you charm something instead of casting MB, you're not getting that gigantic focus boost from attacking the paralyzed target, which naturally balances charm a bit. This in effect makes the focus cost of MB very low since it grants you more focus on your next attack(s). This is most noticeable in lowish-mid levels when starting focus is low and other casters don't have tons of spells yet that can replace the cipher's paralysis with an equally powerful deflection penalty.

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So are you arguing that it should not have enough duration to get any hits in? What's the point then? Besides grazes there are also misses which happen a lot on low level PotD. And for high health enemies like trolls or lurkers or orges even crit would often not be enough to kill them while it lasts. Does it increase your damage? Yes. Is it an "I win" button? No.

 

I wouldn't call the focus boost from it "gigantic". After you finished recovering from casting it you have like 2 hits till it expires, assuming it did hit for full duration. Maybe 4 hits if you DW. That's nice but nowhere near "gigantic" really. Both MB and mind control have advantages and disadvantages as you noted yourself. Do you want MB to be crap and inferior to charm/confuse in all cases?

 

Cipher spell spam is going to look more impressive at low levels compared to other casters simply because they scale differently. Even then, some low level spells of other classes have much more impact when used in the right moment.

 

And yeah, it's a good 2nd level spell. Maybe it can use a slight nerf (like toning down/removing aoe). There are plenty of great 1st and 2nd level spells that other classes have and that are in many ways superior to MB, like Slicken, Chill fog, Curse of blackened sight, Miasma of dull mindedness, Bewildering spectacle, Repulsing seal, Sunbeam etc.

Edited by MadDemiurg
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wow, what a load of...

cipher is already not nearly as good as other caster classes after 1.05, MB is the only half decent thing cipher can cast thats not totally waste of time at low-to-mid level, have you look at the the abilities (particularly CC abilities) of other classes? 3 secs you must be joking. Why would you demand more nerf of this already below average powered class? may be you should make a mod and make whatever changes you want, and leave and rest of us to play our single-player game in peace.

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So are you arguing that it should not have enough duration to get any hits in?

 

Yes, that's why I suggested it lasts 0.5 seconds. Oh wait, no I didn't. 4 seconds on hit + intellect would be more than enough time for the entire party to benefit with an attack or two, which is all it needs to do to be perfectly fine for a level two spell. With coordination that even leaves you time to utilize a graze.

 

What's the point then? Besides grazes there are also misses which happen a lot on low level PotD. And for high health enemies like trolls or lurkers or orges even crit would often not be enough to kill them while it lasts. Does it increase your damage? Yes. Is it an "I win" button? No.

 

 

What, is stunlocking things to death the criteria for usefulness? Especially when it's just one spell that doesn't even need to be useful at all times. There's plenty of situation where even a short paralysis can be extremely helpful. It doesn't need to be the spell that you use in every fight to help murder things, especially when there are other spells that are designed to do exactly that (like Recall Agony) that are completely overshadowed in their one job by this multi-tool.

 

I wouldn't call the focus boost from it "gigantic". After you finished recovering from casting it you have like 2 hits till it expires, assuming it did hit for full duration. Maybe 4 hits if you DW. That's nice but nowhere near "gigantic" really.

 

Depends on exactly what kind of accuracy boost the paralysis is giving you. If we do a simple comparison of no afflictions on the target vs paralyzed, that's a gigantic -40 deflection. If you had it already blinded, which is very common, then it's just half that, but still great.

 

 

Both MB and mind control have advantages and disadvantages as you noted yourself. Do you want MB to be crap and inferior to charm/confuse in all cases?

 

 

No, I'm actually fairly sure Whisper of Treason would be the go-to spam spell at low-mid levels if MB didn't exist and it may need a small duration nerf as well, or perhaps just a one target limit.

 

Cipher spell spam is going to look more impressive at low levels compared to other casters simply because they scale differently. Even then, some low level spells of other classes have much more impact when used in the right moment.

 

And yeah, it's a good 2nd level spell. Maybe it can use a slight nerf (like toning down/removing aoe). There are plenty of great 1st and 2nd level spells that other classes have and that are in many ways superior to MB, like Slicken, Chill fog, Curse of blackened sight, Miasma of dull mindedness, Bewildering spectacle, Repulsing seal, Sunbeam etc.

 

 

Yes, the "real" casters are more powerful, which has to do with the rest system's failure to...well, it's complete and utter goddamn failure at everything. I'm not saying MB makes ciphers OP, I'm saying it's a very noticeably OP spell within the class, which makes the class less fun. In fact I think it's likely the class could use a little bump at low levels if they nerfed MB.

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If 6 sec is enough for a couple of hits 4 sec would likely only accommodate like 1. I'm not sure it will be worth to even spend focus on.

 

Deflection debuffs tend to have diminishing returns, plus it's 6 sec base, while some blind spells are like 20 sec base. It's pretty clear what's more powerful for dps. Recall agony just needs a buff. For what it's worth -40 deflection is about 45% damage buff if base accuracy is equal to deflection. Less if we count in some additive damage bonuses, which are easy to come by for a Cipher and make hit quality less important. Recall agony is 30%, but it lasts much longer.

 

In my experience MB is not a noticeably OP spell even within the class. As I said, cipher has tons of trash spells and just a few decent ones, but MB is not the only one.

 

Basically:

L1 - All spells are more or less useful in my experience. Most powerful are probably tenuous grasp/antipathetic field which I would often prefer to MB

L2- Yeah, MB. This level needs some serious buffs.

L3. - Ectopsychic echo - this inflicts "dead" affliction to multiple enemies, which I'm sure is much more powerful than paralyze or whatever. Niche spells: Soul Ignition (oneshots shades), Fractured volition (fort & will debuff)

L4 - Painblock, Mind Lance. Niche spells: Body attunement.

L5 - Tac meld, Borrowed instinct, Ringleader

L6 - Mind Plague, Amplified wave. Niche spells: Disintegrate (deals good damage but needs setup, worth it only vs few targets)

 

Any spells not listed, and even the ones listed under "niche spells" need buffs.

 

Tbh once you get Echo MB is mostly useful for interrupting enemy casters. Why should I bother paralyzing enemies that would die to echo in 5 secs? Once you get Amplified Wave you forget about MB completely unless facing some very high fort opponents.

Edited by MadDemiurg
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If 6 sec is enough for a couple of hits 4 sec would likely only accommodate like 1. I'm not sure it will be worth to even spend focus on.

 

Deflection debuffs tend to have diminishing returns, plus it's 6 sec base, while some blind spells are like 20 sec base. It's pretty clear what's more powerful for dps.

 

This is what I'm talking about, why does MB have to be good at all for dps when paralysis is a much more versatile affliction for stuff like interruptions, breaking engagement, etc? Clearly spells that have no utility beyond murdering things should be better at murdering things hands down, which is why I brought up spells like recall agony. And yeah, the aoe blinds provided by wizard/druid are superior, but we're not talking about cipher vs other classes, at least I'm not, as I said.

 

 

Ectopsychic echo - this inflicts "dead" affliction to multiple enemies, which I'm sure is much more powerful than paralyze or whatever.

 

Which is a good example of another OP spell.

 

Once you get Amplified Wave you forget about MB completely unless facing some very high fort opponents.

 

 

Aaaand another. At least the high focus cost tethers this one a bit, but it could still use a duration reduction. Maybe lower damage a bit as well.

 

Long term (as in probably not for this game, but for sequels) I think they should also really consider changing the focus system somehow so that all spells of all levels aren't always competing for the exact same resource, which makes it much harder to balance spells within the class for ciphers than for other casters.

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Well, as I said, I rather consider recall agony underpowered. Pretty much any spell I listed can be considered overpowered if definition of overpowered is being competitive with MB. However I played cipher alongside other casters (and soloed with both cipher and wiz/priest) and the only spell from the list that definitely felt OP was Amplified Wave (mostly because of AoE size, not damage/duration - these are ok for level 6 spell). There are a few other spells that can use some light to medium nerfs (but nothing like cutting duration in a half). And there's a ton of garbage spells in need of buffs (recall agony included). Level 2 and 3 in particular are full of trash.

Edited by MadDemiurg
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Well I am playing the game and I can tell you right now that people who are not playing at the highest difficulty should not make suggestions unless they play at potd. Sorry but if its too easy then you should bump up to potd then make suggestions. Here is my experience:

Mental Binding: Seems to miss... a lot. Id say about 25% of casts do not land on anything. Not sure why but I am thinking that if the main target resists then the entire spell fails. Since it is a spell that can be resisted... it is almost entirely useless against any hard targets. It is great when it lands on large crowds but those easy enemies are so easy that its a waste of time. You are better off plopping a meatshield at the front and just auto attack to kill them. I am up to level 9 and for the most part it has not been useful except against trash... and those annoying healing paladins which are not really a threat but they take a while to kill since they heal.

Tenuous Grasp.: Same as above except it is even less useful. Totally worthless in potd in my opinion since it lacks the aoe and will barely ever land on hard enemies.

Eye Strike: Sucks the big one since it targets fort... which is basically the high save for almost everything in the game. Totally worthless against tough enemies. If it does land, then its good but it is unreliable so you are usually better off auto-attacking with a heavy weapon.
 

 

Basically, anything that has a save will be iffy and unreliable and since a cipher is not exactly great at hitting stuff, it is simply a waste of time and effort.
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At this point the only spells I use at all are 
Ectopsychic echo & Antipathic field. Usually I can use one or the other and they are very good. Mind Lance is good too but not nearly as good as the other two if you can target them right.

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Bottom line, Cipher stinks on potd. Sorry but you are better off with a fighter or pally in the back with a heavy gun. In fact, a group of 5 fighters and 1 pally will pretty much mop the floor with the game since they can do about average around 200 damage per round and they hit very frequently (thanks to being able to focus your attribute points on fewer things). That will pretty much kill most things in 1 round. you need 2 built as tanks in the front and 4 at range in the back. I have not tried rogues yet but I bet they would be better than ciphers too. I did not mess with the wizard much nor the druid so I will try them later but I hate depending on rest for spells... if you want an "oh crud I need some cheese" character just add 1 summoning bard but honestly it is not needed. I didnt know about the summoning items till later in the game but now that I have them you dont need the bard as much... i mean chanter.

Edited by marc5477
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I don't agree with the nerfs suggested by the original poster but tbh the comment above is rather clueless. Fighters and paladins do not hit more frequently "because they can focus attributes on fewer things" because no attribute contributes to hit chance in any way. Cipher also will deal more damage that fighter or paladin with any weapon because soul whip.

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Well I am playing the game and I can tell you right now that people who are not playing at the highest difficulty should not make suggestions unless they play at potd. Sorry but if its too easy then you should bump up to potd then make suggestions. Here is my experience:

 

I finished the game triple crown on less than 10 rests with a party that included a cipher. Why don't you get back to me when you've done the same?

 

Ciphers dominate on potd and you can pretty much fight on critical fatigue because the accuracy penalties count for nothing when you land mental binding.

 

Please finish the game first before you make laughable assumptions on what difficulty other people play on.

Edited by Idleray
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Mental Binding is basically Petrify without the damage bonus, -40 deflection/reflex is a death sentence by itself.

Along w/ the stealing accuracy, Ciphers are probably the best class at landing hits on POTD.

 

Very strong Soul Whip bonuses...basically unconditional sneak attack.

 

Overall the best non-rest class. Obviously rest classes are better...when you rest :p

 

If you're going to nerf anything, I'd nerf the penalties on paralyze. Not sure why its so high compared to other disables with generally shorter duration times (prone -10, stun -30).  In any case it should be lower than the most powerful CC in the game, Petrify. But they're the same.

 

If you gave a Fighter 3x per encounter Paralyze instead of Knockdown, he'd also be OP at low levels. The issue is Paralyze more than Ciphers IMO. 

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Won't say ciphers are the best non rest class either (if there's such a thing at all since everyone runs out of health). Tanks are quite OP with the current hit mechanics and even though any class can be built to tank some are better at it. Monks resource system is better suited for times when you're in trouble - and that's when you need it most. They fall behind casters in power scaling at higher levels though. Ciphers are probably the best dps/cc class with no per rest abilities - but since most other classes that fall into this category are point and click and require very little micro it is only fair imo.

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