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Endurance from CON vs DR from armor - why should I ever have CON on a cipher?

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Most guides seem to recommend playing a cipher without armor, but leaving a few points in constitution for survivability.

 

I don't get it - for each point of CON dropped, I can take some DEX, reducing the speed penalty of armor.

Isn't it more effective and flexible to drop CON completely and rely on some DR from armor instead?

 

 

Example:

Base endurance for a level 1 cipher is 48.

 

Let's say I drop CON to 3, that's a penalty of 21% (in 1.05), meaning 38 endurance.

Increasing CON by those same 21% would result in 58 endurance.

 

The difference between max and min CON doesn't seem that much considering that even wearing Eder's starting scale mail gives 7 DR plus second chance, an effect that is tremendously useful (and AFAIK can't be put on self-enchanted clothing). The 35% recovery speed penalty can easily be overcome with some points in dex (as they give an overall speed bonus, which is worth more than the same percentage in isolated recovery speed).

 

This might look difference for classes that get more endurance per level, of course.

And it will change quite a bit in 2.0 with the CON buff, but I doubt it will make much of a difference.

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In 2.0 CON will be worth more than now.

Now as I see it CO 9 or 10 is enough if youre melee and ranged you could even go lower.

In 2.0 it might be worth going 10 with ranged and 12 or more with melee.

But your point about DEX is nearly moot, at least for a cipher who would pretty much max DE anyway.

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Put 3 points into CON, max DEX, use a light or medium armour, buy Shod-in-Faith boots from the Crucible Knight's Blacksmith and don't try to imitate "One stands alone": all problems solved. ;)


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Put 3 points into CON, max DEX, use a light or medium armour, buy Shod-in-Faith boots from the Crucible Knight's Blacksmith and don't try to imitate "One stands alone": all problems solved. ;)

Don't forget, CO also gimps health if dumped, the boots only heal EN.

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But your point about DEX is nearly moot, at least for a cipher who would pretty much max DE anyway.

 

Right, didn't think this through. Dex will be close to max for many Ciphers, so no way to transfer points there.

 

In general, playing 2.0 beta now, it seems that one needs more defensive stats than before. I remember Eder being less squishy, my 2nd and third line are in melee more often.

 

But I still think that points in CON aren't a very efficient way to boost survivability.

Any better ideas? Armor we mendtioned already, what about RES?

Ciphers really don't have much in term of escape skills...

Edited by Tomice

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Most guides seem to recommend playing a cipher without armor, but leaving a few points in constitution for survivability.

 

I don't get it - for each point of CON dropped, I can take some DEX, reducing the speed penalty of armor.

Isn't it more effective and flexible to drop CON completely and rely on some DR from armor instead?

 

 

Example:

Base endurance for a level 1 cipher is 48.

 

Let's say I drop CON to 3, that's a penalty of 21% (in 1.05), meaning 38 endurance.

Increasing CON by those same 21% would result in 58 endurance.

 

The difference between max and min CON doesn't seem that much considering that even wearing Eder's starting scale mail gives 7 DR plus second chance, an effect that is tremendously useful (and AFAIK can't be put on self-enchanted clothing). The 35% recovery speed penalty can easily be overcome with some points in dex (as they give an overall speed bonus, which is worth more than the same percentage in isolated recovery speed).

 

This might look difference for classes that get more endurance per level, of course.

And it will change quite a bit in 2.0 with the CON buff, but I doubt it will make much of a difference.

 

Are you soloing or in a party? Is your cipher melee or ranged? What difficulty?

 

Edit: Since you're focused on maximizing survivability, you might find this advice from my solo PoTD melee cipher run helpful. Keep in mind I am still only level 4 on that run and don't know for sure how viable it will be throughout the game, but I do present an unusual way to deal with the balance between survivability (maxed Per and Res and dumped Dex in 1.0.6) and DPS exploiting using the Quick Switch talent. Take a look if you're interested.

 

If you're playing ranged in a party, however, you'll probably always want to keep Dex high, and survivability should be the lowest thing on your totem pole of priorities, but in 2.0 I still probably won't dump Con. I'd be more likely to dump Res. The only things that typically pose a threat your back row are effects like Insect Swarm, which Res won't help with but Con can help you survive. Then again, having a priest or ring with Suppress Affliction makes even more of a difference there.

Edited by Nobear

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Just thinking... if now Con 3 is totally fine, isnt in 2.0 con 6 totally fine?

Which could be wrong due to general rise in accuracy, and more hits overall.

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Just thinking... if now Con 3 is totally fine, isnt in 2.0 con 6 totally fine?

Which could be wrong due to general rise in accuracy, and more hits overall.

 

It is true that 6 Con in 2.0 will inflict slightly less of a penalty than 3 Con in 1.0.6. However, I think due to not only the rise in accuracy but the decrease in deflection on characters who previously focused on it, Con will generally be considered to be somewhat more important for its relative role in survivability.

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But your point about DEX is nearly moot, at least for a cipher who would pretty much max DE anyway.

 

Right, didn't think this through. Dex will be close to max for many Ciphers, so no way to transfer points there.

 

In general, playing 2.0 beta now, it seems that one needs more defensive stats than before. I remember Eder being less squishy, my 2nd and third line are in melee more often.

 

But I still think that points in CON aren't a very efficient way to boost survivability.

Any better ideas? Armor we mendtioned already, what about RES?

Ciphers really don't have much in term of escape skills...

 

 

Um, just use Ectopsychic Echo?

Cipher is the only squishy class, that does not need to worry about melees attacking them at all. ;)

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Are you soloing or in a party? Is your cipher melee or ranged? What difficulty?

 

Party on hard.

For several reasons, I never finished the game so far, despite all kind memories of Baldurs Gate and the original Dragon Age (hoping for 2.0. to fix a few things). So I'm a relative noob.

Edited by Tomice

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Party on hard.

For several reasons, I never finished the game so far, despite all kind memories of Baldurs Gate and the original Dragon Age (hoping for 2.0. to fix a few things). So I'm a relative noob.

 

Melee or ranged? If ranged, you don't need to focus on survivability at all, even on PoTD. In 2.0 you might not want to dump Con, but the last thing you want to do is wear heavy armor. Your DPS and Focus gain will be more important to the survival of your party as a whole than will your personal survivability. In the fights that actually pose any threat to your back row at all (that can't be countered with the appropriate priest spell), like ones with teleporting Shadows, I have tried it both ways. Equipping my back row with plate armor, they still eventually died despite lots of heals, because their Health will eventually wear down and you can only heal Endurance. The same fights were easier when I had my back row in robes, and had them CC and focus fire any Shadow that got to them.

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Party on hard.

For several reasons, I never finished the game so far, despite all kind memories of Baldurs Gate and the original Dragon Age (hoping for 2.0. to fix a few things). So I'm a relative noob.

 

Melee or ranged? If ranged, you don't need to focus on survivability at all, even on PoTD. In 2.0 you might not want to dump Con, but the last thing you want to do is wear heavy armor. Your DPS and Focus gain will be more important to the survival of your party as a whole than will your personal survivability. In the fights that actually pose any threat to your back row at all (that can't be countered with the appropriate priest spell), like ones with teleporting Shadows, I have tried it both ways. Equipping my back row with plate armor, they still eventually died despite lots of heals, because their Health will eventually wear down and you can only heal Endurance. The same fights were easier when I had my back row in robes, and had them CC and focus fire any Shadow that got to them.

 

I don't even have this problem with a party of 3, my cipher survived all 3 levels of the lighthouse without in between resting, even though her health steadily depleted.

Ofc she was wearing plate back then.

Now I finally saw the light and gave her the robe from the Vithrack bounty, but she's level 12. :p

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what change did they make in 2.0 to CON?

 

Playing PotD atm in Beta 2.0 with Eder, PC Druid, Merc Barb, Merc Rogue, Merc Ranger, Merc Priest and thus far it's easy. Except Eder and Barb everyone else has con ~3-8. Sure, they do get sometimes kncokedout but that's no biggie since I end up winning fights anyways.

 

 

 

 

Are you soloing or in a party? Is your cipher melee or ranged? What difficulty?

 

Party on hard.

For several reasons, I never finished the game so far, despite all kind memories of Baldurs Gate and the original Dragon Age (hoping for 2.0. to fix a few things). So I'm a relative noob.

Everything works on hard and i mean EVERYTHING. That's because hard is not hard at all :)

Edited by Killyox
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what change did they make in 2.0 to CON?

 

Playing PotD atm in Beta 2.0 with Eder, PC Druid, Merc Barb, Merc Rogue, Merc Ranger, Merc Priest and thus far it's easy. Except Eder and Barb everyone else has con ~3-8. Sure, they do get sometimes kncokedout but that's no biggie since I end up winning fights anyways.

 

 

 

 

Are you soloing or in a party? Is your cipher melee or ranged? What difficulty?

 

Party on hard.

For several reasons, I never finished the game so far, despite all kind memories of Baldurs Gate and the original Dragon Age (hoping for 2.0. to fix a few things). So I'm a relative noob.

Everything works on hard and i mean EVERYTHING. That's because hard is not hard at all :)

Con got buffed and Deflection nerfed.

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what change did they make in 2.0 to CON?

 

What Raven said. Specifically, Con went from 3% health/endurance per point to 5%. It doesn't surprise me if you're still making do in a full party where your non-tanks have low Con, their health/endurance will just be a bit lower than before. Not enough to make them fall over when sneezed on though, so it's still a matter of personal preference.

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Party on hard.

For several reasons, I never finished the game so far, despite all kind memories of Baldurs Gate and the original Dragon Age (hoping for 2.0. to fix a few things). So I'm a relative noob.

 

Melee or ranged? ......

 

Well, to sum it up, I'm looking for a good build for a ranged cipher on hard with a full party - in 2.0.

I prefer bows over firearms flavorwise, but I'm willing to consider any weapon.

I also care about having a main char who's good in talking, so the stats should allow some of the better dialogue choices.

 

I guess wood elf is the best race for this?

 

DEX seems like the most important stat. But I'm very undecided between MIG, DEX and PER for offense.

And I'm totally clueless how to assure enough survivabiliy.

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Well, to sum it up, I'm looking for a good build for a ranged cipher on hard with a full party - in 2.0.

I prefer bows over firearms flavorwise, but I'm willing to consider any weapon.

I also care about having a main char who's good in talking, so the stats should allow some of the better dialogue choices.

 

I guess wood elf is the best race for this?

 

DEX seems like the most important stat. But I'm very undecided between MIG, DEX and PER for offense.

And I'm totally clueless how to assure enough survivabiliy.

 

First, Hard is not so hard that you need to get everything "perfect." Certain parts of it will probably be challenging as you are first learning the game, but improving your strategy and tactics in pre-combat positioning and while fighting will make a much bigger difference for this than getting your stats just so. Second, you'll be able to respec in 2.0, so you can experiment and "mess up" all you want!

 

I recently wrote this advice for someone asking for ranged cipher advice for 1.0.6. My advice on powers remains unchanged, although 2.0 will probably add a couple more powers for the new level cap. The talents will vary slightly depending on your weapon choice. Boeroer makes a case further down for certain weapons other than blunderbusses/pistols. Nobody outside of Obsidian knows what the best unique/soulbound weapons will be in the expansion, so you'll get to explore and experiment there like the rest of us. Currently though, the weapon focus you choose makes very little difference - certainly not enough to bother even debating for difficulties below PoTD. Also, for all we know, there may be some really good soul bound weapon added in the expansion for ranged ciphers that benefits from any weapon focus you choose, which would bring this concern from practically moot to entirely moot. 2.0 is also adding cross-class talents, but IDK what they all are and which will be optimal for ciphers. Again, we're all in the same boat as far as what we can and can't plan for in the expansion, but it doesn't matter because you'll be able to respec anyway!

 

Stats will change in 2.0. But both pre- and post-2.0, Dex is not necessarily the best stat for ciphers. It's good, but so is Might. Both stats affect your DPS and Focus generation, but only Might affects the damage of powers that you can't spam because, as a ranged cipher, you're almost always going to be limited by your Focus generation rate no matter how good it is. Therefore I'd rank Might slightly higher than Dex, but guess what? You can max both! Go ahead and dump Res. You could dump Con or keep it at 10, but don't go any higher than that. You can have all four important stats high this way. If you also dump Con, you can have them all maxed and one high. The one I wouldn't max is probably Dex, actually, because of how important Might, Int and Per all are in 2.0.

 

As I've stated above, the best way to insure survivability, both for yourself and for your party, is to focus on your abilities, especially CC. Think about it. Would you rather have one of six characters in your party have short-lasting (low Int) or unreliable (low Per) CC, or gimp your Focus regeneration (low Might or Dex) so you can't CC as often, but go around with defensive stats and heavy armor to outlive the occasional enemy that overflows around your tank(s) to come after him/her? Or would you rather keep the fight controlled so that all six of your party members are avoiding damage as much as possible? That's the survivability that a cipher brings to himself and the whole party.

 

Yes, wood elf is generally considered the best race for anyone who's planning to stay at range.

 

Lastly, though, if you're looking for a main who's good at talking, why insist on making it your cipher? It's very early in the game that you can start either finding companions or recruiting adventurers to your party, so you could add a cipher cheaply at level 2 as soon as you get to the Gilded Vale inn. Paladins and priests each have an ability that scales in power based on your dialogue choices, but only if it's your main. So, if you want to have a paladin or priest in your party at all, it'd be most optimal to make it your main. A paladin tank is especially well-suited to having great stats for conversation, as well as gaining lots to his defenses as you build dispositions through dialogue choices that align with his order's preferred dispositions.

Edited by Nobear

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what change did they make in 2.0 to CON?

 

What Raven said. Specifically, Con went from 3% health/endurance per point to 5%. It doesn't surprise me if you're still making do in a full party where your non-tanks have low Con, their health/endurance will just be a bit lower than before. Not enough to make them fall over when sneezed on though, so it's still a matter of personal preference.

 

I don't have tanks :) Only casters are PC Druid focused on shifting and Merc Priest. Though rogue with 8 deflection kinda rolls over sometimes but  but damage she does oh boy :D

 

I also like going pale elves often but liking borean dwarfs as well. I find +15 Acc vs primordial and wildlings very useful.

 

As for Cipher I would rank Int>Might>Dex.  Longer effects, longer cc, might gives more dmg and so on. 

 

On druid Int + Might is really good because DOT spells scale with both might for +dmg and duration with int (which adds more dmg, Autumn's Rot (?) Lv2 does over 100 dmg for me non crit at lvl 4)

Edited by Killyox

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As I've stated above, the best way to insure survivability, both for yourself and for your party, is to focus on your abilities, especially CC.

 

 

The main question that remains: Would you rather drop RES or CON? Or both?

 

How important is Concentration?

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To quote myself:

 

survivability should be the lowest thing on your totem pole of priorities, but in 2.0 I still probably won't dump Con. I'd be more likely to dump Res.

 

and further down:

 

Go ahead and dump Res. You could dump Con or keep it at 10, but don't go any higher than that.

 

For explanations, please scroll up and read the rest of what I've already written. Thanks.

 

Concentration only helps you when you're actually being hit, which should be rarely if you've got high Per, Int, Might, and Dex (which I'd probably rank in that order for 2.0), and are keeping fights well controlled with CC.

 

If you want to have as much as 10 Con rather than dump it, I'd probably either take points equally from all your important stats, or maybe just from Might and Dex to keep Per and Int maxed. Which of these you choose will hardly make a difference. The most important things are to wear light armor (or even enchanted clothing) for max DPS and CC uptime, and focus on these types of powers to maximize your personal and party survivability.

 

Edit: I realize that walls of text can be hard to take in all at once, which is why I kept this post shorter. I don't mean to be short or discourage your questions. Everyone starts new, and I hope you enjoy the game.

Edited by Nobear
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Edit: I realize that walls of text can be hard to take in all at once, which is why I kept this post shorter. I don't mean to be short or discourage your questions. Everyone starts new, and I hope you enjoy the game.

 

I actually read your post in detail, thank you for taking the time! :thumbsup:

It's just that I was hoping for a few more opinions from others on this specific topic.

 

Dropping CON feels more easy to me because I can grasp the effect quite well. -35% hit points means that I can take approx. 35% less hits - it's pretty straightforward. CON is also rarely used in dialogues/cutscenes, so again, nothing to worry about.

 

Dropping RES has more complex consequences, however.

7 points of deflection can't be directy converted into a number of additional hits, and the value of concentration is even harder to judge. It's also the most important dialogue stat (which only matters if one raises it above 10, though)

 

Dropping CON also has the advantage that I can simulate CON on the fly through armor/DR if I realize that I die to often. Deflection (or Concentration) isn't as easy to come by (especially for ranged chars without shield).

Sure, armor lowers my speed, but only for recovery, not for casting, attack or reload. Taking 20 DEX and some light armor seems especially interesting for Ciphers with reload-needing ranged weapons. AFAIK, an assumed 20% additional recovery time actually only increases the total time between spells by 10% (spells and their recovery time are equally long). For bows, it's 13.3% (the recovery time for 2handed weapons is twice the attack time). For guns, the reload time is the longest part of the animation, making a recovery time penalty even less important. On average, you'll need 5 DEX to negate the speed penalty of leather armor (30% recovery).

 

This doesn't mean that I wouldn't agree to you, especially considering that deflection only helps against direct, conventional attacks while CON helps against any kind of damage.

It's just that it's a tough choice anyway.

Edited by Tomice

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Wasn't this thread originally about a cipher?

 

It still is, though the situation is very similar for other squishy 3rd line chars.

The change from 3 offensive and 3 defensive attributes towards 4 off 2 def makes all previous build recommendations moot.

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