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Coming back after a while, played the original game.

Are Ciphers with Blunderbusses still the strongest? Or did the patchnotes yield new contenders/challengers?
I would like to request a summary of strongest builds at the moment for orientation.

Thanks!

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2.0 changes things a fair bit and we'll probably need some time to decide whats best now, but balance changed a lot since the early days. I haven't played very recently either but I kept up with the changes somewhat.

 

Ciphers were nerfed a few times, hit harshest in 1.05. Still decent for some kinds of encounters but definitely not top of the food chain anymore.

 

Paladins, Wizards and Druids perform much better than they used to, got some solid bufs. With this patch, warriors are taking a big hit to their ability to use defensive stance effectively. They're talking about a balance pass for Rangers so I assume they're seen as weaker than they ought to be. I really

 

Perhaps the best thing to do if you want the full picture is to read the full patch notes' archive. http://pillarsofeternity.gamepedia.com/Version

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2.0 changes things a fair bit and we'll probably need some time to decide whats best now, but balance changed a lot since the early days. I haven't played very recently either but I kept up with the changes somewhat.

 

Ciphers were nerfed a few times, hit harshest in 1.05. Still decent for some kinds of encounters but definitely not top of the food chain anymore.

 

Paladins, Wizards and Druids perform much better than they used to, got some solid bufs. With this patch, warriors are taking a big hit to their ability to use defensive stance effectively. They're talking about a balance pass for Rangers so I assume they're seen as weaker than they ought to be. I really

 

Perhaps the best thing to do if you want the full picture is to read the full patch notes' archive. http://pillarsofeternity.gamepedia.com/Version

That's interesting. What changes made Paladins/Wizards/Druids stronger specifically and Ciphers weaker? If I could ask you to be so specific? Patch notes seem very, I dunno, vague?

Also, You really... what?

Edited by Theorycrafter

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Ciphers didn't get changed in this patch. If you want the specifics of all changes don't only read the 2.0 notes but all the other notes too. (Same forum)

Ciphers aren't very good with BB anymore, their focus generation got nerfed and they are best played with a bw now. Also some spells got changed, but nothing major.

Ciphers are still top dogs in this, wizards are stronger if you rest before every single fight. ;)

As to 2.0 I'm downloading it and the expansion now and will probably go for a full party this time.

I'm not sure, whether melee might be on par with ranged now in every aspect, before it was weakened by bad pathfinding.

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Ciphers didn't get changed in this patch. If you want the specifics of all changes don't only read the 2.0 notes but all the other notes too. (Same forum)

Ciphers aren't very good with BB anymore, their focus generation got nerfed and they are best played with a bw now. Also some spells got changed, but nothing major.

Ciphers are still top dogs in this, wizards are stronger if you rest before every single fight. ;)

As to 2.0 I'm downloading it and the expansion now and will probably go for a full party this time.

I'm not sure, whether melee might be on par with ranged now in every aspect, before it was weakened by bad pathfinding.

Bw? You mean a bow? Why is that? 

The patch notes are very vague, I'd really like you to be more specific.

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Too much stuff changed, the only way to get the full picture is to do some research, google, read old threads and comments here and on Reddit and on Steam after each patch. Nobody will go back every single changed that happened over 5 patches for every class. Or just play and see. Theorycrafting requires legwork.

If you want the gist for Ciphers specifically, I can do that I guess. They nerfed mind blades, halved the focus you have at the beginning of a fight, and nerfed draining whip in a way that killed the synergy it had with blunderbusses, for starters.

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Typo, yes I meant bow.

Sorry I don't remember every detail of the last patches.

If you read the right patchnotes, not 2.0 as I already mentioned, the changes are specific and not vague at all.

As far as I remember the focus generation was a fixed amount per damage you do before and is now a percentual amount, which makes BB very bad because you have very little damage per projectile.

Bows are better because you constantly generate focus, if you substituded your BB with say a pistol and you miss a shot, then you're screwed because reloading takes forever.

 

This might all be very different in 2.0, because:

You have way more accuracy now because of the perception change.

As I understand you can also pick the paladin multiclass aura which would give you 4 extra ACC.

A cipher with +14 ACC is probably super deadly with a pistol, too since it never misses.

Edited by Raven Darkholme

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Too much stuff changed, the only way to get the full picture is to do some research, google, read old threads and comments here and on Reddit and on Steam after each patch. Nobody will go back every single changed that happened over 5 patches for every class. Or just play and see. Theorycrafting requires legwork.

 

If you want the gist for Ciphers specifically, I can do that I guess. They nerfed mind blades, halved the focus you have at the beginning of a fight, and nerfed draining whip in a way that killed the synergy it had with blunderbusses, for starters.

Sounds reason enough not to play Ciphers. 

It's really hard to gauge how strong something is of a patch balance note something has been increased/decreased "slightly" or was "adjusted" or "tuned". I want specific numbers, dammit.

Edited by Theorycrafter

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Yeah, the "start with half-focus" thing sort of killed Ciphers for me. I mean, they're still okay, but I like to use the big guns at the start of a fight.

 

I'm thinking that the extra perception could help rogues. After all, most DPS rogues rely on crits. 

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I used four ciphers during my last PotD run in 1.06. Weapon choice: Blunderbuss/Pistol, Crossbow, Arbalest, Warbow. Not much of a difference in focus generarion. And they were all awesome. Ciphers are still number one - for me at least. Mental Binding is so cheap and so powerful. Ectopsychic Echo is so damaging and Amplified Wave is just uber. Easiest Potd run ever (including perma-paralyzed adra dragon thanks to Tactical Meld, Borrowed Instinct and Mental Binding). Thaos was finished in round about 15 sec. Ciphers are still awesome.

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The multiclass rogue talent seems borderline obligatory. That's not a complaint, mind - but I think just about any DPS character who's not taking another multiclass talent has good reasons to take it.


If I'm typing in red, it means I'm being sarcastic. But not this time.

Dark green, on the other hand, is for jokes and irony in general.

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I used four ciphers during my last PotD run in 1.06. Weapon choice: Blunderbuss/Pistol, Crossbow, Arbalest, Warbow. Not much of a difference in focus generarion. And they were all awesome. Ciphers are still number one - for me at least. Mental Binding is so cheap and so powerful. Ectopsychic Echo is so damaging and Amplified Wave is just uber. Easiest Potd run ever (including perma-paralyzed adra dragon thanks to Tactical Meld, Borrowed Instinct and Mental Binding). Thaos was finished in round about 15 sec. Ciphers are still awesome.

 

Yeah... I don't always use Ciphers, but when I do, I spam mental binding.

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Too soon :p

 

There are however some amazing spells for some classes. New priest spells are pretty good. Druid ones are decent but not insane (although spirit form with monk talent is awesome). Monk Dual Forms are devastating :p. Mage definitely has got good spells :)

 

I don't find Cipher particularly awesome.

 

Gonna make a new run on potd starting today. 

 

Gonna go PC mage, offensive priest, offensive spirit form druid, barb, rogue, monk most likely and then ditch rogue monk to get companions (at least for a time)

Edited by Killyox
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Ciphers were never necessarily the best at everything - even at release other classes could become more/as powerful, Ciphers were just the easiest to pick up and get lots of explosions out of. That remains the case at least up to 1.05/1.06, which is when I last played. It just means that your blunderbuss Cipher, who usually had almost too much focus and was spamming his/her best abilities every few seconds, now at least has some kind of downtime. Mental Binding, of course, remained ridiculously good.

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The multiclass rogue talent seems borderline obligatory. That's not a complaint, mind - but I think just about any DPS character who's not taking another multiclass talent has good reasons to take it.

A Barbarian with Sneak Attack, and someone who casts CC spell as backup sounds very fun. You could maul a room full of enemies ridiculously fast.

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half focus, +2 focus per hit to +33% focus and nerf to chanters reload chant nerfed cipher but I would say he is still pretty good just not breakingly good. My first walkthrough was with cipher with blunderbuss build and chanter chant to reload and it was rather silly :p

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Haven't had a lot of time to spend on the game since the expansion, but seems to me Rangers are pretty darn awesome now. They probably benefit the most from the perception/accuracy change and the rogue sneak attack talent. Throw in pet buffs as a bit of gravy. They were decent before, but now Sagani rocks...


"Those who look upon gods then say, without even knowing their names, 'He is Fire. She is Dance. He is Destruction. She is Love.' So, to reply to your statement, they do not call themselves gods. Everyone else does, though, everyone who beholds them."
"So they play that on their fascist banjos, eh?"
"You choose the wrong adjective."
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The multiclass rogue talent seems borderline obligatory. That's not a complaint, mind - but I think just about any DPS character who's not takingnother multiclass talent has good reasons to take it.

A Barbarian with Sneak Attack, and someone who casts CC spell as backup sounds very fun. You could maul a room full of enemies ridiculously fast.

 

Actually I think of saccing a bit of Might for Per on barb to have more accurate carnage + better interrupt and maybe follow it up with Interrupting Blows. That talent will give 15% dmg so that lets me sac might a bit for per.

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I've briefly looked over the new stuff recently. Did not have a chance to actually play yet. Seems the devs went with the 'safe' approach with the new abilities as most of them seem average or below average. The most notable changes are the perception change and the level cap increase which means L3 spells per encounter.

 

Concerning perception change - no longer a dump stat for dps (to the contrary). The change benefits CC and dps chars the most, although they have a bit too many stats to max now. Melee dps are in a quite awkward position tbh as they can't dump con and res, but superior melee weapon damage is still likely enough to make up for it. Ranged dps and CC casters are getting better though.

 

L3 spells per encounter - obviously a big benefit for all casters, but wizards have the best l3 overall probably (and can have 6-7 l3 spells with items/perks). Per encounter alacrity, blights and fireballs are pretty cool.

 

As for new stuff:

 

Spells - first of all, the number of new spells is quite disappointing. Ciphers even get less spells per levelup now... Most of the spells are also quite UP.

 

Druid - The one that gives potions is decent but that's about it.

Wizard - More duplicates (although the new one is not really better than the l4 one. More casts are always good though). Delayed fireball is a decent AoE, dispell wall will be good on very rare occasions (like Thaos fight), chaotic orb is too chaotic and kill bolt is downright UP (there are lower level spells that do more damage). Staff gives a nice deflection boost but as a weapon does not compare to the spirit lance. All in all better than druid but not too impressive.

Priest - Fire rain is good. Resurrect is good if you ever need it. Avatar you can get better bonuses combining lower level spells, but as a quick buff is pretty decent.

Cipher - Stasis would be good if it didn't cost 40 focus. This is going to be an issue with all new cipher spells (they have to be devastatingly powerful to justify increasing focus costs. The new spells are not). The attack speed stealing one might be actually decent in certain circumstances. (duration seems to be affected by the number of enemies and also bugged, I got 1200 sec for instance).

Chanter - pretty good chant vs mind effects, and a damage shield chant that might be decent if the shield is affected by DR. New invocations... they need 6 phrases and that's all you need to know. I'm not even sure why bother implementing them at this point.

 

Other: Druid spiritshift finally got buffed. It's duration still sucks but the damage is quite devastating, I'm pretty sure it can maul dragons now.

 

Abilities. These are not too impressive either for the most part.

 

Fighter - both abilities look decent, transferring damage from an ally plays to the tank role and per encounter armor break is good too. Nothing to change the balance of power though, and defender got nerfed.

Barbarian - engagement immunity vs low level enemies and jump per encounter ability, so mostly mobility stuff.

Paladin - Got one of the best abilities imo. Per encounter chain heal is superb as far as heals go and the burn aoe/heal one looks pretty sweet too.

Monk - Also got really good abilities. +1DT/wound is great and duplicates are super strong, but require 8 wounds, which is a lot.

Ranger - Haven't checked if the new twin shot mode works with vicious aim. In any case it increases ranger dps potential, but probably not as much as rogue's deathblows (it's probably the case of latter being too OP though). It also works only with bows, which are not optimal for dps in the first place. Play dead is probably abuseable in the same way as withdraw (haven't checked in game).

Rogue - Both smoke bombs and per encounter stun are decent, but nowhere near gamechanging.

 

All in all:

  • Monk, Paladin and potentially Ranger got the best new abilities (not sure about Ranger yet though, and they were rather UP in the first place previously)
  • All "per rest" casters got more powerful with l3 per encounter spells. Priest probably got the best new spells. Wizard probably benefits the most from per encounter l3.
  • CC and ranged dps builds are probably going to be more powerful.

Wizard was one of the strongest classes pre patch and it looks like this is not going to change. Druid looks interesting with new spiitshift and Priest looks very solid too. Out of non casters I think both Monk and Paladin are going to be pretty great. Ranged rogues and rangers might be interesting too with the new perception. Rangers got closer to Rogues in terms of dps as well (need to do more testing to actually figure out how they rank now).

Edited by MadDemiurg
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The multiclass rogue talent seems borderline obligatory. That's not a complaint, mind - but I think just about any DPS character who's not takingnother multiclass talent has good reasons to take it.

A Barbarian with Sneak Attack, and someone who casts CC spell as backup sounds very fun. You could maul a room full of enemies ridiculously fast.

 

Actually I think of saccing a bit of Might for Per on barb to have more accurate carnage + better interrupt and maybe follow it up with Interrupting Blows. That talent will give 15% dmg so that lets me sac might a bit for per.

 

Yeah, Tall Grass just got even bett-

 

No, not gonna say it. If I say melee has a nice thing, they'll nerf it.

 

L3 spells per encounter - obviously a big benefit for all casters, but wizards have the best l3 overall probably (and can have 6-7 l3 spells with items/perks). Per encounter alacrity, blights and fireballs are pretty cool.

 

It's the Blights that are really sick. Per-encounter use actually sort of resembles a good reason to take Blast.

 

Ciphers even get less spells per levelup now...

 

ARE YOU KIDDING ME

 

"This class is really strong and has interesting mechanics, folks! People like it a lot! Let's nerf it over and over and over until it has no options and its interesting mechani becomes an active impediment!"

 

 

Chanter - pretty good chant vs mind effects, and a damage shield chant that might be decent if the shield is affected by DR. New invocations... they need 6 phrases and that's all you need to know. I'm not even sure why bother implementing them at this point.

 

Yeah, and having gone one expansion without fixing the unbelievable screwup in the Chanter's design, I think we can be pretty sure that high-level chants and invocations are never going to be worth using.

 

 

Paladin - Got one of the best abilities imo. Per encounter chain heal is superb as far as heals go and the burn aoe/heal one looks pretty sweet too.

Monk - Also got really good abilities. +1DT/wound is great and duplicates are super strong, but require 8 wounds, which is a lot.

 

Well, at least that's progress.

 

 

Ranger - Haven't checked if the new twin shot mode works with vicious aim. In any case it increases ranger dps potential, but probably not as much as rogue's deathblows (it's probably the case of latter being too OP though). It also works only with bows, which are not optimal for dps in the first place. Play dead is probably abuseable in the same way as withdraw (haven't checked in game).

 

It's good to know that while wizards are busy turning people into rocks and priests are calling down storms of fiery death from the sky, my ranger will be able to shoot two arrows.

 

Two whole arrows! At the same time. Pretty boss, yo.

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If I'm typing in red, it means I'm being sarcastic. But not this time.

Dark green, on the other hand, is for jokes and irony in general.

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[...]

Ranger - Haven't checked if the new twin shot mode works with vicious aim. In any case it increases ranger dps potential, but probably not as much as rogue's deathblows (it's probably the case of latter being too OP though). It also works only with bows, which are not optimal for dps in the first place. Play dead is probably abuseable in the same way as withdraw (haven't checked in game).

[...]

Ranged rogues and rangers might be interesting too with the new perception. Rangers got closer to Rogues in terms of dps as well (need to do more testing to actually figure out how they rank now).

 

I think Rangers will rank pretty damn high. They got a really good new double-shot modal. Yes it's restricted to bows and it doesn't stack with vicious aim (tested), but keep in mind that the new soul-bound weapon is a hunting bow that deal shock/ pierce damage while debuffing the enemy with -6 shock DR (combined with Peircing Shots and probably Heart of Storm) and like all soul-bound weapons has a proc-effect (from the game files I bet Returning Storm Bolt). I think with this new modal and the fast speed of hunting bows Rangers may achieve a pretty high proc rate for the effect and very decent autoshot dps. And let's not forget Driving Flight!

 

Pet damage got buffed too. With the right talents and proper group support (100% DoT uptime and CC/debuff) the damage will be more than fine.

 

More when I'm done some more actual playing...

Edited by L4wlight

:skull: SHARKNADO :skull:

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The multiclass rogue talent seems borderline obligatory. That's not a complaint, mind - but I think just about any DPS character who's not takingnother multiclass talent has good reasons to take it.

A Barbarian with Sneak Attack, and someone who casts CC spell as backup sounds very fun. You could maul a room full of enemies ridiculously fast.

 

Actually I think of saccing a bit of Might for Per on barb to have more accurate carnage + better interrupt and maybe follow it up with Interrupting Blows. That talent will give 15% dmg so that lets me sac might a bit for per.

 

You can build a barb with

M 18

D 14

C 10

P 16

I  16

R 4

 

Which is going to be pretty devastating. Glass canon tho, but as lons you have a decent front line it will do just fine. Good conversation options, too.

Edited by Judicator

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I only had opportunity to test my Monk; the 8 wound dual summon s great, especially if you have items with strong per-rest usage. Allows you to trio on that item's usage.

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How would one build a wizard for hard or PoTD party in 2.0?

 

It was so terribly simple to make a kickarse wizard in 1.6 by going max MIG/DEX/INT and putting the remains in RES, but I have to wonder whether things have changed enough for that to no longer being the case.

 

Going for RES for deflection and to avoid interruption will mean lower accuracy from PER, while going PER obviously makes the Wizard more vulnerable to interruption. Of course, a wizard using CON as a dump stat isn't supposed to get hit much in the first place, so dumping RES might not create all that many interruption problems (especially with the Spirit Shield for +30 concentration in hard fights), but on the other hands the enemies are somewhat smarter and happier targeting squishies, so there are likely going to be more attacks hitting the wizard and perhaps dumping CON completely to -35% is a bit optimistic.

 

Anybody with experience from the beta or playing like madmen since White March release with input on this issue?


When I said death before dishonour, I meant it alphabetically.

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Per is not only about accuracy. It is also interrupt.

 

With per encounter lvl 3 spells, wizard can chain cast fast fireball while buffed by alacrity. Interrupting blow does apply to spell.

 

So I think interrupt wizard might worth considering now, especially because it uses the same stats as Crowd Control.

 

 

On another topic, Wounds giving DR seems an excellent synergy with Turning Wheel.

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