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DR is negated by might, as each attack that does more damage, naturally applies more over the same DR per attack. Dexterity is good at increasing the number of actions per minute, which is useful against hordes of enemies in long fights or extremely large enemies with a lot of hitpoints but with easily debuffed defenses. Perception is good in both situations at the same time, because graze, hit, and crit conversion chances. Since a graze does 50% of normal damage of a hit, it's like having x points of more might in that one hit.

 

It is very easy for high DR to mitigate the damage from grazes. A DR of 20 being hit by 19 points of damage, only allows like 20% of the 19 points through, a minimum dmg per hit. Even if you attack twice in one second, that's still 3.8 x 2 worth of damage. Whereas if you could convert that 19 points of damage into 40, then each attack you would still apply 40-20DR=20 points of damage.

 

Of course a high level cipher can steal DR from enemies, which is why it's one of the hard hitting dps classes.

 

The blunderbuss synergizes well with cipher because the cipher gets a natural base damage to their attacks, due to the whip effect. Although I haven't tested it recently to see just what exactly the bonus is. It says +140% base damage on the page of course.

 

<B>I do know about the pre-cast but I'm lvl 5, so I can't do it before next level I would guess (it's 2.5 focus per level right?)</b>

 

Something like that, although if you take greater focus or whatever it's called, that adds +10 to max focus, you might be able to bump that up faster. Currently your starting focus is 1/4 of your max focus. The cipher has a lot of good offensive and defensive talents to choose from, so it's hard to justify doing it just to get +10 focus.

 

Antipathetic and echo were always pretty op for the cipher, as the numbers just are hard to beat, even if you only damage one enemy with it all the time or spread it out in chunks. But they were also extremely difficult to use and often wasn't necessary with the spank/tank strategy of old versions. Also without pulling tricks and solo stealth, the cipher used to have issues managing aggro without another character using engagement to stop enemies from bumping into the cipher.

 

On another note recent tests in White March with a naked cipher and low DR ranger, has worked out pretty well. If I can control the number of enemies and then engage the most dangerous ones, the number of times they attack my backline can be reduced by a large amount. If they are not paralyzed or cced, I just move them out of view of the enemy's backline, problem solved more or less. And often even that's not necessary if I make the wizard have close to the highest perception and close to the lowest deflection of the party. That tends to draw in a lot of aggro once he starts casting spells and damaging people with chill fog. He's a natural aggro magnet but unlike others, he can cast some super defensive buffs. With some healing, he can stay paralyzed forever. Unlike a fighter though, once he gets unparalyzed, he will be the enemy's nightmare once the buffs and debuffs start stacking on enemies. DOn't need that many to do a ringleader or charm with cipher.

 

The monk zahua isn't bad for a tank/dps, except when everybody ignores him. Which they will generally do if he isn't the first one they see. His stats aren't as good as the ones designed for that solo tank  triple crown build however.

Edited by Ymarsakar
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I was under the impression than might bonuses applied after DR but since you're saying it's the opposite then yes you're right might is more beneficial against armoured opponents. Although against these type of enemies I tend to use a pistol rather than a Blunderbuss (finally found one) and the difference in power between might and dexterity become less and less the highest your damage is. Especially with all those DR reduction and steal.

 

On top of that since I'm using dexterity, my casting time have visibly reduced (especially since I have to fire a shot before starting) and my Echo play is a lot safer so I don't think I would trade that speed for additional damage on groups. On big armoured bosses or enemies I'll just have to pierce and debuff enough to negate the advantage of might over dexterity unless spells are the main damage source on those big bosses from the cipher? That has not been my experience in the few big fight I've been in but I'm fairly new yet. I'm certainly going to enchant might as soon as I can in any case! By the way, I'm not finding much in term of equipment advice (apart from weapons, there's tons of things on weapons), that's a little strange for a RPG.

 

As for maximum focus, although I did re-specialize, It was more to correspond to my idea of an ideal and permanent balance between gameplay and RP, I'd rather avoid using the re-specialization function just to be able to get rid of a sub-par talent I've taken knowingly to make early game easier but it is good advice gameplay speaking!

 

Also without pulling tricks and solo stealth, the cipher does not want to get anywhere close to the enemy without someone engaging aggro on enemy melee.

 

Yep, most of the fun in the few I've visited of the endless paths has been to discover ways to trigger the spell optimally without my cipher getting destroyed. I had to find optimal placement for my team compared to my cipher and go pull with a char that could slow a group, it was tons of fun ^^

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The blunderbuss is pretty rare in the early game. You have to go to a certain quest area to be sure to get one, but that's the good one. A lot of the good exceptional weapons are near the late game, but Lead spitter is relatively easy to get on the way to the crit path.

 

<B>On big armoured bosses or enemies I'll just have to pierce and debuff enough to negate the advantage of might over dexterity unless spells are the main damage source on those big bosses from the cipher?</b>

 

Your current might is okay. I played a cipher with 3 might and 10 might. So that's why I notice differences like the one I wrote before. Like I said before, 2 points in any attribute one way or another, won't break the game or strategy. 5-10 points? You'll see a difference then, big ones even. Of course there's always a difference, but it's hard to notice until you go extreme one way or another.

 

Ciphers make mince meat out of big hard hitting enemies, that are alone or easy to isolate. It's generally because unlike early druids, priests, and other wizard like debuffers, the cipher can cast his spells so long as he can do dps. That means there's no such thing as avoiding the debuff or cc of a wizard by using defense until the spell caster runs out of spells. Eventually cipher will get lucky, maybe with a crit, and the big fella goes down to focused dps.

 

Action speed from dexterity is a very unique bonus. Spells can increase attack speed and light armor can reduce recovery, but there isn't anything that naturally makes casting slow/normal spells faster other than dexterity as far as I know. The Baldur's Gate 2 expansions, used to have spell sequencers that instantly cast stuff, which was a huge tactical advantage. Other than traps and dexterity on casters, it's hard to do that kind of overwhelming tactical assault.

 

If you like doing pulls, I suggest using Kana's chant that increases party move speed, getting a wizard and a druid. Those two spell casters have very long distance spells which can aggro enemies, as well as putting down aoe hobble debuffs. It will make pulling more fun and easier against extremely large groups of enemies. Like in the bounty quests.

 

<B>I'm certainly going to enchant might as soon as I can in any case! By the way, I'm not finding much in term of equipment advice (apart from weapons, there's tons of things on weapons), that's a little strange for a RPG.</b>

 

That's partially due to spoilers. If you want us to give you advice on where to get specific cipher plus items, you might need to ask directly. Since I think while people will tell you the item name usually, they won't tell you where to find it, since it involves story/quest issues.

 

A lot of the items so to speak, cater more to solo tanks, solo run throughs, and various defenses. For a ranged character, you can be naked, no items whatsoever, with a good weapon, and you're still a good dps member of the party. There's only like one ring that adds +20% damage against certain enemies, most items give defensive bonuses or utility bonuses. While it's certainly possible to get cloaks, belts with spells on them, and bracers that add +3/+5 accuracy, they aren't necessary. And if you really need more perception buffs, you can use food for that or resting bonuses. 

Edited by Ymarsakar
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Thanks for all the answers, I just got a rather nice blunderbuss (might be the Lead spitter actually, I don't have the name in mind), and as I just hit lvl 6 I was still not entirely clear on Penetrating Shot, ok dex affect everything but does penetrating shot malus affect reloading time on top of attack animation? Cause if it's the case it's not only bad for pistols but it's actually a malus.

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Attack speed debuffs and malus only affects weapon speed between attacks, not the reload on crossbows and firearms. The reload animation time is a separate thing from attack speed.

 

Btw recovery is a kind of attack speed, like -50 recovery is equal to about +30 or +33% attack speed, so it doesn't affect reload either. So plate mail goes very well with firearms, you don't lose as much dps.

 

What -20% attack speed normally means for a bow or melee weapon, is that on every 5th attack, if you had 20% more attack speed, you would have been able to make another attack at that time, bumping it to 6.

 

For firearms, attack speed bonuses don't boost your attack rate as much and attack speed maluses don't decrease your attack speed as much since the reload time is the same and think the reload time on firearms is larger than the attack speed delay (which is modified by armor recovery too).

 

An easy way to see for yourself is to attack with weapon X on party member, and count the number of seconds and reload time. Then take the talent penetrating shot and activate it, then do it again to see how many seconds difference with your current build and armor.

 

Then you can reload if you decide it's too much delay for 5 DR bypass.

 

But for blunderbuss, having that 5 dr bypass on the six projectiles per shot, will increase the overall damage substantially. That's potentially 30 points of damage.

 

The party buffs that substantially increase the overall damage per second of the cipher are the chanter's Illya chant. The priest's blessing and dire blessing. The paladin's accuracy aura. The wizard's alacrity buff that gives some crazy +attack speed at the expense of some endurance dots, but is only a self buff, however is something to keep in mind for melee/ranged/super speed wizards. As a wizard using miasma to debuff enemies makes the cipher's paralysis and mental attacks, near unresistable. If you keep paralysis on enemies more, your blunderbuss deals more damage overall and hence more focus gained.

 

So there are various tricks to increase the cipher's dps, as it benefits from party benefits and tactics a lot. I've started using a monk as main tank, though, and it works out much better now that super high deflection isn't needed. Well, it's still useful at times, but there are ways around it. The idea of some guy taking so much damage that it increases his damage output, high risk high reward gameplay, is nice to go with the more patient cipher build. The monk tank used to be something only the main played as it required a huge amount of aggro/.wound management. Now with the AI, it becomes much less of an issue for a monk to die from wounds before you realize it.

Edited by Ymarsakar
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