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In the beggining people said ciphers were the special snowflake clasd Obsidian loved and would always be OP.

 

After some patches, they became balanced but it seems the devs still feel that they have something to prove.

 

I just hope there was a hidden buff or this is some kind of twisted social experiment.

Edited by DreamWayfarer
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I've only just got to Caed Nua with my 3.0 beta party so it's going to be a while before I can pick up Grieving Mother and check.

 

Kana still has skeletons and it's still a L1 spell (read somewhere here it became L2).

 

I may well be wrong but the exterior of Caed Nua seems to have been scaled down so that it is no longer possible to sneak in with only 1 mob fight (something I achieved in my last 2 play-throughs), Had to trash 4 lots of spirits to get in this time. This will have the benefit of making it quicker to traverse for the majority of the game if it has been reduced in size.

 

EDIT: Whispers of Yenwood gets a +2 buff to constitution making it a possible keeper worth upgrading instead of being reserved for slaying spirits.

Edited by HawkSoft
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I've just loaded up a higher level party led by a cipher to check.

 

Cipher spells are all 10 focus per level, so 2nd level cost 20 instead of 15, 3rd level 30 instead of 20 etc.

 

Choosing mastered spells for wizards is going to be tough and could potentially result in broken builds if you pick the wrong ones, a bit like how sorcerers could be awesome or awful in BG2 depending on their spell choices. This may make the re-specking shops an unavoidable expense for all *optimised* wizards :(

 

I think it also pushes up the value of the extra spell slot skills for increase flexibility.

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EDIT: Whispers of Yenwood gets a +2 buff to constitution making it a possible keeper worth upgrading instead of being reserved for slaying spirits.

Sweet! I try to keep one party member as a "immunity tank". I add a lot of "slayer" weapons into his weapon slots. Adding Con never hurts...

No matter which fork in the road you take I am certain adventure awaits.

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I've just loaded up a higher level party led by a cipher to check.

 

Cipher spells are all 10 focus per level, so 2nd level cost 20 instead of 15, 3rd level 30 instead of 20 etc.

 

Choosing mastered spells for wizards is going to be tough and could potentially result in broken builds if you pick the wrong ones, a bit like how sorcerers could be awesome or awful in BG2 depending on their spell choices. This may make the re-specking shops an unavoidable expense for all *optimised* wizards :(

 

I think it also pushes up the value of the extra spell slot skills for increase flexibility.

 

How so, when wizards were/are quite good even before they reach per encounter levels?

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How so, when wizards were/are quite good even before they reach per encounter levels?

 

 

Because there is a real potential to fall below the power curve by not achieving good synergy between spells and skills. One of the major advantages of wizards is their flexibility: X spells per level per rest chosen from any spell book you possess allows for a lot of fine tuning and experimentation. The new spell mastery system is the antithesis of that.

Why not just allow 6 spells at levels 1-4 as appropriate for increased in-combat flexibility instead?

 

It probably won't be a problem at normal difficulty or easier.

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How so, when wizards were/are quite good even before they reach per encounter levels?

 

Because there is a real potential to fall below the power curve by not achieving good synergy between spells and skills. One of the major advantages of wizards is their flexibility: X spells per level per rest chosen from any spell book you possess allows for a lot of fine tuning and experimentation. The new spell mastery system is the antithesis of that.

How so? You still keep your four spells per-rest.

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Sorry, that was my bad, I should've pointed out the 10 power per level pattern for Ciphers.

 

@Boeroer I looked at all of the tooltips and didn't notice any buffs to high level Cipher powers. In fact, Amplified Wave was double nerfed: not only does it cost more but the radius is much smaller. Also Tactical Meld can't be cast it out of combat anymore. Time Parasite unchanged (other than focus increase). It was already worse than the potion/wizard 3 spell. Seems like an undeserved nerf.

 

Definitely feels to me like over-steering. What bugs me is I can't see higher level powers justifying the cost anymore. Mind Wave, Mental Binding, Echo were already bread & butter, but now even more so. When a Cipher gets a new power, they don't get more resources to spend. Contrast with vancian casters. When priests get Minor Avatar and Storm of Holy Fire, they're just a bonus on top of all existing Priest spells. It's not the nerf, but just that Ciphers seem less interesting. On the plus side, Chanters are more interesting now.

 

Oh, a few other spell changes I noticed: Pillar of Faith (priest 3) looks to have a longer prone duration than it used to. Firebrand (druid 2) now has +4 accuracy. Web (wizard 2) creates a ground effect and ticks every so often but switched to Fort save, Slicken does not seem to have had a similar change. I might be imagining this, but "push" effects seem to be a tad stronger, Warding Staff (wizard 7) was really knocking enemies around. They may have dropped base accuracy on Repulsing Seal (which is fine assuming it still gets a mechanics bonus). The "ground" spell change is nice for Prone causing spells that aren't "ground" spells. Mind Wave is like that. So is Calling of the World's Maw (druid 4) and Pillar of Faith. So sort of a buff there.

 

Back to Spell Mastery, yeah, I keep reminding myself: you don't lose your levels 1-3 spell selection. So it should be no change for hard fights. It's picking the one spell you want to always have in your back pocket. More about quality of life. On that note, I think I'm persuaded by @AndreaColombo on Suppress Affliction. That is one priest spell I would never want to be without. :)

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How so? You still keep your four spells per-rest.

Only if you spam rests,

 

The per-encounter spells gave you a renewing resource to deal with trash mobs. Maybe, if there really are less of those, then spell mastery might be OK but it seems odd that spell choice becomes restricted whilst the Survival skill now gives you a bonus you can reselect each camp.

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Spell mastery seems pretty weak.   Only 3 mastered spells at lvl 14, and they are lvl 1, 2, and 3.   It seems like just a stub left of the per encounter system, just to say it wasn't completely removed.  Also, I think grimories coming with their own extra / per encounter slots might have been the most natural way to implement this. 

 

I think the popular picks for mastery slots are going to be buffs, summoned weapons, because they can be cast as a one-off, and you only get one cast of a mastery spell, freeing up a repeated use slot.

 

Suggestion #1:  Player should be able to expend per rest spell casts on mastered spells after using up their 1 per encounter, without also having the spell in a grimorie.   That way there's an incentive to master a spam spell instead of a one-off.  Not only might this give the player an extra use of their spam spell, but it gives them something to do when switching grimories -- btw there should not be any grimorie cooldown on mastered spells.

 

Suggestion #2:  Adding a bonus to the mastered spell, like a 10-20% bonus to players stats in affecting the strength of the spell.  It makes the meta choice more interesting: do I pick something I always need to cast?  or do I pick something I need to cast with the best possible rolls? 

Edited by blinkicide
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Mastery should be MASTERY, not spamming.

 

I like the idea of a Grimoire upgrade instead, it builds on what is unique about Wizards in PoE rather than following more established tropes.

It might have a similar effect (EG per encounter slots in the Grimoire) but it seems to mesh better with the lore.

 

 

PS do many people swap grimoires during combat?

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I never swap Grimoires. Seems like an unnecessary waste of time and DPS.

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"Time is not your enemy. Forever is."

— Fall-From-Grace, Planescape: Torment

"It's the questions we can't answer that teach us the most. They teach us how to think. If you give a man an answer, all he gains is a little fact. But give him a question, and he'll look for his own answers."

— Kvothe, The Wise Man's Fears

My Deadfire mods: Brilliant Mod | Faster Deadfire | Deadfire Unnerfed | Helwalker Rekke | Permanent Per-Rest Bonuses | PoE Items for Deadfire | No Recyled Icons | Soul Charged Nautilus

 

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Mastery should be MASTERY, not spamming.

 

But my comment was not about making Mastery into spamming.  What I said was there is no incentive to master  a "spam" spell, like fireball, since you need to have access to multiple fireballs in many encounters.   Mastering fireball doesn't make mastery more about spamming than mastering haste, since in either case one gets a free use: either one gets to spam fireball or haste once per encounter.   

 

My point wasn't about the amount of spell spamming, but the TYPE of spells that will get mastered.  I don't think anyone chooses spells like fireball, because you don't get to remove fireball from your grimorie just because you mastered it.  You can do it with haste though, because haste can last the entire battle, you usually only need one cast.   Hence mastering haste, a non-spammable spell, frees up a "spam" spell slot for some other spell.

 

So my point is its all these one-off buffs that seem to be what wizards will master.  There's no real meta choice here other than moving single-cast spells from grimorie to mastery.  Which is why I think mastery needs to 1) effect the quality of the spell cast, and 2) made more friendly towards spam spells, as I described in the original post, to make mastery into something that is really a meta choice.

 

p.s. all of u commenting on grimorie cool-downs, that's a side issue, but there is a perk for it, and whether its for you, depends if your wizards are good with AA attacks (e.g. wizards have some amazing summoned weapons).  The fact that so many of you think it is a complete dps waste to swap out the grimorie is all the more reason to not object if it is incidentally made stronger.

Edited by blinkicide
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@blinkicide, I was not disagreeing with you, my comments were directed towards Obs. They have created a new skill, Spell Mastery, which is all about repeatedly casting a spell rather than mastering it.

 

Playing on normal I would be tempted to take spells with fast casting speeds in the *mastery* slots because I know I will always find time to use them in a combat.

 

I asked about Grimoire swapping because I suspected that very few players do it in combat, I can usually find much better picks than the quick change perk for Aloth ;)

 

It would be nice to have grimoires have more meaning rather than being generic *stamp albums*.

Maybe grimoires could be enchantable (like shields?) with the enchant limit varying by wizard level which would prohibit lower level wizards from equipping them. There could also be genuinely unique grimoires with small but useful abilities.

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Same here on not swapping Grimoires. Most spell levels only have about 4 spells I'd want to cast anyway (especially true of the higher levels). There are a few I might swap in for particular encounters, like if I want to strip enemy buffs, or need elemental damage protection.

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There is no grimorie cooldown on mastery spells, that's already how it works.  

 

The point was about everyone being likely to master one-off spells because that's what frees them up a girmorie slot unless they can spend per rest points on the mastered spell, as if it was memorized in a grimorie.

 

That and mastery not doing anything other than freeing up a grimorie slot.

 

I don't know about you guys, but 1 caste of haste + minor blights > a dozen fireballs.  Seems a pretty clear choice for me.

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Blinkicide is right in that the mastery slot will go for a buff type spell.

 

Level one - Eldritch Aim for the perma +15 accuracy or maybe the quarterstaff

Level two - The one that gets you the +50 endurance

Level three - Either Alacrity for perma haste or maybe the Displaced Image for a perma deflection boost, maybe Blights

 

Level four - Confusion would be powerful as an opening move in every fight

 

The change slightly reduces the power of casters from the current system. They are still way better off than the new crippled Cipher.

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For priest I'd go:

 

1. Halt (I feel this doesn't get enouch love, in many fights it lets you just ignore the thoughest enemy while cleaning up the trash and it's Fast. Would be withdraw if it actually did what it says it does.)

2. Consecrated Ground (Doesn't feel wrong to just use this at the start of every fight.)

3. Dire Blessing (It's always usefull and it's Fast.)

4. Devotions for the Faithful or Shining Beacon (Depends on how many weapon-users, including weapon-summoning wizards, you have.

Edited by limaxophobiacq
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4th-level spells cannot be chosen as a mastery. At least not yet, it might be a thing in WM Part 2, but in the current Beta you can select up to 3rd-level.

 

If I were to pick for 4th-level though... hmm... probably:

Wizard - Ninagauth's Shadowflame or Confusion

Priest - Shining Beacon or Devotions of the Faithful (Probably Shining)

Druid - Conjure Blight or Wicked Briars or Calling the World's Maw or Overwhelming Wave (Heck maybe even Moonwell, dang it Druid)

 

Blinkicide is right in that the mastery slot will go for a buff type spell.

I would actually consider debuffs as well. Curse of Blackened Sight, Bewildering Spectacle and Binding Web make excellent alpha strikes. I have no idea why I never listed them in my initial post. They're also much less situational than Infuse with Vital Essence, which really only sees use if the Wizard is actually being attacked or if the Wizard is attempting to go into melee with a summoned weapon (And even then you may not need it anyway).

 

I'll probably still go with Chill Fog for my 1st-level. Eldritch Aim can be good for augmenting your opener but for throwaway fights I like my DoT and blind =/

 

Hrm. Is Eldritch Aim still worth it if you have a priest or other accuracy buffer in the party? Up to level 9 now so have to choose!

 

Tempted to just give Aloth Slicken and Durance Armor of Faith. 

It can stack with Blessing, though I don't remember if it does stack with Zealous Focus or Devotions for the Faithful.

Edited by Wolken3156
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It stacks with Devotions for the Faithful, but probably not with Scroll of Valor and Zealous Focus.

"Time is not your enemy. Forever is."

— Fall-From-Grace, Planescape: Torment

"It's the questions we can't answer that teach us the most. They teach us how to think. If you give a man an answer, all he gains is a little fact. But give him a question, and he'll look for his own answers."

— Kvothe, The Wise Man's Fears

My Deadfire mods: Brilliant Mod | Faster Deadfire | Deadfire Unnerfed | Helwalker Rekke | Permanent Per-Rest Bonuses | PoE Items for Deadfire | No Recyled Icons | Soul Charged Nautilus

 

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