Jump to content

Recommended Posts

I'm turning to the Obsidian boards since I can't find conclusive answers anywhere. So I'm looking to make my PC a cipher. I find ranged combat with bows incredibly dull, so I wanted a melee variant. My PC is going to be my most powerful, cared for, well equipped and micromanaged party member anyways, so I don't mind the melee micromanagement style. And melee should do more damage than ranged and generate more focus, so it's all well and good. 

 

However, what sort of melee? I'm not after attributes, I understand the damage or cc conundrum. But what weapons? Basically, which setup would allow a cipher to deal the maximum dps? Dual sabres, like Bittercuts, with corrosive lashes and Spirit of Decay? Or maybe an estoc, like Blade of the Endless Paths? And what about attack speed (or recovery or whatever you want to call it) - maybe I've just been obsessed with zero recovery builds lately, but is that something one should absolutely have?

 

Incidentally, was the best dual wield dps option ever clearly decided? I've heard conflicting opinions about Bittercut, Resolution and Purgatory, Rimecutter, Drawn in Spring and some soulbound options that I'm not really considering. 

 

This is a duel Bittercut example that I was thinking about:

 

Biting Whip

Draining Whip

WF: Ruffian

Two Weapon Style

Spirit of Decay

Savage Attack

Apprentice Sneak

Greater Focus/whatever

 

I'm not sure about vulnerable attack, since I was thinking about hitting the no recovery speed without any potions or scrolls. I absolutely detest using them. Regarding attack speed, or whatever it is called: it's my understanding that dual wielding with two weapon style, gauntlets of swift action and durgan steeled weapon and padded armor is enough for no recovery. I hope that's the case, the math confuses me in 3.0. 

 

If you care about attributes, skills and gear, high might, per, dex and int (whether you want damage or cc from your spells, and accuracy or animation speed from dex), 6 lore rest survivability, with gear like +4 might helm, +4 int ring, +4 per cloak, +4 dex boots, vengietta rugia or some robe, something something. Oh, and the bittercuts, naturally. Honestly, gear is so much down to preference. I wish someone told me what the best options were :D

 

Then there's the estoc version.

 

Biting Whip

Draining Whip

WF: Adventurer

2h style

Savage Attack

Apprentice Sneak

Greater Focus

Whatever

 

I've thought about the estoc version a lot less than dual wield, and it shows. Basically idential talents, too. You need to use Time Parasite or consumable items to get no recovery, right? (I'm assuming that estoc is the best 2h option btw, maybe Tidefall early on) Maybe Outlander's Frenzy or something? I just can't help but to think that dual wield might be better.

 

So, any suggestions, recommendations, mad attack speed math, armor help, anything at all would be very much welcome.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The first 2 sabre guy looks good. You don't need Vulnerable Attack with sabres which get +95% damage boost from talents alone. Better be faster.

You could also use Resolution + Purgatory because of the Annihilation - gives you more focus on crits and doesn't cost you a talent point like Spirit of Decay for Bittercut. But Bittercut has two damage types and Spirit of Decay also works with a corrosive lash, that's a plus (also for focus).

 

Estocs work great until mid level - but dual wielding sabres will outperform them in the end - even the Blade of the Endless Paths. But if you like them you can use them - absolutely viable and cool looking.

 

If you have high MIG and INT I would recommend Veteran's Recovery instead of Greater Focus. Makes you much more sturdy. If you go down you can't hit stuff. But greater Focus cann allow you better alpha power strikes - so you decide.  :)

Edited by Boeroer

Deadfire Community Patch: Nexus Mods

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Estocs work great until mid level - but dual wielding sabres will outperform them in the end - even the Blade of the Endless Paths.

 

How? :blink:

 

Estoc's base damage is still higher than a sabre's, which means estocs benefit more from any of the % damage boosts in the game. If you reach 0 recovery with the Blade of the Endless Paths you're going to dish out more damage than dual-wielding sabres (and you can do so with Vulnerable Attack too, which grants you a whopping 10 DR bypass against high-DR targets.)

"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

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Once you can reach 0 recovery without Two Weapon Style and the dual-wield bonus of 50% that's true. But also keep on mind that every Estoc only has pierce damage and with dual sabres you can either have two damage types with an additional +20% damage without drawbacks (Bittercut) or dual Annihilation which will boost you damage, too. And you can spare those Potions of Alacrity which you are addicted to. ;)

Ciphers have no Full Attack abilities, so dual wielding doesn't do as much for them as for monks, barbs, fighters and rogues. But I still think dual sabres can outdps estocs if you don't drink potions all the time. You can also wear thicker armor that way. With Time Parasite and Durgan Steel you can wear Plate and use Vulnerable Attack and still have 0 recovery.

 

Don't think it's much of a difference anyway. As I said I also like estocs for ciphers. Especially earlier in the game where you don't have a lot of DMG mods and the 5 DR bypass has a really big impact.

 

I also think there is no "best approach". A cipher with a reach weapon can also be nice. Llawran's Stick with a glass cannon build is fun and gets a lot of focus. You can wear Durance's Staff for backup when you meet crush immune foes or ones with low burn DR.

Edited by Boeroer

Deadfire Community Patch: Nexus Mods

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I also think there is no "best approach". 

 

Looks like that might be true. I'll give it to Pillars, there are tons of ways to build your characters.

 

Visually, I love clean 2h weapons on cipher, because of that sexy purple glow. But in the end, I have to go with the more effective option. I thought that dual Bittercuts outdamaged Annihilation sabres, however. Since Annihilation is only from the base damage of the weapon. Let's see, from that dual wield discussion earlier... dps affixes by Kaylon: "Wounding>>Lash>Speed>Annihilation in that order." Since corrode is an effective damage type and the SoD talent double dipping on the damage. Yeah it depends on the enemy, but on average, if Resolution and Purgatory are just as good, isn't that basically wasting a talent for a gimmick build? And giving up some healing from Purgatory too.

 

Plate with Time Parasite, huh. Something I hadn't considered too much. I've only played ciphers in 1.x patches. How reliable way of figthing is that, casting a high level buff power after a few seconds every fight? And looks like I'll have reason to pick Vulnerable Attack at high level.

 

I should have probably originally mentioned that personally, I was thinking about hard, not PotD. That tends to alleviate the melee squishiness problem a lot.

 

But I do believe that the best approach to a cipher is to gain as much focus as possible, which for most most of the game is doing as much dps yourself as possible, so I believe that this is worth discussing.

Edited by Clerith
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I personally did a playthrough with a melee Cipher on 2.03. Nothing too fancy, played him in a style similar to a rogue with dual sabres/stilettos.

 

It was pretty smooth-sailing for most parts. But yes, the focus generation does becomes notable in signature fights. You need to either use the fodder mobs as Focus batteries or if you are attacking the main boss, make sure to be careful as the Cipher doesn't have as many escape mechanics as compared to a Rogue. New patches have spells like Reaving Knives that can help with that (it is a high level spell though).

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'm turning to the Obsidian boards since I can't find conclusive answers anywhere.

Well, that's the best place to look for up-to-date (mostly) info anyway :)

 

Incidentally, was the best dual wield dps option ever clearly decided? I've heard conflicting opinions about Bittercut, Resolution and Purgatory, Rimecutter, Drawn in Spring and some soulbound options that I'm not really considering.

The best dual-wielding dps options (for cipher) are Bittercut and Purgatory. Which one exactly depends on your stats spread, party composition and ofc enemy in question.  

 

Regarding attack speed, or whatever it is called: it's my understanding that dual wielding with two weapon style, gauntlets of swift action and durgan steeled weapon and (durganized) padded armor is enough for no recovery. I hope that's the case, the math confuses me in 3.0.

speed_coef = (1.15*1.15 - 1) + 0.5 + (0.8 + 0.15 - 1) = 0.77

rec_coef = max(0, 1 - 0.77) = 0.23

 

Your recovery will be reduced to 23% of the base duration, but it won't be zero.

Edit: (as pointed by Kaylon), there is also two-weapons style talent. It stacks additively so you will get:

speed_coef = 0.97 => rec_coef = 0.03. Basically you will have non-existent recovery. 

 

So, any suggestions, recommendations, mad attack speed math, armor help, anything at all would be very much welcome.

You might want to check these threads:

https://forums.obsidian.net/topic/87433-melee-cypher-build/

https://forums.obsidian.net/topic/86159-cipher-melee-build/

https://forums.obsidian.net/topic/86127-cipher-focus-generation/

Edited by MaxQuest
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Durgan enchanted padded has 5% recovery penalty. Base recovery for dual wield is 50% and with two weapons style it becomes 30%. Gauntlets and durganized weapons give you 32% attack speed, thus you're left with 3% recovery which is nearly 1 animation frame - almost nothing.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Then add Time Parasite later on and you can add things like Vulnerable Attack or Cautious Attack plus fat armor without any recovery. Time Parasite lasts the whole fight most of the time (if you're not solo). Before that you could use potions (Power, Alacrity) or Outlander's Frenzy to further boost your recovery.

 

With TIme Parasite and the stuff Kaylon said it might even be that you don't need to wear Gauntlets of Swift Action (which you'd have to find first, they are random loot) but can take other gloves like Ryona's Vembraces (+3 DR bypass) or Gauntlets of Puissant Melee (+10% melee damage) or bracers of Deflection or whatever suits you.

Deadfire Community Patch: Nexus Mods

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Then add Time Parasite later on and you can add things like Vulnerable Attack or Cautious Attack plus fat armor without any recovery. Time Parasite lasts the whole fight most of the time (if you're not solo). Before that you could use potions (Power, Alacrity) or Outlander's Frenzy to further boost your recovery.

 

With TIme Parasite and the stuff Kaylon said it might even be that you don't need to wear Gauntlets of Swift Action (which you'd have to find first, they are random loot) but can take other gloves like Ryona's Vembraces (+3 DR bypass) or Gauntlets of Puissant Melee (+10% melee damage) or bracers of Deflection or whatever suits you.

How does time parasite last the entire fight? In the spell description it says 12 second duration (which can be extended by intelligence )

 

Also it's probably worth telling the OP that wounding does not generate focus? I think ( drawn in spring)

Edited by Kingsman
Link to comment
Share on other sites

How does time parasite last the entire fight? In the spell description it says 12 second duration (which can be extended by intelligence )

 

Also it's probably worth telling the OP that wounding does not generate focus? I think ( drawn in spring)

Yes, but it can hit up to 5 enemies, so they will be slowed each for 12 sec, but you can get up to 12*5 speed up, so up to 60 sec. You just need enough mobs and that they are near

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The description of Time Parasite is a bit misleading. With high INT I constantly get a duration around 90 seconds which is enough for most fights on PoTD if you have a party.  

Edited by Boeroer

Deadfire Community Patch: Nexus Mods

Link to comment
Share on other sites

 

 

The best dual-wielding dps options (for cipher) are Bittercut and Purgatory. Which one exactly depends on your stats spread, party composition and ofc enemy in question.  

All right. Everything in this topic has convinced me to go for dual sabres. Still unsure about which sabre, but thankfully you can respec nowadays. With Time Parasite and including Vulnerable Attack to the build, I have a feeling Purgatory will be the winner. 

 

Thanks for the links, they were useful. Even if your math gave me a headache. I haven't done any in eight years, I need a calculator... lmao.

 

Then add Time Parasite later on and you can add things like Vulnerable Attack or Cautious Attack plus fat armor without any recovery. Time Parasite lasts the whole fight most of the time (if you're not solo). Before that you could use potions (Power, Alacrity) or Outlander's Frenzy to further boost your recovery.

 

With TIme Parasite and the stuff Kaylon said it might even be that you don't need to wear Gauntlets of Swift Action (which you'd have to find first, they are random loot) but can take other gloves like Ryona's Vembraces (+3 DR bypass) or Gauntlets of Puissant Melee (+10% melee damage) or bracers of Deflection or whatever suits you.

Time Parasite, huh. Like I said, I haven't played Ciphers since 1.xx patch, so I have no idea how the high level powers actually work and feel like in combat. Starting every fight with Time Parasite - how's it feel? How fast can you get the focus? In a few seconds? Does it impact the fight too negatively, to not go for any cc in the opener? Basically, I'm asking how annoying it is to use.

 

Is it additive or is it multiplicative with anything? If it's additive, you can have 3% recovery in plate and Vulnerable Attack, which sounds really strong. If it's multiplicative, no recovery whatsoever. IF my math holds true, lol.

 

Also it's probably worth telling the OP that wounding does not generate focus? I think ( drawn in spring)

Right, it just came up in the dual wield dps discussion. I understand that it's not as great for Ciphers, and I've been conviced of the dual sabres anyways.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Time Parasite speeds you up like a potion of Alacrity would, but for a longer duration - and it slows the enemy down. Like Alacrity, Frenzy and stuff it gets multiplied, not added.

It is expensive. Normally I don't start with it. My "usual" cipher is an Island Aumaua with 4 weapons sets, three of them fiulled with guns, and the Coil of Resourcefulness or Quick Switch. Last weapon set is melee with shield or dual wielding. I usually go for +20% against flanked as a camping bonus and put on an item which does +10% to flanked and Archer's Gloves. And I also add Apprentice's Sneak Attack. With Biting Whip I will have a dmg. mod of +95% without MIG bonus for my shots. So I start the fight with a low cost mind control spell like Whisper of Treason, then usually Phantom Foes. Then I shoot all my guns and will have max focus. If I see that focus will overflow then I stop at no. 2. Then I cast Time Parasite and go into melee. With 0 recovery you will generate focus very quickly and you can cast CC spells again. If I have Reaping Knives it's the spell I want to cast before Time Parasite. With this strategy it feels like it's worth the focus cost. 

Edited by Boeroer

Deadfire Community Patch: Nexus Mods

Link to comment
Share on other sites

A cipher can have 40% dmg from whip, 45% from might, 55% from weapon (exceptional+slaying) and 15% from apprentice's sneak attack and a corrosive lash doing 30% more dmg (if you pick bittercut and spirit of decay). With an arquebus/pistol that's 100dmg on average depending on DR - which means you can drain 60-70 focus on the first hit - add that to your base focus and you'll be able to cast any spell...

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I tryed to solo chiper several time but i never liked him too much, maybe i do something wrong... usually i go for High int & per, sometimes i boost also dex, sometimes str. Double bittercuts or sword & shield.

Simply i feel that the base duration ( also if int boosted) of charm is very short or at least i have to struggle to mantain always at least 1 or 2 mobs charmed. When fighting 5+ mobs i lose time charming people and end up finishing the focus while the charming effects are ending too. Too often fight resume in me casting vampiric shield folled by phantom foes and borrowed instict, ( that is basically the sum of the 2 ability of the warrior, +20acc +20 def), so i feel always like a strange variation of warrior with more DMG but less survivability and no full attacks.

Soloing the ringleader too often charmed everyone ending the fight so i don't use it much.

Whay is your experience with solo chiper? Whay build you utilized? Did it "feel" like a chiper or like a bad imitation of warrior/wizard/rogue?

 

Btw in a party the experiece is totally different, charm become more powerful as the fights are shorter, reaping knives are awesome, mass debuffs more useful.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I tryed to solo chiper several time but i never liked him too much, maybe i do something wrong... usually i go for High int & per, sometimes i boost also dex, sometimes str. Double bittercuts or sword & shield.

Simply i feel that the base duration ( also if int boosted) of charm is very short or at least i have to struggle to mantain always at least 1 or 2 mobs charmed. When fighting 5+ mobs i lose time charming people and end up finishing the focus while the charming effects are ending too. Too often fight resume in me casting vampiric shield folled by phantom foes and borrowed instict, ( that is basically the sum of the 2 ability of the warrior, +20acc +20 def), so i feel always like a strange variation of warrior with more DMG but less survivability and no full attacks.

Soloing the ringleader too often charmed everyone ending the fight so i don't use it much.

Whay is your experience with solo chiper? Whay build you utilized? Did it "feel" like a chiper or like a bad imitation of warrior/wizard/rogue?

Btw in a party the experiece is totally different, charm become more powerful as the fights are shorter, reaping knives are awesome, mass debuffs more useful.

Yeah I agree. Ciphers are a really cool class to play beacuse they are so original and they role play really well but I found them to be very under powered after all the patch nerfs. I basically only ever roll a cipher for 3 reasons: amplified wave, time parasite and defensive mindweb. These powers aren't gained untill probably the last 30% of the game so at low levels they aren't really that great. You have whisper of treason but that is really about the only power I use early on.

 

Amplified wave , parasite and mindweb are 3 pretty good reasons to roll a cipher but:)

 

Super powerful spells.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Going to toss in my $0.02 here, but add a disclaimer that I'm only on my first playthrough, playing on Hard. Breezing through it so far with a Paladin, two Ciphers, a Ranger, a Wizard, and a Priest.

One option you might consider is to give your Cipher a reach weapon: Tall Grass or maybe Llawran's Stick, and both are available early. Ciphers have early and easy access to Paralyze and Stuck effects, thanks to Mental Binding. While the optimal damaging approach isn't going to be using a reach weapon, the ready availability of Stuck targets means you can beat on them without getting into their range. In a chokepoint, you can engage behind another melee character. If you don't have someone else using a pike already, you might get more DPS out of your party as a whole by having your Cipher do that, at least in situations where you can fight in a chokepoint (which is a really good idea, by the way).

Link to comment
Share on other sites

In my opionion cipjhers are still powerful because of the cheap mind controls like Whisper of Treason. In (solo) encounters you can start by charming one enemy, the rest will hit him instead of you - you can regain focus and then cast Puppet Master (which lasts way longer and is also not too expensive) and rinse and repeat. Against vessels or other immune foes you need to do something else, like paralyzing or Antipathetic Field (awesome when you're soloing and have high movement speed, the casting range is huge) or other stuff, but usually those tactics work great. The problem of focus famine when fighting high DR enemies I overcome by using guns with quick switch. Whenever I need focus desperately I switch and fire.

 

Ciphers more than double their power if you have two of them instead of one. Be it Ectopsychic Echo, Going Between, Pain Block, Tactical Meld or Reaping Knives. Especially Reaping Knives get ridicoulous when they cast them on each other: both ciphers will get the focus from the raw damage they cause as well as the focus from the damag the other cipher does. To basically you doulbe the fopcus gain for both ciphers and you will overflow with focus after a few seconds while doing aweseome damage even against high DR foes. When you combine two flanker Hearth Orlan ciphers (played like rogues) with Phantom Foes, max flanking bonus from camping and items, coordinating or vicious weapons and later reaping knives they are a lot of fun. 

Edited by Boeroer

Deadfire Community Patch: Nexus Mods

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I've been thinking about trying a melee cipher myself. Probably going to go with a morningstar, because morningstars are cool. Don't really know about stats though. I was thinking about leaving Might, Constitution and Resolve at 10, and the others at 16. Is this wise for a two-hander?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...
×
×
  • Create New...