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Questions about PotD 3.3 party (mostly Cipher related)


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Hi I just finished my 1st playthrough on normal and I wanted to give PotD a shot with the following party.

 

- Paladin tank (watcher for extra stats on Faith and Conviction)

- Monk off tank (monksterlasher)

- Chanter as 3rd melee (focus on chants)

- Ranger (Storm and plague caller)

- Wizard (Skeletor but not completely)

- Ranged Cipher

 

1: Would this composition work for PotD? 

 

2: How do you build the cipher?

- I'm assuming min resolve and lowish (or min) con and then pump might/int/dex/per but how much con can you sacrifice on PotD? And if you don't minimise con, how do you distribute the other points? Focus would be mostly damage as the wizard's main task will be debuffing.

-What powers and talents are worth it in 3.3 (again mostly focus on damage with some back up for debuffing/CC if the wizard is down or the situation calls for it).

-When do I switch/respec to a war bow or is that viable from the start? The whole zero recovery thing confuses me a bit.

 

3: What skills do I focus on for the party? 1 char with enough mechanics but what about the rest. Is the heal from athletics worth it and how many points? Are the resting bonuses from survival worth it and which to take? Is lore still king or is it enough to have 1 or 2 chars with high focus on lore and the rest enough to cast revival scrolls?

 

Thanks for the answers.

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Hi, I'm here to provide some of my opinions.

 

1. The team comp would work, as you can probably solo most of the content with the paladin, or the wizard, although a priest will probably provide a lot more for the team compare to the chanter with the crazy +accuracy + resolve + deflection buffs.

 

2. Personally I build the cipher with 3 con and 3 resolve, 15 might, 18 dex, 18 int, 18 per, wood elf race + 1 dex + 1 per, and white that wned + 1 per.

per> int/dex > might, might isn't as useful because you get 40% inc damage just from being a cipher, another 15% from sneak attack, if you are using legendary weapon that's another 55%, and slaying enchant 25%, and the +25% damage talents, i think these are all additive, so 9% from 3 might isn't gonna be that huge of a deal, besides you start with focus so you'll be casting mostly anyway.

 

Talent wise I'd go weapon mastery, 33% focus gain, +10 bonus starting focus, 20% bonus damage, marksman,  sneak attack, rest can be whatever, +25% damage to monster bloody slaughter etc.

 

Weapon wise I'd just use warbow right off the bat, there is a fine warbow on a corpse in southern black meadow, can stealth to get it right away, once u get to act 2 can buy borresaine,can upgrade to the rain of godagh field in bounty as a final upgrade, or stick with borresaine for the stun, I personally used rain back then when I played a cipher, I heard golden gaze fully enchanted can do a decent amount of damage for focus generating too, as it fires 2 projectiles.

 

Power wise, it's pretty dull, some are just straight up better than the others, and high level spells cost too much focus.

 

level 1

 

whisper of treason,

it became a fast cast with 7m range, very effective in parties

 

mind wave

I like to have a ranger in party for this, have a boar blocking the doorway alongside with my tank, and cipher can mindwave boar to knockdown everything on the other side, it's fast cast too.

 

level 2

 

mental binding

bread and butter, very long duration paralyze that targets will, will probably be spamming this for the majority of the game.

 

level 3

 

ectopsychic echo

pretty good damage when you don't need CC from the cipher

 

puppet master

instant cast dominate, but 5 m range compare to whisper's 7m range, early on i'd say whisper of treason is better because of the 10 focus vs 30 focus gap, later on things may change.

 

level 4

silent scream

decent aoe raw damage with stun, use this when enemies are immune to paralyze, a lot of enemies are immune to paralyze actually.

 

level 5

never tried the new detonate, but skills at this level seem to cost too much focus already

 

level 6

amplified wave

one used to be able to cast this with 35 focus right as the combat start knocking down everything, have to get at least 1 auto attack off now even at max level, should still be worth it.

 

Skill wise I personally went with full stealth when I played with a party, tank run in and tank, while my squishies stayed in stealth, and cast CC in stealth, can go full survival though, at 10 survival it's like 15 bonus accuracy to a type of monster. or some in each.

Edited by Sfzrx
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Your party looks good. Like Sfzrx said, 3 RES and 3 CON is the way to go for minmaxing. I personally would max MIG and PER and INT and put the rest into DEX, but that's neglectible. The higher the MIG, the easier it is to overcome DR later on. And that can be important to also get focus from high DR targets. But as I said it doesn't really matter. WIth more DEX you can cast a bit faster. Keep in mind that your cipher will go down very quickly if he gets attacked, so try to prevent that. Fast Runner can be a life saver if you can squeeze it in. In early game the chanter's speed chant can also help.

 

The "0 recovery with weapon" thing is hard to achieve with a ranged weapon. With Time Parasite (lvl 6 cipher power), a speed enchanted bow and Durgan Steel you can get it, but that will come really late and you shouldn't focus your whole build around it.

 

About skills:

- Mechanics can be done by your chanter, he has a starting bonus. 10 max should be enough. With scrolls, resting bonuses and eventually gloves you can do every trap/lock in the game.

- Survival: is useful for every party member nowadays. The ACC buff against certain monsters is a great help as well as the healing bonus for front liners and so on. The Lay on Hands or chanter's Ancient Memory will heal a lot more if the target has a healing bonus. Now what you can do with a cipher (and what pays off in terms of focus generation) is to pump survival to 12 (or 10 and put on an item with +2 survival before camping) and choose the bonus flanking damage. You will get +20% damage against flanked targets. Then put on an item with the same bonus, like Glanfathan Stalking Boots for example, that's another +10%. Also take Apprentice Sneak Attack, that's +15% and also works for flanked targets. So in total you can have +45% against flanked targets which is comparable to Sneak Attacks from rogues and stacks with the +40% damage from Soul Whip (+ Biting Whip). So, when it's all set up, you will do +85% damage against flanked targets. Flanking is supereasy for a cipher: cast Phantom Foes and a lot of enemies will suffer the flanked status in an AoE. It's also good for everyone else who has Apprentice's Sneak Attack and also for the animal companion if it has the Merciless Companion talent. THis allows to deal tremendous damage with your normal weapon attacks and also hurt high DR foes big time.

 

For your wizard I can tell you that Envenomed Strike (offensive talent) works with Blast for implements. Don't remember the Skeletor and if he used Blast, but this combination, if taken early, is very powerful. See it as an additional spell with 3 uses per rest. With high MIG and INT you can deal nearly 100 raw damage to each in blast radius which is insane in the early game and will stay to be good throughout the whole game. Way better talent option than bonus spellsfor example. In fact, on of the best talents for a wizard who uses blast with high MIG and INT.

 

With a tanky Dragon-Thrashed-chanter, a priest and a cipher you can have a very neat late game trick: Give the chanter the medium Solace Shield (early, lvl 5 Drake Endless Paths) or Little Saviour (late, from the Adra Dragon) and another item with the "preservation" enchantment (e.g. Blaidh Golan hide armor from the sanitarium, rel. early), then position him where he can reach all enemies with his chant and then cast Withdraw on him with a priest. The chanter will get stunned, untouchable and gain +100 to all defenses, but will not stop chanting (= still contributes to the party with chant). Then the cipher casts Defensive Mindweb. All party members will have the immense defensive values of the chanter now (like around 200 in every defense) which makes them invincible even if they were total glass cannons before. May be that this also works with Statis Shell (cipher) instead of Withdraw, but I didn't test. Then you don't need a priest (which you don't have atm, but it's ok).

 

Don't use Bloody Slaughter - it triggers at 10% of the enemies' endurance and only helps with overkilling. The ony thing where it couldbe useful is against dragons and other enemies with a ton of hit points. It's quite useless as it is. 25% would be good, but it's 10%. Nobody knows why this hasn't been fixed yet.

Edited by Boeroer
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1 - Same as above : For your first PotD run, having a priest is recommanded.

In my first PoTD run I didn't have priest and it was fine. OP has Lay on Hands + support, chanter aura + support and 2,5 casters. should be fine as it is. A priest would most likely make it easier, that might be true, but I don't think it's mandatory. 

 

Well... you said recommended, I can agree to that. :)

 

But you can totally play like this if you like this party better or don't want to have priests.

Edited by Boeroer

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As a cipher you should always start the fight with a firearm (arquebus, pistol,...) and then switch to a bow or an implement. Warbows are good but the damage is greatly reduced vs enemies resistant to thrust. The best weapon to complement your war bow is the Engwithan Scepter (does crush/slash damage and has a speed enchantment) and can be obtained as soon as you start ch.2. While the Golden Gaze does slightly better damage because it fires 2 low damage projectiles, it suffers from the same problem as the blunderbuss vs high DR targets (enemy's DR will count twice in its case) and it's slower than a scepter.

 

PS. Golden Gaze is best used by your wizard who can trigger Expose Vulnerabilities often thanks to his Blast ability.

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1 - Same as above : For your first PotD run, having a priest is recommanded.

In my first PoTD run I didn't have priest and it was fine. OP has Lay on Hands + support, chanter aura + support and 2,5 casters. should be fine as it is. A priest would most likely make it easier, that might be true, but I don't think it's mandatory.

 

Well... you said recommended, I can agree to that. :)

 

But you can totally play like this if you like this party better or don't want to have priests.

I said recommanded also because he played only in Normal before :-

 

And he does not have a druid either. I guess your 2.5 casters party had a druid, didn't it ?

Druids can provide backup party healing and some party buffs (moonwell).

 

If OP really don't want druid or priest, them I strongly recommand having a couple of characters with high lore and a couple other characters with average lore for scroll use in tough encounters.

 

Being able to cast scroll of defense, valor, prayer against x... would be priceless.

 

Even if you eventually don't need it, it considerably recudes the risk of facing brick walls. You'll sleep better with some Lore.

Edited by Elric Galad
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PS. Golden Gaze is best used by your wizard who can trigger Expose Vulnerabilities often thanks to his Blast ability.

But it has strong competitors like the soulbound sceptre (which you get early) which dominates with blast and does raw damage as well as Kalakoth's Minor Blights. But I like the GOlden Gaze, too. To be honest you can easily outfit two or three blast wizards with very good implements and still don't run out of great options for a fourth one. :)

 

As I said in another thread about ciphers a day ago, I would take an island aumaua plus Arms Bearer + Quick Switch (and/or Coil of Resourcefulness) and 4 guns or 3 guns & a bow for a pure ranged cipher (and 3 guns and weapon + shield for a melee one). In the early game you can quickly get a free fine arbalest in Anslög's Compass and can buy one at the Blacksmith. Those will do the job fine until you get your guns. This will give you so much focus when you need it that you will hardly run out of it in a party playthrough until late game, where the cipher powers become very expensive.

 

Another not too bad weapon as alternative to switching guns and/or using war bows is using a crossbow with high DEX and Gunner, yes! :) That's because Good Friend, an early unique crossbow from the Endless Paths which has the Coordinating enchantment. It gives you +4 ACC and +25% damage when you attack the same enemy as a team member. Also, crossbows have normal crit damage compared to guns and arbalests. Combine this weapon and Tactical Meld (cipher power) with your paladin who uses a marking weapon and Coordinated Attacks plus your Phantom Foes which I talked about in a former post and you will have the following: 

+54 ACC (+10 Marking and +10 Coordinated Attacks from paladin, +20 Tactical Meld, +4 Coordinating enchantment, -10 deflection from flanked)

+160% damage per shot with Good Friend (+50% crit - nearly guaranteed with +54 ACC, +25% Coordinating, +30% from bous damage against flanked, +15% Apprentice's Sneak,+40% Soul Whip)

Of course, the only difference between Good Friend and a war bow here is the +4 ACC and the +25% damage, but still. The +25% damage with the relatively high base damage of crossbows leads to a noticable increase in focus gain per hit. And it gives you the spell Holy Power, which is not too bad. Also, reloading crossbows doesn't take nearly as long as reloading guns.

It's maybe not as good as War Bows in the late game, but in the mid game it is surely fun, it works and it's something different than the usual (and somewhat boring) war bow or gun cipher. And it fits the whole "mark the target/coorinated attacks" them and also adds to the whole flanking bonus stuff I talked about before.

Edited by Boeroer

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And he does not have a druid either. I guess your 2.5 casters party had a druid, didn't it ?

 

 

No, I meant he has 2,5 casters (wizard=1, cipher=1 and chanter = 1/2 caster for me ;)). I had two paladins, a chanter, a cipher and two rangers back then. 

Edited by Boeroer
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Thanks for all the help.

 

The reason there's no priest, is because I didn't like the class to play with. The wizard will indeed use the dominate scepter with the blast talent.

 

By the way, you can unlock the last level of the scepter by beating your teammate.

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