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So assuming i like variety and want to switch things up as much as possible and i would like to play a cipher that can be ranged or start ranged and then switch into melee...(im playing on normal, sometimes hard so i dont have to min max to infinity)....

 

Im probably thinking about medium armor, trying to keep talents/abilities as open as possible

 

my questions tough are

 

should i bother uping dexterity at the cost of might/perception since most powers are fast anyway?

 

The other big question i cant decide is if for such a build, should i choose weapon focus ruffian for the bb/pistol and sabres dualwield combo or rather adventurer for the warbow + estoc/blade of endless paths combo?

 

The first probably makes more sense for that initial big hit from guns before switching to melee?

 

Thanks & Cheers

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A good approach is to use an Island Aumaua plus Arms Bearer and Quick Switch (or the Coil of Resourcefulness) and have three guns + a melee setup. With that setup you can either fire three fat shots for lots of focus at the start of an encounter, disable enemies and then finish them off with the melee weapons. Or you can do things like start with gun - fire - CC - switch to melee - kill - switch to gun - fire... abd so on, It's avery versatile and powerful approach but it takes a lot of micro. But ciphers need a lot of micro anyway because you constantly switch from casting to attacking and threrefore the switching doesn't add as much pain as it does for classes like fighters or rangers.

 

What I also did - and which worked pretty well, is to take Stormcaller (weapon focus doesn't matter here because soulbound items work with any weapon focus) with Heart of the Storm, fire a few shots to get focus, buff myself with Psychovampiric Shield and do some CC and then go in with melee weapons which have a shocking lash. This will give you good focus, too. The shocking lash will hit harder because of the -6DR from Stormcaller.   

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Maybe you still want to take Penetrating Shot: if you like Amplified Thrust, Mind Lance and Mind Blades for example. Those work with Penetrating Shot. Mind Blades without it is pretty meh, but with Penetrating Shot (and also Ryona's Vembraces) it's good for a kind of AoE damage. Those are also really good for Blunderbusses. With Lead Spitter you can have a maximum of 4+5+3+3 = 15 "passive" DR bypass. That's great for most targets. For ones with even more DR you can always cast Body Attunement - because it's also a good spell for prebuffing before you go into melee.

 

I'm not sure anymore but I think the beams also work with Pen Shot.

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makes a lot of sense thx! i also just realised that "greater focus" not only improves your max focus but it just gives you 10 focus more to start the battle with... so now i just hit lvl 8 and i got biting + draining whip so far, greater focus and now penetrating shot...next i will take weapon focus and then ill see where i go from there :-)

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Concerning DEX: If you take quick switch and don't reload and also dual wield in melee you don't need a lot of DEX. Dual wielding itself gives you +50% attack speed. And later, with TIme Parasite you will easily hit 0 recovery where DEX doesn't do anything for youzr recovery phase. But don't dump it completely because of spallcasting. Some spells take awfully long when DEX is dumped and you will get interrupted a lot in melee if your RES is also low. With a tank with high RES it's ok, but  a relatively squishy dual wielding cipher shoudn't do it in my opinion. I would leave it at 10. 

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Personally I can't play cipher with low or average dex, all average speed spells feel painfully slow when enemies are targeting you, especially the self buffs that can help take off some of the pressure, like psychovampirc shield or borrowed instinct.  The only early spell that comes out fast when you really need it to is puppet master.  If your cipher is to slow you may end up having to use withdraw on him when he comes under pressure, that's how I feel anyways. 

 

As far as versatility goes, I'm surprised people don't recommend gallant focus for accuracy, it effects melee and ranged weapons as well as your spells, and nearby party members.  Is it because blessing suppresses it?  There's a ton of other spells your priest can spend his time casting instead.

 

To me the most versatile cipher might be an Island Aumuau that has somethng like...

 

Gallant focus

Biting whip

Draining whip

Arms Bearer

Quick Switch

Two weapon or Two hander

Penetrating shot

Apprentice sneak attack

 

I like to have veteran's recovery though and there'd be no room for that, I also like to have vulnerable attack when I'm duel wielding.  So you'd definitely be giving things up to be more versatile.  Still you could use a vast array of weapons if you wanted to, all bows/guns/crossbows as well as your pick of duel wielding or two hander weapons depending on which route you want to go.  You'd have 4 weapon sets you can quick switch through for a massive burst of focus at the beginning of the fight too.

 

Also worth noting that you lose a lot of potential accuracy by such a build.  If you were on PoTD you'd want more accuracy.  

 

Gallant Focus

Weapon Focus

Marksman

Woodelf

 

That would essentially give you 16 more accuracy than your versatile Island Aumuau, but you'd likely just end up using a warbow and maybe 1 gun.

Edited by Climhazzard
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@Loren Tyr, thanks for clearing that up. As I said I wasn't sure.

 

@Nemesis7884: A rule of thumb is that all spells that are ranged and hit a single target (so, no AoE circle and no cone) like Necrotic Lance, Minor Missiles, Thrust of Tattered Veils and so on work with Penetrating Shot (also includes "jumping effects"), AND all spells which AoE has the form of a thicker line, like Rolling Flame, Mind Lance, Crackling Bolt and so on. Those work with Pen. Shot. There may be exceptions to this rule. Fo example it may be that Ghost Blades work despite being an AoE cone (?). There was a thread where we all tested and posted those spells, but I can't find it atm and it's also a bit old. Maybe some things changed. Loren has insight to the code, so mabe (if he has nothing else to do and we send him rauatai cookies) he could make a list of spells which work with it. ;)

Edited by Boeroer

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Personally I can't play cipher with low or average dex, all average speed spells feel painfully slow when enemies are targeting you, especially the self buffs that can help take off some of the pressure, like psychovampirc shield or borrowed instinct.  The only early spell that comes out fast when you really need it to is puppet master.  If your cipher is to slow you may end up having to use withdraw on him when he comes under pressure, that's how I feel anyways. 

 

As far as versatility goes, I'm surprised people don't recommend gallant focus for accuracy, it effects melee and ranged weapons as well as your spells, and nearby party members.  Is it because blessing suppresses it?  There's a ton of other spells your priest can spend his time casting instead.

 

To me the most versatile cipher might be an Island Aumuau that has somethng like...

 

Gallant focus

Biting whip

Draining whip

Arms Bearer

Quick Switch

Two weapon or Two hander

Penetrating shot

Apprentice sneak attack

 

I like to have veteran's recovery though and there'd be no room for that, I also like to have vulnerable attack when I'm duel wielding.  So you'd definitely be giving things up to be more versatile.  Still you could use a vast array of weapons if you wanted to, all bows/guns/crossbows as well as your pick of duel wielding or two hander weapons depending on which route you want to go.  You'd have 4 weapon sets you can quick switch through for a massive burst of focus at the beginning of the fight too.

 

Also worth noting that you lose a lot of potential accuracy by such a build.  If you were on PoTD you'd want more accuracy.  

 

Gallant Focus

Weapon Focus

Marksman

Woodelf

 

That would essentially give you 16 more accuracy than your versatile Island Aumuau, but you'd likely just end up using a warbow and maybe 1 gun.

 

doesnt the paladin aura also supress the focus?

nobody seems to care about greater focus? is it cause the extra 10 focus become pointless later one? at lvl 7-8 i still find it quite useful....

Edited by Nemesis7884
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Here's the thread I was talking of: http://forums.obsidian.net/topic/74505-penetrating-shot-spells/?hl=%2Bpenetrating+%2Bshot+%2Bmind+%2Blance&do=findComment&comment=1623449

 

I don't like Gallant's Focus too much (except when soloing) because it gets supressed by every active ability that raises ACC except Inspiring Radiance and also by Zealous Focus - and it's only +4 and nothing else which is really neglectible at higher levels. Aspirant's Mark for example gives you +8 against deflection and reflex and is a much better choice for the early game in my opinion. 

Edited by Boeroer

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doesnt the paladin aura also supress the focus?

nobody seems to care about greater focus? is it cause the extra 10 focus become pointless later one? at lvl 7-8 i still find it quite useful....

 

 

 

Yeah, I use the defensive aura when I run a Paladin, but the Paladin version is definitely better when you're using it, in which case Ruffian or Adventurer are your most versatile choices.

 

I think you have 170 focus at level 16, or around that, so at that point 10 extra is pretty useless imho.

Edited by Climhazzard
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I don't like Gallant's Focus too much (except when soloing) because it gets supressed by every active ability that raises ACC except Inspiring Radiance and also by Zealous Focus - and it's only +4 and nothing else which is really neglectible at higher levels. Aspirant's Mark for example gives you +8 against deflection and reflex and is a much better choice for the early game in my opinion. 

 

Does it really?  I'm aware that it gets suppressed by Zealous focus and Blessing, what else?  I'm sure it's not suppressed by Devotions of the Faithful, Crowns of the Faithful, or Inspiring Radiance, and unlike Aspirant's Mark (or Blessing for that matter) it doesn't run out and you don't have to cast it.

Edited by Climhazzard
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Let's say it gets suppressed by everything that also supresses Zealous Focus. :) There are better talents than this for a party. If you don't have a priest or a paladin it might be ok though.

 

It's true, you don't have to cast it - but Aspirant's mark can be cast at a long range and your party members don't hasve to stand near you to benefit from it. And it's duration is over 40 secs - it's quite the spell for early levels because it's like a spell mastery, but from lvl 1 on. But you can of course take Gallant's Focus AND Aspirant's Mark - then you will basically have +12 against deflection and reflex. :)

Edited by Boeroer

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Let's say it gets suppressed by everything that also supresses Zealous Focus. :) There are better talents than this for a party. If you don't have a priest or a paladin it might be ok though.

 

I don't know what suppresses Zealous Focus other than Blessing, I'd genuinely like to know,  might help me plan my parties better.

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When I run without a Priest and with only one Paladin, I like to give Gallant Focus to Kana. I also give him Aspirant's Mark. The Paladin then runs the defensive aura mainly for the hit to graze which I value over the DR.

 

I'd think an Island Aumaua would do fine without quick switch or the extra weapon slot. You'd have three slots for two guns and a melee set up. Bang, swap, bang, swap to melee and cast some spells. I've never taken the quick switch and never really noticed the time delay, I guess I'm OK with being a little inefficient.

 

Soldier focus is another good one with arbalest, arquebus and greatswords, pikes and war hammers. Since you are just shooting once per weapon you'd want to go for heavy hitters like the soldier or ruffian group has.

 

I'd probably skip penetrating shot as well, you don't need it on the two gun shots. I'd concentrate more on the melee aspect. Use the gun shots for some quick starting focus and then wade in with the melee.

 

If you wanted to be more tanky weapon and shield with sabres or war hammers would be another way to go. With Psyhcovampiric shield you'd be 100+ deflection which would be enough to survive in melee. The two soul whips adding +40% damage would make the one handed weapon damaging enough, even with a 10-12 Might allowing for more dexterity, perception and intellect without dumping anything below 10.

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You never noticed a time delay without quick switch? I can't believe that. If you want to shoot all three guns (if you took Arms Bearer with an Island Aumaua) at the start of the combat you will notice a big difference. Also if you are in melee, kill your foe and want to switch for a quick shot so you don't have to run to the next. The difference is huge.

 

I agree that Psychovampiric Shield + weapon & shield (I really like Bittercut with Spirit of Decay as main weapon) is a nice alternative. Makes melee less complicated and is good enough for focus gain while using good things like Antipathetic Field to shred your foes (also works with Spirit of Decay). 

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I think it depends, I got bored and tried ranged options while I'm working on my "unique" paladin option. While no quick switch/coil of resourcefulness is fine adn workable (likely on a Cipher it's not so much of a problem in party play so long as you're far from the front line), with one of those options you have rapid fire alpha strikes which can certainly be more benefit to a party. It really depends on what you need, but I think Island Aumaua with an extra weapon slot would always be the way to go.

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Even with the pre-recovery swap exploit (which I agree cannot possibly be intended that way), I can't imagine someone wouldn't notice the effect of Quick Switch. It cuts the extra recovery from 2s to 0.5s, that's a significant reduction in overall recovery duration (and if you are using a gun switching character you're likely to be keeping track). 

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When I run without a Priest and with only one Paladin, I like to give Gallant Focus to Kana. I also give him Aspirant's Mark. The Paladin then runs the defensive aura mainly for the hit to graze which I value over the DR.

 

I'd think an Island Aumaua would do fine without quick switch or the extra weapon slot. You'd have three slots for two guns and a melee set up. Bang, swap, bang, swap to melee and cast some spells. I've never taken the quick switch and never really noticed the time delay, I guess I'm OK with being a little inefficient.

 

Soldier focus is another good one with arbalest, arquebus and greatswords, pikes and war hammers. Since you are just shooting once per weapon you'd want to go for heavy hitters like the soldier or ruffian group has.

 

I'd probably skip penetrating shot as well, you don't need it on the two gun shots. I'd concentrate more on the melee aspect. Use the gun shots for some quick starting focus and then wade in with the melee.

 

If you wanted to be more tanky weapon and shield with sabres or war hammers would be another way to go. With Psyhcovampiric shield you'd be 100+ deflection which would be enough to survive in melee. The two soul whips adding +40% damage would make the one handed weapon damaging enough, even with a 10-12 Might allowing for more dexterity, perception and intellect without dumping anything below 10.

 

i can see the point for that - kana/chanter is kinda like an alternative paladin and you dont really have other stuff to give him except the chanter unique stuff and maybe w&s and cautious attack

 

I think ruffian makes the most sense because you get the blunderbuss for softer targets, pistol for harder targets and you get sabres which hit heavy enough to not use vulnerable attack no? Soldier with pike is another option and i wouldnt need to get that close to the enemy but im slow... several characters also use soldier and i'd like to spread weapon focus a bit.

 

penetrating shot i thought could also be interesting if it is applied to (some of) the cipher powers... thats why i switched from soulshock to mind blades... amplified thrust im not sure - you can just use mental binding for single enemies, dont see the benefit (especially because for some reason A LOT of enemies imune to charming effects are also immune or very resistant to piercing damage).

 

I guess i could still reasonably fast dualwield even without the 2 weapon talent and would gain a lot defense with the W&S talent... i could also use items or the small shield that gives retaliatory damage.

 

Is it possible that greater focus talent was changed? Cause unless i am completly wrong it just gave me flat +10 focus to start the battle with...

 

thanks guys for your ideas, appreciate it.

Edited by Nemesis7884
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Quick Switch + Coil: I also think it's a bug. It also works with melee weapons. But exploiting it is painful because of all that manual switching you have to do.

You can use let's say Tidefall + Hours of St. Rumbalt and switch directly after the hit, before the recovery bar appears = no recovery.

 

Often it also skips reloading - so with a little practice you can cycle through your guns like a Hollywood action star, never reloading.

Edited by Boeroer

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