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I was thinking it would be cool if in Pillars 2 Ciphers would gain focus from all the damage that they deal ( excluding damage from Cipher spells ) as opposed to just melee and ranged weapon damage. 

 

That way it would be very nice to multiclass Ciphers into classes that have other sources of damage like Wizard for example. Then they could fire Wizard spells to build their focus and then use their focus on Cipher spells. Same with any other classes that have access to spells/abilities and other sources of damage.

 

Maybe Ciphers could even have a Soul whip talent that would affect abilities and spells. 

 

Thoughts? 

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I believe that Soul Whip was specifically identified along with Carnage as class abilities that would be subject to scaling with the class power source (source: https://forums.somethingawful.com/showthread.php?threadid=3807509&pagenumber=52&perpage=40#post469029383).To the extent that you focus on boosting the perks related to Soul Whip, your spells through another class would be comparatively weaker.

 

Also, unless Soul Whip changes, the damage bonus will vanish more quickly if Focus gain is allowed through the spells of other classes (though that obviously raises some concerns of its own).

Edited by blotter
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Decent idea however assuming Soul Whip increases damage (+20% iirc) it could be overpowered.

 

I think that 20% is a reasonable boost, though I don't think it should be free and it would definitely be overpowered with biting whip pushing it to 40%. I think we could have a specific talent chain geared towards caster multiclassed ciphers, that would not interact with soul whip related to weapon damage. It could go something like this: 

 

Talent 1: Your non-cipher spell damage builds focus. ( This would not get any bonuses from soul whip, biting whip and draining whip ) 

Talent 2: While below your maximum focus your non-cipher spells deal 20% more damage. ( For a talent point you would get the same boost as talents like Scion of Flame give )

Talent 3: Your spells build 20% more focus. ( Just like Draining whip but for spells )

 

Thoughts? 

 

 

I believe that Soul Whip was specifically identified along with Carnage as class abilities that would be subject to scaling with the class power source (source: https://forums.somethingawful.com/showthread.php?threadid=3807509&pagenumber=52&perpage=40#post469029383).To the extent that you focus on boosting the perks related to Soul Whip, your spells through another class would be comparatively weaker.

 

I don't think I get it, can you elaborate? 

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I don't think I get it, can you elaborate?

 

On which part? In regards to the link, Rope Kid (Sawyer) stated that "Soul Whip, like Carnage and Sneak Attack, are all going to start small, be based off of base weapon damage, and increase with their associated Power Source." The point being that Soul Whip won't work like it did in Pillars 1: having only a few cipher levels won't automatically net you a 20% boost to damage, but the extent of the damage bonus will increase as you advance the cipher's Power Source (by taking more cipher levels). However, doing so comes at the cost of advancing the other spellcasting class' Power Source.

 

As a result, having a stronger Soul Whip means having weaker spells (edit: from another class).

Edited by blotter
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I don't think I get it, can you elaborate?

 

On which part? In regards to the link, Rope Kid (Sawyer) stated that "Soul Whip, like Carnage and Sneak Attack, are all going to start small, be based off of base weapon damage, and increase with their associated Power Source." The point being that Soul Whip won't work like it did in Pillars 1: having only a few cipher levels won't automatically net you a 20% boost to damage, but the extent of the damage bonus will increase as you advance the cipher's Power Source (by taking more cipher levels). However, doing so comes at the cost of advancing the other spellcasting class' Power Source.

 

As a result, having a stronger Soul Whip means having weaker spells (edit: from another class).

 

 

Alright now I get it. 

 

Do you think it would be impossible to have something like I have proposed that would also scale with Soul Whip but scale separately for spells? 

 

Also when you say other classes spells scale with power source do you mean say a Wizard magic missile damage would scale with levels in Wizard as opposed to just being scaled by might? 

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At a guess, I doubt you'll gain Soul Whip damage with spells and you won't build focus from spell damage. I might be wrong, but that just seems most likely.

 

Seems to me as well, that's why I am throwing ideas out there, maybe someone from Obsidian will notice and give it a thought. Correct me if I am wrong but if Focus won't interact with spells in any way then Cipher/Fighter-type will always be objectively better than a Cipher/Caster. 

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Do you think it would be impossible to have something like I have proposed that would also scale with Soul Whip but scale separately for spells?

 

Your initial suggestion doesn't require Soul Whip to be more powerful at all; it only requires that you gain Focus from spells. I was only clarifying that Soul Whip wouldn't be working like it did in Pillars 1 since KaineParker raised the concern of Soul Whip automatically adding 20% to spell damage. If the rate of Focus gain through damage is also tied to the Soul Whip itself becoming more powerful, it's probably possible to create a talent to increase Focus gain independent of Soul Whip advancement: there's the Brîshalgwin Mindmarker from Pillars 1, which demonstrates that they can fiddle with that already. Whether it'd be worth the balancing headache is a question I can't answer, but for my part, I do like the idea of talents that allow you to boost certain aspects of multiclass combinations (not unlike the Practiced Spellcaster feats that were available in d&d 3.5e for various classes).

 

Also when you say other classes spells scale with power source do you mean say a Wizard magic missile damage would scale with levels in Wizard as opposed to just being scaled by might?

 

The current lynchpin of multiclass balance is Power Sources dictating the progression of class abilities. I believe that Might will still influence how much damage spells and other abilities do, but for Power Source to be meaningful as a way to balance multiclassing, then I would imagine that many (or even most) class abilities will have an inherent scaling mechanism tied to the power source. This is also how Empowering abilities (a per-rest resource that increases the effective power level for a given use of an ability by +3) is supposed to make these abilities more damaging/effective. Sawyer goes into more detail about this here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SpKyazh8mUI

 

Correct me if I am wrong but if Focus won't interact with spells in any way then Cipher/Fighter-type will always be objectively better than a Cipher/Caster.

 

Not necessarily, as the synergies with certain spell options could still make up for the lack of Focus from the spells themselves. There are also class abilities for spellcasting classes that aren't limited to spells and may be of interest to ciphers. If Blast and Penetrating Blast remain wizard-exclusive instead of being folded into proficiency options for Wands/Scepters/Rods, that may be appealing to ciphers who are interested in using implements. There are also spells that can indirectly boost Focus gain regardless of whether spell damage allows for it or not. For example, Merciless Gaze increases critical hit chance, and the more critical hits you land, the more damage you deal (and the more Focus you gain as a result).

Edited by blotter
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Actually, maybe one this sort of focus and spell synergy could work is via a cipher subclass. Not specifically tied to spells since it'd be weird for a subclass to mandate multiclassing, but allowing the cipher to gain Focus through AoE effects and resources like scrolls, explosives, and other class' spells if you choose to multiclass. One possible tradeoff could be a significantly lowered rate of Focus gain in relation to the damage caused by standard attacks.

 

What I'd really like to see for a cipher subclass is a parasite of sorts who establishes more debilitating links to enemies through powers like Psychovampiric Shield and can gain Focus through damage that is inflicted by or upon enemies that they've charmed. My original thought for a tradeoff was a diminished capacity for independent Focus gain, but their parasitic abilities could be thematically and mechanically tied to difficulties in retaining Focus instead, causing Focus to steadily bleed away from them if they aren't actively leeching off of someone else.

Edited by blotter
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What I'd really like to see for a cipher subclass is a parasite of sorts who establishes more debilitating links to enemies through powers like Psychovampiric Shield and can gain Focus through damage that is inflicted by or upon enemies that they've charmed. My original thought for a tradeoff was a diminished capacity for independent Focus gain, but their parasitic abilities could be thematically and mechanically tied to difficulties in retaining Focus instead, causing Focus to steadily bleed away from them if they aren't actively leeching off of someone else.

 

Maybe.  But that just sounds like your spell choice rather than a full subclass.

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But that just sounds like your spell choice rather than a full subclass.

 

I hadn't gone into detailed mechanics, but I thought that mentioning the ability to form *more* debilitating links through existing powers and the tradeoff with impeded focus gain or dwindling focus rather clearly differentiated it from mere power selection. If not, it's hard to see how it suffers from that problem any more than the rogue's assassin subclass, which basically sneak attacks harder at the cost of lower personal defense.

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What I'd really like to see for a cipher subclass is a parasite of sorts who establishes more debilitating links to enemies through powers like Psychovampiric Shield and can gain Focus through damage that is inflicted by or upon enemies that they've charmed. My original thought for a tradeoff was a diminished capacity for independent Focus gain, but their parasitic abilities could be thematically and mechanically tied to difficulties in retaining Focus instead, causing Focus to steadily bleed away from them if they aren't actively leeching off of someone else.

 

I see two problems with this, because you need focus to cast powers but you want to primarily gain focus through power use. So problem number one is you wait extra long to cast your powers because you gain less focus independently. Problem number two is once you get to cast your powers you go into a loop of cast powers that refill your focus to cast more powers, so you just cast powers for free. 

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I see two problems with this, because you need focus to cast powers but you want to primarily gain focus through power use. So problem number one is you wait extra long to cast your powers because you gain less focus independently.

 

You do begin fights with a certain amount of Focus, however. This could potentially allow you to anchor yourself to a target with a lesser power in order to hasten the process. And the reduce rate of independent Focus gain was only one of the possible tradeoffs I considered, the other being that the cipher's focus would dwindle over time unless they were using their powers to feed on others.

 

 

Problem number two is once you get to cast your powers you go into a loop of cast powers that refill your focus to cast more powers, so you just cast powers for free.

 

That depends entirely on the rate at which they gain Focus through the subclass' benefits and the durability of the cipher's thralls. Remember that this subclass is supposed to make abilities like Psychovampiric Shield (that is, hostile powers to drain an enemy to augment the cipher) more debilitating, which means that there's a risk of the power doing its job too well by making the thrall too vulnerable to serve as a long-term meal. As for the Focus gain through thralls, I see a few ways to help keep it from getting out of hand: limiting the number of thralls who you can gain Focus at any given time, limiting the amount of Focus that you can gain through them, potentially attracting unwanted hostility from your targets, and/or making the Focus through thralls bit available as a class ability or talent, competing with other abilities/talents at appropriate levels rather than making it an inherent perk of the subclass (which would still have the augmentation of hostile bond-type powers at its core).

Edited by blotter
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Actually, here's a thought that expands on OP's thoughts about a multi-classed Cipher/Wizard losing out on focus generation while casting spells to any Cipher: with grenades going to be a thing in Deadfire, do they contribute to focus generation?  If not, then it doesn't pay to be a Alchemist Cipher...

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I think there might be combinations of Cypher/Wizard which could be really really fun. 

 

Immediatly to mind come the conjured weapons (especially the multitarget-spiritlance) from Wizards or the Blast talent which could synergize well with Cypher focus generation. Then again Josh mentioned that they will have an eye on 'abuseable' mechanics like that. I think he mentioned Barbarians carnage in that context. 

 

On one hand I think it is good that they keep an eye on these things: so as to not devalue other multiclass combinations which have no such 'abuseable' mechanic. On the other hand finding those mechanical quirks and strong combinations is actually a lot of fun.

 

I hope that with 3 subclasses per class and most of them fairly freely multiclassable some combinations will be in the game.

 

I personally would enjoy the possibility to make certain aspects of classes with multiclassing stronger; while sacrificing utility. I.e. the Wizard/Cypher multiclass character I just talked about would be really good as a Melee/Wizard-Cypher. Strong conjured Melee Weapons which get passivly buffed from Cypher abilites. If those two types of abilities combine, this multiclass is strong. The tradeoff would be that you are weaker as a traditional caster. As well as with your Cypher abilities as with your Wizarding ones. 

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I think he mentioned Barbarians carnage in that context.

 

Yeah, it's a shame, I was looking forward to a Barbarian/Wizard using Citzal's Spirit Lance. My main attack has an AoE, each person it hits it generates a Carnage template, and each person hit by a Carnage generates an AoE  :biggrin:

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Would be cool to see a cipher subclass that instead of spells they amplify the soul lash to where it physically manifests a weapon. Each level they gain abilities that further strengthen that weapon or fighter like abilities that are utilized by their soul lash weapon. Could call them "Mind Blades" or something.

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If you ask me, ciphers should just start at max focus and then passively regenerate it during combat. I never liked this you need to attack stuff to gain more focus thing. Then you could turn soul whip from a passive into a modal that adds 20% raw damage to your attacks, or maybe simply converts the damage you do to raw damage, but costs focus for every swing. You could also then add secondary effects to your soul whip, such as life drain, a chance to stun or even increased range.

 

Oh, or you could make soul whip into a modal that *replaces* your main hand weapon and you'll use the soul-whip instead, the power of which would be then determined by your level and attributes, and perhaps some talents. This could look visually awesome, just imagine Raziel's Soul Reaver from SR1 and SR2, but instead of a rigid sword, you'd have a fluid whip. Then there could be the obvious talents that modify it's behavior and other properties, and instead of deflection, the target should use reflex to defend against it, due to the weapon being immaterial and going right through any shield and armor, leaving dodging it the only viable option of defense.

Edited by Ninjamestari
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If you ask me, ciphers should just start at max focus and then passively regenerate it during combat. I never liked this you need to attack stuff to gain more focus thing. Then you could turn soul whip from a passive into a modal that adds 20% raw damage to your attacks, or maybe simply converts the damage you do to raw damage, but costs focus for every swing. You could also then add secondary effects to your soul whip, such as life drain, a chance to stun or even increased range.

 

Oh, or you could make soul whip into a modal that *replaces* your main hand weapon and you'll use the soul-whip instead, the power of which would be then determined by your level and attributes, and perhaps some talents. This could look visually awesome, just imagine Raziel's Soul Reaver from SR1 and SR2, but instead of a rigid sword, you'd have a fluid whip. Then there could be the obvious talents that modify it's behavior and other properties, and instead of deflection, the target should use reflex to defend against it, due to the weapon being immaterial and going right through any shield and armor, leaving dodging it the only viable option of defense.

A melee cipher subclass that soulwhip "is" its weapon is exactly what I would love to see for a cipher. Like you said so many cool ways to do it and would be fun gameplay wise.

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Would be cool to see a cipher subclass that instead of spells they amplify the soul lash to where it physically manifests a weapon. Each level they gain abilities that further strengthen that weapon or fighter like abilities that are utilized by their soul lash weapon. Could call them "Mind Blades" or something.

@ DigitalCrack: WotC and you think alike: http://www.d20srd.org/srd/psionic/classes/soulknife.htm

Endure. In enduring, grow strong.

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Would be cool to see a cipher subclass that instead of spells they amplify the soul lash to where it physically manifests a weapon. Each level they gain abilities that further strengthen that weapon or fighter like abilities that are utilized by their soul lash weapon. Could call them "Mind Blades" or something.

@ DigitalCrack: WotC and you think alike: http://www.d20srd.org/srd/psionic/classes/soulknife.htm

Haha wow that awesome! But yeah that would be a cool and different type of subclass for a Cipher.

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At a guess, I doubt you'll gain Soul Whip damage with spells and you won't build focus from spell damage. I might be wrong, but that just seems most likely.

If you're right won't cipher/spellcaster multiclasses be a bit UP?

 

 

I believe that Soul Whip was specifically identified along with Carnage as class abilities that would be subject to scaling with the class power source (source: https://forums.somethingawful.com/showthread.php?threadid=3807509&pagenumber=52&perpage=40#post469029383).To the extent that you focus on boosting the perks related to Soul Whip, your spells through another class would be comparatively weaker.

 

Also, unless Soul Whip changes, the damage bonus will vanish more quickly if Focus gain is allowed through the spells of other classes (though that obviously raises some concerns of its own).

It's strange Josh wants to add another scaling to Soul Whip. It may not be obvious but SW do scale in POE1 already - it scales with max focus and i'm pretty sure max focus will depend on cipher level in POE2.

Vancian =/= per rest.

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