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Would a kind soul amongst you write a small piece about the state of ciphers in the beta?

 

OFFS! One cannot edit the title. Of course, it should say "State"… ☺

Edited by kierun

Nescire autem quid ante quam natus sis acciderit, id est semper esse puerum. Quid enim est aetas hominis, nisi ea memoria rerum veterum kum superiorum aetate contexitur? Marcus Tillius Cicero

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Fixed.

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I have sated ​my desire to play Ciphers in the current Beta :)

 

Cipher multiclasses who aspire to deal out lots of damage via weapon attacks do very well. Biting Whip is a 40% damage buff and costs all of one ability pick. If you make a Soul Blade you get a level one power, a 40% damage boost (with one pick) and a raw damage attack - Soul Annihilation - that converts all your focus to a raw damage attack that gets modified by your Might. You can then spend all the rest of your ability picks on your other class.

 

The 3 second cast time abilities aren't that bad to try and use but the 6 second ones take way too long, especially if you are wearing any appreciable armor. If you stick to light armor with its +25% recovery its not too bad but stay away from heavy armor like plate with its +100%. The only way I'd use plate would be if I was never going to cast anything except Soul Annihilation and was dual wielding fast attack weapons like daggers, clubs or stillettos. The +100% recovery gets completely nullified by the -50% from dual wielding that everyone gets.

 

I've also had some success with Ranger Sharpshooter-Cipher multis using dual wielded scepters and the damage modal they have. Short range but great penetration and very good damage due to Biting Whip and the scepter modal which together get you +60% damage which gets multiplied by your Might.

 

A pure Cipher who tries to stay at range and cast a lot like you did in PoE is going to feel pretty lackluster. A pure Cipher Soul Blade who melees is probably going to regret not multi-classing with something tasty like a Monk, Barbarian, Paladin, Devoted Fighter or what have you.

 

Bottomline adding Cipher Soul Blade to the mix greatly increases your damage with a minimal investment. Cherry picking the few truly great Cipher powers leaves plenty of picks for the other class.

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@Warlock Thank you!

 

It seems sad I cannot have my dual pistol  shooting cypher in a large brim hat… Ah well. ☺


Nescire autem quid ante quam natus sis acciderit, id est semper esse puerum. Quid enim est aetas hominis, nisi ea memoria rerum veterum kum superiorum aetate contexitur? Marcus Tillius Cicero

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@Warlock Thank you!

 

It seems sad I cannot have my dual pistol  shooting cypher in a large brim hat… Ah well. ☺

 

If you multi'd that with a Ranger Sharpshooter you'd have a pretty good ranged damage dealer.

 

A pure Cipher dual wielding pistols will still hit hard due to the Biting Whip and might be more than adequate for what you want. It comes down to how great the upper level powers are that multiclasses will not have access to, if they are game breakers then might be better to go pure caster rather than multi and miss out. The Beta only shows a portion of the skill tree and tops out at level nine so multiclasses get all the advantage right now.

 

Plus it depends on what difficulty you roll on, PotD might require more efficiency in character design but as always smart gameplay can easily trump Uber-builds.

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I'm hoping I can still rock my estoc and brigandine like I had in POE 1.

 

With dex buffs and the blade of the endless paths with durgan enchants my attack speed was really respectable.

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Would a kind soul amongst you write a small piece about the state of ciphers in the beta?

In PoE1 we had ciphers:

- that dealt phys damage to build focus and use cc powers. (these were great as main debilitators)

- that dealt phys damage to build focus and use damaging powers. (these were great as damage dealers, who could compete with barbarians, while also providing some off-cc at the expense of being more squishy) (note: damage done via dd-powers was roughly 2/3 of total damage done by such a cipher)

 

In Deadfire, these two do not feel optimal anymore.

Instead there is a new variant of cipher, the weapon-damage dealer: imagine that you have a barb, monk or devout, who multi-classes into cipher sollely for the bonus damage from soul and bitting whips. Specifically, such characters choose to multi-class into soulblade, since you can dump your focus into Soul Annihilation, which deals respectable damage, and has no casting time attached (plus you can avoid situations when whip is deactivated due to being at max focus).

 

So yes, as KDubya mentioned, weapon-damage-dealing ciphers are doing fine. While power-casting ciphers... in current beta are pity to look at.

Edited by MaxQuest
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I would add that while a multiclassed martial character with Soulblade is certainly effective, it tends to be a little boring specifically because your Cipher half boils down to Biting Whip and Hammering Thoughts.

 

At that point, rather build a Monk/Fighter or a Barbarian/Fighter for pure melee prowess.


"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

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But you can still take as many Cipher powers as you want. You just do lots of melee damage as well.

 

Based on Beta so far a melee monster cipher generates a lot of focus so you'll have plenty to let loose with any Cipher powers you like.

 

I wouldn't say that a Fighter mix is necessarily more exciting to play than a Cipher mix, as to which is more effective I'd have to say that that is up for debate.

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I would add that while a multiclassed martial character with Soulblade is certainly effective, it tends to be a little boring specifically because your Cipher half boils down to Biting Whip and Hammering Thoughts.

 

At that point, rather build a Monk/Fighter or a Barbarian/Fighter for pure melee prowess.

Indeed. Although it sounds a bit weird if one wants to make a multi-classed melee cipher, and arrives to conclusion that it's better to build cipher/x... without cipher in it.

 

But you can still take as many Cipher powers as you want. You just do lots of melee damage as well.

 

Based on Beta so far a melee monster cipher generates a lot of focus so you'll have plenty to let loose with any Cipher powers you like.

The focus generation rate was ~ ok so far.

The problem is, that at the moment casting cipher powers doesn't feel worth it enough. It takes long time and is unreliable. At best I might use some high-costed powers of "fast" category. In rest... it feels like it's better to keep auto-attacking + dumping any focus excess into soul annihilation.

 

Gonna see how this changes in the next beta update though.

Edited by MaxQuest
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Well, yes—you can take Cipher powers, but since they take forever to cast, you’re better off attacking anyway most of the time, and dumping focus into Soul Annihilation for peak damage.

 

If spells/powers have their casting times reduced, things may change.

 

EDIT: MaxQuest ninja’d me big on this one.

Edited by AndreaColombo
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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

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Just to add another perspective on what's been said above, there have been a number of mechanical changes that have made it harder to play single-class casting ciphers and especially single-class ranged ciphers in the current beta. Some of those we know are changing, some they haven't commented on apart from acknowledging feedback so we'll have to see what happens.

 

Main issue right now is lack of grazes and other changes in the attack roll calculation (crits going from .5 to .25 % damage, etc.) mean that everyone just puts out less damage overall, which in turn means Ciphers generate less focus less quickly. Less of a problem for melee because right now the weapon balance is currently a little slanted towards melee (for various reasons some of which are known issues being fixed). Grazes are coming back next patch though so this might be ameliorated a bit.

 

A lot of the weapon talents got moved into Rangers and Fighters, which left Ciphers kinda in the cold, but those are getting opened up next patch we're told, so no longer an issue.

 

Main issue next patch will be the splitting of Might into Strength and Resolve, which will make it much harder for Ciphers to do damage with spells -- if they stack resolve for spell damage, they'll lack weapon damage from Strength, and therefore also lack focus gain (and the same is also true if they stack Strength and then lack resolve for spell damage). 

 

Past that, everyone's spell casting times and durations etc are badly out of whack in the current, initial, beta; they've said wizard and priest and druid powers are getting a rebalance but I've never heard them specifically mention Ciphers. Presumably though Cipher powers are getting rebalanced along with everyone else's so we'll see.

 

Past that, there's the general issue that the focus mechanic -- which was an advantage when all the other casters were Vancian -- is now a disadvantage because everyone else is per-encounter; a beta wizard can dump their whole grimoire before a cipher has gotten two casts off, just because the Cipher has to gather focus and the Wizard doesn't. 

 

Honestly the devs haven't talked much about Ciphers at all in the streams, to the point where I've been wondering if they're looking at a redesign on the class.

 

Since you mention pistols, guns are suffering a bit too from these same kind of "side effect of other changes" issues; the "blunted criticals" effect they have wasn't a big deal when the critical damage modifier was .5, but now that it's .25, guns get almost nothing at all from a critical hit, which is just sad. 

 

 

I would keep watching though because I suspect all these issues will get some degree of attention during the beta, I'm just not sure what form that attention will take.

Edited by Dr. Hieronymous Alloy
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All melee class damage bonus are not scaled with power level, which means at level 1 you can already get tons of damage bonus from multiclass, for example, cipher/rogue, cipher/berserker and etc.

 

I feel that melee attack get too many damage bonus now, tons of additives and multipliers. Spells need higher basic damage, and more bonus. Reduce casting time is against devs' design. But for balance concern, they need to be more powerful.

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If casting times remain as is, the loss of DPS for casting will almost never be worth it. Besides, watching a guy cast for 6 seconds is the opposite of fun :)

 

In my current run, Berserker/Wizard (with 20 DEX) is the most useless character in the party. She literally does nothing. By the time she’s done buffing and summoning the Blights, combat’s over.


"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

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The upcoming changes will change a lot :)

 

Fast weapons will go from a one second recovery to two seconds which will put them approximately equal to the slow ones which will be at three seconds recovery. Dual wielding will still be the optimal damage mode compared to single weapon and two handed weapons.

 

Devoted being actually 'devoted' to a single weapon will take some of their luster away while Fighters in general losing exclusivity to fighting styles will drastically change their relative value as a multi-class option. When you can get some of what made Fighters good to pick for free, then taking something that adds more like a Monk, Barbarian, or Paladin looks much more attractive.

 

When it is 3 seconds to swing a sabre or 3 seconds to cast a spell they will be much closer to being balanced. Grazes coming back will also change how things compare.

 

My plan for getting around the new Resolve handling spell damage with Ciphers is to make use of Psychovampiric Shield and drain ten Resolve for buffing my spell damage rather than place more than ten at creation. Perhaps concentrating on CC spells that only need high Intellect will be a better option?

 

The balance with Wizards is difficult now as Wizards will quickly level up to where they have much more spell casts per encounter than they can use. Combat is not going to last 50+ seconds where you'll cast fifteen spells in succession and then run out. In that same time frame a Cipher will probably only get four or so casts off as they will spend 3/4s of their time generating focus.

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When you reach zero recovery, whether the starting point was 1 or 3 seconds doesn’t matter anymore ;)

 

Fighter multiclasses will indeed lose some appeal when we get the common talent pool, but it will actually be a boost for the Devoted and generally free up talent point for stuff your second class offers. It will be interesting how things play out.

 

I’m also intrigued by the reduced armor recovery. I don’t expect a huge change, but whatever reduction means I need to invest less resources into reaching zero recovery.

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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

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My plan for getting around the new Resolve handling spell damage with Ciphers is to make use of Psychovampiric Shield and drain ten Resolve for buffing my spell damage rather than place more than ten at creation. Perhaps concentrating on CC spells that only need high Intellect will be a better option?

 

The balance with Wizards is difficult now as Wizards will quickly level up to where they have much more spell casts per encounter than they can use. Combat is not going to last 50+ seconds where you'll cast fifteen spells in succession and then run out. In that same time frame a Cipher will probably only get four or so casts off as they will spend 3/4s of their time generating focus.

 

 

Those are good thoughts, I hadn't really considered Psychovampiric Shield. 

 

Your post about wizards makes me remember/realize another big issue Ciphers face at least currently; they just don't have many powers. Wizards can swap out grimoires for huge versatility, but everyone else is limited to one power / level, which means Ciphers are getting only 2/3rds as many powers as they had in the first game. Plus, some of those "power" slots have to go to passive abilities (draining whip, etc)., so functionally you have about a third as many powers to play with as you did in the first game.

 

Net result is that you have to really heavily specialize your character and fights lose a lot of variation and tactical depth because you're always doing the exact same thing ("ok, this is the fight where I cast blindsight and auto-attack . . . because those are my only options"). 

 

They need to find a way for non-Wizard casters to gain some additional versatility. Extra power slots or something. The problem is ameliorated a bit for Priests by their bonus deity spells but Ciphers face a real lack.

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I can't remember how Psychovampiric Shield works in Deadfire (I'm already in the holidays without a computer), but in PoE it lowered the enemy's resolve by 10 and raised your deflection directly instead of your resolve...

Edited by Boeroer

Deadfire Community Patch: Nexus Mods

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I can't remember how Psychovamporic Shield works in Deadfire (I'm already in the holidays without a computer), but in PoE it lowered the enemy's resolve by 10 and raised your deflection directly instead of your resolve...

 

Just checked -- it debuffs an enemy by -10 Resolve in order to grant the Steadfast inspiration, +5 Resolve. Base duration is only 20 seconds though, not long at all. Accuracy vs. Will. 3 second cast time, 3 second recovery.  You probably could do a damage build using it but it'd be weird -- you'd have to build up a lot of focus first so you could cast PVS first then whatever else you wanted to cast next.

Edited by Dr. Hieronymous Alloy

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I can't remember how Psychovamporic Shield works in Deadfire (I'm already in the holidays without a computer), but in PoE it lowered the enemy's resolve by 10 and raised your deflection directly instead of your resolve...

 

Just checked -- it debuffs an enemy by -10 Resolve in order to grant the Steadfast inspiration, +5 Resolve. Base duration is only 20 seconds though, not long at all. Accuracy vs. Will. 3 second cast time, 3 second recovery.  You probably could do a damage build using it but it'd be weird -- you'd have to build up a lot of focus first so you could cast PVS first then whatever else you wanted to cast next.

 

 

I guess I busted on the recall of the details on Psychovampiric :)

 

Still getting +5 Resolve isn't bad. At a 15 Intellect your 20 seconds will go to 25 or so which will probably last the fight. The debuff would get them -10 deflection and -30% spell damage which might be useful. Not sure if getting a multiplicative 15% damage boost is worth it, the 30% I thought it was seemed a more viable plan.

 

I agree that you'll be quite limited in what powers you have due to competition for the ability point, for multi-classes it'll be even more competition. Not sure you get around that. Wizards get found Grimoires, Priests are getting their deity favored spells for free (which is needed) not sure about Druids but maybe shapeshifting compensates??? How you would get additional powers to a Cipher I'm not sure, maybe some sort of talisman that you can pick up from defeated Ciphers???

 

The plan for my melee dominant Cipher multis might be to just concentrate on a few good CC powers that are fast cast or really really good to justify spending six seconds. That and Soul Annihilation.

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Quick question for those playing the beta: does a Cipher/Ranger gain any focus from their animal companion or have talents that enable them to do so?

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"That rabbit's dynamite!" - King Arthur, Monty Python and the Quest for the Holy Grail

"Space is big, really big." - Douglas Adams

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Quick question for those playing the beta: does a Cipher/Ranger gain any focus from their animal companion or have talents that enable them to do so?

1. No. 2. No.

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Quick question for those playing the beta: does a Cipher/Ranger gain any focus from their animal companion or have talents that enable them to do so?

1. No. 2. No.

 

Balls. :(  Thanks for taking the time to answer!

Edited by FlintlockJazz

"That rabbit's dynamite!" - King Arthur, Monty Python and the Quest for the Holy Grail

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So am I missing something, or do Ciphers now benefit from every attribute that isn't Constitution and desperately need high Str, Int and Res? Because that seems like an unfair burden compared to more straightforward classes. It also screws my PoE1 character, assuming we can't re-roll attributes on import.

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So am I missing something, or do Ciphers now benefit from every attribute that isn't Constitution and desperately need high Str, Int and Res? Because that seems like an unfair burden compared to more straightforward classes. It also screws my PoE1 character, assuming we can't re-roll attributes on import.

 

Don't forget Per (at least until they finally get Tactical Meld working...).

 

You can use blunderbuss's powder burns AoE modal to gain focus scaling with Res instead of Str (but then you have to deal with being Distracted...).

 

Ectopsychic Echo doesn't scale with Int, so you could try a low Int build if you're willing to give up all the powers with duration or AoE. Can be cast outside of combat with focus fully restored too.

 

Alternately you can forego Resolve in favor of charm/domination or CC. 

 

If Beguiler were working you could get focus without needing weapon damage at all.

 

An obvious way to counter the new demands on Cipher stats would be to make Valorous Echoes and Ectopsychic Shield 0.5 second casting time....

Edited by SaruNi

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