Beam Staff: A Mechanical Review

These past few days I’ve been playing with the beam staff again, for the first time in a long while, and I’ve been struck by how complex the weapon is. Needlessly so in fact. So I wanted to provide a little overview of the weapon and offer a couple of changes that I believe could improve its handling.

For anyone unfamiliar with the beam staff, unlike every other weapon in the game it has 3 discrete attacks. I shall be labeling them: beam, shotgun, and blast for the purposes of this topic.

  • The beam attack is just like it sounds. A beam of fire that does continuous damage & burns for as long as the player holds the button. In V1 this attack was on RMB, but for V2 it was swapped over to LMB.

  • Shotgun also functions similarly to its namesake; a short ranged, conical burst of damage with an attached burn. In V1 this attack was on LMB, while for V2 it was changed to ‘hold RMB, then press LMB.’

  • Blast is a secondary function attached to the beam attack that provides a burst of damage. It’s triggered simply by pressing the mouse button the player isn’t already holding down for the beam. In V1 this means it’s triggered by pressing LMB while holding RMB and vice versa in V2.

As you can obviously see, between Vermintide 1 & Vermintide 2, the functions of the two mouse buttons on beam staff traded places. But with one curious exception: the shotgun attack. In V1 this attack is triggered by a simple button press. But in V2 this attack requires two button presses for seemingly no reason.

Which brings me to my first point: why? What is the point of requiring this extra button press? Why does this added bit of pointless dexterity exist? Unlike the beam, the player can’t really aim the shotgun attack, so why use a button set up like it has an Aim Down Sights function? It just makes the weapon clunky and prone to mis-clicks. This is very much at odds with the normally simple & elegant weapon controls found elsewhere in the game.

In addition to the additional physical complexity of having to push more buttons than is normal, beam staff also has an additional bit of technical complexity beyond what a cursory glance will reveal: the power of the beam & the blast attacks are both tied to how long the beam is held on the target. The beam damage starts out weak and after 4 ticks on the same target is up to full damage. And the blast damage is scaled upon the power of the tick the beam was doing at the moment the player pushes RMB. This damage scaling also resets when the beam hits a new target. Similar to how Barrage works.

This damage scaling effect is analogous to the charge function on Sienna’s other staves, but there is a crucial difference: there is no discrete visual or auditory cue when the player reaches the point of maximum ‘charge.’ Every other staff has a special visual cue, audio cue, or both when they reach their maximal damage. The beam staff does not. This means the player must either intuit the timing of the attack or count the subtle, ‘hit’ audio cues to know when their attack will be at its most powerful. Something that no other weapon in the game has to deal with.

So this brings me down to my two simple suggestions for improving the handling & functionality of the beam staff.

Suggestion #1: Make the shotgun attack work via clicking RMB only.

Suggestion #2: Add a special visual or auditory cue(or both), that triggers once the beam has reached its max damage.


The “beam charge level” also resets as if hitting a new target if you swap between head and body shots. Since the beam staggers so much this pretty much means fully charged headshots are impossible.

You know, I seem to remember it working that way too. But I couldn’t replicate it while testing on modded. At least not on stormvermin or beastigors.

So it might be fixed? Or there’s other shenanigans going on. Or we’ve both misremembered it.

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In V2 the beam staff worked the same as in V1 in the release beta.
But since the right button charges the attack’s strength, the beam was more powerful due to ticking AND charging and the shotgun effect was a simple blast.
Then upon release they swapped the attacks, so now the beam has to “tick” on the same target and the shotgun effect gets the charge - while generating more overcharge - and needs the left button to shoot it out.

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Wouldn’t mind if the beam’s lmb “charge” was shorter as well. Really slow weapon to use.

Another thing that I think needs to be said, just throwing this out here neutral like.

  • you have to hold the beam on the body for 2ish seconds before a dot is applied
  • really weird headshot interaction, it ticks fast but the dps is very weak
  • headshots do not apply dots (and interrupts the lmb charge state?)

I don’t see why the beam’s charge level needs to be reset when hitting a new target and the fact that the initial hit doesn’t apply a dot makes it really weak in most scenarios. It can shred bosses (more than it should) but an enemy walking in front of the beam ruins the damage ramp up. It’s described as a sniper but the time it takes to kill a distant enemy is far too long when you’re likely in danger trying to kill said enemy.

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That was part of the wigglemancer (resourceful sharpshooter) nerf.
This is how FS nerfs, they don’t just nerf one component of the problem, they nerf ALL of it, and then the thing becomes useless instead of balanced


If it kept it’s beam charge when switching targets, but didn’t apply it’s DOT until the 2nd tick, wigglemancer would still be dead and Beam would be a much better weapon.


No matter what they did, wigglemancer would be dead. They already nerfed resourceful. The nerf to Beam Staff came before they nerfed Resourceful in the Big Balance Beta. Then they had to nerf Resourceful because of a buff made to Elf’s dual swords that was later partially reverted. Basically, Fatshark made a bunch of changes and got really confused and now Dual Swords, Resourceful, and Beam Staff are all garbage.

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Beam is not garbage at all, its good weapon with its fairly balanced uses (outside of one of fastest monster melting weapon)

But yeah shotgun would be way better if there is no need to hold it

Beam staff is pretty bad at most everything, has a ton of move slow and generates way too much overheat. But if you like it that’s cool. Someone has to.


Well if you don’t know how to use it, then its your fault not the weapon

Lmao, beam is so bad in comparison to other weps, except on bw.

Even on BW, it provides monster damage, but I rarely use it outside of that. Flame sword is better dps in pretty much every situation. But arguing with people about balance with someone who is doing very different content is a waste of time. You’re essentially trying to compare different games at that point.

?? I agree?

Yeah I know. I was also agreeing with you.

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