I am genuinely confused about the vet keystones talk

Can someone tell me what the hell is going through everyone’s heads when talking about the keystones? Like, all the people saying “I cannot play veteran anymore with these” and “How am I supposed to use them at all?”

I don’t know if you are just leagues more big gaming than me, but I am really confused.
You know you don’t get any debuffs when you don’t use the keystone abilities, right? I am running focus target, which to my knowledge and for how I play the game is very useful. Yes, I do still mark specialists and elites all the time. No, the fact that I have to wait for a bit to get all stacks is not detrimental to the game for me at all. You know why? Because I don’t get a damage debuff while not using it. None of these abilities give you debuffs when not in use. And you know what else? THERE ARE THREE OTHER PLAYERS WITH YOU!

Granted I feel like the keystones are not great. The marksman’s whatever the hell is just not fun for me, and the weapon specialist one is not for my playstyle. I’d like to see a rework, but I don’t think it deserves all the whinging I am seeing on the forum and on reddit.


There’s a lot of hyperbole. I’ve tried all the keystones, they all do their jobs. Vet is less flexible (by, like, 5 points - it’s a serious gap worth noting) than other classes are with their trees, but the Vet tree and keystones are strong.

Focus target is fantastic, weapons specialist is great fun in a melee-centric build, and Marksman’s Focus just makes you better at what you’re already doing (in fairness, that’s basically what all of them do). People complaining about losing stacks with that one haven’t played it much imo. MOST of the hyperbole is from people that haven’t tried things, I think one of the biggest threads on here is by someone who refused to try any keystones and went with a frankenbuild.


Vet has the most rigid tree with also requiring the most amount of points to reach keystones compared to all other classes.
Vet isnt bad, you can finish a map wihout any talents + with grey weapons
But that doesnt change that the fun factor is lacking


It’s more like the mechanics are tedious to use and require you play specifically to gain benefits on all 3 of them. Zealot’s Blazing Piety, Ogryn’s and Psyker’s middle keystones are beneficial without playing in special way.

Standing still, restraining your tagging and doing weapon switching and reliance on ammo is basically making all keystones too much affecting play style.


If you’re not using the keystones constantly you’ve wasted your points investing in them. You’re indirectly debuffing yourself by depriving yourself of the buffs from other nodes you could’ve selected instead.

There’s a lot going on behind the keystone complaining, they’re just the focal point because the rework was tuned around them.

There’s the restrictive tree structure.
There’s the cost of getting to them, which is higher than other classes and adds to the tree’s restrictions by locking you out of a bunch of build variety.
Then when you do pigeonhole yourself by investing your firstborn to get the keystones built out, you either have to work to get anything out of it (marksman’s focus), perform arbitrary actions to maintain it (weapons specialist) or only get to use it every 12 seconds if you want it to do anything (focus target).

Meanwhile, other classes mostly stack up charges for their keystones just by existing and they benefit from them while playing normally.


just to be clear, i thought the vet was trash when they took away sustained fire lol


Keystones are okay (“not great not terrible”).
It’s the size of the tree that’s the real problem. Vet tree is way too bloated right now.


You do not need to stand still or restrain your tagging.

I wanted fun keystones.


These keystones are boring as hell, even the two extra Abilities we got with patch 13 are BORING.

Its 40k, why can’t a Veteran be fun too? I know he’s not a Space Wizard, he doesn’t have the Emperor inside him like a Zealot and he isn’t a giant like the Ogryn… but our talents could have made us FUN.


What are you on about?
You can tag basically everything you see and you usually get a minimum 20% dmg bonus against the target (from buff and debuff).

It is the easiest to use keystone in the entire game and requires no specific weapon or playstyle.
You should be tagging enemies anyway.
It has the best uptime of any keystone in the game.
You get near 100% uptime on a dmg buff for all damage of the entire team.
How is this keystone an issue?


People are going to be critical of the new skill tree because it deserves to be criticized. If that’s confusing then spend your time elsewhere instead of demanding we have the same experience you do.

focus target would be good if it didn’t rob you of your major damage perks that you got in patch 13 to compensate the overall veteran nerfs

its like those supermarket during the sales that increase their base prices to make it look like you got a bigger discount

in the end you are just botched off many other valuable perks, you end up with less, believing you got a good deal


I have given Focus Target a good try over the passed two days, of the three keystones it easily has the best uptime and damage for sure. Especially if you’re rocking Redirect Fire too like you said.

I mean I still would have liked something else more interesting instead, but you’re 100% right.

@Flawless huh, think we played together. You were on Psyker, using some kind of fire build. I was playing my Vet with Focus Target. We actually finished the mission though I got downed a couple times.

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I’ve spent at least a couple of (successful) missions in auric damnation with the 4 new builds I’ve made.

I’m still testing MF Marksman’s Focus because I just don’t have the trigger discipline to shoot heads all day and that’s not my play style. But it sure seems to work really REALLY well with Infiltrate and the 90% threat reduction for 10s. Feels like the old camo vet, just clicking heads, as long as you post up in a good spot.

And I’m very excited to try it out with my vraks7 I just tuned up with Ghost to go with Duck and Dive.

This is a whole play style I wouldn’t have even considered before this rework.

Focus Target is nearly always-on damage/tough/stam for your team, you have to do NOTHING to get it if you’re already a good tagger, and it means you can legit play a commissar calling shots and directing the battle.

Whole new play style.

Weapons Specialist just seems like it was made for me as an axe/revolver main. Twirl that revolver after every kill and get the emperor’s blessing of free reloads. Aaaamazing. Not a new playstyle for me, but some serious buffage.

If there’s anything I think is a valid concern it’s that just a little more connectivity would go a long way to letting people keep ALL their toys. I get the design decisions here, but I also feel the crunch.

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You don’t “need” to many things, but underutilizing your tools is not something that will lead to “fun play” for me.

If you utilize your headshot keystone by headshotting enemies, you can more around without quickly losing your stacks.

If you use your tag properly, as everyone should anyway, you will get great benefit from the tag keystone.
You will have 100% uptime on the team dmg buff and you will have 2+ stacks of damage taken debuff on any enemy that you tag.

If you utilize both your ranged and your melee weapon, you greatly benefit from the swap keystone.

Aside from the swap keystone potentially, at what point is there a benefit to „unterutilizing“ one of your tools?

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Missing weakspots is now has now extra “boo you failed” tacked onto it.

10s is a long time in current amount of specials, especially since they come in waves and using tag under that is underutilization.

Not “if”, to benefit at all you have to have it always lingering on your mind to play that way. When you don’t you’re basically wasting talent points invested to unlock the keystone.

The keystones are ok, at same time, their mental tax is something I have no interest for regular play.
You can have two mentally taxing keystones, make one that doesn’t to people who have enough crap on their plate in life not to strain their brain in game too.

I am not sure regarding the relevance of this statement in response to what i said.

Well, are you a Veteran Sharpshooter, are you not? :upside_down_face:

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I think the issue is not so much that they’re unplayable, but that the tree design is…indefensibly stupid, and the Keystones both require far more points to get to and fill out, and are much less consistently useful, than other classes keystones. Needing 21pts to reach the keystone…and then probably need 3-4pts to fill it out, is bad design that never should have made it to a release in and of itself.

Marksman’s focus is built around stationary shooting…in a game that intensely and intentionally punishes stationary shooting (often by spawning mobs behind stationary players). This is something that belongs in a pen and paper RPG, not a fast-paced survival shooter. Fundamental mismatch of game design paradigms and gives the impression that whoever is responsible for developing this aspect doesn’t actually play the game.

Focus Target has a couple issues. First it’s painfully annoying AF for everyone else with the Veteran tagging everything all the time, that’s distracting and irritating for the rest of the team and can cause the team to shift their focus to the marked target unnecessarily or just ignore all pings from the Vet, neither of which are good. Second, it’s another keybind to tag and hit everything with, one that by default is typically tied to the same input as the Social Wheel and Weapon Swap, which is a recipe for getting killed in the streets if you don’t rebind it or don’t have enough mouse buttons available.

Weapon Swap isn’t awful, but it’s not great either, and works best when essentially playing the game as Vermintide (primarily melee with ranged weapons reserved for specialists/bosses), which is awkward for the class billed as the ranged support specialist.

TL;DR the dev team rolled out a bunch of Keystones built on concepts that fundamentally really are best suited for games other than Darktide, after stuffing them behind so many talent points that you can’t really branch out for anything else.