for clarification, I consider the stacking tagging debuff not good, as the other classes keystones (Ogryn, Psyker, Zealot) give better bonuses. Not to mention, that with big elites/specials density on Damnation+ it loses a lot of value. You get one stack every 2s. In the fast-paced auric games, that is geological scale.
WHC in Vermintide 2 had a similar, but IMHO better mechanic. His presence caused all enemies tagged by anybody to take extra damage. No stacks, just a flatrate. If you could spec that keystone to have that level of utility, I would immediately shut myself. We have so many stacking effects in Darktide, I am led to believe that some of the lead game designers are passionate Jenga Tower players
Marksman Focus keystone clears hordes nicely, allows you to eliminate elites and specials even if they are grouped, but when poxburster hits the fan and you need to clutch, then it immediately loses a lot of value. It is also fares very poorly where it should theoretically shine the most: in battle against bosses, as you cannot stack the effect on boss (trigger on kill), you need to clear some trash first. It creates a lot of “ifs”. It will work if you have some enemies to shoot at, if the boss positions himself conveniently and if the boss is not currently charging at you, since when you relocate, you start the “if” chain from the beginning. On heated, prolonged games it also struggles with ammo, unless you go for laser pointer of any flavour. All-in I consider this keystone to be inherently flawed. I can imagine it working if it triggers on hitting a weakspot, or if the buff lasts longer and is not removed by movement.
I think this is less interesting and also doesn’t fit the aesthetic of a leader. But this keystone also has higher highs than that ability. You will always be sitting at a minimum of 2 stacks for 8% damage against first target (1 is generated so quickly as to be no matter and 1 is returned on target death) but this ability truely shines when leveraging its add ons. This is how i have been running it in my games. In most real game scenarios you apply 8 stacks for 32% target damage (thats more than vermintide) to your first target. You then gain 12% to the team against all targets for 10s, this can be refreshed or even added to if applied at less than max stacks by killing another pinged target with 1+ stacks. Because you need literally one stack pinged on any target any time to keep this buff alive the uptime in an auric mission is basically all game long. A roughly 12% team damage buff against all targets almost all game long is better than a 20% damage buff against specific targets. Only it gets better since every target you ping is going to have a minimum of 2 stacks or 8% combined damage thus hitting 20%. But if there’s any significant delay between spawns you can easily get an overlap of the 12% team damage with 6-7 stacks on target (i find 8 rare but possible) netting between 36 and 40% extra target damage spikes. Incredibly strong against monstrosities and general specialist spam. Not even accounting for toughness and stamina gen in the same keystone. All for the low price of just pinging normally and maybe reserving a ping for a few seconds to call out a plague ogryn.
I defer to you in marksmans. I still haven’t found a good case for it.
My understanding is that Marksman’s Focud gives you Ranged Finesse Power, which (and someone please correct me if I’m wrong) adds damage and stagger (and maybe something else? can’t recall) on weakspot and crit.
I can imagine the Marksman Focus working if we would get Hotshot Lasguns or machine guns. Then your best defence would be overwhelming firepower. Truth be told, I have no solution for it either. I just wish, that there would be again a possibility to run a ranged-focused veteran again, without making it brain-dead but just fun and viable at every difficulty.
Tagging has some niche use, I agree on that Reg. Not my playstyle though. I ping every stuff that comes close / is dangerous to a teammate. I still have a bit of beef with it, since the other classess keystones just feel more impactful. Might be pure feeling though.
I hope next iteration of vet just makes at least a step in the right direction. The hive mind on different forums steers to the consensus that vet got hit with the nerf bat below the belt.
I’m not saying that you are making this point, but I feel like a lot of folks have been sour on Marksman’s Focus because of the perception that it requires you to be precise and hit weakspots. This isn’t stictly the case of course, because the finesse bonus benefits crits and you have an alternate method of gaining stacks.
I think Marksman is great because it seems to be designed to be flexible enough to be used with precision weapons to get huge weakspot damage (the 30% weakspot node reinforces this) or better crit damage/stagger on spammy weapons (which the 25% ammo node reinforces).
If there’s a way to make MF feel better for precision but less effective for high RoF weapons, I don’t think I’d want to see it because it sounds like it would further constrict play styles.