Psyker - An evaluation on weapons

Hey guys! Lvl 30 psyker here and I wanted to share my impressions through gameplay/testing of the different weapons. My goal isn’t to share ‘feelings’ of things but to look at what’s actually happening and take a more objective approach. Hopefully in sharing this, we’ll see what the psyker community agrees or disagrees on and we can take the class to higher heights together. I’d love to hear your thoughts as well! Also, this is not a discussion on Brain Burst! We’re focusing on the weapons here, so please keep comments to this point.

All testing done below was done in the psykhanium on difficulty 5 settings. Psyker level 30 with feats chosen for minimal variation between players (ie: not speccing into dmg or peril resistance). lvl 5: Quietitude, lvl 10: Wrack and Ruin, lvl 15: Cerebral Lacerations, lvl 20: Mind in Motion, lvl 25: Kinectic Overload, and lvl 30: Quicken.

For damage, I’ll explain as Unit - full damage - DoT. Enemy units used are the Unarmoured Yellow Gunner, Flak Armoured Yellow Melee, and the Mauler. Headshots are used on the Gunner/Melee and body shot will be used for Mauler.

I think it would be best to look at the psyker exclusive ranged weapons, so we’ll be excluding weapons that are more general such as the lasgun from this discussion. Warp weapons come in four styles - Surge(lightning), Trauma(explosion), Voidstrike(fireball), and Purgatus(flamethrower). Let’s break these down further -

Surge (lightning) (my staff is ilvl 348)-
⦁ The left click for this staff is the standard energy warp ball, which is what we see on two out of the three other staffs. Nothing special here.
⦁ Left click attack - Unarmored Gunner - roughly 266, Flak armor - 234. Mauler - 150
⦁ Right click/charge - lightning burst/channel. This ability hits four targets and channels a very minor DoT before a final hit which does the majority of the damage. I think it’s very important to note that this weapon does not hit all mobs in the cone/range. It is limited to four targets. Again, the majority of the damage is dealt on the final hit of the channel, which means you are locked into the animation and will be susceptible to melee/ranged until that cast is finished. That would be around two full seconds where dodging would be your only defense. One more thing to note is that the channeled lightning does have a very high stun factor, so reapers/bulwarks/mutants/etc do get interrupted while being hit. The only counter to this would be trying to hit those as part of your four targets while in the middle of a horde. Lightning channel can also proc Kinectic Flayer(10% on hit to brain burst).
⦁ Right click full charge - Unarmoured - roughly 150 and 6, Flak Armor - roughly 150 and 6, Mauler - roughly 566 and 7
⦁ Peril - left click builds 4~5 peril per shot, right click charge starts at 17 and goes up to 27, so we’re getting four of these full charge shots before tapping out.
⦁ I encourage testing in the psykhanium on this weapon because from what I can tell the lightning does not prioritize specials and the lightning seems to have minimal spread when shooting into a group of roughly 10 units.

Trauma (explosion) (my staff is ilvl 393)
⦁ Standard left click energy ball
⦁ Left click attack - Unarmored Gunner - roughly 233, Flak armor - 204. Mauler - 131
⦁ Right click/charge - AoE circle expands until explosion. There does not appear to be a target limit within the circle. All damage is dealt as a single hit. Explosions knock all enemies down with the one exception being Mutants. This knockdown applies to quick release and full charge attacks. As long as the target is within the circle, it will be knocked. A full charge takes roughly 2 1/2 seconds. Very important note - full damage is only dealt to enemies within the circle (full model inside, not half). Enemies outside the ring take heavily reduced damage, but do suffer a minor stagger.
⦁ Right click full charge - Unarmoured - 347, Flak armor - 347, Mauler - 382
⦁ Peril - left click builds 4 to 5 peril per shot, right click charge starts at 13 and goes up to 47 on full charge. We get two casts, the third would kill us.

Voidstrike (fireball) (my staff is ilvl 392)
⦁ Standard left click energy ball
⦁ Left click attack - Unarmored Gunner - roughly 270, Flak armor - 237. Mauler - 152
⦁ Right click/charge - Charges a warp energy ball, which shoots straight forward in a line. All damage is dealt in a single hit. The energy ball has very high pierce and range. The ball will travel through all enemies until it hits a heavily armoured enemy (Mauler, Armoured Rager, Carapace Ogryn, Reaper, and Bulwark) or map object (wall, box, etc). That means the ball will pierce through Trapper, Flamer(red and green), Bomber, Mutant, Dog, Sniper, Hotshot, Shotgunner, and Unarmoured Rager in a straight line through any and all horde. This also means the stun value is not as high as some of our stave counterparts. We are getting a minor stagger on most unarmoured specials due to the pierce, no interrupt on mutant, and a knockdown on mauler. On the big boys, we’re seeing the Bulwark shrug it off completely with shield (no pierce), while Reaper and Carapace both take a heavy stagger. Armoured and Unarmoured Ragers are both seeing a mild to heavy stagger. One final point to be made on the stun is that the ball can be shot at the ground to cause an explosion effect. This explosion deals minor area damage, but does knock down or back the surrounding enemies (same limitations as above). A full charge takes roughly two full seconds.
⦁ Right click full charge - Unarmoured - 206 (hitbox isn’t connecting with head), Flak armor - 401, Mauler - 215
⦁ Peril - left click builds 4 to 5 per shot, right click charge starts at 6 and goes up to 19. I’m able to use five full charges before I would pop on the 6th.

Purgatus (flamethrower)
⦁ (I trashed my staff when getting some quick coins, so I’ll test this more thoroughly when I get my hands on another one)
⦁ Left click attack - unique flamethrower burst. Adds Soulblaze DoT to targets (2 per tick)
⦁ Right click/charge - Builds up a flamethrower barrage that can be channeled for a sustained blast. Enemies hit by fire sustain Soulblaze DoT damage. From my testing, the DoT does not trigger Kinectic Flayer (10% on hit to brain burst). The actual flamethrower sustained blast does however.
⦁ More info to come.

For the melee side, I’d really just like to bring up the Force Sword. The Force Sword appears to now serve three major functions -
⦁ Eliminate specials - both armoured and unarmoured, when you don’t have seconds to spare. Getting a full cast from our staves can sometimes be a luxury. When things are rough and you have several ragers chasing you down the sword can be used to get some quick alt-attacks at the cost of minimal peril.
⦁ Player defense - Force Sword can come with the Trait “Deflector”. This Trait allows your block to now block both Melee and Ranged attacks. Additionally, block cost is reduced by 10%. This is great when you turn a corner and see a gunnery squad waiting for you. You can block, dodge, and reevaluate your plan of attack while taking minimal/no damage.
⦁ Group defense - the recent change to Force Sword is invaluable to your team. Being able to spam a 360 degree mild stagger on all horde and limited specials will allow your teammates to pick somebody up off the ground safely. Removing the peril cost allows us to use this block stagger as much as we want, which in my opinion makes this the best defensive weapon in the game. Combined with the alt-fire, we can get some amazing usage out of this weapon now.

This is all from my experience, but I would love to hear how things are going for you guys. Please let me know if there’s anything you’d like to see tested/brought up, and we can try to get some things validated.

My personal opinion on Psyker having gone through difficulty 4 with friends (avg party level was 15~20), and after 600 hours of VT2 melee experience (I’m a Sienna main), I think we’re in a spot that could use a little further balancing. I would love to see some adjustments to the lightning staff personally, and maybe some damage values tweaked.

all i can tell you is that i backlined my brainburst with the exception of heavily armored targets and “convenience popping” - it has its use for sure, but its DEFINITELY not something i want to build my class around, and not just because its not effective in many situations… its also inconvenient, forces me to play in a dumb way, and frankly as satisfying as that nice crack is… is fairly boring

i have also completely gave up on the flame staff

what i AM however using, heavily, is rapid fire from the voidstrike staff for both good CC and sniping lighter elites/gunners/shooters with more or fully charged shots… its very versatile and “can” be efficient, depending on how you manage it… at the same time feels satisfying to use

obviously this means most of my traits are pretty much near useless

the sword is pretty damn good, im not using it “much” but when i do im comfortable with it and it does its job… im just sorry its the only psyker melee weapon, but im happy with it

most of my gameplay is a well coordinated friend group on voice (all 4 classes represented), and we absolutely tear through lvl3’s (barring the occasional screwup with a nasty elite spawn combo) and will jump into lvl4’s as soon as our veteran unlocks the boltgun… none of us are 30 yet… 2 of us are close, the 2 others are around lvl16 or so

my previous experience with the trauma staff was… “i guess its okay and the blast is fun”

with the surge staff “nice CC but i feel like it will only shine in uncoordinated groups” because once the team coordinates well you just dont need a random area spray chain of unreliable CC

edit: i should add
most value in weapons of the psyker, in my opinion, is their ability to crowd control and their damage dealing abilities are secondary
in this instance 3 of the 4 staves work pretty decently depending on what you are looking for in flavor, but only the voidstrike has the ability to project at a distance and go “through” to its target… maybe this should be adjusted in the primary fire mode of the others

the flame staff needs a balance pass, the rest of them are in a decent place, with possibly the surge needing a more defined and focused area of effect and the trauma needing better AoE for the peril cost

Thanks for the analysis OP.

I’m only level 16 so have a ways to go, and only have the surge and trauma staff unlocked so far. I have not found Surge (lightning staff) particularly fun, reliable, or useful. Sure, it can stun a group of elites, or you can just knock them over and deal more damage (trauma) and have something that can deal with a density of enemies during hordes super well too.

Looking forward to trying the Voidstrike staff. As a Sienna main, my favorite staff was the bolt staff, and this seems closest to it. Although it ALSO seems slightly redundant with the brain burst as a sniping tool.

I LOVE the Force Sword. I’m honestly a little sad to see the push toned down and the peril cost removed. I really liked the strong uber push before, and managing the peril cost of it was a reasonable trade-off once I got used to it. That said, it’s still really fun. The push attack can knock down elites, giving you a window to charge up the special attack and kill them. I think the force sword special attack should grant you Warp Charges.

Coming from some other threads, I really think there should be some class abilities/feats that can be used to psychic-ly imbue non-force weapons in some way. A Psyker without a force sword + staff just seems like they aren’t playing to their potential and unique role. If you’re going to run a psyker without a force sword + staff - why not just play a vet or zealot?

I’m curious about what feats people are finding effective based on their playstyle. Personally, I’ve always played Sienna leaning heavily into Melee + horde management with her ranged attacks focusing on anti-elite/special duty. Seems like the psyker can play that role pretty well:

  • Force Sword - good for horde CC, good defense, with option for major single target damage
  • Brain Burst - good for elite/special sniping
  • Force Staff - single ranged shots (LMB) are good for sniping, with the RMB attacks able to perform a few duties.

What about the FEATS?

(Level 5 Feats)

If you’re willing to play the “high peril” game (I am) and keep your peril moderately high, seems like Quietude (replenish 5% toughness for 10% peril) has a fairly good to return with the passive peril reduction?

But maybe Essence Harvest (replenish 30% toughness over 5% on gaining warp) in conjunction with Psychic Communion (gain warp charges from kills by you or allies) is more reliable?

Warp Absorption (10% toughness regain on warp attack kill) I don’t know about. Other than Brain Burst, what counts as a “warp attack”?

(Level 10 Feats)

Soulblaze seems pitifully weak? Thoughts? As such, Wrack & Ruin seems way too situational AND underpowered to be worth it.

Living the high peril lifestyle, Psykenetic Wrath (up to +15% damage) seems like the way to go IMHO. Inner Tranquility (+6% peril resist) gives you more of a safety net, but also makes it harder to get to high peril.

(Level 15 Feats)

As mentioned Psychic Communion (4% chance to gain warp charge on kill in coherancy) seems pretty solid and useful. The other talents at this level don’t seem great. Cerebral Lacerations (+15% damage to non-psychic attacks after a brain burst) seems okay for boosting boss killing… but otherwise doesn’t seem worth giving up on the free warp charges generated passively.

(Level 20 Feats)

Not sure about any of these.

Kinetic Shield (10-35% reduced toughness damage based on current warp charges) seems most promising, but is contingent on Warp Charges. Often times, when you’re taking ranged damage is when you haven’t been in a melee scrap and tend to be low on warp charges, so it seems too situational.

Kinetic Deflection (below critical peril blocking adds to peril instead of losing stamina) seems potentially good and in line with the higher peril lifestyle. Not sure how impactful it is though.

(Level 25 Feats)

Storing 6 warp charges (Warp Battery) seems good for the passive damage boost. But doesn’t seem all that amazing IMHO.

Kinetic Overload (apply soul blaze instead of gaining a warp change when at max charges) sounds cool, but soulblaze currently sucks (??) and doesn’t seem like a good Feat option.

Kinetic Flayer (10% chance to rain burst target when below critical peril). This seems the best option and would help with dealing with heavily armored units/bosses a little and help maintain high peril for that play style. But also just will go off randomly on trash too?

(Level 30 Feats)

None of these seem terribly exciting for a level 30 talent.

Quicken: Given that you generally WANT warp charges, expending them for a faster cool down (50% at 4 charges) doesn’t really seem that worth it.

Ascendant Blaze: Again with expending warp charges. But then stacks Soulblaze but the enemies killed by soulblaze give warp. Seems like there is some decent internal synergy and it provides a way to regain warp charges. Is there any meaningful synergy here with other soulblaze feats?

Kinetic Barage: This is cool if you really, really like brain bursting I guess.