Psyker changes to increase loadout variety

Currently, the talent choices offered by the Psyker tree are very Brain Burst centric. If you want to do any other build than a Brain Burst build, there are not really a lot of options. On top of that, the class passives work around gaining warp charges, for which Brain Burst is the most accessible source. It doesn’t help that Brain Burst does not scale at all into the higher difficulties.

Here is my attempt in trying to make some sensible and subtle changes while allowing the talent tree to bend into any combination of regular or force weapons, so that no matter the loadout and playstyle you choose, you can have some meaningful options to pick from. With a tree like this you can always enjoy from all the aspects of the class regardless if you focus on brain bursting, melee, regular guns or staves.

GENERAL

Brain Burst must scale in power or difficulty
Either with the average power lvl of the character or with the difficulty playing. The end result must be that on Difficulty 5 and geared to teeth, human sized enemies instantly die, ogryn sized and mutants get half their health reduced and always interrupted/staggered on hit.

Soulblaze must scale in power or difficulty
Same thing, Soulblaze needs scaling or needs to apply stagger. The current damage it does is abysmal. This is a horde game, if it doesn’t kill or it doesn’t control it’s not even there.

Different staff special attacks
The current special on staves is made obsolete by the fact that you can switch to melee and get an attack out faster than the staff special can even hit. On top of this the staff special has no cleave.

The staves should have a special attack randomly chosen at the time of creation from a list such as:

  • Brain Burst (left click version), provide a direct access to Brain Burst while wielding the staff
  • Psykinetic Wave, strike horizontally and send enemies flying in front of you with a psykinetic wave at a cost of peril (re-use current special chain 2nd attack animation and just add some particle effects)
  • Psykinetic Barrier, create a psykinetic barrier in front of you absorbing ranged attacks at a cost of peril, upon release push enemies back using the energy of the absorbed shots

The Purgatus (flame) staff should instead have this pool for the special attack:

  • Brain Burst (left click version), provide a direct access to Brain Burst while wielding the staff
  • Blaze Dash, dash forward a short distance applying a stack of Soulblaze to enemies hit at a cost of peril
  • Blaze Ball, charge and throw a fiery ball of Soulblaze creating a bigger explosion and applying more stacks the longer you charge at a cost of peril

Notice, allowing the access to Brain Burst on the weapon special allows the caster to utilize the quelling speed of the weapon and to seamlessly switch between Brain Bursting and the staff spells without the need to swap weapons. However, it does not provide access for pre-charging the Brain Burst.

ABILITIES

Quelling
Quelling peril should not reduce your movement speed. It’s so essential that it needs to be bulit in to the class. Not being able to sprint while quelling is slow enough for this fast paced game.

Warp Siphon
In addition to gaining a Warp Charge on a Brain Burst kill, killing an enemy with a warp based attack that is not Brain Burst while at critical peril (97% and above) earns a Warp Charge. However, this is limited to one charge per cast.

TALENTS

Tier 1 - Level 5 (toughness regeneration)

Essence Harvest
Replenish 6% Toughness per second whenever there is an enemy taking damage from your Soulblaze effect.

Warp Absorption
Replenish 5% Toughness when you kill an enemy with a Warp attack. In addition, replenish 20% Toughness over 4s on gaining a Warp Charge

Quietitude
No Changes
(Replenish 5% Thoughness for each 10% of Peril Quelled.)

Tier 2 - Level 10 (first damage boosts)

Psykinetic’s Wrath
(for some reason this shares a name with the class ability?? but the top one anyways)
No changes
(Gain between 5% and 15% damage with Force Weapon attacks, based on your current Peril)

Infused Armaments (was Inner Tranquility)
Your non-warp attacks have a chance of applying Soulblaze on enemies hit. High peril, slow attack speed and your critical hit chance increases the chances of the effect while the attack speed also determines the stack count applied.

Wrack and Ruin
Brain Burst applies 2 stacks of Soulblaze to all enemies within 3 meters of the target.

Tier 3 - Level 15 (team oriented buffs)

Psychic Communion
Allies in Coherency gain +2% damage for each Warp Charge on you. Multiple Psychic Communions that are present do not stack with each other.

Psykinetic’s Aura
Replenish 20% of Combat Ability Cooldown when an Elite or Special that you have damaged dies. This also applies to Allies in Coherency.

Cerebral Lacerations
No Changes
(Damaging an Enemy with your Brain Burst ability causes them to take +15% Damage from all non-Warp sources for 5s.

Tier 4 - Level 20 (defensive talents)

Kinetic Defelection
While below critical Peril, Blocking an attack causes you to gain Peril instead of losing Stamina. While at critical peril (97% or above) and having a Warp Charge, your push will consume a Warp Charge sending out a shockwave that knocks enemies down in a short radius around you.

Kinetic Shield
Your Warp Charges reduce Toughness damage from Ranged Attacks by 8/16/24/32/40/48%

Mind in Motion
Charging a Warp based attack or aiming down your sights will not reduce your movement speed.

Tier 5 - Level 25 (second damage boosts)

Warp Battery
No changes
(Can store up to 6 Warp Charges)

Kinetic Overload
While you have maximum Warp Charges, gaining a Warp Charge instead applies stagger and 2 Stacks of Soulblaze to all enemies within 3 meters.

Kinetic Flayer
Your next hit against an enemy will instantly Brain Burst the target. This cannot occur while at critical Peril and has a cooldown of 15 seconds.

Tier 6 - Level 30 (class ability modifiers)

Quicken
Killing an enemy will reduce the cooldown of Psykinetic’s Wrath by 2%, killing an Elite or Special will instead reduce the cooldown by 10%.

Ascendant Blaze
Psykinetic’s Wrath expends all Warp Charges and applies 2 Stacks of Soulblaze to Enemies Hit for each Warp Charge expended. Enemies that die while under the effects of your Soulblaze (from any source) have a 10% chance to grant you a Warp Charge.

Kinetic Barrage
No changes
(for 10s after using Pykinetic Wrath, your Brain Burst charges 25% faster and consume 50% less Peril.


Some examples of different build options

The old Brain Bursting is still there:

  • Tier 1, choose Warp Absorption or Quietitude
  • Tier 2, take Wrack and Ruin
  • Tier 6, take Kinetic Barrage

For others, you can choose any of the three.

Using Brain Burst you will do heavy single target damage and also some AOE around your main target on the sides. You will constantly be decked out on the warp charges so if you want to provide damage for team in coherency or debuff the enemies hit (mainly bosses) it’s up to you.

Now you have the option to go for a melee build:

  • Tier 1, take Warp Absorption (Force Sword) or Essence Harvest (any other melee)
  • Tier 2, take Psykinetic’s Wrath (Force Sword) or Infused Armaments (any other melee)
  • Tier 3, all three work but Psykinetic’s Aura provides some extra safety
  • Tier 4, take Kinetic Deflection
  • Tier 5, choose Kinetic Overload or Kinetic Flayer
  • Tier 6, choose Quicken or Ascendant Blaze

There are two paths here. The Force Sword will be the offensive option and all about getting to high perils, increasing your damage and allowing you to constantly gain warp charges. Kinetic Deflection together with the class ability provides a safety net and some tankines but requires more of a reactive high risk high reward playstyle.

For regular melee weapons it’s all about setting enemies on fire with Infused Armaments for regaining toughness and using that peril mainly for Kinetic Deflection. This build pairs well with regular guns as well.

You can also run regular guns and still regenerate toughness and generate warp charges:

  • Tier 1, take Essence Harvest
  • Tier 2, take Infused Armaments
  • Tier 4, all work but Mind in Motion is for the range purist
  • Tier 5, take Kinetic Flayer
  • Tier 6, take Ascendant Blaze

For third tier all goes.

With regular guns you are looking for weapons with high crit chance and you benefit from having high peril. Using a slow firing weapon provides more reliable Soulblaze per shot fired while fast firing weapons cover up for it with more bullets. Whenever you attack, you set enemies in blaze, which gives you toughness and warp charges. Kinetic Flayer allows you to nuke something down every now and then with a single bullet and helps to keep that peril a bit higher.

And then finally here are the staff options:

  • Tier 1, choose Quietitude or Warp Absorption depending on your playstyle, Essence Harvest is also an option if using the Purgatus (fire staff)
  • Tier 2, take Psykinetic’s Wrath
  • Tier 4, choose Mind in Motion or Kinetic Shield
  • Tier 6, take Ascendant Blaze with Purgatus, Quicken with other staves

For the fifth tier all three work but Purgatus users might want to take Kinetic Overload for the close combat range.

The choice in here is basically if you go long range or short range. With Essence Harvest, Kinetic Shield and Ascendant Blaze the Psyker will have quite a lot of tankiness and can hold your ground as long as you manage to burn the melee that gets close.

These were all purist examples, notice there is a lot of freedom and overlap so you can mix and match to your desire. Obviously the regular gun talent build is a bit more limited but nevertheless it is possible with a talent tree like this, while the rest of the builds have a bit more to choose from.

EDIT: formatting.

2 Likes

Aight, I like your ideas but… I think you have a very bad idea of balance. Some of these are a good foundation for feats to replace what we currently have but most of them are insanely overpowered. Like your idea for Quicken the level 30 feat. Kill 10 enemies for 20%. You know how easy it is to kill 10 enemies, especially on high difficulty? Especially with Voidstrike staff. You cast 1 bolt into a horde and bam, 8-10 kills. Considering how numerous enemies are, this would give you force push a bit too quickly granted your force push isn’t too powerful but pair it with Mind in Motion at level 20, you can run around stupidly fast and not have to worry about quelling manually since you will be able to spam your F constantly.

The other really broken feat I saw was Pyskinetic’s Aura. 20% from that to not just you but all your allies is pretty insane

You’re thinking in the right direction on these though, just numbers and some specifics would need to be pulled back.

1 Like

I think the ideas are great and the numbers don’t really matter because they can be tweaked to balance.

Most importantly these tree’s allow any build and playstyle with the weapons psyker has access to.
With these tree’s you can run a generic melee weapon and a gun but still feel like a psychic warrior.

Great write up, FS should do the psyker’s tree’s like this bc it goes beyond what people want from psyker and allows any build with any weapons available to psyker to be worth using.

1 Like

I’m fine with BB losing a bit of efficiency at higher difficulty, but it needs to be a 100% guaranteed kill on Pox Bursters

I’ve been in situations where somehow BB doesn’t one shot Pox Bursters and it’s ridiculous, since they aren’t available in the Meat Grinder i’m assuming that’s because on Heresy they sit in between an X number of warp stacks threshold

In fact baseline damage should be even a bit higher, at whatever max health Pox Hounds get on each difficulty level

But if really that’s too much, ffs at least let us one shot Pox Bursters consistently, right now you’re better off baiting them come to you and push them with PW right before they start the jump suicide animation, so they blow up far enough from you

It’s too much investment when we have a skill that should effectively counter them reliably

I think the staff special should be much stronger. Both from a balance perspective and a gameplay perspective.

From a gameplay perspective OP is right that there is no reason to use the staff melee special its far to weak, and far to slow you’re always better off switching to your melee.

From a lore perspective Force Staffs are commonly used as devastating melee weapons by Psykers so there is no reason for it to be weaker than a knife.