Psyker Feedback from a Game Designer 💡

Hey guys!

Really loving the game so far, its pretty easy to look passed the issues you guys are working on and have a lot of fun! Don’t take this critique as a sign that I am not having fun with the game, I really love it, and that’s why I am commenting. I want to see the game be the best it can be!

Making this post to comment on the Psyker, specifically the brainburst and warpcharge mechanic.

Brainburst is somewhat effective on lower difficulties (3 and below) but due to lack of scaling doesn’t really preform on 4+.

The larger problem with Brainburst in my eyes is a conceptual one: The core loop of click target, wait 2 seconds, get kill, is not only not very fun. It is also not very good. It takes you away from the great melee and away from dishing out spectacular void strikes, and brings you to waiting around behind a box for the enemy to be killed. On difficulty 4+, you no longer even 1 shot most of the enemies you really should be in charge of taking down. It takes 2 casts and almost all of your perils for Ragers, and dogs notably.

It also take you out of the fight, often times to kill a random pox walker so that you don’t lose your warpcharges, when you could otherwise be helping the team, making psyker a pretty big liability in combat. To add insult to injury, a lot of the talents are built around this loop, which nearly forces you to interact with the loop or you lose a lot of power off your class.

I think the best course of action would be to see the brainburst scrapped entirely in lieu of something that supports the preexisting combat loops. Something that allows you to interact with the already established and well made combat mechanics. All of the other classes have abilities that contribute to the solid and fun core mechanics of the game, psyker shouldn’t be any different.

I’m not one to gripe without bringing up suggestions though so heres a bit of what I have devised, If brainburst is going to stay. These are all solutions, one or a combination of multiple are intended, not all. I reccomend some blend of 5, and 7 or 6 if brainburst must remain. That being said, the problem with brainburst is a conceptual one. So you can fix the problem with numbers tweaking numbers, but it’ll be an imperfect solution. The core problem will always remain, it’ll just be less annoying than it is now. To fix the core problem it would need a complete redesign that incorporates it into the melee/ranged loops of the game.

  1. Allow warpcharges to be generated outside of the brainburst loop more reliably. Allow us to completely ignore it if we so wish, as playing the game in the other standard ranged/melee loops is way more fun and interactive. We have some talents that allow this but they are inconsistent. Removing the 15 sec CD on the melee one and maybe instead of doing a 4% chance on kill, 100% chance on elite kill in the team, something like that.

  2. In lieu of more consistent warp charge generation, allow warp charges to degrade more slowly. Have them degrade sequentially instead of all at once. 4>3>2>1>0 Instead of 4>0. Allowing for more time to cast the brainburst inbetween combat so that during the fight you can actually help your team more meaningfully.

  3. Another option is the scrapping of warpcharges, and taking a more traditional talent approach, sidestepping the mandatory interaction with the brainburst loop.

  4. Increase damage, decrease cast time, and perils cost to make using it not screw over your time economy so much.

  5. Make the charge time dependent on target health. So Reapers would take say 1s longer that current, and a pox walker would take say 25% of current.

  6. Discard the charge functionality of it, and allow it to be instantly cast on a cooldown, so that using it doesn’t screw up your time economy.

  7. (and this is a good one) have brainburst VENT perils instead of building it. Allowing you to vent your perils in a more aggressive way, instead of having to choose whether or not to use your staff, force sword or your brainburst, encourage players to swap between the different options.

I am a game designer so if any devs want more feedback from me feel free to reach out and I’d love to provide more input on any or all of the classes as needed.

Closing notes: For the love of the emperor and my beloved, support the amazing mechanics you already have in the game! Get rid of brainburst! Grenades are a more interesting and fun mechanic for my beloved sake!

Thanks so much for creating one of the most bad ass games of the past few years! look foward to the actual launch, keep up the good work!

19 Likes

I would throw this out there, i think his ability should be a way to buff his specific weapons to encouge people to use them.

His ult should be, that for say 5 seconds he generates no perils charge on ranged weapons, and force melee weapons become charged for their duration and deal bonus damage.

Each warp charge extends this duration by another 5 seconds after popping it, and warp charges are generated through comabt and killing.

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These suggestions have merit, thanks for commenting! :grinning:

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I think brain burst is a perfectly fine ability, it just inhabits a weird place where it should be a tactical ability to deploy when one specific thing needs to die, but it’s also your default psychic ability that has to service the entire peril/quell loop on a psyker without force weapons. What it really should be is that warp charges are generated some other way and Brain Burst consumes the limited charges, but is much more powerful.

agree. The way to gain warpcharges should change.

I’m mainly play psyker but when I start to play preacher, I feel like a hawk then I go back to play psyker I feel like a rat every time when I use brainburst on malice or above difficulty lmao.

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Good analogy lol! It does make you feel like a little rat scurrying around behind the boxes! :laughing:

I can’t remember the last time I’ve seen a high-level psyker actually use brain burst. Of course, there’s a lot going on in combat and you don’t always notice such things, but I never see it any more. Hopefully the FS devs are getting stats that show the core class feature isn’t being used.

2 Likes

Warp charges are definitely in a weird place, they require (as you said) breaking the traditional loop of gameplay in order to constantly maintain an unreasonably fast decaying class resource. Additionally, I doubt it needs to be said again, brain burst doesn’t scale damage wise. That should be fixed at the very least.

I also have issues with the staves not holding up against other weapons, especially the Purgatus stave and the awful soulfire DoT. Soulfire should be a lot more potent, or come with some other effect to CC enemies to make up for it’s ineffectiveness.

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Good suggestions that would go a lot further towards building a satisfying gameplay loop for Psyker.

The brainburst twist to vent peril would make for a much more engaging core gameloop.
Brainburst could probably do with not being a “hold” skill. Psyker already has enough of those with his staff.

I personaly think Psyker atm has a huge identity crisis.
Range damage is Vet. CC is Ogryn. Melee specialist is Zealot.

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Dont see this atm Only see a lot of Bolter Camping

Coming from V2, where in 1800 hours I played mostly sienna and stagger footknight, I actually enjoy the current loop. CC with staves and snipe out elites/specials with BB to maintain charges and be potent with staves/melee if you keep your charges up. I do agree that it’s too much of a chore to keep charges up currently, so you feel forced to run the charges generating feats, and still you’ll have trouble to have stacks when you need them.

While a complete rework sounds great, the game is releasing in 2 days.
What sounds feasible to me (not a game designer, but a software engineer):

  • Normalise BB damage across all difficulties, on malice the damage feels correct.
  • BB should grant charges on hit, not on kill. This allows you to gain charges more reliably and during bossfights.
  • Warp charges should grant BB charge speed. This makes you FEEL your power ramping up as you gain charges.
  • The feat that grants BB charge speed and peril reduction on ult should instead grant max warp charges or quell 100% of peril.
  • Buff/fix soulblaze’s damage or have the feats/weapon trait add more stacks.
  • increase the % on the feat that has a chance to grant warp charges whenever you or a teammate kills an enemy. Right now this feat is only somewhat reliable on the highest difficulties due to density. Preferably generating charges through BB is simple enough to do that you don’t need this feat, only pick it if you wan’t to ignore BB.
  • The feat that grants soulblaze kills a chance to grant charges should grant them if the enemy has soulblaze on them, soulblaze shouldn’t have to do the killing blow. (This one might be OP if soulblaze’s damage is fixed/buffed)
  • The feat that grants all attacks 10% change to BB the target with a 15 second CD feels weak. Maybe remove the CD all together, and have it cast a weakened version of BB? Would allow it to become a more stable charge generator without becoming OP in damage.

As for staves, I feel like they are in a decent spot, only minor tweaks required if you ask me:

  • purgator/flamethrower: feels good to use, primary attack could use some extra stagger.
  • trauma/conflagration: feels awesome, could charge a bit faster to be competitive with voidstrike.
  • voidstrike/fireball: currently the most versatile staff, infinite cleave, good damage and stagger. And can deliver that damage and stagger wherever you want, unlike the next staff.
  • surge/lightning: the only truly new staff, and while I do like it’s style and stunning capabilities. It’s impossible to aim, more often than not stunning the 5 poxwalkers you don’t care about and ignoring the 2 shotgunners right in front of you. It’s also not very satisfying to only stun everything. It does decent damage to the first target hit, but every other target takes minimal damage. Maybe with fixed targeting, the first 2-3 targets should take full damage, the rest enough damage to kill basic poxwalkers? It feels odd now to see a pack of 7 poxwalkers and having to chain lightning them 4-5 times to kill them, while 1 fireball would have killed them AND staggered the elite behind them
8 Likes

One point you did not seem to explore is that ALL other classes scale with the item progression.

Ogryn = Attackspeed increase after Bullrush directly impacts the DMG output of the Melee weapon = More DPS, scales the/with Item DMG

Veteran = Volly gives 50% DMG on the Ranged weapon = More DMG, scales the/with Item DMG

Zealot = 25% DMG on next hit and Guaranteed Crit = More DMG, scales the/with Item DMG

Psyker = Brainburst/Forcewave does not scale any item = Will fall off very quickly in comparison.

2 Likes

The fantasy is to be a psyker with the warp powers but at the same time the psyker has access to a wide range of guns. This is fine as its 40k and it allows a diversity of playstyles but current talent setup makes a gunplay version feel very weird because it just relegates the peril mechanic solely to brainburst so in periods of prolonged horde combat you might not even use this.

There are also talents that specifically reference warp kills which if you arent using the force staves drastically limits your options if you are using guns. There should be an option, eg a talent, which basically imbues your guns with your psychic power and make them warp damage to get some synergy going in that option.

Brain burst would also be more interesting and more useful if it had scaling cast time based on enemy types. Eg using it on a poxwalker is pretty much instant, an elite like a dreg gunner is about half the cast time it is at the moment. And targeting on an ogryn/boss is same as it is currently - with scaling damage and peril costs depending on the target being hit. Makes sense that popping a poxwalkers skull is much easier than a plague ogryn.

Some targeting adjustments would be usefl as well, eg preprepping the brainburst with right trigger will completely ignore normal enemies and target elites/specials/bosses.

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Or Brainburst could always be a kill move on all enemies except mini bosses and bosses.
Let it generate heat based on enemytype killed so a crusher kill would bring you to 90% and a Mauler/Gunner to like 40-50%.

Forcewave could be changed to imbue your weapon with Peril which grants extra Stagger and Pierce until your peril is empty.

3 Likes

Very good post, thank you!
Currently I want to love the Psyker, but it feels weak compared to rest of the party, especially in more challenging moments during a mission (my DPS seems to be low, and is very low if I try to focus on elites/specialists only with BB)

I absolutely love advices #5 and #7, and together with some DMG scaling talent (like @Imp0815 said, e.g. +% of DMG melee/ranged, scales with weapon DMG) this should make both interesting gameplay loop (thanks to #5 and #7) and reliable career choice on higher difficulties (due to scaling).

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Thanks for the kind words!

I Psyker is a very cool class but I agree that when stacked up against the other they fall a bit short right now!

I also would love to see 5/7 come into play.

These are all spot-on. I would only add that in a hybrid game like this, a classic “glass cannon” is a bad idea. With 360’ degrees of spontaneous threat, being too squishy is just dumb; especially with cast times being what they are. The skill requirement vs payoff is very skewed, compared to other classes.

The class is a great idea conceptually, but they would have been better served in leaning into a ‘spell sword’ theme, much more than a true ‘fragile spell caster’ theme.