Just a context note, I have:
~40h as Sienna in VT2.
~18h as Psyker in Closed Beta Test.
~40h as Psyker in Pre-Launch Beta Test.
Completed missions up to “Malice” Difficulty, attempted “Heresy” few times with random party.
I was among the first to cry wolf when nerfs were dropped but, all in all, after the patch 1.0.6 perils are in an ok place in my opinion. Even without focusing on maintaining charges, I haven’t felt like I was struggling to quell them and with the delay removed it is fully possible to squeeze in a fast quell even during a fight.
Psykinetic’s Wrath removing only 50% is a bummer, without a build specifically designed for cooldown reduction the ability does not come online that often and is mostly saved as “oh crap” button -in those cases 50% feels kind of “meh”. That being said it is not bad by any means - still a viable way to not explode when one overextends their perils, provided that the ability is ready.
Again, I was very salty with the nerfs pre 1.0.6 but currently basic Brain Burst is viable in certain situations. While moving stagger to the end of the channel is very sad it is manageable, I believe there are two significant problems with Bursting.
For one, the damage does not scale. While the blades and the guns get stronger, BB will only get weaker as enemies gain more health. On “Heresy”, it is no longer possible to one-shot a hound with BB or two-shot an Ogryn. As it is a single-target, long cast ability with no CC there is absolutely no reason to use it at that point -grabbing a weapon with penetration is more optimal but also reduces the class to a glorified conscript. If we’re not supposed to “spam” it an reserve it for specific situations(like, how the nerfs were justified) then we cannot always maintain max charges. It just feels bad to return to a lower difficulty level with high level and massive gear advantage and still be unable to one-shot maulers by an inch of their health. If it’s not supposed to be related to weapon’s gear score then maybe some Curios that boost it’s damage or charge rate could be introduced?
Secondly, the right-click charge is barely used in my experience playing and spectating. Locking BB to an enemy with left-click has a lot of utility that cannot be overlooked, like sniping in a crowd, taking down specials that like to run away and killing shooters around corners. When playing with my pre-made I’m always on special lookout duty, I know all the audio cues and I know that a hound or pox buster is coming but cannot do a thing about it until they are in my LoS. That is because we, the Psykers, are careful not to get BLAM’ed by a commissar after reaching 100% perils. Please, for the love of the Emperor cap the pre-charge perils at +20-30% and lock it in place until the ability is activated or released(charging already limits movement to basically staying still), then hit us with the rest of the cost as normal. That would allow Psykers to be much better at sniping approaching specials after receiving the cue(which is the whole purpose of the cue) and make the alt-charge actually useful.
Those two things prevent BB from being in a place where it would not be spamable while retaining viability as a tool for people that maybe would like to be a useful Psyker while carrying a gun and would make them much more viable(and less frustrating) at special-killing. Of course I’m not a game designer, it’s just a bunch of suggestions but I hope you look into areas like these.
I have no strong feelings about those one way or another, they’re fun and useful, save ammunition for the rest of the team and offer wide variety. The basic bolt seems to be improved since Closed Beta - it used to be impossible to hit anything with it previously so kudos.
All that I’ve played with up to this point(circular explosion, lighting, big penetrating bolt, flamethrower) seem to be focused on horde slaying - which is why I think that BB needs to be in a good place for single target as mentioned above. Otherwise we would be left with nothing to counter heavy enemies without disposing of the staff and switching to a gun.
As with staves, I’m personally pretty happy with the swords - mostly due to amazing animations of blocking and pushing. Perils on Basic push were unfair towards the Psyker as everybody else has a dedicated resource for that. As that was already fixed in 1.0.7 the Force Sword is in a good place currently in my opinion(the push/knockdown I’ve described in the next paragraph).
It may just be me but I’m pretty sure that our push/knockdown options were severely nerfed. Both Psykinetic’s Wrath and force sword push seem to be very feeble and short-ranged compared to Closed Beta. For a character with very small amount of health and toughness and necessity to carefully manage perils/channelling times CC is crucial. I used the Psykinetic’s Wrath multiple times hoping to save myself from an approaching horde like in the good old days of Closed Beta only to push them slightly for a second, like a gentle breeze. Not really “Wrath”, more like a “Sulk”.
General Feedback on Playstyle:
In my humble opinion best thing about Psyker playstyle is the variety of tools at their disposal as in effect they have three weapons available at any time(melee, gun/staff and Brain Burst). With increased complexity of switching to appropriate tool depending on the situation both their available responses to threats and level of involvement are increased compared to classes with two weapons and a limited grenade. When compounded with perils and charge management and variety of builds with guns being a reasonable alternative to staves the class is probably most complex in second-to-second gameplay.
In my experience Psyker relies heavily on on being “backline caster” and while they can easily serve a frontline function just as anybody else, charging abilities and managing perils requires a semi-competent team and allows the Psyker to use their abilities to the fullest. I’ve noticed that the class gets much more capable when playing with a 20+ level team as opposed to beginners as there is much more safe space to manoeuvre.
In addition as other players learn about the specifics of the abilities they can be better leveraged, one of the members of my premade team started asking me to take out enemies who would be risky to face head on like the gatling gun ogryn who was unloading into the corridor so no one else would be able to attack him without tanking some damage. In another round, playing with random players, our Ogryn set up his Slab Shield in the entrance to an area and allowed me to snipe all the specials from a safe position. Unfortunately, many people do not have premade teams and many players are unwilling to consider team composition in similar situation.
Please, please, please introduce Brain Burst damage scaling and limit alt-charge(right-click) cost to a set max value just so we can charge it knowing that a special is approaching and not blow up. Otherwise that whole ability and significant portion of their kit becomes useless as soon as “Heresy” difficulty kicks in.