Suggestion: Psykinetics Rebuild (FQA)

For the past day or so I’ve been stuck at home for reasons relating to health. Being a fan of both 40k and of Fatshark’s recent games, I decided to have a bit of fun and do a bit of work to keep myself occupied and to pass the time.

I’m well aware that these changes will more than likely not even be seen by anyone other than forum moderators, let alone be incorporated into the game, but – hey, we can dream, right? Really, I can only hope the right people take notice and realize how Psykers need to be refitted back into their intended role.

If you see any suggested changes that you like, let me know. Likewise, if you think something here is problematic and have a way to potentially tweak it, by all means, I’m open to constructive criticism.

So, if you want to see what an FQA / Specialist can slap together in an afternoon, here ya’ go.


What is a Psyker in Darktide?

Let’s start this off with an overview of what the class is and what role it was meant to fill.

Psykers were clearly designed to be a frail but powerful class and looking at their kit, iconic abilities included, they were meant to be Elite and Boss oriented. From the ‘Brain Burst’ ability built into their kit, to the fact that Warp Charges are primarily only collected with Brain Burst kills, to the majority of their feats revolving exclusively around Elites and Brain Burst itself—they were made, from the ground up, as a single-target DPS class.

They’re Elite killers.

They’re glass-canons that can melt Bosses, if decently supported.

They’re the Back-line Artillery that allows their team to hack and slash with impunity.

They’re designed to fill this niche—or were.

Psykers vs. Others

You may argue that other classes, like the Veteran, are also built with Elites in mind—and you’d be right. This is, in fact, part of the problem. While overlapping roles isn’t necessarily a bad thing in coop-based video games, there is such a thing as too much overlap. This is currently the case between Veterans and Psykers, and this overlap is only emphasizing the issues present with the latter’s overall performance.

As it stands, Psykinetics have now become one of the weakest classes in the game.

Tough to believe, I know, but let’s face facts:

To put it simply, a single semi-decent Veteran with a Bolter on your team makes Psykers entirely obsolete, and this becomes only more apparent on higher difficulties. Veterans can out-DPS Psykers, even against armoured enemies and especially, ironically, against bosses due to Warp attacks being unable to crit or take advantage of weak spots (meanwhile, Veterans get bonuses for exactly that). I’ll explain more further down.

The worst part? Having both a Veteran and a Psyker on the same team only exasperates the problem due to the Psyker’s Aura (Coherence) ability, ‘Kinetic Presence’.

Other Psyker Roles

Now, you may be thinking to yourselves that this is just an oversimplification of the Psyker’s potential and that, with the right feats and items, they can fill other roles, such as Crowd Control, AoE, Support, and even specialize in Melee. Again, you’d be right. However, when filling those roles, they’re only ever decent, never great.

What I mean by that is that no matter what they try to do or what builds are available to them, they’re outshined by every other class in any other role they choose to conform to. They can’t out-perform Zealots in melee, they can’t out-tank Ogryns, and they can’t even come close to out-killing Veterans.

Conclusion

While Fatshark may not want a distinct ‘meta’ to affect the game, they’ve inadvertently caused the Psykinetic class to fall out of it almost entirely.

They were originally designed and specialized to fill a niche but important role. Unfortunately, however, they are no longer the best suited to do so—yet they’re still designed as if this weren’t the case. Not only this, their current kit and Aura ability cause other classes to become even better at outperforming them in this one specific field; their support feats and Aura all revolve around giving other teammates bonus damage against enemies, usually Elites and Monstrosities, and no other support of any kind.

This isn’t even mentioning the fact that Psykers do not benefit from taking on supporting roles aside from not having to do combat.

Mix all of this together and you’ve created the potential for Psykers to be more detrimental than beneficial on higher difficulties (4-5), which is not a good feeling.


UNIQUE FEATS

ABILITY

PSYKINETIC’S WRATH

Quell 50% Peril & Stagger enemies in front of you.

At the moment, Psykinetic’s Wrath by default deals no damage but staggers most enemies in what looks to be a 100-degree cone ahead of you.

Most, but not all.

Beefier enemies, like the Crusher, are typically not affected. Regardless, this is actually a fairly decent ability for Crowd Control and Recovery. On very rare occasions, if properly aimed, it can give you just enough breathing room to come rally or recover from a potential team wipe. Still, its narrow cone makes it finicky, and sometimes even unreliable due to latency or hitbox issues. Overall, while decent, it’s still a bit underwhelming.

So, how do we fix this?

My suggestion:

  • Increase the cooldown by 10% of its current duration.
  • Increase the spread by 50% of what it is currently.
  • Increase the Peril reduction rate by 100% of its current speed.

Really, these are just quality-of-life changes. Ideally, the increased spread will help mitigate hitbox shenanigans, making it more consistent and overall more reliable. Likewise, while the skill does not purge any more Peril than it already does, it does so much more quickly, meaning there are fewer chances to interrupt it. However, to ensure this isn’t just a straight buff, the skill now has a slightly longer cooldown.

Bonus fun:
When activated, teammates within the Psyker’s Coherency range will independently experience the following effects:

  • Audio is immediately reduced to 75% and becomes muffled.
  • High Peril sound effects (whispering) will immediately play at 50% volume.
  • Sound will slowly return to normal over the course of 3 seconds.
  • Low chance for classes other than Psyker to initiate any generic “Psykers are bad” dialogue.
BLITZ

BRAIN BURST

Target an Enemy and charge the ability to deal high damage.

Bear with me here:

Currently, Brain Burst by default deals roughly a fixed 1000 points of damage, reduced to 935 damage for Flak Armored Units and 825 damage for Carapace Armored Units, to any single enemy the Psyker targets. The ability takes roughly 2.5 seconds to cast, during which the Psyker is slowed significantly, and generates a total of 45 Peril, most of which during its build-up and then some extra once successfully cast. It has two modes of fire:

  • Left click activates the ability and locks onto the first hostile target to cross your reticle. Until this happens, it remains on standby and won’t build up any progress, but it won’t generate Peril either.

  • Right click does not lock onto a target, it instead causes you to prepare the ability in advance, allowing you to ‘hold’ onto it until you aim at an enemy wherein it will be immediately cast. Even once fully built up, however, it will continue to generate Peril until you reach 100 which, if you then cast the ability while at 100 Peril, you trigger ‘Perils of the Warp’.

At the moment, with how the Peril system works, a Psyker can safely cast Brain Burst (Left Click) 3 times. This will take them to 100 Peril and won’t trigger ‘Perils of the Warp’, allowing them to then vent Peril which (from 100 to 0) will roughly between 6 to 4 seconds depending on feats and what weapon you’re venting with. This also means, regardless of what the Psyker’s Peril is at, if it’s below 100% (Yes, including 99%), using Brain Burst will bring them to 100% Peril without consequence.

On paper, this sounds really useful already, but keep in mind, the damage does not scale.

At higher difficulties, beefier enemies may not even die after 3 uses of Brain Burst—some units need upwards of 8 uses. Poxhounds at difficulty 3 (Malice) take 2 Brain Bursts to kill, for example. This means, if a teammate is pinned and you, the Psyker, try to use Brain Burst to save them, you will need to cast the ability twice for a total of nearly 6 to 8 seconds, assuming you don’t need to vent Peril at any time.

The lack of any scaling, paired with how the ability costs and is just as slow to cast regardless of what enemy is targeted unfortunately means that it has no flexibility nor can it be incorporated into any build that isn’t strictly focused on targeting Elites. If you target anything else, it’s exclusively to either generate or maintain your Warp Charges or to snipe gun-wielding mobs from a distance. Or just for fun…

Let’s not forget, however, that if your target is killed before you can cast Brain Burst, you are not refunded the Peril generated nor do you get any Warp Charges.

It’s literally just a waste of time and a slap in the face with no reward.

As you can guess, this is pretty limiting, if not sometimes outright frustrating.

My suggestion:

  • By default, Brain Burst now generates:
  • 30 Peril instead of 45 when targeting Elites and Specialists.
  • 15 Peril instead of 45 when targeting Unarmoured and/or Infested.
  • More importantly, Brain Burst now also costs 1 Warp Charge:
  • The Warp Charge token is only consumed when Brain Burst is successfully cast.
    Non-Elites and Non-specialists do not consume tokens and may be targeted freely.

This means a Psyker can safely cast Brain Burst 3 times, bringing them to 90% Peril (Spooky!). If, at any time, the Psyker casts Brain Burst wherein the cost would exceed 100%, ‘Perils of the Warp’ is triggered. Essentially, the ‘safety net’ Psykers have when reaching 100% would no longer exist.

This also means that, despite the ability not having any cooldown, by default, the Psyker can only cast it a total of 4 times before running out of Warp Charges. This mitigates the earlier issue of Brain Burst spam and, due to scarcity, forces the Psyker to use the skill more strategically.

However, if the Psyker accidentally targets a lowly mob instead of, say, the Sniper who may be sitting at an extreme range, they will not be punished for it—it still costs Peril, though, so it isn’t entirely consequence-free.

( How a Psyker generates Warp Charges will be explained in the Iconic section )

Additionally:

  • Brain Burst’s Primary Action channel time reduced from 2.5 seconds to 1 second.
  • Brain Burst’s Secondary Action channel time reduced from 2.5 seconds to 2 seconds.

Comparatively very speedy, but still paired with the limiting factor of requiring Warp Charges to use. The shorter channel duration means Psykers can more effectively keep up with other classes for Elite kills. This should lessen how many times Psykers have their kills stolen from them.

Furthermore:

  • Brain Burst no longer generates extra Peril when successfully cast.
  • Peril is only generated when channeling the ability.
  • When channelling Brain Burst, if interrupted or cancelled, the Psyker immediately vents 50% of the Peril generated.
  • Brain Burst’s secondary action generates Peril at 25% base speed once fully charged.
  • If cancelled or interrupted, any Peril generated by the Secondary Action will not be refunded.

Small but impactful tweaks. Not only will it help lessen the frustration of a stolen kill, it also maintains some level of consequence to misusing the ability without fully casting it. If you preemptively charge Brain Burst with the secondary action, whether or not you cast it, you pay the price of convenience.

More importantly:

  • Brain Burst’s damage is no longer fixed to a flat 1000.
  • Brain Burst now scales: Base Damage 1000 + (Difficulty Level x 20%) + (Peril %).
  • Brain Burst now ignores 100% of a unit’s armor.

Looks complicated? Maybe even overpowered? Well, actually, it isn’t. With the above, at Difficulties 3 (Malice) to 5 (Damnation), a Psyker using Brain Burst at max damage would still not kill a Mutant nor any Ogryn Elites in less than 2 hits. Now, doesn’t that sound familiar?

Keeping in mind that the minimum extra damage from Peril would be 30% due to the initial channel cost—this means, no matter the difficulty level, Psykers retain the ability to compete with other classes in terms of damage output. Paired with the faster channel time, Psykers can now quickly and effectively dispatch Elite units in a way that benefits the team and is uniquely strong.

However, not only is it not overpowered but it’s also limited by the number of Warp Charges accumulated, to a max of 4 charges by default. This means, even if Psykers are a death machine, other Elite killers, such as the Veteran, can still easily compete in terms of performance.

In short; Brain Burst would no longer be so detrimentally useless at higher levels.

—And, just like that, they’d be viable again. Hooray!

AURA

KINETIC PRESENCE

Allies in Coherency gain +10% Damage (Elite Enemies).

Total transparency: I don’t like this Aura ability.

It’s pointlessly selfless, as the Psyker does not benefit from it themselves, and it further dilutes their role as an Elite killer. It causes teammates who’re close enough to target the same Elites as the Psyker to be more effective at killing them with no benefit on the Psyker’s end other than having teammates who, now, need them a little less. Likewise, compared to other Aura abilities, like ammo and toughness regen, I feel as though it lacks any real utility outside of raw damage output.

My suggestion:

BENEDICTION

Restore 3% corruption to all Allies within Coherency range when an Elite or Specialist is killed by the Psyker or by Allies within Coherency range.

Yes, this is has the potential to be as strong as it sounds.

However, given the amount of corruption restored is percentage-based, having low to moderate corruption will likely mean you only recover from an unnoticeable amount. Not that great, really. But, in desperate situations, this has the potential to have a minor but still impactful effect! Now, having a Psyker on your team, even if they aren’t dealing as much damage, can still make the difference!

Players will routinely scoff at a 10% damage increase when they can kill things perfectly fine on their own, especially if it comes at the cost of positioning or mobility. However, they can’t recover Corruption independently, meaning this skill has an entirely unique value to it.

Similarly, this provides a much stronger and unique incentive to stick close to the Psyker—a class that, let’s face it, needs support to be successful. This incentive only gets stronger as things get direr, too.

Last but not least, not only does the Psyker benefit from this inherently, but it still benefits other classes more; an Ogryn with +300 health will recover more corruption than the Psyker with a base of 150 health. So, this is still a team-oriented contribution.

ICONIC #1

WARP SIPHON

Killing an Enemy with Brain Burst earns Warp Charge. Each Charge grants +3% Damage. Warp Charges are retained for 25s. You can store up to 4 Warp Charges.

This is alright on it’s own. Not great, not terrible. The main appeal to the Warp Charge mechanic, at the moment, are the feats you can take that are very specifically tuned to it, like 33% damage resistance or Peril resistance.

The +3% damage, however, is barely noticeable. Even if you’re running the specific feat that lets you carry 6 charges instead of 4; with a 1000 damage Brain Burst, the bonus damage is only roughly 180 points of damage more—even less on other things such as melee. So, really, it makes no difference whatsoever.

For this reason, the time limit before you lose all your charges feels pointlessly strict and only encourages the Psyker to waste their time popping lowly mobs instead of hacking and slashing with the team to maintain whatever buff they have.

My suggestion:

WARP CONDUIT

For every Enemy killed, you have a chance to gain a Warp Charge: 3% to 5% from common enemies and 10% from Elites and Specialists. Kills made with Warp attacks have double the odds of generating a Warp Charge.

Warp Charges do not expire. You can store up to 4 Warp Charges. Each Charge grants the ability to use Brain Burst. Getting incapacitated removes all Charges.

In essence, it’s the same feat. However, since Brain Burst now costs Warp Charges to use, they’re instead primarily gained by doing any other Warp-based shenanigans you can think of; Staffs, Force Sword’s special ability, even Psykinetic’s Wrath—Brain Burst, too.

We don’t want to punish Psykers for choosing the guns available to them, however, so it is still possible to generate charges without them.

By doing this, every other tool in the Psyker’s kit becomes inherently more useful, encouraging them to likewise explore their unique weapons. Brain Burst may still be the Psykinetic’s bread and butter, but they’re now compelled to be more flexible and, maybe, more creative with how they gain and spend Warp Charges.

ICONIC #2

BATTLE MEDITATION

+10% Chance to Quell 10% Peril on Kill.

Again, this is just an underwhelming perk. Not great, not terrible. Likely very useful on builds that prioritize AoE, but the effect is so minor that people often forget it even exists.

My suggestion:

MANIFESTATION

Quell Peril and channel staff attacks 10% faster for every Warp Charge stored.

So, keeping with the original feat’s theme of utility, the new one allows for slightly easier management of Peril and charged attacks. Since this bonus applies to the act of Quelling itself, the player is more likely to notice it.


REBUILD FEATS

TIER 1

ESSENCE HARVEST

Replenish 50% Toughness immediately on gaining Warp Charge and the rest overtime.

So, quite literally a copy-paste of the Veteran’s ‘Confirmed Kill’ ability. Psykers already have the lowest Toughness and Health combination in the game, even a stiff breeze can take them down.

With that in mind, even with all the Toughness buffs in the world, immediately recovering 50% Toughness will not change just how delicate they really are.


WARP ABSORPTION

Replenish 10% Toughness when you kill an Enemy with a Warp attack.

No new suggestion for this one.


DISASSOCIATION

Replenish 10% Toughness immediately for each 5% of Peril Quelled.

Yup. That’s right. Just by switching the values around, you drastically improve how the feat would perform when used during combat.

For example, if a Psyker is using a ton of Warp attacks and generating too much Peril, the Toughness regen here would allow them to better survive getting attacked while they’re slowed and trying to recover.

TIER 2

UNFETTERED

Gain extra damage with Force Weapons, based on your current Peril.

Force Swords gain the ability to consume a Warp Charge when using ‘Warp Charged’, doing so includes a devastating pulse of Warp energy to surrounding Enemies at the end of the strike (30% of previous damage as AoE).

The charged Force Sword will not stop at the first target and instead gains massive cleave and a slight increase in range.

Let’s face it, Psyker melee builds need some love. Recently, the Force Sword received a fairly nerf, significantly weakening its blocking / shoving / counter ability.

Not only this but the Warp Charged ability suffers from an overly long attack animation. This makes using it risky and oftentimes not at all worth the Peril and melee investment. Ideally, the attack animation would be sped up to improve its effectiveness, which would directly translate into this feat becoming more useful.


INNER TRANQUILITY

+8% Peril Resistance per Warp Charge.

Perfect example of a good, early-game feat. The Warp Resistance is useful for nearly every build unique to the Psyker and, beyond that, is fun to have for Warp heavy loadouts.

The only change I would make is to bump it from 6% to 8% for a more impactful effect; with six charges, the total resistance would be just under 50%, which is not unreasonable.


KINETIC OVERLOAD

While you have maximum Warp Charges, gaining a Warp Charge instead applies 4 Stacks of Soulblaze to two nearby enemies, prioritizing Elite enemies.

Hey- Wait a minute… Wasn’t this a Tier 5 feat?

Yes. However, having this come first synergizes best with the introduction of the later feats that are much stronger and more impactful.

Regardless, the addition of it affecting 2 enemies instead of 1 ensures that this is a worthwhile pick for builds that focus on Warp Charge generation or Soulblaze.

TIER 3

PSYCHIC COMMUNION

Whenever you or an ally in Coherency kills an enemy, you have a 5% chance to gain a Warp Charge.

Yeah, this skill can literally stay as is. I just brought it up from 4% to 5% because it felt like a cleaner number. It also mirrors the Psyker’s own chances of gaining Warp Charges through their own kills.


EIDEDIC MEMORY

When casting Brain Burst, you have a 30% chance of not consuming a Warp Charge.

Cooldown reductions are great and all, but it really doesn’t stand up against ‘Psychic Communion’.

This feat, however, can go toe to toe with it; paired with ‘Warp Battery’; a roughly 1 in 3 chance to not consume a Warp Charge could lead to some much longer Brain Burst chains. Doing so, however, comes at the cost of Allies being able to produce Charges for you—which, if you’re not the type to stick with the team, maybe the better choice.


MIND OVER MATTER

Enemies hit by Brain Burst now deal 15% less damage for 5 seconds.

Receive max Warp Charges if a Monstrosity is killed while affected by ‘Mind Over Matter’.

Passive increase in Warp damage by 10% against Monstrosities.

As said, there are ways we can make a support feat without it coming with the risk of being eclipsed by other classes.

Being a defensive feat, this still benefits the team, and arguably more so than 15% extra damage. You could potentially prevent a teammate from being taken down, or reduce the amount of corruption a Plague Ogryn slaps into your team.

Not to mention, the Psyker is then rewarded for effectively covering their team. Even if they don’t get the last hit, they still receive Warp Charges for their trouble.

TIER 4

REPULSION

While below critical Peril, Blocking an attack causes you to gain Peril instead of losing Stamina.

Force Sword Quelling speed is increased by 25% and shove strength is increased by 50%.

Easy. With the added Quelling speed, Force Swords become more valuable, potentially rivalling staffs when committed to a melee build.

Pair this with ‘Unfettered’, and you’ve got yourself a pretty scary combo with good synergy.


KINETIC SHIELD

Decrease Toughness damage received by 10% for every Warp Charged stored.

Boom. Now, whether at a max of 4 stacks or 6, Psykers can tank a fair bit more punishment than normal.

This is balanced out by the fact that Psykers have one of the smallest Toughness pools in the game. Even with Toughness stat buffs on all their Curios, their tanking potential is very limited.

Still, this is a useful feat to have for those running a melee build.


MIND IN MOTION

Your Movement Speed is not reduced while Quelling Peril and Channeling attacks.

Just broadening the feat’s utility. The classic ‘Mind In Motion’ is a great way to mitigate the consequences of mistakes, allowing Psykers to reposition more easily even when Quelling. However, with the above addition, the feat goes from training wheels to an overall good mobility feat.

The feat allows Psykers to walk at normal movement speed, but not sprint. This means, however good it may be, it is still limited.

TIER 5

WARP BATTERY

Can store up to 6 Warp Charges.

Augh. Perfect. The most idiot-proof feat Psykers have. It does exactly what it says on the tin. For builds that depend on Warp Charges, it’s a must. I wouldn’t change this feat.


THERMO–HYSTERIA

Killing an Elite or Specialist with Brain Burst causes every Enemy in a 5-meter radius from the Elite to receive Soulblaze stacks equal to the current number of Warp Charges. For 5 seconds, every Elite killed while affected by ‘Hysteria’ will trigger the same effect.

Ta-da! Now, this is a feat with some really strong potential; with a coordinated team and some luck, the effect could be chained strategically and really bite into a horde’s numbers.

That being said, the chaining potential is very situational, relying on enemy positioning and the layout of the environment, which is something the players typically cannot easily control. With that in mind, this is a feat that will sometimes perform amazingly, and sometimes not.


WARP STATIC

Killing an Elite or Specialist with Brain Burst has a 30% chance to trigger another Brain Burst. The second Brain Burst is free, instant, and prioritizes Elites and Specialists. The second Brain Burst also has a 10% chance to trigger a third and final Brain Burst.

Another strong feat, and one that can compete with ‘Warp Battery’ fairly easily, too. Incorporating it into a Psyker’s kit can dramatically boost their damage potential and solidify their role as Elite killers.

That being said, the fact that the subsequent Brain Bursts cannot be aimed and have increasingly worse odds of triggering means this feat cannot be relied upon too heavily. While not exactly random, it is still a gamble—which I find to be very fitting for Psykers, thematically.

Finally, with it competing against ‘Warp Battery’, Psykers will only ever have four attempts to trigger the feat, not six.

TIER 6

POLTERGEIST

Psykinetic Wrath affects enemies all around you.

Psykinetic’s Wrath expends all Warp Charges, for every Warp Charge expended:

  • Cooldown reduced by 12.5%.
  • Quelled Peril increases by 12.5%.
  • Ability range increased by 2 meters.
  • Knockback force increased by 10%.
  • Increase stagger chance for Elites and Specialists by 15%.

Bam. It’s the same feat, but one that plays a little bit more nicely with Warp Charges’ new value. By sacrificing their opportunity to cast Brain Burst however many times, Psykers’ can instead choose to use Psykinetic Wrath in moments of desperation to create a much bigger window of opportunity.

Given this strips the Psyker of their ability to cast Brain Burst, despite all of the added effects, the shortened cooldown does not feel out of place; sacrificing massive damage potential for a brief but potentially impactful window of opportunity.


ASCENDANT BLAZE

Psykinetic Wrath no longer Quells any Peril.
Increase Ability Cooldown duration by 25%.

Psykinetic Wrath expends all Warp Charges, increasing the ability’s range by 25% and applying 2 stacks of Soulblaze to all Enemies hit for every Warp Charge expended.

For 10 seconds, all Enemies killed by Soulblaze or by any other source while under its effect have a 10% chance to grant a Warp Charge, Elites and Specialists killed additionally have a 25% chance to restore 5 points of your Health.

From fun to terrifying. Like I said before, for an effect unique to Psykers, Soulblaze is rather underwhelming, even if it looks cool. Well, now it looks even cooler, and it chews through hordes, too!

This is unquestionably strong, which is befitting a level 30 feat. Fortunately, a longer cooldown and synergizing feats that also require Warp Charges prevents it from being spammed.


ENTROPIC KINESTISIA

For 10 seconds, once Psykinetic Wrath is used, every Brain Burst cast will deal an additional 20% damage for every Warp Charges stored at the moment when the ability was used.

Additionally, the Psyker will lose the ability to generate new Warp Charges for 10 seconds per Warp Charge.

Psykinetic Wrath’s Ability Cooldown will only start once the initial 10 seconds are up. For every Warp Charge spent during this time, the Cooldown duration is extended by 25%.

Big finale. The motherload of all damage-dealing deals. This is meant to be the Brain Burst using Psyker’s best friend, and for good reason; using this ability, they may be able to double their damage output, but only for 10 seconds or 6 uses of Brain Burst.

This is a big deal, too. Once this ability is used, regardless of if Warp Charges are spent, no new ones can be generated for an entire minute at most. If a Psyker uses all of their charges for that extra damage, then the Ability’s Cooldown nearly triples in duration. It’s high cost, but high reward.

The candle that burns twice as bright, lasts half as long.

17 Likes

Haven’t finished reading (in the Brain Burst section), but this seems great and well thought out.

One question, how does the Psyker generate Warp charges in this redesign? Seems like BB uses those charges, but does it also generate them? How does he generate them if he has 0 charges left?

EDIT: Kept reading and got to the ICONIC #1 section. Perhaps you should note in the BB section that there is a solution coming for generating Warp charges.

1 Like

Aha, alright. I’ll put in a snippet about that. Thanks for letting me know.

Different question altogether, what does FQA / Specialist mean?

Functional QA Testers (The QA stands for Quality Assurance). Basically, video game testers, but I do software, applications and operating systems, too. The Specialist part is just part of my credentials, I specialized with VR Software, so I teach new QA Testers how to debug VR headsets.

Note on tier 4, it seems like Repulsion and Kinetic Shield are both competing for a melee build. Perhaps it’s better to replace one of them (my preference would be Kinetic Shield) with a talent that helps AoE / staff builds?

I can see what you mean. I initially had it in mind that they would be competing feats to differentiate melee builds that focus on blocking over tanking, but I could see how a staff feat would be fun.

Finished reading, really enjoyed this write-up, and appreciate you adding your reasoning at every turn. Great stuff. Hope the devs take note!

1 Like

Can we get this person on the dev team? Great write-up and some fantastic ideas here. Really makes what we have now look terrible in comparison :grimacing:

2 Likes

In the section covering BB you mention that Poxhounds take two casts to kill on malice but they only take one. They start requiring two on Heresy and up. Figured I would point that out since it’s incorrect. Otherwise it’s a well thought out take on how to improve psyker and how it plays. Hopefully FS will take some inspiration from this and make the class better than it currently is.

I agree with your diagnosis, not with all the solutions.

This is correct in principle, but I do not think this mindset is one that should be put forward. I do not play this game as a competition to get kills, though this is extremely frustrating :

It’s not about not getting the kill, it’s about feeling useless and outclassed in every regard.

Psyker in general is completely underwhelming on his own, and even more so when compared to the team. Everything takes ages for very little return : by the time I charge the surge force staff, the enemies are dead. By the time I finish casting BB, whatever I’m targeting is dead. I use force sword special : I’m locked in 2 seconds of animation and get hit. Even when I get to cast lightning, the damage is bad.
I have to manage a prohibitive peril mechanic, which other classes do not - I mean that I can use a combination of 3 spells/BB/force sword before needing to vent and not contribute to anything for a couple of seconds. Even the slowest weapon to recharge, the pistol revolver, is in the Psyker’s kit.


Back to your rework suggestions :

I have made a post suggesting some BB changes. My version synergises with the elite damage in coherency and allows warp charges to remain mostly the same, despite being mostly useless.

That being said, since BB is a grenade slot, it could make sense to be a “consumable”, meaning requiring some kind of resource, like warp charges. I have also read a suggestion about having warp charges empower BB (against elites and specials) instead of being a flat cost, which I think would fit in well with your suggestion.

Warp charges should do more than just “be there”, like decrease casting time.

3 Likes

I do like the suggestion for psyker’s ult ability change. Especially the bonus one. Brain burst could also use some damage scaling, but I completely disagree with your suggestion on it, I’m pretty sure I saw someone make a way better one. I don’t agree with everything here but some elements of this could be implemented, for sure

I posted my own Psykinetic redesign a few days back and I see some overlap between the two.

One of the biggest things we both seem to advocate for is changing the warp charge mechanic to be the limiter on a powerful Brain Burst ability rather than the payoff for using a bad Brain Burst ability repeatedly.

2 Likes

Unfortunately, I think you’re misreading my intent.

When I say ‘stolen kills’, I’m not doing so from a competitive mindset. I’m not referring to an individual stat, like ‘total Elites killed’, as much as the Psyker’s effort and potential contribution. Let me explain:

Were BB a damage-over-time ability—like you suggested, then regardless of who got the final hit, or the ‘kill’, the Psyker contributed to it and their effort wasn’t wasted. Even if they weren’t able to get their full damage in, they did something. Currently, however, that isn’t the case.

As it stands, in order for the damage to be successfully applied, BB has to be channeled for nearly 3 seconds. In that time, if the target is killed by another source of damage before the skill could be fully channeled, then the Psyker’s efforts and time has been essentially been wasted. No damage was contributed. No warp charges were gained. This is the ‘slap in the face’ I’m referring to.

Basically, for all of that time, the Psyker has effectively been doing nothing. Their time would have been better spent swinging into melee with their staff or tanking damage.

Reading further into my thread, I make my concerns fairly transparent; Psykers aren’t viable in high-level team play.

They have little to contribute and their kit actively undermines their potential by making it even harder for them to output any damage. My suggestions are focused primarily around how their feats could be redesigned to better benefit the team in an active way.

That’s what I feel matters most. Not that they can ‘beat’ other classes, but that they can fill a niche that is both satisfying to play into and beneficial to other players.

Admittedly, I don’t think your suggested fix does much to better the Psyker’s problems. Overall, your suggestion means the Psyker would have a lower damage output with the same cast times and general costs, and an ability that doesn’t feel satisfying to use.

Also, enemies at higher level have upwards of 4 to 8k health. I don’t think a flat # damage over time or execution will really have an impact. That’s another issue I touch on that I feel is important to the Psyker’s performance: their ability damage doesn’t scale, fixed damage values don’t work.

As for making BB a resource, yeah – that’s what my Warp Charge change was aiming to emulate, on top of making Warp Charges more important and useful.

More importantly though; I reeeeaaally don’t see how your other tweaks help make Psykers any more competent. Slower quelling and higher/inflexible costs seem more like a nerf than anything, but you’re free to correct me if I misunderstood.

I really hope you don’t take this as criticism for criticism’s sake, I’m mainly trying to point out what my main issues are with the class to begin with:

  • High damage potential but with no way to consistently output it in a meaningful way. BB takes too long to cast with damage that doesn’t scale, making it less and less worthy of an investment as you go up in difficulty.

  • Lack of utility and/or team-oriented feats and mechanics. Their Aura and ‘make target take 15% more damage’ feat is all they currently have, and both serve to actively make it harder to output their own damage. Support builds feel terribly underwhelming, too.

  • Propensity to be outshined by other classes to the point of feeling like you do, in fact, need to compete in order to have an effect of any kind—which isn’t healthy.

  • No reward for successes or compensation for misplaced effort. Targeting canon fodder is essentially the same punishment for no reward, which is frustrating when casting at range and accidentally killing something other than the Sniper you were trying to lock onto, for example. Vice versa, killing Elites has the same reward as killing canon fodder.

1 Like

I’ll admit, I have some reservations with your suggested changes, but I agree with the overall spirit wholeheartedly:

Brain Burst is the Psyker’s bread and butter, it’s their main damage source and what their feats and Warp Charges are based on. In order for Psykers to remain viable, their ability needs more staying power—while also being careful not to repeat the pre-Beta’s case of BB spamming with no consequences.

They need to have a better and/or more immediate impact in order to keep up with the team’s performance and add onto it.

1 Like

This is a fantastically well-thought-out rework, well done.

I was worried in your opening statement that you were going to narrow the focus in on the elite-killing role of the class, but I’m glad to see that was not the case. I personally prefer a horde-clearing role with AoE damage and good CC; I don’t even typically use brain burst on elites or specialists, since I roll with a Veteran and he can delete them faster than me anyway. I more generally use it to pick off distant snipers, shooters in cover, or fast-moving dogs; things that would actually be difficult to kill with more conventional means.

Whatever direction they take Psykinetic - and I hope it’s something like what you suggest - I just hope they keep the possibility alive for multiple different roles. One of the big reasons I like to play the wizard in most games is because I enjoy clearing rooms with magical fire, and I would like the ability to do so without feeling like I’m failing the team somehow.

3 Likes

Which is totally valid, and I’m glad you found yourself a helpful role to play into. I can see how Psykers could have a sub-class that are absolute monsters against hordes, it’d be fun.

That’s what worries me, though. Whether it’s being high-damage single-target or AoE sweepers, Psykers really need a kit that better compliments their chosen play styles.

4 Likes

That’s fair. If you have any specific criticisms or alternatives, I’d love to hear them. I’m not familiar with the other suggestion you’re referring to, unfortunately.

This is only if you focus solely on the numbers…
I did say

and the point is that, indeed, it needs to scale.
The mechanics of having a threshold (that scales with difficulty, of course) under which enemies are executed (the number would be enough to instakill trash but not enought for elites and specials) and continuous damage over cast time (to reach said threshold on enemies that fit within the threshold + [total damage over cast time] range of HP) means that casting BB cannot be a waste.

Moreover, if allies hit the target with the blue halo, they contribute to reaching the threshold of execution faster, promoting teamplay and focusing the same enemies rather than discouraging it or generating frustration when it happens.

The threshold should be looked at and tested and tweaked, but somewhere between 40% and 60% of a mauler’s HP seems about right, with damage over cast time totaling between 25% and 40% of their HP as well.

That means that you would deal a total of 65-100% of a mauler’s HP per cast, and if at any point, for any reason, during your cast, his health reaches below the threshold, he’s popped.

That means you’d instantly pop trash and generate warp charges. (Yes, warp charges should be reworked, see below).

That means that, unless you’re using it against an enemy with more HP than BB deals damage and nobody in your team is helping you take that enemy out, your cast time will be shortened.

That means that monsters still get chunked, albeit, indeed, over 3 seconds, more or less as it is now (hopefully a bit stronger).

This adresses your 4 points :

  • High damage potential (obviously damage would scale)
  • Encourages teamplay to reach execution threshold, aura contributes to that
  • Removes competition out of BB, and casting it is never wasted
  • You get to make choices : "Do I use BB to gain fast Warp Charges (reworked to synergize with playstyle, see below), or do I keep it for Elites and Specials ?"
    This also allows for gameplay flexibility, playing as an Elite and Special handler or rush into melee. This would require some further talent tree rework to allow for these different playstyles, but the possibility doesn’t exist otherwise.

You could then easily make three talent trees :

  • one that focuses on BB (higher threshold, more damage, soulblaze stacks on execute, etc.)
  • one that focuses on melee (chance to not consume warp charge on empowered hit, chance to generate warp charge on melee kill, gain more toughness per warp charge, etc.)
  • one that focuses on control (staff spell charge speed per warp charge, chance when venting to consume warp charge to instantly quell 40% Peril, etc.)

They all rely on BB for warp charges, but charges would be easy to gain, synergize with builds, and would not decay other than by being used.

I see this bringing the Psyker back up on par with other classes in terms of contribution to the team.

Psyker feats are so goddamn anemic or non-functional compared to the Sharpshooter’s, at this stage I’ll take any improvement.

4 Likes