The trap that is Brain Burst

Even a normal grenade would be preferable in Malice+

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The feat that grants charge speed and peril cost reduction for 10 seconds after your ult actually makes BB feel somewhat decent, casting time wise. I think a reasonable fix would be:

  • Warp charges grant both charge speed and peril cost reduction for BB.
  • BB’s damage should scale better with difficulty, to me it feels decent on malice (diff 3), but abysmal on anything higher.
  • The feat that grants charge speed on ult, should now instead clear 100% of your peril.
  • The feat that has a 4% chance to grant a warp charge on kill is only reliable on higher difficulties, so increase the % a bit to make it useful on lower difficulties.

This change would actually make you feel like you are ramping up your power once you start getting warp charges, because BB starts doing more damage in less time. Also, it doesn’t feel like a huge chore to keep your stacks up, when casting BB takes so much less time.

Apart from the damage of the ability, I find it extremely frustrating to focus the ability on a target at all… Specials don’t seem to be prioritized and the only visual feedback is the blue glow of the head (at long distances, especially during hordes, it is hardly or not at all visible).

In my opinion the ability should:

  • prioritize specials
  • highlight the targeted enemy (like Waystalker or Pyro ultimate abilities in Vermintide 2)
  • make the damage dependent on the cast time (cast time is then based on the max HP of the targeted enemy) and kill the target with 100% casts in any case
  • monstrosities get a fixed damage value

This would be my current approach based on my game experience so far.

Edit to point 3: The time scaling would of course have to be adapted to the difficulty level, so that you have the same cast time for an enemy type on all difficulty levels, otherwise this would of course only lead to eternally long brain burst casts.

Besides power and utility, the ability really needs to be more engaging. You literally just stare at a wall for a few seconds.The second
Unlike, say, Siennas homing burning skull, this isn’t an ability that you can occasionally just use as an afterthought, nor does it currently allow deleting specials quickly. It is the main way to generate charges, and multiple feats rely on you using BB or having/gaining charges. Clearly, Fatshark expects us to regularly use this ability, yet most (definitely including me) seem to use it mostly because they feel like they have to, not because it would make any sense. It does work against snipers, true, or staggering bulwarks, but that’s a rather niche and not even exclusive usecase.

I think it needs extra damage vs. hounds, a chance to stagger anything (except bosses) that it can’t kill, and the secondary mode could do with with being able to overcharge it for extra damage.
Maybe also some interaction with peril and distance to enemies to make it charge faster or deal more damage - f.Ex. be slightly faster in close quarters, slightly slower at very long range. Staggering nearly chaff enemies because someone’s brains just exploded all over them could also be nice.
The ability is rather boring, all things considered.

Easy fix, make brain burst do % based damage to elites and specials. Make that % set for elite/special type. This makes it standard and tweak the numbers based on the difficulty if necessary. Another option, give the damage bonus to force weapons perk a damage bonus to brain burst. Making it the defacto “Force peril” perk.

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The more i play the more i believe it’s absolutely essential that BB’s damage is at least consistent enough across difficulty levels to one shot Pox Bursters

Even on Heresy some Pox Bursters apparently spawn with more than 1k HP

It’s downright terrible that it doesn’t

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Brain Burst is the sole reason I stopped playing my Psyker and switched to someone else. It’s terrible and feels so useless most of the time. I’d rather be able to use a grenade.

It’s strong at difficulty 3 or less since it oneshots specials and makes short work of elites. At higher difficulties it becomes an afterthought and you focus more on perks that grant passive warp charges instead.

Truth be told here, they should just do this.

At level 30 the talents should be reworked to:
one talent option that makes your single target brain burst do a lot of damage able to one shot any elite/specials on any difficulty, and 2 shot ogryn.

One talent option that makes it so when you kill anything, it explodes and applies a 2 stack of soul blaze to everything around it. and stacks with ketentic overload

One talent option that increases the cast speed by 50% and decreases its cost by 25%

Call it good, that way you have a great single target popper making it viable on all difficulties, AOE ability option, and a general purpose option for it.

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I also seldom use BrainBurst in conjunction with the Voidstrike or Surge staff. Surge does little damage but at least it immobilizes threats. Voidstrike staggers or outright kills a lot of stuff.

Honestly, allot of BB problems can be solved if BB damage scales with your overall Power Level/Gear Score.
IE: The stronger your gear, the stronger BB is.

It also incentivizes keeping your gear score up.

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Its great for malice and below, in fact it feels perfectly balanced for malice, but when you hit that two shot threshold on human sized specials on heresy and above its just not worth the cast time or the vulnerable position you put yourself in.

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IMO The reason it feels good on those difficuties is because brain burst can oneshot any special including gunners and it brings maulers down to the mouse fart of health, to the point you can poke them with anything and they die. It also 2 shots reapers, crushers, and bulwarks at that level as well.

4 and 5 you need 2 bb to kill even a gunner.

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The whole warp surge and brain burst stuff feels out of place with the pacing of the game

Totally agree here.

The entire system feels like a mechanic for a version of the game that we no longer play.

It would be like logging in to an MMO after a change of mechanics and realizing only your classes set of abilities/attacks were not redesigned and changed to compensate. Everyone else now has a kit that works and feels right so you are forced into very specific gear and ability choices to remain relevant and be effective.

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BB’s damage should be normalized to be as effectice as it is in malice.
BB should grant warp charges on hit instead of on kill.
Warp charges should grant BB charge speed, making it more useful at higher pacing difficulties. This also makes you actually feel your power ramp up as you gain charges.
The feat that grants BB charge speed on ult, should either grant max warp charges, or clear 100% peril.
Soulblaze’s damage is laughable, it’s either bugged or not balanced at all. I saw it ticking for 1 in the psykinariumthing.

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Want to see the people praising BB’s anti elite/special usability try to do it on Heresy. Finding the time to switch to it and channel without getting hit would be a miracle outside of whenever you first enter a room before the horde rolls in.

If nothing else BB should scale with difficulty and allow you to one tap most of the specials and elites that aren’t armored.

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Its really fine, between staves doing excellent damage when properly aimed and BB literally hitting things you cant see as well as the level 30 talent that boosts brain burst casting anything more than it is right now would break the class again.

About the only thing soul blaze is good for is maintaining stacks… but that takes a bit of feat investment

You do play the class yes? It doesn’t sound like you do.